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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:05 AM
Original message
GM says it "disappointed" and "betrayed" consumers
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 11:07 AM by Tab
Source: Reuters

DETROIT (Reuters) General Motors Corp on Monday unveiled an unusually frank advertisement acknowledging it had "disappointed" and sometimes even "betrayed" American consumers as it lobbies to clinch the federal aid it needs to stay afloat into next month.
...
"While we're still the U.S. sales leader, we acknowledge we have disappointed you," the ad said. "At times we violated your trust by letting our quality fall below industry standards and our designs became lackluster."

The unsigned open letter, entitled "GM's Commitment to the American People" ran in the trade journal Automotive News, which is widely read by industry executives, lobbyists and other insiders.

In the ad, GM admits to other strategic missteps analysts and critics have said hastened its recent decline.

"We have proliferated our brands and dealer network to the point where we lost adequate focus on the core U.S. market," the ad said. "We also biased our product mix toward pick-up trucks and SUVs."


Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081208/us_nm/us_gm_ad




These guys are really running scared, it seems.
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. back up that apology with action!
and then I'll back you
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
2. *snivel*
My heart is breaking (correction - just my sides splitting).

:rofl:
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TheCowsCameHome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
3. Sounds like the last days of the Bush administration - "We screwed up"
Funny how this stuff comes out after the roof has caved in.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. They built trucks and SUV's because people bought 'em.
They build good small cars too (Cobalt) but they're not especially profitable.

Certainly, they've made management missteps, but building a good truck is not one of them.
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sweetpotato Donating Member (678 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. They built trucks and SUVs to get around the standards in place for automobiles
Trucks didn't have the same safety or emissions standards. Cheaper to put a *luxury* body on a truck - SUV - than to develo safe, fuel efficient, attractive vehicles.

I maintain that if, back in the 1960s - you showed people the *futuristic* SUVs - people would have laughed you off the sci-fi/futureworld stage. We were promised aerodynamics and major fuel economy.

They probably spent more money on marketing the things than designing them.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. And consumers bought them. It's hard to argue that point away. nt
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Henry Mencken:
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Fugazi: "Never mind what's been selling/ It's what you're buying." nt
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
60. Do you not think Toyota, Nissan and Honda do the same?
Naivety, where is your brother?
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. well....
they also built the Geo a while back, which got great mileage. BUT: Cobalt? UGLY Geo? UGLY

they know how to make stuff look sexy. IMO they half-assed the Cobalt and Geo. I think THAT'S why they're not profitable, for one thing.

I really really believe that if they would have been forward-thinking enough, they would have continued to improve this kind of car for the inevitable future when people would want it.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. make stuff look sexy?
How retarded is THAT?

The average American wants VALUE. Some idiot that fancies themselves a marketing genius sits in an office and *decides* the public wants 'sexy'?

OUT OF TOUCH.

THAT is a huge problem with the big three and their hired marketing monkeys. COMPLETELY OUT OF TOUCH!
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pdefalla Donating Member (133 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. We do want sexy
Only when push comes to shove will we buy "value". What GM has been doing is producing sex without value. There's no real reason we can't have both.

But make no mistake, "Sexy" sells.
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. don't get hung up on the word sexy
what I'm saying is: good design sells cars. well-built, dependable cars usually don't look like cheap pieces of crap.

got it?
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Beg to differ. Most Toyotas are dull as dishwater, and ugly as sin. nt
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. oh well. eye of the beholder, and all that
never had a Toyota so can't comment on the quality
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Aerodynamics are the key to good fuel economy, not "sexy".
Which is why sub-compacts look more alike than different.
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. please see response #21
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
26. Aerodynamic Doesn't Have to be Ugly
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 04:02 PM by AndyTiedye
They make these cars ugly because they want to "upsell" us to something else, like a nice big SUV.

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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. If an SUV is an "upsell", doesn't that suggest that consumers don't want economy cars to begin with?
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #27
48. Upsell Just Means Getting the Customer to Buy a More Expensive Product
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #48
52. Right. But it works by comparing the cheaper product to the more expensive one.
"Upselling" is based on putting the consumer in the product that they really want....
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outofbounds Donating Member (578 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #26
47. You IMHO hit that nail squarely on the head and drove it home
The mini is a cute care the smart car is sharp as a tack INHO. No allow me to by one w/out power everything. I don't want an airbag. I'm just using these as examples of course but really, I don't need things that 5000.00 like 6 airbags.

