"There is This Feeling of Distrust for the No 1, as the Big Evil Corporation. It Would Be a Relief for Someone Else to Feel That Pressure."
There's not much new in the [UK] Times analysis of Detroit's troubles, save the above paranoid, defeatist, defensive, sour grapes quote from GM Car Czar Maximum Bob Lutz. (We're no longer number the world's largest automaker? What a RELIEF!) Oh, that and the headline, an extremely non-Detroit News-like "US carmakers still on the wrong road." The gist of the matter: longtime auto industry observer Ray Hutton reckons The Big 2.8 got caught with their small car pants down. And he's not buying the idea that ANY of Motown's former maestros can pull themselves back from the brink– at least in the U.S. In fact, Ray reckons "Nobody expects a big turn-round in America, where the market for cars and light trucks is at best static, at about 16.5m a year, although some analysts predict a steep decline in 2008." And that's about it, except for the fact that Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli is either developing a penchant for Zen koans or developing new ways to tell the press to f-off. "The advantage of being private is that we can be private."
That's one good thing going for Chrysler. They don't have some f***tard spouting stupid shit all the time.
Apologies in advance, I'm flogging the horse here, but Lutz did say: "Rich people don't care about the price of gasoline!" So let's not act surprised. Too bad that rich people don't seem to care about his cars, either.
Ray Hutton is right. The big 2.8's business model requires larger vehicles with higher margins. Until they can learn to produce decent small cars at a profit, their long term viability is in serious doubt. Unfortunately, they seem to be locked into the current business model and fixing it is too expensive. Now we have a situation where the current business model provides a slow death and the new business model provides a quicker death. The solution? Chapter 11.
I just think there is bit of disconnect from reality along with sour grapes going on. Doesn't Lutz realise that its not the general public at large, or even the media so much that distrusts whoever is number one, but rather its people who have directly had experience with GM that distrust GM. When you had 50 percent of the market, you have a lot of former customers who have had 1st hand experience with less than stellar cars. As for the media, you can't go around harping that you can't meet emission standards, no one wants small cars, hybrids are a fad etc only to be proven wrong time after time and expect people to take you seriously.