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Link: http://gmfactsandfiction.com/

New site aims to clarify misconceptions about the company.

DETROIT - GM announced today the launch of a new Web site designed to make a distinction between the facts and rumors surrounding the company.

The site, GMFactsandFiction.com, utilizes a conversational and direct style to help clarify many misconceptions people may have about GM. Facts and Fiction is intended to be a resource for anyone looking for more information on recent news and announcements about the company.

GMFactsandFiction.com is organized by sections containing a myth and GM's response to each one. Visitors can also e-mail information they hear about GM and request that the issue be addressed on the site.

The site can be accessed via www.gmfactsandfiction.com, or on the GM FastLane Blog (http://fastlane.gmblogs.com).

Highlights from website:

Myth: GM no longer matters to the U.S. or its economy.

Fact: The U.S. auto industry still generates more employment, annual economic output, exports, and retail business than any other industry. It directly employs a quarter of a million people, and supports another 5 million Americans at dealerships, suppliers and service providers.

U.S. based carmakers spend more on R&D than any industry – more than $12 billion annually. We also provide healthcare benefits to 2 million Americans, and support nearly 800,000 retirees and spouses with pension benefits.

There is also the matter of national pride. GM is one of a handful of U.S. based manufacturing companies that compete head-to-head with the world’s best in global markets. We are proud that we have become a truly global company, and proud that we are a leader in fast growing markets like China, Brazil and Eastern Europe. We are also proud that American brands like Chevrolet and Cadillac known and admired around the world.

Myth: GM’s biggest problem in North America is its union contracts.

Fact: There is no question that the growth of imports, and of non-unionized U.S. factories owned by overseas competitors, posed a tough challenge for GM and its unions. The only realistic solution was to do what we did — negotiate agreements that narrow this gap.

The most recent GM-UAW agreement, signed in 2007, helps close fundamental competitive gaps with our import competitors, and we anticipate significant savings as we implement the key provisions of the agreement between now and 2010.

GM’s unionized North American factories compete with the best in terms of quality and productivity.

We are confident that a collaborative relationship with our unions continues to be in everyone’s best interest.

Myth: GM has too many brands.

Fact: GM has grouped its 8 U.S. brands into 4 retail channels: Chevrolet, Buick/Pontiac/GMC, Saturn and Cadillac/Saab/Hummer. This allows GM to offer the broad range of choices that customers want, while streamlining product development and back-office operations.

GM has announced a strategic review of the Hummer brand, which will study options ranging from revamping the product portfolio to selling the brand. GM is also using its global operations to develop distinctive new products for its U.S. brands.

Fact is, to continue growth, many carmakers have entered new segments or added new brands as the market has grown and fragmented. The number of brands is not the key, but rather GM’s ability to provide strong products and efficient marketing support for them.

Myth: GM is not moving fast enough.

Fact: Global automakers like GM are among the largest manufacturing companies ever created. GM, for example, builds more than 9 million cars a year in 35 countries, and employs 266,000 people around the world.

Despite its size, GM has made substantial changes in just the past eight years. We now design and develop most of our vehicles globally, and this global expertise has helped create award winning products like the Cadillac CTS, Chevy Malibu, Saturn Aura and Buick Enclave. Our global engineers have also helped GM reclaim its place as a leader in energy saving technologies.

And we have grown rapidly in new markets like China, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

In 2000, just 42% of GM sales were outside the U.S. By 2008, nearly 60% of GM sales were in these fast growing international markets.

Also, keep in mind that the auto business is cyclical. The down cycle in the U.S. market that began in 2006 and sharpened last spring is posing short-term challenges for everyone. Weathering these down cycles and continuing to build for the future is simply part of the business

GM’s strategy is straightforward: Continue to build toward sustainable success, in the U.S. and around the world.

Myth: GM opposes higher fuel economy standards.

Fact: GM fully supports new national corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) standards of 35 mpg by 2020, a dramatic increase of 40% over previous standards. Along with other interested parties, we will work with the government throughout the rulemaking process on details of the new regulation.

GM continues to believe that a single set of tough national fuel economy standards is the best way to focus the industry’s efforts and to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions nationwide.

Article continues at link.
 