One more thing jump in a small well maintained 150k mile Toyota then jump in the same or comparable Ford and tell me which vehicle feels tighter and more solid. While these Bd of Directors are getting 18 million a year + bonuses they are still selling and inferior product like in the early 80s.

One more thing, allow the US to buy the 60/mpg Fords that are only available in Europe.It grinds my gears that an Escort is getting 20K when its a 7k car.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #8
25. The Geo Was Made Where?
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. The Geo Metro was a Suzuki desgin, made in Japan, California, and Ontario, CA. nt
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Thegonagle Donating Member (548 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #29
58. Actually, it depends which Geo. The Metro and Tracker were Suzuki designs, the Storm was
an Isuzu design, and the Prizm was a mechanical twin of the Toyota Corolla sedan.

Early Metros, Trackers, and all storms were built in Japan, later Metros and Trackers were built in Ontario, and the Prizm was built in California, on the same assembly line as the Corolla. (That was at the same plant that produces the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix today.)
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. People bought them because of millions of dollars of advertising.
People tried to buy GM's all-electric car, too, but GM wouldn't let them.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. Right. The same reason I smoke. And drink. And own an Iphone.
Oh wait. None of those things is true. Nor have I ever owned an SUV.

I must have some super-duper immunity to advertising. :shrug:
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #30
41. "I must have some super-duper immunity to advertising."
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 06:48 PM by depakid
You may well- though on this issue, you also seem also to have an immunity to abstract thought and science.

Just because the psychology behind advertising and marketing doesn't "create demand" for you- doesn't mean that it's not effective on 10's of millions of people in the genral population.

Corporations like GM (or McDonalds or Coke/Pepsi) spend BIG money on high powered psychologists and others in their efforts to persuade folks to purchase items they have little use for or engage in unhealthy behaviors that they otherwise wouldn't. And they get a substantial return on that investment.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 06:33 AM
Response to Reply #41
50. Conspiracy theories are almost always self-flattering...
Because implicit in most conpiracy theories is the idea that "everybody else" is fooled, but that you yourself are not.

Case in point:

"Just because the psychology behind advertising and marketing doesn't "create demand" for you- doesn't mean that it's not effective on 10's of millions of people in the genral population.

Corporations like GM (or McDonalds or Coke/Pepsi) spend BIG money on high powered psychologists and others in their efforts to persuade folks to purchase items they have little use for or engage in unhealthy behaviors that they otherwise wouldn't. And they get a substantial return on that investment."

Since GM's competitor's advertise too, then how are we to believe that current consumer buying habits are not equally manipulated? In other words, people must want Priuses and Tercels, and Tundras based on advertising manipulation, rather than the objective qualities of these goods. Do you see how ridiculous your argument becomes in this context? :P

Or do you have an ad hominem attack to dispose of this argument? :rofl:
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #30
54. I imagine most people think that very same thing
"I must have some super-duper immunity to advertising."

I imagine most people think that very same thing about themselves-- I suppose it's human nature to believe that we ourselves are immune to the popularity contests of the market, and tell ourselves we've purchased only those big-ticket items that we've given full and conscious examination to.

Maybe saying it helps us feel more validated about our decisions...
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #54
56. Even the ones who are lecturing us about our utter POWERLESSNESS in the face of marketing?
Because this whole theory begs the question: Which marketer is manipulating your opinion? :hi:
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. Probably the ones I see on a constant basis.
"Even the ones who are lecturing us about our utter POWERLESSNESS in the face of marketing?"
Most likely.

"Which marketer is manipulating your opinion?"
Much like everyone else, probably the ones I see on a constant basis.
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spoony Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. Yes, people aren't responsible for what they do.
I hate it when someone says people can buy something or not, have they never seen the hypnomercials? Maybe if they hadn't sunk all their money into FORCING people to buy EVIL vehicles they wouldn't need money to compete with the AWESOME foreign makers!!!!

