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View Full Version : GM To Phase Out Brands if Sales Continue to Slide


JBlair
03-23-2005, 03:01 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">GM says it may kill off one of its brands if sales continue to slide<br>Posted Date: 3/23/05<p>General Motors, in the wake of recent events that have shaken the company and Wall Street's confidence in the world's largest automaker, says it may be forced to phase out one of its underperforming brands if sales fail to meet projections, company Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said on Wednesday. <p>If certain brands continue to slide, "then we would have to take a look at a phase-out. I hope we don't have to do that. What we've got to do is keep the brands we've got," Lutz said.<p>Sales at both the Buick and Pontiac divisions have sagged considerably in recent years, and are thought to be the most likely candidates to be eliminated. Lutz said GM is working to correct that with an estimated $3 billion investment in new vehicles such the Buick Lacrosse and Lucerne and the Pontiac G6, Solstice and Torrent. Lutz's comments came during an automotive conference in New York. <p>Financial analysts have said for years that GM has too many brands, even after the gradual phase-out of the Oldsmobile a few years ago. Weaker U.S. gales in general have added to the pressure on the automaker.<p>An elimination of any one of GM's brands would likely mean plant closings and a shrinking of GM's hourly work force.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>from AutoWeek<p> <B>Maybe this has been their plan all along. Since Pontiac seems to be lagging and cannot ditch its bad reputation, maybe they have been planning to replace it with Saturn. (notice that Saturn is not among the brands in consideration, even though its' sales are below both of them.) If either of them were to go, I would bet on Pontiac, since Buicks tend to make more in profit for GM.</B>

MontrealMustang
03-23-2005, 04:15 PM
<A HREF="http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/ns/news/story.jsp?id=2005032315440002961051&dt=20050323154400&w=RTR&coview=" TARGET="_blank">http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/ns...view=</A><p>The more I think about it, the less I can make up my mind about which one would get the axe. The old people loyal to Buick could find similar cars in the Cadillac Deville, so killing off that brand could work. However... most Pontiac's are just rebadged Chevy's.<p>Still... if I had to pick I'd say Buick's going byebye.<p>My only hope is that they bring back a Grand National or GS350 model as a bon voyage gift.

CalinG7
03-23-2005, 05:47 PM
I would hate for it to be so, but it does seem like Pontiac would be the first to go. <p>GM sort of needs Saab as a global premium brand since it would take Cadillac 5-10 years just to reach half of Saab's sales volume outside the US. <p>Buick is doing bad in the US but is taking off in China, which could buy it just enough time to fix things in the US. <p>GMC is the second largest division next to Chevy, and it makes mostly profitable trucks (though truck profitability could change in the future). <p>Saturn is pretty small sales volume currently, a pretty girly image IMO, and has consistently lost money, but GM seems to like their domographics and the sales experience, so they invested in what seem to be nice, winning products for the near future (Sky, Aura). Plus, it seems that it's been paired with Opel, which will minimize investment to some degree in product development and design, so Saturn probably won't go (though I wish it would).<p>Cadillac and Chevrolet are just about untouchable, and no one would seriously think of closing them down.<p>Hummer's been stumbling lately, but I think GM's committed to them.<p>So that leaves Pontiac. They're North American only, get a lot of blatantly re-badged Chevy products, don't have many trucks currently or in the near pipeline, so, unfortunately, they will be chopped, along with all the history, tradition, and beloved nameplates.

Naga Royal Guard
03-23-2005, 07:40 PM
low volume lends to better customer satisfaction and service; GM should have replicated some of the techniques used by saturn dealers similar to how they did caddy

dukedb9
03-23-2005, 08:16 PM
Saturn is the only GM that is seriously cross shopped with imports - that's the demo that GM likes.<p>"Girly" - whatever.

Cozz
03-23-2005, 10:07 PM
GM should get rid of all of their brands... problem solved.

carjunkie
03-24-2005, 12:02 AM
Well thats what you get for having snoby service, poor quality, not standing behind your product and ugly cars (not all are, but most of their recent cars are ugly). And to think that I still love GM, sigh....<p>And also on a side note I HATE Bob Lutz. I don't understand why so many people think he's God when it comes to cars. He's an idiot and should be let go by GM.

