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GM Closing Saturn

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Carol Lister, Oct 1, 2009.

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  1. Carol Lister

    Carol Lister TS Member

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  2. markdenis

    markdenis TS Member

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    huessein's plan is slowing coming together. He will do everything possible to bring down Ford before this is all over.
     
  3. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    After Saturn, it will be Uranus.
     
  4. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Actually, it's all part of a master plan designed to eliminate unnecessary confusion and simplify replacement part stocking.

    With less model and make confusion, we will be able to use the saved resources to manufacture bolt cutters for ACORN's foreclosure lock removal program.


    [​IMG]


    This is the car that gave Communism a bad name. Powered by a two-stroke pollution generator that maxed out at an ear-splitting 18 hp, the Trabant was a hollow lie of a car constructed of recycled worthlessness (actually, the body was made of a fiberglass-like Duroplast, reinforced with recycled fibers like cotton and wood). A virtual antique when it was designed in the 1950s, the Trabant was East Germany's answer to the VW Beetle — a "people's car," as if the people didn't have enough to worry about. Trabants smoked like an Iraqi oil fire, when they ran at all, and often lacked even the most basic of amenities, like brake lights or turn signals. But history has been kind to the Trabi. Thousands of East Germans drove their Trabants over the border when the Wall fell, which made it a kind of automotive liberator. Once across the border, the none-too-sentimental Ostdeutschlanders immediately abandoned their cars. Ich bin Junk!

    There, now don't you feel better?

    HM
     
  5. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Penske ain't stupid. Detroit figured out over 10 years ago they can make a profit _selling_ cars in America...they just can't make a profit _making_ cars in America. The concept of "American Know-How" has given way to the concept of "American Marketing Pizzazz."


    So the "New Plan" is to divorce the end of the business that makes the product, from the end that sells them. You spin off the manufacturing operation, and treat them as a "supplier." That way you can hammer them for cost improvements. The "Brand Office" pockets the money from consumers (via its captive banking/lending entity), and buys advertising (from yet another supplier, who is also hammered for cost cuts)...and the dirty business of making a quality product and making a profit at it falls to the grimy "supplier" in his sweatshop. He can't perform? You simply find another "supplier" who can.


    Penske wanted to apply the "Nike Marketing Model" to cars. Buy an established brand name, transfer manufacturing to some overseas entity...then sit there and "manage" your suppliers, just like Levi's or anything else. It's not about manufacturing excellence anymore...it's about "supply chain management."


    I guess cars turned out to be a little more complicated than a pair of Levi's, and so he bailed, that's all.
     
  6. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    GM really had their heads up their a$$es with the whole Saturn idea. First, they introduced a line of compacts in 1991 right when the SUV craze took off. Next, they had a "one price" plan with glorified cashiers handling the transactions.....that plan will work only if the vehicle is GREATLY in demand, which it was not. Next, Saturn was ideally it's own exclusive entity with its own exclusive powertrains that it would not share with any of the other GM brands (that stupid idea didn't last all that long).

    And here you have a division that's supposed to go head to head with Honda and Toyota?? I wonder why it didn't work out.
     
  7. Doug Kennedy

    Doug Kennedy Active Member

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    Based on sales and commen sence, I don't think saturn will be missed.
     
  8. Fast Oil

    Fast Oil TS Member

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    Rumor has it that Penske is trying to buy up the Harley Davidson dealerships that belonged to Bruce Rossmeyer. The deal will not include Destination Daytona.
     
  9. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Saturn is a viable stand-alone franchise, so sales can't be too horrible. Another thing to remember is that GM selected 10 (or it could have been 12) of their best dealers to form an advisory committee to GM on the formation of Saturn. Those men and women were the ones who decided what the brand would be, how the dealerships would be run and how the brand would be marketed. In return for their efforts, those dealers were each guaranteed a marketing area that would support up to six dealerships.

    The Saturn dealership organization plan has become an industry model. Every employee receives a bonus based upon the profitability of the entire store. Technicians on the lot to bring in their next job stop to speak with customers until a salesperson arrives. Office workers wash cars for delivery if the regular detailers are tied up. It is a genuine team effort.

    The five Saturn stores in this area, owned by long-time Chevrolet dealer Greg Sutliff, are all still in business and profitable. In fact, one just moved into a huge five year-old facility that was a BMW store complete with an elevator to the offices on the second floor. Business can't be too bad.

