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General Motors on Life Support???


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A quote from your article........."But Watanabe said a severe drop in demand, especially in the U.S., which accounts for one-third of vehicle sales, and profit erosion from a surging yen were too much for Japan's No. 1 automaker. Overall U.S. auto sales fell to their lowest level in 26 years last month."

My heart bleeds!..........

I believe Mitsubishi made the aircraft for WWII you're talking about. Either way, Americans have very short memories. Too short!

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 63Stude</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Not according to this article:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081222/ap_on_bi_ge/as_japan_toyota

Bill </div></div>

Bill,

What can I say... maybe they did assemble engines for a short period (like many industrial operations in the US). What leads me to think this is that your cite is the only reference to this operation, and all references on Google are from this sole source.

Nowhere in any of the other references online from any other source mention WWII era aircraft engine manufacturing, only trucks manufactured for the Japanese war effort. Noteworthy is the 'return' to manufacturing sewing machines and auto parts after the war. That doesn't seem to indicate a heavy machine capability inferred by aircraft engine manufacturing, but that wouldn't preclude assembly.

I'll yield the point to you.

Cheers,

JMC

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Either way, Americans have very short memories. Too short! </div></div>

I happen to know a Jewish guy who both owns a Krupps coffee maker and who once painted his car with BASF paints. He probably has a bottle of Bayer aspirin hidden somewhere in his house, too. I'm thinking of doing something awful to his VW. (<span style="text-decoration: underline">All</span> true!)

Dimes to doughnuts says that almost no one gets all four references, and how every one of them is far more heinous than anything done by Toyota, Mitsubishi, <span style="font-style: italic">et al</span>. Of course those things were done by white people.

I prefer longer memories myself. See Matthew 6:12. smile.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Of course those things were done by white people. </div></div>

<span style="font-size: 20pt"><span style="color: #FF0000"><span style="font-weight: bold">DAVE, KEEP YOUR RACIST COMMENTS OUT OF THIS FORUM!!!</span></span></span>

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Does anyone really think that anybody who prefers to buy a domestic automobile, has no problem buying German but won't buy Japanese? I choose to buy neither....and back to WWII--I'm of German descent, but I think what happened in and around Germany as little as 64 years ago is absolutely repulsive.

Incidentally,I did hear Battle of the Bulge veterans, including a Jewish gentleman, say only a year ago that as bad as the Germans were, they had nothing on the Japanese as far as torture of prisoners was concerned.

Bill

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My father harbored a massive dislike of the Germans and Japanese all his life because of their actions in WWII, particularly the Germans, against whom he called WWII "a righteous war." <span style="font-weight: bold">Important fact:</span> He won't even ride in my Audi because of this. He just won't.

Anyway, he has steadfastly refused to purchase anything but American cars. Ever. He willingly suffered through some really crappy product: an Oldsmobile diesel, a Buick Century where the door panels pulled off in his hand at 20,000 miles, and his Northstar STS was BY FAR the crappiest car he'd ever owned (I concur), especially for a $45K car. Nevertheless, he held his beliefs above his enthusiasm for cars and bought a Lincoln, another Buick, followed by another Cadillac.

When his brother died a few years ago, he inherited a Honda Accord of unknown vintage with 220,000 miles on it. Instead of driving his Cadillac CTS, which he liked very much, but was approaching the mileage limit on his lease, he drove the Honda as a winter beater. He did this for two years, racking up an additional 50,000+ miles on the car by doing nothing but gas and oil. At about 275,000 miles, it needed new tires and the radiator blew; the cost to fix it all was over $1000 (A $700 radiator seemed extreme to me, too). He let it go with no hard feelings. Between the two of them, the Harwood boys had certainly gotten their money's worth out of the car.

My point? When the lease on the CTS was up, he went to the Honda store and bought a Honda (not a lease because he expects the Honda to last the rest of his life--he's 70). This wasn't because he didn't love his CTS, which he did, but his faith in Honda's reliability was now rock-solid, while he had long endured some crapola domestic product. Although his last GM was a good car, past experiences suggested to him that it was an anomaly rather than the norm, despite my claims to the contrary.

