GM CEO Wagoner to step down immediately

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by rdowns, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #1
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  2. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #2
    As I recall several congressmen were asking for his resignation during the December talks and maybe earlier, and at least one asked if he would resign as a requirement of getting more federal aid (Wagoner declined to answer).

    EDIT: MSNBC says that Wagoner was asked to resign (read: ousted, showed the door, fired).
     
  3. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    Not surprising I think.

    I want to see the US auto industry compete better globally instead of always looking inward and relying on sales of trucks and SUVs to pay the bills.

    Maybe it's time for Uncle Sam to try and turn this strategically and economically important industry around? After all, we more or less invented it.
     
  4. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    I wonder what kind of severance package he will get for this?:rolleyes:
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Assuming it turns out to be true, this could be very interesting for GM... Wagoner has been a mixed blessing for GM. He actually was fairly aggressively cutting costs before disaster really struck GM, and he did do a fair amount of leading them in the post 9/11 days in coming back from the brink.

    On the other hand, the brand portfolio of GM became very confused under Wagoner and even with Lutz (who is going to be out of their hands for real, soon), they still never rose to the point where they were making consistently compelling vehicles that stood on their own merits instead of trying competing on a scoresheet with someone else's car. Even the Camaro, nice as it is, is stuck in the position of trying to be a better heritage muscle car than the Mustang is, instead of being its own aspirational vehicle.

    They don't have a clear successor on the inside. They don't really have time to be recruiting a new CEO right now, from the outside, either. On the other hand, their current strategy has essentially consisted of, "We don't have time to become a good company -- we're too busy trying to slow our downfall." And that isn't getting them anywhere except bankruptcy more slowly.
     
  6. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    Very true. Aside from the Corvette, GM doesn't make anything really distinctive, and has taken badge-engineering to a ruinous extreme.
     
  7. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #7
    I suppose my wife and I didn't help, but I would not have bought GM no matter what. She just bought a new Scion xD, and she is completely thrilled with it. It is her first non-American car of any kind, and now she wonders why it took her so long.
     
  8. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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  9. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Besides performance vehicles** As the CTS/-V is good. The only good mainstream vehicle is the Malibu/Aura and G8. Cobalt is only decent in SS trim and XFE. Aveo? HA! Impala? Hello outdated platform.... G6? Basically the 'Bu/Aura with crappier interior and build quality. Astra? Good car, but absolutely crippled thanks to the exchange rate leaving off features that would make the vehicle appealing.

    Thankfully, future product looks good. Cruze, new Equinox, Regal, new LaCrosse, and Volt.

    I am happy Wagoner is leaving. While I do applaud him for starting a turnaround plan back in 2005 and showed some signs of working, it was too late and the financial crisis has brought them to their knees. His plan also relied on the sales of the new trucks and SUV's profit which was a huge mistake as well. It is also a shame they don't have many prospects that look like they could run the company better then Wagoner...... And it is a loss that Lutz is leaving at the end of this year. He has improved GM's product vastly.
     
  10. rdowns thread starter macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    If reports that the administration is forcing him out are true, I'd expect some backlash as that was not done in the case of the financial institutions.
     
  11. danny_w macrumors 601

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    As I mentioned earler I think they were trying to oust him even before the current administration took over.
     
  12. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    The best car for my money, what else??
     
  13. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    I drove a rental Malibu for two weeks. In many ways it impressed me (and I'm certainly no fan of GM), but it's biggest issue was a lack of soul. It's just so boring and indistinct. I just felt like I was driving some random car, instead of a Malibu. It didn't feel special at all. With less badge-engineering (brought about by shrinking the lineups and subsidiary brand numbers), the cars would be more interesting.
     
  14. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Still better then the Camry. The king of soulless cars. ;) The Malibu is a decent car to drive IMHO as I have the sibling, the Aura XR with the 3.6 V6. I agree it isn't anything special, but I love wringing out the power of the engine all the way to its 7K redline and love the exhaust note. Though the rental Malibu's have the OHV 3.5 V6 I believe.
     
  15. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    What are you talking about? The Camry is both the heart and soul of Asian mothers everywhere! :)
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    I think this, again, is exactly the problem... GM doesn't slot in anywhere except being "not as bad as" or "better than" ... I agree, the Camry is -- as far as driving is concerned, a soulless, heartless piece of pure engineering refinement -- that, as far as design execution is concerned, is nearly flawless. If GM's midsize cars do not occupy that niche, they also do not occupy any other niche. If one one wanted a fun to drive midsize sedan, one would most certainly not look to GM -- outside of luxury cars, GM does not own this slot in the way Mazda and Volkswagen do. And in the "middle" -- where one does not wish to be soulless but one also does not really understand spirit, well... I don't think they'll beat the Honda Accord in that market either.

    In luxury cars, in some ways, perhaps the CTS one of the best efforts by GM, but like the Corvette, it isn't a way forward in sustaining their marketability, and it still tried to appeal to too many different people at once. The CTS commercials about whether your car "returns the favor" when you turn it on were a perfect example -- marketing to the performance / sensual crowd with a woman driving a car with an automatic transmission. Please.

