Thursday, June 18, 2009

General Motors

Well by now everyone has seen them. I'm talking about the four or five or how ever the F*ck many variations of the same damn screen shots spouting crap they're going to put out there.

Now they're talking about re-invention.

They're talking about a new beginning.

They're divesting the Pontiac division, keeping Saturn and forcing Saab to endure yet another fiscal year of failure being managed by people who have no idea how to market European styled cars, or even electric cars, but their complete mishandling of the EV1 is another story for another day.

We're told that those who don't understand the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them so let's look at some history of GM.
First off, the minivan, GM had the first set of plans for a minivan but someone at the top decided to sit on them, believing that there was no market for such a thing. What did they get for their hesitation? Chrysler produced the caravan and had a record year (Chrysler is very soon going to be owned by fiat by the way, that story next time).
Second, Trucks. For almost three years they sat on the fence while the other guys made large sums of money marketing trucks to individuals (environmental foolishness of commuter trucks aside since that wasn't why they refused to sell commuter style trucks)
Now for my favorite, V8 rear wheel drive vehicles. in 1964 the mustang was introduced (65 model year cars came out in 64) it was half the cost of a corvette at the time. Now a corvette will run you $70000 and a decent mustang is still only about half that (if not less) and now the challenger (and to a lesser extent the charger) is back and it's most pricey option is really only around $40000. GM seemingly didn't have an answer to the affordable rear wheel drives the other guys were making, then news came in 2007 about the camaro coming back in 2008, it's now the 2010 camaro. Then in 2008 news came about the Pontiac G8 ($40000 for the most expensive version), a rear wheel drive Holden inspired machine (quite nice to drive actually) they finally began selling them and a little over a year later the news came out that Pontiac was going to be no more. Botom line here is they keep ignoring the market for an affordable rear wheel drive car.

So on that what are we looking at for a recent track record? Hesitation, hesitation, lack of innovation. An these are the people who are going to re-invent? So far it seems like the management of GM needs to be "re-invented" but unfortunately we're in a culture where the management of a company who failed gets paid for doing wrong. Now I'm all for keeping GM and Chrysler in business but the people in charge need to be replaced with people who can make affordable, RELIABLE and fun cars, people like those at toyota.

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