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Park the Jets and Caravan the Best you Have!.


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What are the odds of the GM leaders waking up and do something that would make a great impression on Washington and the rest of the country.

When they go back to Washington drive the best new product and efficent product you have and even bring a few Future mules like a Volt.

If Rick drove up and parked at the Capital steps in a Volt Mule that made it all the way from Detroit alone with a Cruze and a hand full of their best hybirds it would not only put it on Washington but it would show what GM is really doing to a uninformed public.

Make a show of this a show of what really is going on. Leave the Jets and SUV's at home and show how GM is and will compete in the future.

If they really believe in the Volt the prove it.

Better yet anounce the trip and invite the press to ride along! Let them report the real mileage.

It is a little PT Barnum like but if you really have the right stuff show it! This is the biggest sale in GM's history so they better do a better marketing job than they have.

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My thought is get a caravan of all their best mileage and rated car. Drive them down to Washington with the press along. Then stop is some of the towns along the way and let the brass mingle with the public by showing the cars to them and making their case with product in hand and in the near future.

This would have more impact than the Detroit show and cost a lot less. The press will cover it every night till they reach DC.

Let the people from Fax and CNN drive the the cars and report about them.

If the CEO's all believe in their products then they should show it.

I only wish it was spring and the weather would be better to get more of the public to show up.

These kind of things were done often by tire companies and other in the 20's and 30's.

I also would make a big show and call out those on Capital hill to drive and see what you have.

I know GM and Ford both have a lot they can show. Chrysler is a little weak but they can bring their electric cars. The cold may hurt them but they need to show something.

We already have the Hot Rod Power Tour this could be The Future of Detroit Tour.

Also bring your best designers and engineers to work with the press and also speak on Capital Hill on what they are doing and where they can go.

The Automakers all should ask for one thing. IF the Goverment puts someone as a Car Czar they should also approve of that person. THey need someone who knows Detroit and Washington. Someone like Lee Iacoca who understands both sides.

Either way this caravan needs to be down to earth and basic. no flash or celberties. A real roll up you sleeves and get to work event. Leave the $2,000 dollar suits at home.

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High-risk, high reward. If it succeeds, it may help public perception, but if a Volt breaks down or has problems it will hurt the car in the eys of consumers. It would be a terrible idea for Dodge to do it with their upcoming EVs. The Jalopnik article says the EV has a range of 150-200 miles and takes 4 hours to recharge on 220, 8 hours on 110. Google Maps puts Detroit-Washington at 524 miles, having to stop 3 times for 4-8 hours will remind people of why pure electrics never caught on.

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High-risk, high reward. If it succeeds, it may help public perception, but if a Volt breaks down or has problems it will hurt the car in the eys of consumers. It would be a terrible idea for Dodge to do it with their upcoming EVs. The Jalopnik article says the EV has a range of 150-200 miles and takes 4 hours to recharge on 220, 8 hours on 110. Google Maps puts Detroit-Washington at 524 miles, having to stop 3 times for 4-8 hours will remind people of why pure electrics never caught on.

All of the prepros and one-offs should travel by trailer. You break them out at "pitstops" along the way.

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Thats just a traveling auto show, not an actual tour that would generate great PR.

Nothing wrong with a traveling auto show, those cars should enter the "pitstop" location on their own, of course, but I don't see the need to risk them on unpopulated sections of the interstate.

The production cars can take up the slack there. It just isn't realistic to expect the manufacturers to risk show cars and prototypes. Unless development mules could be spared.

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Then wait, because if GM wants to show they're confident in the Volt, they need to show a convoy of them driving through Death Valley. That sends the right message.

If waiting were an option, I'd agree completely.

Who knows, maybe there are enough pre-pros to run a few.

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We leave the trucks at home.

If we can't drive it, it does not go.

GM has mules running all over that can make the trip and show the technology. GM also has preproduction cars that can make the trip.

Many of the cars that will be going are cars already in production like the present Hybrids.

This is not a travaling auto show nor should it be. This is a caravan to show Washington technology they already have that is for sale and some that they can show will work in the near future.

Too many in the public and DC think GM is all about Hummers and SUV's They have no clue about the other cars. Hell even a simple HHR shows how a vehicle will carry 5 people and cargo and get over 30 MPG with no problems.

Either way this project would need to be keep basic and simple. If it does not fit in the cars it does not go. No GM press staff let managment do the talking. The future needs to come from them. If Rick wants to stay he needs his vision be seen and it better be good.

