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elroy

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  • General Motors (GM) passed Toyota (TM) to top the J.D. Power & Associates’ Initial Quality Study for the first time in 27 years. It was almost a clean sweep for the automaker as Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac all ranked above average in the study. Automobile industry analysts think the achievement will help GM with marketing as the reputation of its brands strengthens. [View news story]
    GM has made great strides to close the quality gap but the perception gap still exists.

    If you read some of the blogs, you will still see references to vehicles like the Vega even though that was almost 40 years ago.

    It works the other way too. Manufacturers like VW are growing market share based upon the reputation for quality even though JD Power has them near the bottom.

    Proof that quality initiatives pay for themselves.
    Jun 20, 2013. 03:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The new 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan will sticker at $46,025, more than $6K above the previous version of the luxury car. The updated model is still selling for less than main rivals the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan and the 2014 BMW 5-series sedan. The big picture: A lot of the success of General Motors (GM -0.9%) in the U.S. can be tied to the resurgence of Cadillac. Will the brand's heightened prestige help push GM's margins higher? [View news story]
    the 10 most-stolen vehicles during 2011:
    1.1994 Honda Accord midsize
    2.1998 Honda Civic compact
    3.2006 Ford F-150 pickup
    4.1991 Toyota Camry midsize
    5.2000 Dodge Caravan minvian
    6.1994 Acura Integra compact
    7.1999 Chevrolet Silverado pickup
    8.2004 Dodge Ram pickup
    9.2002 Ford Explorer SUV
    10.1994 Nissan Sentra compact
    Jun 17, 2013. 08:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Another twist to the debate on electric vehicles: Sales of EVs has cut into the revenue collected by states on gas purchases and used to pay for highway and bridge maintenance. As a reaction, three states have enacted rules to add fees to green cars while five others are weighing legislation. But the larger question on the issue is if electric vehicles are actually to blame for the drop in gas tax revenue or if it's the better gas mileage across the automobile industry (GM, F, TM, NSANY.OB)? [View news story]
    Yes/no. More money needs to be directed to infrastructure -- the US is way behind in that respect and future generations -- and future taxpayers -- will pay the price.

    Not sure that this can be accomplished with lower taxes.
    Jun 11, 2013. 11:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Another twist to the debate on electric vehicles: Sales of EVs has cut into the revenue collected by states on gas purchases and used to pay for highway and bridge maintenance. As a reaction, three states have enacted rules to add fees to green cars while five others are weighing legislation. But the larger question on the issue is if electric vehicles are actually to blame for the drop in gas tax revenue or if it's the better gas mileage across the automobile industry (GM, F, TM, NSANY.OB)? [View news story]
    My point was directed that those that exceed the limits -- they are the ones that cause the severe damage to the roadways. Those that operate within the guidelines should probably pay more -- they probably cause more normal wear and tear -- but the real expense is when there is damage to the roadway.

    I have seen roadways grooved by heavy trucks that weren't supposed to be on the roads. These trucks actually took the side roads to avoid the weigh in stations, so they were overweight even for the highways -- and thus grossly overweight for these roads. The damaged roads have to be repaved/rebuilt a lot sooner.
    Jun 11, 2013. 10:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Another twist to the debate on electric vehicles: Sales of EVs has cut into the revenue collected by states on gas purchases and used to pay for highway and bridge maintenance. As a reaction, three states have enacted rules to add fees to green cars while five others are weighing legislation. But the larger question on the issue is if electric vehicles are actually to blame for the drop in gas tax revenue or if it's the better gas mileage across the automobile industry (GM, F, TM, NSANY.OB)? [View news story]
    It would seem more logical just to increase registration fees for all vehicles. I would bet in many cases they haven't been raised in years.

    That would also have the added benefit of encouraging more mass transit use.

    How much road damage comes from overweight vehicles compared to normal passenger traffic? I would say that penalties for overweight vehicles need to be looked at and penalties increased substantially -- an increasing scale the more overweight you are.
    Jun 10, 2013. 10:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • GM (GM) has fired back at a WSJ op-ed calling the carmaker "General Tso Motors," saying that it plans to invest $16B in the U.S. through 2016. That would add to the $8.5B spent since 2009 and would be well above the $11B that GM and its joint ventures plan to invest in China over the next three years. In April, sales of vehicles from GM and its JVs climbed 15.3% on year to 261,870, accelerating from a rise of 12.6% in March. [View news story]
    Not sure if they have made it to the US yet, but Honda is exporting the Fit model to Canada.

    I wouldn't take the comments from one person -- the head of GM China -- to be corporate policy either. I can't see any scenario where significant exports of any Chinese model could come to the US, although it is possible that specialty models --- like the Buick Riviera -- might be exported in small numbers. The volume for this model would be in China and the US volume small so it would make sense for it to be built there if it ever gets built at all.
    May 6, 2013. 02:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors (GM) will unload a fresh slate of vehicles on the market with a goal of recapturing market share it lost over the last few years. The automaker will refresh a remarkable 70% of its 2012 portfolio by the end of this year. What to watch: To climb back to a 19% share and restore brands, GM needs more first-time buyers and a decreased focus on sales to rental lots. [View news story]
    Watch the trucks carefully -- this is the make or break segment for GM -- big volume, big profits.

