Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
CSpec

GM Slates Sweeping Rebates As Toyota Closes In on No. 1

30 posts in this topic

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121424094257797029.html

GM Slates Sweeping Rebates As Toyota Closes In on No. 1

By JEFF BENNETT, NEAL E. BOUDETTE and SERENA NG, June 24th 2008

On the verge of ceding its crown as America's best-selling car company, General Motors Corp. announced further production cuts as well as sweeping new incentives on many 2008 models -- a reversal of recent strategy and a fresh sign of how badly rising gasoline prices are slamming auto makers.

GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC have been trying for over two years to back away from heavy incentives, which eat into profit margins and tarnish brands in the eyes of some consumers. But a worsening of the slump in car and light-truck sales this month is forcing the Detroit companies to go all out to halt sales declines.

Through the first half of June, normally a strong period, U.S. auto sales were running at an annualized rate of about 12.5 million vehicles, according to J.D. Power & Associates. It was the lowest level for June in decades and a huge drop from the year-ago rate of 16.3 million vehicles.

For GM, the June swoon has an added peril: Without a sales surge in the next few days, it risks losing its U.S.-sales crown to Toyota Motor Corp. for the month. That would be a first and a powerful symbol of Detroit's long decline.

GM's stock-market value now stands at just $7.8 billion, compared with Toyota's $154 billion. The GM figure reflects a further fall of 6.4% Monday. GM shares closed at $12.91 -- near a 33-year low, adjusted for stock splits -- in 4 p.m. trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

While offering incentives on 2008 models, GM said it intends to raise prices on 2009 vehicles an average of 3.5% to help offset a surge in steel prices and rises in the costs of other materials.

In hopes of spurring vehicle sales, GM said it would offer zero-percent loans for up to 72 months or cash rebates of up to $7,000. In a conference call, GM's top marketing executive for North America, Mark LaNeve, said the offers should help dealers move some of the pickups and SUVs they have in inventory, which have become hard to sell and are rapidly falling in value.

"Zero percent seems to work," Mr. LaNeve said. He added that recent declines in the value of used trucks have left some customers driving vehicles worth less than is owed on them, making it hard for owners to trade them in on new models. "A lot of customers are out of equity, and zero percent helps [with] that issue," he said.

A GM spokesman said the new round of incentives isn't aimed at keeping GM ahead of Toyota.

Decades ago, GM controlled half of the U.S. market. By 2000, its share was down to 30%, but that was still triple the 9.3% Toyota had. In the past several years, Toyota has expanded its lineup, adding light trucks and luxury vehicles that have increased its market share.

Even as fuel prices began rising, GM guessed that light trucks would remain big sellers. Last month, with sales of such vehicles in free-fall, GM's share of the U.S. vehicle market sank to 19.4%, according to Autodata Corp. -- the first time in a half century or more it was below 20%.

Toyota, meanwhile, gained share on strong sales of its passenger cars. Toyota's market share in May reached a high of 18.6%, less than one percentage point behind GM's.

In May, GM's U.S. sales of trucks and SUVs were 37% below those of May 2007, the biggest decline in the segment among the major auto makers.

GM said Monday it plans to shutter assembly plants in Arlington, Texas; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Janesville, Wis.; Shreveport, La.; Silao, Mexico; and Oshawa, Ontario, for anywhere from one to 10 weeks from July through the remainder of the year. These shutdowns will be in addition to the usual two-week summer down-time schedule.

Just a few weeks ago, GM announced it would close four plants permanently between now and 2010.

Decades ago, GM controlled half of the U.S. market. By 2000, its share was down to 30%, but that was still triple the 9.3% Toyota had. In the past several years, Toyota has expanded its lineup, adding light trucks and luxury vehicles that have increased its market share.

Even as fuel prices began rising, GM guessed that light trucks would remain big sellers. Last month, with sales of such vehicles in free-fall, GM's share of the U.S. vehicle market sank to 19.4%, according to Autodata Corp. -- the first time in a half century or more it was below 20%.

Toyota, meanwhile, gained share on strong sales of its passenger cars. Toyota's market share in May reached a high of 18.6%, less than one percentage point behind GM's.

