• GM's Rick Wagoner to step down ASAP
  • GM's Rick Wagoner to step down ASAP
  • GM's Rick Wagoner to step down ASAP
  • GM's Rick Wagoner to step down ASAP

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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
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    And it was the wrong ultimatum. The ultimatum should have been, "Sorry, Wagoner, GM's days of going through public funds like they're water are over. Here's the number of a good bankruptcy attorney who specializes in Chapter 11. I recommend you give him a call."



    You'll get no argument about any of the lack of accountability points you raise from me. GM got themselves into this mess, and rather than engage in the standard business practice (and free market capitalism solution) of a Chapter 11 re-organization, they went begging for taxpayer dollars. And more shameful than that, Congress actually gave it to them.
    I go along with that. That is exactly what I would have said to Wagoner. But I guess in an effort to save GM with taxpayer money, they had to pay a price.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Ken, take a moment and read this brief overview of the situation which resulted in the resignation of Dan Rather but this is an aside...

    For all those involved in this thread, let's keep the focus on the issues rather than on planetary origins. I've never had to move a thread from the Industry News Forum to the Edge before but I won't hesitate to do. In fact, it might be a good idea regardless.

    The warning on the Edge to "keep it civil" isn't exclusive to the Edge. A great number of people, including folks in the automotive industry, read the GM & Auto Industry News section of the CAC Forums. We would prefer for them to enjoy the experience and to find factual points rather than heated opinions.

    -Mac
    You are right Mac. The more I thought about it it was Limbaugh that was calling for his head. Sorry my bad.

  3. #63
    Member Kid_Again's Avatar
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    Dagnabbit, you folks have REALLY detailed justifications for your positions! I work with/negotiate with THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT on a daily basis and would be delighted for you guys to go through my submissions. I would even like to ask the Feds, in a professional manner, which planet they came from and I'm sure they'd answer me in kind.

    At the end of the day, GM asked for Federal Assistance and I find it surprising that anybody thinks that the Feds therefore don't have the right to dictate any terms that they perceive to be in the best interest of the US tax payers. It's over. GM is nationalized and GM Management clearly "lost". In a few years, we'll all be buying cars that look like the last of the great State-run auto manufacturers' offerings - Yugo, Trabant, Moskvitch - because they will be the only government certified vehicles approved for the masses.

    Wow, a ZR1 Trabant with TWO exhaust pipes fitted to the optional muffler.

    Whoulda' thunk that in a few years' time, the Chicoms would be making the sexiest cars imported into this country?

    Wanna bet that burying GM will allow the growth of a small number of specialty manufacturers that sell an even smaller number of specialty niche vehicles? There's enough spare manufacturing plants around, with enough experienced talent to make that work. Look at the explosion of telecomm capabilities with the breakup of Ma Bell. It seems to me that everything occurs in cycles. With the auto industry, it's a realtively long cycle. GM, Ford and Chrysler grew by acquiring all these small specialized car makers. Now that GM is gone (yup, kiss it goodbye), time to evolve back to a decentralized base (Honda, Toyota and Hyundai notwithstanding).

    Where's that Tesla Coupe that I ordered MONTHS ago??????

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid_Again View Post
    It seems to me that everything occurs in cycles. With the auto industry, it's a realtively long cycle. GM, Ford and Chrysler grew by acquiring all these small specialized car makers. Now that GM is gone (yup, kiss it goodbye), time to evolve back to a decentralized base (Honda, Toyota and Hyundai notwithstanding).
    Anyone who pays attention to life as we know it, recognizes the fact that everything occurs in cycles. GM and the Feds should be smart enough to know that. Someone told me the other day that todays market is changing and we have to change with it if we're going to make it through it. As a business owner myself, I thought why didn't I say that first!

    The market is changing - If you want to be successfull at anything, you have to be selling what people are buying, not what you want to sell.

