By on March 13, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Sonic, Image: General Motors

General Motors isn’t finished slashing products or dialing back plans to bolster its financial standing.

After unloading its near century-long Opel and Vauxhall holdings to France’s PSA Group, a move that came after failed attempts to return the European brands to profitability, GM plans to turn its focus on underperforming products in North America. There’s a chance that a model you hold dear could find its way to the chopping block.

“In [CEO] Mary Barra’s GM, everything is on the table,” Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Rebecca Lindland recently told Automotive News.

The trade publication cites internal sources who claim there’s more than a bit of anxiety within GM’s more distant operations about where the blade will fall next. Overseas markets have the most to worry about.

Following the Opel sale, Barra stated, “There’s a little bit more work that we’re doing in the international markets.” In the conference call, she stated her company’s strategy — that “every country, every market segment has to earn its cost of capital.”

This isn’t a new thing for GM. After boosting Russian vehicle production in 2012, GM announced it was vacating the market just three years later, after the Russian economy took a dive. Other recent rollbacks targeted the southeast Asian market.

In North America, every automaker’s game plan involves spending money to make money — on SUVs and trucks, mostly. However, even as new crossover and SUV models roll out, GM’s passenger car sales look grim. Slow sales of the new-for-2017 Buick LaCrosse point to the full-size segment’s malaise. Meanwhile, overstocked inventories of other cars has prompted the automaker to cut shifts and temporarily shutter plants.

The jury’s out on whether GM is so gung-ho on cost-cutting that it would drop models from its lineup. It could just as easily cut investments and let certain models wither on the vine. Then, the freed-up money could be put to work developing and building higher-profit utility vehicles.

[Image: General Motors]

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97 Comments on “After Opel, Where Will GM’s Chainsaw Swing Next?...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    Kill the mid-engine Corvette and the DOHC V8.

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    Cutting out product that doesn’t sell is just a necessary part of doing business. Survival of the fittest, and all that.
    Improving the buyer’s experience at the dealerships will really turn the company around, however.
    Do any car companies have “secret shoppers” to see how well potential buyers are treated?

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      GM should also look at improving vehicle reliability and durability. It’s what keeps me from considering a GM product.

      A local taxi fleet owner in a recent interview said he switched to Camrys. He was weary of $1,500 repair bills to get his GMs to pass the annual licensing inspection. The Toyotas sail through the inspections.

      • 0 avatar
        Krivka

        What fleet owner? http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/general-motors/2016/02/24/gm-toyota-top-reliability-study-tech-struggles-continue/80843824/ I have had quite a few cars, and the Camry and Corolla were the best, but the Malibu and Impalas were very close. A few switches and bulbs were different. Brakes in the old GM cars really sucked, but steering racks in old Toyotas failed often as well.http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/general-motors/2016/02/24/gm-toyota-top-reliability-study-tech-struggles-continue/80843824/

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Yeah no kidding….

        You never ser a high mileage tahoe, suburban, half ton truck or 1 ton for that matter with a gm badge.

    • 0 avatar
      Alfisti

      I work in marketing research and my experience has seen heavy investment in mystery shoppers for Acura and Lexus but not for anything domestic. Ford does have an excellent quick-touch survey program but seems to want to delude itself a touch in regards to “pushing” results. The data is there though.

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      Management seems to have no concept of the asian mentality. The Chinese buy GM vehicles because GM is the biggest, no other reason. BTW, the advertising for GM in China makes a great deal about the European origins of the vehicle. Chucking in the towel in half the western world is the sign of a born loser.

      Believe me, GM is entering a massive World Of S***.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Selling Buick to some Chinese conglomerate would seem to be a logical move.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Buick makes money in China. LOTS of money, because it’s a high status nameplate – that’s sold in the US. They have to keep the full size American Buick, and it will have to be carried as a loss leader, to preserve the Chinese sales. That American market cost will have to be made up by other American Buick models that DO sell.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        Yep, I know Buick makes a lot of money in China, which means they should be able to find somebody to take it off their hands for good money.

        • 0 avatar
          SV

          Why in the world would they sell it when it’s making lots of money?

