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General Watch: General forum

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GM in good hands webmaster 09/17/04 22:57
my my my dortdurant. It sounds like you need a dose of reality and the opportunity to get a life! I'll bet you just got an MBA and think that the dudes running GM really know what they're doing....and yes, dortdurant, there really IS a Santa Claus!

If GM is in good hands why has market share dropped every month for a decade?

If GM is in good hands why do retirees have to worry about their pension and their health care?

If GM is in good hands why is stock in the $40's instead of the $90's?

Come're in good hands with Allstate...not GM!
Product quality gnonice 07/17/05 09:52
Hello board. This is my first post here. I am A (was) loyal GM owner. I have worked in several GM dealerships as a tech, a service advisor and lastly, a Service Manager. The latest vehicle I bought from GM was a 01 Silverado HD with a 6.0 engine which had a knocking engine ( piston slap ) from almost day one. Since I no longer work at a GM dealeship, I tok it to one of the dealers I used to work for and still have good friends that work there, I get all the inside info on problems, recalls, bulletins, etc. When they told me my engine noise was "normal" and will not effect the relibility or longetivity, I was floored. After calling GM customer service and offered a 7 year warranty, just to shut me up, well that was the last straw. They will not repair / replace this engine under any terms. So from that point forward, we sold my wifes 03 (also knocking engine and 2 sets of front brake pad @ 11,000 miles)Malibu and bought a Mazda 6, which has been a great car.(24,000 miles so far, brakes still good) I am going to buy a Titan, and never buy a GM again. Everyone I talk to I tell them about my knocking truck and steer them away from the general. I now work at a transmission repair shop, and tell everyone there about my lack of responce from GM. I alway said I'd rather push a GM than drive a Toyota, but they forced me to change my tune. Sorry to vent.............
It began in 1968 - I was there CFThelin 06/25/05 18:05
June 25, 2005

Mr. Jim Dollinger

Amazing. I stumbled upon Market Watch and found your bio and the wonderful PowerPoint presentation Market Share on Market Street III.

I am old enough to recall that Buick Division was slated for extinction shortly after 1995. OK Kelley, designer of the Dynaflow, was send from the GM Engineering Staff (GMES) to revive them. He also had to contend with sloppy dealers, too. By 1961, we could tell that Buick was making better cars than Cadillac.

I moved from GMES to Chevrolet in 1965 to assist the GM Legal Staff defending the lawsuits about 1960-64 Chevrolet Corvair. Working in the Structure and Suspension Department of the GMES, I had foreknowledge that the ordinal Corvair was indeed dangerous. Yet, I was a good soldier, defending the company against the evil ATLA lawyers.

To do that, I was assigned to collect everything that Ralph Nader, author of Unsafe at Any Speed had ever said about the Corvair or GM. I looked at everything Nader wrote. I also reviewed relevant Chevrolet and Proving Grounds test reports. The mission was to mark each document plus, zero or minus to indicate if it was helpful, neutral or harmful to our cause.

There was a problem I came to understand that Mr. Nader said that collisions (not accidents) are almost all caused by dumb driving. Of course  we all knew that. But, Nader added in his book, the severity of the consequences was correlated to dangerous and unreasonably defective design. That statement is the foundation for the ATLA product liability section of personal injury lawsuits.

Nader blathered about the rear engine and the independent rear suspension and tuck-under. Fool. I knew of things far more dangerous than that  almost all a result of putting the price ahead of a quality product. One was the solid steel shaft that ran from the gearbox located inches behind the left front bumper back to the steering wheel hub  merely inches from the chest of the driver. There were scores of defective components that the designers protested  and were told to ignore. We dont design cars to have accidents. If anyone gets hurt in a crash they deserve it because they are so dumb.

With that attitude in mind, I reviewed many cases. At a 1967 Christmas party, I foolishly said to those around me that I had at least two cases that GM should loose. In both, it was clear to me that if the driver had been in any other car, he would not have suffered the injury or death resulting from the spinout of the Corvair. Note  I said spinout, not roll-over.

That ended my otherwise good career with GM. I was demoted to the lowest spot they could find. I asked for severance and got out.

I did feel like a good soldier defending the company that Alfred P. Sloan and Harlow Curtice (ex-Buick, you know) had built. I thought Ed Cole and John DeLorean were the heroes of the auto industry.

However, from those days on, anyone could see that Jim Roche and those who followed were unable to see what made GM once so great. Toyota and Mercedes-Benz have a real commitment to the product, the engineers, the factory workers, the suppliers and the dealers. Following all that, pleasing the customer is easy.

GM has made enemies of all them. GM destroyed GMs once proud safety engineering group by fighting so ferociously with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration beginning in 1968.

I believe GM started an unending downward spiral in 1968 when they began to stonewall everyone on that list above.

RETURN GM GREATNESS john88lauve 06/21/04 15:45
The Great Management that took General Motors to greatness has
been alowed to fade.

If Nissan can come back from the brink of bankruptcy, GM should be able
to make a plan. Since they cannot, I will help to make and implement one.

meeting Buickman 06/19/04 11:12
What about Buick? You asked a great question. GM has starved the division of car product while combining stand alone stores with Pontiac/ GMC. They learned with Olds, combine them first, then close it, fewer lawsuits that way. GM wants to build them overseas, sell them on the net and profit on the paper. They could care less for Olds or Buick, Pontiac probably next on the hit list. They have investment bankers to help them buy other companies with different franchises. Meanwhile the rest of the company suffers due to the actions of those in marketing.
General Watch First Impressions Buickman 06/19/04 11:03
Thank you for your most appropriate comments and genuine concern for GM. Unforunately it was necessary to give the initial website posting a negative slant given the fact of the decades-long decline in market share. Many people have pointed out the problems at GM. The real purpose of this effort is to provide hope for the future and a return to greatness for this American company and industry. The Plan - Five Points details the path for this resurgence. As you mentioned, car buying should be a fun, positive event, resulting in enthusiastic customers. Keep those raindrops falling.
Buickman Buickman 06/04/04 10:39
It was good to see you this year in Wilmington. Your support is truly appreciated, as is your concern for a healthy GM of the future. I thought Lucy's comments to be most appropriate regarding incentives, and agree with your assessment of money-losing investments.
meeting webmaster 06/02/04 19:49
Is bailing out Saturn the answer?

