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Wow, that's a long interview to watch on your laptop!

Did anyone else notice how Rick's attitude changes when they got off the US discussion and he started talking globally? He just seemed more upbeat and excited about GM's development in other countries.

I hope other people on here will watch this and understand that GM is a global company now, and that the advancements they make in other countries will eventually help GM build better vehicles here. There is alot of doom and gloom scenarios going on here at GMI but I firmly believe that GM will come out on top in the long run. Rick is a good CEO and should be given credit for what he's done and doing at GM.
 

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Did anyone else notice how Rick's attitude changes when they got off the US discussion and he started talking globally? He just seemed more upbeat and excited about GM's development in other countries.
(long winded response follows...)

One thing I take away from all of the success GM is having overseas is the types of cars they focus on selling. This dichotomy of Success and Failure with GM always leads me to one conclusion. Why not sell the same cars here in the U.S. if they do so well overseas?

One could make the argument that every market is different with its own needs, but the hyper-focus of GM North America on Trucks and SUVs is one of the big differences between the growing success of an upstart brand like Chevrolet of Europe vs. Chevrolet USA.

I'm not quite sure that, even now, GM in Detroit fully understands the reasons behind the popularity of Chevrolet of Europe. Or India. Or GM cars in China. And more importantly, how that popularity can be translated to the U.S. market.

Chevy of Europe used to sell vehicles like the Trailblazer, Venture, and Astro. They didn't do well. Not just because they aren't the kind of cars that Europeans want to drive, but because they were expensive, and the styling was usually quite dated / old-looking. Heck, the Astro didn't look a whole lot different for 20 years.

Chevy of Europe was going nowhere fast with the old lineup.

The GM Daewoo sourced product, on the other hand, is inexpensive and frequently refreshed with modern styling. On top of that, rather than fuel sucking V6's or V8's, they run on 4-cylinder engines, for the most part, and some small diesels as well.

Bag on GM Daewoo all you want, but look at the way Hyundai and KIA have seen success in the U.S. market. Take a good look at their product.

Now look at Honda and how they are hardly doing poorly in this bad economic environment and with high fuel prices.

Meanwhile, Detroit's GM talks a good game about small cars, but their focus for right now remains of selling fat crossovers with fat profit margins to make up for lost SUV sales. And that isn't working out so well.

The Volt is coming, but it is nothing like the product of Chevrolet Europe. It is much too expensive for people in a down economy to rush out and buy in numbers.

The Volt is not the kind of car that is pushing GM's success overseas. To assume that the U.S. market is so different that Americans need a totally different direction with a car like the Volt - instead of introducing a wider range of cars like the ones that are working for them overseas - is wrong-headed old-think, "We in Detroit know what is best for America" stuff. It ignores the success of many brands that, while they have tailored their brands to some degree for the U.S. market, have seen the bulk of their success over the years not from Santa Fe's, Ridgelines or Outlanders, but from "world cars".

The Cruze is coming, but that is years away.

Meanwhile, China waits in the wings to deliver the same kind of product that is so popular in other parts of the world: Inexpensive, fuel efficient cars with short styling cycles.

Ford has made a public promise to change, and is revamping its lineup to a more "global" one. GM, on the other hand, seems to want a more conservative, baby-step approach, perhaps in the hopes that SUV and Truck sales will ramp up again.

While SUV and truck sales will continue to be a cash cow for GM USA to milk, they need to treat it like more of a niche market, because that's where I see it headed, at least in the short term. TruckMan would disagree, I'm sure. ;)

GM needs to find a way to restructure their U.S. operations to be profitable selling the same sort of cars that are booming for GM overseas. And that means downsizing, low pricing, and frequent styling updates planned in from the start.

It means less re-inventing the wheel here, less decontenting of cars like the Astra for "American Tastes", and promoting the idea that less expensive, smaller cars can be desireable, and that GM actually wants to sell us those sorts of cars - not use them as loss leaders to get us into a Chevy dealership, only to turn and try to get us into fat crossovers instead.
 

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(long winded response follows...)

One thing I take away from all of the success GM is having overseas is the types of cars they focus on selling. This dichotomy of Success and Failure with GM always leads me to one conclusion. Why not sell the same cars here in the U.S. if they do so well overseas?...

Ford has made a public promise to change, and is revamping its lineup to a more "global" one. GM, on the other hand, seems to want a more conservative, baby-step approach, perhaps in the hopes that SUV and Truck sales will ramp up again.
Good post!
Given Ford's apparent commitment and announced product time tables, do you believe Ford will recover more quickly in the US than GM? World wide?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well the answer is simple.

OPEL/VAUXHALL
europe likes Opels because they are not expensive, practical good cars, with technology that would cost a lot more in a premium segment. did i also mention its low drag coefficient unisex design? (the calibra was 0,26 - if im correct it is still a world record! on a vectra basis, so it wasnt too expensive to produce) well, thats also crucial. opel products were known to be good looking, not too avantgarde, but something that really reflects the needs of a man in the 21st century with good value/quality.
the fuel consumption is also better than average, not to mention their wide range of engine choices (many diesels) that appeals to MOST of the buyers.
it tended to be a little feminine to my taste, (as there are more and more women buyers) so GM has done its homework. an Opel driver can be a successful man or woman as well as anyone not as successful. it doesnt show off. besides their model policy is done right, its model range include many small cars, even nieche models, but it is done a bit better then the competition does it. i am personally not surprised on the popularity of this brand. oh, and its advertised well. something we cant say about other GM brands.

CHEVROLET
Concerning Chevrolet in europe it is the same well known path, walked by Opel, only that it is placed somewhere below Opel. So again, dont be surprised if it sells extremely well. Dawoo had a lowsy name, but their designs included also some by Giugiaro. so, since its a bow tie and it has that fresh look, it will sell even better. For both brands i forgot to mention that their product cycle is also low. they refresh their products regularly

SAAB
Saab...well its like it wasnt even part of GM, old products, minor refreshments, completely different way of managing the brand.

CADILLAC
well...lets just not say anything. They had the BLS for europe, but nobody really knew about it, it was like sold in secret or somethin...no advertising whatsoever. Now the CTS is here, i hope thay wont do the same terrible mistake. Besides the europeans are used to good quality, they have Merc, BM, Audi forever, so they will only think on another alternative if the style and the entire product is better! sometimes different is not enough. europeans are somewhat conservative, thats why the Lexus or Infiniti will never outsell the bavarians or those from stuttgart.

Concerning the US part of the GM i dont think GM is cluless. I think theres something behind all that whats happening, and when it will be done it will be again what once was.
 
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