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General Motors Company Message Board

wngr123 177 posts  |  Last Activity: Jul 24, 2014 4:27 PM Member since: Oct 24, 2008
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  • Reply to

    BoD selection and voting

    by madam_hillary07 May 1, 2014 8:29 AM
    wngr123 wngr123 May 1, 2014 9:23 AM Flag

    "Patricia Russo and Steven Girsky should both be voted out since, IMO, both are highly incompetent people."

    I don't know so much about Patricia Russo, but she has excellent credentials. Girsky, I agree, has to go. He was one of those know-it-all Wall Street guys that thought he was always the smartest guy in the room. That is until he couldn't budge the problems in Europe and made bad decisions on some potential acquisitions. Plus, he got cozy with the UAW.

  • Reply to

    Bailout cost to . . . .

    by longpickuptruck May 1, 2014 8:22 AM
    wngr123 wngr123 May 1, 2014 9:31 AM Flag

    "the tax payer now exceeds $11,000,000,000. And this administration believes this is good. Tax payers how do you feel about gov't just wasting your hard earned dollar? I'm mad. Just my HO."

    As long as you feel the need to give us your "HO", why not make it an informed opinion by reading the report from CAR being discussed this morning?

  • Reply to

    CAR - hardly a detached observer

    by robert_dinero_here Apr 30, 2014 4:35 PM
    wngr123 wngr123 May 1, 2014 11:50 AM Flag

    "Nobody really knows the answer. What they keep disregarding is that GM would not have gone away if a proper bankruptcy. They would rather lie about the job losses. "

    OMG, I can't believe we are actually talking about this again. Let's run through this one more time, after that go ahead and continue your uninformed Fox News mentality.

    Normally when a company files for bankruptcy, they are out of cash and all marketable assets. They can't pay their debtors, they can't pay their suppliers, they can't pay their employees. Such was the case with GM on June 1, 2009. They had no cash, period. In order for them to continue to operate they had to have a cash infusion. GM and the Wall Street people on the Auto Task Force went to their contacts (banks, PE firms, and hedge funds) and ascertained their was no interest in taking on DIP financing for GM. PE firms were consolidating their losses, PE buying all but ceased in mid 2009. Hedge funds were desperately seeking capital to cover their losses. And banks, well, we know where they were. The credit markets ceased to operate...remember those days? If someone had $50 billion cash laying around, they could have bought GM intact. No one did, in fact, no one was even interested in part of it. THERE WAS NO MONEY!! If you know of a source of $50 billion in June, 2009, tell us. I will admit to being wrong about this. And if they did, why didn't they come forward??

    So, if you follow me so far, you will understand there were only two solutions, liquidation or government bail out. THAT is what was facing the US Government. There were no private sector alternatives. If GM had liquidated, it is ludicrous to think there would have not been US jobs losses at a time when the economy was teetering on the brink already.

    Tell me where am I making an error. Tell me what is wrong with that story. I am anxious to hear.

  • Reply to

    Some perspective about how things work and worked

    by navkram Apr 1, 2014 5:59 PM
    wngr123 wngr123 May 1, 2014 6:25 PM Flag

    " I think Wngr would substantiate that they were subsidized by GM for a period of time (10 years as I recall) so they could get their act together."

    I honestly don't know if there was something in writing regarding a 10 year supply agreement. I know there was with American Axle, but not sure about Delphi. Whether there was or not, that's the way GM acted. I think the first five years we were pretty much forced by senior people to accept Delphi parts at their price. Somewhere around 2003-4, the attitude changed a bit. If Delphi wasn't competitive, they were forced to match the price of a competitor to keep the business. Delphi didn't like facing the facts of the world.

    As we now know, Delphi entered bankruptcy (BTW, a 'normal' bankruptcy that lasted 4 years) because they couldn't survive matching prices with competitors. I will give them a lot of credit though, during their bankruptcy they did what was necessary and are now very successful with about a 9% margin and the stock appreciation that goes with that. They have diversified their customer base and are much more able to withstand the ups and downs that are constant in the auto business.