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Well, that’s just it…it makes enough money that it’s worth keeping. But Lorenzo is right…part of the allure of Buick in the Chinese market is that it’s American, allure that would be diminished if the brand were no longer sold here. It’s the cost of doing business.

          But I suspect that more Buick models than just the Envision will be made in China.

    • 0 avatar
      Varezhka

      That would make sense since Buick does still have some (if declining) brand equity there, and would provide a dealer network for an entry into the US market.

      On the other hand, SAIC is already joined at the hip with GM and gets many of the benefits of full ownership, so would they want to spend the money to do so?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Will NEVER happen.

      That would be like suggesting, “selling the Silverado/Sierra and related platforms to FCA, and joint license SUVs back.”

      You don’t understand Buick in China if you are seriously suggesting selling off the brand.

  • avatar
    86er

    More important than guessing which limb Barra will sever next, is the why. Why is GM playing these short-term games?

    I suppose if they start divesting some of their Asian holdings then we’ll know there’s trouble afoot.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I don’t think bailing out of the Russian market was short term. There was just a realization that the Russian economy is oil-income based, and subject to wild swings. The southeast asian market is dominated by the Japanese, the requirements cropping up in various asian countries make it harder to make money in the region, and GM doesn’t have the vehicles asian customers want.

      • 0 avatar
        orenwolf

        Opel had been losing money for a LONG time, though. I don’t think bailing was really a short-term thing at all. They know how much debt their divisions carry, and how profitable, for how long, they’d need to be to make financial sense. I’m sure they just did the math.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Short term? GM has been looking to get rid of Vauxhall and Opel since before the Great Recession. They got an out.

  • avatar
    Snooder

    Shit, I’m afraid this may mean the death of the 2door ATS, and I really hope not.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I read GM is looking at selling its Kenya business to Izuzu.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Ditch GMC. Sure, the Denali trim has some cachet, but just sell some fancier Chevys (that’s all GMC is, anyway). If they stop selling Buicks here, there won’t be a need for GMC, since they’re won’t be a car line to sell them alongside.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I’m sure they 221,000 people who bought a Sierra last year didn’t do so by mistake. There’s probably a reason they passed up the Chevy store. As some GMC owners on TTAC will tell you, it’s because they didn’t want a Chevy.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        “they didn’t want a Chevy”

        So they bought the same thing with a different logo on it? I’d love to understand the “why” behind purchasing a GMC vs the Chevy version. Better customer service (more focused)? Better options? Better pricing? Build quality? Or do they really feel the GMC brand is a step up from the common place Chevy? IE: Acura is better then Honda.

        • 0 avatar
          xtoyota

          GMC = Manly
          Chevy = Sissy

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            GMC = Manly
            Chevy = Sissy

            Hey! I’m a Sissy. Don’t make me go all April on you.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            GMC = Manly
            Chevy = Sissy

            Barra in a “Jason” mask wielding a powersaw = OldManPants fantasy?

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            No mask, no saw, just her bangs, then yes!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            LOL

            A comedian once said, “Women are magnets and I’m cheap metal.”

            Now I know why BiGal hates aluminum ;)

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Bollocks!

            BEEAH comes in aluminium!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “BEEAH comes in aluminium!”

            Maybe there is a fear of running out of beer cans?

            You don’t buy beer, you just rent it.

            Cans like men, are just a vessel for the essence originating from Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq).

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “Maybe there is a fear of running out of beer cans?”

            Prolly throws a tanty over Macbooks, too, ai?

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          I didn’t say I understood it, but maybe some people don’t want to be associated with the more proletarian Chevy. As Budda notes below, Ford has managed to hit the entire cost spectrum with one model, while GM long ago took a bifurcated path.

          I’m not convinced though that GMC shoppers wouldn’t look at Ford or Ram if their brand was done away with.

    • 0 avatar
      Sloomis

      I remember reading that GMC was very profitable, which is why they didn’t ditch it along with Pontiac/Saturn/Hummer etc.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        True, trucks are high profit margin vehicles, which tells you why they can advertise Sierras at 20 percent off, like in the current “Dive in” commercial.

