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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:27 AM
Original message
GM Loses Global Sales Crown After 77 Years
Source: Reuters

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp on Wednesday said its global vehicle sales for 2008 had dropped 11 percent, allowing rival Toyota Motor Corp to surpass it as the world's largest automaker for the first time.

GM, now struggling to restructure under a $13.4 billion U.S. government bailout, had held the title as the global auto industry leader for 77 years and used the line in its marketing.

But for 2008, Detroit-based GM said its sales decreased to 8.35 million vehicles, pressured by tightening credit and a slowdown that began in the United States and spread to emerging markets where GM has been stronger.

Earlier this week, Toyota said its global sales for 2008 had slipped 4 percent to 8.97 million vehicles as it also battled a costly slowdown in key markets.

Both GM and Toyota downplayed the significance of the shift in market leadership.


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSWNAB174...
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. "Both GM and Toyota downplayed the significance of the shift in market leadership."
is Toyota being humble, or do they both just know something we don't?

i wonder how the restructuring plan is looking...

does anyone know where they plan on staring first?
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. Cue the GM bashers
:popcorn:
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. You mean "cue most of the world."
Why are you sticking up for Detroit's Rustmobiles? If you're a union guy, are you really proud of the heaps of crap that management tells you to make? Wouldn't you rather make good cars and make a good wage doing so?

Stop blaming the consumer for not wanting to buy the sludgebuckets produced by America's companies. Get after the CEO's and the designers and the whole corporate culture that insists that America has to make only faulty, cheap products.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. There you are....
Have you even owned a GM or Ford vehicle in the last 10 years. The usual canards are thrown out there I see.
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Tempest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I have

A Ford truck.

And after two drive train replacements while under warranty, I traded it in for a Nissan truck. Not one single problem since.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Type of truck, year?
I have owned 2 Ford F-150's that have had zero problems in 6 years. I have another friend who just had his entire Accord transmission replaced after a little less than 3 years.
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Tempest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. 2004 F-250

And after talking to other Ford owners, I wasn't alone in having to take the truck into the shop for major problems while under warranty.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Doesn't look like widespread problem from google...
but at least it was under warranty.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
19. Are Nissans still rust buckets? Or has Nissan started to use real steel?
Edited on Thu Jan-22-09 05:01 PM by happyslug
I am sorry, but the last Nissan my family owned was a 1970 Datsun pickup. The Engine ran good, no problem with the transmission, the body just rusted out after about three years (and after five years, the body was completely gone, even through my family sanded off the rust, replaced the missing steel with Bondo). When I helped redo the truck I could see the double layer of steel, a very thin high quality steel over a thicker but clearly inferior steel (And the overall thickness of the steel, both good and bad, was thinner then on American Cars of the time period). Thus my experience with Nissan is of a poor body with a good engine and transmission (Four Speed manual, like a transmission should be, one gear for each cylinder of the engine). Compared to the American Cars of the time period (early 1970s) the Datsun Pickups (the NAME Nissan used at that time to market its automobiles in the US) were rust buckets. No American Car of the time period rusted as fast as a Datsun of the early 1970s (By the late 1970s most Japanese car makers seem to have fixed the rust problem, but adding galvanized steel to the lower parts of the car, but I have always questioned Nissan, which was always a step behind the other Japanese car makers). I had access to several American cars of the time period, a 1966 Chevrolet Belair, a ten year old Pontiac Executive, a 1973 Chevrolet Malibu, a 1977 Chevrolet Suburban and NONE of them rusted as fast or as completely as that 1970 Datsun (I had a 1982 Chevrolet Pickup, that lasted ten years without any rust, but that is AFTER the introduction of Galvanized Steel to the lower parts of even American Cars by the Big Three). My point here is has Nissan improved their steel, like most other Japanese Car makers AND US Car makers or are they still making rust buckets?

I will NOT go into Nissan's Steels terrible history when it comes to Union, best shown in the 1954 Nissan Steel Strike. For more see the following (One of the problems with the net is a lack of data on "Unpopular" events prior to about 1990, the Nissan Strike of 1953 is one of them, for it signaled the destruction of Independent Unions in Japan (and they replacement by Company Unions). These sites go into the Strike and Nissans attitude to unions since, but are insufficient compared to what is available in libraries where you have access to detail data (and stories) from before 1990.

http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/issues/1983/1...
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/1650/abrdjapanese...

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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. It's simpler
He's a troll.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. I'm a troll? Really?
Just because I support domestic manufacturers? Just because both GM and Ford make a wide range of quality cars, with Ford beating both Honda and Toyota in initial quality for the past two years?

Because I drive a Chevy Malibu and prefer it over my VW Passat (money pit)?


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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. settle down
go look at the sequence of the subthread--I'm not talking about you
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Hanging head in shame
You're right! I followed the wrong line up (and it was a very short line!)

My apologies.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. Because you're two decades out of date
I'm not a union guy, though I was in the past, just not in the UAW

Like I said, cue the bashers and you chimed right in. Thank you for proving that there is an anti-domestic force hard at work here at DU.


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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
20. You obviously haven't boughten a domestic car in recent years, because Detroit is making good cars
Detroit is making good cars now days. get your head out of the 80s and into 2009.

