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General Motors market share.


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In 1970 GM top brass felt the need to disperse operations (created GMAD - General Motors Assembly Division) because the fed was making noise about GM dominating the market (over 50% market share in the 60's AFAIR) and some wanted to break it up. Ten years later mostly the same people were at the top and the mavericks (e.g John the Z) had mostly been driven out. While at GMI I also met many of the "more inventive" engineers like Bill Collins and Herb Adams (Bill later invited me to join the Vixen team but I liked playing with F-16s and F-111s)). 

 

Frankly have always thought that GM in the 80s was dominated by bean counters with little imagination. Remember a late quote that the reason GM kept building large cars so late was because that is where the profit was. Never understood Ralph William's motto.

 

In the mid-80s each division was allowed to design/build a "halo" car to match the Corvette: Pontiac - Fiero, Buick- Reatta, Cadillac - Allante, Oldsmobile - Bravada (1990). but all of them were too little, too late, and too expensive. (in 1984 Market was all minivans & did not understand a SUV - the Bravada).

 

One issue was that the general did not understand that a sporty car needs to be able to get out of its own way. Except for the Corvette, all had less than 240 lb-ft of torque on introduction and all were criticized for being slow. Death for a sporty car.

 

Unfortunately the Cimarron came along at about the same time and while a two door "J-11" version witha V-6 and a five speed could have been easy (same emissions class as a Cavalier). it didn't happen and the result could be easily predicted...except by accountants.

 

Personally put the breakover from "slow" to "OK" at 270 lb-ft and quick is over 300 lb-ft in a 3000-3500 lb car. Under 3,000 lbs over 200 lb-ft is OK. (something about "you can sell an old man a young mans car...")

 

Result: all lost money. GM expected 20,000 per year. Only Fiero hit that point but also only one available with a manual transmission & was gone in 1988. Most "got it right" just before being cancelled.

 

Then Oldsmobile went away and a prediction of the future when GM eliminated Saturn, Saab, and Pointiac (Chinese liked Buicks)

 

Today GM's market share is about 17%. Its sad.

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Is it? 

GM earned their reputation for cheating suppliers, letting finance make unsound engineering decisions, waiving specs when the price was tempting and taking government money without reforming their own house very much.  There were and are some good people there trying to make quality vehicles, but the company's record is what it is.

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Yes to me it is sad. But then David Dunbar, Boss Kettering, Billy Durant, Harley Earl, and Bunkie Knudsen are real people to me and not just names. But once the bean counters took over and were encouraged by the Fed it became obvious that "too big to fail" did not apply. In fact I'd say the last real success were the RWD Vega, Astre, Sunbird, Skyhawk, Monza, and Starfire. 1971-1980.

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51 minutes ago, padgett said:

 I'd say the last real success were the RWD Vega, Astre, Sunbird, Skyhawk, Monza, and Starfire. 1971-1980.

      To me, all the cars listed were attempts to compete with Japan & Korea that failed.   My favorite GM's were the rear wheel drive

       Cadillac Fleetwoods 1994 thru 1997 with the LT-1  V8, and the Chevy Tahoes & Silvierados along with the GMC Yukon & Sierras

       of the same vintage, with the 5.3 litre V8, in the early to mid 2000's.   Like any vehicles they thrived on regular care and being

       garaged.   I expect 300,000 miles our of them and can't find faults in their quality.   Nobody hits a home run every time at bat.

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2 hours ago, bryankazmer said:

Is it? 

GM earned their reputation for cheating suppliers, letting finance make unsound engineering decisions, waiving specs when the price was tempting and taking government money without reforming their own house very much.  There were and are some good people there trying to make quality vehicles, but the company's record is what it is.

That was during the notorious Roger Smith years in the 1980's.  

 

An insane amount of money was spent on both Saturn, and the GM-10/W-body cars, and while they sold well enough, they hardly recoupled their development costs, even over ten model years.

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Paul Dobbin said:

Chevy Tahoes & Silvierados along with the GMC Yukon

  I would agree. Their large SUV types are built like tanks and will last for decades if cared for. Our 2005 Escalade with a 6.0 will move anything hooked to it and still gets 18mpg at reasonable speeds on the hiway. 