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It's great that GM is responding. But what's sad is that they even have to do this! Sometimes I just wonder wtf is wrong with Americans. It's like they WANT to hate GM. They look for reasons to not like them. And what really kills me is everyone is always bitching about outsourcing, and GM is one of the very few American companies that does a huge amount of it's manufacturing, and designing, and engineering here. Apparently that doesn't actually count for anything though.
 

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If the products were truly there or truly coming, and I mean all across the board, and the marketing wasn't pathetic, there wouldn't be a need for this. This website is okay, but it's nothing to brag about or advertise. It's kind of like a political campaign's rebuttal statement--two days from now no one is going to care. Why not make their corporate site a little less corporate and more user friendly, i.e., flashier, hipper, and less old-school? They could share the same information without appearing desperate and defensive... give people more than a "that's nice" feeling about GM, and actually compel them to shop their products.
 

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Great idea!

I will lead some of my GM bashing friends to this site.
Let us know how it works out. I like the simplicity of the site, but I'm skeptical that the import buying public will change its mind based on a GM-sponsored web site. To many of these people, they simply don't want an American car, regardless of quality, price, economy, style, etc. Shame they don't understand economics.
 

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Is that correct? GM can't sell vehicles in Japan because they are not a Japanese company?? If that's true, let's kick out Toyota, Honda, and Nissan out of this country ASAP!!
 

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The most compelling counter-argument to many of the claims addressed on the site is to develop a cohesive business plan and pursue it; in other words, prove it.

GM still has work to do, but when it does, the above site will be unnecessary.
 

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Myth: GM no longer matters to the U.S. or its economy.
Of course it does. Despite its shrinking size, GM still has a sizable impact in the value chain/web. That's just sheer size talking.

Myth: GM’s biggest problem in North America is its union contracts.

Fact: There is no question that the growth of imports, and of non-unionized U.S. factories owned by overseas competitors, posed a tough challenge for GM and its unions. The only realistic solution was to do what we did — negotiate agreements that narrow this gap.
That's a roundabout way of saying, "Yes, union contracts are our biggest problems."

GM’s unionized North American factories compete with the best in terms of quality and productivity.
A courtesy plug to the UAW?

Myth: GM has too many brands.
Yes it does.
If only GM managed them properly, GM could have 35 different brands, and they would still be effective. But as GM mismanages the majority of its brands, then yes 8 brands is too much.

Fact: GM has grouped its 8 U.S. brands into 4 retail channels: Chevrolet, Buick/Pontiac/GMC, Saturn and Cadillac/Saab/Hummer. This allows GM to offer the broad range of choices that customers want, while streamlining product development and back-office operations.
This doesn't answer the statement "GM has too many brands."
This just shows that "Despite having many brands, we at GM have managed to consolidate them into somewhat similar yet disparate retail channels."

GM has announced a strategic review of the Hummer brand, which will study options ranging from revamping the product portfolio to selling the brand. GM is also using its global operations to develop distinctive new products for its U.S. brands.
So, GM does in fact have a lot of brands, and GM has now identified one that can simply "go away."
And despite the fact we are trying to get rid of a brand, we have a some exciting new products being developed for the brands that do remain. That's a statement which still doesn't answer the initial statement, "GM has too many Brands."

Fact is, to continue growth, many carmakers have entered new segments or added new brands as the market has grown and fragmented. The number of brands is not the key, but rather GM’s ability to provide strong products and efficient marketing support for them.
But GM has failed to provide strong products and efficient marketing to support the new products.
What this statement has shown is that despite GM having 8 brands, GM has failed to refocus the brands towards new markets and market segments as the markets and segments grow and fracture.

Myth: GM is not moving fast enough.

Fact: Global automakers like GM are among the largest manufacturing companies ever created. GM, for example, builds more than 9 million cars a year in 35 countries, and employs 266,000 people around the world.

Despite its size, GM has made substantial changes in just the past eight years. We now design and develop most of our vehicles globally, and this global expertise has helped create award winning products like the Cadillac CTS, Chevy Malibu, Saturn Aura and Buick Enclave. Our global engineers have also helped GM reclaim its place as a leader in energy saving technologies.
Once again, GM points to its ONLY successes in 8 years of trying.
If GM is "moving quickly," can GM explain why ancient cars like Impala, DTS, Lucerne, Grand Prix, are allowed to continue without replacement?

