View Full Version : the GM thread

07-10-2009, 10:27 AM
should have maybe started this one a while ago, thought about it.. anyway here's today's news: http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=206830

New GM Emerges From Bankruptcy
By Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer
Manufacturing.Net - July 10, 2009

DETROIT (AP) -- The new General Motors will be faster and more responsive to customers than the old one, and it will make money and repay government loans faster than required, CEO Fritz Henderson said Friday as a leaner version of the automaker emerged from bankruptcy protection.

The bulk of General Motors Corp.'s assets were transferred to a company controlled by the U.S. government. Once the world's largest and most powerful automaker, new GM is now cleansed of massive debt and burdensome contracts that would have sunk it without federal loans.
But the new GM also emerges amidst the worst sales slump in a quarter-century.

Henderson told a news conference that GM completed its 40-day stay under court supervision far faster than anyone thought it could. He said it would repay about $50 billion in government loans ahead of a 2015 deadline. He said the company now will focus more on customers, including a partnership with eBay to test auctioning vehicles online.

The new GM will also build more cars and trucks that consumers want and launch them faster than in the past, the CEO said. "We recognize that we've been given a rare second chance at GM, and we are very grateful for that. And we appreciate the fact that we now have the tools to get the job done," he said.

Henderson also said the company would reduce its overall U.S. salaried employment by 20 percent by the end of 2009. He said management ranks will be cut by 35 percent, or 450 executives, including the elimination of its North American president position. Henderson said he will take responsibility for North American operations.

He said Bob Lutz, a legendary industry executive, was "unretiring" to become a vice chairman responsible for all creative elements of products, marketing and customer relationships. Lutz had previously planned to retire at the end of the year after more than four decades in the auto business.
The automaker is launching a "Tell Fritz" Web site to allow owners and the public to share their concerns with senior management and he planned to go out on the road every month, Henderson said.

"We need to listen to the questions, ideas and the concerns of the people who matter the most," Henderson said. The new company will focus on three top priorities, customers, cars and culture, Henderson said.
"If we don't get this right, nothing else is going to work," he said during a morning news conference at GM's Downtown Detroit headquarters. "Business as usual is over at General Motors."

New Chairman Edward Whitacre Jr. said the 40-day period had been extremely challenging. "There have been a lot of long hours, there have been a shuttering of plants, there have been painful layoffs," he said. Whitacre cited the "strong leadership" of Henderson and the management team, giving the CEO who replaced Rick Wagoner a vote of confidence.
"We all want to win and we are going to win," Whitacre said.

The company's logo will remain blue with white underlined GM letters. Henderson said GM has no plans to change the background color to green. "It's not in my plans actually," he said. GM has considered the change to represent its new environmental focus.

Concessions made by the United Auto Workers union just before the company entered bankruptcy protection have brought GM's labor costs down to where they are fully competitive with Toyota Motor Corp., Henderson said. Henderson also said the U.S. government has urged them to form a "world-class board" and has vowed that it would not get involved in day-to-day decisions. Steve Rattner, the head of the Obama administration's auto task force, "wants the company to perform," Henderson said.

GM ranked as the top global automaker in terms of sales for 77 years before Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. snatched its crown in 2008. The company sold nearly 8.4 million cars and trucks around the world in 2008, falling short of Toyota's nearly 9 million.

Once the largest corporation in America, GM held the top spot in the Fortune 500 ranking for 20 years before being pushed out of the top spot in 1973 by Exxon Mobil Corp. It reclaimed No. 1 status in 1985 and held it for another 15 years.

Turning a profit will not be easy. GM has piled up losses and survives only because it expects to receive $50 billion in U.S. government loans. Without the loans, its executives have said the company would have been sold off in pieces.

In addition to the U.S. government's 61 percent controlling interest, the United Auto Workers union gets a 17.5 percent stake of the company through its retiree health care trust, and the Canadian government will control 11.7 percent. The remaining shares went to bondholders of the old company.

The parts of GM not moving to the new company will become part of "old GM," a collection of assets and liabilities that will be sold to pay creditors.

Associated Press Writers Ken Thomas in Washington, D.C., and Kimberly S. Johnson and Jeff Karoub in Detroit contributed to this report.

