A bailout that shouldn’t even cost 25 cents.
I could probably fix GM.
That’s how bad it is — because the solutions are that obvious. And because GM management clearly doesn’t see them. Or maybe (to be charitable) management just can’t do anything to implement them because of bureaucratic inertia/rigmarole, legal issues, whatever.
But look, it’s not rocket science — and I’ll happily pass along the fixes without demanding $25 billion for the info, either.
1. Stop It Already With the
I just got finished reviewing an ‘09 Chevy Aveo, which is a perfectly competent little economy car GM gets from its Korean-based subsidiary, Daewoo. This makes some sense, because buying the car from its Korean partner is cheaper than having Chevy build an entirely new car from scratch. Chevy is also GM’s economy brand.
Good so far, right?
Then you find out that GM also sells the car — the exact same car — through its Pontiac arm as the “Pontiac” G3. But it’s just a rebadged Chevy Aveo, which of course is just a rebadged Daewoo — which means GM has to spend money marketing two of the same thing as well as extra money on styling gewgaws (such as a slightly different front bumper) to make the “Pontiac” version look somewhat different from the “Chevy” version.
But it’s the same car, dammit! Why sell it twice instead of just once?
Also, isn’t Pontiac is supposed to be GM’s “upscale performance” brand — not its economy brand? So why is Pontiac selling an economy car that competes with Chevy (another GM brand, after all) for economy car buyers?
This “twinning” thing is madness — and just plain dumb business, too. You never see Toyota (or Honda) doing it.
The successful Japanese brands don’t diminish their efforts by diffusing their resources over multiple overlapping — and essentially identical - versions of the same basic vehicles. There aren’t two or three versions of the Corolla or Camry (or the Civic or Accord) being sold under different, other-than-Toyota names.
Yet GM continues to play this game of sheet-metal musical chairs - apparently, because it still thinks buyers won’t realize that the Pontiac they’re looking at is virtually identical to the (usually, just slightly less expensive) Chevy across the street. That may have been so in 1979. People are better informed these days. There is a thing called the Internet….
The Aveo-G3 thing is by no means a unique or unusual practice for GM, either. GM re-sells the same basic minivan at least two different ways (Chevy Venture, Pontiac Montana), the same “crossover” wagon at least three ways (Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave) and the same basic SUV three ways (Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Cadillac Escalade). These are just a few examples. Divide and conquer is a great idea in politics; in the auto business, it is a recipe for confusion, needless waste of resources — and bankruptcy.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?