GM might now design and develop vehicles globally, but what products are actually out there? G8?
There is a veritable chasm between what GM says and what GM does. In 5 years, we'll actually see product design and developed in such a manner in substantial numbers. But until then? It's pretty much status quo at GM.

And we have grown rapidly in new markets like China, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Which answers a question about international expansion, not "moving fast."

Also, keep in mind that the auto business is cyclical. The down cycle in the U.S. market that began in 2006 and sharpened last spring is posing short-term challenges for everyone. Weathering these down cycles and continuing to build for the future is simply part of the business
And because GM sold off non-cyclical businesses, GM is now fully exposed to the cyclical nature of the industry and quite susceptible.

GM’s strategy is straightforward: Continue to build toward sustainable success, in the U.S. and around the world.
US? I thought GM's focus was more on international market, as GM has identified them as a better source of cash. GM has essentially ceded the home market to everyone else.
Hardly sustainable.
Plus, the unbelievable perception gaffe GM caused in China with Buick by offering cheapo Buicks to gain more sales, only to completely lose the high end market because Chinese buyers were appalled at buying Buicks that was affordable by the peons.

GM's strategy remains the same. Sell more cars any way possible. No matter what.
GM doesn't know the market.
GM doesn't know the customer.
GM doesn't influence the market.

Myth: GM opposes higher fuel economy standards.

Fact: GM fully supports new national corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) standards of 35 mpg by 2020, a dramatic increase of 40% over previous standards. Along with other interested parties, we will work with the government throughout the rulemaking process on details of the new regulation.

GM continues to believe that a single set of tough national fuel economy standards is the best way to focus the industry’s efforts and to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions nationwide.
Then put a muzzle on Bob Lutz and tell him to S T F U!!!!!
If GM truly didn't oppose higher fuel economy, then they would have put out a press release stating, "We fully back CAFE."
You just got to love that first paragraph. "We will work with the government throughout the rulemaking process." Read: We will try to influence the government to put in as many loopholes as possible so we can continue to sell our big profitable SUV's because we need cash and Americans will continue to be dumb and buy SUV's once gas prices fall again.

And as for that last paragraph, ain't that a casual backhanded slap at CA or what?
 

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The most compelling counter-argument to many of the claims addressed on the site is to develop a cohesive business plan and pursue it; in other words, prove it.

GM still has work to do, but when it does, the above site will be unnecessary.
Exactly.

I like the myth about GM has too many brands. While they say they don't, GM certainly has WAY too many models. Every brand shouldn't have a similar mid-sized car or cross-over. Eliminate the similar products so that each brand offers a distinct product - even if it means two or three models.
 

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GM Starts Web Site to Counter `Myths' on Weaknesses

GM Starts Web Site to Counter `Myths' on Weaknesses

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., battling speculation about bankruptcy after $18.7 billion in losses this year, introduced a Web site today to counter ``myths'' about the company.

GM uses the site, http://www.gmfactsandfiction.com, to present its case for a federally backed loan, rejecting the notion of a ``government bailout,'' and to cite U.S. statistics showing its vehicles match imported models' fuel efficiency.

``We are not resting on our success,'' Detroit-based GM said on the site. ``We are working to further improve the fuel economy of every new vehicle we build.''

Singling out perceived weaknesses allows GM to respond to critics questioning whether Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner can restore profit after $69.8 billion in losses since 2004. GM may be overtaken this year by Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's largest automaker.

``This runs the risk of backfiring by making the myth more salient than the factual correction,'' said Zakary Tormala, associate professor of marketing at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business in Palo Alto, California. ``It's often a better strategy to focus on what you want people to believe than what they don't want people to believe.''

Among the so-called myths rebutted by GM are assertions that it has too many brands, isn't ``moving fast enough'' in its turnaround, is working with oil companies to suppress fuel- saving technologies, and can't profit by focusing on sales of cars instead of trucks.

``GM has a robust plan for weathering the downturn in the U.S. market,'' the automaker said, referring to efforts to increase liquidity by at least $15 billion by the end of 2009 through cost cuts and asset sales. ``GM is not considering bankruptcy protection.''