In May, GM's U.S. sales of trucks and SUVs were 37% below those of May 2007, the biggest decline in the segment among the major auto makers.

GM said Monday it plans to shutter assembly plants in Arlington, Texas; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Janesville, Wis.; Shreveport, La.; Silao, Mexico; and Oshawa, Ontario, for anywhere from one to 10 weeks from July through the remainder of the year. These shutdowns will be in addition to the usual two-week summer down-time schedule.

Just a few weeks ago, GM announced it would close four plants permanently between now and 2010.

The company said Monday it is adding shifts at car and crossover-vehicle (car-based SUVs) plants in Fairfax, Kan., and Lansing, Mich.

GM now expects to produce 170,000 fewer light trucks -- a category that includes pickups and SUVs -- in the second half of this year than in the second half of 2007. It plans to increase car production by 47,000 from the total in the second half of 2007.

Last week, Ford announced similar cuts in light-truck production.

The new GM incentives could spur Ford and Chrysler to make similar offers. The Big Three typically match one another's incentives. Ford said it monitors incentives by competitors but has no plans at this time to match GM's. Chrysler said it doesn't plan to increase incentives.

Toyota, which has pushed into trucks and SUVs in the past few years and has bloated inventories of those models, could also be forced to join the incentive game.

The drop in pickup and SUV sales has raised concerns about whether GM, Ford and Chrysler have enough cash to keep them going through this difficult period. On Wall Street, the cost of insuring against a default in GM's bonds has soared to a high in recent weeks as fears of a bankruptcy-court filing have grown.

An investor who wants to buy credit protection on $10 million in GM's bonds for five years currently has to pay $2.8 million upfront and $500,000 annually for that insurance, through what are called credit-default swaps. A year ago, that protection cost only $400,000 annually, with no upfront cost, according to Credit Derivatives Research LLC.

The need for an upfront payment means the market regards GM as likely to default over the next few years. Based on market prices, debt investors currently see more than a 70% chance that GM will default on its obligations sometime in the next five years, said Boaz Weinstein, co-head of credit trading at Deutsche Bank AG.

A spokesman for GM said it has sufficient liquidity for 2008. He declined to comment on 2009.

The cost of insurance on GM's debt also spiked in mid-2005, when there were questions about the auto maker's solvency, but the cost fell sharply in 2006 after GM managed to raise a sizable cash cushion by selling assets.

Trading in GM's credit-default swaps is still active, but as the cost of credit protection rises, investors who hold GM bonds have to pay significantly more to hedge their positions. The swaps also are traded by many hedge funds and others who don't own GM bonds but use the swaps simply to bet for or against a default at the company.

In the past week or so, GM has halted development on its next generation of pickups and SUVs. It is trying to reassess what mix of cars, trucks and other vehicles is likely to appeal to consumers in a few years.

GM is considering selling its Hummer brand. On Monday, the company said it had hired Citigroup to work on a possible sale.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hmm... these are dark times indeed...

but isnt the new trend to file bankruptcy these days? it worked for Trump

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

see, mr bush, this is what your 4 dollar gas has done. your buddies all got rich enough now. first housing and now energy. now you're looking at entire industries and companies going down.

things would not be this bad for GM if the market was on pace for 16.3 million again this year. GM would be able to sell enough vehicles to have cash flow and try to work itself out of this mess. Instead, everyone is not buying, or only buying Yaris and civics and stuff.

This has been a huge wakeup call for detroit and clearly the investment community is interested in a huge fall for GM or Ford or both so they can buy it off the scrap heap for cheap and then proceed to rape the pieces of it and either sell it off to another country or make a killing off the scraps here somehow.

if this economic fear we are all in and the 4 dollar gas continue after the election then all bets are off I guess. I think at this point at least from the sound of it, Ford might have the best chance of not crashing to the ground.

It's in the interest of our Domestics to have the economy get positive again, and fast. If the domestics cannot maintain market share for the next 18 months or so, then it will come down as a huge turning point and i think we may not even have the choice to drive GM Ford Chrysler for too much longer. Even though they are building some of the best cars ever.