<span style="font-weight: bold">THIS</span> is how even life-long customers can be lost because of the past deeds of the domestics. Even though there is great product coming from GM today (I <span style="font-style: italic">strongly</span> encouraged him to buy a new CTS4 with the direct injection engine), it is still entirely possible for life-long customers to walk away because of the past, despite compelling reasons not to.

The only way to fight this is with spectacular, cutting-edge product for many years to come. The loan will give them time to stay the course (isn't that a popular phrase to utter in the face of an unpopular decision?) and reach that goal.

PS: For those of you who think automaker failure won't affect you, I leave you only this: You might have noticed I'm not around much any more. That's because I lost my job 2 weeks ago. I'm a writer, and I wrote manuals for complex electrical test equipment. The company for which I worked sold a modest fraction of their equipment to a company that made parts for a company that made electronics for cars. I was at least <span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">three times</span></span> removed from the problem, and the ripple still reached me and about 100 other people at my company. You'd better think again about this being a Detroit-only problem and how much it's costing "us." I'll gladly pay a few extra cents on my taxes over the course of my lifetime if it will keep me employed.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Reatta Man</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Of course those things were done by white people. </div></div>

<span style="font-size: 20pt"><span style="color: #FF0000"><span style="font-weight: bold">DAVE, KEEP YOUR RACIST COMMENTS OUT OF THIS FORUM!!!</span></span></span> </div></div>

#1. Bkasmer was right about that comment (and likely deserves that doughnut! grin.gif ), and it should've been obvious to anyone.

#2. No.

The "jewish guy I know" happens to have been the best man at my wedding. His Belgian father was like Matt's, and wouldn't dream of a German product in his home. Of course he had a number tattooed on his arm to remind him why. (Again, all true.)

The fact is life goes on, and the rest of us (including my friend and I) have moved on. I am primarily a fan of European cars these days, having sold my Buick I'm American collector carless for now. I don't hear WWII being refought at European car shows, and if it should be refought anywhere it would be there. However whiners attempting to apologize for poor American cars of late are constantly bringing up WWII, but only for the Japanese brands.

Everyone here knew Matt drives an Audi. Has WWII even been mentioned once in reference to <span style="font-style: italic">that</span>? When was the last time you saw a bunch of geniuses making a socioeconomic point by smashing a BMW with sledgehammers? Do people question the patriotism of Ferrari owners like they commonly do Subaru lessors?

There's <span style="text-decoration: underline">only</span> one reason for that, and it isn't pretty. sick.gifeek.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Does anyone really think that anybody who prefers to buy a domestic automobile, has no problem buying German but won't buy Japanese?</div></div>

Bill, that's actually been an obvious situation for decades. It's one of the refuges taken by people who refuse to concede that there is or was a quality difference among makers. For decades German cars enjoyed a better quality reputation than even the Japanese, but I never once heard <span style="font-style: italic">anyone</span> link Mercedes <span style="font-style: italic">et al</span> to WWII (at least during my adult lifetime).

Bring up Toyota here, it's 10-15 posts away every time. frown.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: John Chapman</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bkazmer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">send me my doughnut </div></div>

...er, kuchen would be more appropriate...ja?

Cheers,

JMC </div></div>

Nein, <span style="text-decoration: underline">Krapfen</span>! grin.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Bring up Toyota here, it's 10-15 posts away every time. frown.gif </div></div>

I guess it's just the sneaky way the Japanese do things that bothers me.

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[quote name=

Bring up Toyota here' date=' it's 10-15 posts away every time. frown.gif

Could it possibly be because of the memory of all the 'junk' they used to manufacture from our scrap tin and then ship back here for sale??? And I not implying Toyota specifically but Japanese products in general.

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Dave, I don't pretend to speak for anybody but myself, but as hideous as what the Germans were and did, it was the Japanese who attacked us on our shores (even though Hawaii was not a state then), and ushered our entrance into World War II. Perhaps that's what sticks in some people's craw. Plus, V-E Day happened several months before V-J Day, so really we physically fought the Japanese for a bit longer. I see buying a car as a little tiny bit more than just what it is to me and my family, but hey, call me a fool.