I'm not a big GM person but would own another one without hesitation.  Their smaller vehicles I'm not a fan of. One proven exception is the Cobalt. We have two relatives who put almost 300,000 miles on 2 of them before they gave out. Pretty impressive for something that small. 

 

 

Edited by Fossil (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Fossil said:

  I would agree. Their large SUV types are built like tanks and will last for decades if cared for. Our 2005 Escalade with a 6.0 will move anything hooked to it and still gets 18mpg at reasonable speeds on the hiway. 

I'm not a big GM person but would own another one without hesitation.  Their smaller vehicles I'm not a fan of. One proven exception is the Cobalt. We have two relatives who put almost 300,000 miles on 2 of them before they gave out. Pretty impressive for something that small. 

 

 

Not the new ones.  Electronics are a nightmare...much of it doesn't work the way it's supposed to and the dealerships can't repair it.  I've been putting up with the same electronic problems now for over 2 years.  No to mention that it takes 2 people to operate...one to drive and another to manage the touch screen.  Something as simple as changing the AC settings can't safely be done by the driver.

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Admit having a preference for small cars rather than GALBs (Great American Land Barges) and like OHC (overhead cam) engines. Even my tow cars have been rather small (the Jeep Grand Cherokee I bought with every discount and rebate known to man in 2012 is only about an inch longer than my Cadillac Catera Touring Sedan Coupe and gets better mpg yet tows everything I need).

 

Will not have any car made after 2014.

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4 hours ago, 8E45E said:

That was during the notorious Roger Smith years in the 1980's.  

 

An insane amount of money was spent on both Saturn, and the GM-10/W-body cars, and while they sold well enough, they hardly recoupled their development costs, even over ten model years.

 

Craig

it didn't end in the 1980's

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GM closed a $60.16 today, was in the low 40's around the first of the year, so as far as I need to be concerned GM shares in the market are doing pretty good

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5 hours ago, padgett said:

 In fact I'd say the last real success were the RWD Vega, Astre, Sunbird, Skyhawk, Monza, and Starfire. 1971-1980.

 

I suppose it depends on one's definition of "success" when talking about the Chevy Vega. 

 

The following article has a different take on the Vega which is more in line with Everyone I knew that owned the vehicle back in the day.   

 

The Vega: An unmitigated disaster

 

Especially interesting (and so sad) was that the first Vega prototype Literally FELL APART after only 8 MILES at the GM test track.

Car & Driver's take on the Vega in this article is worth reading.

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6 hours ago, padgett said:

In fact I'd say the last real success were the RWD Vega, Astre, Sunbird, Skyhawk, Monza, and Starfire. 1971-1980.

To me, those were all failures. Honda and Toyota ate their lunch in the small car market from the late seventies on wards. 
 

I would argue that the only successes over the last 40 years were full sized trucks and full sized suvs. And the c7 and c8 corvette. All else has really been a failure.  
 

 

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At least they are not quoting the stock in yuan.

 

Remember I spent most of my life where things do not rust and a major problem was cars without AC had miniscule radiators. GM did this a lot, the first Fieros had a three quart oil pan. I learned early on that many things on a GM car (heater, radiator, alternator, etc) were upgraded with C60 AC.

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Steel prices are through the roof, a real bubble. Auto sector demand has something to do with it. But at the same time it should hurt the auto industry.


 

Steel Market Update’s check of the market on March 8-9 showed the benchmark price for hot-rolled steel reaching $1,270/ton ($63.50/cwt), topping the previous high mark set in 2008 by $200/ton.

“This is crazy. I’ll tell you one thing, my customers can’t stay in business at these price levels. We’re having a hard time passing on the increases,” one manufacturer in the Midwest told SMU.

 

https://www.thefabricator.com/thefabricator/blog/metalsmaterials/steel-prices-continue-to-set-new-record-highs-week-after-week

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On 4/9/2021 at 4:52 PM, George Cole said:

Electronics are a nightmare...much of it doesn't work the way it's supposed to and the dealerships can't repair it. 

Thanks for the heads up. I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm in the market. This one is still under a 100K miles so it may be awhile. 

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