Friday, January 27, 2006
Piece Of $@#& Car!!!
Adam Sandler wrote a song entitled Piece of $*&% Car... I believe it was inspired by FoMoCo and GM.
Is it just me or do American Automotive Executives not know what the hell they are doing? I get the feeling that they are a little bit removed from their consumer.
Some Examples: GM lost $36,000 a minute as auto operations falter. Link
Ford plant bans competitors' cars from lot Dearborn manager says employees can only park if they drive a Ford Link
We can return to profitability by forcing our employees into cars they don’t want. Get real Ford… Hitler forced people into VW’s also.
Ford announced Monday it would cut 25,000 to 30,000 jobs and idle 14 facilities by 2012 as part of a restructuring designed to reverse a $1.6 billion loss last year in its North American operations and bring it back to profitability by 2008.
Here is a start but slashing costs isn’t always going to save your business. If you don’t change your business as your clients and markets change you could be as extinct as the Dodo. Just look at the Dot Com Bubble, or Telecom companies.
“What you’re finding in the automotive business is the products you design today affect your profitability three to four years down the road. What we are seeing today is some pretty good changes at General Motors, but nothing like that at Ford, and I think Ford is really going to be in dire straits in five to 10 years from now.” Says Brett Hoselton, an automotive analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets Link
This is a huge part of the problem. Time to market in the auto industry is long and needs to be cut. Customers dictate business in our global economy. Not doing your research, not being viable and agile enough will cost you big money and possible the business. The big three customers have evaporated overnight due to oil prices and poor planning. They have offered up lack luster cookie cutter designs from the 1980’s.
Ford’s North American market — the most profitable part of the world market — is where it is struggling the most. Ford posted a higher-than-expected 19 percent increase in earnings Monday for the fourth quarter of 2005, boosted by strength in its finance arm and the sale of its Hertz rental car unit. But the automaker’s core automotive division lost $1.6 billion in North America where its market share fell even as it made money in the rest of the world.
America has loved its big vehicles. Recently that has changed a bit with the incredible crimes being committed by big oil bastards… Did you see Chevron had record Q4 earnings? America has changed its vehicle appetite some. Nothing at Ford or GM is really exciting. The new Ford Mustang is the only bright spot out of the two companies. Looking through the vehicles available at GM and I see only one that I really like the rest is just the same skinned crap they have been selling since 1990, my favorite being the Chevrolet SSR. Daimler Chrysler has at least had the nuts to introduce a few cool vehicles. The Jeep Rubicon, the Chrysler 300, Chrysler Crossfire, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Magnum. DC actually took some risks and I think it helps them to be in a better position. Honda, Nissan and Toyota are gaining share by producing more palatable products. The Japanese are producing more interesting designs. Don’t get me wrong I have been a die-hard Chevy fan since birth but I haven’t wanted a single vehicle other than the Corvette in 15 years. FORD and GM need to can the cookie cutter design teams. Maybe consult with Steve Jobs…who has made a profitable company out of design alone. Ford wow… I thought Ford might have learned a lesson with that ugly pos Tempo in the 1980’s but yet it is still produced in the Ford Fusion.
My 2 cents of free advice…
Make products customers want.
Offer variety of products.
Steep discounts and dealer incentives only hurt your brand by cheapening resale.
The next thing these companies need to do is axe the unions who are sucking the well dry. If you are to compete globally, labor costs need to come down. Sorry Boys welcome to the Age of China and Wal-Mart. Unions once had a place in America business but in the last 20 years they have become the problem and not the solution. It may sound callous and uncaring towards these workers but losing benefits is better than losing your job all together. Ford and GM could off shore their business and we could have Chinese workers building American cars at $4 an hour instead of $70 an hour. Geely and Chery are about to enter the market making it even tougher for GM and Ford to compete. So how about creating a vehicle that gets America excited about getting into the car.
And to the Government who keep adding ridiculous safety requirements… BUTT OUT. Its my God given right to drive a car with out air bags, anti lock brakes and doors that lock automatically when I shift into drive. Damn it don’t force me into safety, give me the choice to be an idiot because I believe this is still constitutionally protected .
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