Keep buying those Camry's people. So the Jap govt can pay for more batteries.

Maybe its time for a Carlos Ghosn type to come in and spank GM. Maybe its time for new thinking and Red Ink Rick to turn the key over to someone more ruthless. And someone with a world perspective.

Edited by regfootball
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
see, mr bush, this is what your 4 dollar gas has done. your buddies all got rich enough now. first housing and now energy. now you're looking at entire industries and companies going down.

things would not be this bad for GM if the market was on pace for 16.3 million again this year. GM would be able to sell enough vehicles to have cash flow and try to work itself out of this mess. Instead, everyone is not buying, or only buying Yaris and civics and stuff.

This has been a huge wakeup call for detroit and clearly the investment community is interested in a huge fall for GM or Ford or both so they can buy it off the scrap heap for cheap and then proceed to rape the pieces of it and either sell it off to another country or make a killing off the scraps here somehow.

if this economic fear we are all in and the 4 dollar gas continue after the election then all bets are off I guess. I think at this point at least from the sound of it, Ford might have the best chance of not crashing to the ground.

It's in the interest of our Domestics to have the economy get positive again, and fast. If the domestics cannot maintain market share for the next 18 months or so, then it will come down as a huge turning point and i think we may not even have the choice to drive GM Ford Chrysler for too much longer. Even though they are building some of the best cars ever.

Keep buying those Camry's people. So the Jap govt can pay for more batteries.

Maybe its time for a Carlos Ghosn type to come in and spank GM. Maybe its time for new thinking and Red Ink Rick to turn the key over to someone more ruthless. And someone with a world perspective.

You are correct, except that this outcome is the natural result of GM's mistakes, missteps and inability to alter their institutional processes and procedures. I'll avoid the "I told you so's", but this has been a long time coming....I think a few of you owe a couple of posters a little credit where it's due.

The good news is that the fog has finally lifted and GM's executive management have finally acknowleged what needs to be done.

The bad news is this executive management team probably aren't equipped to do it correctly. I can't see RW lasting the calendar year.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as you say. but the whole thing is, a tough economic downturn should not cause us to lose it all.

what i am saying, they've made mistakes, but our country should not have to pay the price by losing our companies because that is a net negative.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
as you say. but the whole thing is, a tough economic downturn should not cause us to lose it all.

what i am saying, they've made mistakes, but our country should not have to pay the price by losing our companies because that is a net negative.

It's a tragedy for our country, no doubt. For people dependant upon GM, its even worse.

I cannot understand the patience that GM's Board has shown with this management team. I am disgusted by the negligence involved and constantly amazed at the depths they've allowed things to fall.

I've noticed that C&G has gotten quieter lately...perhaps its a collective depression over the constant bad news? I know it's been affecting things at our dealerships...

Edited by enzl
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
see, mr bush, this is what your 4 dollar gas has done. your buddies all got rich enough now. first housing and now energy. now you're looking at entire industries and companies going down.

things would not be this bad for GM if the market was on pace for 16.3 million again this year. GM would be able to sell enough vehicles to have cash flow and try to work itself out of this mess. Instead, everyone is not buying, or only buying Yaris and civics and stuff.

This has been a huge wakeup call for detroit and clearly the investment community is interested in a huge fall for GM or Ford or both so they can buy it off the scrap heap for cheap and then proceed to rape the pieces of it and either sell it off to another country or make a killing off the scraps here somehow.

if this economic fear we are all in and the 4 dollar gas continue after the election then all bets are off I guess. I think at this point at least from the sound of it, Ford might have the best chance of not crashing to the ground.

It's in the interest of our Domestics to have the economy get positive again, and fast. If the domestics cannot maintain market share for the next 18 months or so, then it will come down as a huge turning point and i think we may not even have the choice to drive GM Ford Chrysler for too much longer. Even though they are building some of the best cars ever.

Keep buying those Camry's people. So the Jap govt can pay for more batteries.

Maybe its time for a Carlos Ghosn type to come in and spank GM. Maybe its time for new thinking and Red Ink Rick to turn the key over to someone more ruthless. And someone with a world perspective.

