Will GM's problems ever end?

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Posted · Report post

No. Go Japanese or German!

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This stuff makes me very sad. I've always been a big GM fan. Especially Buick. With all their problems, and the killing off iconic brands like Oldsmobile and Pontiac. GM as we knew it is dead. Part of me wants is see them go all the way and stop torturing us old GM fans with all of this BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH. Though I do like the present Camaro and the new Corvettes and Suburbans. Other than that, the company and their products suck. None of the new Buicks really turn me on even.

Scott Aho

Loyal GM owner and one time fan. (Good job on screwing that up, GM management of the last 20 to 30 years now.)

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Posted · Report post

I'm guessing it will continue. What do you suppose is their main problem ? Designs ? Vendors ?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I'm guessing it will continue. What do you suppose is their main problem ? Designs ? Vendors ?

Cutting corners on safety seems to be a PIA for them right now.

Also here's an interesting chart about the sheer size of some of GM's recalls, The Camaro's above are not in here btw.

2014-number-of-gm-recalls-us-i-53904b8d1

Edited by Austin T

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Posted · Report post

I'm guessing it will continue. What do you suppose is their main problem ? Designs ? Vendors ?

Their main problem is self-inflicted. Poor management, poor intra-corporate communication, and poor decision making processes. Basically, bad management, to put it in plain English. Too much of GM operates like little individual "kingdoms" that don't communicate very well (or often) with each other. Nobody is looking at the big picture, they're all concerned with their own little area within the corporation. A certain subgroup of GM knew about the bad ignition switches for ten years and did nothing to make the problem known to the higher-ups. It wasn't until people started dying that the problem finally came to light.

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The graphic that Austin posted says it all. Thirteen MILLION cars recalled so far this year. And that graphic doesn't even include the half million Camaros just recalled!

That's more cars than most other automakers produce in a year!

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Posted · Report post

I'll stick with Ford's............ B)

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14 million recalls THIS YEAR!!!!! NO EXCUSE.......I have not owned a lot of GM products....but never another for sure.

BTW....my 82 Z28 was flawless......they DID know how to do it.

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Their main problem is self-inflicted. Poor management, poor intra-corporate communication, and poor decision making processes. Basically, bad management, to put it in plain English. Too much of GM operates like little individual "kingdoms" that don't communicate very well (or often) with each other. Nobody is looking at the big picture, they're all concerned with their own little area within the corporation. A certain subgroup of GM knew about the bad ignition switches for ten years and did nothing to make the problem known to the higher-ups. It wasn't until people started dying that the problem finally came to light.

Exactly. There's NO EXCUSE for this kind of exceedingly POOR PERFORMANCE. One would think that, with today's primary goal of every corporate employee being to cover his or her precious ass, and to avoid any individual decision making that might possibly bite one in said precious ass, that there would have been quite enough CYA meetings to have forestalled problems like these.

And as far as I can tell, there really aren't any actual car people left at GM, and certainly none in upper management. They'd all just as soon be making refrigerators or iphones as cars, and the actual car-manufacturing business only exists as a necessary evil, as a way to generate income. When the business model becomes "we're here to make money, and unfortunately we have to make cars to get it" instead of "we're here to make damm good cars, and the money will follow", this is exactly what you get.

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I've never been a big GM guy, I was always raised in a Ford and Mopar environment. This being said I don't hate or dislike GM,but hardly any of their products appeal to me, I'm more or less neutral on the subject. My first and current car is a 1999 Chevy S-10, it was not a first choice but it fit my requirements. I have learned many things about GM vehicles and especially where they cut corners in s-10's, for example I went to a junkyard to find a new passenger airbag switch for my truck and all 21 s-10's in the yard had them removed same thing with the headlights for the '99 model. I just really hope that these recalls don't affect '99 S-10's anytime soon. :lol:

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The "main problem" is too many OVERPAID execs doing nothing. Reminds me of D.C.

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GM absolutely positively DOES have (or had, not too long ago) some top-line engineers and designers. The C5 and C6 Corvettes that delivered super-car performance for real-world money, and won a few impressive races (like LeMans, ya' know?) are irrefutable proof that there was talent working there. And I've got a couple of early '90s GM trucks that, for the most part, are as reliable as a stone axe.

Now, I'm not so sure. I haven't researched anything GM in a long time, but if the pathetic, raspy-tinny exhaust-note of the current 'Vette and the transformer-car looks are anything to go by, I'd say nobody is really driving the bus any more. And the current CEO just isn't somebody I'd buy a car from.

