Should Rick be blamed for this?

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Thread: Should Rick be blamed for this?

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    Should Rick be blamed for this?

    Does anyone think that Rick Wagoner and his obsession with gas-guzzling SUVs were the major contributing factor behind giving Pontiac the terminal illness it had right before decided to pull the plug?

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dane2 View Post
    Does anyone think that Rick Wagoner and his obsession with gas-guzzling SUVs were the major contributing factor behind giving Pontiac the terminal illness it had right before decided to pull the plug?
    Did Rick Wagoner buy all those gas-guzzling suv's? Oh, and Pontiac has been a broken brand for 30 years.

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    George Bush was blamed for everything wrong in America, so, sure, we can blame Rick Wagoner for Pontiac's demise.

    In honesty, like bejeweled mentioned, Pontiac was broken before Rick came in. I do not believe that the push for SUVs hurt Pontiac any worse than it hurt the other GM brands (even the ones still around). Pontiac, in today's GM, could have possibly continued with very specialized product such as the Solstice and G8.
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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    The push for SUVs was long before Rick took helm. Pontiac was also dead long before he was appointed.

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dane2 View Post
    Does anyone think that Rick Wagoner and his obsession with gas-guzzling SUVs were the major contributing factor behind giving Pontiac the terminal illness it had right before decided to pull the plug?
    The "obsession" was with making a profit, not big SUV's, the big SUV was only way they could get enough $$$ per vehicle to absorb the costs (cough-cough big-labor cough-cough).

    GM couldn't make money selling beige Pontiac 6000 Wagons with brown vinyl bench seats, (my uncle owned one) much less ones nice enough that someone would want to drive, so they stopped.

    If anyone thinks I'm being harsh and "anti-union" see GM Orion Plant and its new "viable" wage structure for a small car, even after circle-slashing all their old legacy debt, (bankruptcy) they still can't make money on a small car without drastically reducing the labor cost.

    And to be completely fair, CAFE had its part in pushing America to the SUV, but once GM finally realized, they made quick-work, turning trucks into people-movers. The S-10 and Full-Size Blazer were but a novelty (only came in 2-Door) in the late 80's (just stretched the wheel-base and add 2 more doors) boy the 1st Gen 4-doors were so ugly.........

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    Dropping all those legacy names like Bonneville, Grand Prix, etc. for those dumb alpha
    names sure didn't help...............Same deal with Buick!

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonjaab View Post
    Dropping all those legacy names like Bonneville, Grand Prix, etc. for those dumb alpha
    names sure didn't help...............Same deal with Buick!
    While I can't disagree the "name-change-gimmick" was lame, it wasn't the problem, it was the cars.........

    For reference, see current generation: Equinox, LaCrosse and Malibu.

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    Rick Wagoner is probably one of the smartest CEO's GM ever had. He just had control of the company at the worst time in its history and was probably a little too reluctant to make the massive changes that were needed. I can't really fault him with much of what other people seem to want to.
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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suziebob View Post
    Rick Wagoner is probably one of the smartest CEO's GM ever had. He just had control of the company at the worst time in its history and was probably a little too reluctant to make the massive changes that were needed. I can't really fault him with much of what other people seem to want to.
    I wouldn't say reluctant as much as he couldn't get Fritz to push the changes as fast as he could have made them. If Fritz and Wagoner managed to get the entire leadership team to go through the restructuring in 5-6 years instead of 10-12, much of it could have put GM in a much better position. Though GM's plan failed due to the unavailability of credit.

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    I am not anti-union, but the fact remains that the UAW won agreements from the big 3 that ultimately were unaffordable in light of rising healthcare costs, retirement costs, wages and other perks that made the companies uncompetitive. This started in 1970 and continued into the early 2000s, when GM began winning back concessions from the union. By the time Rick became CEO, the die was already cast, with the only question being WHEN GM would go under. Without Rick's attempts to straighten things out, the bk would have been several years earlier. Ultimately, old GM failed and went out of business, so blame whom you want, there's plenty of blame to go around, especially from a GM mismanagement standpoint.
    Rick basically became CEO after GM had struck the iceberg and was taking on water, with the only question being when GM sunk out of sight.