A lot of this is GM's own fault. For 30 years they build crappy cars (Aztek and Skylark anyone?) that people didn't want. While Toyota/Honda/Nissan and even Hyundai/Kia now ate GM's lunch, the General just sat there and tried to pawn off the cars like the old Cavalier as new models (remember that ugly face lift a few years back) and building engines that while reliable were no where near as smooth and quiet as the competition.

Add onto this 30 years of blurring product lines to make Pontiacs that cost as much as Buicks and Chevrolets that cost more then Pontiacs etc as well as building boring cars ( nothing says I hate everything about cars like a Buick Century)

Lastly its been predicted that gasoline would hit $4 since Katrina in 2005, who's fault is it that while Honda was building its green image, GM was building Yukon Denali XLs?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in all fairness i dont blame any automotive company for faults that i see was encouraged by society. there is a sister school to my high school in scottland, when they came over here they were amazed to know that people in the 10th grade "owned" cars. most of the scottish kids all had bicycles. know why? because what they paid a gallon of gas we could get 3 to 4. prices go up when supply is outweighed by demand. it was jus a matter of time. its horrible i cant stand to look at the sign and thing 10 years ago it was well below a dollar but in my mind 3.50 is going to be cheap. we are just catching up to world prices.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A lot of this is GM's own fault. For 30 years they build crappy cars (Aztek and Skylark anyone?) that people didn't want. While Toyota/Honda/Nissan and even Hyundai/Kia now ate GM's lunch, the General just sat there and tried to pawn off the cars like the old Cavalier as new models (remember that ugly face lift a few years back) and building engines that while reliable were no where near as smooth and quiet as the competition.

Add onto this 30 years of blurring product lines to make Pontiacs that cost as much as Buicks and Chevrolets that cost more then Pontiacs etc as well as building boring cars ( nothing says I hate everything about cars like a Buick Century)

Lastly its been predicted that gasoline would hit $4 since Katrina in 2005, who's fault is it that while Honda was building its green image, GM was building Yukon Denali XLs?

THIRTY YEARS? Which 30? 1975-2005? 1965-1995?

I am glad you aren't running a company! Maybe, it can be argued GM built vanilla cars for 15 or so years (I'd pick 1980-1995 as a rough era), but when placed against the backdrop of what else was being built out there, they aren't all that bad.

Look, the fact of the matter is that GM grew fat and bloated in the '80s. I don't think anyone denies that. Instead of surging ahead with their product leadership of the '60s and '70s, the Board decided to give out fat dividends and chase dead end technologies, like all the robots Smith ordered up. With the bean counters firmly in control, GM was run by a bunch of paper pushers just as Japan Inc and Stuttgart wound up for their final assault on Fortress America.

In retrospect, I doubt there is much GM or Ford could have done to arrest the market share slide of the past 20 years - in light of how good the competition has gotten, Detroit's dominance was bound to end. What could have been altered was GM's lack of profitablity. If they had adopted world platforms in the '90s, they would be better positioned to weather the U.S. downturn.

The biggest trouble with GM (and Ford) is that Detroit is answerable to Wallstreet. Honda is not. Wallstreet is calling the shots, just as they are f$#king everyone on oil futures right now. If anybody in marketing or design had pushed for a hybrid in 1995 when GM was selling every truck it could build, for sure that executive would have lost his/her job. It isn't like GM didn't have green technology. Half the buses in Toronto are built by GM and they are hybrids. The business model was not there in '95. By 2005 it was, and clearly Lutz saw that, and has been working on that for a few years, or do you think the Volt happened over night?

As I said in another thread, GM has shortened its product cycle by half: 15 years in some cases to 6 or 7. We know GM should never have allowed that to happen, but those most responsible for the '80s and '90s slide are gone. Those in charge now have only been so for 5-7 years, and to turn a ship the size of GM around in that short a period of time is nothing short of a miracle.

The mortgage fiasco and oil ripoff is not GM's fault. It is extremely unfortunate that this is happening now, at such a critical period in GM's turn around. Personally, the more I read about what is happening in the oil futures market, I am getting pretty pissed off. :censored: Could this be the final nail in its coffin? Perhaps. I guess it all depends on how much cash GM burns up before the Volt and other cars arrive.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THIRTY YEARS? Which 30? 1975-2005? 1965-1995?

