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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
looks like GM is planning on more of the same...pricing vehicles by the pound, and selling large SUVs & large pick-ups as passenger vehicles while crushing EV-1s.
 

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A first year econ student could have seen this coming. What kind of brain drain has been happening at GM?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
hyperion said:
Probably why they have stated half their vehicals in 2007 eill be hybrid.
My guess is that they will go with the "hybrid" label to cash in on the publicity but the impact on mpg & cleanliness will be somewhat less than good.

They have been so spoiled and addicted to the outrageous mark-ups & profits on large SUVs/pickups..that they are like a junkie who needs a lot of help to get off the stuff, even tho they can look into the future and see their own destruction. :cry:

In American corp this happens when financial types or other non-product types take over the top positions.

It happens so often, in so many industries, you would think board's of directors would know better in selecting CEOs &Chairmen. But boards of directors have become part of the problem with their own short term financial self interest.

Iacocca saved Chrysler, he was a great product/market guy. Jobs pulled Apple up by the bootstraps, a great product & market guy.
 

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A friend of mine just yesterday swore off her Saab, which is a GM product, serviced by GM people at a GM-affilliated dealership. Saab used to have brand loyalty, but they seem to be doing their best to lose it. She's getting the same [email protected] I had to deal with when I had my Corvette.

"I don't hear a rattle"
"It's supposed to make that clunking noise"
"Those screws were already on the floor before we took your dashboard apart"
"That gap in the body panels is supposed to be uneven"

Hmmm, at the risk of angering some folks, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think it's only a matter of time before General Motors is removed from the Dow Industrial 30 index, and a bit more time before it's just another one of the "little guys" in the business...

Before anybody gets mad and flames me, let me say that I'm not the first to say this. Others much smarter than me have beaten me to the punch. And please consider the other "used-to-be's" in the Dow 30 such as Woolworth, American Tobacco, Tennessee Coal and Iron, United Aircraft, Chrysler, Manville Corp, Navistar, General Foods Corp, American Brands Inc., and USX, just to name a few. Look what happened to them when they could no longer be nimble and quick when responding to their customers, markets, and industry trends.

Some don't exist anymore, and others are mere shadows of their former selves. Yet others are now just tiny little divisions of other companies, having been bought out and run on the side, or maybe mostly sold for patent acquisition or just for parts.

It's just my personal opinion, of course, but I think the GM is in grave danger right now. And the Escape Hybrid notwithstanding, Ford may also be in the same boat if they don't mind their P's and Q's and continue to reinvent themselves, their products, and service.

I think I can argue that neither GM nor Ford are doing an adequate job on the quality front. Not in the factory. Not in the service bays, either. They desperately need to improve the quality in ALL of their products, and in their service. And they need to do it very quickly, because the market is beginning to GET USED TO BUYING FROM THEIR COMPETITORS.

The last thing any business wants is for customer loyalty and buying habits to shift to competitors. It's just so much more difficult to win them back! Much easier to keep them in the first place.

And when a company such as GM keeps on making bad decisions, what are the potential customers supposed to think?
 

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Hate to repeat myself on this, but GM, Ford, and Daimler Chrysler have been making what the American buyer has wanted. They didn't force the SUV phase down the buyers throats with cheap prices and fleet discounts. It surprisingly took the Japanese and German industry more than two years to discover for themselves that this wasn't a short time craze with the American buyer and it hasn't taken the American manufacturer more than a year (the 2004 Prius) to find the trend MAY be changing and is now going to test the waters with their own hybrid. If something drastic happens in the meantime (like the drastic reduction in oil prices) I'm sure they will continue with the SUV's just as the Japanese are doing.
A seldom overlooked fact in auto market is the type of car being purchased by the cab companies worldwide. In Germany it is Geman, ditto France and England. It can't be because it is only General Motors that is offering fleet discounts and not the smart Japanese business man, that they are mainly American here. As with the SUV they buy what works.
I surf and have for years many automotive sites and find little of the GM bashing anywhere but here. Lots of complaints about something that "could be better" just as on this site about the Prius, but none of the hate.
I don't know who you are presently working for but believe me, you too will be in financial trouble if a company like GM goes down the tubes. My only hope is they change their plans about China before it hits the fan there. Same wish for Toyota as by now they must both see what is about to happen with the Bank of China.
Toyota right now is the smartest in my opinion of all the manufacturers in the US. Thats because they are building auto manufacturing plants here as fast as GM and Chrysler are building them in other countries. They still are not sure enough about the hybrid however to convert any of their plants here to hybrid construction.
My mind about the market may be changed when I find a Honda or Toyota leading the "pack" at Daytona in a NASCAR race with a confederate flag plastered on their rear windows.
I like the Prius I have been driving for the past year but in my opinion it is no better than the other two GM vehicles I own, just "different."
 