  5. #65
    Member CallawayC8's Avatar
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    I posted this on the poll survey, but somebody suggested I repost it here. Enjoy:

    I hope I don't open up a major debate here, but I will contribute what I know directly from an ex-GM high up employee, and good friend. My friend Jeff told me he was going to resign from GM almost 2 years ago. I questioned this at the time, because our economy, while slowing, showed no signs of what has happened today, and his job and duties were very high up. He was instrumental in product development, and part of the team that tried to bring the quality and level of GM products up to par with the rest of the world.

    First and foremost, he is a huge car guy. He owns and builds Hot Rods, and appreciates everything from old iron, to modern exotics. His team was responsible for closing the gap in quality, and more importantly, perceived quality of GM products.

    They did a good job redeveloping simple things like the "tactile feel" of the new switch gear found on the radios, cruise control, and other common functions, where GM would have normally used the old dreaded turn signal stalk from the early 90s. They also paid a great deal of attention to dashes, IPs, door panels, etc.

    And it was working. I remember we just took his new C6 to the SEMA show from LA. I have had Corvettes from 67 tri-power Bloomington Gold Roadsters, to multiple Callaways, to a 2000 C5 and my old faithful 88 Convertible. Corvettes have been Corvettes, but this C6 rivaled my new Porsche. It is tight, and the wheel and colomn have a solidity that only foreigh luxury cars have had.

    The improved quality is not just in Vettes. I rent cars weekly for my business, and all I now request only GM cars. When you drive Nissans, Toyotas, Chryslers, and Fords, on a weekly basis, you actually can see the improvements that GM has made in the last 5 years. My 07 Yukon is an absolute pleasure to drive, and I once swore I would never drive anything with more than 2 seats or a roof. The switch gear, the ergonomics, the intuitive functions of the auto lights, locks, and mirrors is simply magnificent.

    They have been steadily improving.

    Here is where the problem lies, according to my good friend, who left GM on his own will 2 years ago:

    • The UAW currently costs around $4000 per car.
    • UAW pays nearly 90% benefits to ex workers (retired???)
    • UAW has made GM completely uncompetetive in the marketplace
    • Entry level cars to bring people into the brand are a $1200 loss per car
    • GM currently pays 3rd generation legacys, in some cases-that means that one group of workers retires- and you still pay for them at 90% salary and benefits--then, another generation of workers retires, and you pay for them too. Lastly, you pay for the people that actually work on the cars. That means in many cases, you are paying 3 times thae labor cost for the same goods.=uncompetetive

    That is how GM loses soooo much money


    Right now, GM chose to pursue trucks,
    • A-because the public(including me) wants them
    • B-they are very profitable, they can recover the $4000 loss easier
    • C-the imports can not compete as effectively in this market
    • D-it was the only way they could overcome their disadvantages
    My friend knew that this would eventually happen, despite the current economic climate, because the Unions have driven the cost of our products through the roof to where they are no longer competetive.

    He also told me that the main reason they had to shut down Oldsmobile, was to be able to "legally downsize" the UAW workforce, who dictated that it took X+Y amount of people to assemble a car, instead of X people as Toyota used to assemble a similar car. So GM had to dump Oldsmobile, the first auto maker in the US, just to get their workforce more in line with its competetors.

    Yet, we blame management- and I am not saying that they are all right- I am just saying that for political reasons, it is really convenient to place blame wherever you want to change things. If you want to gain control over any situation, you create a man-hunt for the position you want, overthrow the current seat, and then occupy it yourself. Simple


    I am now worried that the "failure" of GM will be blamed on the top management, instead of the obstacles that GM has been handed.

    I am also worried that Obama thinks he knows this market. I don't care about a small, economical car anymore, now that I have a family. I want them safe. I want them high up, and if I have to pay more fuel for that safety and peace of mind, I will continue to write that check. I am sure that a comprimize can be made between trading performance of these SUVs for economy if needed.

    I hope GM would just reorganize, and throw out all of the UAW contracts that make them less competetive with the imported cars in our market.

