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General Motors discussions

Olds is officially gone. 2005 sales totaled 1400. When they announced it would be fazed out in 2000 Oldsmobile had finished a decade long slide in sales. Car sales alone had dropped from 489492 in ’90, to 216801 in 2000. Buyers would migrate to other divisions and GM would save the cost of managing and advertising America’s longest running make. At least that was the Theory. So now that its done, does it still seem like a smart move?


  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The Aura sheet metal is decent, but it was watered down from the Opel Vectra.

    Also, that sheet metal is hiding a G6 underneath. How many rebodied Malibus does GM need?
  • There has been speculation in the press about a GM/Toyota merger.

    How would the nuts and bolts of this merger work out if it happens?

    IMO Toyota would bring disiplined business practices to GM. Toyota would handle the development of GM's marquee brands such as Cadillac and Corvette very well.

    Toyota would benefit from the GM lineup of pickups (mid and full size) as well as SUVs such as the Suburban, Yukon et al.

    How would the individual brands and the dealer scenarios play out? I see Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Toyota and Lexus continuing as brands. Not sure where Pontiac, Scion and Buick would fit in.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Why would Toyota possibly want GM? Doesn't make any sense to me.

    Toyota is already a full-line manufacturer; they don't need any of GM's brands. They also don't need GM's headaches.

    They'll overtake GM in worldwide production in a matter of a few years; the juggernaut rolls on!
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I don't think this thread will last very long as a Toyota + GM thread (it'll fill up with naysayers, including myself).

    But as a "Toyota and GM merger - and other crazy ideas" I think it'd be a pretty creative and fun one.

    Anyway, as for Toyota + GM. I can see a couple of important benefits for Toyota.

    One would be international brands; the US and Europe have a lot of nationalistic buyers. Given that the Vibe and Prizm haven't been criticized much for not being fully American, I think Toyota would greatly expand its market.

    The second would be... Bob Lutz. I don't always side with him, but I think his mentality is hugely (if intangibly) important, and Toyota most of all could benefit from someone like him - because they've become very conservative, and because they have a lot of money to play around with.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    ...why not? Toyota has been building Buicks for years only they're called Avalons. I'd rather see GM survive in this form rather than die out completely. If you go iver to the GM board, all is doom and gloom. I've been eating Prozac like Good-N-Plenties since that forum was initiated.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    ...I've always thought that GM and Honda would be a better fit.

    Honda's fours are far better than any four-cylinder engine ever produced by GM. GM has also never really equalled the Civic, Accord, Odyssey or CR-V.

    GM's specialties are V-8s, bigger vehicles and body-on-frame trucks and SUVs, along with the Corvette. All of which are segments where Honda is either weak or not even competing.

    Honda could keep the Civic, Accord, S2000, CR-V and Odyssey.

    Chevy could have the Impala, Corvette, (enlarged) Equinox, Colorado, Trailblazer, Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban and cargo van. It could also have an all-new rear-wheel drive platform for a 300-like Caprice, an enlarged and revitalized Monte Carlo and revived Camaro.

    Acura would have the TSX, TL, MDX and new RDX. It would stay with front-wheel-drive, or all-wheel-drive.

    Cadillac would have the CTS, STS, SRX, DTS, XLR and Escalade, along with a five-seat coupe and convertible in the $45,000 range.

    Pontiac, Buick, Saturn, Saab and GMC would join Oldsmobile in the great junkyard in the sky.

    Of course, all of this would require the closure of redundant GM factories, shuttering of GM dealers selling the discontinued brands, and a requirement that GM not mess with Honda's unique corporate culture. In other words, it will never happen...or, at least, I hope it never happens, because it would probably end up as a fiasco in real life.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Hey, it looks like The Truth About Cars beat us to it.

    Honda + Lincoln idea.

    I guess there are lots of choices to link Honda to, since it's not really a full-range company.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "...I've always thought that GM and Honda would be a better fit." True, because (a) Honda has certain valuable technical competencies that would be very useful to GM, while GM has the scale and worldwide distribution that would be valuable to Honda; (b) there would be less product overlap than with Toyota; (c) it would be less of an anti-trust challenge than a merger of the world's two largest manufacturers.

    That said, there would be huge cultural issues which, realistically, would not make a GM-honda merger a sound business proposition.

    I envision a BMW-Honda merger as being a better strategic fit than GM-Honda, but the cultural and political issues would probably prevent such a combination from exploiting its strategic promise.

    "...Pontiac, Buick, Saturn, Saab and GMC would join Oldsmobile in the great junkyard in the sky." Although GM doesn't break out profits by divisions, some analysts have said that GMC may be GM's most profitable division, or, if not, the division with the widest margins. For this reason, and because of GMC's strength in trucks (a key reason why such a merger might even be considered by Honda), I think it would be wise to retain GMC in a hypothetical GM-Honda Merger.
  • kevm14kevm14 Posts: 423
    Wow, that was a dumb article.

    From the 1984 Mark VII to today’s self-leveling Navigator, Lincoln drivers have been gliding on air, without any of the reliability issues that have dogged other manufacturers' systems.

    Yeah right!

    Imagine an LS-sized car with a V8, rear-wheel-drive and an air suspension with active controls tied into an advanced stability system.

    The Lincoln coupe and convertible versions could reclaim the Mark name from pickup truck hell, and restore the Mark to its rightful place in the automotive hierarchy.

