"wngr123, can you recommend a place online where I can read up on that?"
There are a few. One is an article in Forbes from 3/8/10 titled "How GM Destroyed Its Saturn Success". The one part I would emphasize from this version is the fact that Saturn couldn't sustain itself financially so it began to rob other parts of the company for funds.
Another is from the US Dept of Labor titled "Rebuilding the Social Contract at Work: Saturn. This paper only deals with the social aspects of Saturn, not the product nor financial which I think have to be part of the discussion.
Maybe the best one, at least to talk about the practical side of things is a paper written by Jack Falvey titled "WHAT THE MEDIA MISSED: "SATURN - A DIFFERENT KIND OF COMPANY, A DIFFERENT KIND OF CAR" (NOT ANYMORE!)"
If you combine the viewpoints of all of these, I think you'll start to form an idea about what went on.
"Roger Smith, the CEO of GM from 1981 to 1990, does not have a stellar reputation in history. He also was not popular among the brass at GM. He shook the company more than they were comfortable with. Because of this he did not have many friends. "
Roger Smith was not popular with GM brass, that part is true. but it wasn't because he tried to push too much, it was because he made stupid decisions, i.e., EDS, cookie cutter cars, and Saturn others.
"Saturn was Smith's baby."
A common misconception. Saturn was jointly conceived (just like everything else at Saturn) by Smith and Don Ephlin, the VP of the UAW GM Dept. Ephlin was also roundly criticized within the UAW for being part of this. The idea was co-determination. A UAW person worked as a partner with every management person from top to bottom. It was partly driven by the union's concern over small car production going offshore. The experiment was to see if a UAW plant making small cars could compete with the overseas competition. Just as most of GM management was less than thrilled with Saturn, when Steve Yokich was elected President of the UAW he constantly clashed with Mike Bennett, the president of the local union. In the end, Yokich had as much to do with Saturn's downhill slide as GM management did.
Between paralyzed joint decision making, not being able to generate enough cash for model changes, and lack of support from both the UAW and management, Saturn finally died and became part of the "bad" GM in the bankruptcy.
"wngr, I appreciate you trying to respond to my union comments. It is a rare liberal democrat that will answer questions truthfully and honestly. for that I thank you"
Is this your attempt at purposely being annoying? If so, well done.
“Why do you buy shares in publicly traded companies when you have no desire to become a 1 percent - r or successful?”
An unsupported assumption on your part. Seems to be quite a theme with you. Fact is, I typically don’t buy publically traded stocks. Also, why do you assume I am not already a grammatically incorrect “1 percent – r”?
“The GM vehicles are assembled by union members who hate America and Freedom . They are all card carrying far left kommie democrats paid to do the least amount of work at the slowest speeds with 5 extra people per job sitting around while one does the work.”
Aside from your less than impressive diatribe, I doubt whether you have ever actually been in a modern automotive plant, much less work in one. In a normal car assembly plant operating on 2 x 8 hour shifts and assembling around 960 cars per day, the actual Takt time is 55 seconds (I doubt that you are familiar with Takt time, so look it up). This is true for ALL assembly plants, union or not.
Of that 55 seconds, about 95% of that time is content loaded depending on line balance. I can pretty much say with confidence, whatever you do, you don’t work that hard.
If you are at all familiar with my previous posts, you will know that I am not a UAW supporter. If you said they were overpaid, I wouldn’t object. If you say they have terrible leadership, I wouldn’t object. But when you say they don’t work hard, you are simply displaying the fact that you don’t know what you’re talking about.
"wngr , as you are a expert in auto plants can you tell me what would happen to a union member if the big union boss found out they didn't vote for BHO ?"
Yes I can, nothing. I have had shop chairmen tell ME that they didn't vote for BHO. Of course they are encouraged to vote for the union favorite, but nothing would gain them a visit from the NLRB faster than a discriminated worker because of the candidate he voted for.
"What would happen if a union member wanted to come in early for work , work through their lunch hours and stay One or Two hours after the little whistle blows with no extra pay to complete the job they started?"