JBlair
03-24-2005, 12:12 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>carjunkie</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Well thats what you get for having snoby service, poor quality, not standing behind your product and ugly cars (not all are, but most of their recent cars are ugly). And to think that I still love GM, sigh....<p>And also on a side note I HATE Bob Lutz. I don't understand why so many people think he's God when it comes to cars. He's an idiot and should be let go by GM.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>He's a horrid business man, but he does seem to know what people want in cars, and fulfills it most of the time. I am not sure if you've actually considered this, but GM hasn't actually produced any cars yet that were developed directly under his control. The first will be solstice/sky, and the Aura production version. Lutz knows how to do it better than almost everybody in the industry, people just need to give him some time to do it. (Oh and by the way, the decision to axe a brand isn't 100% up to him. My guess is that they floated this idea as soon as profits took a hit.)

Nick
03-24-2005, 12:26 AM
the problem with bob is that he is old...he was pulled out of retirement because GM was desperate, and while he has done some good, a lot of what he has done seems to been very controversial...GM needs some new blood and they need to get rid of the old farts and the bean counters...

mzoltarp
03-24-2005, 06:38 AM
Step 1: Do not duplicate cars in different brands (eg minivans at Saturn, Chevrolet, and Pontiac). GM has too many vehicles which are duplicates which means GM competes with itself. Bad move. If they are going to use a platform for multiple brands, the cars need to look different and and different performance. Getting rid of redundancies would be a good step.<p>Step 2: Styling, styling, styling. GM tends to do boring or hideous without much in between. <p>Step 3: Cut brands. Pontiac and Saab need to go and I'd even pitch Saturn. This would leave GM with Chevy, Buick, and Cadillac. Three tiers no competition. GMC should be heavy duty trucks only.<p>Step 4: Create GM superdealers which carry the entire product line in one place. Reduce the number of dealers.<p>Step 5: Cut production. By having a glut of cars, GM has to resort to incentives, which in turn causes people to think that GM is in trouble. GM is in trouble but they need to create a perception that things are looking up.<p>

knicks125
03-24-2005, 06:40 AM
wow...I couldn't described them any better than you just did...five of the most essential items GM MUST start doing NOW...any not any later.<p> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0">

Kakairo
03-24-2005, 08:27 AM
Instead of looking at Pontiac and Buick, they should axe GMC, immediately. Most pointless brand in the world, all it is is rebadged Chevy trucks. Doing that would save tons on advertising and tooling.<p>

Naga Royal Guard
03-24-2005, 10:07 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Kakairo</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Instead of looking at Pontiac and Buick, they should axe GMC, immediately. Most pointless brand in the world, all it is is rebadged Chevy trucks. Doing that would save tons on advertising and tooling.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>as a kid, i was really confused why they would want to sell exact chevrolet duplicates as GMC <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/nixweiss.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>and that was when they had the same name, GMC and Chevrolet Suburban, at least they eventually got different names for them <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/laugh2.gif" BORDER="0">

Naga Royal Guard
03-24-2005, 11:31 AM
chinese buick sales are too high for them to kill the brand there, if it came to the worse they might drop them from the US market or phase buick under another GM brand in china, but w/ the Lucerne i doubt that Buick will get the chopper

Nick
03-24-2005, 11:34 AM
yea, isn't GM actually doing fairly well in China?

CalinG7
03-24-2005, 12:24 PM
Yeah, Buick is doing very well in China, that's why most analysts assume GM will not cut them. Those China profits could buy them enough time to get them straightened out in NA, but Pontiac is pretty much NA only, so most likely to get cut. Hope not, though.

Naga Royal Guard
03-24-2005, 12:29 PM
Lutz is notorious for contradicting himself in front of the press and passing the blame to others

CalinG7
03-24-2005, 12:41 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Naga Royal Guard</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Lutz is notorious for contradicting himself in front of the press and passing the blame to others</TD></TR></TABLE><p>................hey, that's the definition of being an "executive." I reand an article yesterday that had him reportedly telling his collegues that if the Pontiac G6 doesn't work then he's out of "tricks." Well Bob, does that mean you're tending your resignation, or what?