07-10-2009, 10:31 AM
So working for a company that has been somewhat tied to the auto industry, with vendors and affiliates that are very tied to the auto industry, I am kind of ok with this 50 billion.. even though I realize that's anti-capitalist and the Adam Smith in me is saying let them crumble.. but hey if they really pay back the loan it's all good, right?

07-10-2009, 12:15 PM
As a fan of the internal combustion engine, I have to admit that I'm OK with it. GM was finally putting some good things on the road, it would have been a shame to see it crumble. There are some things in the world that may not bring a definable benefit to society, but that should exist just "because" - Hard salami is one, going to college (not to reopen an old topic) is another, the new ZR1 is another. Also the CTSV, and I can't wait to test drive a Volt, a hybrid built the way I, with no engineering background, would build a hybrid. And look at the new Camaro, I personally think they look great and the base model, which will outsell the V8 version probably 8-1, gets high 20's mpgs with 300hp. That's good.

My immersion into the heavy side of Ford the last three years (and nearly 20k miles behind blue oval steering wheels) has really opened my eyes to the fact that American cars are not all the giant pieces of spreadsheet based cost cutting production excrement that they were 10, 15 and 20 years ago.

I'm no FoMoCo superfan, but if Ford put the thought and expertise into their whole line that they do into the Super Duty trucks, they wouldn't need a government handout. Oh wait, they didn't need a government handout. I would like to see GM cut the fat and continue (product wise) on the path they're on. A strong GM product makes products from Ford, Toyota and everybody else they compete with stronger too.

07-10-2009, 01:04 PM
A very interesting experiment indeed. Especially if it works.

Tim, there is an Adam Smith in you??? :lmao:

I would have guessed a Sam Adams to be far more likely... :bolt:

07-10-2009, 01:11 PM
Adam Smith.. Freud.. Deming.. a few others come and go but yeah it's like a perpetual cocktail party up there in my head, kind of tough to quell the voices sometimes.

And I'm more of a Natty light guy now, goes better with the mini truck. :beer:

07-10-2009, 01:48 PM
I just hope they actually succeed in making cars that people want.

The last time I bought a new car was in 2004. The cars I considered were Jettas and Accords (I bought the Jetta). I had a conversation with my Dad, who asked if there weren't any American cars I would consider. The only ones I liked were 2 door coupes, like the Mustang, but unfortunately I needed a 4-door sedan with my family. So I ended up with a foreign car again.

The NY Times has an article back in March that talked about how the Swedish Gov't said no to saving Saab (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/world/europe/23saab.html). It will be interesting to see whether the US Gov't's bailout of GM is actually a success.

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It took me a while to find, but this article is a fascinating read:
A British Lesson on Auto Bailouts (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/business/economy/18car.html)

This is not the story of Ford and General Motors, but British Leyland, a car company that went through 11 billion of inflation-adjusted British taxpayer money, or $16.5 billion, in the ’70s and ’80s before going out of business. All that is left of the company now are memories of cars like the Triumph, and a painful lesson in the limited effectiveness of bailouts.

“It’s all too evocative,” said Leon Brittan, a top official in the government of Margaret Thatcher, the free-market-minded prime minister who nevertheless backed the rescue. “I’m not telling the U.S. what to do, but the lessons of the British experience is don’t throw good money after bad. British Leyland carried on for a few more years, but they’re not there now, are they?”

07-10-2009, 02:07 PM
I think that a serious consolidation of brand names should be in order. They've already begun the process (dropping Olds as an example), but I've always wondered why they continue to market and support so many overlapping vehicles in their fleet. I mean - what really is the difference between a Suburban and a Yukon? A Silverado and a Sierra? An Enclave and a Traverse?

Get back to the basics - figure out what the market wants and what you can make a profit with, and junk everything else.

07-10-2009, 03:35 PM
What I find amazing is that they created Saturn as a departure from traditional GM and it did ok. Then they sucked it back into GMthink and the products suffered.