Well lets start with the Vega and say it ended around the same time as the Aztek/Cavalier, hmmm 1970's-2000's would be ahh about 30 years.

30 years of: Vega, Chevette, Cavalier, Sunbird, Achieva, Cutlass Calais, Skylark, Corsica, Grand Am, Cadillac V8/6/4, Minivans (Olds/Pont/Chev) with bad crash test rating, bad intake manifolds on many V6 cars (3.8 Series II anyone) Quad 4 engines with blown heads, 5.0L V8s (mid-late 80's) that burned oil, diesel engines that were famous for sucking, the list can go on and on. Much of GM's problem stems from the basic fact that GM let its reputation fall apart over 30 years of offering poor products. People expected the best from cars that wore the "Mark of Excellence".

BTW: Was it you and I who had the disagreement a few months back when posting about Hummers future? Who ever it was I called for the sale of Hummer then, and was bashed for it, but that now seems to be the best idea out of GM in a while (dump Hummer) I was right about that, and I'm right about this, GM needs to overcome the reputation it made for itself. At one time there were no Toyotas or Hondas in America. But due to people being dissatisfied with the offerings of the big 3 they went to the japs. Now look, seems like GM might be a foreign car in its own country soon if things don't keep moving forward 9no pun intended).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With the bean counters firmly in control, GM was run by a bunch of paper pushers just as Japan Inc and Stuttgart wound up for their final assault on Fortress America.

Perhaps if GM management had thought less in terms of a Fortress America mentality and had seen economic and trade trends sooner, GM would be in a better position now. Just a thought...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe if GM had concentrated on making great product, rather than great amounts of money....unfortunately, the economic forces that are hurting GM's turnaround are just one of the reasons why GM should have not let it get to that point.

Noone can predict a terror attack. Or war in oil-producing areas. Or a mortgage meltdown. However, preparedness as an organization means being ready for the unexpected, the emergency that impacts business. There is simply NO excuse for the situation GM finds itself. And absolutely noone to blame (not that they won't try---"It's not MY fault" has become the US's national mantra).

Let's call it what it honestly is: A debacle of epic proportions--a failure at the highest levels of GM. They're endangering the company, their shareholders, their franchisees, the communities they employ people in...the whole nine yards. I lost all sympathy for GM's management years ago. It's time for massive change--if nothing else, I can't see it being made worse.

The Ostriches have come home to roost. Congrats to all defenders of the status quo down at the tubes. Your cheerleading their behavior has only served to validate one of the saddest stories told in modern industrialized US history.

Maybe somebody will listen to the contrarians now?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe if GM had concentrated on making great product, rather than great amounts of money....unfortunately, the economic forces that are hurting GM's turnaround are just one of the reasons why GM should have not let it get to that point.

Noone can predict a terror attack. Or war in oil-producing areas. Or a mortgage meltdown. However, preparedness as an organization means being ready for the unexpected, the emergency that impacts business. There is simply NO excuse for the situation GM finds itself. And absolutely noone to blame (not that they won't try---"It's not MY fault" has become the US's national mantra).

Let's call it what it honestly is: A debacle of epic proportions--a failure at the highest levels of GM. They're endangering the company, their shareholders, their franchisees, the communities they employ people in...the whole nine yards. I lost all sympathy for GM's management years ago. It's time for massive change--if nothing else, I can't see it being made worse.

The Ostriches have come home to roost. Congrats to all defenders of the status quo down at the tubes. Your cheerleading their behavior has only served to validate one of the saddest stories told in modern industrialized US history.

Maybe somebody will listen to the contrarians now?

Great post, Enzl!

And for those who wish to place the blame for $4.00 gas on Mr. Bush again...please look all the way back to Carter to see why we cannot get our own oil and are reliant on the middle east. We are physically NOT allowed to drill for all of the oil that rests just 20-200 miles off of our coastline (oil that Communist Cuba and China are pumping daily by the way!) as well as all of the arctic preserves that were established to protect what is UNDER THE GROUND in those areas. You honestly think ANYONE in the government cares about a Carribou?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What we are now facing goes well beyond the automakers, the country itself is in jeopardy of failing.