    • 0 avatar

      Duke is correct.

      Enough people will consider a Ford or GMC but not Chevy, that it’s hurt the brand long-term. Chevy may possess more of GM’s market share than 30 years ago, but it’s a larger share of a shrinking pie.

      GM kept the Sloanian ladder going way too long while Ford has long maneuvered its flagship brand in such a way that like Toyota, they can credibly sell both Ford GTs and Fiestas. And if Lincoln or Mercury are hurt, so be it.

      Buick and GMC need to go away in North America. Then concentrate the marketing dollars on Chevy and Cadillac while building more premium versions of each. So there’s a Chevy equivalent of a Ford King Ranch, for example.

      But GM has to commit for the long-term. The benefits won’t come overnight but they will come so long as the vehicles are superbly executed and the value proposition is easily seen.

    • 0 avatar
      Dashboard89

      I agree this sentiment, but I will say I I like the way the Canyon looks compared to he Colorado.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      That would be silly. GMC is pure profit. However thinly-veiled, GMC has managed to make its products desirable to plenty of people over their Chevrolet equivalents. I myself personally think GMC’s design cues tend to be a little handsomer. I’d buy a Yukon XL, for example, over a Suburban.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      ’16 Denali XL owner here.

      I would have never bought a Chevy Suburban. Never. Going into a Chevrolet dealership wasn’t even on my radar because you can’t get a Suburban with the 6.2L. I didn’t want an Escalade ESV and the Suburban LT Premier is pedestrian looking in comparison to a Yukon XL Denali. And when it’s all said and done, an XL Denali isn’t much more than a fully loaded Suburban, even with cash on the hood.

      There are many, many others who share the same sentiment. Some of us don’t want an Escalade and aren’t going to step foot into a Chevy dealer. So we head on down to a Buick-GMC dealer and Yukon Denali it is.

      GMC isn’t going anywhere. The un-Escalade alone keeps the lights on at GMC.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    And find a better upmarket trim name for the Silverado than “High Country”. High Country sounds lame and generic.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    “…letting some vehicles wither on the vine”.

    That’s what Sergio Marchionne did with Fiat in Europe, and is doing with Chrysler and Dodge here. Of course, he’s doing it because he doesn’t have the money for more than cosmetic refreshes. GM has done it with their best selling Buicks, the final generation Century, LeSabre, and Park Avenue. They expected the replacement Lucerne and LaCrosse to continue to sell as well, but they didn’t.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Any decision made is going to pi$$ off somebody. Dealers, buyers, etc. If I was in Mary’s chair, I would dump GMC, and up the Silverado trim options to Denali level. Cut the Camaro production to balance inventory, and work on a more “user friendly” design.

    Kill all the full size except for Impala. Either Turbo charge the 4 cyl Impala, or dump the 4 banger option. The “stop start” thing is a deal breaker for the Impala buying demographic. I know we are dying off but were not dead …yet ?

    Tapping in to my “inner Dead Weight” ??? Take a long hard look at Cadillac .

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      That plan would truly be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. GMC’s sales are brisk, so there’s no reason to dump it. Sales in China could take a dip if GM quit selling the LaCrosse here, so that’s one full-sizer that needs to stay. The XTS was supposed to have died awhile ago, but—much as Lincoln found with the Town Car—it’s so hard to say goodbye to a product that still has plenty of takers, even if it isn’t in keeping with brand aspirations. The CT6 lends some credibility to the brand, and besides, GM spent too much money on it to kill it now.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      GMC is extremely profitable and people who buy GMCs, particularly high end GMCs, aren’t going to step down to buy Chevrolets. I would know because I’m one of those people. I’m not giving up my XL Denali for what you would call a “equivalent Suburban” because I don’t want a Chevrolet.

      People often dismiss brand recognition as irrelevant but I can assure you it is very relevant. GMC as a brand has a lot more cachet than Chevrolet and that gap is continuing to widen, especially with the Denali sub-brand. It gives GM lots of flexibility to continue to push the Escalade upmarket and reposition Denali (read: Yukon Denali) as needed. I think a shift will occur once the new Navigator hits the market.

