GM Inside News Forum banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,692 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Better Off Dead
Joann Muller
Forbes.com

DaimlerChrysler's spurning of Mitsubishi ought to start a trend: Send some outfits to the salvage yard.

The world really doesn't need Mitsubishi, whose tiny market share (1.5% in the U.S.) makes it practically invisible in a sea of Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans. But this isn't the end of the story. Maybe DaimlerChrysler will do something clever: Let Mitsubishi go kaput, then salvage a few spare parts from the wreckage. Daimler already controls the crown jewel in Mitsubishi's empire, its Fuso commercial truck business. DaimlerChrysler recently boosted its stake to 65% and folded operations into its huge commercial truck division.

On the struggling car side, the most obvious asset is Mitsubishi's 18-year-old factory in Normal, Illinois, which has been one of the most efficient in North America, according to Harbour & Associates. It cranks out 175,000 vehicles a year in the form of six different models for Mitsubishi and Chrysler (including the Endeavor SUV and Sebring coupe). At the moment Chrysler doesn't need more production capacity, but it would come in handy if the company meets its goal of boosting worldwide sales by a million vehicles.

GM pulled off a similar strategy with Korea's Daewoo. GM was beaten out by Ford to buy Daewoo in 1999, but at the last minute Ford got cold feet. Good thing, because it turned out Daewoo was in a heap of trouble. After the company finally went bankrupt in 2002, GM plucked away the best of Daewoo's assets for a mere $250 million. "What GM did was brilliant," says veteran auto industry analyst Maryann Keller.

Let's not stop with Mitsubishi. Would anyone really miss Fiat? The Italian carmaker has been a sinkhole for GM, which paid $2.4 billion for a 20% stake in July 2000 only to write off almost the entire investment two years later. When Fiat was recapitalized last year, GM wisely stayed on the sidelines. Consequently, its stake is now just 10%. If Fiat, with 4% of worldwide share, folded its tent, GM's European operations could go after those assets it really needs--like Fiat's diesel engine capability--at a bargain price.

Now is the time for other automakers to do some soul-searching. Is GM's Saab subsidiary worth saving? Will Saturn ever turn around? What about Ford's Jaguar brand? If money pits like these have no hope of a quick turnaround, their parents might consider cutting their losses and salvaging what they can. "It's time to stop frittering around," says Keller.

Sad but true: Some automakers may be worth more dead than alive.

Full Article Here

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
1. A pic of a Lancer Evolution would have been a better choice.
2. Why the hell is he asking American's if Fiat should go? They're an Italian company. Why doesn't he ask the Europeans who actually buy and drive Fiats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I would have to say I agree with a lot of that. However, I think Saab and Saturn will be fine long-term. Brands like Mitsu and Isuzu and maybe even Suzuki are what come to my mind. Isuzu does nothing for GM as a brand. It's all in what they supply to GM trucks, so why not just keep that aspect and kill the brand itself?

Like I said before, GM should be able to keep Saturn and Saab afloat, but I really do wonder sometimes if Ford is committed enough to keeping Mercury vibrant. Have they ever been an important name in the industry other than a few small hits that no one remembers anyway??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Kill Jaguar? A statement like that undermines the credibility of an otherwise solid article. Yes, Jaguar has been expensive. But real world accomplishments like high JD Power rankings, a new XJ that everybody loves, and powertrain sharing with the next generation land rovers ( all jag-developed engines) can't be "written off" like Mistu, which had nothing going for it.

Besides, Jaguar is Ford's only legitimate entry in the luxury segment. You don't just concede those kind of profit margins to the competition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Suzuki is big in japan. And is doing better in the US I think... pluse if gas gets alot higher they will get more popular. Saturn is worth saving! it would be doing good if they would get the design right. But I realy think they sould keep the plastic sides!!!!!!
PS. not to start to much but a friend told me he saw a small convertable chevy at the proving grounds that looked like the nomad!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
Originally posted by Tim_M@May 21 2004, 02:46 AM
Besides, Jaguar is Ford's only legitimate entry in the luxury segment.  You don't just concede those kind of profit margins to the competition.
Volvo? Land Rover? Lincoln? Aston Martin?

But yeah they would never let Jag' die. They haven't lost THAT much money and things are starting to get on track with all the new models, engines, platforms, and factories coming on line. Sales are up signifigantly everywhere.

Saturn is a VERY strong brand. Now that they're getting some competative products in the Ion and Vue they should be fine. There are a LOT of people out there who want to buy Saturns but haven't been able to justify it given how horrible the products have been. No other brand could have survived with such sub-standard cars for so long.

