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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just saw this on Yahoo News:



Extra
GM may kill off Buick or Pontiac
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One of automaker's storied brands may follow Oldsmobile to the grave if sales fail to meet targets, execs say. It's a move analysts have urged for years.

By Reuters

General Motors, which issued a shock profit warning last week and has been losing market share, may phase out one of its weaker car brands if sales fail to meet projections, company Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said on Wednesday.

GM's (GM, news, msgs) Buick and Pontiac are both "damaged brands'' due to lack of investment over the years, and GM is working to correct that with an array of new vehicles coming to market, Lutz told a Morgan Stanley automotive conference in New York.

But if some of its brands fail to meet sales projections, "then we would have to take a look at a phase-out. I hope we don't have to do that. What we've got to do is keep the brands we've got.''

Financial analysts have said for years that the world's largest automaker has too many brands to support, even with the gradual phase-out of the Oldsmobile brand a few years ago, particularly with its weaker U.S. sales.

Stemming the losses
Sales for both Pontiac and Buick have lagged in recent years. But GM is in the midst of a $3 billion investment in new vehicles for Buick, and Pontiac showrooms and they will have four new vehicles this year, including the Solstice roadster, Torrent SUV and the G6 mid-size coupe.

GM, which last week cut its earnings outlook for 2005 by as much as 80%, posted a 6% drop in U.S. sales for the first two months of the year. GM's U.S. market share fell to about 25%, far below its share of 27.5% for all of 2004.

Analysts said last week that GM's March sales could fall as much as 10% in March, while foreign automakers such as Toyota (TM, news, msgs), Hyundai (HYMLF, news, msgs) and Nissan (NSANF, news, msgs) would continue to gain U.S. market share.

Lutz said GM will post relatively flat U.S. sales for March, however, performing much better than expected.

"I think we're going to be just about even, our best guess at this point. Either a percent over or a percent under,'' he said. "It is a substantially better month than January or February, and it looks like the whole industry is up.''

'A huge albatross'
No details about an expected restructuring at GM, the largest private U.S. provider of health care, have emerged since it roiled markets with its warning last week.

But the company, which has about $300 billion in outstanding debt, said on Wednesday it was in talks to sell a stake in its GMAC Commercial Mortgage unit after potential investors expressed interest in the unit.

And Lutz and Gary Cowger, GM's president for North America, spoke of possible demands for a cut in mounting health care benefits for the company's hourly union employees in remarks on the sidelines of the New York auto show on Wednesday.

An elimination of any one of GM's brands would likely mean plant closings and a shrinking of GM's hourly work force.

"An across-the-board competitive health-care plan for salaried and hourly employees could literally save us billions,'' Cowger said. Health-care costs, added Lutz, are "a huge albatross hanging over American industry today.''

Lutz particularly acknowledged that the automaker, which will struggle to make a profit this year, faces challenges. But he said GM was "taking the necessary step to right this ship.''

"Sure, we face short-term challenges, and this is not going to be a banner year,'' he said. "It's a difficult period of adjustment. But we will get through it.''

He said some of GM's new cars, such as its Chevrolet Cobalt small car and the Pontiac G6 midsize car, will post their best sales to date in March, and told the Morgan Stanley conference "I don't know where all the gloom and doom is coming from.''

He quoted one car reviewer who said, referring to GM's troubles, that the quality of the Cobalt convinced him that "the Titanic may yet turn fast enough to miss the iceberg.''
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Good thing I got a deal on my 2004 GTO then ;)

Long story, but currently in St. Louis, MO taking delivery of my new "Blue Max" a Impulse Blue with Blue Interior 2004 GTO.

BTW, anyone want a deal on a 328i Convertible?

Charles
 

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This really doesn't surprise me. In the Business section of our paper this morning is a story titled: "GM to speed up launch of SUV line". GM plans to launch a new full-size SUV by Jan 1, according to Vice Chairman Bob Lutz. Let's see now, gas is $2.29 per gallon in our area (Milwaukee, WI) and going higher. SUV's get what, 9-15 miles per gallon and have a huge gas tank. ($$$$) A locale tv station last week showed the aftermath of a SUV fill-up: $83.00 for a tank of gas!!!! Does Mr. Lutz believe that SUV's are the salvation of GM? Or does he justify killing off Pontiac or Buick to make up for the lack of sales of SUV's? Talk about a manufacturer that seems to be out of touch with what the market place is crying out for: fuel effecient vehichles!! Totota, and others, can't keep up with demand for their hybrid vehicles and GM pushes ahead with a new gas guzzler!?!
 

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I've always been a GM owner, but Jeff is correct. How many SUV monsters do we need? The problem isn't just at GM. Look at the size of the current Accord, Jetta, and Camry. Does anyone make a compact pickup anymore??They get bigger every year. The key here is how fast can the automakers produce the smaller or more efficient cars in the quickest turnaround when the market turns sour.

I myself will be getting a Saab in the future. It is GM, fuel efficient and turbocharged.
 

