Lutz: "We're Targeting Everything to Be High Volume"

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
lutz we re targeting everything to be high volume

“This is not the time for niche vehicles," Maximum Bob told the world yesterday. "We can’t afford to hit singles and bunts. We need triples and home runs.” There's more, all dutifully, faithfully, credulously and supportively reported by The Detroit Free Press' Mark Phelan. Neither Lutz nor Phelan realize putting all their efforts into high-profit trucks and ignoring cars that weren't "high volume" is what got GM where they aren't today. If GM had gone for a few singles and doubles in small cars– or had even landed a few solid bunts– while they were swinging for the fences in SUVs and pickup trucks, they would have a few more runners on base today. But now GM's trailing, it's the bottom of the ninth and they're hurriedly calling in designated hitters from Korea. The problem is that the game goes on. GM can't call "time out" while they try to rewrite their playbook and rebuild their team. And while they're combing their farm teams trying to find someone who can play in the big leagues, the transplants continue bringing home the profits with a succession of solid base hits. And yet the cheerleading continues.

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  • Davey49 Davey49 on Jul 16, 2008

    Sales of the 3 Lambdas together have sold 73086 in the first six months of 2008. Sales of the Highlander is 61089. I wonder about claims that badge engineering doesn't result in extra sales. Somehow I do not believe that if GM only made the Acadia that they would have sold 73K units so far. netrun- the Lambdas aren't outclassed by anything

  • Dwford Dwford on Jul 16, 2008

    Davey: you are right, GM probably wouldn't have sold 73 Acadias, but they probably would have sold 80-90k if Chevy was the only brand. As for the Solstice, this IS the type of car GM should be producing. The Solstice is sold world wide for Pontiac, Saturn, Opel and Daewoo - all produced in the US at 1 plant. The Saturn Vue is sold all over the world as an Opel, Chevy and Daewoo. Next up for the platform will be the replacement for the Equinox and then the Caddy and GMC versions(could do without this last one). Yes imagine the savings GM would realize if they dropped Saturn and GMC and only had to design a Chevy/Opel/Daewoo and a Caddy version. The Cruze will be sold the world over as the same car (why another new name in the US). GM has the right idea, but it seems that they really need bankruptcy to kill a couple brands to make this world car vision work so they can stop building 4 bodies with 4 interiors with 4 ad campaigns and 4 brochures for the same damn vehicle.

  • John Horner John Horner on Jul 16, 2008

    "These cars are more than doubles." I gave the Malibu a double in part because the launch was botched. A big advertising campaign when there were very few vehicles available is a sign of a dysfunctional company culture. Note that when the F150 fell off the top of the sales charts .... Malibu was nowhere to be found in the new top five. GM has a couple of competitive models on the market now, which is absurd for the world's former largest car company. For every decent offering there is an evil twin of mediocrity sitting in the background.

  • Tom-W Tom-W on Jul 17, 2008

    Even when GM products are superficially equal on paper (one struggles to think of even one example where a GM product is superior on paper, hence part of GM's problem), millions like me still won't consider one. I'm not inclined to put my money on a vehicle that I just know is going to disappoint me over the long term when living with it I'll keep discovering more areas where the beancounters stuck it to me. For example my first (and LAST) GM car, a 2003 SAAB 9-3 (a/k/a Aura a/k/a Malibu a/k/a G-6) in which I discovered, while rooting around in the trunk one day, that the full sized rear speaker housings (when viewed from inside the car) only contained dinky little clock-radio sized speakers (as viewed from below). This helped explain why the stereo sounded so terrible that I just left it turned off for the remaining two years of my lease, and listened instead to the numerous squeaks and rattles that started appearing at less than 6,000 miles, and which the dealer could never fix. Between poor management and being saddled with the UAW and the excessive cost structure that comes with it, there's just no way that GM can produce products that are truly competitive in initial engineering (the beancounters take care of that); equipment content (e.g. GM's cheesy interiors); initial quality or long term durability. This animal is suffering and has no hope of recovery - time to put it down.