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I keep seeing tons of stuff on CNBC today about GM and there cars and how traders are looking at GM. Most said that if they had to put money on one of the big 3, it would be GM. There outlook seems to be the strongest. Now, I ask you what do you think about GM's future? If you think its good, what can GM do to get more younger and new buyers into GM dealers? If you think they are doing bad, what do you think GM needs to do to change it? What does GM need to really start getting people into dealers? I know there are a few of you guys that think that the recent GM cars fall short of what they should be or could be, coughtafreakcough. So, what do you think about GM?


I personaly thing GM will be doing better then the other 2 in a few years. Dodge will slowly start becoming more of an MB brand perhaps, and Im not too sure on ford. From where Im sitting, Im not sure what or where they are going. I think GM will gain more market share, but I see more and more Import companies gaining ground. I dont see a stopping to that and they have imbeded themselves into teh American car world with there dominance of youths and sport compact cars. I would like for GM to really buckle down on quality and making people feel good about driving in an American car again. Thats how I see GM dominating over the imports and if Ford and Chrystler wants to stay ahead of the likes of toyota and honda,they need too also. 700hp mid engine cars are really not what they should be worried about, but having concpets for people to gawk at is always a great thing. GM, I belive, is moving in the right direction with cars like the Cobalt, G6, GTO, CTS, and others that really set need to set the standard for what other car compaines should be aiming for.
 

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I think GM is doing okay, they are on the right track, but the crappy interiors must go. Pricing must stay reasonable, and the option packages like those found on the SRX bust be gone. They definitely have the brightest future, but second is definitely Ford.
 

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I think GM is doing ok. The GTO; Great idea but 350hp aint enough. Corvette could use more power...uh duh. The aveo is scary and should be burned. Cobalt looks cool but needs more power. It should be mandatory that all GM trucks have to be better then ford dodge etc....and all interiors suck like tahoe said, they should be BETTER. If i was bob lutz, i'd beat myself with a frying pan and start over. Everything would kick *** and it wont be stinky like dirty diaper(aveo, sunfire, cavalier,s-10, you get it) but thats me.
 

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I think GM is going to do well. What they're doing with Cadillac- and now Chevrolet and Pontiac-- it must continue. GM has got to keep the ideas fresh, and the quality high. They are the largest automaker in the world. If they keep their thinking fresh and allocate their money right, no one should be able to hold them down. If GM plays their cards right, no one will be able to compete with their size and heritage.
 

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GM has radically improved in the last few years. But apparently Bob Lutz's take on the interiors, as Tahoe mentions, hasn't taken hold quite yet. Some cars like the Solstice or CTS have great interiors, and others like the Pontiac G6 are swimming in a sea of cheap-looking gray plastic, and the Suburban/Silverado interiors are woefully out of date. The Impala could stand a refreshed interior, too.

As far as engines go, GM is on the right track, and I applaud the introduction of the 2.4L VVT Ecotec. What great timing, and great torque.

The 4-speed transmissions are sturdy, but like the 3-speeds before them, they have to go. The Pontiac G6 should have been the first to use a new 5 or 6 speed auto. Manual shift mode with a 4 speed is hardly "excitement".

Marketing is good, but I think GM needs to ask tough questions and whether or not GMC & Saturn can justify their existence 5 years down the line. GMC is only a vehicle away from being a complete Chevy clone, and should merge with Buick in my opinion, or just go ahead and give Buick the GMC trucks and be done with it. The days of having another brand just to increase volume should be gone with all of the competition from Import brands. The true "GMC diehard fan club" out there is hard to find when the trucks are rebadged Chevies for the most part - aside from the excellent Envoy XUV. Saturn is a great Honda fighter potentially, but adding a pushrod driven console shifting 4-speed Minivan strips it of "import fighter" status just as stripping the plastic panels makes the cars less unique.

Chevy with the Cobalt, Malibu, Aveo & Equinox (sans horrid engine) is attempting to be an "import fighter" --- why have Saturn around?

Buick has a lot of history and name recognition equating to bold designs of yesteryear and solid, quiet, soft riding product. The addition of a few GMC trucks with Buick grilles and a little soundproofing would eliminate the need for the GMC "professional grade" trucks Chevy already sells to fleet.
 

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The pressures on GM ( and all "US manufacturers ) is coming from abroad. How many fullsize import trucks have you seen introduced by Japanese auto manufacturers? A few...its the start of an attack on the last few high selling US autos today. If you look at GM/Ford and Chrysler...I bet you will find most of their sales are through their trucks or SUV's. It didn't used to be that way but imports unfortunately beat them...better quality, better service and better warrantys.

