Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

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Thread: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

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    GMI Canada Editor Premium Member ne_one's Avatar
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    Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla
    Automotive News
    October 2, 2013
    by Ben Klayman & Rory Carroll & Paul Lienert

    In Wall Street's retelling of the biblical Book of Samuel, General Motors Co. is Goliath and electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is David, the would-be giant slayer.

    Tesla's market value has soared 470 percent this year to $23 billion, while GM has risen a relatively modest 25 percent to $50 billion. At this pace, if the bubble doesn't burst, 10-year-old Tesla theoretically could eclipse 105-year-old GM next year (Tesla shares fell 6.2 percent to $180.95 today).

    Faced with this prospect, GM CEO Dan Akerson and Vice Chairman Steve Girsky assembled an internal task force to study Tesla's playbook, test-drive its best-selling Model S and figure out what lessons might be applied. Dubbed "Team Tesla," the group included members from product planning, engineering, manufacturing and sales.

    "History is littered with companies that knew what was coming and couldn't do anything about it," Girsky, 51, said in an interview in New York last week. "We can ignore it and cover it up, or we can figure out what we're going to do about it."

    "Tesla could teach GM how to 'small' a problem rather than 'big' a problem," said Matthew Stover, auto analyst for Guggenheim Securities. "They've done that well -- solve problems quickly with a small group of people."

    Full article at link.

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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    Quote Originally Posted by ne_one View Post
    "Tesla could teach GM how to 'small' a problem rather than 'big' a problem," said Matthew Stover, auto analyst for Guggenheim Securities. "They've done that well -- solve problems quickly with a small group of people."
    Well, that's how Silicon Valley works. Small groups and impressive speed.
    GM is still too big and still too immobile.

    GM has the technology to do this.

    But as I've said before, a pure electric car of 200+ mile range will NEVER materialize because of internal politics -- namely the Voltec program.

    Is GM going to take a multi-billion dollar hit on that program in order to go full electric?
    Or is GM going to a multi-pronged approach -- hybrid, plug-in hybrid, Voltec, AND full electric? Which is also quite stupid.


    GM is stuck (again) between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    Its good to study Tesla, but lets not get out of hand in terms of the success Tesla has had. Stock price isnt the same as selling cars. Tesla is tiny compared to companies like Mazda, much less GM, Ford, Toyota. Tesla gets about as much media attention as those companies in spite of selling a few hundred cars a month. Its a bit ridiculous. I also like the stories that noted the model S is outperforming cars like the S class and 7 series that dont mention those cars cost more and are several years old.

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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    I can jump in a Chevy Volt and drive from New York to L.A. right now. After my batteries run out, I have a limitless range with the gasoline back-up. If I was driving a Tesla, I probably wouldn't make it out of the state of New York. I would then be stuck on the side of the road, looking for a place to plug in and recharge. While the 200 mile range of the Tesla is impressive, for the near future, Voltec is the way to go. So GM is smart to cover both bases. The uninformed keep referring to the Volt as having a 300 mile range. No, actually the Volt has a limitless range, just like any other gas powered car. Just fill the tank at ANY gas station and keep going. Can't do that with a Tesla, or any other electric car. Maybe in 10 years, but not now.

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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    Quote Originally Posted by mgescuro View Post
    Well, that's how Silicon Valley works. Small groups and impressive speed.
    GM is still too big and still too immobile.

    GM has the technology to do this.

    But as I've said before, a pure electric car of 200+ mile range will NEVER materialize because of internal politics -- namely the Voltec program.

    Is GM going to take a multi-billion dollar hit on that program in order to go full electric?
    Or is GM going to a multi-pronged approach -- hybrid, plug-in hybrid, Voltec, AND full electric? Which is also quite stupid.


    GM is stuck (again) between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
    I'd take that bet any day of the week and Sunday. It's only a matter of time before every manufacturer including GM has a 200-mile EV.
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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdaddy View Post
    I can jump in a Chevy Volt and drive from New York to L.A. right now. After my batteries run out, I have a limitless range with the gasoline back-up. If I was driving a Tesla, I probably wouldn't make it out of the state of New York. I would then be stuck on the side of the road, looking for a place to plug in and recharge. While the 200 mile range of the Tesla is impressive, for the near future, Voltec is the way to go. So GM is smart to cover both bases. The uninformed keep referring to the Volt as having a 300 mile range. No, actually the Volt has a limitless range, just like any other gas powered car. Just fill the tank at ANY gas station and keep going. Can't do that with a Tesla, or any other electric car. Maybe in 10 years, but not now.
    Were it not for the gas stations you would have to go to "recharge" your fuel tank, your Volt would be in a similar situation.