What about the flagship Buick? Isn't it time for GM to evaluate whether their "Saturn idea" is really viable and throw in the towel if it's not?

I understand that the original concept for running Saturn has gone by the wayside and production procedures are now just like the other divisions...instead of the "Japanese style team work concept" they originally planned for Saturn.

GM drained money from Olds to support their failing Saturn idea, and Olds is now history. Are they going to do the same with Buick in a vain attempt to make their "Saturn Plan" succeed? If so, after Buick, what's next? Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC? In the end will "General Motors" mean "generally Saturn"??
Buickman john88 06/01/04 14:05
Both Lucy Kessler and I will be looking forward to attending your presentation subsequent to the GM annual meeting. Thank you John Lauve
meeting john88 06/01/04 14:01
GM only made money last year because they sold Hughes and the Armored car division. Saturn needs urgent help to show that GM is capable of turning their decline around.
Forum Categories Don't Apply? webmaster 05/30/04 12:01
If you would like to post a new message but the listed categories don't seem to apply, please post your suggestion for a new Forum Category under "General Watch".
Creating General Watch webmaster 05/24/04 17:12
Creating and developing this website has been an interesting experience!

As a GM shareholder I was often shocked and dismayed by the lack of progress the company executives have made in increasing market share in spite of annual reports promising action and change.

One of the most telling comments on this site is the 2003 Annual Report comment under the "Past" Section:

"Here's what's new about GM's Strategy this year: Nothing. Our 2003 plan is the same as 2002."

"Nothing" seems to be the major problem...nothing changes...even the promises in the Annual Report are basically the same from year-to-year.

It's time for "Something" to be done!

General Watch Webmaster
meeting ragingfish 05/11/05 16:01
Saturn has TONS of untapped potential. I forsee Saturn, if developed RIGHT, to become the next Honda fighter. The ION Redline was a good faith effort at winning sales from yuppies that love their Civics. But it wasn't good enough.

The AURA and SKY show tons of potential, and have revived an excitement in the division. Granted, the SKY is no different than the Solstice on the inside. But platform sharing, if done right, can save money AND earn profits. The SKY and Solstice have very different target audiences. The AURA is also a stunning automobile, and, if the production model retains a good portion of the styling of the concept, it, with the SKY, can turn Saturn around.

While Saturn may have never turned a profit, it still has a huge amount of sales under it's belt. They must be doing SOMETHING right. Most say it's the buying experience. I've never bought a Saturn, so I can't testify to that, but it seems like a reasonable explanation.

I don't think it's *quite* time to throw the towel in on Saturn yet. Give the AURA and SKY a chance to take root. They could be the dose of medicine the division needs.

That being said, Buick isn't the only one that needs saving. Pontiac has been neglected for far too long too. I've been a loyal Pontiac owner my whole life. I remember the early 90s disasters with heavily plastic0 cladded cars and poor quality. But I stuck by them.

The G6 is a step in the right direction, and the Solstice has promise. The Torrent is a disappointment, as it's obvious to anyone it's only a rebadged 'nox. I'm glad to see Chevy has great sales and a good following, but perhaps that's because they've never been product starved. If the execs took half the time and money they spent building Chevy's current line and focused it on the "damaged' brands such as Buick and Pontiac, GM might be in better shape today.

Don't blame the consumer for making those brands "damaged." It's the fault of GM management. And if they can't take this alarming wake-up call as a time to cut the BS and turn the company around, they need to be ousted, and we need someone else at the reigns.

I'm very curious to see if Buickman's plan is even midly considered by GM management. Good luck to you my friend -- I'll keep buying Pontiac to show my support and faith in GM -- as long as Pontiac is in business, anyway.
GM's Far Reaching Quality Tarponsprings 05/05/08 15:19
I have not owned a GM vehicle for some years, due to GM's declining quality, however, I thought it interesting how GM's quality woes have infiltrated other areas of the automobile industry.

Case in point, my wife's 2008 BMW X3. Overall, a good vehicle, EXCEPT for the GM 6 speed transmission. The GM transmission lurches, hesitates, and otherwise does not shift as it should.

So, GM has now tarnished the reputation of another automaker.
LABOR Dave_davis 03/12/09 21:41
Get rid of the thugs (UAW) 75% of the problems will be solved
Product quality boscorelli 03/09/06 11:33
I have read the same thing about the Chevy pick-ups. I cannot believe that they say this noise is "Normal". My sister in-laws significant other is a diehard G.M. supporter such as youself. At least what you use to be. He has bought 2 brand new Chevy half ton's since they have been together. He would not mention in a million years of any knocking in his engine. I even heard the knocking after a family dinner on a cool evening. The truck had been sitting for a few hours in -10 degree temp. I was always curious as to why he would be the first, or last to leave. I guess to embarassed to start up his truck in cold weather.

Hope you have good luck with the Titan. Most powerful V-8 in it's class I hear.
RETURN GM GREATNESS Buickman 03/08/06 10:22
GM certainly is in a self-inflicted mess. A turnaround is possible beginning with the removal of "Red Ink Rick".