CalinG7
03-24-2005, 01:06 PM
<A HREF="http://forums.gminsidenews.com/showthread.php?threadid=12640" TARGET="_blank">http://forums.gminsidenews.com...12640</A><p><I>"Rick is always saying: 'Let's not squander all our resources on trying to overcome negative momentum. Let's put the resources where we've got positive momentum, which is basically ... Cadillac, Hummer and GMC,' " Lutz said. </I><p>Based on that quote from Rick Wagoner I gues we can say GMC is definitely safe from the chopping block. It increasingly looks like Pontiac.

Naga Royal Guard
03-24-2005, 03:56 PM
they should use the corvette name and sprout an all new lineup from it! first editions would include Corbalt, Coribu, Corblazer, and Corlorado <p>since mr wagoneer said put all the resources where the positive momentum is.............:)

nismo
03-24-2005, 11:55 PM
I think they need to discontinue alot of models and Buick all together... With Saturn somewhat merging its products with Opel I can actually see them becoming profitable.<p>Models to discontinue:<br>All those horrid Minivans<br>Chevy Monte CarloPontiac Bonneville<br>Pontiac Sunfire/Cavalier<p>That saved money can go to making models on the same platform more unique and developing a midsize crossover SUV like the Highlander and Pilot for Saturn and Pontiac.<br>

Nick
03-24-2005, 11:55 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Naga Royal Guard</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">they should use the corvette name and sprout an all new lineup from it! first editions would include Corbalt, Coribu, Corblazer, and Corlorado <p>since mr wagoneer said put all the resources where the positive momentum is.............:)</TD></TR></TABLE><br>Actually, I think there were ideas at one time of making the corvette into it's own branch and seperating it from Chevy...

Roadster44
03-26-2005, 04:14 PM
Buick can be a brand for those who want subtle luxury and since Lexus is getting to be more exciting with their designs, maybe now Buick can get some of those turned off customers. And have Cadillac to do the rest.

Naga Royal Guard
03-26-2005, 05:23 PM
thats why lexus is keeping the ES

megadethmartyr
03-26-2005, 10:54 PM
I agree with dropping Pontiac. THere's really noreason for them to be around anymore. Buick is prime for spliting customers loyal to GM with Caddy.Pontiacs problem like metioned before is it has nothing original. Change it from "Fuel for the Soul" to "Alright, you got us, it's a Chevy"

dukedb9
03-27-2005, 06:24 AM
Right. And I never liked the emphasis on Pontiac being GM's "performance" division. Then what are the others? Non-performance divisions. Loose-handling brand. Soft-ride line.<p>In today's market place, all cars must have decent "performance". A Chevy's got to handle well too.

CalinG7
03-28-2005, 03:22 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>megadethmartyr</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I agree with dropping Pontiac. THere's really noreason for them to be around anymore. Buick is prime for spliting customers loyal to GM with Caddy.Pontiacs problem like metioned before is it has nothing original. Change it from "Fuel for the Soul" to "Alright, you got us, it's a Chevy"</TD></TR></TABLE><p>.............you mean like Kia's tag line should be, "Alright, you got us, it's a Hyundai." Right, or are we supposed to be wowed by the amazing differences between Tucsons and Sportages?? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/bonk.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>I agree with dukedb9, though. If Pontiac is THE performance division, what does that say about the rest? Is Chevy not allowed to be competitive with Nissans, Hondas, Hyndais, and the rest because performance is reserved for Pontiac?

Roadster44
03-28-2005, 06:09 PM
Chevy should be like a Toyota. Providing good, reliable, safe and stylish transportation.<br>Pontiac ought to stick to performance oriented vehicles. Fun to drive vehicles.<br>Saturn needs to be more eccentric like Opel/Vauxhall. Sky and Aura is a good start.<br>Caddy is on right track.<br>Buick...eh I have mixed feelings about it, on one hand it could bring customers that appreciate concervative styling, but at same time is it really worth spending resources on such a tight profit margin. I rather invest more into Saturn, Pontiac and Caddy to bring in younger customers.<br>GMC needs to go.<p>

nissanjunkie
03-28-2005, 07:28 PM
gm should cut down its companys to about 5<p>chevrolet - cars, sedans, hatchbacks, family haulers<br>cadillac - luxury cars, trucks yada yada<br>gmc - trucks, suv's, pickups<br>saturn/saab - merge more directly with european divisions (opel)<br> - use saturn to try new products/niche vehicles<p>get rid of buick and pontiac alltogether<p>and get its hands out of subaru<BR><BR>
<i>Modified by nissanjunkie at 7:43 PM 3/28/2005</i>