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    Evry new car coming to Market today,
    1. Spark
    2. Sail
    3. Cruze
    4. Volt
    5. La Crosse
    6. Regal
    7. Malibu
    8. ATS
    9. CTS


    are all to be blamed on Rick.
    The current management has nothing to show yet.

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    Consider for a second that Rick was the CFO in 1992, and he was the president of North American Operations in 1994, and in 1998 he was named president and chief operating officer.

    So ya, Pontiac was "broken" for over 30 years... And Rick was responsible as the Prez of N/A or COO for 14 of those...

    People who think Rick was "all that" need to get out a calender and truly look at just how long he was at the executive table. He did not start as the CEO in 2005 when the wheels fell off...

    He WAS there to watch Oldsmobile die, He WAS there when they bet the farm on trucks and SUVs, He WAS there for DECADES negotiating with the UAW. He was there to starve Pontiac and Saturn to death. He was there for the Aztek, killing the Camaro & the Firebird, the SSR, he was there for the failed return of the GTO, etc etc etc.

    The POV that he took control of the Titanic right after it had hit the iceberg is not even close to the truth. And what Mulally did over at ford also proved that you CAN save a troubled company, one as big as GM in less then three years. Rick had almost 10 as CEO and was responsible for North America Product for even longer.

    The point of view that he was powerless to change the product polices he inherited as CEO in 2000 is goofy... He had had a DIRECT say in North America product for OVER half a decade BEFORE THAT. How could he reverse the product decisions THAT HE HAD MADE?
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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    wikipedia states:
    After Harvard, he joined GM as an analyst in the treasurer's office. In 1981, he became treasurer of GM's Brazil subsidiary and later served as managing director.
    In 1992, he was named GM's chief financial officer, in 1994 he became executive vice president and/or president of North American Operations, and in 1998 he was named president and chief operating officer.
    After GM lost $30 billion during a single three-year stretch in the early 1990s, Wagoner and Chairman John F. "Jack" Smith Jr. forced GM "back to basics" to battle "30 years of management mistakes" that left him with little room to maneuver.

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2002 Caddy View Post
    Consider for a second that Rick was the CFO in 1992, and he was the president of North American Operations in 1994, and in 1998 he was named president and chief operating officer.

    So ya, Pontiac was "broken" for over 30 years... And Rick was responsible as the Prez of N/A or COO for 14 of those...

    People who think Rick was "all that" need to get out a calender and truly look at just how long he was at the executive table. He did not start as the CEO in 2005 when the wheels fell off...

    He WAS there to watch Oldsmobile die, He WAS there when they bet the farm on trucks and SUVs, He WAS there for DECADES negotiating with the UAW. He was there to starve Pontiac and Saturn to death. He was there for the Aztek, killing the Camaro & the Firebird, the SSR, he was there for the failed return of the GTO, etc etc etc.

    The POV that he took control of the Titanic right after it had hit the iceberg is not even close to the truth. And what Mulally did over at ford also proved that you CAN save a troubled company, one as big as GM in less then three years. Rick had almost 10 as CEO and was responsible for North America Product for even longer.

    The point of view that he was powerless to change the product polices he inherited as CEO in 2000 is goofy... He had had a DIRECT say in North America product for OVER half a decade BEFORE THAT. How could he reverse the product decisions THAT HE HAD MADE?
    You're right. He was there. But he faced the same problems then that he faced as CEO. He couldn't get the apparatus of GM to make the decisions fast enough to save the company.

    I think his life would have been much easier if GM hadn't been on a path to Armageddon for 20 years before his arrival...
    "When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly."
    -George Washington

    "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."
    -Henry Ford

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    Re: Should Rick be blamed for this?

    And if you're wearing chest waders filled with cement, YOU ARE GOING DOWN.
    Does anyone think that the UAW would have voluntarily given up so much to save GM? NO, of course not.
    Without the legacy costs and wages gone, it would have just been more of the same.
    Last edited by Dr.Show-Me; 11-27-2010 at 12:13 PM.

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