Our problems are dire.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Well lets start with the Vega and say it ended around the same time as the Aztek/Cavalier, hmmm 1970's-2000's would be ahh about 30 years.

30 years of: Vega, Chevette, Cavalier, Sunbird, Achieva, Cutlass Calais, Skylark, Corsica, Grand Am, Cadillac V8/6/4, Minivans (Olds/Pont/Chev) with bad crash test rating, bad intake manifolds on many V6 cars (3.8 Series II anyone) Quad 4 engines with blown heads, 5.0L V8s (mid-late 80's) that burned oil, diesel engines that were famous for sucking, the list can go on and on. Much of GM's problem stems from the basic fact that GM let its reputation fall apart over 30 years of offering poor products. People expected the best from cars that wore the "Mark of Excellence".

BTW: Was it you and I who had the disagreement a few months back when posting about Hummers future? Who ever it was I called for the sale of Hummer then, and was bashed for it, but that now seems to be the best idea out of GM in a while (dump Hummer) I was right about that, and I'm right about this, GM needs to overcome the reputation it made for itself. At one time there were no Toyotas or Hondas in America. But due to people being dissatisfied with the offerings of the big 3 they went to the japs. Now look, seems like GM might be a foreign car in its own country soon if things don't keep moving forward 9no pun intended)."

I sneer at the Hummer as much as I do the SmartCar. They are both silly vehicles for silly people. Dumping Hummer would be good for GM's 'green' image, IMO. No tears from me there.

As we have beaten to death here before, the '80s are best forgotten by ALL the manufacturers. Or do you see any Tercels or Datsuns on the road in your neighborhood? Statistically, GM had the opportunity to piss off 5 million people a year in the '80s and Honda not even 20% of that, so clearly GM would have more issues to deal with. Honda and Toyota built maybe 15 models between them in the '80s, so how hard could it have been to juggle that many balls? Compare a '85 Tercel to a '85 J-car and you'd see more levels of complexity (a/c, automatic, for example) to go wrong in the Cavalier than the bare bones Tercel. I worked in the auto parts business in the early '80s and saw a lot of Datsuns and 1st generation Civics on the hoists back then.

The Aztek/Cavalier were victims of cutting corners. They were not 'bad' vehicles in of themselves. Not in the same league as the 8/6/4 problems GM had in the early '80s or the V6 coking problems Toyota had in the '90s.

If I buy 10 apples and 2 have worms, while you buy 5 oranges and 1 is rotten, who has purchased the 'worst' fruit? I could go around saying there are twice as many bad apples as there are oranges and perceptually I would be correct, but statistically I would be wrong.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is much more simple than anyone has elluded to whether it be on this board or the evening news. Credit is America's problem from GM down to the individual. We had such a long period of expansion that most people became comfortable with debt. Speicifically, ARM loans and 72, 84, and even the occasional 96 month auto loan. American companies are just as bad at over borrowing and under saving. It is truly a societal issue that no one wants to tackle because so much money in America today is made from credit not from a product or production. My observation is that the resolute peak of our national debt issue was when after 9/11 President Bush said "America use your credit cards and spend on America and boost our economy." Just about the worst idea ever.

Things aren't that bad folks. GM will pull it out now that we have all realized bad things do still happen in our economy.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great post, Enzl!

And for those who wish to place the blame for $4.00 gas on Mr. Bush again...please look all the way back to Carter to see why we cannot get our own oil and are reliant on the middle east. We are physically NOT allowed to drill for all of the oil that rests just 20-200 miles off of our coastline (oil that Communist Cuba and China are pumping daily by the way!) as well as all of the arctic preserves that were established to protect what is UNDER THE GROUND in those areas. You honestly think ANYONE in the government cares about a Carribou?

Thanks.

If interested about the drilling boondoggle---there's some interesting stuff about the fact that most of the areas currently open for drilling (80%) haven't been explored yet....I'd like to see them exploit those areas first, personally.