KebabGud
03-28-2005, 08:33 PM
3 steps to save GM<p>1: Sell Saab... i hear Renult-Nissan is interested.. cant do better then that!<br>2: Kill Buick and pontiac.. i have no feelings for that brand as i am euopean...:D<br>3: Keep Saturn as the US version of Opel/Vauxhall/Holden.. or Kill saturn and start selling Opel/Vauxhall/Holden,, i thing Vauxhall whould do fine.. <br>4: (yes four) stopp selling Daewoo as Chevy.. it has totaly killd the rep of chevy in europe..<br>5:(ahh yes one more) Merge Chevy and GMC.. i dont see the need for GMC AND Chevy...<p>ok .. its 5 steps .. not 3

nismo
03-28-2005, 09:23 PM
lets be honest no one whos shopping for an import much less a luxury import is going to cross shop with Buick <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/cwm13.gif" BORDER="0">

Naga Royal Guard
03-31-2005, 08:11 AM
<A HREF="http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2005/03/context_is_ever.html" TARGET="_blank">http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/ar....html</A>

fedenog
03-31-2005, 10:46 PM
ive been thinking this about GM for a lonngg longgg time. i think they should rid themselves of buick in the US, who the hell buys those anymore? someone suggested a super dealer, here in texas we have those, i dont think they help sales any, why would you pay 10 grand more for a cadillac if theres a cheaper avalanche 40 ft from you, it essentially helps GM lose money.

fubar
04-08-2005, 09:36 AM
Id consider buying an Opel if it was available but I wouldnt buy a Saturn badged version of an Opel.<br>I agree with the above posts. Ditch Buick and Pontiac, and maybe even GMC. Theres too many duplicate truck/ SUV's built off the same platform. Saab should be sold so that it can flourish. It is getting away from its roots with their new non-scandanavian products.

MrMGMan
04-22-2005, 11:20 AM
Looks like GM is starting to suffer from the same problems that killed British Leyland in the 1970's. Too many brands, too many models, too many cars, too much in house competition, too many workers and not enough buyers.<p>They really do need to rationalise their business operations now by cutting back on brands and production volumes. If they don't act now, or in the very near future, they're likely to find themselves on the same slippery slope that the UK's MG Rover - the company formed after BMW's breaking up of the Rover Group (itself cobbled together from the wreckage of British Leyland) - found itself on.

rman5001
04-22-2005, 05:29 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>MrMGMan</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Looks like GM is starting to suffer from the same problems that killed British Leyland in the 1970's. Too many brands, too many models, too many cars, too much in house competition, too many workers and not enough buyers.<p>They really do need to rationalise their business operations now by cutting back on brands and production volumes. If they don't act now, or in the very near future, they're likely to find themselves on the same slippery slope that the UK's MG Rover - the company formed after BMW's breaking up of the Rover Group (itself cobbled together from the wreckage of British Leyland) - found itself on.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Here's the problem with that strategy. The lion's share of GM's costs are fixed. If they cut back production they will still have all the capital tied up in plants, workers laid off will still get 90%+ of their salary and the health and pension costs will still be there. In short you will have all the costs with less revenue.<p>Sure this hurts them in the short term, but without it, there will be no long term for GM.

Hornbag
04-23-2005, 05:38 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>KebabGud</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">3 steps to save GM<p>1: Sell Saab... i hear Renult-Nissan is interested.. cant do better then that!<br>2: Kill Buick and pontiac.. i have no feelings for that brand as i am euopean...:D<br>3: Keep Saturn as the US version of Opel/Vauxhall/Holden.. or Kill saturn and start selling Opel/Vauxhall/Holden,, i thing Vauxhall whould do fine.. <br>4: (yes four) stopp selling Daewoo as Chevy.. it has totaly killd the rep of chevy in europe..<br>5:(ahh yes one more) Merge Chevy and GMC.. i dont see the need for GMC AND Chevy...<p>ok .. its 5 steps .. not 3</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Yep, dats it! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/beerchug.gif" BORDER="0"> Thast the one i agree wit! Although are the 9-7 and 9-2 on sale yet?

