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http://www.forbes.com/2008/11/05/gm-cadillac-chevrolet-markets-cx_jf_1105flint.html?partner=yahootix

People who know nothing about the auto industry get strange ideas. Example: A recent column in the financial section of The New York Times opined that if the government does help General Motors and Chrysler it should be "under the umbrella of bankruptcy." Even more silliness from the Times: "The government could promise to honor the automakers' warranties, squashing widespread fear that few would buy a bankrupt manufacturer's vehicles."

I didn't realize there were people at the Times who never filled out a government form--like an income tax form. Does anyone want to imagine what the form would be like for a car owner to claim a warranty fix, or the many-pages-long form for the dealers to claim reimbursement? I remember one U.S. form where I had to swear I had never been a member of the "Black Dragon Society."

Other "experts" also think that bankruptcy is a good idea because it lets the company chop union contracts. They think that the unions are the big problem--and they are not. I will just note that I was once Detroit bureau chief of The New York Times, and did a stint there as the national labor writer, so I know a bit about labor relations. The auto union is also tough in Germany and wages are high, but the three German automakers are among the most successful in the world.

I cannot think of any automaker that remained viable after filing for bankruptcy. Chapter 11 would devastate GM or any other automaker. No one wants an orphan vehicle. Dealers shut down, owners find it hard to get warranty service and vehicles take a substantial hit in resale or trade-in value. I estimate that General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) would immediately lose half of its remaining market share and that its business would continue to spiral downward from that point.

What would save GM--or any auto company for that matter?

The answer is easy: great products. Of course, if creating and producing great vehicles were so easy, everyone could do it.

The entire auto industry is in the midst of an unusually steep slowdown, but General Motors is struggling more than many of its competitors because of bad decisions that go back decades. Even prior to the current crisis, GM had been losing market share and battling to overcome the perception that people think that its quality and engineering are not up to the foreign competition. Under the circumstances, GM has been unable to sell its cars at a premium; instead, it has had to resort to profit-draining and image-damaging rebates and other sales incentives.

What GM and the other Detroit companies need are exciting and well-engineered new vehicles in order to excite consumers. The problem is that new product costs money--money that Detroit does not have. General Motors does have several great new models, but it needs more of them.

Instead of speeding to the future, General Motors is apparently doing the opposite. We hear GM is delaying a new compact car called the Chevrolet Cruze. This is terrible. Not only does GM need the four-door Cruze, which it has shown to the media, but it needs to expand this architecture and build a two-door model, a convertible and a crossover. It should offer a hybrid version, too.

GM needs a lineup of well-engineered and slick-looking B-size cars to compete in the U.S. against the likes of the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. Ford Motor (nyse: F - news - people ) is preparing to build one, the Fiesta, in Mexico. I vote for a full lineup of GM vehicles in this market segment, and built in North America, too. If Ford can do it, so can GM.

The same goes for plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt, one of the few new car programs that still seems to be on schedule. GM should build a two-door Volt and a crossover Volt, too.

Let's get new products to revive Buick and Pontiac. Start with something relatively easy, quick and inexpensive to do: Build a Firebird, a Pontiac version of the new Chevy Camaro. I would also like to see a marketing push at Saturn. That division finally has some great vehicles, so GM has to come up with a better way to sell them. With gasoline prices down, push the pickups and SUVS. The company also needs a shakeup at the GM Powertrain division, which still puts four-speed transmissions in Cadillacs. Yesterday's engines and transmissions are unacceptable.

Speaking of Cadillac, GM must revive the program to build a new full-size Cadillac, a car to replace the STS and DTS sedans. It is time for GM to field a true competitor to the Mercedes E Class--but with a much more radical design. GM cannot win with middle-of-the-road styling anymore. It has to make people turn and say "wow." They must want the car because of its looks.

Times are tough now, but Cadillac also needs a super-premium flagship, such as the luxurious Cadillac 16 show car the company displayed a few years ago and then, of course, decided not to build it. Why not revive the idea, but build it as an electric car like the Volt--but with lots more batteries to carry the extra weight? It is not a waste of time and money to build a car for millionaires. The design is exciting, and GM needs to create excitement. They can charge $250,000 for it, and maybe sell 10,000. Nothing will sell the public on electric cars more than seeing millionaires buy them.

General Motors needs more than new products. If it were up to me, I would replace the top executives. I could name candidates with proven records of success--who are now at GM--but why endanger them? If I were to go outside the company, Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat (nyse: FIA - news - people ), would be my choice. He is the hero, a Canadian-Italian, who turned around Fiat. Of course, I would also replace the entire do-nothing board of directors.

I would also halt all discussions about a merger with Chrysler. This is vulture capitalism at its worst. Chrysler and its employees have a better chance of surviving without GM, and GM must use all its energy to create product, not to murder a competitor. Not a penny of government money should go to this perverted proposal.
 

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as many of you know, I am knowledgable and experienced, successful and and motivated. that said, let me assure you all, the single most important thing that can be done to "save General Motors" is to remove G Richard Wagoner from the post he NEVER should have occupied to begin with. the man is a cancer, a detriment, and a complete failure.
 

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as many of you know, I am knowledgable and experienced, successful and and motivated. that said, let me assure you all, the single most important thing that can be done to "save General Motors" is to remove G Richard Wagoner from the post he NEVER should have occupied to begin with. the man is a cancer, a detriment, and a complete failure.

Well, at least we finally know what you think of the man.
 

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does anyone else think this sounds like a random sampling of GMI posts :confused:
 

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people in US should buy the vehicle in full price...
so GM can be saved....

people on one hand saying they should say GM
while in the same time , buying the vehicle at invoice price..

This is just madness!!!!
Let GM bankrupt, then this should work
 
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