Another dagger in GM

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GM's new problem General Motors said it actually lost $10.6 billion in 2005, $2 billion more than originally reported. The struggling automaker said accounting errors caused it to underestimate costs associated with the bankruptcy of its former parts-making unit, Delphi, and with restructuring its money-losing North American operations. (AP in Yahoo! Finance) Argus Research analyst Kevin Tynan said the news that GM lost $18.69 a share instead of $15.13 would merely reinforce negative opinions about the stock. "It's not like you're talking about a company in the top echelon of financial strength," he said.
 

pbm

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GM has many problems. They have problems with union contracts that make it hard for them to compete in what is now a world market. They have problems with management that just doesn't get it. They have engineering problems that they refuse to fix until their reputation is hurt. Now we see that they even have accounting problems. I predict that GM will go bankrupt and reemerge leaner and without the 'weight' of the union to deal with. Hopefully then they will learn from their past mistakes and put engineering ahead of 'beancounting'.
 
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Let's see if I can paraphrase how this GM bashing thread will go: GM sucks GM's vehicles suck GM's management sucks GM's vehicles don't last GM cuts corners At GM, the bottom line is all that's important, & the customer is just an after-thought Toyota is King GM makes vehicles nobody wants GM won't stand behind their products Did I leave anything out?
 
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Alas Wayne, you did! You should have added: "GM and foreign car partisans will go about two rounds of posts and then start attacking each other personally while at the same time, the original question posed disappears in the billowing cloud of verbal smoke. . ." [Wink] [Razz] [Cheers!]
 
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In the European and Latin American market, GM (mostly Opel models, sold as Opel, Vauxhall or Chevrolet) are among the best sellers. And quality is good.
 

Alan

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I just think it's crazy they made a 2 BILLION dollar error.
 

Kestas

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quote:
Originally posted by pbm: ... I predict that GM will go bankrupt and reemerge leaner and without the 'weight' of the union to deal with. Hopefully then they will learn from their past mistakes and put engineering ahead of 'beancounting'.
I only half-agree with you. Going bankrupt has now become a fashionable for running a company and a best solution for beancounters. It erases a lot of bad and lets the executives start anew. It also negates any union contract or agreements, allowing the executives to "stick it" to the workers. I doubt that they'll learn from their mistakes. It's just greed on top of greed.
 
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Wayne, As one that has put a good bit of his hard-earned money into several GM products, only to be disappointed in quality and problems (that continue model year after model year), I feel the 'bashing' of many has merit. Since when has it become so non-PC to talk about one's bad experiences after investing one's money into a product??? Funny how you can go to any number of auto repair shops and generally the owners and other employees mostly drive a GM product and will blatantly tell you all the problems with GM products, how you gotta fix this, brakes at this many miles, fuel pumps, wheel bearings, etc., but they still defend them. Then you drive a Honda or Toyota up, they bash them, but will tell you "there's not much that goes wrong with them".
quote:
Originally posted by wavinwayne: Heck, I make my living working (indirectly) for GM.
I think everyone has figured that out.
 
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Actually the article doesn't say they made a 2 billion dollar error, apparently the previous numbers were based on estimates from the Delphi disaster and other accounting WAGs (wild *** guesses-my accountant son tells me this is an accounting term), not all that uncommon to find companies correcting things like this at this time of year. Is this really a sympathy ploy for the IRS? I wouldn't put it past them. I truly believe this problem at the Big 3 dates back to June of 1963, when the UAW first used the strategy of picking one mfg. to start on. If Ford and Chrysler had set their petty competitive differences aside and locked everyone out until it was settled, combined with management just saying don't worry what we give up, we'll just raise prices. It concerns me that we've built a large part of our middle class on overpaying people to do simple jobs. When I look at what our mechanics have to know, plus what they spend on tools I wonder why anyone wants to do it for what they are paid compared to folks right across town who put on a part or two and have little knowledge or responsibilty.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by AstroVic: That's hilarious, WavinWayne! I think you hit the nail on the head! The fact of the matter is, GM/Ford/Chrysler are all making excellent cars and trucks these days. There are always going to be some problems here and there, but nothing more or less than the Japanese manufacturers. Reputation (good and bad) from the 80's is what's keeping the Japanese manufacturers afloat the the domestic ones under water. Personally, I buy American made and American owned products anytime possible. And, no, I'm not ignorant to the fact that some Hondas are made in America, some Chevrolets are made in Mexico, and some Fords are made in Canada. Nor am I ignorant to the global economy. I simply choose to make a dedicated effort to buy American-made products from American-owned companies in as many instances as possible. Call me crazy.
Count another calling you quite sane, and commendable! I've given up on the coasts and big metro areas, Japan/Asia (and to a lesser extent Deutscheland) owns them lock, stock, and barrel. What worries me is that the heartland is now turning against American products/companies. THANK *** someone "out there in the middle" still believes in supporting their own country's manufacturers/companies. YES, it DOES matter! You will see this when the only car you can buy is a Camry/Corolla/Avalon, etc. (with a little competition from Accord/Civic). This may be fine for most of you, NOT FOR ME!! The real enthusiasts better think long and hard about this. Do you really want the only performance car you can buy to be a $100K+ TOYota Supra???!!!
 
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I posted this image on another thread. This is a breakdown of all the vehicles on the road that went through seveal roadside emissions tests in various locations around Northern VA, by model year. (The tests were done in 2001/2002). Keep in mind that Northern Virginia is Accord and Camry land. Where are all of the old vehicles?  -
 
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Brian, do you folks have the roadside tests as a supplement to roller/OBDII scan fixed location tests? That's what we have in the St. Louis area, they turn the real polluters loose with a waiver if enough money is spent. We also have numerous instances of people receiving passes from roadside tests for cars that couldn't have been at that location. No wonder the testing program has had no effect on our air quality.
 