Saab, OTOH, really is an bottomless money-pit for GM. I think the best thing would be to sell it (Ford is on a roll as far a foreign turnarounds - given them a shot), but unfortunately they seem to be taking the route of turning it into a clone brand :(

And yeah Suzuki is a good company in no danger. They have Deawoo to tap for products in North America and Europe, and their small cars are very successful in Japan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
Originally posted by stewacide+May 21 2004, 03:48 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (stewacide @ May 21 2004, 03:48 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Tim_M@May 21 2004, 02:46 AM
Besides, Jaguar is Ford's only legitimate entry in the luxury segment.  You don't just concede those kind of profit margins to the competition.
Volvo? Land Rover? Lincoln? Aston Martin?

But yeah they would never let Jag' die. They haven't lost THAT much money and things are starting to get on track with all the new models, engines, platforms, and factories coming on line. Sales are up signifigantly everywhere.

Saturn is a VERY strong brand. Now that they're getting some competative products in the Ion and Vue they should be fine. There are a LOT of people out there who want to buy Saturns but haven't been able to justify it given how horrible the products have been. No other brand could have survived with such sub-standard cars for so long.

Saab, OTOH, really is an bottomless money-pit for GM. I think the best thing would be to sell it (Ford is on a roll as far a foreign turnarounds - given them a shot), but unfortunately they seem to be taking the route of turning it into a clone brand :(

And yeah Suzuki is a good company in no danger. They have Deawoo to tap for products in North America and Europe, and their small cars are very successful in Japan. [/b][/quote]
i agree on some levels, but saab needs a chance, they have a place, that place is pretty much where volvo is, except make it sportier in the begining of the turnaround and i think they will be set, i am already very interested in the 9-2X, yes i know its a subie undernieth, but i think saab did wonders for the style and added features.

just give GM a chance to turn around a brand and im sure they wont disapoint. i would hate to see saab go, GM could build it into a great division if they go about it the right way, and so far, if you read in most mags, than youll see that they all seem to be likeing the 9-2X, and they have stopped the teasing :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
AS I SEE IT FOR GM THE COMPANIES THAT SHOULD GO ARE SUZUKI,SATURN,ISUZU,AND FIAT..SUZUKI ONLY GOT 1 THING GM NEEDS "DIESEL ENGINES"..SATURN IS A DIVISION THAT REALLY DIDNT HAVE MUCH SALES TO BEGIN WITH AND NOW WITH THE RED LINE IM NOT SURE IF THEYRE GONNA GROW BECAUSE OF IT OR WHAT BUT I THINK THEY SHOULD GIVE MORE ATTENTION TO BUICK WHICH IS IN DESPERATE NEED FOR A EXCITING VEHICLE AND A FLAGSHIP CAR AND HOPEFULLY THEYLL BUILD THE VELITE CONVERT..ISUZU IS A TOTAL BOTTOMLESS PIT FOR GM STOP GIVING THEM MONEY TO MAKE MORE TRUCKS JUST TAKE WHATS LEFT OF ISUZU AND PUT IT INTO THE P/US AND SUVS...FIAT I DONT KNOW WHATS UP WITH THAT COMPANY BUT I DONT THINK THEY GOT MUCH OF A CHANCE TO STAY AFLOAT..FORD SHOULD WAKE UP AND GET RID OF THE MERCURY BRAND AND GIVE THE MOUNTAINEER TO JAG TO HAVE A SUV..FORD SHOULD ALSO GET RID OF ASTON MARTIN CUZ THEY DONT HAVE MUCH A BIG NAME LIKE THE OTHER FORD NAMEPLATES HAVE...NOW THAT CHRYSLER IS COMING BACK TO LIFE WITH THE 300C I THINK THEY SHOULD START BUILD SWEET LOOKIN CARS LIKE IT THEY SHOULD GET RID OF THE PT CRUISER ALL TOGETHER AND GIVE SEBRING A SPAN FROM 25GS TO 35GS FOR A CONVERTIBLE...AS FOR DODGE THEYRE RIDING ON THE SUCCESS OF THE DODGE RAM VIPER AND NEON SALES-DURANGOS LOOK LIKE THEY GOT HIT ALL OVER THE VEHICLE WITH THE JEEP LIBERTY DESIGN AND LIGHTS ITS JUST PLAIN FUGLY--DODGE DONT HAVE A LARGE SEDAN ANYMORE NOW THAT THE INTREPID WAS STOPPED FOR BAD SALES AND DESIGN..AND THEY WANNA BRING BACK THE CHARGER WITH 4 DRS??I HOPE THEY DONT BRING IT OUT WITH 4 DRS PLEASE ITS LIKE A VIPER AS A SEBRING SEDAN COME ON DODGE GIVE US A REASONABLY PRICED 2DR SPORTS CAR THAT WE HAD BACK IN THE 60S AND 70S..IF DODGE WAS SMART THEY WOULDVE STOLEN A FEW PARTS FROM THE CHRYSLER PROWLER AND MAKE A CHARGER FOR MODEL YR 2000 AND IN 1 OR 2 YRS THEY COULDVE GAVE IT A SMALL FACELIFT OR WHATEVER BUT THEY WERE STUPID AND NOT DOING THAT THEY HAD THE PARTS TO BUILD A CHEAPER SPORTS CAR BUT DIDNT DO IT--------CAN U SAY DUMB??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,714 Posts
So Ms Muller wants a world where only four or five company build all cars in the world? That sounds boring to me. If it weren't for the little guys providing some competition, nobody would be pushing the envelope. Mitsubishi may have a tiny spec of the US market, but they have, at various times in their history, provided some inventive stuff....the Evolutions, the GTO/3000GT, the Eclipse, the Starion....