    The trucks themselves are not a styling knockout from the reviews although they have a strong story to tell in the powertrains.

    They have done a few stupid things too -- invest billions in a new truck but only make it available in 9 colors when the competition has 11 or 12.

    For GM to succeed, they need to win with the new trucks and then ensure that every launch emulates the success of the ATS and not the Malibu.
    Apr 30, 2013. 08:50 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevy Volt: The Enviro-Friendly Way Of Destroying Value [View article]
    Nissan is already had substantial customer dissatisfaction from a number of Leaf buyers in regards to the deterioration of battery capacity. As anyone who owns a laptop knows, repeatedly draining the battery affects both battery life and battery capacity.

    The Volt doesn't have this disadvantage. One of the reasons for the limited range vis-a-vis its competitors is that the Volt is range limited -- the battery never drops below 50% charge so it should pay off in longer battery life versus its competitors.
    Apr 22, 2013. 12:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors (GM) says it sold 2.36M cars and trucks in Q1, a 3.6% gain over last year's mark. The automaker's global market share rose 20 bps over the last year to 11.4% . [View news story]
    If GM could ever solve the Opel problem, it could print money
    Apr 16, 2013. 09:16 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevy Volt: The Enviro-Friendly Way Of Destroying Value [View article]
    The RHD Vauxhaul Ampera is on sale in Britain so it isn't the product -- it is available.

    I don't know the reason but I would suspect that it has to do somewhat with government somehow.....because the drivetrain is unique -- not a hybrid in the sense that the engine powers the wheels -- it's possible that there are cliafication issues with existing regulations regarding safety, import duties, testing, certification, etc.

    Someone should be able to get you an answer though.
    Apr 9, 2013. 12:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevy Volt: The Enviro-Friendly Way Of Destroying Value [View article]
    You also have to look at volumes outside the US. The potential for Ampera sales in Europe where gas is $8 per gallon is huge if Europe can shake off its financial woes.
    Apr 8, 2013. 10:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors (GM) CEO Dan Akerson says the auto industry in the U.S. will remain strong for another four to five years with the average age of cars and trucks on the road still in double-digits. The exec expects the buying strength to continue until the metric falls into the 8-year to 9-year range. [View news story]
    Seems like a reasonable statement.

    The question is how will GM participate in this market? That's still very debatable.

    For every Cadillac ATS that wows enthusiasts, there's a Malibu that underwhelms enthusiasts and car buyers alike.

    A big concern is the new trucks. While they are no dobut improvements over the current trucks, loyal GM owners that I know who have seen them at the auto shows have been underwhelmed.
    This is a high volume, high profit segment -- critical for GM's success.

    After years of talk about differentiating Chev and GMC, why aren't the interiors different? It seems like GM resorted to the old bag of tricks -- we give the GMC a little different sheet metal, different headlights, body color bumper caps (whoopee!!!) etc. instead of real differentiation.

    And don't get me started about colors -- it seems that GM has reduced the color palate to fewer interior and exterior colors than the competition. Why would you jeopardize billions of dollars in investment by not offering a competitive color and trim palate? Doesn't GM understand that people have to want to buy a vehicle before anything else matters -- and things like color and trim do matter to a large segment of the population?

    GM has done better with Spark and Sonic, but when you look at the segment with the Cruze, GM only has a four door sedan -- competitors have many different models. GM somehow doesn't believe hatchback/sportback/etc. models sell, but in fact, they do sell well. The fact that GM's models have never sold well is not because the market is there, but because there is something else amiss -- possibly pricing.

    Let the Corvette designers loose on a Cruze Z24 and go after some additional sales.

    There's still lots to be concerned about in the GM portfolio.
    Apr 4, 2013. 08:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevy Volt: The Enviro-Friendly Way Of Destroying Value [View article]
    Not really true.

    If you go back and look, the majority of Priuses were sold initially in California. Was the environmentalist movement stronger in California? Hard to measure.

    Many -- if not most -- of the original purchasers of the Prius bought them so that they could get an HOV sticker -- not because they wanted to be a part of the green movement.

    Ironically, California changed the rules so that hybrids weren't allowed to get HOV stickers as the Volt was launched and then they considered the Volt a hybrid even though the gas engine doesn't drive the wheels like other hybrids. This set back the marketability of the Volt in its primary market considerably.

    The initial slow start to Volt sales weren't a function of the product of the price, but rather regulatory changes in its primary market.

    If you know history of the EV1 -- beyond the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car -- this isn't the first time that the California legislators have passed legislation that has affected GM.
    Apr 1, 2013. 10:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevy Volt: The Enviro-Friendly Way Of Destroying Value [View article]
    http://on.wsj.com/10gvoav
    Mar 28, 2013. 08:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevy Volt: The Enviro-Friendly Way Of Destroying Value [View article]
    A recycled old article with bogus numbers.

    For example, it includes only US sales, not Canadian, Australian or European sales.

    If Europe could find a way to dig itself out the economic quagmire that it's in, the future could be quite rosy. The economics of the Volt are much better with $7 or $8 per gallon gas.
    Mar 28, 2013. 08:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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