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You beat me by 5 minutes. Guess he wants to have the new Caddy BLS as his daily driver and since it won't be imported to here...no, just because he is now head of global doesn't mean he'll move, just travel more and nomore "babies" unless it sells globally. May be a good thing, now maybe the next gen GTO and G8 will happen after all.
 

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I wonder what he really is going to be in charge of? Will he still have authority over North American products, or is he now to concentrate on Europe and Asia? Also, will GM continue to follow his changes in how the company operates internally, or with him busy on products and out of the way, will the internal operations return to normal (return to the bean counters) at GM. After all, Wagoner is a bean counter himself, and it seems like he is taking control back from Lutz on how the company operates on this continent. .
 

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Great, I really hope we're not in for a relapse into the bean counter cancer that was attacking GM to death.
 

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brentil said:
Great, I really hope we're not in for a relapse into the bean counter cancer that was attacking GM to death.
:lol: I think we both were thinking along the same lines on this one!
 

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Not only that but if this car does well, then second year production will be price at over 25K with no options, so probably this is the best time to get one of these now, before the price sky rockets out of site.
 

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brentil said:
Great, I really hope we're not in for a relapse into the bean counter cancer that was attacking GM to death.
GM can't help it. It's what they do. They have a lot of angry shareholders right now and those shareholders want to see someone pay for the resent failures. Lutz seems to have a way of speaking his mind and making promises that are hard to keep. My guess is they are trying to push him out of the lime light. My guess is we'll be going back to the old GM ways.

I thought this might happen, shareholders don't have the patience to wait for the fruits of Lutz's labor to come, so they blame him for their poor performance because he is the most visable at GM it seems, and push him of to a less visible post. At least we got the Solstice out of it while it lasted. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Articles are pouring out on this management shift: here's a few...

Forbes:
http://www.forbes.com/columnists/2005/04/04/cz_jf_0404flint.html

This isn't the same as moving deck chairs around on the Titanic. GM's latest move is more analogous to the ship's purser taking the wheel.
ABC News:
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=640003

Interesting, many have the spin that Wagoner is putting his job on the line with this move.

Cowger will focus on global manufacturing and labor, including efforts to wring concessions from GM's biggest union, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, particularly to combat soaring health care costs.
Lutz, the 73-year-old former Chrysler executive who Wagoner recruited to revitalize GM's car and truck lineup, will lead GM's global product development activities. He has pushed for new vehicles like the Pontiac Solstice roadster due this year.
 

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Fformula88 said:
I wonder what he really is going to be in charge of? Will he still have authority over North American products, or is he now to concentrate on Europe and Asia? Also, will GM continue to follow his changes in how the company operates internally, or with him busy on products and out of the way, will the internal operations return to normal (return to the bean counters) at GM. After all, Wagoner is a bean counter himself, and it seems like he is taking control back from Lutz on how the company operates on this continent. .
I am afraid that all contact and control for the Solstice and Sky has now passed to Wagoner. The only way Lutz can keep his hand in is to expand the Kappa to the world with more than one body style and size car built on its basic architecture. Maybe that's just what the doctor ordered. Downside could end up being that the next vehicle like this will not be built on this side of Atlantic OR Pacific.
 

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I have been a fan of Wagoner's since he took over the top spot, and thought bringing Lutz in was a good move. However, if he takes GM back to where they were before, they are not going to pull themselves out of their downward spiral. Maybe what Lutz was doing isn't the overall answer, but neither is the GM status quo.
 

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On Wagoner's agenda: dig into sales and marketing strategy with newly appointed marketing chief Mark LaNeve, including the possible replacement of one or more ad agencies on GM's roster; evaluate product programs for each brand and cut any that aren't too far along to kill or not nearly guaranteed to deliver profitable sales; look at dealer incentive programs.
Sky may be in trouble unless the Solstice proves to be a highly "profitable" success.

The clouds are darkening on the horizon.
 

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LBJay said:
Sky may be in trouble unless the Solstice proves to be a highly "profitable" success.

The clouds are darkening on the horizon.
I really don't think the Sky has much of anything to worry about. GM is putting a lot of effort into things like the Saturn Sky website and various other things. The Sky will more then likely be the US Kappa car that brings in more profit per car as well. With a base price af close to $25,000, that's $5,000 more then the Solstice base, ensuring that every Sky sale will bring in more profit per car thanks to the upscale charge, and the margin they make off the accessories. They also need the Sky as the corner stone of their upscale Saturn they're moving towards.
 

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brentil said:
I really don't think the Sky has much of anything to worry about. GM is putting a lot of effort into things like the Saturn Sky website and various other things. The Sky will more then likely be the US Kappa car that brings in more profit per car as well. With a base price af close to $25,000, that's $5,000 more then the Solstice base, ensuring that every Sky sale will bring in more profit per car thanks to the upscale charge, and the margin they make off the accessories. They also need the Sky as the corner stone of their upscale Saturn they're moving towards.
That is assuming it sells in volume with the higher price too. The higher price gives them a somewhat higher margin, and the design and options list make it more enticing. However, its higher price also moves it closer in price to some good competition too, which means that its shortcomings won't be forgiven as easily as they will be on the Solstice at $20K.

Another issue that is not in favor of the Kappa cars in this scenario. Low volumes. GM is not preparing any other Kappa's other than roadsters. These cars carry fairly low margins, and will sell at fairly low volumes (compared to most of the GM lineup). That means, even if they are profitable, they are not going to impress too many bean counters with the amount of money that gets raked in.

GM, Ford, any large corporation is always left unimpressed by low volume vehicles because they are small players at the corporation. Examples: The Fiero was always profitable for GM. However, with sub 50K unit sales its last couple years, GM decided even with a profit it wasn't worth continuing. The Ford Probe fell to a similar fate. It was profitable for Ford, but 50K units a year just looked unimpressive next to 150,000 Mustangs.

Bean counters don't think like car guys, and they are certainly not interested in high cost, low margin niche vehicles like the Kappa vehicles. At this point, I think both Sky and Solstice will be buiilt. However, if GM cannot turn things around, I am not sure they will be around beyond their current model run. I hope they are!

I think this certainly puts the GTO and SSR in trouble too. Both have not lived up to sales expectations. We have already seen Zeta get axed, and with this news I have a feeling that was Wagoners decision more than Lutz's.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The money has already been spent on Sky and Opel kappas. I'd think new models currently on the drawing board would be in jeopardy well before Sky.

Also I think Lutz is still going to have his say in new products. If anything he seems to have more power (global development instead of just North America). It seems the 3 of them will still pow-wow on most major decisions. Seems the new division of labor is just a way to focus on major areas of improvement according to each person's skill sets.
 

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I suggested to Rick recently that I relinquish my title of chairman of GM North America so that I could concentrate entirely on the development of our new cars and trucks for all our global markets. I just couldn’t do that job the way it should be done while also having responsibility for GMNA.
I think Bob's moving up in order to have his thumb on everything at once. Kinda more like Ford maybe where it's other country lines are more involved unlike GM's relations with like Subaru except to make Saab better.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Rick is taking over GM’s North American operations himself; I will focus 100 percent of my time on my role as the head of global product development; and Gary Cowger will focus 100 percent of his time on his role as the head of global manufacturing and labor relations.
2 of the 3 are focusing on "global" issues.
 
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