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boomerang opeler
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its not new for GM remember there answer to the 70's fuel crisis
a new caddy with a 500 inch engine
does the gov still fine us makers who dont have a small car in the range ?
but why worry they are all 1 make when all is said and done
we know when we buy a saab that its just a reworked opel
we know when we buy a jag that its a reworked ford
and we know when we buy a chrysler we made a mistake
1 name
1 brand
1 world
time for another lie down and a dried frog pill :)
 

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baz,

Why the hostility to Chrysler???? :confused: I had one a 1986 Chr LeBaron 2.5 manual with over 200,000 miles and sold it and it still is running today.

They have had their troubles, what manufacture hasn't but now they are controlled by .... Benz (German). Who knows maybe some of the Opel desiners will go over to Chrysler and make a GT. :D

And remember that Ford stands for;
(F)ound
(O)n
(R)oad
(D)ied
or
(F)......
(O)ver
(R)ebuild
(D)odge

But it also stands for (F)irst (O)n (R)ace (D)ay. So I think it is up to personal experience. Mine has been good on MOPARS and not on FORD.
 

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jlthunder said:
The key here is how fast can the automakers produce the smaller or more efficient cars in the quickest turnaround when the market turns sour.
I myself will be getting a Saab in the future. It is GM, fuel efficient and turbocharged.
I have an 88 Saab Spg. 4 cyl Turbo. 180 hp. 40mpg, and when we got it I was still driving my 74 Manta Rallye. In pictures side by side, the resemblance of the Saab to the Rallye is uncanny. The Saab has 130 on the Speedo and I can attest to the fact it will do every bit of it. I pegged the Speedo and it was still picking up speed in 5th. Maybe subconsciencely when we got it, I was still in Opel mode. As of this writing I have 225, 000 miles on it and it is now a daily driver for my son. I have done little other than routine maintenance to it and it is a dependable car. Before we purchased it, I looked at everything that was American made and could not find anything that would compare to it, which distresses me, as I want to keep my money here in America. I would like to see, and would purchase a car "Made in America", if I could find one as dependable as it, or my Opels. Pardon the long litany/rant. Jarrell
 

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boomerang opeler
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wow feel the negetive vibs

ok "Why the hostility to Chrysler???? " you have to try a 1 from here to know they were true lemons :)

benz are in deep doo doo only reason they went into partnership and if they could just get the guys there to work for more than 40 weeks a year they may get back to being the top german producer

jarrell the 88 is still a saab, you have to get to mid-late 90's for an opel one
yours will have the slant 4 triumph based engine that kicked ass :D

and on a lighter note i almost got kicked off a ford site for calling then fraud

for 9 years of production a face lift and a new model they never got the electrics right
mine locks me out if it rains
and those guys worry about litigation from ford on claims of the cars being unreliable ha ha you should read the questions about the auto box never mind anything else
 

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Opeler
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Chevrolet:
C heap, H ardly E fficient, V irtually R uns O n L uck E verytime.

...Sorry, I couldn't help it when I saw "Ford" broken into it's 'true' meanings. Pontiac has dug it's own grave- the cars all look the same- it's hard to tell the models apart, and they haven't really changed much in the last few years. Even the GTO, while an amazing car, follows the mold of the other cars very closely...

And Buicks haven't been exactly what we call "Trend Setters" either. I'm a pretty conservative guy, and the GT is by far the flashiest car you'll find me driving, but lets be honest... When it comes to Buick, boring is boring.
 

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baz, i'm with you on the anti-chrysler campain, mostly with the early 90s ones, the voyagers vans of that time lost the tranny around 100,000-150,000 kms, anyone i know that has or had one had to replace the tranny in that time period, it worked like clockwork. the acclaims were even worse, my friend has one that just blew up the tranny this morning when his mom was taking it to work... it was on its 3rd.... looks like its time for #4. only good thing i can say is that the acclaim can take side impact like nothing else, my grandma and grandpa had one until they got t-boned backing out of their driveway by a guy doing 100+ in an 80km/h zone (over 60mph for the rest of you), and not a scratch on them, the car was bent like a hockey stick but they were only shaken up... the truck hit right on the passenger door where my grandpa was sitting, i was amazed it didn't kill him
 

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Ya, Chrysler does have trouble with their tranys I grant you on that, but I have not had trouble with their eng. I have a Dodge Durango and a Dodge 1500 pickup (I know the gas bill is killing me). The Durango is the first year they came out and we had to replace the transmission at 140,000 miles (not bad for a 4x4).

I have to say if there is a weak part on the current MOPAR it would be the transmission. The eng. is real strong as long as you change the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles and do the other normal maint.

That is just my $0.02 USD worth (0.01542 Euro) ;)
 

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Tranny Replacements

Just ask Chevy/GM Truck and SUV owners about tranny replacements on their 1990's models.

Personally, I wont buy a Chevy. 5 out oif the last 7 cars I've purchased have been Chryslers/Dodge products. Nothing has happened to any of them to make me NOT like a Chrysler.

The reason GM is in such a funk, is because GM has the least appealing cars from a looks point of view.... Just look no further that the Chevy Llumina.... Oh yea now that's styling...

Chryslers may not be the highest quality rated cars, but Chrysler has been leading the pack when is come to BOLD STYLING...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I didn't mean for this to turn into a "bad-mouth" session :) , I was just taken aback by the fact that GM is shutting down model lines. I can understand all view points on everyone's favorite marque, but, I think this thread is about done.
 
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