      GM will position the next Escalade above the new Navi and the Yukon Denali will move upmarket to compete with the new Navi. GM isn’t going to allow Ford to get close to the Escalade’s coveted status in the market.

  • avatar
    ArialATOMV8

    My prediction is that GM will probally kill the Buick Cascada and the Chevy SS.

    Due to President Trump supposidly reducing CAFE Regulations, and paired with the fact Ford is bringing back the Bronco in the next few years, those old plans to create a few GMC “Hummer inspired Wrangler fighter” models would be a good idea in my eyes.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @ArialATOMV8
      Chevy SS, ceased production as a Holden this ear

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Chevy SS is dead already. Production ends this month and only 1,000 being made. The Cascada is based on a previous generation Opel so it’s already a dead car walking, errr, driving.

      In the United States Toyota abandoned the A-segment, Honda never entered, Ford never entered, FCA never entered, Nissan never entered, the smart4two in gasoline powered version is dead, so I would say the Spark is a dead car walking also.

      Alpha platform is a flop, no other way to put it. It isn’t the platform, it is the sheet metal and mostly the space utilization and interiors wrapped around them. Could GM kill the Camaro? If things don’t pick up in the segment it is hard to see it living on.

      The fullsize sedan in America is basically dead. The FCA LX platforms soldier on (this is where someone screams how they’ve been evolved, but no matter how you slice it, there hasn’t been a ground up platform refresh in 14 years now), the Taurus is still made because…well I’m not sure why. Toyota has the Avalon and Nissan has the tweener Maxima. I believe the Azera is dead car walking over at Hyundai, and no one else is playing. The Impala, as great as it is, is likely dead car walking, which means the big Buick is at risk because why maintain the platform.

      The B&B hate the Encore/Trax but they aren’t going anywhere. Equinox/Terrain/Envision aren’t going anywhere. Traverse/Acadia/Enclave aren’t going anywhere.

      Regal is based on an Opel – so I think you know what that means.

      C8 Corvette. That isn’t dying – every car maker has their halo vehicles and that is it.

      Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon/Escalade – not going anywhere. License to print money.

      Colorado/Canyon – they still can’t build them fast enough and have no issues selling everyone they make.

      Cruze? You need a compact – but the segment is shrinking.

      There are so many other niche vehicles globally being built on older platforms (the ‘ye old Aveo just ended production in Mexico – like the BAD pre-BK Aveo). They are plenty of opportunities to put some of these models to pasture.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    The problem with cutting your way to prosperity is that often times the cuts end up requiring more cuts. For example, crossovers are very popular now, but almost all of them are built on car platforms that are not very popular. If you kill the unpopular cars, then the crossovers have to carry the full cost of the platform, which may make some of them unprofitable. I suspect Buick doesn’t make any money in the US, but if you drop Buick in the US it may also negatively impact Buick profits in the China because of loss of image and/or loss of economies of scale.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Like other makers, GM is or has moved their vehicles over to universal platforms. Theta is dead/dying for example, replaced with a single platform for cars and CUVs. The Japanese have done this for two-decades now.

      The Cruze is the recommended pick in class by Consumer Reports (covered by TTAC) over cars like oh I don’t know, the Mazda3, Corolla, and Civic. I don’t know how much better you can build it.

  • avatar
    Dashboard89

    Paging DeadWeight. Paging DeadWeight. There is GM blood in the water. Come and get it.

    On a more constructive note, what does GM have that they can cut at this point? GMC does seems redunant, and while Cadillac seems to be doing poorly I don’t see it going anywhere.