07-10-2009, 07:20 PM
Great for the UAW, not so great for bond holders :(

I don't recall the specifics but as I understand it some bankruptcy laws were violated/ignored and the bond holders who typically would be on top and get the most return got the shaft while the UAW came out on top. So bond holders held the majority stake in the company and get the least when GM emerges :confused:

Let's hope that GM actually does something good with this "gift" they were given and that the politicians stay out of the day to day running of the company. If they don't the company is probably doomed IMO. The reality is we will never see a dime of the $$ if GM repays the 'loan' - it will just go to some other pet project on the list folks.

But, $50B is chump change to the $1T stimulus package and who knows what stimulus part deux will cost :eek:

07-11-2009, 12:56 PM
Adam Smith.. Freud.. Deming.. a few others come and go but yeah it's like a perpetual cocktail party up there in my head, kind of tough to quell the voices sometimes.

And I'm more of a Natty light guy now, goes better with the mini truck. :beer:

I've been meaning to bring it up... do the voices in my head form a distraction during meetings?

Oh, and Negra Modelo goes best with minis. Kinda cancels the taste of gear oil should you break a pinion in the field (rare as that is).

The thing that tempts me to think the GM bailout might work is, they were able to slough off all the loser brands, and keep the winners. The fact that they would do that given the chance is hopeful. British Leyland never did that, never changed their business model AFAIK. But yes, the bondholders got screwed, and IMHO laws were violated, which also completely screwed up the bond investment market - if the rules change mid course, bonds are no longer as safe as they once were now, are they? And interest rates will have to go up SIGNIFICANTLY to balance this new risk. Not to mention other reasons not *quite* on the horizon, but not far from it.

07-17-2009, 10:33 AM
I guess if I ran a dealership that was being closed down I'd probably whine about it too... then again, at the end of the day dealerships need to sell cars and if they're not doing that, well..

from http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=207930

House Sides With GM, Chrysler Dealerships
By Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer
Manufacturing.Net - July 17, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House broke with the Obama administration Thursday over a key part of the auto industry restructuring, pressing General Motors and Chrysler to restore dealerships shuttered by the car companies' bankruptcies.

The House approved the car dealer measure Thursday as part of a spending bill. It would force General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC to restore franchise agreements with dealers as a condition of partial government ownership.

Car dealers have lobbied lawmakers to support the bill, arguing that the government and the automakers have trampled over state franchise laws and knocked out hundreds of dealerships with little warning. They warn that up to 200,000 workers could lose their jobs.

"An economic recovery will not be possible if we continue to throw people out of work," said Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio.

GM is reducing its 6,000-dealer network by more than 2,000 by not renewing franchise agreements next year and winding down stores with outgoing brands such as Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and Hummer. Chrysler cut 789 of its dealers as part of its restructuring plan, reducing its dealer count to about 2,400.

The dealership reductions were part of the GM and Chrysler bankruptcy agreements. Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in June and GM exited bankruptcy on July 10, helped by billions in federal aid. The government now owns nearly 61 percent of GM and 8 percent of Chrysler.

The White House said Wednesday it strongly opposes the measure, arguing it would "set a dangerous precedent, potentially raising legal concerns, to intervene in a closed judicial bankruptcy proceeding on behalf of one particular group."

GM and Chrysler have fought the legislation, saying it will slow down their turnaround plans and hurt their work to create a more profitable dealer network amid sluggish sales. Peter Grady, a Chrysler vice president, said in a statement the move by Congress "flies in the face" of a declining U.S. vehicle market. "There are simply too many dealers for not enough sales," Grady said.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., an auto industry champion, said Congress was "playing with fire."

"If the auto industry goes down because we have taken sides in a quarrel between the auto industry and the dealers, we will have destroyed not only the dealers that complain but all of the other dealers," Dingell said.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., countered that it would "get the auto dealers and the auto companies to sit down and work out a better appeals process so you don't have some significantly profitable auto dealers at the local level being unnecessarily put out of business."

GM and Chrysler have held discussions with House members and car dealers about potential concessions that would help the closing dealers have a softer landing.

The measure faced an uncertain future.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said earlier in the week that the issue was not atop his agenda, setting up a potential roadblock. Reid spokesman Jim Manley noted Thursday that Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has introduced a similar measure and said Reid would monitor the legislation's progress.