China is the one making the faulty, cheap crap, not us. So STFU you traitor to American Labor.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
4. Because fleet sales are down.
Not surprising, really.
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bongbong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. Ironic as hell
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 11:58 AM by bongbong
I used to work at GM as an R&D engineer, and saw the endless management mistakes from the inside. One of the most ironic things about Toyota taking over sales leadership was the whole EDS snafu.

GM bought EDS because at the dawn of the PC era, departments were buying their own computer systems. GM was looking at a huge potential mess of incompatability (sp). I mean HUGE. So they decided to "solve" their problem by buying EDS and having a central manager for all IT hardware/software. Big mistake #1; they didn't realize that Perot was basically a talentless ego-machine who got successful, due to luck and political connections, landing big government IT contracts in the 60's and 70's. GM had to make him a board member as part of the EDS buy. A year or two later they had to buy him out for $700,000,000 to get him off the board. But they kept EDS, big mistake #2, which turned out to be a less-than-stellar IT manager. So they had to plow more money into that mess.

The most cogent, and ironic, point about this situation was made in a GM-expose book, which I've forgotten the name of, written in the early 90's: for the cost of EDS, plus buying out Perot, plus all the money they poured into the EDS idiots, GM could've BOUGHT Toyota at that time. At that time, as big as Toyota was, GM was still much larger.

Let me repeat that: GM could've BOUGHT Toyota. Oh, the irony.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. What do you think of Ralph Szygenda?
Hero CIO as all the trade press seems to think?

Or empty suit with a big checkbook (at least formerly)?
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bongbong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Ralph S?
I left GM in the mid-80's, but follow the fortunes and follies of it, especially lately. So I looked up the name and see that he is the current CIO. From the puff piece I read via google, it appears he is doing a good job. But the sad thing is that he had to fix huge problems that, just as I said, EDS couldn't do right.

EDS is a big joke. They had (have?) dress codes! They were a big help in bringing GM down.

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cmutt Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
18. Sad
It's a sad day when people will celebrate the demise of one of our nation's largest and most historied companies.

I feel for your experiences with your Ford pickup and am glad you've found something to your satisfaction with Nissan: but I don't believe most people would share your opinion. Nissan's trucks have been the industry laggard in virtually all areas: initial quality, vehicle dependability, depreciation, horsepower, torque, AND gas mileage. There's a reason Nissan has is dumping their full-size operations and has entered into agreements with Dodge to 'buy into' and rebadge their Ram pickup.

That being said, my point here wasn't to knock non-domestic auto manufacturers, but to stress that EVERY big company makes it's share of missteps-- especially when they have a 100-year history. The domestics have been working hard on improving their products for many, many years and I think a LOT of you need to take a new and objective look at domestic vehicles:

Ford tied Toyota for initial quality this last year. GM isn't far behind. GM leads (again) in plant efficiency. Forgetting the fact that GM doesn't have a small or midsized full-hybrid car, most (if not all) of GM's vehicles are segment leading (or tied for the segment lead) in fuel economy:

Compact Car:
Chevrolet Cobalt is 37mpg
Honda Civic is 36mpg
Toyota Corolla is 35mpg
Nissan Sentra is 35mpg
Mazda Mazda3 is 32mpg

Midsize car:
Chevrolet Malibu is 33mpg
Toyota Camry is 31mpg
Honda Accord is 31mpg
Nissan Altima is 32mpg
Mazda Mazda6 is 30mpg

Fullsize car:
Chevrolet Impala is 29mpg
Toyota Avalon is 28mpg.

Small Pickup:
Chevrolet Colorado is 26mpg
Toyota Tacoma is 26mpg
Mazda B2300 is 26mpg
Honda Ridgeline is 20mpg
Nissan Frontier is 23mpg

Fullsize PU V6:
Chevrolet Silverado is 20mpg
Toyota Tundra is 19mpg

Fullsize PU V8:
Chevrolet Silverado is 21mpg
Toyota Tundra is 18mpg
Nissan Titan is 18mpg

Small SUV:
Mazda Tribute is 28mpg
Toyota Rav4 is 27mpg
Honda CR-V is 27mpg
Saturn Vue is 26mpg

Large SUV:
Chevrolet Tahoe is 21mpg
Toyota Sequoia is 19mpg
Nissan Armada gets 18mpg

Crossovers:
Chevrolet Traverse gets 24mpg
Toyota Highlander is 24mpg
Honda Pilot gets 23mpg
Mazda CX-9 is 21mpg

By my count, GM leads in 8 of those 9 segments listed. When the Honda Civic was first sold in America, it was powered by one of Honda's 900cc motorcycle engines. Remember Honda's first Odyssey minivan--that had no sliding doors? How about Toyota's forgettable Previa minivan? Honda and Toyota have evolved their products over the years -- and guess what? So have the domestics. It's time to open your mind and take a fresh look. Sure, they've been slow to change, but give them some credit: they've HAVE changed - and changed SIGNIFICANTLY since that POS you owned back in the seventies or eighties.

BTW, all mpg stats (painstakingly) gathered from http://autos.msn.com
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