    I hope that Obama does not drive up the price of fuel with the ban on offshore drilling, only to see his dream of hybrids running around like SUVs do today.

    I hope that the US market dictates what kind of cars we want to buy, rather than what we are forced to buy.

    I hope Corvettes are not "dictated" out of production, because they certainly do not fit the bill for an economic family car.

    I am terrified about the next 8 years, and I hope that my fears do not come to fruition. A Government controlled auto industry is not where we want to be.

    And its funny that we bailed out the Airline Industry many times, and yet, the government does not own, or dictate what they do.

    GM has improved, despite the hurdles it has been handed by its labor costs. Previously, they had to use development dollars to offset the labor costs, which is why they did not improve quality. Recently, they have relied on globalization, or world platforms and platform efficiency, to increase quality, and it has worked pretty well.

    I think Wagoner operated to the best of anybody's ability in a Check-Mate situation. I am not making excuses for him, but I am scared that the Obama Administration is:
    • Focussing the attention of the real problem elsewhere
    • Using this "crisis" as an attempt to stengthen their political goals
    • Going to F everything up more, for a loooong time to come
    I can't remember what I started writing about. Sorry.

  6. #66
    Member Kid_Again's Avatar
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    Juat a few thoughts in response.

    Obama doesn't think he knows how to run an auto company, he's just a politician like any other - watching his popularity polls. The true villains in this are Geithner and Bernanke, ex-Wall Streeters who helped cause the economic meltdown and now find themselves at the center of cleaning up their mess without accepting ownership. How convenient.

    A major difference between the auto industry and the airline manufacturing indistry, IMO, is that Detroit is responsible for creating and maintaining the entire middle class of the mid section of this country. Remember the pictures from the 50's of the parades in Flint where revelers dressed up as AC Spark Plugs? Do that now and you'd be target practice for every crazy who couldn't get a job with the Federal Government.

    From my inexpert position, I fault both the UAW and GM Managment for the mess we're in. Both are guilty of only caring for short term gains and GM Management NEVER took the bold step in good times to stand up to the union when they threatened or actually instituted a strike. Even the UAW doesn't have the balls to call a strike on GM now. If they did so, Fritz would probably just say "Oh well, time for Bankruptcy Court" and report back to his new owners, lap dog that he is.

    Wagoner was just the wrong man at the wrong time. Again, I go back to what in my mind is the height of hypocracy - the development of the ZR1. Just like using Corporate planes to fly to Washington to beg for bailout money, it demonstrates a remarkable ability to consistently do the wrong thing. It's not just him, it's emblematic of the insular, unrealistic out-of-touch culture of any large corporation. Unfortunately, this large corporation ran out of money and now everybody can second guess the company and union's decisions.

    Success in the marketplace is governed by innovation, not revolution. Just like the iPod and iPhone, they're not technological leaps of unproven technology, they're clever packaging of existing technology to take advantage of a market opportunity. IMHO, I don't think an all-electric car with a 40mph range will sell worth shit if it's sold by a company on the cusp (or in) bankruptcy. We all know that the government says one thing and does another, so why should we trust them to back a warranty on such a potentially awful reliability record.

    It's not sexy to implement, but the answer has to be that GM has to change customer's perceptions by continuing to improve on incremental ideas like the Malibu. Successful state-backed foreign enterprises such as Japan Inc can't be marginalized in one step - in exactly the same sense that they did not capture market share overnight.

    Say goodbye to GM and it's culture. Say hello to Alfred P. Sloan Motors or whatever they become.

    As a final point, if GM were to buy Tesla motors and rebadge the roadster as a Corvette, would you buy it? It's performance orientation keeps the "heritage" alive. The only thing missing is the ice.

  7. #67
    Administrator Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken mohr View Post
    You are right Mac. The more I thought about it it was Limbaugh that was calling for his head. Sorry my bad.
    No problem, ken. Thanks!

    -Mac

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