07-17-2009, 11:27 AM
I think the government is ill equipped to know what they are doing with regard to this issue... especially when individual congresspeople have vested interests in their districts, adding bias. The whole thing will fall down before it has a chance to fly.
Car dealers have lobbied lawmakers to support the bill, arguing that the government and the automakers have trampled over state franchise laws and knocked out hundreds of dealerships with little warning.
Wouldn't that be their recourse then, if they have trampled over state franchise laws? That's what tort is for. Unless they are saying the Feds specifically overruled state laws rendering them moot.

07-17-2009, 11:58 AM
Well I just don't buy the "little warning" line. Surely you've seen your own financials, and know what your dealership's P&L is doing... I know it's cold but hey if that StarBuck's isn't making a profit, they shut it down- and the people will just have to go across the street for coffee.. to the more profitable dealership.

07-17-2009, 12:04 PM
Well I just don't buy the "little warning" line. Surely you've seen your own financials, and know what your dealership's P&L is doing... I know it's cold but hey if that StarBuck's isn't making a profit, they shut it down- and the people will just have to go across the street for coffee.. to the more profitable dealership.
The problem with that statement is that the 'government' isn't the one shutting down that Starbucks...

07-17-2009, 12:09 PM
The problem with that statement is that the 'government' isn't the one shutting down that Starbucks...

Is the government shutting down the dealers? I thought GM was...

GM is reducing its 6,000-dealer network by more than 2,000 by not renewing franchise agreements next year and winding down stores with outgoing brands such as Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and Hummer. Chrysler cut 789 of its dealers as part of its restructuring plan, reducing its dealer count to about 2,400.

and if it weren't for the government bail out, those numbers would likely be higher?

07-17-2009, 03:49 PM
I guess if I ran a dealership that was being closed down I'd probably whine about it too... then again, at the end of the day dealerships need to sell cars and if they're not doing that, well..

I would agree if that was the whole story...Now, I don't know for sure since I am not a car dealer, but in interviews that I have heard with John Medved and others (Right-Click Save As or just click to listen to --> Mike Rosen, 6/11/09, interviews Tim Jackson on GM and Chysler closing down dealerships (http://a1135.g.akamai.net/f/1135/18227/1h/cchannel.download.akamai.com/18227/podcast/DENVER-CO/KOA-AM/Rosen06-11-09-09AM.mp3?CPROG=PCAST&MARKET=DENVER-CO&NG_FORMAT=newstalk&SITE_ID=668&STATION_ID=KOA-AM&PCAST_AUTHOR=Mike_Rosen&PCAST_CAT=Spoken_Word&PCAST_TITLE=The_Mike_Rosen_Show)) lack of profitability is not necessarily the case in all situations. From what I heard, there seems to be some other motives as well and they are not all on the up and up...

I also heard that in some cases GM is closing dealerships (breaking the franchise agreement with the government's "ok") and then turning around and inquiring about reopening the same dealership under new ownership or via direct GM ownership. The impression I got was that GM doesn't particularly care for the "franchise agreement" and what goes with that so this was a way for them to close profitable, high profile dealerships, only to turn around and reopen them for themselves.

You've probably guessed that I think this whole GM bailout and restructuring smells rotten and I believe there is a fair amount of proof that it is "rotten", but the Obama administration is getting a pass in the media on the issue. I believe a lot of laws have been broken and people have just looked the other way :(

07-23-2009, 11:02 AM
Most likely the end of the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe.. but Pontiac has been axed so I guess that's logical. Just further shows you how connected all of these auto makers are.. http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=208866

Toyota Ending Calif. GM Joint Venture

Manufacturing.Net - July 23, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) -- Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to liquidate its stake in a California manufacturing plant that it jointly operated with General Motors, a Japanese news agency reported Thursday.

The Japanese carmaker will begin negotiating with the "Old GM" starting next week, Kyodo News reported, citing unnamed company officials.

Toyota spokesman Mike Goss would not confirm that the Japanese automaker had made a final decision on the fate of Fremont, Calif.-based New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., also known as NUMMI. Goss said Toyota will begin negotiations with the GM officials about the plant and added that the company is conducting an "extensive review" of its production needs.

A GM spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment.