The truth is we need energy independence, not more oil.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks.

If interested about the drilling boondoggle---there's some interesting stuff about the fact that most of the areas currently open for drilling (80%) haven't been explored yet....I'd like to see them exploit those areas first, personally.

The truth is we need energy independence, not more oil.

So true! I would buy a water powered or fuel cell car today if it was an option. Until then, we need the oil in our backyard to ween us off the mid-east oil until the alternative sources are better developed and more reliable.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Toyota will be number one I think, I hope to god not be fear it. So it is only a matter of time, GM needs to get some more good products out and get BETTER marketing. With those two things a push of fuel economy will help them out alot. I am more concerned that Chevrolet stay America's number one brand over Toyota. I am seeing alot of new Equinox's between the two local dealers they have over 50! I had no clue they were selling so hot. I just wish the whole truck line-up wouldn't get hurt so hard with high gas prices, they always were cash cows... Sad day today, hopefully it won't be any sadder tomorrow and we have hit rock bottom. Someone whom we go to mass with and sort'a friends got a new 2008 LTZ Suburban and a new 2008 Malibu LT1 with sunroof for there 15 year old son to drive to school, it made me happy amist all of the sadness in the American auto market.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Toyota will be number one I think, I hope to god not be fear it. So it is only a matter of time, GM needs to get some more good products out and get BETTER marketing. With those two things a push of fuel economy will help them out alot. I am more concerned that Chevrolet stay America's number one brand over Toyota. I am seeing alot of new Equinox's between the two local dealers they have over 50! I had no clue they were selling so hot. I just wish the whole truck line-up wouldn't get hurt so hard with high gas prices, they always were cash cows... Sad day today, hopefully it won't be any sadder tomorrow and we have hit rock bottom. Someone whom we go to mass with and sort'a friends got a new 2008 LTZ Suburban and a new 2008 Malibu LT1 with sunroof for there 15 year old son to drive to school, it made me happy amist all of the sadness in the American auto market.

Toyota has led in retail sales for months, actually. The sad fact is this day was coming, its just been accelerated by circumstances.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
THIRTY YEARS? Which 30? 1975-2005? 1965-1995?

I am glad you aren't running a company! Maybe, it can be argued GM built vanilla cars for 15 or so years (I'd pick 1980-1995 as a rough era), but when placed against the backdrop of what else was being built out there, they aren't all that bad.

Look, the fact of the matter is that GM grew fat and bloated in the '80s. I don't think anyone denies that. Instead of surging ahead with their product leadership of the '60s and '70s, the Board decided to give out fat dividends and chase dead end technologies, like all the robots Smith ordered up. With the bean counters firmly in control, GM was run by a bunch of paper pushers just as Japan Inc and Stuttgart wound up for their final assault on Fortress America.

In retrospect, I doubt there is much GM or Ford could have done to arrest the market share slide of the past 20 years - in light of how good the competition has gotten, Detroit's dominance was bound to end. What could have been altered was GM's lack of profitablity. If they had adopted world platforms in the '90s, they would be better positioned to weather the U.S. downturn.

The biggest trouble with GM (and Ford) is that Detroit is answerable to Wallstreet. Honda is not. Wallstreet is calling the shots, just as they are f$#king everyone on oil futures right now. If anybody in marketing or design had pushed for a hybrid in 1995 when GM was selling every truck it could build, for sure that executive would have lost his/her job. It isn't like GM didn't have green technology. Half the buses in Toronto are built by GM and they are hybrids. The business model was not there in '95. By 2005 it was, and clearly Lutz saw that, and has been working on that for a few years, or do you think the Volt happened over night?

As I said in another thread, GM has shortened its product cycle by half: 15 years in some cases to 6 or 7. We know GM should never have allowed that to happen, but those most responsible for the '80s and '90s slide are gone. Those in charge now have only been so for 5-7 years, and to turn a ship the size of GM around in that short a period of time is nothing short of a miracle.

The mortgage fiasco and oil ripoff is not GM's fault. It is extremely unfortunate that this is happening now, at such a critical period in GM's turn around. Personally, the more I read about what is happening in the oil futures market, I am getting pretty pissed off. :censored: Could this be the final nail in its coffin? Perhaps. I guess it all depends on how much cash GM burns up before the Volt and other cars arrive.