:sarcasm:
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #36
44. Have you seen "Who Killed the Electric Car?" If not, I suggest you do so.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #44
53. LOL. Is that a documentary on mind control?
If not, I don't think it proves the point Depa was attempting to make.

PS: Why doesn't Toyota make an electric car? :eyes:
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 06:34 AM
Response to Reply #36
51. He doesn't even REALLY believe this. He's just trying to cover for his Bailout Boosting. nt
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
43. But how many commercials do you see for the Cobalt? Compare that with how many
commercials you see for pickups and other "rugged" rough-n-ready action. It's portrayed as more macho, macho being equated through marketing and expert salesmanship with All-American-ism. Redder/whiter/and bluer than thou. Kings' ransoms have been spent hyping the big-ass gas-guzzling, high-octane, wide-body, big-wheeled monstrosity and positioning it in the mind as being desirable. They make it sexy. They make it appealing by making you feel big-ass and powerful and dominant and imposing and invincible when you drive it. So in effect, you become that, yourself, merely by association. It's no longer you are what you eat. It's - you are what you buy. Or - I purchase, therefore I am. I shop, therefore I am.

And why change if that's been your cash cow for so many years. You budget and strategize and plan for and aim toward things simply growing. Like there'll always be enough gasoline. Like the end of fossil fuels is just something that'll happen - oh, maybe someday, yeah, but hey, full speed ahead now, 'eh? It's grasshopper versus ant in the old fable and the grasshoppers who don't work hard and try to save for the winter have been allowed to win. It's their short-term-profit thinking and the tunnel-vision priority of keeping quarterly earnings up without looking beyond that to the long term.

If we had commercials shaping public opinion so it started regarding small and energy-smart cars as cool, sexy, chic, alluring, or somehow endowing with powerful psychological "goodies" like the big-ass honkers endow their drivers - there'd be a far wider market for them. I'm not sure how to do that with this macho, cowboy, John Wayne, ronald reagan, maverick (yes, THAT dreaded word too), lone wolf Rambo law-unto-himself, cast-a-giant-shadow schtick with which so much of America seems to be besotted. duhbya wrapped himself up in that from the word "go," hoping to get the ultimate contact high from it, catapulting his own propaganda into the White House. I'm hoping that he's gonna take that stupid troglodyte mystique with him - out of power AND out of fashion. We have to reshape attitudes and help America grow up a little, and stop acting like a spoiled, self-indulgent teenager. We have to redefine what's good, sexy, hip, fashionable, admirable, and desirable.

Oy. It's all in the marketing. It's all perception manipulation. All manipulating and shaping public opinion. I remember when it became sexy to be smart. That was back in the late '60's, when "Star Trek" first came out and the character Mr. Spock was such a hit - especially with ladies. Suddenly, smart was sexy. Diane Sawyer rose to prominence on that kind of PR. It happens. It needs to happen again, and to be reinforced so it's not fleeting. I mean, gas prices have dropped and I've heard talk about how all that ol' gas mileage is passe. Problem? What problem? False alarm! Liberal scare tactics! Bring on the gas guzzling again! The utterly sacrosanct American Way of Life!

THAT'S what's got to change. That attitude. Our country needs a change of focus, change of priorities, change in behavior - more responsible, adult behavior. Obama is the man who ushers that in, and has come to embody that whole concept of The Great American Reinvention. Maybe even a Great American Rehabilitation. Something. But advertising has to sell it. With the same kinds of aggressive campaigns that are used to sell you detergent and Viagra. There's a crying need for efforts that slowly and steadily change and evolve the American mindset.