So the next step is for the overseas manufacturers to take a stab at the heart of sales for US auto manufacturers. The question will be how will they do it and how will the US fight back.

We all have seen the technology overseas manufacturers build into their cars....Variable Valve timing, multiple valves per cylinder....etc...

So with the new GM I wonder what or how hey feel their company and products stand against the imports? I hate sending my money overseas....I would like to see every person employed in this country before we helped anyone else. But, if the cost of the US automobile is too high, or the quality is too poor or it just doesn't look like right, what do you do?

Not to get further on a soapbox but after purchasing my new Suburban and going through the issues with oil consumption and piston slap noise, I am having an incredible time justifying a new GM car. There are alot of great cars out there from overseas...some better and some worse,

I guess you could say you do buy a car, but more imprtantly you buy the company and people behind it and if you feel thats good for you then I guess GM is doing okay.

Sorry for the ramble.
 

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GM is by far the healthiest of the Big 3.
Back in 1998, GM management *finally* decided to retrench itself... and actually do it seriously. After some half-hearted re-organizations in the 80's and 90's, GM's well on the way to fixing itself. But it still has a long way to go.

The quality issues of GM vehicles are fixed. Their quality equals or exceeds that of the best of Japan. Design issues are slowly rectifying themselves. Platforms are more solid than ever. Engines are more efficient. GM's car brands are beginning to make a name for themselves again. Consumers in the 20-30's are actually talking about Cadillacs!! Literally drooling over the XLR and Escalade. The 20-30 somethings are the target GM needs to score big with. They are the ones who will ensure GM's future. These are the ones who will come to GM when they realize that they no longer want to pay a hefty premium for a Japanese brand, or no longer want to deal with the bugs and gremlins that perpetually plague VW and BMW and now Merc.

Of course, all this takes time. You have a car for 4-5-6 years before getting a new one. What happens during that time period factors in the decision of buying a new GM automobile. Does GM's service department score well with consumers? Does the car always go to the dealer? And a plethora of other features. Once this info goes through word of mouth, GM will be back and solid as ever.

But as far as marketing and getting their name back out there, GM is doing a far superior job than Ford or Chrysler and all their other subsidiary brands.
Plus, GM's cars have a more appealing look and a more realistic look that those of Ford or DCX. Remember a few years back when Ford unveiled teh new TBird concept and everyone was "wowed" by it. A day later out came Evoq and floored everyone. And suddenly TBird went by the wayside. Then again with Sixteen, Solstice, Sky, and a variety of others.

GM's revolution has been happening for at least the past 5 years. Unfortunately, solid results won't appear until at least 2010 when a greater number of new GM cars are on teh road and word of mouth begins to spread.

Yeah... there are still problems. Saturn for one. It's lost its identity. But that will be fixed by 2005 when L-series goes bye-bye and is replaced. Despite what some people may think, you can't wave a magic wand and have GM all fixed up. It takes time.

Just look how far GM has come: A near $5B revamp of Cadillac. A big risk... so big that Ford said that it just can't do the same for Lincoln. Interiors that arevastly improved over the ones that somehow mangaged to stay around since 1982. And that's just 2 examples.

I would invest in GM. Hold onto it for a few years and see what it does.
 

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I watched the various tv shows in which the recurring theme "The Year of the Car" was mentioned. It points out the Big 3's efforts to win back some of the car sales that had been grabbed mainly by Toyota and Honda.
Market-wise, the Japanese are looking toward the trucks to make their inroads (Nissan's Titan) which must be really worrying the US mfrs.

On the road, I see more and more Korean vehicles. With a 10 year warranty, many customers are taking the chance on them. This must really be worrying everybody (Big 3, Honda, Toyota) since the vehicle build price must be far below what these countries can meet. After korea will come China and any other place that will be attractive to car builders.

Will the automobile go the way of textiles, then machine tools, then electronics? Will a tariff war be the future news stories?

BUT AS FAR AS GM, CHRYSLER AND FORD, I would say that GM's line up seems the strongest since their overall product line (from Cavalier to the big trucks) have the best average attractiveness, affordability and quality.
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Jan 6 2004, 01:47 AM
GMC is only a vehicle away from being a complete Chevy clone, and should merge with Buick in my opinion, or just go ahead and give Buick the GMC trucks and be done with it.

Pontiac and GMC are already one division.
 

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For the North American market, I think GM is doing some good things, but needs to make some key strategic decisions. The days of GM owning 40 percent of the market are over - there is simply too much competition.

But, GM's structure and branding - with six different divisions - still reflects the days when it did own that much of the market.

GM still needs to decide how it wants to use its divisions to approach the market it wants to "own." This might mean killing off a division or two, or making some divisions (like Buick and Pontiac) niche-oriented, without a full line of cars.