GM has some new cars just ready for production and they are the kind of cars America needs. As long as the cars are presentable show off some of the new technology. I am sure if they don't have a Volt that can do this trip a Malibu Mule with the latest drivetrain can.

Anyone can truck a mock up in and it proves nothing.

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Anyone can truck a mock up in and it proves nothing.

Exactly, thats just GM's standard "the good stuff is right around the corner" message that the buying public has been getting burned on for years. They need to show that this is real.

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I can see that approach working.

Boy do I hope they are looking at some version of this, the misperceptions of too many in congress need to be changed. They could still say no, but it would help if they at least understood the reality.

They currently do not.

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I like the general idea of a 'product caravan', but I cannot help think of the case of Tucker (seen in the movie). Under trial for intent to defraud the public/shareholder, he organized a parade of about 50 Tuckers lined up outside the courthouse to prove he indeed was producing cars (in contrast to some testimony that he hadn't build a single one). Not only would the judge NOT allow the jury to go downstairs & inspect them, they were not even permitted to look out the window. This is the type of approach one can expect from government/authority, unfortunately.

I wonder if a caravan of product would only be slammed yet again by the fat cats on the Hill as a waste of fuel & salary & insurance cost.

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I like the general idea of a 'product caravan', but I cannot help think of the case of Tucker (seen in the movie). Under trial for intent to defraud the public/shareholder, he organized a parade of about 50 Tuckers lined up outside the courthouse to prove he indeed was producing cars (in contrast to some testimony that he hadn't build a single one). Not only would the judge NOT allow the jury to go downstairs & inspect them, they were not even permitted to look out the window. This is the type of approach one can expect from government/authority, unfortunately.

I wonder if a caravan of product would only be slammed yet again by the fat cats on the Hill as a waste of fuel & salary & insurance cost.

You do know that the bolded portion of your statement was fictionalized by Francis Ford Coppola for the film, right? While there were Tuckers that were completely assembled by the trial date, only 8 of them were taken to the courthouse.

In real life at the end of his criminal trial, Preston Tucker had only eight cars--not 50 as shown in this film--taken to the courthouse.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096316/trivia

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I don't think even the movie showed 50.

IMDB is incorrect, however. Factual sources I've read (and I've studied Tucker for decades) stated that in fact 37 were built when the line was shut down, workers assembled the last 13 on their own time (they so believed in the product). "8" is unquestionably way off.

>>"The Tucker never did have fuel injection as originally advertised."<<

The prototype ("Tin Goose") Tucker's 589 H-6 did.

>>"The Tucker that was crashed in this film was a Studebaker fitted with a replica Tucker front end."<<

Actually, it was completely rebodied- not just the front end. No way to disguise a Stude to pass as a Tucker- and the movie car was show in 360.

Edited by balthazar
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I was actually thinking Rick Wagoner should drive there in a 2009 Hummer H2, Alan Mullaly could drive there in an extended Lincoln Navigator L, and Robert Nardelli could drive there in a Chrysler Aspen. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

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I was actually thinking Rick Wagoner should drive there in a 2009 Hummer H2, Alan Mullaly could drive there in an extended Lincoln Navigator L, and Robert Nardelli could drive there in a Chrysler Aspen. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

I think the point is to get Congress to give them money.

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I was thinking about that today too though - how cool would it be if they drove their own products out there. And obviously, they'd want to take their most fuel efficient and/or useful products (like Chrysler takes their Caravan, maybe GM drives out there in a Hybrid Vue or Malibu or something, Ford takes an Escape Hybrid or maybe a new Fusion Hybrid). They'd want to bring their most modern and up to date products. I think it could work.

But there's no doubt though, even if they carried crosses and rode on the backs of donkeys, it's going to be a f@#king crazy uphill battle I think for them to prove their worthiness to our insanely stupid politicians.

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I was actually thinking Rick Wagoner should drive there in a 2009 Hummer H2, Alan Mullaly could drive there in an extended Lincoln Navigator L, and Robert Nardelli could drive there in a Chrysler Aspen. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

No we don't get the Hummers out till they refuse the money. Then we get a few plated H1's with rocket pods and circle the hill.

I also though GM has a number of Hydrogen Chevys already floating around and Shell already sell Hyrogen in the DC area .

Take them there and drive them!