The Web site includes an area for visitors to ``submit a myth'' and commentary from U.S.-based spokesmen.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a10i4qn_EFUE
 

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Is that correct? GM can't sell vehicles in Japan because they are not a Japanese company?? If that's true, let's kick out Toyota, Honda, and Nissan out of this country ASAP!!
Yes and no.
GM's statement isn't fully correct.

GM can in fact sell cars in Japan.
But following Japanese business rules is a costly venture, and GM is not willing to invest the time and money it takes to establish a foothold in Japan, especially for sales that barely crack 10,000.

The problem ultimately circles back to product.
GM doesn't have attractive product for the Japanese market, which is highly nationalistic, a stickler for smart design and aesthetics, and have incredibly narrow roads.

American compact cars like Cavalier or Cobalt didn't/don't have the necessary design aesthetics, options, and amenities necessary to compete in Japan. Nor does it have an extensive accessory market to customize the car. Nor does it have the reputation for quality.

GM's best chance is with Saab and Cadillac and HUMMER -- GM's image cars. Sell the premium American image. But GM would be wary because the Japanese market is a lock for Mercedes and BMW. Even Lexus itself has issues cracking that market.

So... GM just abandons the Japanese market because it's just too tough a nut to crack. And GM just doesn't have the funds to get it done properly.
 

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MYTH: GM is not actively pursuing energy saving technologies

FACT:

GM sells cars and trucks in every major market in the world, and it is clear to us that oil alone cannot fuel the world’s rapidly growing vehicle fleet. That’s why our advanced propulsion strategy includes many solutions.

These include:

* Improved internal combustion powertrains, which can squeeze more miles from each gallon of gasoline or diesel;
* Flex-fuel vehicles and investments in advanced biofuels;
* Rapidly expanding our fleet of hybrid vehicles;
* Electrically-driven vehicles like the Chevy Volt, which is scheduled to go into production in 2010
* Advanced fuel cell vehicles, which are currently undergoing fleet tests.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Different countries and different customers will require different solutions. We are committed to being a global leader in providing these solutions.

GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner outlined this strategy at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto show.

HEH...
Of course GM is actively pursuing energy saving technologies!!!
They have BAS, BAS+, 2Mode, BioPower, FlexFuel, EFlex!!
It's all there.

The fact really is: "GM isn't actively deploying energy saving technologies across the board."

MYTH: GM didn’t anticipate the growing demand for fuel efficient cars

FACT
Early this decade, GM put a major focus on improving its cars and expanding the number of crossover vehicles that it offers. As a result, of the last 13 new GM products introduced in the U.S. 11 have been cars or crossovers. Of the next 19 launches, 18 will be cars or crossovers.

Cars like the Saturn Aura, Chevy Malibu and Cadillac CTS have won major awards and are selling well in a very tough market. GM is also the only U.S.-based company to offer a subcompact car, the Chevy Aveo.
Oh good grief!!!
The trend towards fuel efficient vehicles started in the 1970's!!!
The continued growth of cars like Corolla, Civic, Sentra, Altima, Jetta, Golf, Rabbit, over that period of time IS THE TREND!!!

And only NOW these cars are coming to light??

Sorry GM. The evidence does not point in your favor.

MYTH: GM can’t make money selling cars

FACT
Larger vehicles traditionally meant larger profits, which is why almost every carmaker –- domestic and import -– rapidly expanded production of trucks, SUVs and luxury vehicles over the past decade.

Well before the recent dive in truck sales, GM was moving to increase the profitability of its cars and crossovers.
Yes. That is very true.
Before the truck and SUV collapse, GM was planning on increasing the number of new cars and shift focus on them rather than trucks.
We know Wagoner's strategy was to get GMT900 out the door because it made more cash faster for GM. And to a point, that was a smart strategy.

BUT.... The real fact here is..... See Myths, "GM is not movign fast enough" and "GM didn’t anticipate the growing demand for fuel efficient cars."
 

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my favorite;

GM killed the successful EV-1 electric car program

FactThe EV-1 program ended due to the lack of suitable batteries. Although many people said they wanted an electric car, when faced with a range of 80 miles or less between overnight recharges, most went elsewhere. Other carmakers’ EV programs of that era met a similar fate – the batteries weren’t ready for prime time.