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Like Austin, I also don't have any particular like or dislike of GM. Never been a big customer, have never bought a new GM product in my life. Of all the car's I've owned, about 95% of them have been Chrysler products (Dodges and Plymouths, never an actual Chrysler). Now I own a Ford Mustang (my first Ford ever, BTW). I've owned exactly two GM products in my life... a '72 Nova SS while in college, bought used from a college friend and only kept for less than a year. And I have a '67 Impala, built long before the "current" GM. So I can't say that I've been affected by GM's apparent implosion, but geez... nearly 14 million cars recalled in just the first half of this year?

I mean, that's beyond embarrassing.

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I'm just stunned GM has managed to push 500,000 of that wedge-shaped doorstop of a car.

Hearing about GM's inability to design a vehicle that isn't junk? That should suprise no one at this point.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

all automakers have recalls though. lets go back to the fords that caught on fire just sitting in driveways. gm needs to get it straight and im sure they will. I think the problem is none of the automakers test the vehicles enough before pushing out the next new model.

Edited by bad0210

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Posted · Report post

all automakers have recalls though...

True. But not on a massive scale like this. At least not that I can remember. We're talking nearly fifteen million vehicles so far this year alone!

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I feel it's inevitable, the more fudge you build into any "thing", be it car, refrigerator or lawn mower, the more opportunity for it to fail due to poor design specs, cheap manufacturing methods and/or faulty assembly.

I also feel we can't just pin it on GM only, can anyone show me a company that has not had a single product incident or recall...anywhere, any country?

Lately we only hear about it more because of the interwebs or some news company needs to sensationalize some story in order to get viewers.

Any time i actually have something that works correctly for more than a year I feel surprised or lucky that some poor underpaid (or overpaid) slob assembled it correctly and that it made it into my possession without being damaged.

This (of course) precludes the things I make since I tend to "overbuild" things so that they will last till I won't need them anymore. :)

Edited by blunc

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Their main problem is self-inflicted. Poor management, poor intra-corporate communication, and poor decision making processes. Basically, bad management, to put it in plain English. Too much of GM operates like little individual "kingdoms" that don't communicate very well (or often) with each other. Nobody is looking at the big picture, they're all concerned with their own little area within the corporation. A certain subgroup of GM knew about the bad ignition switches for ten years and did nothing to make the problem known to the higher-ups. It wasn't until people started dying that the problem finally came to light.

GM operating "like little individual "kingdoms"" is where I may have to disagree with you Harry. In the days when GM was successful, each division was run a lot like an individual company. Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac did not just compete with Chrysler, Dodge, DeSoto, Mercury, Hudson, and Nash. Buick also saw Olds and Pontiac as competition. And Oldsmobile and Pontiac looked at the other GM divisions in the same way. In the mid-to-late 1960's Chevrolet dealers would tell you their two big threats were Ford and Pontiac. Not Ford and Plymouth. If you were a Buick guy like me, there were enough differences, in engine, etc., were Oldsmobile and Pontiacs were not as well liked. Fords and Mercurys shared the same engines. In the 60's so did Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth. But for the most part, not Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, or Pontiac. This was a point of pride in being a GM guy. Your GM brand was looked on as best. In fact in the old days, the brand I liked best after Buick was Chrysler. Not Plymouth or Dodge. But, Chrysler. And second favorite was defiantly not Olds or Pontiac.

GM started killing the company when they decided to cut costs by combining the divisions together. Sure it saved money the short run. But, now who cared if their car said Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, or Buick on the fender. They were all basically the same car. And in a lot of cases they were not good cars. Much less the great cars the individual divisions produced in the past. When each division was run like a separate company. Or as a separate "kingdom", you might say.

Scott Aho

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GM operating "like little individual "kingdoms"" is where I may have to disagree with you Harry...

From Time.com:

General Motors CEO Mary Barra may have summed it up best when she described former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas’ 325-page report on the company’s ignition-switch problems, which resulted in numerous deaths and millions of recalled vehicles, as “extremely thorough,” “brutally tough” and “deeply troubling.” It was all three and then some. But the report also illuminates a systemic problem in most big corporations as well as governments–insular management or, in the parlance of gurus, information silos.