    Let's not forget that all vehicles periodically need to recharge its energy packs...
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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    The big thing that's the problem is not focusing on Sales/Marketing element. If not even considering it,the whole "look" is a total waste of time.

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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    I think Tesla is riding an irrational bubble that at some time will float back down to earth and burst. Tesla has not made a dime selling cars, what they have done is sell carbon credits. Not a realistic business model.

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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    Quote Originally Posted by Car253 View Post
    I think Tesla is riding an irrational bubble that at some time will float back down to earth and burst. Tesla has not made a dime selling cars, what they have done is sell carbon credits. Not a realistic business model.
    +1. Twenty years since the Japanese took over the mid-size sedan segment, the largest in the country, GM hasn't done anything to match them. Sales are going in the opposite direction. The Malibu is getting killed in retail sales. They should have a "Team Accord" or "Team Camry" to stop this embarrassment. If I were GM, I would build a sexy sedan based on LWB Epsilon, as big and long as the Lacrosse but smaller than the Impala. A Model S or Lexus GS style rear treatment, standard LEDs, polished rims and hi tech goodies, a cool alphanumeric name, two grand over the Malibu but cheaper than the Impala. Chevrolet should make a car that that people aspire towards owning, not one that people try to avoid at the rental counter.

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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    They're making a huge deal of a small issue. What is there to study? The car's architecture is simple, elegant, and smartly designed all around, and has an impressive high tech interior. The industry would have gotten there eventually- Tesla just did it first. Does anyone really think that putting giant screens inside is so revolutionary? It's not, but the industry as a whole moves at a snail's pace, increasing screen sizes a quarter of an inch every year. If you're new and trying to catch people's attention you're going to have to leap over the others. Only GM/Toyota/Nissan would be so slow to come up with electric cars with laughable ranges. Tesla does one thing and it does it well. The others do a million things so so. What's so special about selling cars in malls? Have people already forgotten about Saturn? Usually it doesn't work. It works for Tesla because they don't have traditional dealerships. Could the big companies come up with a car like Tesla at the same price? Sure, but it would have been very risky. GM can do no right in the eyes of the media and public. A Tesla-like Cadillac would have been rejected immediately by the mainstream "too expensive" "too much technology" "pointless" "too fast". A Licksus could have worked because Toyoduh can do no wrong. If GM wants to learn from Tesla success, they shouldn't dissect Teslas but think how to leap over Tesla and then figure out a way to get it done- fast.

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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    Quote Originally Posted by GMOwner View Post
    Were it not for the gas stations you would have to go to "recharge" your fuel tank, your Volt would be in a similar situation.

    Let's not forget that all vehicles periodically need to recharge its energy packs...
    But there ARE gas stations. And even if there were suddenly charging ports at each of these energy stations, could you recharge your Tesla in less than 5 minutes?
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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    I just love this quote - and hopeful
    This source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the task force and its work, said: "The fact that GM is studying Tesla should flatter Elon Musk, but it should also scare the sh-t out of him. When you wake up the sleeping giant, look out."

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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdaddy View Post
    I can jump in a Chevy Volt and drive from New York to L.A. right now. After my batteries run out, I have a limitless range with the gasoline back-up. If I was driving a Tesla, I probably wouldn't make it out of the state of New York. I would then be stuck on the side of the road, looking for a place to plug in and recharge.....
    That's not fair. A Tesla has that same limitless range.....on the back of a tow truck.
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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    Quote Originally Posted by mgescuro View Post
    Or is GM going to a multi-pronged approach -- hybrid, plug-in hybrid, Voltec, AND full electric? Which is also quite stupid.
    Why, again, is this stupid? That anti-variety mindset is the same that had GM reduce it's FULL-coverage-of-the-market divisions to ONE offering with different badges.

    The market has been diversifying for the better part of 20 years. WHY on earth would any major OEM not exploit that fact for as many sales as possible?

    GM could destroy Tesla if it really wanted to. (And I wish it would)


    GM is stuck (again) between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
    Of course they are. That's where the media, Wall Street and 50% of the public wants them. They've needed a reason to beat on GM for a while now.

    Generally, every time GM really innovates, they get attacked (EX: The Corvair, the Fiero, trucks, the Volt).

    The MYTH of Tesla success just provides perfect fodder for the next round of beatings, IMO.

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    Re: Goliath GM takes a close look at the auto industry's David, Tesla

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaz_23 View Post
    GM can do no right in the eyes of the media and public. A Tesla-like Cadillac would have been rejected immediately by the mainstream "too expensive" "too much technology" "pointless" "too fast". A Licksus could have worked because Toyoduh can do no wrong. If GM wants to learn from Tesla success, they shouldn't dissect Teslas but think how to leap over Tesla and then figure out a way to get it done- fast.
    TOO MUCH TRUTH in that statement.

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