Because of legal requirements to provide warranty service and spare parts, GM could not leave the vehicles in service once the leases had ended.

However, the EV-1 became the foundation for future electric vehicle programs at GM. These programs have led to increasingly practical fuel cell vehicles and the revolutionary Chevy Volt.
 

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Re: GM Starts Web Site to Counter `Myths' on Weaknesses

GM uses the site, http://www.gmfactsandfiction.com, to present its case for a federally backed loan, rejecting the notion of a ``government bailout,'' and to cite U.S. statistics showing its vehicles match imported models' fuel efficiency.
If you read the whole list there is a little bit of Knee bone not exactly connected to the thigh bone going on...

On some of the older entries they dispel the myths that GM can't make money on cars, that GM's cars aren't competitive, that GM cars get bad mileage, that GM cars use old technology, and that no one wants a GM car...

So I ask if the cars are competitive, are efficient, are profitable, are technologically up to date, and are selling like hot cakes... Why do we need a loan to make them more competitive, more efficient and more technically advanced?

They also don't answer who pays if GM defaults on the loan? If they default... do we call it a bailout then?
No we don't then we call it a "failed bailout"
 

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Re: GM Starts Web Site to Counter `Myths' on Weaknesses

If you read the whole list there is a little bit of Knee bone not exactly connected to the thigh bone going on...

On some of the older entries they dispel the myths that GM can't make money on cars, that GM's cars aren't competitive, that GM cars get bad mileage, that GM cars use old technology, and that no one wants a GM car...

So I ask if the cars are competitive, are efficient, are profitable, are technologically up to date, and are selling like hot cakes... Why do we need a loan to make them more competitive, more efficient and more technically advanced?
heh heh heh
Glad I'm not the only one who noticed.
 

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It's just plain SAD GM has to resort to a site such as this in the first place! Had they been competitive from the get-go with the proper, quality made products to start with, they'd never feel like they had to tell people they arn't going to fold....:(
 

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The problem ultimately circles back to product. GM doesn't have attractive product for the Japanese market, which is highly nationalistic, a stickler for smart design and aesthetics, and have incredibly narrow roads.
Yeah and my 4 yrs experience tells me the Japanese are the most Xenophobic on the planet. It wouldn't matter that GM sold the most attractive, affordable, smartest design, best athstetics, for the most narrow roads and they still would not buy them. besides the EV-1 should have been a hit there if they could have been able to sell there!
 

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Re: GM Starts Web Site to Counter `Myths' on Weaknesses

So I ask if the cars are competitive, are efficient, are profitable, are technologically up to date, and are selling like hot cakes... Why do we need a loan to make them more competitive, more efficient and more technically advanced?
For the same reason that you probably need a mortgage for a house and a loan to buy a car, even if you have a good education and decent job.

Most people and companies are not sitting on mountains of cash to use to buy and invest in things they need today, whether it be a house, car, assembly plant, or R&D in new technologies like batteries, fuel cells, etc.

GM is no different than Ford, Toyota, or you in this regard. If they can manage a sweet-heart deal with the government for this type of loan, I see it as no different than someone shopping around for the best rate on a mortgage or car loan.
 

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Yeah and my 4 yrs experience tells me the Japanese are the most Xenophobic on the planet. It wouldn't matter that GM sold the most attractive, affordable, smartest design, best athstetics, for the most narrow roads and they still would not buy them. besides the EV-1 should have been a hit there if they could have been able to sell there!
Not necessarily Xenophobic... but nationalistic.
Actually, it would matter if GM did exactly that (see bold above).

The Japanese like that smart design and that "something new" and "attractive." They are very into fashion and details and smart style. That's why Pontiac did quite well for a while, with their edgy, brash styling. It was something that was new and unique and not present in Japan.

That's why in my post, the best GM's with a chance are the image cars -- Cadillac, Saab, and HUMMER.

The Japanese market is NOT impenetrable. Companies just need to take the time to market and attack the market in systematic ways. It is costly to do so; I don't belie that fact. but it can be done. And it has been done.

Who would have thought Apple would upset the market leader Sony in its home market? But they did!!
 
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