MrMGMan
04-23-2005, 07:35 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>rman5001</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Here's the problem with that strategy. The lion's share of GM's costs are fixed. If they cut back production they will still have all the capital tied up in plants, workers laid off will still get 90%+ of their salary and the health and pension costs will still be there. In short you will have all the costs with less revenue.<p>Sure this hurts them in the short term, but without it, there will be no long term for GM. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>How on Earth did the world's largest car manufacturer manage to paint itself into such an untenable position? It now seems that GM is so big and monolithic that any attempt to rationalise the business is doomed to failure from the start.

nismo
04-23-2005, 11:39 AM
this pretty late but... not to sound rude but theres one big flaw with your Hyundai-GM comparison. Hyundai is actually profitable and doing well. Hyundai and Kia models aren't just simple rebadges like GMs bunch... the average consumer can't tell the Sportage and Tucsun are the same, they don't even share interiors much less anything viewable on the outside. <p>GM needs to restucture they're brands and models badly. <br>-no Buick<br>-Pontiac should discontinue: the Sunfire, Montana and introduce the 4cyl G6 models already. <br>-GMC should only sell heavy duty models and work models<br>-Saturn should continue to become Opel models and discontinue their minivan<br>-Chevy should be the main brand and offer the most models<br>-SAAB needs a little more attention and support... new models quicker to the market. NO "simple" REBADGES. Keep their operations in Europe atleast.<br>-Cadillacs OK<br>-Hummers OK but I think it would be good if they offered diesel models across the line.

anonms
04-23-2005, 02:21 PM
I think having Saturn replace Pontiac isn't such a bad idea, especially given the Aura and Sky concepts which IMO look spectacular.<p>If GM were to cut Buick, they should only drop the Buick brand for the US market since it's so successful in China.<p>I'd think GM would want to ditch Hummer, as sales seem to be slowly shying away from trucks. Better stop before things turn ugly.

rman5001
04-23-2005, 02:29 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>MrMGMan</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>How on Earth did the world's largest car manufacturer manage to paint itself into such an untenable position? It now seems that GM is so big and monolithic that any attempt to rationalise the business is doomed to failure from the start.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>GM was so big in the 70's....50% of the US market that they grew complacent. Poor management decisions in the 80's and early 90's painted them into the corner they are in now. Union concessions would help, but quite frankly the UAW doesn't think the situation is dire enough yet. Revitatlizing the product line is the only way to go.

rman5001
04-23-2005, 02:32 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>nismo</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">this pretty late but... not to sound rude but theres one big flaw with your Hyundai-GM comparison. Hyundai is actually profitable and doing well. Hyundai and Kia models aren't just simple rebadges like GMs bunch... the average consumer can't tell the Sportage and Tucsun are the same, they don't even share interiors much less anything viewable on the outside. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>Actually, not all GM platforms are blatent clones. I don't think that the average consumer could tell that the 9-3/Malibu/G6 are based on the same platform. Same goes for the LaCrosse/Impala/Grand Prix. If they can differeniate the minivans and trucks in the same manner, it could help.

nismo
04-23-2005, 03:07 PM
I know... I actually plan on purchasing a 9-3. I think they did very well with the Epsilon platform but when it comes to the trucks/SUVs its a whole different story...<p>The G6 has been getting so much slack when in fact its selling like 50-100% better than the GrandAm V6 4dr model that it replaces.. what I don't get is where the 4cyl models are... GM, whats the hold up?

speedemon123
04-24-2005, 10:44 AM
I am hearing the 4 cylinder is coming soon. I think the name itself made it impossible for the 4 to debut with its initial offering but I'm with you, G6 should do really well after that 4 comes along!

nismo
04-24-2005, 11:03 AM
Lets hope when the G6 4cyl arrives they price it right... like $17.5k or so... And I think they should lower the V6 price to $20k flat since their V6 doesn't really stack up to the competition and Hyundai's Sonata, rumoured New Kia Optima, and Ford's Fusion/Milan will be released this year and will probably steal some sales if priced right.