Frankly, I was always a little surprised at the VW Beetle's success in the states, as little as 20 years or less after Hitler. On top of that, my understanding was that it wasn't that great of a car! I grew up in a small rural town 25 miles away from the nearest medium-sized city, so I never saw many Bugs in the '60's. I choose not to buy German or Japanese, for the primary reason that 1) I've been comfortable with my domestics, price, styling, comfort, and service-wise, and 2) More Americans work for the domestic auto industry than any import brand...see it a little as "doing my part".

While it's good you've "moved on" from WWII (400K+ Americans killed only a little over a dozen years before my birthdate), maybe it's time to move on from '86 Celebritys and Pintos that catch fire.

Bill

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

...those things were done by white people... </div></div>

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 63Stude</div><div class="ubbcode-body">...I think what happened in and around Germany as little as 64 years ago is absolutely repulsive...</div></div>

I'm a retired military officer and consider myself reasonably well read and educated on matters surrounding human conflict. The points made above <span style="font-style: italic">could </span>be seen as racist if you're so inclined. I think the real take away from these observations is that we need to realize, that color, ethnicity, or religious beliefs aside, the patina of what we consider civilized behavior is quite thin. It is even thinner when examined outside of the context of Judeo/Christian morality and the concepts of Napoleonic Law and its derivatives: The Hague Laws and Geneva Conventions. You have to look no further than the carnage of ethnic cleansing and the atrocities of jihadists to see what is possible without cultural constraint or, more commonly, iron hand rule.

Atrocities aplenty have been committed by all nations at some point. At issue is whether we learn and move on in synchronicity with current reality, or do we cling to the wrongs of the past to justify our present day behavior.

Even more important is to realize that, to a one, every modern era despot of fame (infamy?) clearly telegraphed plans by written word and by associates kept. I'll leave it to you to decide if the current situation in the US/Western Europe lends it self to concern.

I think that beyond the situation of the B3 bailout, their probable ultimate collapse, and subsequent repercussions, it would be wise to look at recent events in Iceland, Greece, and yes, Detroit for indicators of how fragile civilized behavior can be. When the promised entitlement nirvana does not appear, or worse, conditions deteriorate, I think significant social unrest will be at hand. The class line scapegoats have been named already. The collapse of GM/CMC will be the likely precursor. It will be an interesting year. In light of the events of 64 years ago, great caution is warranted.

Cheers,

JMC

PS for Dave... this is not 'fear', it is concerned observation.

C.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">At issue is whether we learn and move on in synchronicity with current reality, or do we cling to the wrongs of the past to justify our present day behavior.</div></div>

Amen!

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Frankly, I was always a little surprised at the VW Beetle's success in the states, as little as 20 years or less after Hitler. On top of that, my understanding was that it wasn't that great of a car! I grew up in a small rural town 25 miles away from the nearest medium-sized city, so I never saw many Bugs in the '60's.</div></div>

I grew up in commuter-rich suburban Pittsburgh. Being a union steel town, there weren't as many VWs as in most cities. However I knew several people with them.

They were probably the first cars imported to the U.S. for less than Cadillac prices that were better built than domestic offerings. They were cheap to buy and run, but that had been seen before (Metropolitan, Bantam, Crosley, Willys, etc.). The key was that until they rusted out, which itself took longer than the average Chevy or Ford, they were as bulletproof as a car could get at the time. Rare was the day a VW driver didn't make it to work, although he was often late and/or cold when he got there! smile.gif (They were slugs with not much of a heater.)

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> When the promised entitlement nirvana does not appear, or worse, conditions deteriorate, I think significant social unrest will be at hand. </div></div>

That statement bothers me too, John. Desperate people will do desperate things to keep from going hungry.

As mentioned somewhere else on these forums, it's time for our overseas give-away programs to be used here at home.

Wayne

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: R W Burgess</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> When the promised entitlement nirvana does not appear, or worse, conditions deteriorate, I think significant social unrest will be at hand. </div></div>

That statement bothers me too, John. Desperate people will do desperate things to keep from going hungry.

