Other Editorials

GM in Japan

Jim Dollinger
Sunday, June 15, 2008

From the 2007 Annual Meeting transcripts:

Mr. Dollinger: "And how many cars do we sell in Japan?"

Mr. Wagoner: "We've sold very few because, frankly, we've found over the years it's a very difficult market to penetrate. In fact, I think if you look, you'll find that less than 5 percent of the sales in Japan come from imports of any manufacturer. All manufacturers in the world outside Japan penetrate about 4 percent of the market, 4 or 5 - sorry, 3 percent of the market in Japan. So we're frustrated, but we're not unique."

Mr. Dollinger: "Do we have a plan or a strategy to go into their market the way they've come into ours?"

Mr. Wagoner: "No. Actually we think our shareholders' money is much better spent at this point - markets that are more open where we think we can succeed on a level playing field, like China where ten years ago we had about 0 percent market share and today we have 12 percent market share, making significant returns in the fastest growing market. So what we try to do is invest the shareholders' money where we see the best chance for returns."

What you have here is a management who is unable to devise a strategy for selling vehicles in the world's second largest market. Guarantee you there are ways of not only cracking that market but also playing the cards here in the USA to an advantage based upon the Japanese reluctance to buy our products. Just another example of the absolutely FAILED management under Red Ink Rick. Oh poor us! We can't sell cars in Japan, they won't let us, they're too tough for us. Wa, Wa, Wa. This guy has to go!