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Monday, March 21, 2005

Stop Right Now

The Detroit News is reporting here that GM is reacting to the news of its falling market share by abandoning their future RWD platform, and speeding up new truck and SUV production. This is the worst news possible.

Bob Lutz has more power over product than anyone has had at GM in decades, possibly ever. Therefore, blame can be collected against him. He has got to invest in design, and stop the conservatism. SUVs and trucks are not the future. Three dollar per gallon gas is the future. SUV sales are plummeting for GM not because they are at the end of their product cycle but because people can't afford to fill them up with gas! It is utter insanity that the heads of the largest car company in the world are unaware that the earth is almost out of gasoline. There literally isn't enough! And yet they have staked their hopes on vehicles that are fuel gulpers.

The shareholders should be furious. The employees of GM, many of whom are about to be laid off should be furious. Furious at themselves for letting things get this bad, and furious at the leadership. Every pundit, every analyst has been saying GM cars are ugly for decades. And they have rarely listened. It's not about RWD great handling, it's about design. Every successful American car of the last two decades sold not on the basis of handling, engine power, or reliability, they sold because they looked great. Every future GM car that has been finalized except the Saturns and the Pontiac Solstice are bland, and unexciting.

If there is going to be significant change at the bottom with the rank and file, there should also be change at the top. It is up to the shareholders to get angry, and get their money's worth. Make your voice heard. It is your investment.

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