Nummi's fate was thrown into question last month when GM announced it was withdrawing from the 50-50 joint venture. GM emerged from bankruptcy protection shortly after the announcement and the company's stake in NUMMI is now part of Motors Liquidation Co. -- also known as Old GM -- where it will be liquidated under court supervision.

The NUMMI plant, established in 1984, employs 4,600 workers and makes the Pontiac Vibe station wagon for GM, and the Corolla compact car and Tacoma pickup truck for Toyota.

Toyota has been reexamining its U.S. strategy after plummeting U.S. auto sales helped drag it to its worst-ever overall loss for the fiscal year ended in March.

On Monday Yoshi Inaba, president of Toyota Motor North America and chairman of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said the Japanese automaker was carefully evaluating its options for NUMMI and hoped to make a decision "as quickly as possible."

He said Toyota was studying whether it could be economically viable in the future and considering factors such as the company's idle factory space, labor and image.

California represents Toyota's largest market within the U.S. California lawmakers have held discussions with the company about ways of keeping the plant open.

The United Auto Workers union represents employees at the joint facility and their labor contract expires next month. The joint venture was developed to have American workers learn Toyota's production methods, which were much leaner and more efficient. The UAW has not been able to organize workers at a Toyota plant in the U.S.

08-06-2009, 01:38 PM
GM To Build Plug-In Hybrid SUV

Not sure what this brings to the party beyond what can already be obtained by a Highlander Hybrid.. guess time will tell what the acual specs are. I also have mixed feelings towards plug-in vehicles but I guess if your electric source is something natural like solar/wind/geothermal and not just coal, then it's a good thing?

GM To Build Plug-In Hybrid SUV
By Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer
Manufacturing.Net - August 06, 2009

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- General Motors will introduce a Buick crossover sport utility vehicle powered by a plug-in rechargeable system in 2011, a top GM production executive said Thursday.

Tom Stephens, vice chairman of global product development, said the new midsize vehicle will be about the size of a Chevrolet Equinox SUV and get double the city gas mileage of a similar-sized conventional SUV. It will run on a combination of batteries and regular fuel.

The plug-in will put the Buick brand "front and center" in advanced technology, Stephens said.

The Buick will have a new plug-in rechargeable version of GM's two-mode hybrid powertrain now used in larger SUVs and pickup trucks. The current version cannot be recharged by plugging it in.

Stephens, speaking at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., said the plug-in SUV originally was destined for the Saturn brand. But GM has a tentative deal to sell the brand to the Penske Automotive Group.

The new Buick will have a 3.6-liter V-6 engine and two electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery made by LG Chem of South Korea.

GM's dual-mode hybrid system uses two electric motors and a V-8 engine to get up to 23 miles per gallon in a pickup truck or large sport utility vehicle. The planned midsize Buick SUV plug-in will get much better mileage than that. The current Equinox with a four-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive gets 22 miles per gallon in the city.

Under the GM dual-mode hybrid system, a computer determines what combination of the three motors is most efficient for the road conditions, temperature and load.

Stephens said the new Buick will not operate on electricity alone. Instead, the electric motors will help the internal combustion engine get better gas mileage, he said.

The new Buick, which has not yet been named, will initially be powered by a four-cylinder engine. It will get the plug-in powertrain in 2011 for Department of Energy fleet use, followed shortly thereafter by sales to the public.

Stephens would not say how much the Buick would cost or where it would be built, although he said it would be produced in an existing factory.

It will be on the same underpinnings as the new Equinox and GMC Terrain, which are built at a factory in Ingersoll, Ontario. The Saturn Vue, on which the Buick also is based, is built in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

Stephens also said GM will begin selling the Chevrolet Spark minicar and Chevrolet Orlando seven-passenger small crossover in 2011.

08-11-2009, 10:32 AM
c'mon where's all the GM love? Your new Volt will get triple digit MPG.... :D

GM Says Volt Electric Car To Get 230 MPG
By Kimberly S. Johnson and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers
Manufacturing.Net - August 11, 2009

WARREN, Mich. (AP) -- General Motors Corp. said Tuesday its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car should get 230 miles per gallon (98 kilometers per liter) of gasoline in city driving, more than four times the current champion, the Toyota Prius.