I have had union people do exactly that, although not in the US. You seem to be confusing the way in which workers are paid in the US. Salaried and management workers are occasionally expected to work casual overtime as demanded by the job. Non exempt employees are REQUIRED to be paid by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. There is case history setting precedence for this as well. There was a famous labor law case of Nordstrom employees suing their employer over the tacit requirement of working beyond 40 hours without compensation. They won.
"They are all card carrying far left kommie democrats paid to do the least amount of work at the slowest speeds with 5 extra people per job sitting around while one does the work."
Be careful, your lack of familiarity with auto plants is on full display.
"Please list all the manufacturers who ALSO don't want to warranty their engines for 100k. C'mon......go ahead....."
To your point, Honda is generally considered to have the best engines in the industry and they have a 5 year/60,000 mile warranty.
"Mallen made the point in 2011 and now you finally have to admit he's right."
Uh no. He said that GM would stop making them. He's wrong because he clearly doesn't understand or have the strategic vision that in required to see the obvious.
1. Once the R&D is a sunk cost on these cars, the only thing that matters in the decision to make or not make is the cash profit, i.e., the cash cost of material and value added content. If the selling price is greater than the cash cost, one would have to be as dumb about these things as Mallen to stop producing them.
2. Even if it is a small cash loss, the car manufacturers have no choice but to continue to develop these cars to meet the 2025 standards. If Mallen has a better idea as to how to meet these standards he should develop it himself and become a billionaire. Based on his vision of oil prices, I'm going to guess he does not have a good idea.
"Leaf sold 1553 copies in the USA last month, which tears the VOLT a new one.
If only every GM model could sell that well."
My point was that if you add ALL PEV and PHEV sales together from ALL manufacturers, they told a little less than 100,000 vehicle which is roughly 0.6% of the US market. People just aren't buying them because there's no payback.
And yet, somehow, if the automakers are to meet the 2025 CAFE standards, they will have to figure out how to sell these more expensive cars to people who don't want them.
"VOLT has been a disappointment from the get go. VOLT owners tend to like their cars very much, but the company never marketed it right and never got anywhere near the 60,000 sales per year anticipated."
I doubt anyone at GM would say they're happy with Volt sales. But I think that that is not peculiar to GM. If you look at the Prius, yes they've sold 55,000 so far this year, but that's down 10% from last year.
Then if you look at the success of pure electrics, it's even worse. Tesla supposedly is going to sell 40,000 globally this year but compare that to a 75 million car market. Leaf sales are miserable as are the others.
This is precisely what's wrong with trying to legislate a market segment. With the 2025 CAFE standards looming, what car maker is not going to pursue electric cars? You simply can't get there with internal combustion engines. They have to develop PHEVs or pure electrics no matter the cost or run the risk of not being in business 10 years from now. They have to spend billions in research, then hope to be able to sell these higher cost electric vehicles that have no payback to customers and for which there is practically no market.
I don't know if GM or anybody else is breaking even or making money on electrics, frankly I doubt it, but if anyone else has an idea that is practical for a 54.5 MPG fleet of cars, bring it up. BTW, 'practical' is the key word here.
"After I lost my job at Saturn all due to GM's incompetence I vowed only to buy Japanese products."
Wasn't Saturn supposed to be a new kind of company? One that was co-run by the UAW and GM. One that was independent from GM management and whose future was self determined. Wasn't that it?
It was a kind of experiment to see if the UAW, working with management could make better decisions. Here's how it turned out...Saturn could never generate enough funds to update their cars so they had the same technology and product lines for too many years. Even so, their cars were over priced and could not compete. Finally GM bailed them out by offering to let them borrow GM's existing platforms, put on their own Saturn trim and call them Saturns. Even that wasn't enough.
The cold hard facts are that the experiment failed, the UAW couldn't operate a car company as well as GM management. I'm sorry if that's a difficult truth for you to face.
"My company is selling component for that car and we are working on really next level stuff with GM."
