Discussion in 'Economics' started by wilburbear, Apr 26, 2009.
You'll be stuck with an antique, odd-lot.
I've still got a Firebird. Thing keeps getting better gas mileage every year `cuz stuff keeps falling off of it! Nice engine, but the rest of it is garbage.
They had to stop making them because of quality problems that "could not be alleviated." So all the losers that made (crappy) Firebirds were spread throughout Pontiac. Guess what? That made Pontiac a crappy division. Then GM rounds up all the guys who were skilled enough and worked hard enough to be employable and paid them to leave (via buyout and early retirement packages)! Losers that were unemployable wouldn't jump ship, so they stayed.
Now that the feds are major players in GM, everybody knows that the usual politics are just around the corner. Plenty of affirmative action, "fairness" in compensation, hybrids and all the environmental green as far as the eye can see are in the queue for Great Mistakes. If you are a deadbeat lazy loser who doesn't care to work for a living, GM is ready to be your sugar daddy. Especially if you are a member of a protected class (blacks, women, gays, etc.)
GM was the largest corporation in the world at one time. But it's been dying right along with Detroit. It was apparent after they bought EDS.
EDS didn't have anything to do with the demise of GM. It was a bad acquisition, as was buying Hughes Electronics. But GM stock continued to rise after they acquired EDS in 1984.
And EDS was spun off in 1996 and no longer a part of GM.
The biggest reason for GM's troubles is the UAW. I worked at GM and EDS before I started trading in 1996 -- every time there was a contract to be negotiated with the UAW they wouldn't give in on anything. Since times were good GM management typically gave in and didn't force the issue as a prolonged strike was potentially devastating financially. Now that the legacy costs are so obscene they're up a creek without a paddle. The worst of this is the fund that pays the UAW guys 95% of their wages while they're laid off.
^ Explanation brought to you by American Enterprise Institute.^
GM failed because of idiots like Roger Smith. It was a company that got used to selling an insane amount of cars in the largest automobile market in the world. With such delightful things as "badge engineering" and "planned obsolescence" its fate was sealed. GM is a monstrosity built on an imperial template with no sense of purpose.
GM did not believe anyone could make money on small cars. It also thought fuel economy was for the poor. Its quality control mechanisms were inferior. By the time japanese came it was too late. GM is simply incapable of making small and medium cars of the same quality at the same price as Toyota. Therefore it needs to "cut corners" which result in even more quality problems which result in the situation where you need to deeply discount your cars before anyone looks at them. It is a vicious cycle and a "spiral of death"
Blaming UAW is lame. MORONIC management is the fault here (it is almost always the fault)
Now let's see them do the same thing to Saturn, GMC, and Buick.
It was a fine example of a blindingly stupid decision, and all of us in the auto IT biz knew it. EDS' reputation was even worse than Firebirds (sorry to say but it's true). GM IT resources were paid a crapload more than EDS, but were forced by the agreement to be absorbed by EDS. That's big trouble, plus if there were a large group of ITers even more pitiful than EDSers, it would have been GM IT. Then EDS was the IT department of GM. But EDS couldn't get crap done.
These same sorts of decisions led to the death of GM. Back then, virtually every decision right down to the color of the cars had to be made on the 14th floor.
There's no question that the UAW is also a major player in this catastrophe. The unions demanded and received a king's ransom for their workers. Thing is, that's their job. It's the job of the suits to say "FY, you are out of your mind if you think we're going to pay for all that!"
My point is that even if one achieves the impossible and the UAW gives up it's extravagant ways, GM will still not succeed. Dumb management will sink it, although not as fast as ruthless, short sighted labor unions.
All arguing aside, I recently test-drove a 2009 Pontiac G8GT and absolutely and positively loved it! It's a sweet-handling car with great brakes and all the torque in the world from that L76 engine.
I thought it was a terrific blend of German-like composure and American muscle. The car is huge for those who like that kind of thing.
I am thinking that when Pontiac is officially discontinued (they were going to discontinue G8s anyway), I will jump in and snatch one of them G8GTs with a significant discount. Right now you can find them for $25000 or even slightly below. I wonder what they are going to be once the dealerships lose their contracts?
John Z. DeLorean said it 30 yrs ago in "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors": It's the management...
hate to see pontiac go. some of my best memories of my youth are crusing in my pontiac gto. i still have a 1966 gto that i owned in high school.
Nice !! I wish I would have kept my first car.
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