    The Opel Astra, had it arrived as a Saturn the year it came out in Europe instead of ages later, might have been half worthy -- it was fairly impressive competition to the award-winning Focus of 2000, but it was being sold in 2008.

    Maybe I'm being awfully cynical. But I think what GM should do is more forward relentlessly with graveyarding most of their brands, and then really try to define one thing that they do truly well with each of their remaining brands. I think, in the process, they won't be the number one or even the number four global manufacturer for the next decade. But maybe, they can be a solid five or six, and then, having developed a coherent vision, build that vision out and start gaining market share and volume.
     
  17. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    I switched my loyalty from Ford to Jeep. I love my 2006 Jeep Wrangler "Golden Eagle"
     
  18. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    I agree with how GM has positioned the CTS. It is a very good car in itself. Very nice interior and excellent exterior( IMHO as design is subjective), but where the car competes is a total mess. It is priced as the same as the 3 series, but it doesn't even come close to its performance and agility. It is the size of the 5 series and performance wise does well to compete against it. But, luxury amenities is severely lacking that would enable it to compete with the 5 and E class in that area. They also have the CTS-V going against the M5. So while they push the CTS as a 3 series competitor, they have the V go against the M5( and again, does very well going against it). You can say they did this to protect the STS, but the STS is pathetic and is dying in 2010. Hopefully, the 2012 redesign will move the CTS up to its proper spot as as a 5 series competitor and a smaller Caddy will come along to compete against the 3.

    Agree again with the Astra. It is a good car from GM in the compact class. But, it isn't as fun as the Jetta and Mazda3 due to the only engine putting out 140 HP and doesn't get near the fuel economy numbers as the Corolla and Civic.
     
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Yeah... I think they should maybe end up with two or three brands even, in the US. Get out of Saab. Sell or discontinue Hummer. If someone else wants Saturn, fine, but otherwise kill it now, like ripping off a bandaid. Keep maybe one of Chevy and Pontiac, and keep some smaller aglomeration of the luxury cars. And I guess the GMC truck brand, which does have a well-defined market placement.

    I think Ford needs to do the dirty work here, too. The Mercury brand has long outlived its usefulness, and I even wonder if the few key Lincoln vehicles couldn't happily live at the top of the Ford spectrum. Ford has a lineup of their core best that is almost compelling. The look is there, from the Fiesta up to the big cars/trucks. They actually do occupy a relatively well-defined space in vehicle dynamics, also.

    The problem with all this is that, for the decade to come, Ford's best shot is to be like Apple and pare down to a solid essential and build up. They can make money that way, but they won't quickly build marketshare, any more than Apple did after they reinvented. GM's best shot... I don't even see GM doing that well. But, if they pare down, they can perhaps still re-emerge as a meaningful player.

    And then Chrysler/Jeep/etc... now that's an interesting one. I wonder if they can pull off an alliance with Fiat to make themselves relevant? Or will, against the best intentions, it end up just like the DCX fiasco did?
     
  20. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    I had the four cylinder model, actually. I checked, because I was convinced there was a midget on a bicycle under there. ;)

    My biggest beef with Chevy at the moment is their continual abuse of the "SS" moniker. They've been doing it for decades. Sorry, but a current Chevy SS model these days is simply no match for a proper sports sedan, and will never be until they switch to RWD or at least AWD, offer a more unique engine tune and a manual transmission. Nobody ever mistook a Malibu SS for a BMW or even a Maxima. I was never fooled by the Z26 Beretta either.

    Even if they didn't want to compete with the real sports sedans and instead tried to build more of a musclecar, they'd need to take a look at the Charger. Who ever heard of a FWD musclecar?

    GM needs to find an identity, instead of being a big shadowy umbrella corporation for some cookie-cutter divisions.
     
  21. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Thankfully the Malibu SS is dead and the only SS's remaining is the Cobalt SS, HHR SS, and Camaro SS. The Cobalt SS IMHO deserves the SS moniker. That thing despite being FWD goes around the 'Ring in a respectable time and the turbo DI 4 banger is a good engine as well. It also features no lift shift as well. The HHR SS is basically the Cobalt SS though does a station wagon really deserve the SS name? I don't think so, but still performs pretty well.

    Agree, shoehorning a Small Block V8 in the W-Body Impala was a huge mistake. Who wants that much power going to the front wheels? The Impala's future though looks bright. Can't share the details until tomorrow. ;)
     
  22. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    Ah, memories.

    The Chevy II SS, with the 327 4-bbl. Sweet.

    :D
     
  23. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

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  24. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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  25. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #25
    Yeah, I found it a little odd that the rumor blog post was talking about the certainty of a GM / Chrysler merger....

    Jeep seems like a brand that could survive on its small scale outside the umbrella of a big automaker. The truly iconic jeeps are kind of vehicles of their own... they can license technology as they need to and build things like the Wrangler and its descendants without needing the scale of a top five automaker.
     

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