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 4, 2014 2:28 PM Flag

    "Would you say Roger Smith was among the worst GM CEOs ever?"

    I don't know about Jayhawky, but I certainly would. He was one of the most arrogant men I've ever encountered. He never worked anywhere outside of the GM building, I don't even remember him occasionally visiting a plant.

    He was an accountant's accountant. Everything was reduced to dollars and cents, he had no vision. He surrounded himself with people just like him too. There was a guy named F. Alan Smith (the F. stood for Farquhar of course) who was just like Roger. And anothe one was a big od fat slob named Bob O'Connell who used to terrorize the financial staff and made them work on useless projects on the weekends...without pay.

    That was an awful time. We just rolled our eyes sometimes.

    When I was just a young engineer, I had the opportunity to meet Ed Cole, the President of GM in the early 70's. He was a great engineer and knew the car business inside out. He was a good one.

    I think one of the best CEO/Chairman GM ever had, at least in my memory, was Jack Smith. He was the one that got them involved in China and was constantly telling us that Japan was a serious problem. He signed the joint venture with Toyota in Fremont, CA so we could study the Toyota Production System. That man had vision. Ironically, my father was on the interview team that offered Jack his first job in GM.

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 4, 2014 4:04 PM Flag

    " There was one other GM CEO I thought was pretty decent at times and that was Bob Stempel."

    I don't believe I ever met him, but he seemed like a decent man. Everyone said he was a good engineer. He was just incredibly unlucky, first because he follow Roger Smith and all his mistakes, secondly, I believe the very day he took the helm was the day the U.S. started bombing Iraq and the auto industry fell off the table.

    The Board lost faith in Stempel when he was to slow to close plants, he was too much of a humanitarian. Rumor had it that the day he was fired, he had a list of plant closing in his suit pocket. He only lasted a couple of years.

    I don't think that too many people know this, but his teenaged son was kidnapped in the mid 70's sometime. He paid the ransom and got his son back, but I'm not sure if they ever caught the guys. After that, GM Security got floor plans of every person's house plant manager and up, in case of a hostage situation. I thought that was a bit of an over reaction. That's also when officers visited certain locations, they started having executive protection people travel with them.

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 5, 2014 10:23 AM Flag

    "Wngr, to list all of Roger Smiths failures would take too long, and probably deserves a separate thread. What I could never figure is, how he lasted so long, almost 10 years, as CEO?"

    Two thoughts come to mind. First, many of his mistakes were long term mistakes that his successors had to deal with. The 1984 reorganization from autonomous divisions to BOC and CPC probably was the right thing to do, but it was horribly executed. In addition, the reorganization happened right in the middle of a huge product program called GM10 which involved about 1.5 million cars per year. It never made money but it took years to straighten it out.

    Another thing was that GM (Smith) went on a huge spending spree (which it couldn't afford) buying new manufacturing technology that wasn't fully developed. We've all heard the stories of robots throwing parts across the plant, etc. I know that many people cautioned Smith about "bleeding edge" technology, but he was an arrogant man and didn't listen.

    And the list goes on and on....EDS, Hughes, Saturn, etc. Most of these acquisitions were to diversify the company, in fact, they only served to distract it.

    Secondly, the only people that can remove a CEO/Chairman are the Board of Directors. In those days, most boards were rubber stamp cronies of the Chairman and Smith certainly schmoozed them. He was the King, no mistake about it. Interestingly, after Smith talked the board into a much richer retirement program for himself, there was a stockholder uprising and eventually the board rescinded it. At that point, several board members changed and the board became much more activist, to the point of firing Smith's successor, Bob Stempel because he failed to turn around the problems left over from Smith (that they were a part of approving) fast enough.

    Many people don't realize it, but GM came dangerously close to bankruptcy in Smith's last year as Chairman, 1990. It got close.