Congratulations John. Well done!
"You're splitting hairs now, wngr -- not like you."
You may have a point, but I like to be precise in this case for two reasons:
1. Anyone using the words should know what they're talking about.
2. A difference of $2/share for this IPO is worth about $950 million. Probably an insignificant amount for your portfolio, but it would almost double mine.
“So, Is that Why GM Falls Below its IPO Price AGAIN this Week? It not looking too healthy lately.”
There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the IPO price in November, 2010. An IPO price, and this applies to ALL IPO’s, is NOT determined on the first day of trading on any exchange. The IPO price is determined by the selling price of the stock offerings from the company to the various underwriters, and in some cases, to employees. This usually is done a day or so PRIOR to the first day of trading. In other words, IPO’s are valued at the return to the company, NOT what is available to the general public.
In GM’s case, the IPO price from the company to the underwriters was $33 per share. The lead underwriters were Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N).
You can look it up:
“General Motors will raise a record $20.1 billion in its initial public offering. The automaker priced its common shares at $33, the upper end of its price range, Wednesday evening.”
-CNN Money, Nov. 17, 2010
“General Motors Co GM.UL pulled off the biggest initial public offering in U.S. history on Wednesday, raising $20.1 billion after pricing shares at the top of the proposed range in response to huge investor demand. GM sold 478 million common shares at $33 each, raising $15.77 billion, as well as $4.35 billion in preferred shares, more than the initially planned $4 billion.”
-Reuters, Nov. 17, 2010
“GM sold about 478 million shares Wednesday at $33 each, a price higher than the company and its bankers thought was possible just days ago.”
-WSJ, Nov. 18, 2010
More from the same Bloomberg article that I referred to in my last post:
“The biggest problem here is both carmakers and Takata have not specified the direct reason for the defect,” said Takeshi Miyao, an analyst at researcher Carnorama in Tokyo. “They can’t recall all the possible cars without knowing what the direct cause is as the costs are enormous and they don’t know which side should cover the costs.”
"Honda, the automaker most affected by the crisis with about 14.4 million vehicles recalled to date, is preparing additional recalls related to Takata air bags, Yuka Abe, a company spokeswoman, said today by telephone without providing details."
"Toyota said the latest recalls were triggered by investigations into a ruptured air-bag inflator recovered from a scrapped car at a salvage yard in Japan in November 2014. Air leaks were found that could allow moisture to seep into the device and cause the propellant to deteriorate, according to Kaya Doi, a Toyota spokeswoman."
(This statement seems to contradict the first quote in this post)
This is a huge deal, replacing air bags is not cheap.
"Kia was fortunate to avoid the Takata Air Bag problems. Honda has 5.4 million cars out there waiting on disposition in the courts. That has the potential to be devastating for them. Toyota has 877,000 as well."
Let me amend what I posted yesterday. Toyota has announced it is expanding their recall by 5 million more units.
"Toyota will recall about 5 million more cars involving 35 models manufactured from March 2003 to November 2007, after finding air-bag inflators in Japan that could be susceptible to abnormal deployment in a crash, according to an e-mail from the company. Nissan will call back 1.56 million and begin notifying customers in June, said Dion Corbett, a company spokesman."
"I'm not going to argue but most of the losses was due to write-off plant closings."
Really? You don't know that, do you? Where did you find that information?
Besides, even if it were true, what does it matter? It's still money, it's not like some imaginary number. As market share goes down, so do plants have to close. Especially the non competent ones.
"Maybe they do; maybe they don't....I don't know."
Kia was fortunate to avoid the Takata Air Bag problems. Honda has 5.4 million cars out there waiting on disposition in the courts. That has the potential to be devastating for them. Toyota has 877,000 as well.
"You know what happened here in 2008."
So you want to go back before 2008?
Want to retract your statement "It was Europe and GMAC that killed GM"?
"So now here is where GM is making most of the money."
I should hope so, if they can't make money in the US now, God help them. I will say they aren't making enough. Here's their margins since 2012:
Not nearly enough.