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Old 07-16-2008, 07:20 AM   #21
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Various laws (i.e. government interference) tipped the balance against companies and toward unions in these negotiations. It's better in some places than others (e.g. "right-to-work" states here in the US typically are more evenhanded in their laws", but that's not where most GM operations are based).
Then GM should have relocated its operations to a more company-friendly environment. It made the decision to stay in Michigan etc. Nobody forced it.

GM is a huge corporation (not for much longer!), with all kinds of resources. If it was tripped up by the union or local governments, it had the muscle to deal with those challenges ... it was just too lazy to do so.

Poorly designed and made products, incompetent self-satisfied management, overpaid coddled workers, brainless complacent shareholders: what a toxic stew. This is one company that should not be missed.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:46 AM   #22
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I think what's being lost somewhere in here is that most of the problems that are now stemming from union contracts were those agreed upon in the 80's.
I'd say in recent years, the unions in the auto business and airline business have been losing out on benefits.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:41 AM   #23
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I thought the 'Big Three' meant Honda, Toyota and Nissan? Must be a generational thing...
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:44 AM   #24
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I thought the 'Big Three' meant Honda, Toyota and Nissan? Must be a generational thing...
They're still called: "The Japanese Automakers"............but I think they are the "New Big Three".........
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:51 AM   #25
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Toyota (-21% in June) sales have not fallen as much as Ford (-28%) or Chrysler (-46%) - and Honda actually sales increased 1% (even they don't know why). GM sales were off -18%. But the critical difference is Toyota and Honda have products in the pipeline now that will meet the needs of a buyer facing $4-7/gal gasoline near term. I suspect the pipeline at GM, Ford and Chrysler is filled with options like the recently introduced Escalade Hybrid ("Intelligent Indulgence" indeed) and the Camaro. And I'd be willing to bet Honda and Toyota will fare far better over the next few years than the 'big three' (doesn't have the ring it once did...).
Amount of brands is the problem:

Honda: Honda and Acura

Toyota: Toyota, Lexus, and Scion

Nissan: Nissan and Infiniti

GM: Chevy, GMC, Pontiac, Buick, Cadillac, (Oldsmobile back in the day)

I used to work at a GMC truck dealer. The ONLY difference between GMC and Chevy was the badging on the truck, and a little more chrome on the GMC. they were the SAME truck, how stupid is that??
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:54 AM   #26
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Honda, Toyota and Nissan are pretty much the same thing. the only difference between a Toyota and a Lexus in a lot of cases are different body panels, interior and some other things. they spend an extra few thousand $$$ to build it and charge you double what a Camry costs and make a lot more money. Mostly same thing as a Camaro and Firebird

there is even an initiative between all the automakers around the world to use standard parts for their cars
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:02 AM   #27
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Honda, Toyota and Nissan are pretty much the same thing.
Uh, no, those companies are distinctly different, but have one thing in common, they built their brands on affordable reliable small cars, where the Big Three did not.........

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Mostly same thing as a Camaro and Firebird
Well, the build quality is probably a little better in the Honda/Toyota/Nissan..........
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:48 PM   #28
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The Japaneese carmakers also build their luxury brands with a lot of common parts as the regular brand. not just GM and Ford. they have also sold a lot of SUV's. Toyota has a lot of different SUV models with a few of them being truck based SUV's.

big difference is that the Rising Sun Big 3 can sell their small cars at a nice profit, while GM and Ford lose money or barely break even on their small car sales. that's why all the democrats from states where GM and Ford have a large presence are always against CAFE when the dems are supposed to be enviromentally friendly
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:28 PM   #29
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Hummer, Saab and Saturn for GM as well.
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:32 PM   #30
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Uh, no, those companies are distinctly different, but have one thing in common, they built their brands on affordable reliable small cars, where the Big Three did not.
Correct, on all counts.
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:43 PM   #31
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Hummer, Saab and Saturn for GM as well.
More "quality" brands..........resale?? Yikes............
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:32 PM   #32
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I heard on the news that GM was considering selling the Hummer brand. I found myself wondering how much anyone someone would demand to be paid pay for it.

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Old 07-16-2008, 04:34 PM   #33
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I heard on the news that GM was considering selling the Hummer brand. I found myself wondering how much anyone someone would demand to be paid pay for it.

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Old 07-16-2008, 05:37 PM   #34
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I heard on the news that GM was considering selling the Hummer brand.
GM Could Sell Hummer to Chinese Company

Selling Hummer. Cutting production. Closing factories. Laying off staff. Restricting retirees' benefits. Soon there won't be much left.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:27 AM   #35
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For all you that are bagging on GM, do you actually own a GM car? I'll readily admit that in the 70's and 80's, American car makers got complacent. However, from any mechanic I've ever spoken with recently, they all tell me that there are no unreliably built cars any more. I've owned GM's and I've owner almost every other brand as well, and have been very happy with my GM's. Personally, I think a Buick is the car to own (although I don't at the moment). You can buy them a year old, for half price and get half that money back in two years. It'll cost ya' three grand a year or less total for a good quality, loaded up car, that's under warranty for the most part.
I recently traded in my bigger SUV for a Chevy Equinox. It's fully loaded and looks almost identical to the Lexus crossover. I can assure you I'll spend much less than that Lexus owner over the life of the vehicle.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:04 AM   #36
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I owned a 2001 Olds Intrigue. The electrical went wonky for the window and radio controls. I needed some suspension work at 125k miles, but then the roads around here can be rough in the spring. Oh, and my front driver left turn signal burned out every 3 months.

Still, I'd be tempted to make my next car a Volt unless Tesla comes out with something a bit cheaper by the time I'm shopping.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:29 AM   #37
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I don't think Tesla will beat the Volt with their sedan model. A better bet is Think's new model coming out next year. Home - Think
Art, Saturns were my favorite. It isn't quality that stops me from buying GM, it is poor fuel efficiency.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:31 AM   #38
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Sorry, I mean cheaper than their current offering, not necessarily cheaper than a Volt.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:34 AM   #39
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Ah, well then it may be a tie
Tesla's next model is a sedan slotted for 2010. Current estimate is $60,000 vs $40,000 for the Volt. So it is much cheaper than their roadster.
Tesla's plan is to have a family sedan next (2012/2013?).
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:41 AM   #40
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For all you that are bagging on GM, do you actually own a GM car? I'll readily admit that in the 70's and 80's, American car makers got complacent. However, from any mechanic I've ever spoken with recently, they all tell me that there are no unreliably built cars any more.
Hello Art,

You may well be quite right. But for many people it doesn't matter if American manufacturers have finally improved their quality to acceptable levels. Honda, Toyota et al. got it right a long time ago, and there is no compelling need to experiment; especially when GM, Ford and Chrysler have such poor reputations.

I'm not looking for an argument, or implying that you're a fool for preferring your Chev. I merely point out that, rightly or wrongly, perception is often just as important as reality.

The American 'Big Three' pretty much squandered their huge lead and inadvertantly alienated a generation of consumers. They will have a difficult winning back those potential customers.
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