    Sounds like this guy just has a Lincoln and/or Mark fetish and wanted to write an article about it.
  • inevitable over the next few years. Most of the large companies are hurting financially.

    I think a Toyota/GM merger is certainly a possibility. There is a creative spark at GM that would combine well with the bulletproof appliance mindset at Toyota.

    A three part GM, BMW and Honda combination would be very strong.

    VW is in very bad shape: perhaps a Hyundai/VW blend would work.

    Mercedes is losing huge money this year but new products may turn it around. The Chrysler side of D/C is carrying whole company right now.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "A three part GM, BMW and Honda combination would be very strong."

    Theoretically, yes, but the cultural and political issues make this an improbable combination. A strategic alliance between these three, where, say, they exchange major components, while keeping their individual identity, might be more feasible.
  • If GM and Honda were to merge at one point, I would never set foot into a Honda store again. Period. :mad:
  • with the exception of Toyota every major auto company out there will have to look at new ideas.

    Toyota also could use a 'creative juice' replenishment.

    Your idea about BMW, Honda and GM sharing development costs of major components (engines, transmissions, electronics etc.) could be a solution. It lowers costs for all three while avoiding a true merger.

    The Hyundai/Kia IMO combination needs to look at VW or Ford as partnership possibilities.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    GM is relatively weak in small cars and four cylinder engines, where Honda is strong, and GM is strong in large RWD vehicles, some of which could be useful to Honda.

    It'll be interesting to see what becomes of FIAT, Mitsubishi, Isuzu and, potentially, Volkswagen and Subaru.

    Here's an outside the box one, since Toyota has (wisely, so far) avoided diverting capital and time to mergers: Toyota-Fiat. While it goes without saying what Toyota could do for Fiat, Fiat could inject some creativity and flair into Toyota. Of course, the Scion brand was created for that purpose, and it seems to be doing the job for Toyota.
  • reddogsreddogs Posts: 353
    ...just like Chrysler and that little German firm, what was that name....Well now its DumLieChrysler or something like that, and its run by Lee Iococca or his pal. So this one could be called ToywithGeneral.......... :sick:

    BAD IDEA.........Toyota would eat up GM and spit out ALL the parts and close it down quick and that would be the long and short of it............. :D
  • GM with TOYOTA, no way GM has too much debt service, but I did have a nightmare once that my Toyota became a chevy, I actually had to go and look! GOOD GREIF! :sick:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Marriage made in Hell sounds like.

    Toyota will be able to buy GM at a garage sale pretty soon anyway for spare parts.

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  • in the 'Economist' magazine about the global car industry.

    The author examines GM, VW, Fiat, P-C, D-C etc. The conclusion: as a group the global car giants other than Toyota are running into trouble.

    One possibility is for companies to become distributors or manufacturers but not both. The author points to the Porsche Boxster as an example of how this could work.

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    Why don't GM/Ford/VW/Fiat/DCX/BMW/Honda/Renault all combine forces to crush their common enemy which is Toyota?
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Do you really think Toyota would take on the "healthcare costs and pensions" of the UAW. Forget it!!!! You might as well just drop this "What if" discussion!!!!!!!!!!!
  • kevm14kevm14 Posts: 423
    Why didn't they include Porsche on the Operating Margin graph? There's a whole topic on this at Edmunds. Pretty sure they're #1, ahead of even Toyota.
  • I think they were focusing on auto companies that offer a full range of vehicles.

    You are right, though: Porsche profit margins are the highest in the industry.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    will Toyota's global sales overtake GM?

    "President Katsuaki Watanabe, 63, is making more vehicles abroad to expand Toyota's 2006 global sales target to 8.5 million units, compared with the 9 million units General Motors sold last year and 6.8 million units Ford sold in 2004."

    "The carmaker's market value of almost 15.3 trillion surpasses the combined capitalisation of General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen and Peugeot Citroen. General Motors, the world's largest carmaker, reported a US$286 million ($435 million) loss in the second quarter ended June, while the profit of Ford, based in Dearborn, Michigan, fell 19 per cent to US$946 million in the same period."
  • Toyota can aquire GM with half of the cash it has in the bank, then close down all the plant and make the money back in 3 year on GMAC.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    ...if Toyota buys GM and closes all the plants, who will be buying cars as hundreds of thousands will become unemployed?
  • big components are pinching the smaller companies.

    Even mid-size companies like Honda and BMW will need additional financial muscle in the near future.

    The next 5-10 may see another wave of consolidation in the auto industry like the 1950-1960 era.

    There will be some (big!) survivors. Many of today's brands will be nameplates only.
  • kevm14kevm14 Posts: 423
    I dunno but a bunch of people are going to have to find jobs where they will get paid what their skills are REALLY worth - 2/3rds to 1/2 the pay with far fewer benefits, days off, etc. It'll be rough I tell you!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,889
    Getting paid what they are worth...some execs will be lucky to get minimum wage...
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    ...was once nicknamed "Generous Motors," primarily for the high pay enjoyed by virtually everyone who worked for the corporation.

    I have the sinking feeling that lots of GM employees are in for a rude awakening within the next 5-10 years.
  • what mergers will really happen.

    I for one never dreamed Mercedes and Chrysler would merge!

    Probably some of the consolidations rumored now like Honda/BMW will never happen.

    The ones that do happen may surprise us all.
This discussion has been closed.