As mentioned somewhere else on these forums, it's time for our overseas give-away programs to be used here at home.

</div></div>

Just remember, Wayne.....Obama is going to pay for our gas and our mortgage!

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First let me say that I have had numerous good GM and Chrysler products. However the number of bad ones in between was too great. I think part of the problem was/is the north American buyer, we are not "picky" enough. We put up with things that cause car companies to take us for granted.

Bonneville;....Super charger bearings-replaced twice, Harmonic balancer-replaced, electrical problems too numerous to list, sensors etc. transmission rebuilt,power booster for breaks failed/replaced, finally blew a hole through the side of the block. Left my yard on a trailer as a "parts" car for $1000. Mileage was about 200m klms.

However I love my 57 Roadmaster and 38 Buick Special!!

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"At issue is whether we learn and move on in synchronicity with current reality, or do we cling to the wrongs of the past to justify our present day behavior."

This sounds great, but I think it's a big part of our country's (hell, the world's) problems for so long. You can do terrible things, but it'll be OK shortly down the road...everyone will "move on".

I'm a big believer in the saying that there are consequences for a person, or country, or government's, actions...and sorry if I can't put 400K American deaths in the back of my head so soon.

Bill

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 63Stude</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

This sounds great, but I think it's a big part of our country's (hell, the world's) problems for so long. You can do terrible things, but it'll be OK shortly down the road...everyone will "move on".

Bill

</div></div>

Bill, my guess is that in 40 or 50 years our young ones will forget & forgive what happened on 911 and move on..........

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One problem seems to be that "history" has different points of reference . . . "ours", "theirs", or "trusted sources". It doesn't take a PhD or Masters or Bachelors degree from a real educational institutioin to be a student of history. It also seems to not be a pre-requisite that auto executives be students of automotive industry history AND what led to that history. General Motors could be one huge "in process" case study for any university-level industrial history course! Required reading would include "On a Clear Day, You Can See General Motors" of 1981, by Mr. DeLorean and aasociates. Follow that with the Iacocca book on Chrysler a year later. Then Bob Lutz's book "GUTS". Ending with the more recent Iacocca book's chapter on "Where Have All of the Leaders Gone?" These books uncover many dynamics of how the auto companies have tended to operate (even in the more "glory days" of GM) and how Chrysler got into the mess that "Chairman Lee" brought them out of. There are some other books on how Chrysler improved itself, plus some internal videos that might be out there, which can led some insight into how they became the hottest car company in the world in the 1990s.

To me, if you don't know how you got to where you are, you're lost. Especially IF you can't find who's accountable for getting to the particular current location! OR if those persons shall remain invisible and nameless. Afterall, if you know what the problem is, then you can fix it . . . without such an admission, then that might mean there is no problem to be fixed.

It strikes me as incredible how some of these larger companies seem to get so far out of whack that a popular "continuous improvement" orientation would not lead to prosperity for them. Might it be due to "hired-in managers" who have no real history (or knowledge thereof) of the industry they are going to be working (or have worked) in? Might it be that their "safety net" is a particular board member that got them hired to push a particular agenda onto the company? Might it be that when "financial people" get involved, their simple answer is to "cut and whack" rather than try to build the company's products into "the best" rather than desire to not pay for better products (or better designed products) and hope the public doesn't notice?

I tend to think that if thoughts of USGovernment intervention to keep GM from being a more dominant force in the USA car market had not seemed to make GM's divisions "play down" such dominance so the company would not be split up due to its high degree of market dominance in the prior decades when GM was really being "GM", that the foreign companies might not have gotten the foothold they got and parlayed into the succeses they now have. We are now many generations deep into "Pontiac = Aztek" orientations, for example, rather than "Pontiac Builds Excitement", so buyers looked for options and took them in import brands (many of which these genrations felt were "cool" and "desireable").

