Quote of the Day: Perception Gap This Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Participating in GM’s global technology development and purchasing organizations secures important economies of scale for Opel/Vauxhall and other GM brands. For example, vehicles that represent new propulsion technologies, such as the Ampera extended-range electric vehicle, can only be brought to market in a joint effort.

“GM operates many joint ventures around the world and has proven in the past that this business model delivers the right balance of independence, innovation and synergies,” said John Smith, GM Group Vice President Business Development. “All parties will work hard to close the deal as soon as possible,” he added.

GM straps on the rose-colored blinders and dangles the Volt in its presser on today’s agreement to sell Opel to Magna and Sberbank. Ironic counterpoint after the jump.

“We are really good at buying brands, sucking them dry, and letting them fall,” a GM executive told me years ago with disarming openness.

—Automobilewoche Editor, Guido Reinking, in yesterday’s Automotive News [sub].

For yet another opinion, ask Fiat what GM partnerships are like. Meanwhile, the way negotiations have gone so far, Opel’s new masters probably won’t bend over backwards for their Volt rebadge.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

More by Edward Niedermeyer

Join the conversation
4 of 15 comments
  • Charly Charly on Sep 11, 2009

    I didn't mean that Magna's solution itself was jerry rigged but that using an electric motor in a design for ICE car is jerry rigged. I should have been more clear. For instance batteries have their idea place in the center of the car. Something that isn't possible with a conversion kit like Magna's solution. You also don't need a exhaust or a gas tank.

  • KixStart KixStart on Sep 14, 2009

    charly, It doesn't matter if it's ideal. It just has to be good enough and cheap enough.

  • KixStart KixStart on Sep 14, 2009

    And soon enough.

  • KixStart KixStart on Sep 14, 2009

    charly, And real enough. You can get EVs from a few different sources. But only the extreme EV-philic fringe is willing to buy one of those fiberglass-bodied limited production things (see recent "Curbside Crap" article on the... what? Xebra? I forget). People want some fairly reasonable alignment between actual transportation value and the price (it can cost extra... but not too much) and they want it to look like a real car and they want it represented by some manufacturer whom they actually trust to know how to build a real car (even if they don't build great ones). A known quantity and well-known brand, like GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, delivering the car says that it's a real car and not some fifth-grade science experiment.