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Hello, Hyperion:

First off: You're right. If GM suffers, so suffers everybody.

But is that my fault? Does that mean that I shouldn't buy a Toyota or a Honda when I just want a safe, reliable, fuel-efficient vehicle? I've had years and years of experience driving, getting stranded, and having to service my GM cars. It's human nature to compare those experiences with the many good ones I had with cars from other manufacturers.

As a result of my personal experiences with buggered up cars, and lousy excuses from service managers, I no longer perceive GM products or "Mr. Goodwrench" service to be safe or reliable. These factors are anough to decidedly disqualify them from my consideration.

Surf all you want, kind sir. I'm not the type to hang out on car forums (except here). I don't hang with "car people," and I don't join car clubs, because I'd rather drive than sit in meetings. I'd rather wash my car than talk about washing my car. I come here only because I really believe Toyota has done some fantastic homework with the Prius, and because I think our problem with "peak oil" is very real indeed.

I guess I really don't care what people say on other websites, and I don't care if they like GM or not.

I'm only offering my own perception and the perception of the things I read and of the people around me.

No hate here. Just immense dissatisfaction. I have had this dissatisfaction with every GM product I have ever owned. Not with other manufacturers' cars that I have owned, such as Mazda, Toyota, and BMW.

It's also my personal, admittedly unscientific observation that GM is really not building the "form factor" that the customer wants. Think about it, why would they announce earnings problems and poor sales figures if they were selling every SUV and big truck that they built?

"Converting a factory to build hybrids" won't take all that long. After all, they're still cars, aren't they? Didn't we use car factories to build airplanes, tanks, and other vehicles during World Wars I and II? If we can retool a car factory to make tanks, I think we can make hybrids much easier. Companies just need the desire and the will to make the move. They will get that will when they perceive the customer demand to be high enough to justify the cash outlay.

If/when Toyota decides to start building hybrids in the US or other countries, I doubt it will take that long to retool. But if GM is ever gonna build 'em, they have to get some experience, and they need to start now by doing something more than just giving the technology "lip service"...which is what they do when they're not outright "poo-pooing" it.

Poo-poo it they do, too. Why wait to be dragged kicking and screaming? Why not just start with one hybrid, like Ford has done?

I don't wish any company ill will. I'm sorry if my earlier post implied any such sentiment. If anything, I am a capitalist at heart! But I do think it's long past time for GM to read the tea leaves. Because any company can go under if mismanaged badly enough. And I think GM may be one of those companies at risk.
 

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BIF said:
... Because any company can go under if mismanaged badly enough...
Yes, but BIF, from your post it sounds like you think GM isn't being mismanaged badly. You think it's being exceptionally mismanaged!

:lol:
 

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I am disappointed in Ford for not coming out with the first "good" hybrid. I have been a Ford fan since I bought my first truck. I have owned everything from the Ranger, F150, and F250. I kind of expected them to be on the bleeding edge of technology and should have seen this gas crisis come up awhile ago. Heck they made the first nuclear powered car in the 70s I think. Was scraped due to safety issues (didn't even has seat belts cause the engineers said if it wrecked that would be the last of your problems :lol: ).

As for GM I would nevr own one. I am not sure about their cars but their trucks tend to rattle after a couple years and their options and capabilites are not even on part with the other manufacturers.

Part of the Big 3's problem is not supplying to the demand of the American public but finding the product that the public needs but does not know it yet (ie the hybrid). At least Ford made the first big step and put out the Escape hybrid. I would have bought from them if they made the Expolorer Trac into a hybrid.
 

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Sanny said:
BIF said:
... Because any company can go under if mismanaged badly enough...
Yes, but BIF, from your post it sounds like you think GM isn't being mismanaged badly. You think it's being exceptionally mismanaged!