As for the earlier VW Beetles, they did have their own idiosyncracies, like having to keep the valves adjusted so they wouldn't burn and make those "wheezing" sounds. Rather than loosen up with wear, they tightened--just the opposite of an American vehicle with solid lifters.

A few weeks ago, Ed Wallace fielded a question on his Saturday morning radio show about GM and "too many brands." The male caller just thought it needed to be "GM" rather than otherwise. Ed's answer was to repeat a similar answer attributed to Billy Durant. "We didn't know what would work so we did many different things." (paraphrased). One brand can't be all thigns to all existing or potential customers, so VARIETY in product and price point are necessary.

Billy Durant took one brand (BUICK) and built General Motors from there with a variety of products for a variety of customers and their tastes and social demographics as profits and market expansion permitted. Funny how what Toyota, Honda, Datsun/Nissan, and other imports have tended to mirror that . . . one product and then more different sizes and types of vehicles as time and their successes progressed? VW with the Beetle, the "van", Super Beetle, Rabbit, etc. for example. Yet GM allegedly builds too many types of vehicles????? Only thing different is that GM has specific brands for specific market demographics while Mercedes has different size vehicles (the various "classes") for similar orientations and VW had different models per se of VW.

Using the different brands, as GM does, gives added flexibility to said brands to explore all areas of the particular market demographic rather than being saddled with only one aspect of them due to vehicle size and price within that demographic. It also gives GM more "faces of GM" that can have much wider appeal to more buyers than just one "perception of what they have" or "they're too expensive for me" orientations (as Mercedes might have when they try to sell their smaller sedans).

Rather, perhaps the "GM has too many brands" orientation needs to be modified to "GM has more brands than they can financially support at this time" . . . which might beg the question as to why each brand is not better merchandised and marketed so they will continue to have market financial viability? As in . . . maintain market share and BUILD from there -- no rocket science there!

It is beginning to become more apparent that all of the "combination orientations" of GM operations (which began about 30 years ago!!!) have not served the corporation well. Some were needed to comply with Federal vehicle standards (i.e., emissions, body structures for crash protection issues), but some were done strictly (on the surface) to cut costs and didn't really make the corporation better for it rather than decreased operating costs. When the various divisions of GM stopped being separate entitities and competting with themselves (rather than Ford and Chrysler, per se), much of what made GM brands successful and UNIQUE from each other gradually went away and we now have what we have now . . . a much-diminished car company and much fewer sales than decades ago (especially when the total vehicle-buying population might be considered, I suspect).

In my college marketing class, one of the studies was early Volkswagen advertising. The instructor considered it somewhat "iconic" in approach and what really helped build the Volkswagen brand in a USA market populated with entrenched brands of USA-built vehicles. Price was the subject of one commercial (a neighbor with two newer USA brand vehicles in the driveway watches as his wife loads the laundry to go to the laundrymat as the neighbor with a new VW gets a new washer and drier delivered to his house . . . the VW buyer didn't spend so much on his transportation that they couldn't afford new "luxury items" for the house and their quality of life. There were others like this, too.

The classic one is "What does the snow plow operator drive to work?" As the VW gets through the deeper snow on his way to work, passing a USA brand (somewhat genericized) vehicle which has slid off of the road. This commercial is usually the one that sticks in people's minds.

The basic message of many of these commercials was that VW was an alternative . . . a unique alternative . . . to other foreign imports of the time . . . which could also "work" for many USA buyers. In that time when fewer cars came without "factory air", the fact that those VWs didn't have that option was not an issue. Basic, yes. Different, yes. Economical to buy and run, yes. Good resale? Yes. BUT you had to know their "care and feeding" to keep them alive. Nothing major, just finding somebody that knew about them. A somewhat sub-culture developed in this area, too, by observation.

Many of us in here remember the earlier VWs and Datsuns, but ask less vintage operatives to define VW as one model, and they might reply "Rabbit" or "Jetta". Datsun?? What was that? or "Datsun? Maxima 4DSC or _10 sedan".

