GM and the b-word... (bankruptcy)

Discussion in 'American Cars' started by 23inchrimzzzzzzz, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. One out of every 84,398 does, but you don't make cars for that one dude. The other 84,397 care about the thing to which the name is attached.

    I just don't see a need to have nine different domestic brands run by the same company when one or two would be fine.
     
  2. Yup. I mean, what else can GM do. Their car and trucks look great and are of a higher quaulity then iv ever seen from the big 3. Its the damn UAW and the gas prices are killing truck / suv sales. Really, what els can they do?? Yeah they can cut brands, but they finaly made the brands look a little different for once, and now hack all the work and stick with a few brands?

    If i were GM Id fire the union workers and ensure they get no pentions, then higher mercanaries to shoot UAW's on the spot if they try and return to picket or whatever union workers are good for, then higher non union workers. Shit would get turned around if i was running things.
     
  3. What GM can do is downsize their brands and start to take some risks. Tell me honestly, do you think that if you saw a drawing of the Toyota Prius 10 years ago would you have said it would have sold as amazing as it has? I wouldn't have. I would have said who cares, show me the speed and engine size. The point is is that GM fell behind, and in this market, you cannot miraculously come back in the market.

    People say that Japanese car buying is just a trend because it's what to buy. I can tell you that in my family this is not the case. We went to Japanese because each of the big 3 had screwed us over with their cars. Now granted it's possible to get a lemon from any brand, and I think giving up on one car from one manufacturer is ignorant, but when you own a Toyota for 5 years with the only thing having to be done is maintenence (oil, safety checks, standard replacements) you can see why my family will continue to buy Japanese.

    So you ask what GM has to do to get their customers back? Well you gotta spend money to make money, not do what you claim. If they fired all of the union workers, there would probably be a boycott for american made cars, even though half of the american made cars are made in Mexico/Canada anyways. What GM has to do is #1, downsize their brands. The reason the brands are so spread out is because they share a lot of the same platforms but reach to different audiences. The sad part about this is Toyota was temporarily the #1 car manufacturer in the world with 3 brands compared to GM's 8 (?). I think there are a few things that are needed:

    1. A basic to high class brand. Cut down on the multiple brand offerings. Chevy would be a perfect example here. Offer 8 or so different models with the bear essentials to the complete works in offerings. Chevy Cobalt base edition, cheap interior, very little amenities that goes all the way up to a Chevy Cobalt SE for example that has a couple of different engine options (and of course the SS for enthusiasts). Anybody wanting to argue this idea, just ask yourself this. Do you know what GM has to offer you 100% of the time? Honestly you don't because if you wanted to know, you would have to travel to at least 4 different dealerships to test things out. If you downsize to one dealership that has many different builds you could easily see all of what GM has to offer.

    2. A luxury brand. Cadillac hands down. Yes it may share some of the platforms that Chevy uses, but only the highest quality materials are used in these cars. They are luxury for a reason. I'm sure that the materials currently used are not the highest ever made, because their pricing is very low, but if you can back up the price with very high class materials and great reliability, customers will return. Hell, luxury is luxury correct? Anyways, GM would still have to offer a performance luxury car as well in this division, same as the SS offered from Chevy.

    3. Finally, a youth brand. Scion from Toyota has been extremely popular because they are funky fun cars that are very cheap to own, yet reliable enough to want and desire. This division of GM would be for very affordable vechicles, great gas mileage vechicles, and of course, very smooth and quiet vechicles. No performance cars needed in this area.

    So you have 3 brands now, here's what things used to look like:

    Chevy - Most popular brand, offers a lot to the public.
    GMC - Work trucks is all that comes to my mind.
    Buick - Rental car anyone?
    Saab - I always forget about this brand, I think they are nice and all, but there is no excitement there.
    Cadillac - High roller
    Pontiac - Sporty, young, fun
    Saturn - Remolding itself into a Scion brand almost.
    HUMMER - all about status, completely useless brand.
    Daewoo - what the hell is this...?

    this doesn't even count their overseas brands (Opel, Vauxhill, Holden, etc)

    Now what things could look like:

    Chevy - Basic to excellent cars
    Cadillac/Saab - Great luxury cars
    Saturn/Pontiac - Young, fun to drive, great looking cars

    GMC - Corporate division brand, sold primarily to companies for business use.