And we need to start yesterday. The bad guys are already spinning bush's "legacy," for example, trying desperately to rewrite history so people's perceptions and attitudes toward bushco will be redirected toward Mother Goose and the Brothers Grimm - VERY grim, really. We have to be there to push back and keep the record set straight.
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Uben Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
5. What a wonderful apology!
Now, suffer the consequences like everyone else.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
9. Please. Nothing is going to change. They can't go under, but
it will be business as usual once the economy gets underway once more.
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proud progressive Donating Member (358 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
10. let me guess. do they want my sympathies or my money?
you boys are a disgrace to what this country used to represent - ingenuity and hard work.
may you and the crooked pols who you have con'd rot along with the ken lay's, charles keating's, and every other crooked ceo!
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CANDO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. They built engines and transmissions designed to wear out.
Whatever happened to building something that lasts? I get it. They wanted repeat customers. But they went about it the wrong way. Building things that last will get you a hell of a lot of customers. They wanted a lot of customers, but wanted the same ones over and over. Doesn't happen with a crappy product.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. It wasn't just GM
Ford Windstars (and Probes) had transmissions that self-destructed and engines that popped head gaskets on a regular basis.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #13
31. There is no such thing as a piece of machinery that doesn't wear out... nt
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CANDO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #31
39. That's a given, but you're ignoring my point.
They deliberately didn't build things to last many tens of thousands of miles longer than they could have.
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CRF450 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #39
46. What engines? To be exact...
The LS1 v8 in my car has a good record of being reliable. The 3.4 v6 in the 94 Camaro I used to have was also very reliable even though is performed like crap.
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CANDO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #46
59. The 2.3 Liter Ford 4 cylinder in my 1983 Mustang
Got me to exactly 107,000 miles before it gave out. It would spit and sputter so much, I couldn't stand it any longer. Now, am I supposed to be happy with that kind of mileage, or should I have expected to get maybe another 50,000 or so? It had a manual transmission which I never had a problem with, but the clutch cable broke once and I had to drive it like a Semi-truck. That was quite a challenge.
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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #13
34. Engines and transmissions fail at 100,000 miles. Like clockwork.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. Have you ever owned a car? n/t
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pam4water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #34
55. Not on Toyota or Honda.
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #13
45. No, they have figured that part out
The prices were once low enough and wages were high enough so people were able to buy new autos in three or four years. It's been in the last couple of decades they have raised the prices up enough so they make enough profit and need to sell less of them. Foreign competition is what made them change designs so things were set up to last longer along with a lot of technological advancements and better lubricants
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
61. No they don't, but why try to change one's mind if it is made of bricks.
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
16. now isn't that interesting after Senator Dodd said
that the GM CEO should move on, we get this revelation. What total BS these CEO's peddle to the American people.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #16
32. I wonder what advise Chris Dodd has for AIG's CEO? "Don't spend it all in one place!"???? nt
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
18. What industry hasn't? Go ahead, name ONE.
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 12:49 PM by Festivito
GM had an old design guy and they just couldn't fire him. Ford made some advances on GM's high end car line for a while.

It's a matter of taste. Maybe they should have demoted, embarrassed, or fired him instead of claiming they had great artful designs in ad campaigns. I don't know. Hindsight on matters of taste are not 20/20.

But, those in the know, know. So, there's the apology.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #18
38. Can they FIRE the fuck with the deep voice doing the truck commercials?
All truck commercials are fucking dumb, but the deep voice just makes them comical.
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Mudoria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
19. My '89 Camaro I bought new is still running like a champ
Thanks Chevrolet and GM for the great value and fun vehicle!
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
23. I just watched "Who Killed the Electric Car" and I'm ticked off at GM.
The upper management and boards of U.S. auto manufacturers betrayed not only their customers but their entire country. I don't think that they should be allowed to bring down the U.S. economy with them, but their needs to be a serious overhaul of our entire approach. This free market crap is b.s. The Repubicans and super-wealthy use it for their own advantage but when their stupidity and incompetence catch up to them they come crying to us to bail them out over and over again.

We need worker's rights. We need universal healthcare, retirement, and childcare. We need family leave. We need caps on the income of CEOs and rules regulating who sits on what board.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
62. You need to move on. The past is over, so buy a fucking Volt in 2010.
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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
33. All top managemnet should be fired now and replaced with the people that made the electric car they
killed.

Everyone that disagreed with current management for the last eight years should run the place, the ones that have been should be kicked in the ass out the door.
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spoony Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
37. Ok, country, have we groveled enough?
Fuck.
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
42. I had to laugh at the VP ass from GM that was on MSNBC earlier today
He was whining that sales were down 40%. Guess what?! EVERYBODY's sales are down.
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
49. So much for apologizing for being the leader of closing all those factorys and sending all those
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 01:47 AM by superconnected
jobs to other countries. The factories were only closed to open doing the same thing in Mexico and other countries. GM was the company that started that.
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