speedemon123
04-24-2005, 02:26 PM
I would hope so. The fact that the current G6 sedan only has 201hp, is below the fusion/milan (210hp??) and well below the sonata (237hp). 17.5k should get them some sales and not have to end up as fleets.<p>I also heard that the G6 coupe will receive more hp under the hood

CalinG7
04-25-2005, 10:27 AM
This is such a wierd problem. The 4-door G6 V6 is selling much better than the 4-door Grand Am V6, which should be expected. But like you all said, where is the 4-cylinder model? Has there been a launch of a midsize sedan in recent years where the 4-cylinder model, the one that provides the bulk of the sales, wasn't ready yet? <p>After that Oprah event I bet thousands of people went to Pontiac dealerships to buy a sub-$20,000 G6 with a 4-cylinder, and when they couldn't find one available, they just walked next door to the Huyndai, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, or any other dealership and spent their money there. Very poor planning on GM's part.

knicks125
04-25-2005, 11:34 AM
Agreed. And GM thought deceiving consumers with all those commercials would get those G6s off the lot - might have helped a little but still well below sales of competition

Uberwagon
04-25-2005, 07:55 PM
Unfortunately, publicly reported G6 sales numbers reflect huge fleet sales (which destroy resale value, prestige and ultimately consumer demand). <p>It's tough to make out exactly how this car is truly doing but judging by press accounts it's positively tanking in the dealerships. Sad...<p>Could Pontiac be next? Or is it Buick?

mzoltarp
05-01-2005, 05:54 AM
GM's slide took years to produce. When I was 16 my folks bought me a VW Rabbit. My father's best friend was a Chevy sales manager who said that we could have gotten a Chevette. The Rabbit was the car to beat and GM's solution was to create something similar in size and to heck with refinement or technology. That is an ongoing thememe<p>Up until the late 70's GM at least tried to differentiate its cars stylistically. When the 77 Impala came out, its sister cars were starting to look more similar than different. The Malibu that followed increased the trend of one car different grilles. The X car (Citation et. al.) cemented the practice and the J Car (Cavalier/Cimarron) took it to ridiculous extreme.<p>Engine technology is another stumbling point for GM. The Vega came with a cutting-edge engine which was not fully developed so it would overheat and seize. The 5.7 litre diesel was a great idea with very little engineering time so it was a total lemon. The Quad 4 was another example of trying to be cutting egde and not doing the engineering work. Instead of jumping to the head of the class they got a loud and vibration prone disaster of an engine. GM's situation is so bad that the only way they can get Honda/Toyota quality engines is to buy some from Honda.<p>Styling is another area where GM just gave up. From the mid 50s to the late 60's GM produced memorable and desirable cars at virtually every price point. Granted a Chevy II was not as compelling as the Corvette Stingray, but neither was is an embarassment. Now they produce cars that are hideous that if they would ask anyone that person would tell them not to move forward (Aztec, Avalanche, Malibu) or cars that are beyond bland (Corvette, Cobalt...).<p>GM should be able to crush Toyota like a grape, but they have chosen not to compete for so long that now they do not have the money to invest to make it happen.<p>They are stuck with too many plants, too much unsold product, and a union that is trying to bleed them dry. Those union jobs are history. Either GM will continue in its non-compete mode and will have to continue to lay off more and more workers until it dies or they will need to off-load a lot of people, downsize, and get hungry and focused.

dukedb9
05-01-2005, 07:39 AM
BusinessWeek has an excellent analysis of GM's situation and current plan...<p><A HREF="http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/toc/05_19/B3932magazine.htm" TARGET="_blank">http://www.businessweek.com/ma...e.htm</A><p>Bottom line is that GM needs to accept that it is no longer number 1 head and shoulders above everyone else and to prepare itself to be a profitable 20% market share company.<p>The article goes on to advocate killing Buick, Pontiac, and Saab. Tough medicine.<p>But the more I think about it, the more I believe that they're right. I believe Wagoner said that that have to stick with where they momentum in the marketplace (paraphrase). Buick and Saab have really been run into the ground. Zero momentum. I believe GM might be able to save Pontiac, but it has to be drastically smaller, more focused. Get rid of everything larger than the G6 (including the Torrent - another clone!) focus on small sports cars and sedans and combine the dealers with GMC (which they may be doing).