    Finally, when any American car company offers me a car I can't refuse (I am almost there, probably would take a CTS-V), it must be made in the United States. I want my money to go into the pocket of an American who helped build the car I drive. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda all have manufacturing plants in the US that employ many, many workers so when you buy that brand, you give back to America too. I think American car companies should still sell only Made in the US of A products.
     
  4. Buick, GMC, Hummer, and probably Saturn should all be axed. GMC is completely useless. There is no reason for them, other than to offer Buick/Pontiac dealerships trucks. Buick shouldn't exist. Buick should either be absorbed into Caddy or (probably the better move) absorbed into Chevy. What they need is to restructure their dealerships from Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealers, Chevy Dealers, Cadillac dealers, Saturn dealers, etc etc etc into:

    Chevy/Whatever other mainstream brands they keep... Probably Pontiac as Saturn doesn't seem as valuable a name to keep up. With Buick merged into Chevy, Pontiac and Saturn as one, no more Hummer or GMC this would be 99 percent of GM dealerships. When you REALLY get down to it there is no reason to maintain Pontiac or Saturn really. Chevy could simply have multiple models in the same class if they wanted too... But I suspect they'd want to keep at least one other brand to differentiate stuff.

    Cadillac. It is what it is. They should be standalone as they more or less are now. It would be OK for them to continue to make super luxury versions of SUVs since luxury SUVs are probably gonna be the only ones selling since gas prices are so high(rich people can afford the gas if they want an SUV).

    Saab is cool, and they can keep doing whatever it is they do... But hopefully better/more profitably.
     
  5. they could easily lose Hummer, Saab, Buick, and GMC. they'd just have to make a lesser Cadillac model to fit into the old timer range (rebadge the lucerne or allure). Saab is completely useless as is Hummer, GMC is the luxury division of Chevy truck so it to can go.
     
  6. Keep GMC as the truck division, for pickups and commercial vehicles. Screw luxury pickups.
     
  7. How about building good cars?

    There's a very good reason why European and Japanese cars are sold everywhere in the world and American cars aren't.
     
  8. finally.
     
  9. 1) Completely rework the supply chain (true lean manufacturing versus the BS system they have now)
    2) Bring advanced diesels from Europe to NA
    3) Trucks: use midsized V6 with twin turbos. Introduce variable boost gauges to allow HP dialing as needed
    4) Fire Wagoner and Lutz
    5) Focus on smaller/midsized sedans/crossovers for the time being. Bring over European styling. Focus on quality parts...even in the small vehicle segment.
    6) Forget the Volt. I've met the COO of GE that's driven it - and said that it was a peice of crap (and doesn't get the mileage they claim). Lithium Ion technology physically isn't capable of giving adequate range, and sustained battery life over many years
    7) Kill off everything but: Chevrolet (base), Pontiac (performance), Cadillac (luxury), and Buick (China/emerging markets). Sell Saab. Keep Opal/Vaux in EU.
    8) Bring vehicle inventory to a maximum of 30 days across the board
    9) Bring plant manufacturing capacity in line. Flexible manufacturing.
     
  10. they shouldnt make cars that compete with their own cars. how many SUVs does GM make? for GMC there is the yukon, envoy, and acadia. Hummer obviously the H2 and H3, chevy has the Tahoe, subarban, equinox, and trailblazer and then there are the escalades. These cars compete with each other. is it really necessary to make this many SUVs? they could cut down on the number of SUVs they make. this is the exact problem chrysler is facing. they are shutting down 2 plants. one is the st louis plant that makes their mini vans which include chrysler town and country. what chrysler is doing is actually pretty smart since they want to avoid bankruptcy, they are cutting down on their vehicles that compete with each other. but what sucks is that so many people will need to find new jobs and many wont even have another chance.
    congress should take this situation very serious since the economy is going down hill pretty fast istead of sitting and relaxing while they wait for a new president to replace their already incompetent leader.
    or maybe they should do what malaysia is doing. if you buy a proton you pay less tax but if you buy another car that isnt malaysian, you be prepared to pay 200% tax. that would keep these companies rolling like they deserve.
     
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  12. america is the most brand-name focused country in the world.
     
  13. 1) agree
    2) our deisel fuel is different.
    3) turbos are expensive. as are variable boost guages
    4) not a bad plan
    5) they are shifting to that, gears turn slowly
    6) lithium ion is fully capable of it. The issue is more with the reliability of them (they dont like heat)
    7-9) agree
     
  14. the should just convert all plants to building hondas
     
  15. flex manufacturing is the future of the auto industry. All future plants really must be designed this way despite any added cost. In the long run it will save money as more vehicles can be produced of more in demand types or fad vehicles, and lesser liked vehicles can be phased out without huge costs. There would be less need to lay off workers or idle plants, since they could switch to a more profitable or in demand product quickly and cheaply.