  • avatar
    phxmotor

    GM should have stuck it out in Russia. If nothing else:Just to prove a point about the insurmountable might of GM Just imagine: After the reputation built up by the 100,000
    Studebaker (and GM clone) 2&1/2 ton trucks which were sent-given to Russia in ww2 you would think GM would know how to capitalize on it. That truck alone got the Russians equating reliability with that vehicle … (“Studie” actually became the word that Russians use for mechanical reliability ever since ww2) That truck literally was as important to the USSR winning the war as was the T34 tank. And most of today’s Russians know it.
    Heck given GM’s well known inability to come up with good names… why not name it Studee? … or the more formal “Studebaker” …a medium size awd pickup and a standard awd SUV on the same platform would sell well there- and would not need yearly model changes- if they ignored the two main cities and only focused on Siberia and the outlining European Oblasts where there is a much more positive image of America) it would prove successful… god knows no one will rise up from the grave to sue them for
    co opting the name….Focus on the obvious built in market and it would sell.
    Heck; GM was wise enough to understand why Buick has a built in reason for the Buick name having such
    a following in China. Does Anyone remember the Last Emperor’s preferred car 100 years ago? Buick has a built in advantage in today’s Chinese market because of that. Why can’t GM see the obvious and make a success in the
    the Russian market? Forget European Russia already and set up an assembly plant in Krasnoyarsk. The center of the cheapest highest quality aluminum in the world ( and use the aluminum for crying out loud to build a GM version of the Ford aluminum pickups ) An abundance of low cost aluminum is available there. Heck it’s in over supply. GM will have the undying gratitude of a huge % of the Russian people for making that move. So many people will be better off. And a never ending hefty % of the Russian market will be GM’s forever. . Forever. All the need do is to Pay the workers 30% more than the local wages and it will happen. (Which is still 1/5 of first world pay)
    Why can’t GM do this before a Chinese car mfg does?

    • 0 avatar
      msquare

      The Studebaker family is very much alive and even boasts an NFL football player, Andy Studebaker, who actually played for a little while with the Indianapolis Colts.

      The name is currently owned by the Eaton Corporation, as a result of the original company’s various mergers after leaving the auto industry. The company itself didn’t fold, it was absorbed into other concerns.

  • avatar
    mikein541

    Here’s an idea. Kill or sell off Buick. Revive Pontiac as the
    performance brand, and put ALL performance vehicles – Corvette, SS,
    Camaro, certain Caddies – under the Pontiac umbrella, rebadged as
    necessary, and perhaps create a few new ones, including a Raptor
    fighter.

    Buick and Cadillac have no real identity, except for athletes who buy
    Escalades.

    • 0 avatar

      Right, so sell off the profitable brand, and revive a brand that had neither a positive image (the only Pontiacs people remember are cheap and plasticky Grand Ams) nor profitability. The Pontiac brand was destroyed by 20 years of shitty product, and the SS, both as a vehicle and concept within North America, no longer holds relevance.

      Buick as an brand has quiet and semi-luxury as its identifiers, but still, North America is barely relevant for this brand. Cadillac is poorly managed, but slowly building consistency as being a genuine driver’s car.

    • 0 avatar
      operagost

      It would make more sense to revive a legendary model like the Firebird under a new make than revive the sullied Pontiac name.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Again, anyone suggesting GM sells Buick doesn’t understand global markets, doesn’t understand China, and frankly shouldn’t be commenting on this thread.

      Selling Buick off would be like selling the Sierra/Silverado off to FCA.

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      Pfft, Pontiac. They should never have got rid of Oakland.

      And Oldsmobile.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    I know! I know!

    Axe everything with a hip point lower than the Encore’s!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Why doesn’t TTAC do a quick search and find out what parts of GM are being off loaded. I think only concentrating on the “big stuff” doesn’t allow for the bigger picture.

  • avatar

    Barra needs to clean out the marketing staff. we need to move the metal and current processes don’t work and never will.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I agree. GM’s “real people, not actors” ad campaign is literally the worst ad campaign of any automaker (at least as far as currently running ad campaigns go) and the ads need to be canceled ASAP and all involved fired immediately.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The disdain for the “real people, not actors” Chevy ads is so high that I have people who aren’t even into cars tell me how much they hate them.

        That hasn’t happened since the Toyota “Saved by Zero” campaign.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      GM doesn’t have an overall chief marketing officer, which is part of their problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I’m sure they sent that out to an ad agency. But they need to fire that ad agency.