  • Reply to

    Just 4 persy

    by woodsoncz May 6, 2014 8:56 AM
    wngr123 wngr123 May 7, 2014 1:53 PM Flag

    " Sure, it's possible that a stock can go it's own way but generally, they follow the overall market."

    Interestingly, since some of the stock 'experts' hit the scene about a month ago, GM has out performed Ford, Honda, Toyota, Tesla, the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and the DJIA...and that isn't even including today when GM is again outperforming all of them except for the Dow so far.

    So, let them spew all they want Persie. The proof is in the results. They can't change that.

  • Reply to

    Just 4 persy

    by woodsoncz May 6, 2014 8:56 AM
    wngr123 wngr123 May 7, 2014 4:43 PM Flag

    "Oh really......what time frame are you making up this time?"

    If you will just re-read my should be apparent.

  • Reply to

    Just 4 persy

    by woodsoncz May 6, 2014 8:56 AM
    wngr123 wngr123 May 7, 2014 4:59 PM Flag

    "So your point was that GM for the last month has been higher. Go back 3 months...6 months.....why only a month?"

    Really, do I have to lead you through this whole conversation? Because that's when all the stock picking "experts" arrived. You're like the last guy at a party, I'm not going back to explain the whole conversation to you. Take the time to read the thread. Geez.

  • Reply to

    Just 4 persy

    by woodsoncz May 6, 2014 8:56 AM
    wngr123 wngr123 May 7, 2014 5:04 PM Flag

    Oh, one other thing Cobra, before you ask this. The point was they all arrived on the scene with their technical analysis manuals and their shorts and so far, at least, have been wrong. I hope that explains everything now. Has anyone ever told you you might be a little dense?

  • wngr123 by wngr123 May 9, 2014 10:06 PM Flag

    REUTERS – SANTA MONICA, CA - May 9, 2014 – In a press release today, Edmunds said their data indicates an uptick in sales of the all new 2014-5 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pick up trucks manufactured by the General Motors Company.

    Industry experts say that the uptick is due to three significant styling features which have great appeal to American consumers. The first is the unique design off the front and rear wheel wells. The distinctive square openings contrast with the wheels in an appealing manner according to Edmunds spokesman Harvey Lipschitz. “In our survey results, most responders say that it is distinctly a GM design that is recognizable…and people like it.”

    Secondly, the distinctive front grill gets high survey marks as well. Toledo, Ohio resident Mary Oberhausen said, “GM has really hit it out of the park with the look of these grills on the Silverado and Sierra. They’re really nice.”

    Third, the attractive brown leather interior is a game changer in auto interiors. Purchased option analysis shows that it is one of the most sought after interiors available across the industry.

    In addition, according to CNBC Auto Analyst Phil LeBeau, “Another huge advantage for GM in the pick up sector is the wide availability of models at dealers. Consumers enjoy the choices that are available to them at GM dealers, and no where else.” LeBeau adds, “GM certainly seems to be hitting on all cylinders right now.”

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 13, 2014 9:08 PM Flag

    A couple of comments regarding your two links tonight.

    First, market share. If you look at the charts set accompanying the last earnings release, you will see that global share was down from 11.3% in 13Q1 to 1.1% in 14Q1 as you say. Looking further, that share loss resulted in a $400M EBIT loss for volume. However, on the same slide (Slide #9) you can see that there was a $1.8B pickup due to pricing and nearly ALL of that $1.8B pickup was in North America. This follows GM's stated objective to maximize transactional price, and in turn increase EBIT. Seems it worked in Q1 at least.

    Second, pension funding. in GM's 2013 10K, Note 15, it show global obligations of $99B (down from 2012's $111.4B). Pension funding at the end of 2013 was $79.2B for a funding level of 80% (up from 75% in 2012). So, I would say that the pension underfunding IS being addressed due to the overall favorable market conditions. Additionally, if you look at the composition of the asset categories, you will find that 58% of the assets are debt instruments and if the Fed keeps its current position and eventually allows interest rates to rise, the fund show rise accordingly.