     
  16. Yes. Cadillac is making great cars right now as well. The CTS was MT car of the year and now they´re rolling out the 550hp CTS-V.

    My idea for GM:

    US: Chevy (basic cars and trucks, corvette)/ Cadillac (luxury cars and trucks)

    Europe: Opel (basic cars, no trucks)

    Australia: Holden (basic cars, no trucks)

    China: Daewoo (shit)

    Korea: Daewoo (shit)

    There´s really no need for Hummer (not profitable and bad public image), GMC (like Chevy only more boring and more expensive), Pontiac (should merge into Chevy), Vauxhall (like Opel only with a reputation for poor quality), or especially SAAAAAAB (overpriced, underpowered, boring cars in the style of the early 1990s).


    Will GM go bankrupt? Probably not. But don´t expect the company to survive as it is. Major restructuring will eventually be necessary.
     
  17. Hopefully GM will eventually be producing only these models:

    Corvette, Cadillac V series, Saturn Sky Redline, and some of the other few good ones that they do make
     
  18. 2) North American diesel fuel is now de-sulphured...(as of Sept 2007)...this is no longer an issue. Diesel still gets a bad rap (incorrectly IMHO) in NA due to some bad diesel cars in the 70s

    3) Turbos are expensive, but mostly as they're still low-volume production items. Small turbos with piping and gates can be done for less than a grand US. Variable boost controllers go for about 400 bucks...merely an electronic device to regulate the wastegate resistance plate. Again...volume should help with this. These are much more efficient and easier to produce than batteries.

    5) Yes, gears turn slowly, but people have been calling for Euro cars in NA for at least 10 years. Thankfully some (Ford) are thinking of making the Euro spec cars in NA pretty soon. The supply base is already set up (many Euro/NA parts are already swapped out). Completely ripping out a plant and building the equipment from scratch takes only a few months.

    6) I fully disagree with your view on Li-Ion. Chemically it's impossible to store much more battery power in the electrolytes than about 1.5% of what's available in gasoline (by weight). Given the heating issues, as well as the longevity issues of this type of battery, I'd think that in the interm nano-titanate or nonophosphate based batteries would be a much better choice. Honestly...EV is a pretty bad idea unless you're able to run ultracapacitors..which are still several decades away.
     
  19. I think I'm going to buy up a bunch of GM stock.
     
  20. Not a bad idea.
     
  21. Well, even with a much better product portfolio over the last few years, the current economy will continue to kill them as not many people are buying new cars anymore. Even if it took an upturn, it'd take a considerable amount of time for GM to see an increase in revenues, even with the great new cars they're putting out.
     
  22. unless it does go bankrupt...and then you lose everything.
     
  23. Chevy C2
    This is the kind of shite they sell in Latin America.

    F-U GM !!!
     
  24. This is actually a good idea. if everything was just branded GM instead of chevy or cadillac then people couldn't complain about a car being to upscale or to low budget for a particular brand
     
  25. ah, didnt know we got the low sulfer yet.

    turbos are expensive in terms of car production. Not only do you have the development costs in there, but piece price is in the ~50-75 dollar a vehicle range for a bare turbo system alone. Not including installation and other costs. That doesnt sound like much, but in terms of car manufacturing, thats a shitload. NA engines are going to be more cost-effective for now, especially for a company that is struggling for profits.

    Ripping out a plant and putting new equipment in is very very expensive and the coordination is very time consuming. Tooling alone would is many, many millions of dollars and 6 or so months including all of the tuning. Dont forget all of the suppliers involved. The models also have to be certified for north america, which can also takes a shitload of time. They could very likely have different testing standards also. It doesnt get as hot in most of europe as it does in parts of the US, so the vehicles may be engineered to a different standard.

    and while the energy density of batteries is much lower than gasoline, the energy can also be used much more efficiently. Electric motors are like 3x more efficient than gas engines. They also would drop the weight of the vehicle by a huge amount because you dont need shit like the entire front portion of the vehicle, a gas tank, drive shafts, differentials, electric motors are smaller/lighter, etc etc. Less sound deadening, damping, etc would also be needed because motors are much quieter. You could shave off far more weight than the difference in energy density would net you. And then you also wouldnt need as much energy storage simply because theres much lower mass to haul around.
     

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