  • avatar
    Asdf

    GM should cut its losses and exit China. It will be painful, since those Chinese profits are oh-so addictive, but that’s precisely why it’s necessary. Otherwise, GM will be forced to go cold turkey once the Chinese government decides to go after it with unreasonable anti-trust allegations, or maybe even nationalize the auto industry.

  • avatar
    dshiffer

    There are real problems with parts of the GM line. There can be no doubt about this. I don’t think abandoning Opel or Europe smacks of short-term thinking, though. The idea of the small-car market coming back in any substantial way is misguided – unless it’s a BEV. Even then, it’s questionable.

    Once they improve this technology and build it into more shapes (crossover-y ones), there is no looking back. GM is establishing a reputation as a market-leader in this segment and I think this will eventually pay off for them.

    I am certainly not a GM apologist, but I think this future is closer than we might imagine.

    • 0 avatar
      sckid213

      I agree, dshiffer. I think we are poised for a GM resurgence that will surprise many and it’s electrification that will do it. I’m hardly a GM apologist but at least they have balls, especially compared to Ford’s pearl-clutching style.

    • 0 avatar
      Asdf

      GM has made a pretty strong case for the lack of viability of the BEV – just look at the lousy range and long charging time of the Bolt. Pathetic.

      • 0 avatar
        dshiffer

        Relative to what?

        • 0 avatar
          Asdf

          Relative to other cars in the marketplace, obviously. There’s no good reason to hold BEVs to a lower standard than ICE-powered cars.

          • 0 avatar
            dshiffer

            Ok. It’s a technology that is effectively in its in infancy. (You could legitimately argue that’s GM’s fault as well.)

            Relative to any other automaker, they are farther along than anyone.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Ooh, let me try your logic. All ICE cars are unacceptable. They have tailpipe pollution, every one of them, and they all make noise. Not viable compared to electric cars. There’s no reason to hold ICE cars to a lower standard than BEVs.

            Feh. Buy what suits your particular criteria: greater efficiency and lower overall emissions, or more power and gurgly engine noises, or featherweight handling and a drop top, etc. …Horses for courses.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @asdf. The bolt’s range is fine. 200 miles is plenty. Even 100 miles range is plenty for some of us. I’ve put 45k miles on an EV without any problems. Usually, when I run an errand, I only use a 10th to a 12th of the damned 100-mile range vehicle.

        I totally realize that some people are not a good fit for EVs. I get it! For many of us, they are smooth, quick, and low maintenance alternatives to ICE engines. We like them and as range and charging infrastructure improves, many more people are going to discover what wonderful vehicles they are to drive and make the switch. Sure, they aren’t for everyone. I understand.

        EVs are just another powertrain option for vehicles. Some will hate them, others will love them. Just like every other automotive technology. Get used to it. No need for hysteria.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    Somehow Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai do just fine selling CARS, wonder why that is.

    GM is going to go the bean counter route here and minimize their spend on developing CARS and focus more and more resources on CUV’s, SUV’s and trucks. They will look like a larger version of Chrysler, truck heavy with virtually no cars to offer. Then the next rise in gas/diesel will happen driving consumers away from trucks back to cars……and GM will be caught flat footed…..again.

    Here’s an idea, develop better than class competitive cars, market the shit out of them and honestly compete in the segments.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Actually, Toyota in particular is having a lot of issues selling cars. If you did a 30 second search Tim Cain has written at least 1/2 a dozen stories about it in the last 6 months. Toyotas decline in a percentage format for the midsize segment in particular is one of the worst in the industry (take away the Chrysler 200) among mainstream makers. Through 2016 the Malibu actually grew IIRC (slightly) and was one of only two makers that did.

      The replies from the B&B here hurt my brain – there is only what, 10 stories about midsize death watch and how American buyers don’t want cars – period.

      If Toyota has no problems selling cars, explain why Scion was shot in the head, the Camry is having a strong sales contraction, how they’ve killed off a number of cars out of their line up (come on, the Versa was a Camry wagon), and the Prius is in absolute freefall.