:lol:
Wow, you're right! :)
 

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Ambrose Bierce was a horror story writer. And I have to repeat. No American manufacturer forced the SUV down any consumers throat. They didn't have to be purchased by the camping crowd to find a great market in the northern climes where your car is often parked outside or in outdoor parking lots when the start of the day used to have been met with a snow shovel to dig yourself out to get to or from work. Now all you have to do is clean off your windows and drive off leaving a hole in the snow for the next guy. That means a heck of a lot more going for it than the guy that buys one in LA cause he or she feels safer or "macho" in one. For four months we use these cars abilities every day.
As far as comfort is concerned and as much as I like my Prius, especially with the trend in gas prices, and now that I've retired, if the government mandated only one car per household my Prius would go before my Cadillac.
Sorry if you have had trouble with your american "iron" In sixty years of owning all nationalities from Japanese, German and English cars along with my "big three" I have found no difference in maintanance problems (maybe a little more with the Jags and MG) between them. Lucky I guess from your statements. However I have found the quality as good or better than the foreign makes. They at the time I bought all had something a little better going for them. I rolled my Accord over for a BMW for instance which went for my present Cadillac. My Chrysler mini van went for the Prius and as much as I like the Prius I miss that van every day. Sorry if I find my observations so much different than your own.
I don't particularly love cheap transportation (I might be driving a YUGO if I did) I love cars. I love instrumentation and know how to interpret it. I love tachometers, coolant temperature guages, and oil pressure guages. I know what they are indicating and I HATE idiot lights because thats who they are for. In the year I have had my Prius and have been reading this board I have found no more than three people who have even remotely stated they missed their guages. I have found not one indication that even one Toyota employee or mechanic has purchased one of these cars. I think the power plant is the way to go and am looking forward to the day when GM throws it into one of their premium sedans. I think 30 MPG would be just fine in the new Cad STS. Would probably make the wait a year instead of the present six months for that model.
Anyway, interesting discussion.
 

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30 mpg isn't going to be good enough. Neither will 45-50 mpg. We need trasportation that gets 100+mpg. And if it needs to be small,slow, ugly and uncomfortable...well that's what it needs to be. We need to start thinking of our cars differently. It's a deep hole with steep sides we've dug ourselves into. Let's be leaders on the way out.
 

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Hep said:
... It's a deep hole with steep sides we've dug ourselves into. Let's be leaders on the way out.

But, since many of us ARE Americans, can we still wear the black socks, sandals, and Hawai'ian shirt? Please, say we don't have to give up EVERYTHING! :wink:
 

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Sanny said:
Hep said:
... It's a deep hole with steep sides we've dug ourselves into. Let's be leaders on the way out.

But, since many of us ARE Americans, can we still wear the black socks, sandals, and Hawai'ian shirt? Please, say we don't have to give up EVERYTHING! :wink:
Geez, you've been in my closet! :shock:
 

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Sanny said:
Hep said:
... It's a deep hole with steep sides we've dug ourselves into. Let's be leaders on the way out.

But, since many of us ARE Americans, can we still wear the black socks, sandals, and Hawai'ian shirt? Please, say we don't have to give up EVERYTHING! :wink:
I live in Florida, and whenever I'm not at work or in the gym, I'm either barefoot or in sandals, even in January and February!

And yes, I wear hawaiian shirts, too.

But I only wear my black socks when I'm putting my boots on for a night out. :) I have to draw the line somewhere! :D
 

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Hep said:
Geez, you've been in my closet! :shock:

Shhhhhh! You're just feeding the rumor mill, Hepdeer! :lol:
 

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"Hate to repeat myself on this, but GM, Ford, and Daimler Chrysler have been making what the American buyer has wanted."

Chrysler and Ford used to think that, too; Toyota outsells them both now.

GM is next.
 

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If we start weening off of gasoline to alternative fuels, we will have to think in terms of miles/KWh, or some other unit of energy common to all forms/sources of energy.

As a matter of fact, that would help us now with our hybrids so we don't think of battery power as free energy.
 

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DanMan32 said:
If we start weening off of gasoline to alternative fuels, we will have to think in terms of miles/KWh, or some other unit of energy common to all forms/sources of energy.

As a matter of fact, that would help us now with our hybrids so we don't think of battery power as free energy.
An excellent point.
 
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