Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Response to the post, "GM is dead; long live GM"

My post from last week was actually about re-birth: the phoenix of a new General Motors rising from the ashes of the organization that died when they lost sight of their customers.

I received a number of comments on that blog post that indicated that people understand that the issue is deeper than just the current crisis. For this week's post, here are a number of those comments:

  • "You are right on. Probably have to reduce the number of brands though. Not enough money to do them all properly", (Anonymous)

  • "I guess you are not worried about working on GM business anymore (lol). You are correct in that the government has to call the GM bluff at some point and tell them that the current senior management team is out! The current senior regime at GM just does not have the balls to make the drastic cuts that are necessary. As an example, why do they insist on keeping Pontiac and Buick! They sell 5 Pontiac’s a year in the US and the last Buick customer is now on life support. They need to get over themselves and the government needs to administer some tough love. If this does not happen, the government might as well invest in penny stocks as the chances of returns on these are far greater than getting a return on GM. With regards to Chrysler, don’t even get me started….". (Anonymous)

  • "Provocative thoughts...the automotive landscape will be very different in short order" (Anonymous)

  • "Great notes and observations Chris. Having being around the track, you know there are a million solutions to the G.M. situation. The complexity of their business compounded by the jurisdictions in which they operate can make your head explode. Here's one more observation for the herd to consider. G.M. was managed by the smartest guys and girls Harvard could through at it, right? Does this say more about G.M. or about our business schools? If business schools today don't offer G.M. and for that matter through in Kodak, Xerox, Citi Bank and American Express as business cases, what are the next generation paying for and what are we teaching them about management?Clearly, we know what business schools taught our august financial engineers and I understand Western is re writing the curriculum as we speak. What are we teaching the new cohort of MBA,s about international business, manufacturing and finance now that the last cohort blew up the workshop?Just a thought." (Tom Mc)

  • "What GM business is there to still be working on? As a consumer, the only business I see them in is Charity and Bailouts---as Recipients." (Anonymous)

  • "I loved the story about your father's Oldsmobile (oops, it was a Chevy!) My mom drove a Buick. OOPS, was it a Chevy?"

  • "I guess Steve Jobs should be fired for putting Intel chips in Apple computers then. Oh wait, I just gave a simple answer to a complicated question. My bad" (Anonymous)

  • "Good article. I even knew at a young age they had too many brands producing essentially the same type of cars. Why have the same cars competing against each other under the same company?" (Anonymous)

  • "Wasn't Saturn supposed to be the future of the domestic car industry? Too bad GM couldn't leave well enough alone and "GM'd" it." (TR)

  • "We had a 77 Pontiac wagon with a Chev engine. My dad was actually pleased when he discovered that as he always felt Chevs were reliable. Only problem was that the oil filter was different between Pontiac and Chev engines, so you always had to be sure the mechanic used the correct filter when the oil was changed. It was a great car and a terrific engine and lasted many, many years." (Anonymous)
The current debate about bailing out GM and Chrysler reminded me of an observation my youngest son made once when we had to decide about repairing a vehicle that had already cost us lots of $'s. "Don't throw good money after bad, Dad", he said, "Kill it before it dies".

Good advice. We all agree that GM will not survive in its current form. Why continue to drag out the inevitable?


  1. Now that we all agree that GM will not survive in its current form, how about a blog post of your vision of the car company of the future? From raw materials & component suppliers all the way through manufacturing and retailing?

  2. Ryan said

    Gm is trying to survive inthis drastic market.They asked for a loan of $30bn from the federal government.They maximize their Share Pricereduced their number of car categories to five.hope they will do well and come back to the market once again.Good Luck.


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