By on May 6, 2009

Let’s face it? I’ve been covering GM’s slide into bankruptcy for well over four years now, and it never ceases to amaze me how the people inside the company persist in trying to paper over cracks in the company’s operations that make the Grand Canyon look like a paper cut. In this case, a personage no less than Vice Chairman Tom Stevens gets in the Fastlane to tell the world that GM doesn’t have a fucking clue what it’s doing with its products or brands. “Although Saturn’s future is likely not to be within GM now, I can assure you our commitment to hybrid, plug-in hybrid and advanced battery technology is a key element of GM’s reinvention. I’m pleased to let you know the plug-in hybrid technology will be applied to one of GM’s four core brands. Stay tuned for which one, and in the meantime, I’ll enjoy reading the speculation.”

Stevens’ blog entry might not be the most cavalier statement I’ve ever heard, but the remark certainly rivals General Westmoreland’s infamous utterances. Nor is Stevens’ “hide and seek” statement the height of arrogance. But I did get a nosebleed reading it. And here’s the cake icing:

The Volt and plug-in hybrid vehicle are two of 14 hybrid and electric vehicles GM plans to offer by 2012. So while it may seem at times we’re taking a step back, we’re really taking two steps forward.

And there I was thinking GM was stuck in reverse. Silly me.

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16 Comments on ““Let’s face it. We’re making a lot of difficult yet necessary decisions these days to ensure GM’s long-term future”...”


  • avatar
    GS650G

    So GM is supposed to stand for Green Motors?
    Please.
    And how about dealer market adjustments on the Volt? Might they be outlawed or discouraged?

  • avatar
    jolo

    “Although Saturn’s future is likely not to be within GM now…”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid={589C0639-9C78-4084-AAA8-AE6D21484633}&siteid=yhoof2

    Now Renault wants Saturn…

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Our tax dollars hard at work keeping fools like this with cushy jobs.

  • avatar
    Rastus

    What an ignorant location for a power connection. I’d just LOVE to see someone open the door and destroy both the male and female connector.

    GM at its finest.

  • avatar
    thalter

    @Rastus

    As long as the power connector does not protrude past the panel gap and the door does not open more than 90 degrees, I don’t see the problem.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    “What an ignorant location for a power connection. I’d just LOVE to see someone open the door and destroy both the male and female connector.”

    They could use some pretty cute design cues to design around the problem. Like using the G3:s A-post portholes…

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Just giving it some eye-ball engineering I think Rastus has a point. Unless that door has a clever linkage (4-bar or such) I think it would work out just as he surmises.

    Probably positioned by someone in the styling group (Ya! That looks good.)

    Just a thought.

    Bunter

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    They aren’t thinking user-friendliness either. That connection is on the “wrong” side of the door, seen from the drivers position.

  • avatar
    jaje

    I love literary slight of hands such as “Let’s face it…”

    At the time of giving I’d hear narration saying “Little did we know…”

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    It’s Stephens, not Stevens.
    I my experience with Tom he is a tall guy but his ego definitely dwarfs his height.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    What an ignorant location for a power connection. I’d just LOVE to see someone open the door and destroy both the male and female connector.

    I would think in that position you’d see it before opening the door to leave your home, making it a rather smart location. Putting it somewhere out of sight could lead to some half-asleep dude on the way to work in the morning forgetting to unplug it and either causing the damage that you had mentioned, or at least dragging his (probably expensive) cord to work with him.

  • avatar

    Leaving the humor of a GM exec “facing it” aside, there could be an excellent design reason for that plug location: a driver’s door interlock. If the plug is where it’s easy for the driver to see/access, and you make it impossible to open the door with the plug engaged, you’ve created a design immune to many potential operator errors, IMO.

    Then again, maybe it has none of that going for it and it’s just another muffed product that’ll never make it to market.

  • avatar
    dean

    What superbadd said. I think that is exactly why it is there.

    I have dropped my motorcycle twice because I forgot to remove the lock affixed to my disk brake. The location of the plug is clearly designed to make a comparable error more difficult with a plug-in vehicle.

  • avatar
    Rastus

    Believe it or not, I think GM had it right some 20+ years ago with the EV1. The connector was inductive (ie, there were no electrical prongs involved which can break)…and the slot was mounted right on the front of the vehicle.

    If you are concerned w/ driving off with the connector plugged in, it would be best to mount on the front of the vehicle…as you will not torque the thing as you back out. I’ve never seen a car “back out” at a 90-degree angle (except for those weird test vehicles you see once every so often which never makes it to production).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magne_Charge

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GM_EV1.jpg

    Re. interlocks…they can be placed anywhere…even in the hocky-puc style Magne Charge. If the connector is engaged, no backie-outie.

    See where GM could be if they actually stuck to their research…and worked on perfecting it? Imagine what 20+ years of development would have yielded. Instead, we got the fuel-efficient Escalade.

  • avatar

    “fuel-efficient Escalade” – At least this thread gave us a fine oxymoron.

    I know an interlock system could be included with any plug location, but having the plug placed where a driver will likely see it before entering the car adds redundancy and convenience.

  • avatar
    lutonmoore

    It never ends with GM and Chrysler. I can’t wait to buy my next car from either of them


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