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While the politicians are clearly idiots...there's no doubt that the Big 3 bosses looked even sillier:

Between the PR nightmare of corporate jets and the fact that none of the 3 showed up with a plan---or the specifics for how OUR money will be spent rescuing the Det3 from themselves--this was another PR debacle from the Kings of the Tone Deaf. How can you ask for these moneys, knowing the political and financial climate, and not have some sort of plan? Or explanation?

There's no defending Detroit on this one folks---they're VERY lucky that they're getting a do-over on this thing in a few weeks. Anyone else wanna defend keeping Wagoner now? He looked like the biggest doofus of all up there.

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I was thinking about that today too though - how cool would it be if they drove their own products out there. And obviously, they'd want to take their most fuel efficient and/or useful products (like Chrysler takes their Caravan, maybe GM drives out there in a Hybrid Vue or Malibu or something, Ford takes an Escape Hybrid or maybe a new Fusion Hybrid). They'd want to bring their most modern and up to date products. I think it could work.

But there's no doubt though, even if they carried crosses and rode on the backs of donkeys, it's going to be a f@#king crazy uphill battle I think for them to prove their worthiness to our insanely stupid politicians.

:rotflmao:

Thanks, now you've made me spill my coffee!

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While the politicians are clearly idiots...there's no doubt that the Big 3 bosses looked even sillier:

Between the PR nightmare of corporate jets and the fact that none of the 3 showed up with a plan---or the specifics for how OUR money will be spent rescuing the Det3 from themselves--this was another PR debacle from the Kings of the Tone Deaf. How can you ask for these moneys, knowing the political and financial climate, and not have some sort of plan? Or explanation?

There's no defending Detroit on this one folks---they're VERY lucky that they're getting a do-over on this thing in a few weeks. Anyone else wanna defend keeping Wagoner now? He looked like the biggest doofus of all up there.

How good would YOU look after a few weeks of no sleep and popping pills?

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How good would YOU look after a few weeks of no sleep and popping pills?

I would have looked like ass...but that wouldn't have stopped me from having been PREPARED for the event. Where were the advisors on payroll when this desperately needed trip was being planned?

Typical Detroit response...denial, obfuscation and incredible tone deafness, all in one package. It reinforced every negative stereotype Detroit cannot afford to display to the public it is begging for cash.

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They were sandbagged, pure and simple. This entire trip to Washington was both unnecessary and purely for optics, so I guess in that regard you are correct that they should have put on a better show for the media.

Perhaps one area where the Big Three need to change their focus is to gain strength from each other. In Iaccoca's first book he alludes to this mindset where the heads of Toyota, Honda, etc. used to routinely get together in Japan to swap ideas (and probably plot their strategy on Fortress America); whereas, due to the laws and attitudes in America, the heads of the Big Three never really spoke to each other, except during Labor negotiations. Perhaps that attitude needs to stop. Detroit needs to admit they've been duped by Japan Inc and the media, so they should start fighting back and playing dirty, if necessary. GM has been putting full page ads in Toronto's papers, detailing how much investment and how many jobs they have in the greater Toronto area, plus areas where GM has been the leader. IT'S ABOUT TIME.

In hindsight, it might have been better if Nardinelli, Mullaly and Wagoner, plus their respective teams, all went in the same plane, but then pundits would have fumed that there is some master plot afoot.

Enzl, I know you hate Wagoner, and that's fine, but I turn my ire to the media, because I personally have been bullied by them and I know first hand how much BS is spread by them. I am sick of the optics. These a-holes on WallStreet and in the media are playing with people's lives just to acheive cheap shots and for their own career gain.

Washington can play their chess game and Detroit can plot and plan, but meanwhile customers are staying away in droves. All they want to talk about is GM's bankruptcy. Nothing else matters to them right now.

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They were sandbagged, pure and simple. This entire trip to Washington was both unnecessary and purely for optics, so I guess in that regard you are correct that they should have put on a better show for the media.

Perhaps one area where the Big Three need to change their focus is to gain strength from each other. In Iaccoca's first book he alludes to this mindset where the heads of Toyota, Honda, etc. used to routinely get together in Japan to swap ideas (and probably plot their strategy on Fortress America); whereas, due to the laws and attitudes in America, the heads of the Big Three never really spoke to each other, except during Labor negotiations. Perhaps that attitude needs to stop. Detroit needs to admit they've been duped by Japan Inc and the media, so they should start fighting back and playing dirty, if necessary. GM has been putting full page ads in Toronto's papers, detailing how much investment and how many jobs they have in the greater Toronto area, plus areas where GM has been the leader. IT'S ABOUT TIME.