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GM (and Ford) do not have a monopoly on financial difficulties. How about the once very successful Volkswagon? Not doing too well now. Things got so bad for Nissan they were bought out by Renault of France. Corruption and mismanagement were so bad at Mitsubishi Motors Corp. the Tokyo police raided their corporate offices and arrested executives and seized documents on more than one occasion! Mitsubishi Arrests Even if you never bought a GM vehicle and never will, you should hope GM never goes under. If GM does fail, I'm sure there will be plenty of economic "collateral damage" which could affect us all.
 
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quote:
Brian, do you folks have the roadside tests as a supplement to roller/OBDII scan fixed location tests?
This was a pilot test conducted by Virginia to determine, among other things, if roadside tests are a better solution than fixed location tests. The pilot test ended in 2002. Currently we only have fixed location tests. I have not heard if the roadside tests will resume or if they will ever replace the fixed location test.
 
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It concerns me that we've built a large part of our middle class on overpaying people to do simple jobs. When I look at what our mechanics have to know, plus what they spend on tools I wonder why anyone wants to do it for what they are paid compared to folks right across town who put on a part or two and have little knowledge or responsibilty. It was mostly built on trade surpluses after WWII. Products/labor was in demand when a world is blown to crap and reduced to rubble. We reached some saturation point where the ingress slowed. We then ended the Fair Trade Laws to keep $$ flowing where they had slowed. We've been making a semi-controlled re-entry into normalized economic realties since then. Most of our heavy industries have gone. The auto industry is the last bastian of manufacturing that we have left. You'll note that it is the "most brokered" industry - basically somewhat converting it to a (sorta) service industry. Filters from Israel, parts from Mexico, some assemblies in Canada ..etc..etc. One decrement at a time. The late 80's-90's killed any of the midsized manufacturing. Why have a domestic manufacturer that produced 3% profit when the same investment in the market yielded 30-50% via everyone's 401k having to get in on the party. The party was over ..but the damage was done. We can say this or that about the cause of these failures ..but the damage of them not being what they were - good or bad ..is going to take its toll on the "trickle sideways" and revert it to a "trickle down" type. It all depends on where you want your sustaining incomes injected into the economy ...at what level the regenerative cycle flows. Most of the domestic iron has been operating on debt and consumer credit to fuel the machinery. As that erodes from other influences (down cycling of other sectors of the labor pool) there is no ability to extend this years profits on future money. They'll reorganize, en mass (or closely follow each other), and the shockwave will be more profound then the Japanese invasion during the Reagan administration. A bunch of Lansing MI. It's been a privately administered government jobs program for a few decades. Laws/regulations were contoured to promote the assembly of large, profit/material intensive SUV (exemptions from CAFE for all but a few years) in an attempt to "fuel the machine". This can no longer be susstained. But instead of a true controlled landing ..we'll have catostophic failures ..with the costs/impacts being substantial and severe and carried by all of us. You'll have all kinds of "experts" pointing to various aspects of this and that that led to this/these events ..all quoting facts ...but never truly describing the real picture. Delphi, Bethlem Steel, etc. are just the conditioning that the public needs to expect and accept this sorta thing as common place in todays domestic economy. It makes the collision easier to take. Normally, I'd expect some type of economic stimuli to occur as these giants reorganize. Last time it was the "shop til you drop" crowd that masked the impact of our jobs marching off shore like lemmings to the sea. We didn't really notice the loss until the shop til you drop crowd ran out of steam/credit and the whole economy realigned itself. I don't think that they'll be able to pull that off this time. [I dont know] What ever did this has been promoted, fostered, and protected by everyone who got mileage out of it. Don't blame the prolls. They did no more then they were allowed to do.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by LTVibe: Even if you never bought a GM vehicle and never will, you should hope GM never goes under. If GM does fail, I'm sure there will be plenty of economic "collateral damage" which could affect us all.
[HAIL 2 U!] [HAIL 2 U!] I'm glad to see someone has a brain in their skull as regards the "umbrella effect" of losing/having a hostile takeover of GM by TOYota. Those that think, "oh, I have nothing to worry about" and rub their hands together in glee at the General's demise, while buying only their Camrys and Accords, are in for a real rude awakening!!! It's funny how everyone despises GM for being too big/smug/whatever. I wonder if they'll feel the same about TOYota now that they are #1, and someday may be the only one. [Frown] I'll tell you, I've worked for them and they are HELLBENT on monopoly and world domination of the auto industry and will stop at nothing to reach that goal. I know, I know, that's the whole point of any corporation, right? The thing is, they make a maniacal religion out of that attitude!! [Thumbs Down!]
 
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I can tell you that many people in the Atlanta area were incredibly thrilled to learn that Kia is building their next assembly plant in Westpoint. They expect 2000 jobs from Kia and a undisclosed amount (estimated to be greater than 2000) of jobs from suppliers within the next few years. For those unfamiliar, Atlanta was home to the Ford Taurus factory and the GM Venture van plant (Hapeville for Ford, Doraville for GM). It still frustrates me that several of the attractive GM cars are still offered with only a pushrod V-6 and a 4-speed automatic. I looked at the Malibu and the Malibu Maxx because I routinely rent the Opel version of this car in Europe. It's a decent vehicle for the money. In Europe it comes with several engines which include 16 valve DOHC designs, highly efficient diesels, and of course a fun to drive 5-speed manual transmission. My quest for this vehicle in the US was shunted when I found it only available with the aforementioned V-6 and automatic transmission. I simply won't consider a car configured this way no matter where it's built or what name hangs on the plastic grill. They can do better and I expect them to.
 
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