Autoblog Link: http://www.autoblog.com/2006/02/16/g...-of-toyohonda/
A rather lengthy editorial posted on GM Inside News by a member named “Ming” suggests that General Motors is unable to win an image battle with “Toyohonda” in the green sector because it insists on pumping its resources into large, inefficient and expensive SUVs rather than smaller, economical, and less expensive passenger cars.
According to Ming, the General’s efforts to raise the mileage of its SUV lineup, while appreciated, will do little to improve its ecological image in the face of Toyota and Honda’s green war machine. GM’s offering of DoD, mild hybrid and FlexFuel technology isn’t necessarily targeted at the thrifty among us, either, which has Ming wondering why the Aveo is still sold with an engine that dates back to the 1990’s Daewoo Lanos.
Would the public have a better perception of GM if it offered a truly competitive small car, possibly even a full-on hybrid like the Prius? Though such vehicles typically earn a smaller profit per unit than a truck or SUV, it's increasingly apparent they play a very significant role in how an automaker is perceived by the public.
Link to the original Commentary here at GMI: https://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/s...threadid=26914
Some Replies to the Autoblog Entry:http://www.autoblog.com/2006/02/16/g...onda/#comments
The main thing killing GM's image when it comes to fuel efficiency (b/c I do know GM people who buy Hondas for the fuel efficiency!) is that their engines are not suited to their cars. GM has no offering that will compete with a corolla or civic. When either can be configured to get 40mpg on the highway (06 corolla manual, 06 civic auto), that ecotec is just outclassed. GM has no good comapct car, period. The MOST fuel efficient car in GM's lineup is a rebadged Toyota Matrix (yes, even better than that crapbox Aveo!!!), pitiful huh?GM builds big trucks and SUVs because that's what customers buy! You can talk perception and philosophy and what the "right thing" to do is, but bottom line, GM and all the other car companies are in business. Businesses with shareholders need to make money. Consumers vote with their wallets, and they vote overwhelmingly in the US for Trucks and SUVs. By a LARGE margin.
It's also interesting that Ming doesn't mention that Toyota has introduced more large, "gas-guzzlers" for volume production in the last few years than any other manufacturer, and the fact that their CAFE numbers (please don't blog about whether CAFE is right or wrong, it's the current measurement) have gone up because of the volume models they are producing consume more gas. Toyota has just done a better job pushing the "green" image of the hybrids they sell and good for them. Consumers should be smart enough to figure out that hybrids are a very small percentage of Toyoya's sales. And why do they push hybrids in the U.S.? Because they can't compete on the diesel side in Europe, and don't want to see diesels catch on in the US as an "alternative energy" vehicle.Maybe things DO change. Toyota engineering is far and away better than GM and GM is getting their asses kicked. GM: downward spiralling sales, constant massive losses, nothing but bad press, a demographic group of loyalists dying off day by day with younger buyers never giving their brands the time of day. Toyota: looking 30 years ahead, working on hybrid power, actually BUILDING hybrid vehicles, concentrating on the needs of the customers and realizing that their business would therefore be taken well care of, constant improvements, etc.