In hindsight, it might have been better if Nardinelli, Mullaly and Wagoner, plus their respective teams, all went in the same plane, but then pundits would have fumed that there is some master plot afoot.

Enzl, I know you hate Wagoner, and that's fine, but I turn my ire to the media, because I personally have been bullied by them and I know first hand how much BS is spread by them. I am sick of the optics. These a-holes on WallStreet and in the media are playing with people's lives just to acheive cheap shots and for their own career gain.

Washington can play their chess game and Detroit can plot and plan, but meanwhile customers are staying away in droves. All they want to talk about is GM's bankruptcy. Nothing else matters to them right now.

I feel that the politicians are just as bad, if not worse than the 4 gentlemen that were grilled...that being said:

-How could they not expect to be sandbagged?

-Why weren't they aware of what a PR disaster this could be?

-Why didn't one of the 3 auto captains have a plan of some kind in their back pocket?

The Press or Wall Street don't need me to defend them---I don't like them either---but you're making a fundamental error when you blame either of these parties. Neither ran GM or Chrysler into the ground. The only suit I felt a little bad for was Mullaly...he's the one guy up there that has really had a solid vision for the future--and circumstances may ruin his plans.

Let me ask you a question: Why do you defend Rick Wagoner? Will it take bankruptcy for you to admit I'm 100% right about him? How can a man who grew up steeped in a broken, ancient system like GM possibly know how to save it now?

The World's Greatest Corporation has been brought to it knees and you're upset with whom?

Edited by enzl
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don't politicians fly private jets?

doesn't Al Gore fly to global warming conferences in a private carbon spewing jet?

that Alan Mulally's old company maybe built?

People seem to equate Mulally with red ink rick (C-BUICKMAN) and nardelli in terms of performance. Mulally has proved to be able to turn around an industrial company and in my mind deserves every penny he is getting paid, when taken in the context of the work he has done so far and how much execs get paid at other companies selling like mouthwash for example.

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I feel that the politicians are just as bad, if not worse than the 4 gentlemen that were grilled...that being said:

-How could they not expect to be sandbagged?

-Why weren't they aware of what a PR disaster this could be?

-Why didn't one of the 3 auto captains have a plan of some kind in their back pocket?

The Press or Wall Street don't need me to defend them---I don't like them either---but you're making a fundamental error when you blame either of these parties. Neither ran GM or Chrysler into the ground. The only suit I felt a little bad for was Mullaly...he's the one guy up there that has really had a solid vision for the future--and circumstances may ruin his plans.

Let me ask you a question: Why do you defend Rick Wagoner? Will it take bankruptcy for you to admit I'm 100% right about him? How can a man who grew up steeped in a broken, ancient system like GM possibly know how to save it now?

The World's Greatest Corporation has been brought to it knees and you're upset with whom?

I am not really defending Wagoner, per se. I don't know the man. I've followed his career and, frankly, he seems like the sort that should be running GM. He has a lot of experience within GM's inner circles and since running a major corporation these days is 3/4 about who you know and 1/4 actual talent, I would say that only someone like Wagoner can run a company like GM.

I just don't see how firing him at this point would do any real GOOD. Sure, it may be good for optics, but I am so fed up with politicans and companies running around pretending to do something, appearing to be doing something, rather than actually doing ANYTHING.

You seem to think that hiring an outsider (like Mulally) will be a good idea and you may be right, but with GM so close to the brink, I don't feel comfortable knowing that an outsider - no matter how much carte blanche he has been given, will take weeks or months to 'get to know' the other guys and the politics.

In a previous life, I was called in to clean up a mess that a former manager had made. There were lawsuits involved. I was warned by senior management to 'tread carefully.' Staff were disillusioned. The books were a mess. Policies weren't being followed. Sure, within a couple days I had sized up the problem, but it still took me a couple months to do anything effective about it - and I am talking about a business that was a tiny portion of GM's size/sales. GM does not have that kind of time.

And, by your assertions, most of the Board and other management are part of the problem, so how could GM promote from within and avoid the ingrained cultural myopics that you are so incensed about? Damned if they do, damned if they don't, IMO.

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If Rick drove up and parked at the Capital steps in a Volt Mule that made it all the way from Detroit alone with a Cruze and a hand full of their best hybirds it would not only put it on Washington but it would show what GM is really doing to a uninformed public.

