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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINN0827236920080708?rpc=44&sp=true

NOTE: This e-mail was sent on June 27 but did not widely circulate until this week because of the company's early July shutdown.

DETROIT, July 8 (Reuters) - Following is the text of an e-mail from General Motors Corp Chief Executive Richard Wagoner to managers on the automaker's efforts to develop plans to cut costs and improve its cash position.


GM Leaders:

Like each of you, I see a steady stream of media coverage and receive lots of questions about the continued challenges that GM and all automakers in the U.S. are facing. The rapid rise in fuel prices and change in auto industry sales mix have made market and economic conditions very challenging. We're responding quickly and aggressively with a steady stream of actions to better position GM for sustainable profitability and growth, including:

A new global compact car program for Chevrolet, a next generation for the popular Chevy Aveo, and a high efficiency engine module for the U.S. market.

Funding for production of the Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle.

Addition of third shifts to our plants in Lordstown, Ohio and Orion, Michigan which build hot-selling Chevy and Pontiac cars.

Cessation of production at four plants that build pickups, SUVs and medium-duty trucks.

A strategic review of the Hummer brand.

Beyond these initiatives, our GMNA team continues to develop further action plans to optimize our operating structure under these new market conditions, improve our cash and funding position and keep our key product and technology investments on track.

While sales conditions in the U.S. are tough, it's important to remember that we're producing the best vehicles we've ever built. We're demonstrating our ability to anticipate consumer demand, with 11 of GM's 13 latest U.S. product launches, and 18 of our next 19 launches, cars and crossovers. We continue to develop and bring to market advanced propulsion technologies that respond to higher energy prices. And, while all this hard work goes on in the U.S., GM's demonstrated ability to win in the rapidly growing emerging markets continues to be an important factor in our future growth and success.

I've been asked frequently by employees, "What can I do to help in these challenging times?" As simple as it sounds, what helps most is for each of us to stay focused on our jobs, and especially on what each of us can do to conserve and generate cash. And just as important, I encourage you to be positive about the future of our enterprise.

Thanks for your ongoing support as we deal proactively and aggressively with the challenging conditions in the U.S. market. Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My local newspaper has a half page article on GM and all of its brand problems.

Under that article is a photo of a Toyota Prius and its future solar-powered a/c option.

We're getting killed here.
 

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GM will get leaner and meaner. The new global small cars will come to the
USA and be competitive with the Japanese offerings. Big advances in
fuel efficiency are around the corner. Yes, the next two plus years might
be very challenging for the entire automobile industry, however GM's efforts
in the past few years indicate a penchant to produce very well designed and
engineered vehicles. They just need to continue to execute and bring the
Volt as advertised, along with the replacement Cobalt and upcoming improved
Aveo and Beat with the proper drive trains that consumers now demand.
 

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My local newspaper has a half page article on GM and all of its brand problems.

Under that article is a photo of a Toyota Prius and its future solar-powered a/c option.

We're getting killed here.
Did it mention that those solar panels would only be able to partially power the A/C? Because that's all it will do. Chevy needs to get the Volt to Paris, and October might be late.

I'd say its time for GM to have its own autoshow at Renaissance Center, call it GM Futurama (like they used to). Show off the new Volt, the new Cobalt (Curve or whatever it's going to be called), as well as whatever new fuel cell concept GM can cook up shortly.
 

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Did it mention that those solar panels would only be able to partially power the A/C? Because that's all it will do.
Something is better than nothing. Right? That's a rhetorical question.

Furthermore, you don't know what's going on with technology. Who knows exactly what percentage it's going to power? Maybe it'll handle ALL the A/C responsibilities. The point is, they're working on it...
 

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My local newspaper has a half page article on GM and all of its brand problems.

Under that article is a photo of a Toyota Prius and its future solar-powered a/c option.

We're getting killed here.
At least half the the negativity concerning GM of late looks very much like an orchestrated propaganda attack.

That in turn, leverages up the other half.

Great memo by Mr. Wagoner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did it mention that those solar panels would only be able to partially power the A/C? Because that's all it will do. Chevy needs to get the Volt to Paris, and October might be late.
Article quote:

(Photo)

TOKYO - Toyota's ecological Prius gas-electric hybrid will become even greener next year with solar-powered air conditioning on some high-end models, Japan's major business newspaper reported yesterday.

The solar panels on the roof of the new Prius model will provide 2 to 5 kilowatts of electricity, The Nikkei said in a report without citing sources. Toyota Motor Corp. plans to purchase the panels from Japanese electronics maker Kyocera Corp., the newspaper said.

Adding solar panels to a model targeting mass consumers would mark a first for a major automaker, The Nikkei said.

Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco declined to comment, saying the company doesn't comment on product plans.

A Toyota official, speaking on condition of anonymity, has said details on what will be a third-generation Prius will likely be revealed in May 2009.
 

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Article quote:... Adding solar panels to a model targeting mass consumers would mark a first for a major automaker, The Nikkei said.
This is what Toyota really cares about. Who cares that the solar panels may provide PARTIAL power to ONLY the a/c, which likely isn't used 100% of driving time?

This has a tremendous public relations push for Toyota in the minds of (misinformed) consumers, which is the majority including the press. Even if you can see through this "gimmic", GM needs a lot of help right now and positive PR is just a part of it.

Rick's email was just a pep talk and I get the impression that he even thinks things are pretty grim.
 

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Didn't realize the Aveo was "popular". Hmmp.
Learn something new everyday!
 

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What's the big deal about solar powered A/C? It's a band-aid for a soon-to-outdated design.

How bout this... put panels on the roof of your house and power THE WHOLE CAR by solar.
You could do that on a Volt... on a Prius, not so much.
 

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I think the solar panels are a nice gesture, but we all know that it's just that... a gesture.

Besides, Cadillac Provoq was introduced with solar panels, wasn't it. What would it take to get a hybrid SRX with a solar panel option???
Come on GM... THINK OUTSIDE DA DAMN BOX!!!
 

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Did it mention that those solar panels would only be able to partially power the A/C? Because that's all it will do.
Alas, that's not the point. The real purpose of those panels is to strengthen the public's perception that Toyota is on the cutting edge of being green.
 

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My local newspaper has a half page article on GM and all of its brand problems.

Under that article is a photo of a Toyota Prius and its future solar-powered a/c option.
does anyone know how much the prius is going to go up in cost because of these solar panels?
 

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Article quote:

(Photo)

TOKYO - The solar panels on the roof of the new Prius model will provide 2 to 5 kilowatts of electricity, The Nikkei said in a report without citing sources. Toyota Motor Corp. plans to purchase the panels from Japanese electronics maker Kyocera Corp., the newspaper said.
QUOTE]

And how many years will it take of running the AC to pay off the (guestimated) $1500 up front cost?

Of couse this will be just another "greenie" thing for the Calif. celebs to show off....and for so called auto "journalists" to rant and rave about.

PR and nothing more.
 

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Sheesh. Typical "Battelship in a bath tub" mentality.

The ship needs quick turning.

Make Attractive - Quality vehicles that the public wants.

Get off the Trcuk-SUV Behemoth bandwagon. (Hopefully the production cuts and plant closures will start this in the right direction.)

However, remember who makes the company. Your employees have been loyal to a fault. Remember their contributions and how they have supported you.

That is one issue I have is not looking at converting many of these plants slated for closure into facilities making what is needed in today's market!

Tough pills to swallow, but something needed.
 

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The solar panels on the roof of the new Prius model will provide 2 to 5 kilowatts of electricity, The Nikkei said in a report without citing sources.
I love the "without citing sources" bit.
Even if you covered the entire top surface of a Prius with solar panels, you wouldn't get 2 to 5 kW of electricity.
Length = 4.445 meters
Width = 1.725 meters
--> Area = 7.668 meters^2
A solar panel creates roughly .170 kilowatts/meter^2
7.668 * .170 = 1.304 kilowatts

I would have believed it if they said 0.2 to 0.5 kilowatts for roof solar panels.
 

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Didn't realize the Aveo was "popular". Hmmp.
Learn something new everyday!
I see at least one in every 2 rows of cars in my company's parking garage. Lots of apparently newly-bought used ones, 2004-6 models with paper plates, that kind of thing, so it wouldn't just be reflected in new car sales.

The buyers take appalling care of them -- one looks like it was bought used and never washed before leaving wherever it was bought from, with weeks more grime on it now, not to mention the array of dents the Aveo owners seem to heap on them. They're being treated like "winter beaters" despite it being summer. I guess you could call them Sipper Beaters.

Meanwhile, the "for sale by owner" lots not far from me are packed to the gills with big trucks and SUVs. No cars left except maybe a sports car or two.
 

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What hot-selling Pontiacs? I wish.

Too bad one of those actions don't include Rick's and the Board of Fools' resignation.
 

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Thanks for your ongoing support as we deal proactively and aggressively with the challenging conditions in the U.S. market. Rick
With all due respect, I must disagree. Rick is not dealing "proactively", but rather "reactively".

"Reactive" is dealing with the stimuli after it occurs. "Proactive" means recognizing the potential for a risk, and putting in place a strategy to mitigate the impact of the risk before it occurs. GM did not do this - and IMHO it's a bit dishonest for them to say that they have.
 
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