The Volt is powered by an electric motor and a battery pack with a 40-mile (65-kilometer) range. After that, a small internal combustion engine kicks in to generate electricity for a total range of 300 miles (480 kilometers). The battery pack can be recharged from a standard home outlet.

GM came up with the 230-mile (370-kilometer) figure in early tests using draft guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for calculating the mileage of extended range electric vehicles, said Tony Posawatz, GM's vehicle line director for the Volt.

If the figure is confirmed by the EPA, which does the tests for the mileage posted on new car door stickers, the Volt would be the first car to exceed triple-digit gas mileage, Posawatz said.

GM has produced about 30 Volts so far and is making 10 a week, CEO Fritz Henderson said during a presentation of the vehicle at the company's technical center in the Detroit suburb of Warren.

Henderson said charging the volt will cost about 40 cents a day.

"The EPA labels can and will be a game changer for us," he said.

Most automakers are working similar plug-in designs, but GM could be the leader with the Volt, which is due in showrooms late in 2010.

Toyota's Prius, the most efficient car now sold in the U.S., gets 48 miles per gallon (20 kilometers per liter) of gas. It is a gas-electric hybrid that runs on a small internal combustion engine assisted by a battery-powered electric motor to save gasoline.

The first-generation Volt is expected to cost near $40,000, making it cost-prohibitive to many people even if gasoline returns to $4 per gallon. The price is expected to drop with future generations of the Volt, but GM has said government tax credits and the savings on fuel could make it cost-effective, especially at 230 miles per gallon (98 kilometers per liter).

"We get a little cautious about trying to forecast what fuel prices will do," Posawatz said. "We achieved this number and if fuel prices go up, it certainly does get more attractive even in the near-term generation," he said.

Figures for the Volt's highway and combined city/highway mileage have not yet been calculated, Posawatz said. The combined mileage will be in the triple digits as well, he said, but both combined and highway will be worse than city because the engine runs more on longer highway trips.

The EPA guidelines, developed with input from automakers, figure that cars like the Volt will travel more on straight electricity in the city than on the highway. If a person drives the Volt less than 40 miles (65 kilometers), in theory they could go without using gasoline.

The mileage figure could vary as the guidelines are refined and the Volt gets further along in the manufacturing process, Posawatz said.

GM is nearly halfway through building about 80 Volts that will look and behave like the production model, and testing is running on schedule, Posawatz said.

Two critical areas, battery life and the electronic switching between battery and engine power, are still being refined, but the car is on schedule to reach showrooms late in 2010, he said.

GM is simulating tests to make sure the new lithium-ion batteries last 10 years, Posawatz said.

"We're further along, but we're still quite a ways from home," he said. "We're developing quite a knowledge base on all this stuff. Our confidence is growing."

The other area of new technology, switching between battery and engine power, is proceeding well, he said, with engineers just fine-tuning the operations.

"We're very pleased with the transition from when it's driving EV (electric vehicle) to when the engine and generator kick in," he said,

GM also is finishing work on the power cord, which will be durable enough that it can survive being run over by the car. The Volt, he said, will have software on board so it can be programmed to begin and end charging during off-peak electrical use hours.

Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Co. and Daimler AG are all developing plug-ins and electric cars, and Toyota Motor Corp. is working on a plug-in version of its gas-electric hybrid system. Nissan Motor Co. announced last month that it would begin selling an electric vehicle in Japan and the U.S. next year.

08-11-2009, 10:37 AM
You know one look a the charger...


kind of reminds me of another piece of technology...


08-11-2009, 11:22 AM
Unfortunately the "real" Volt doesn't look a whole lot like the concept vehicle


And at $40K large it will be hard to justify buying one...Hopefully though this will lead to lower priced future models...Would be great to have something like this for a commuter car and save the gas guzzling LX for fun trips...Not sure how much longer our guv'mint is going to allow us to keep our gas guzzling off road vehicles though :(

08-25-2009, 04:13 PM
Major developments in logo placement... http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=214128

GM Vehicles Won't Carry 'Excellence' Mark
By Kimberly S. Johnson, AP Auto Writer
Manufacturing.Net - August 25, 2009

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Co. will begin removing its "Mark of Excellence" logo from vehicles as the company places greater emphasis on its individual brands.