      Altima and Accord sales also down — and GMs decline in moving sedan iron is hand-in-hand with them walking away from low margin, resale obliterating, fleet sales. A market segment Toyota and Nissan have been happy to pick up (and FCA never left). All you see on rental lots is the Altima S.

      …Here’s an idea, develop better than class competitive cars, market the…out of them and honestly compete in the segments…

      You mean like the Cruze and Impala, which Consumer Reports has as their top recommended cars in their respective classes. Yes, the Cruze (again reference TTAC) over the Civic and Corolla.

      Heck, CR says the Impala is one of the best cars you can buy – period.

    • 0 avatar
      thattruthguy

      Hyundai fired its US boss because it doesn’t sell enough of its sedans at retail.

  • avatar
    OliverTwist78

    Perhaps General Motors should implode itself…sucking everything in its orbit.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    When is GM going to hire a Chief Marketing Officer? Apparently Ms. Barra and the rest of GM management is unwilling to spend the money for one-and their automotive divisions are doing their own marketing with apparently less than spectacular success. Cutting models is simply a short term fix.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    She’s not just talking about the last axe blow to finish Holden, is she?

  • avatar
    geozinger

    There’s some interesting commentary on here. I find it somewhat amusing that commentators think that GM will completely get out of cars and abandon their EV hybrid efforts because they mentioned getting more involved in the burgeoning SUV/CUV market. Which, coincidentally, is where the money is right at the moment.

    Almost a decade ago, folks were telling GM to be more like Toyota (i.e. smaller cars, hybrids, etc.). With the loan guarantees, folks told GM that there would be no more help from the Government, I believe they took the sentiments seriously. After a few misfires with different CEOs at the helm, Mrs. Barra seems focused on fulfilling all of these objectives. She seems to be able to do the tough decisions that were kicked down the road by her predecessors.

    Times have changed, and GM has too…

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Is Cadillac profitable? I ask seriously because it has been suggested that Buick has to be kept due to the need for the brand to exist to keep cachet in China. Additionally Buick dealers tend to also be GMC dealers which makes is like printing money. I know it would be blasphemy, but if Cadillac isn’t profitable I’d ditch it and make Buick the top of the line. Chevrolet, Buick, GMC…kill all the rest.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Oh, hell no! Along with guns and religion we’re clinging to our Caddys!

      But seriously, I wonder if GM would expect any real backlash to dumping that brand, because given the dismal performance of everything but the Escalade there must be factions within GM that would advocate doing so.

      Hopefully, GM management has considered it. Comes a time every Grandpa has to go to the Home.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      GM claims it is, but I don’t know of any way to verify it.

      The brand is doing fairly well in China these days and the Escalade is possibly the most profitable vehicle in the world, so maybe it does make money.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    At the risk of sounding like a BAFO impersonator, GM is hurting. Not right now, but they see “bills” becoming *due* soon.

    Their sedans aren’t selling and will take massive rebates, billion$ to get them gone, before new-model-year, also un-sellable sedans arrive in lots, this Fall.

    Sedans and hatchbacks that’ll need to built USA “union”, instead of Mexico, along with all current Hecho en Mexico Silverado/Sierras.

    It’ll take massive reinvestment, and reverse-engineering the ’89 Camry.

  • avatar
    Charliej

    Do you suppose the GM management is following FCA’s lead and tidying up the corporation as a prelude to trying to sell it to the highest bidder? Maybe they have decided that it is better to be acquired by a Chinese company than try to succeed on their own.

  • avatar

    Wow, GM is really going to drop down to a 15% market share.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      It doesn’t matter if GM drops down to 3% marketshare – the issue is are they profitable.

      The whole 30% marketshare and sell them at a loss thing didn’t work for GM.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    GM needs to cut any vehicle that doesn’t have “special sauce”. Escalades, Camaros, Corvettes, any GM pick-up, SUV, CUV have “special sauce”. None of their cars,I’m looking at you Cadillac, mid-size and small have “special sauce”. Oh, Buick has “special sauce” in China. Kill the rest of their cars with fire. Or still have people laughing at them. It’s their choice.


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