    Every original Saturn franchise holder is still in business, so I will not be surprised if those dealers, millionaires all, take over the Saturn brand and carry on their original ideas.

    Ed
     
  10. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Government Motors is getting smaller what will the self proclaimes savior do now?
     
  11. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Average Ed,

    The profitability of the _sales_ end of the business was never in dispute. But where will the _cars_ come from? Do the millionaire dealers have the billions needed to set up a factory? And can they avoid pouring all their sales profits down that black hole, if they do? THAT is the grimy end of the business - the one that trips everybody up.

    GM says they want no part of running the Mfg. operation anymore. Unless the millionaire dealers know something about developing a manufacturer partnership that Roger Penske doesn't, Saturn is done.
     
  12. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    That's very possible, of course. But I wouldn't call it probable until another month or so passes. Who knows - perhaps GM would consider continuing the manufacturing and parts support for the brand under contract with the new owners. Removing the marketing chores and costly related support expenses (rebates, financing incentives, personnel) might make that more palatable.

    Ed
     
  13. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Re-read the historical course of events. From the beginning of the talks, GM told Penske you get 2 years manufacturing support from us, and then we are out. That was the framework within which Penske was unable to succeed. Even with a guarantee of 2 years Mfg. support from GM and Penske's considerable capital and business savvy, he couldn't pull it off. And a couple millionaire dealers will?

    I go back to my original assertion...selling is profitable, manufacturing (in this environment) apparently is not. It was never the support expenses, "marketing chores," finance and personnel that made this untenable for GM - that's the stuff GM is GOOD at - IT'S THE MANUFACTURING that's the problem. They cannot run a US Mfg. operation profitably, for moderate-priced cars at least. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Hyundai can...but GM can't.


    Anyone want to guess why? (Think about the structure of how the bailout ended up, for a hint).


    For extra credit - how come none of the potential manufacturing partners Penske was talking with were US based? Anybody...?
     
  14. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    I think he was looking to have them manufactured in China. Gotta have cheap labor.
     
  15. The Rock

    The Rock Active Member

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    Tron

    To bad they did not share their power train it was a damn site better than anything else GM had. The car started going down hill when they became just another GM product. Nothing special just another Chevy.

    Rock

    Jim
     
  16. GrubbyJack

    GrubbyJack Member

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    A Saturn Vue Red Line HAD a V-6 Honda engine (de-tuned).....the wife has one....SOME GM drive train........hate to see it go down the tubes, the folks in Springhill got shafted by GM good.....moved from Springhill TN production to Mexico......nice move GM...GRUBBY
     
  17. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    Where is the union outrage of Saturn closing? Oh that's right Obama is running GM now. If a commie is running the company and it causes workers to be laid off, well so what.

    Wonder if Mikey Moore is going to do a movie entitled "Barack and me", he could take the same script he used for "Roger and me" when he tried to get an interview of then GM president Roger Smith, who laid off workers in hell town Flynt Mich.
     
  18. gun1357

    gun1357 Active Member

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    According to today's paper, GM is still out-selling all of the others. Ron
     
  19. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    As a retired life-long GM dealership employee, I can tell you that poor management leading to higher production costs has caused GM to HAVE to sell more vehicles than anyone else to make a profit. They had the UAW on the ropes in 1970 but caved in after 144 days, the longest strike in history. Subsequent GM leadership continued the tradition of caring more about keeping the stockholders happy and thus retaining their cushy jobs than securing the future of the company.

    Ed
     
  20. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Well, I have to admit that I guessed wrong with regard to Saturn's future. Today's edition of our local newspaper quoted the president of the company that owns the five Saturn stores in central Pennsylvania as saying that those five dealerships would close by October of 2010. Some might even close sooner than that, as they intentionally allowed their inventory to drop in anticipation of the 2010 model release, which now will not happen, so when the 160 2009s they have in stock are gone and they've bought all they can from other dealers, that's it. There will not be any 2010 Saturns.

    He was quoted as saying that is about a two-week supply for their five stores.

    I really thought that as profitable as Saturn has been for the Sutliff Automotive Group and given Greg Sutliff's involvement in the formation of Saturn, it would take a month or so for them to decide their course of action.

    The president of SAG stated that they felt that two facilites would be purchased by other dealers who would provide jobs for those two buildings' employees, but that still will leave 60% of their 250 employees potentially unemployed unless some can be absorbed by other Sutliff dealerships.

    Ed
     
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