    Further, for reference the following is other large company's pension funding levels compared to GM's 80%:

    Ford 79.2%
    Boeing 75.5%
    GE 70.0%
    Deere 87.4%
    Alcoa 76.2%
    Exxon Mobil 70.2%
    DuPont 65.7%

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 15, 2014 11:31 PM Flag

    "Haven't I seen the word division used occasionally to indicate "Saturn" or "Oldsmobile" or other brand?"

    I think that was true a long time ago. Back in the old days, each division was autonomous, they had their own assembly plants, stamping plants, engine plants, etc. They even had their own engineering and marketing staffs. That hasn't really been true since the CPC/BOC reorganization. After that the company reorganized again and the "divisions" become marketing groups only. Engineering, manufacturing, finance, etc. were all consolidated under their functional groups and the divisions became a brand organization.

    So, I would say Persie is correct, although you may well hear one of us old timers refer to them as divisions erroneously occasionally.

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 17, 2014 12:30 AM Flag

    "But the new truck is not a common sight on the streets out here in SoCal."

    Hey RDH, I'm way ahead of you. I'm on your coast and I saw 2 today.

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 17, 2014 9:39 AM Flag

    "Did you see the rear bumper steps? If not, its not the new model."
    Yes, trust me, I know the difference between a new truck and and an old one.

    "Also, I'm talking about on the road, not on dealer lots."
    LOL. Me too. In fact, I've noticed more new trucks than dealers.

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 17, 2014 5:00 PM Flag

    Nope, Seattle.

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 23, 2014 11:07 AM Flag

    "30 hours is absurd."

    30 hours is about right with the following qualifiers:

    -It counts ONLY man hours for assembly, stamping, engine, and transmissions. The OEMs really don't do much more than that anymore.
    -It counts both skilled and non-skilled labor as well as salaried.
    -It ONLY counts the OEM labor hours, labor to produce purchased components is not included. So, for instance, parts made by Delphi, Visteon, Bosch, Johnson, etc. are not included in that number.

    This can be verified by a report well known in auto circles called the Harbour report, published each year up until about 5 years ago ago when Ron Harbour sold Harbour and Associates to the consulting company Oliver Wyman. The report is still published, however, it is not released publicly.

    The reason internal labor costs are critical to an automaker is that about 65% of the total cost of a car is purchased, presumably at market prices so all automakers are on an equal footing. That leaves only 35% that is under the direct control of the automaker. So, if a car costs $25K, only $8,750 is under direct control of the OEM, and labor accounts for about 25% of that amount.

    It's all about differentiation versus competitors. If an automaker can reduce the wages from $55/hour to $10/hour in a place like Mexico, that's $1350 per car x 3 million cars per year = $4 BILLION per year in added profit.

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 23, 2014 11:22 AM Flag

    "How was your trip to the west coast?"

    Profitable...and enjoyable. We stayed over the weekend and enjoyed downtown Seattle. It's one of the nicest downtown areas that I know of.

    "Did you end up seeing a lot more new Silverados than I am seeing? I travel in the morning when contractors are driving to work so I see a lot of contractor trucks. There just aren't very many new Silverados."

    I probably saw a couple a day on the average. Clearly not as many as I see in my home town (about 40 miles north of Detroit). I am noticing more and more everyday around here, I would estimate about 5 per day counting both Silverado's and Sierra's.

  • wngr123 wngr123 May 23, 2014 11:32 AM Flag

    "They get paid exactly the same to sit at home as if they came to work."

    Ah, no. If you accept that $55/hour is about the right amount of fully loaded labor in an OEM, $25-$30 of that is direct wages. Represented employees are paid hourly, so if they don't come to work they lose $25 of the $55 which is the cash portion of compensation. Most of the benefits are continued for the time not worked, up to a point.

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