To me, in the realm of automotive companies, "unenlightened neanderthals" can include many high-level operatives as they have failed to follow auto company history (from an observer's point of view rather than an "insider's" point of view) rather than many of us in here. They have seemed to ignore the history that has brung them to this dance and only know of one door to exit from (the exit marked "cut and slash things and operations" to lead them to better times). No "Who got me this date??? Where are they??!!" comments, it seems.

Still, there are MANY great managers in the companies who would probably do well to be "unleahsed" . . . if allowed . . . that CAN deliver great products for the consuming public and their somewhat discerning orientations. The most recent new vehicles from GM can be valid proof!!! Much depends upon the game plan of the upper level operatives, just as it did with Chrysler in the 1990s and what Chrysler was able to accomplish with ALL involved at the design tables and meetings. Of course, the UAW was an integral partner with the Chrysler loans and Chrysler's later successes and they can be again!

In some respects, the GM employee cuts and early-retirement buy-outs of earlier times can now be coming back to haunt GM. It might have been necessary to make those cuts and individual motivations to accept early retirement to achieve short-term financial gains, but it also probably took a good chunk of GM volume (from employee purchases) out of the mix, too, or even created "I'll never buy another GM car again!" consumers. No one cut ever results in just one cut, but several other reverberations . . . just as taking Oldsmobile out of the product lineup resulted in GM's total corporate sales falling (the next model year) as an "unexpected" result. I suspect that the only people who pushed for that and didn't understand "WHY?" were of the "GM is one brand" orientation rather than "GM is a compilation of different brands for different customers' desires and needs".

Ron Zarella claimed they were losing money on every Oldsmobile they built. At the time, I found that interesting as each Olds product had a companion assembly plant product for another GM brand, BOTH with similar production times and component costs AND production costs which GM's financial operatives approved prior to the start of production. What might have gone unsaid was that GM was losing money on other brands they sold too (which an article I found a few weeks ago plainly stated, but GM wasn't the only one, according to this manufacturing industry magazine article). But as the seemingly internal orientation was to delete Oldsmobile, this "losing money" comment was seemingly aimed at Oldsmobile only rather than admit that GM wasn't making money on lots of vehicles at that time. Labor costs were not the issue, either! The "minus" amounts were much greater than the amount normally alluded to for health care and retiree costs, too!!! Conversely, "rebates" were not mentioned.

So many times in the past decades, "Getting back to the core business" has been used as the rationale to downsize operations of GM and Ford. The word "reinvent" has also been used. If "reinvent" was a code word for "fix what we've broken or neglected to do", then that's failed too. Nobody has wanted to comment "We screwed things up with 'brand management' as we tried to do it, so we're going to fix that", but when Lutz came onboard, some of those "fixes" were quietly and softly implemented, by observation, at the dealer rep levels.

As with many other industrial entities, "continuous improvement" seems to not be in their official vocabulary! Perhaps that has too much to do with corporate operatives' egos???? Failure might not be an option, but is it a failure if they don't admit to it??? "Quiet fixes" can then happen, provided enough damage hasn't happened for others to notice.

From my observations, the "Era of Brand Management" at GM was the set-up for where we are today. The "bringing in new faces and experiences" to the various management and marketing areas of GM only started a parade of managers to displace seasoned car people. By the time the first round of "new recruits" had headed back to whence they had come, it was too late, but nobody admitted to the failure of this orientation as someone "up top" wanted it their way and there was no turning back. So more new recruits came and went . . . after John Rock retired and Olds received "new leadership", it seemed to be a parade with a new head manager every few years until the end . . . almost by design, it seemed. Can't build brand and group continuity when the lead officer is changing so often! "Continuous Improvement" just seemed like it wasn't even considered.

In those final Olds years, they did much "advanced R&D" for themselves (Oldsmobile Specialty Vehicle Division), which gave the appearance of newer Oldsmobiles being in the offing. To me, it looked like these engineering exercises (i.e., the NorthStar V-8 Intrigues!) were done more for the benefit of other GM divisions and Olds got the bills. After all, suspension tuning, powertrain research/development, or advance brake research/development doesn't care what name is on the vehicle.