GM spokesman Terry Rhadigan said Tuesday the company would phase out the placement of the GM logo on its cars and trucks, leaving just the GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac or Buick logos on the vehicles.

"We really want to elevate the prominence of our four core brands," he said. "It's really going to be an intense focus."

GM is discontinuing or selling its other four brands, Hummer, Saab, Pontiac and Saturn.

The final decision to remove the silver square logo was made earlier this month, although executives had mentioned the possibility of such a move months ago. The company found that consumers had a greater affinity for GM's individual brands than the corporate name.

"What we're seeing is the GM brand gets dinged big time in terms of considering a GM vehicle," said Mike DiGiovanni, GM's executive director of global market and industry analysis, during a monthly sales conference call in April. "But when you look at Chevrolet, Cadillac and our other brands, they haven't changed."

The company began putting the logos on all its vehicles in North America in 2005.

Rhadigan said removing the logo -- which is generally placed on the lower section of the door panel -- from some models will be more difficult than on others. On vehicles where a specific indentation is made in the sheet metal for the logo, phasing it out will take longer. On models such as the Camero or Equinox, removal is easier, and will begin immediately, Rhadigan said.

Taking the logos off the vehicle will save GM a "nominal" amount of money, Rhadigan said.

Uncle Ben
08-26-2009, 08:27 AM
Major developments in logo placement... http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=214128

Ouch.....did you read the blog after the article?

09-11-2009, 03:07 PM
Hey lookie there, they all got their pay cuts back.


GM To Restore Salaried Worker Pay Cuts
By Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer
Manufacturing.Net - September 11, 2009

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Co., in an effort to keep employees happy as it tries to climb back to profitability, has rescinded white-collar pay cuts it made last spring as it desperately tried to conserve cash and avoid bankruptcy protection.

The struggling automaker was losing staff because its pay scales were no longer competitive with other automakers and manufacturing companies, spokesman Tom Wilkinson said Friday. He did not know how many had left or exactly how many workers were affected by the cuts.

The moves come as GM tries to lure buyers back to its brands and fix its image after filing for Chapter 11 earlier this year. This weekend it will launch a new advertising campaign that offers to buy back cars and trucks if customers aren't satisfied with them.

The earlier pay cuts, ranging from 3 percent for many lower-level workers to 10 percent for executives, saved the company about $50 million but eventually it spent 40 days under bankruptcy court protection, emerging on July 10. The cuts affected workers in the U.S. and Canada as well as some overseas countries.

"We're into a period where employee morale is really important as we're starting to launch products and rebuild the business," Wilkinson said.

The company has about 25,000 U.S. salaried workers mainly in the Detroit area. Some employees at the bottom of the pay grades did not see salary cuts.

GM, hit by the worst auto sales slump in more than a quarter century, nearly ran out of money late last year and was forced to seek government aid. After the short stay in bankruptcy protection, GM emerged with fewer factories and dealers, far less debt and more competitive union contracts and is now trying to end years of losses.

Now the U.S. government, which has given GM $50 billion in aid so far, owns 60.8 percent of the company. Much of the money is to be repaid when GM makes a public stock offering sometime next year.

The pay restoration, which began Sept. 1, will be funded primarily with government dollars, at least for now. But Wilkinson said keeping good employees and selling more vehicles will help GM turn around and increase the value of the company when the time comes for the stock sale. He said the U.S. Treasury Department reviewed the pay restoration.

At least one critic of government intervention in the auto industry was not happy with the move.

"The government needs to get out of the business of owning and micromanaging banks, financial institutions and car companies. This unprecedented government control of U.S. businesses will hurt our economic recovery," said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who has pushed legislation calling for the government to end its ownership of GM and Chrysler within a year of passage.

During GM's struggles, white-collar workers have seen the company cut incentive bonuses, its 401(k) match, and health benefits.

Rescinding the pay cuts does not affect the company's 25 top-paid executives, Wilkinson said. Because GM is receiving government aid, their compensation is controlled by the Obama administration's "pay czar."

Well if I read that right at least the mucky mucks at the top don't get it all back on the taxpayer nickle, so that's a positive, right? Looking forward to some juicy comments by the Manufacturing.net readers... :)