Thursday, October 1, 2009

Another Failure of Management

GM has made a whole gaggle of really shitty cars over the last few decades, but on the whole Saturn actually made decent cars. Sure, they weren't the greatest cars in the world, but they were innovative, competitively priced, fuel efficient, and more reliable than most of the crap cars GM put out. (the 4 cylinder Ecotec's were actually good motors)

So what does GM do? They kill them off. Great strategy GM, kill off the good brands. With the death of Saturn and Pontiac GM now has virtually no entry-level cars marketed to young people.

GM seems to have a penchant for screwing stuff up. I mean, as a car guy I hate that Toyota killed off the Supra and MR-2, but those were expensive, low-volume niche cars that did little to help the bottom line, so from a business standpoint you can't fault Toyota from killing them. GM makes quite a few really shitty cars and there's far too much overlap within divisions. Hell just look at the GMC line vs. Chevy SUV's. Why not start there instead of killing off a brand that actually offered something different? I guess that would make too much sense.

I also noticed on the news last night that GM stated this would have no effect on employees of Saturn, closing of dealerships, or service & parts for Saturn vehicles. If the company is now dead and no one buys it those dealerships will close eventually. I'm guessing that GM dealers will still provide parts & service for Saturn's but who knows.

It seems to me that GM would have been better off killing their GMC line. Now that the Government owns them we can expect more bad business decisons from GM in the future.

H/T to Jay, who already said this.

5 comments:

Jeff the Baptist said...

The problem with Saturn is that everything in the lineup was either badge engineered or imported from overseas. Sending jobs overseas won't work when US taxpayers are keeping you afloat. With the death of Pontiac, most of their badge engineered cars are gone too.

The Saj said...

Well, I don't really think it was GM's choice.

Just like the closing down of dealerships was not Chrysler's choice.

It's .gov

Mike W. said...

But I thought government involvement meant MORE choice. Isn't that what Obama's been telling us RE the "Public Option?"....

Jeff the Baptist said...

Well it gives our political overlords more choices...

But seriously, more choice compared to what? Compared to what we had before they went bankrupt? No, but that's a false comparison. It's not like the lack of government involvement would have left everything hunky-dory. If the government hadn't intervened, the automakers would probably in more trouble not less.

Mike W. said...

It's not like the lack of government involvement would have left everything hunky-dory.

Agreed, however it appears as if they were screwed either way, as evidenced by the fact that they went bankrupt even after the bailouts.