And I agree...the author here has no business asking an American audience whether or not Fiat should live. While it may not be worth much, it has done things similar to Mitsubishi in its history. Who introduced the first affordable mid-engined car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
Suzuki is HUGE everywhere but the U.S, number one in a lot of different markets, no way they are going anywhere. When gas hits $4 U.S a gallon, GM has a great partner for 600cc to 2 litre engines, and engineering experiece in micro weight vehicles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Originally posted by carguy2225@May 20 2004, 09:28 PM
CAN U SAY DUMB??
After reading that big ball of all caps nonsense, yes, I can. :p

Jag getting an SUV? Yeah. That's dumb. They're one of the last brands that haven't sold their soul to the trend and I have a lot of respect for them because of that.

Get rid of Aston Martin? I don't know where to start with this one... but I'd suggest you go study up and open your mind a bit if you ever want to fit your username Mr."Carguy"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,032 Posts
I wouldn't lump Jaguar in this bunch, as they have a high perception,
and have added alot of prestige to Ford. On the other hand Mitsubishi
is as good as dead with Daimler Chrysler pulling the plug on there
stake. Fiats market share in Europe isn't very impressive, and there
reputation isn't either. I see justifcation to let them die. Saab on the
other hand is geting some fresh new products, and venturing into
segments they haven't been a player yet, so pulling the plug is quite
premature. Saturn is a big question mark. Will they ever get back
to where they were ten years ago? There cars are not up to the same
standards as there competitors, and they don't have that the appeal
that they once had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Saturn should never have been created in the first place, and has been a dismal failure for GM. It should be axed forthwith. I have no clue why GM bought Saab in the first place and I don't see it ever being a big part of their lineup. But I don't know if it should be killed or just sold off, assuming there is anyone who would want to buy it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Anyone who hasn't seem Saturns future lineup has every right to say that it should be axed.. but I think you will be pleasantly surprised to hear that in the next 4 years Saturn will have an entire new line up. Bigger SUV, new VUE, new ION, new L Series (possibly under the name Vectra) and the crown jewel, the Lightning (not the real name because Ford owns that name but its a code name).

In the next 4 years Saturn will be resurrected..

Don't get me going on Buick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,193 Posts
Originally posted by ab348@May 21 2004, 06:34 AM
Saturn should never have been created in the first place, and has been a dismal failure for GM. It should be axed forthwith.
Saturn was a great idea that wasn't given enough product. It was partially an experiment to see if GM could produce small, reliable vehicles that could draw import-intenders. In that it succeeded. Most Saturn buyers would not have purchased a GM vehicle had Saturn not existed. It was also an attempt to build a seperate and more efficient dealer network and to change the relationship between dealers and their customers, and in that respect it also succeeded. Component quality and labor involvement in end-of-the-line quality were also experiments that have paid great dividends to GM in terms of learning. Look at the quality being produced using many of the techniques and processes developed (or improved upon) at Saturn.