These are some points where I agree with Carbiz. While GM can be blamed for some of it's Screw ups, our government in the last few decades has really screwed over the american comsumer. Anybody care to see how big the gap between the rich and the poor is?? How long before gas prices bring the US into it's first deprssion since the 30s? Ever wonder why the US is the butt of jokes in other countries? I have friends in many...the US is quickly becomeing the laughing stock of the world...

That alone is depressing....

Again, I preach image. It's all we care about these days. AS long as we go to Wal Mart, pick up Starbucks on the way home in our camry to that huge, oversized, overpaid for house, everything will be okay. A need to change, you say? I didn't hear beacuse my Ipod is too loud.....

I think if people actually had to put some thought into what they bought, they would think twice......

While I could go all day about how they should have reaplced the cavalier sooner, I won't. doesn't really matter anyhow.

It's not the car that is stupid, it's the comsumer. Why else would you have to put the words "Hot-may burn" on a cup of coffee?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Toyota has led in retail sales for months, actually. The sad fact is this day was coming, its just been accelerated by circumstances.

Yep.

And I don't think that there is a doubt the they will pass GM by a good margin by the end of the year.

Hopefully the good new being that it will really piss GM off into building some pretty kick butt cars......

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yep.

And I don't think that there is a doubt the they will pass GM by a good margin by the end of the year.

Hopefully the good new being that it will really piss GM off into building some pretty kick butt cars......

Okay. Given what we already know, how would you assess GM's chances for success?

If you awoke next Monday morning to find yourself at the helm of the 'sleeping giant', GM itself, what actions would you take during your first week on the job?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many parallels between the decline of General Motors and the decline of America. I find it ironic to the point of hilarious that it is nowhere but in America that America's premier car company is shunned the way it is. Brazilians love Chevrolet. Brits love Vauxhall. Germans love Opel. What is it about self-loathing, self-hating North America that makes us sacrifice our neighbors on the almighty alter of Choice?

Why do we shop at Wal-Mart, knowing damned well they destroy neighborhoods, exploit children in south Asia and import pure crap from China?

Why do we spend $4 on a coffee that is no better than the one bought at the corner donut shop?

Why do we mortgage our homes to buy a $60k car that we don't even know how to drive, but our neighbor said it was 'good.'

The greatest irony of all is that we have financed what will prove to be our biggest competitor internationally: China. They ship cheap (defective) goods to us, push up the value of natural resources and now we are all reeling from the cost of oil - yet we helped them to put the price of oil up there! This would make all the trappings of a cheap Crichton novel if it weren't TRUE.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are many parallels between the decline of General Motors and the decline of America. I find it ironic to the point of hilarious that it is nowhere but in America that America's premier car company is shunned the way it is. Brazilians love Chevrolet. Brits love Vauxhall. Germans love Opel. What is it about self-loathing, self-hating North America that makes us sacrifice our neighbors on the almighty alter of Choice?

Why do we shop at Wal-Mart, knowing damned well they destroy neighborhoods, exploit children in south Asia and import pure crap from China?

Why do we spend $4 on a coffee that is no better than the one bought at the corner donut shop?

Why do we mortgage our homes to buy a $60k car that we don't even know how to drive, but our neighbor said it was 'good.'

The greatest irony of all is that we have financed what will prove to be our biggest competitor internationally: China. They ship cheap (defective) goods to us, push up the value of natural resources and now we are all reeling from the cost of oil - yet we helped them to put the price of oil up there! This would make all the trappings of a cheap Crichton novel if it weren't TRUE.

You've distilled my favorite ironies into a single post. Why would we spite a neighbor (if not a friend) and in the process weaken ourselves?

WalMart's become as a self-reinforcing delusion. 'We' actually need WalMart now to insure the survival of the lowest income earners, they themselves employed by the 'Mart' in many cases.

Interesting to see that on a sell recommendation that GM stock has 'fallen' 10% upon opening. Fascinating in it's own dreadful way.

Edited by longtooth
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0