To their credit, GM is now running many television ads about their "best in class" (as deemed so by awards or commendations these models have received) and "best in class and better than ________ or ______" fuel economy. IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! I also heard a television ad this morning which was a safety testimonial from a Chevy truck owner . . . how the design of the front end of her Chevy truck saved her life. It's on thw wfaa.com website somewhere. The last time I remember GM selling safety was with about how the then-current Buick Regal sedan met USGovernment safety requirements for side impact (about) 5 years before it was necessary for that level of protection. To me, these messages should have been there 5 years ago, but weren't, and could have been combined with mention of other features. One might have been how less oil the Buick V-6 engined GM vehicles took over the course of 50K miles compared to other vehicles, plus the class-leading fuel economy. Or, for more recent models, how much factory recommended maintenance is not needed for GM cars compared to some imports? Style, glitz, and high lease residuals can go so far, but it's the daily operating expenses that can be highly important too.

I hope y'all have a great holiday season and we'll be ready for the New Year when it gets here!

NTX5467

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 63Stude</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Bob, I'm afraid you're probably right, and people who won't forget will be considered unenlightened neanderthals most likely.

Bill </div></div>

How would you characterize someone who's able to ignore/dismiss/forget the intervening "40 or 50 years"?

Why is that that some cannot foresee an intervening "40 or 50 years" that is at all redeeming or positive, and are therefore able to even form the question?

How bitter is too bitter?

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bill, my guess is that in 40 or 50 years our young ones will forget & forgive what happened on 911 and move on..........</div></div>

And that's why I refuse to buy Saudi Arabian petroleum products.... wink.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rawja</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bill, my guess is that in 40 or 50 years our young ones will forget & forgive what happened on 911 and move on..........</div></div>

And that's why I refuse to buy Saudi Arabian petroleum products.... wink.gif </div></div>

All kidding and political posturing aside, 9/11 is seriously one of the main reasons I bought a Prius. It was probably #2 on the list. cool.gifsmile.gif

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I probably would consider someone who is able to 'forgive' or most likely, not even think about it (9/11), as simply ignorant of history, having a short memory, or not thinking 'big picture' but only what they want/need at that moment. But I wouldn't consider them a dolt or roll my eyes, as I fully expect would be the result of explaining my position to someone who disagrees at that point.

I will say that this discussion has resulted in excellent points, usually thoughtfully presented, on both sides. I don't think there's anymore I can add to it at this point.

As you can tell from my 'handle', my old car is a '63 Studebaker. I grew up in a Chevy family but am able to appreciate most old cars (domestics, of course!)--except for some reason, Nashes and AMC's up to and including '62 are a complete turnoff to me! No one in our family owned a Studebaker but I'm old enough to remember them and our local dealer, and think they did a lot with a little.

I've always appreciated Buicks as neater than similar Olds models. Always loved the '65 Riviera, and very much enjoy '65 and later Wildcat Customs with bucket seats and consoles. They were that unusual blend of luxury with sportiness (sleek rooflines, etc.) At some later point in time at GM, luxury meant only formal rooflines. I missed the fastbacks with luxury interiors. I used to think boattail Rivs were too big for the styling, but have grown to really like them. I also liked (and still do) the '74-76 Rivs that had buckets and console.

Onward and upward..Merry Christmas and a good '09 to everybody.

Bill

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rawja</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bill, my guess is that in 40 or 50 years our young ones will forget & forgive what happened on 911 and move on..........</div></div>

And that's why I refuse to buy Saudi Arabian petroleum products.... wink.gif </div></div>

....and there are times when we do have choices...... cool.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

All kidding and political posturing aside, 9/11 is seriously one of the main reasons I bought a Prius. It was probably #2 on the list. cool.gifsmile.gif </div></div>

WOW!!! What a statement.........does it surprise me?

I'm through talking on this subject, now this proves it's totally useless. mad.gif

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<span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">Someone please explain to me why 911 is more important than Pearl Harbor.</span></span>

It isn't more important to me. Both were unprovoked sneak attacks on the U.S., and while one has been nearly forgotten or never learned about in the first place, the seeds of the other being forgotten appear to have already been sown.

Bill

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