The problem was Saturn did not have a full line-up, and they chose to compete with Toyotas and Hondas of the early '90s well into the 2000s. I've seen what's coming at Saturn as well, and the future is bright!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Originally posted by carguy2225@May 20 2004, 11:28 PM
AS I SEE IT FOR GM THE COMPANIES THAT SHOULD GO ARE SUZUKI,SATURN,ISUZU,AND FIAT..SUZUKI ONLY GOT 1 THING GM NEEDS "DIESEL ENGINES"..SATURN IS A DIVISION THAT REALLY DIDNT HAVE MUCH SALES TO BEGIN WITH AND NOW WITH THE RED LINE IM NOT SURE IF THEYRE GONNA GROW BECAUSE OF IT OR WHAT BUT I THINK THEY SHOULD GIVE MORE ATTENTION TO BUICK WHICH IS IN DESPERATE NEED FOR A EXCITING VEHICLE AND A FLAGSHIP CAR AND HOPEFULLY THEYLL BUILD THE VELITE CONVERT..ISUZU IS A TOTAL BOTTOMLESS PIT FOR GM STOP GIVING THEM MONEY TO MAKE MORE TRUCKS JUST TAKE WHATS LEFT OF ISUZU AND PUT IT INTO THE P/US AND SUVS...FIAT I DONT KNOW WHATS UP WITH THAT COMPANY BUT I DONT THINK THEY GOT MUCH OF A CHANCE TO STAY AFLOAT..FORD SHOULD WAKE UP AND GET RID OF THE MERCURY BRAND AND GIVE THE MOUNTAINEER TO JAG TO HAVE A SUV..FORD SHOULD ALSO GET RID OF ASTON MARTIN CUZ THEY DONT HAVE MUCH A BIG NAME LIKE THE OTHER FORD NAMEPLATES HAVE...NOW THAT CHRYSLER IS COMING BACK TO LIFE WITH THE 300C I THINK THEY SHOULD START BUILD SWEET LOOKIN CARS LIKE IT THEY SHOULD GET RID OF THE PT CRUISER ALL TOGETHER AND GIVE SEBRING A SPAN FROM 25GS TO 35GS FOR A CONVERTIBLE...AS FOR DODGE THEYRE RIDING ON THE SUCCESS OF THE DODGE RAM VIPER AND NEON SALES-DURANGOS LOOK LIKE THEY GOT HIT ALL OVER THE VEHICLE WITH THE JEEP LIBERTY DESIGN AND LIGHTS ITS JUST PLAIN FUGLY--DODGE DONT HAVE A LARGE SEDAN ANYMORE NOW THAT THE INTREPID WAS STOPPED FOR BAD SALES AND DESIGN..AND THEY WANNA BRING BACK THE CHARGER WITH 4 DRS??I HOPE THEY DONT BRING IT OUT WITH 4 DRS PLEASE ITS LIKE A VIPER AS A SEBRING SEDAN COME ON DODGE GIVE US A REASONABLY PRICED 2DR SPORTS CAR THAT WE HAD BACK IN THE 60S AND 70S..IF DODGE WAS SMART THEY WOULDVE STOLEN A FEW PARTS FROM THE CHRYSLER PROWLER AND MAKE A CHARGER FOR MODEL YR 2000 AND IN 1 OR 2 YRS THEY COULDVE GAVE IT A SMALL FACELIFT OR WHATEVER BUT THEY WERE STUPID AND NOT DOING THAT THEY HAD THE PARTS TO BUILD A CHEAPER SPORTS CAR BUT DIDNT DO IT--------CAN U SAY DUMB??
I refuse to read this ridiculous run-on sentence in all caps.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,863 Posts
carguy2225, you've been getting some flack about your all-caps responses. It has a flavor of shouting your thoughts. What gives? If nothing else, you have to admire your tenacity in the face of criticism! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,119 Posts
I have mixed feelings about Saturn because I think Saturn does bring people to GM who would otherwise buy foreign cars. I can also appreciate the plastic panels. Many people don't care aabout having ultra precise panel gaps, but they really appreciate not having dents and door dings all over their cars. OTOH, Saturn's cars are generally substandard, getting a lot of unneeded bad press for Saturn and GM. Furthermore, GM has too many brands, why do they need Saturn? Can't some other brand offer the things that Saturn does? The problem is, it is easy for us to say "just morph Saturn into another brand" (Chevy, Buick), but John Q. Public would not realize that Saturns are now made under another name. He would think that Saturn went out of business, and GM would lose him to an import.

Isuzu needs to go, and GM should purchase its engine building/design capacity.

Saab should stay. It is a nice European flavored alternative to Cadillac. But, if Saab is going to charge Caddy and BMW prices, then it needs to beef up its product, even if that means breaking with some tradition (i.e. 4cyl engines). The 9-7x should have been base off of Sigma. Perhaps a CTS-sized, Saabized SRX.

GM's NA lineup would consist of Chevy (entry-level), Pontiac (entry-level sporty)
Buick (Mid-lux), Saab (European lux), Caddy (American Lux--or world lux), Chevy and GMC Truck, plus Subie, Suzuki, etc. I really think that one of these brands could be cut, too. I just don't think it can be done without losing some customer base. Believe it or not, Buick has a faithful customer base, old people like their cushy rides and over-boosted steering, and they could not care less about 0-60 times, car mag reviews, or skidpad numbers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Originally posted by tgagneguam@May 21 2004, 09:24 AM
carguy2225, you've been getting some flack about your all-caps responses. It has a flavor of shouting your thoughts. What gives? If nothing else, you have to admire your tenacity in the face of criticism! :D
Not just that but all the run-on sentences...

It makes for really hard reading.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top