When GM is focused (like the Vette and the new Caddies) it has proven it can design and build competitive, world class cars. What recent history has shown is that it is difficult (if not impossible) to do this consistently for six different divisions. No other automaker even attempts to spread their design/marketing resouces over such a broad range of brands.

I could imaging something like this being successful:

Saturn - kill it off.

Chevrolet - reliable low and medium priced cars and trucks

Pontiac - sporty and specialty cars only - no boring cars!

Buick - medium plus to near luxury cars

Cad - luxury and beyond cars/trucks/sports

GMC - the truck specialist - full line of trucks and SUVs

Hummer - the off-road specialist

The Corvette remains a problem here - it really fits better into Pontiac, but its heritage dictates it remains a Chevy.

Now, the NA market is a slow-growth, mature market. Success here requires focus and differentiation. But, GM and other automakers fortunes will probably be made or broken on a number of emerging, high-growth markets in Asia, including China. GM is already active in this area, establishing partnerships in China a number of years ago.
 

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Originally posted by ehaase+Jan 6 2004, 09:14 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (ehaase @ Jan 6 2004, 09:14 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Ming@Jan 6 2004, 01:47 AM
GMC is only a vehicle away from being a complete Chevy clone, and should merge with Buick in my opinion, or just go ahead and give Buick the GMC trucks and be done with it. 

Pontiac and GMC are already one division. [/b][/quote]
The next step then should be, as I suggested a few months back, to have "Buick GMC Pontiac" dealerships with no overlap. That's right, no Buick Rainier and GMC Envoy. No Aztek and Base Rendezvous, and no LeSabre and Base Bonneville. I don't know how much money is spent on different dashes and sheet metal for these clones but I would bet it is too much.
 

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If GM can translate their Cadillac turnaround into a model for their other traditional brands, I think they'll be every bit as great as they were in their glory days, but without the 60% market share.

The new "American Revolution"/"Magic Carpet Ride" campaign and product revitalization is to Chevy what "Break Through"/"Rock 'n Roll" was to Cadillac, which says to me that GM has figured out the magic formula and they're now applying it to the other bookend among their traditional brands.

Rinse and repeat for Buick and Pontiac, and voila! Glory and greatness; although the days of any single automaker owning 60% of the U.S. market are long-gone.

GMC doesn't seem to have an image problem at this point, so I think they just need to keep up a good thing there.

Saturn has some problems, but they aren't about image, IMO. I think it's a simple product issue. Saturn needs a more viable mid-size offering and expand its portfolio to provide import-buyers more choices.

The Relay is a step in that direction, but I'm not sure it's "Saturn-esque" enough. It will be just fine for existing Saturn customers, so I think it will do well; but import buyers will likely see it as just another GM minivan.
 

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GM is on the right path, They have been bringing out new "exciting" vehicles with sort of import sytling, which is what has been selling.

They seem to be after new and current customers with their new product, not like Oldsmobile in 96-98 when they built cars for someone else's customers and left their own high and dry.

In the past few years they have worked well on quality issues (i.e. Malibu)

They still have a few matters that kinda irratate me but they are on the path, from the 80's when they thought "This is what you will drive" to "today when they ask what do you want to drive"
 

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OK I'll play. If I ran GM this is what it looks like domesticlly. Caddy - Luxury (Benz, Jag etc.) Buick- Mid luxury (Infiniti, lexus etc.) Chevy - (the Honda Toyota challanger and affordable performence) + Small Trucks Pontiac - (like Lutz says - American BMW) no fleet sales or 4 cilinder cars except Solstice. Saturn - kill it - use this money on the other divisions. GMC - heavy duty trucks only, Chevy gets the small trucks GMC gets the big rigs. I haven't changed much from the current track, basiclly GM is finally awake and is moving in the right direction.
 

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...you haven't changed much, but the company would be in financial trouble.

No four-cylinders? There's a little thing called CAFE. It's a federal law that requires every automotive retailer in the US to meet a specified fuel economy level. All trucks within the corporate fleet, weighted by volume, need to average 20.7 mpg (it's not the City or Highway rating, it's yet another formula). Cars must average 27.5. Remove the four-cylinder Cavaliers/Cobalts, Ions, Sunfires, Grand Ams, etc...and you need to remove many V8s and some V6s.

If only the Solstice has a four, then you're only building about 20,000 four-bangers for the US? Where are your economies of scale? You can't make money on 20,000 units of an engine that goes into a car that costs $20,000 to $25,000.

You've also killed 400,000 trucks from your truck production (further reducing profitability). No fleet sales? Further lowering output....

From this plan, US sales of GM make it smaller than Toyota and Ford...probably DCX...
 
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