Valukas found that GM didn’t fix its ignition-switch issues quickly or correctly because the company’s many departments and employees literally weren’t communicating with one another. The engineers who were looking into reports of cars’ stalling while moving didn’t know that engineers elsewhere in the company had designed air bags that would not deploy when cars were technically off. That meant engineers made different decisions about fixing the switch problems–decisions that ultimately led to over a dozen deaths. But it was GM’s culture, in which silence and buck-passing were raised to a Kafkaesque art form, that kept these silos in place.

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One thing I would like to point out in this age of "quality", the ISO9000 and TS16949 certifications do NOT guaranty a well made product, it merely guarantees that a product is made per a company process as specified in required company documents.

ponder that for a while. ;)

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all automakers have recalls though. lets go back to the fords that caught on fire just sitting in driveways. gm needs to get it straight and im sure they will. I think the problem is none of the automakers test the vehicles enough before pushing out the next new model.

Yep.....My near perfect Honda Fit had a recall.......

Let me tell a story that will show the difference.

It was an internal recal....no FORCED government issue.

It was a spring in the VTEC system that could break......and if it did you MIGHT loose 10-15 HP.

I took it to the largest Honda dealer in Ohio....one very close to the Honda factory.

The guy that did the recall on mine had already performed the recall on over 100 Fit's.

My spring was fine...but replaced free.

I asked him if ANY springs on the 100 plus cars had failed. NOPE....not one. But Honda's internal test showed it MIGHT break after 200,000 or so miles.

THAT is the difference in a common recall and what is going on at GM now!

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I have a 05 Silverado and no recalls. truck is still basically brand new. I think around 52,000 miles but the paint at the top of the doors is chipping off very little but was told that its the primer chevy used that the paint doesnt stick too well. same with my 05 gto, no problems except I had to get the ignition switched out because it had froze up. common problem with the newer goats. luckily it was under warranty. the other problem was the factory 17 inch wheels would rub the front struts on the inside of the tires. let my dealer know and they gave me new tires and replaced the struts. upraded the wheels to 18 inch and no issue since. so I stick with g.m. ive heard good things about Hondas and some other cars but I have no need for any of their models. I like trucks and muscle.

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I too have had very good luck with my 2000 LeSabre. The car is the best car I've ever owned. One recall for the intake manifold. But, the dealer took care of it with no hassles, and the replacements are fine. The car is getting old. I've had to replace minor things on it. But, nothing unusual. A great car. But boring. I still trust GM products as much as any of the others. But, GM keeps moving its farther and farther away from what I love.

I still remember Oldsmobile's "This is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile" campaign in the early 1990's. This is the problem with GM in the last 30 years or so. In the 50's my father drove a '51 Olds 88. Then a '55 Super 88. My mother bought a new Delta 88 "Holiday" edition in 1980. I liked my father's, and for that matter, my mother's Oldsmobiles. The Oldsmobiles they tried selling were not my father's (or mother's) Oldsmobiles. And that was the problem.

As far as comments on each division being run separately. Other GM divisions or vendors made parts like ignition locks for all GM cars in the past too. But, somehow it worked better. If a part didn't meet a divisions standards, the individual division would confront the parts maker. If five or more separate GM divisions run into the problem, it's more likely to be confronted. Each GM division was in charge of their plants. I remember in the early 70's Oldsmobile wasn't happy with the quality of it's cars at the time. So they enforced a major quality control program that made the Oldsmobiles coming out of the Olds plant in Lansing, a lot better than other GM products coming out of other plants at the time. GM was big, and had resources and divisions to develop new and better products. But, each small division was run so they make changes to their specific problem as it cropped up. This is the way Alfred P. Sloan set up GM to be in the 1920's. And this way it was run at least through the mid 1960's. This is what made GM the juggernaut that it was.

GM is now more centrally controlled. But, is it a better company? Does GM control over 50% of the car market like they did in the mid 60's? The small individual GM kingdoms seem to work better than the one big over site of everything kingdom they now have.

Scott Aho

Edited by unclescott58

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GM is now more centrally controlled. But, is it a better company? Does GM control over 50% of the car market like they did in the mid 60's? The small individual GM kingdoms seem to work better than the one big over site of everything kingdom they now have.

Well, one thing's for darn sure. A car company that has recalled nearly fourteen million cars, 35 different models and over more than 20 separate recalls this year alone (and the year's not even half over yet!) has some major, major problems insofar as how that company is operating and the product they're putting on the road.

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