The unfortunate truth of this GREAT idea is, The Rick would still fly to Washington (probably first-class), have someone pick him up in a DTS or Caddy limo, drive him into D.C........and let him drive from down the street to in front of the Capital steps for the valuable photo-op......

These guys are way too out-of-touch with normalcy to actually <gasp> consider driving from Detroit to D.C....

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I'd soil my drawers if these guys actually drove a car from Detroit to Washington. Of course, then they'd be criticized for wasting too much time driving instead of trying to run a company. They're going to be criticized by someone no matter what they do. By going in front of Congress, they're now under A LOT of scrutiny. I'd be very careful over the next few weeks with what I did or said in public if I were one of these clowns. Of course they probably should be anyway, but I'd be especially careful now.

But if they did drive, maybe they should drive home the point of conserving (money, gas, etc, etc) by carpooling in one vehicle, like a Dodge Caravan or something.

Ha! Could you imagine the conversation going on in that car!? hahahahaha! I could see one of them in the back watching a DVD of their actual hearings from last week. They're all snacking on chips and drinking Mountain Dews and whatnot. hahahaha! Why does the image of this make me want to laugh so hard???

Edited by gmcbob
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Hey, why not take a GM product that utilizes Turn by Turn navigation! They won't get lost then! (We don't want them in too expensive of a vehicle that has a navigation system, then they wouldn't appear like average every day "Joe's")

Nah, better take the Caravan - I think it has a Nav screen and it's only a Dodge - very every day Joe type vehicle. And they assuredly won't get lost with that Nav system. :lol:

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I think they should bring along their most economical cars, have their upcoming fuel efficient cars (like the Dodge EV, Volt, and Fiesta) towed by one of each maker's trucks, and about a hundred miles before DC, unload them and drive them the rest of the way.

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I am not really defending Wagoner, per se. I don't know the man. I've followed his career and, frankly, he seems like the sort that should be running GM. He has a lot of experience within GM's inner circles and since running a major corporation these days is 3/4 about who you know and 1/4 actual talent, I would say that only someone like Wagoner can run a company like GM.

I just don't see how firing him at this point would do any real GOOD. Sure, it may be good for optics, but I am so fed up with politicans and companies running around pretending to do something, appearing to be doing something, rather than actually doing ANYTHING.

You seem to think that hiring an outsider (like Mulally) will be a good idea and you may be right, but with GM so close to the brink, I don't feel comfortable knowing that an outsider - no matter how much carte blanche he has been given, will take weeks or months to 'get to know' the other guys and the politics.

In a previous life, I was called in to clean up a mess that a former manager had made. There were lawsuits involved. I was warned by senior management to 'tread carefully.' Staff were disillusioned. The books were a mess. Policies weren't being followed. Sure, within a couple days I had sized up the problem, but it still took me a couple months to do anything effective about it - and I am talking about a business that was a tiny portion of GM's size/sales. GM does not have that kind of time.

And, by your assertions, most of the Board and other management are part of the problem, so how could GM promote from within and avoid the ingrained cultural myopics that you are so incensed about? Damned if they do, damned if they don't, IMO.

That logic dooms GM...I'm not sure what else needs to be 'done' for the whole lot to be thrown out---Board, Rick & every one of his 'guys'...

I've also been involved in corporate turnarounds...not GM sized, obviously, but who has run a corp that size? In my experience, confidence in a leader at the top is paramount--and there's no way the staff at GM feels confident in the current leadership.

The fear of doing something shouldn't keep you from doing anything. The 'deer in the headlights' theory you're suggesting won't rally the troops. The next few months are rescue and recovery time---rememeber, most of what was being developed (remember--that's what GM is supposed to be doing) is now frozen. The other stuff won't lose an engineer, a team leader or anything else.

What they might get is a new direction for the next thing---keep Lutz as a product guru, he's not the problem. IMO, Mullaly's efforts may save Ford. They borrowed money when it was cheap & available--they immediately rationalized their product portfolio---cut dead brands (for $) and admitted, through action, not words, that they were serious about becoming an Automotive company again--not a lux goods maker, not a finance company---a top quality, focused maker of middle market cars and trucks.

And it may just save them.

GM's management is still talking about the same solutions to a much, much bigger problem.

Edited by enzl
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I'd caravan in Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade Hybrid big and comfortable. They almost always ride in Suburbans anyways.

Screw that. Give me a G8 GXP with a Procharger, Pedder's suspension and diplomat plates and I'll drive. Anywhere.

Then Congress would be complaining about all the burnout marks on their precious highways. ;-)

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