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Hello all. I work for GM, and am interested in knowing what your opinions are about the company, both relative to the Volt and in general. Do you talk to others about GM (or its brands)? If so, what do you say?

I'm also interested in knowing what you currently drive, and why. Thanks very much for any info you care to share.
 

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Back in the late '80's, I was a GM scholar and intern at the Mound Rd. Hydramatic plant and then the GM Technical Center in the Alternative Fuels Group. I have two brothers who still work at the GM Tech Center.

In the late '80's, GM was a dying company. Quality was low, union labor unproductive and the Japanese were eating away market share. After graduation, I choose to work at a GM subsidiary, Hughes Aircraft Co, to get out of the auto industry and leave Detroit.

As expected, GM has lost market share to every foreign automaker, especially those who built manufacturing plants in the US using non-union labor. About a year ago, I heard many financial analysts betting on whether it was 5 or 10 years before the US automanufacturers shut down (or at least their North American enterprises), so I was ready to write them off for good.

I like today's GM products, and have only bought Chevy's, since I get the huge discount through my brothers - 1989 Grand Am, 1997 Malibu and 2002 Avalanche, liking each on more than the previous, so I knew they had improved quality, but also knew that internal costs vs. foreign car companies made them non-competitive, even in their own market.

When I heard that the UAW finally accepted 71 cents on the dollar for longterm liabilities from GM, and allowed them to hire new workers at roughly the same pay as their competitors, I suddenly was hopeful that GM could compete. Then when I heard that GM was aggressively pursuing gas, diesel and hydrogen versions of the series hybrid (aka extended range electric vehicle) configuration to meet future CAFE requirements, I began to firmly believe that GM would more than compete, but would actually regain lost marketshare against their greatest foreign rivals - Toyota and Honda. The new CAFE standards work against the Japan's automakers' greatest weakness - innovation, and they will be too slow to respond to what the North American market would want to buy, if forced to be more efficient.

GM will lead all US automakers back to recapturing the majority of the US auto market with the fuel efficient cars consumers want most.
 

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Thanks for asking

I have owned many GM vehicles over 3 decades, and was involved in test driving at california motor speedway. I tested a EV1 and have been waiting for technology to break ever since. I think its about time to mass produce PHEV's. Its getting hard to not look at Honda, BMW or a Toyota for a purchase. I own a Yukon XL, an old K-5 and an '04Cavalier. Love the 32 MPG of the "little commuter" but I know i want better efficiancy, quality(which up resale value) and a greener car for commuting. Will not give up the Yukon for family safety, comfort and drivability. I support driving domestic vehicles and think GM needs to "step up" in some areas so they are concidered "world class". The CTS is a good start, its world class for sure. Now filter down throughout the whole GM line with quality, drivability, warrantee (like BMW's no maintinance for 50,000) and last but not least think green. Thank you for asking of my opinion!
 

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I own a 2006 Chevy HHR and had a 2000 Chevy Impala. I bought both the Impala and HHR on impulse (as I usually do) and the HHR was purchased because it looked cool and provided useable space in a pretty small package.

When it comes to GM I've been fairly disappointed overall. The quality seems to be improving but I still feel there is a lack of any sort of respect towards the consumer. I think GM needs to stand behind there products more. I've had a couple of problems with my HHR which have never been adequately resolved.

One problem stems from the design of the vehicle where the front and rear wheels bulge out from the body. The front kicks up stones onto the rear causing paint damage. GM has offered to repair the damaged area once on a case by case basis. Running boards are/were offered as optional equipment and reduce the damage significantly. In Canada (were I reside) GM Canada made running boards standard equipment for 2007 and onwards after dealing with numerous 06 owners but would not install running boards on 06 models at no cost.

I also have some other appearance issues (dash discoloration) to which I've been told is a "characteristic feature" of the HHR and will not be looked into further unless it causes a serious problem. They examined the HHR's at 3 random dealership and all had the same rectangular discoloration on the dash and instead of trying to rectify the problem they dismissed it as common to all and hence not a concern.

I think that if GM were to stand up to the plate and hold their products to a higher standard I would be more inclined to purchase another in the future. I like the concept of the Volt and the powerplant but I am very concerned about how well GM will implement the new technology and how well they will support the product in the future.

I am currently in the process of selling my Chevy and purchasing a Benz and will likely stay will Benz and the likes in the near future.
 

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Rick Wagoner is kick @ss

GM is making the best and coolest products it has in a long time. Look at the Malibu, the Corvette and the CTS for examples. All are world class cars.

I really like the engineering of the Volt better than the Prius.

I currently drive a Dodge pickup. I hear good things about GM from the people I talk to.
 

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GM is stepping up to meet the challenge

I see GM as a company that realizes they had fallen out of touch with what a realistic business approach was. I am not anti-union, but the demands that union wages and benefits placed on GM was not allowing it to compete with non-union labor.

I see them working to produce more efficient and reliable cars, while still maintaining the ability to make the car visually appealing and fun to drive. I look forward to driving the Volt as my daily commuter, to replace the 2000 Blazer that I currently drive.

However, my family has been Chevy since I was a baby...and I have a 1971 Chevelle (see Avatar) that I drive, and a 1968 Camaro that is under construction. Brother #1 has a 1963 Chevy II Wagon and Brother #2 has a 1975 K5 Blazer that both look like they just rolled off the showroom floor. Now, we've had to change engines/tranny/AC components...yada yada, but my 8 track in the Camaro still works! We are looking forward to watching Chevrolet lead GM in taking back that #1 slot!
 

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My family has been a supporter of GM from before I was born. My Dad is a retired long time employee; he has always had a GM product. I have always had a GM product.

I truely believe that the current vehicles from GM are absolutely as good as those from Toyota, Honda, etc. based on my experience and many others I know. The problem is, in today's world, for GM to get the credit for that, their cars may actually need to be better than the others. Prejudice is hard to overcome. My own measuring stick is that when the resale values of GM cars are equivalent to comparable Toyota cars, then the prejudice is gone. It is going to be tough.

I currently own: 1971 Corvette, 1996 Blazer, 1998 Olds Aurora, and a 2003 Grand AM GT I use for commuting. 120,000 miles, 31mpg, no repairs.

My previous commuting car was a 1990 Beretta GT (bright yellow Indy pace car version). It got me 260,000 miles, 30mpg, with almost no repairs before I gave it away. A very dependable, cheap to own car.

I have just simply had very little to complain about with most of my GM cars. The GM bashing by import owners drives me nuts.
 

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My first car in the States was a '74 Buick Century. I loved the car, but when I had to replace it with a '84 Century, I right away noticed the slide in quality. At about that time my wife became a soccer mom, so we switched to a Chrysler minivan, and I drove a LeBaron.
Neither was really satisfying, so we started buying foreign. I currently own an '02 Infiniti I35, which I have loved from the moment I got it, and my wife drives a Kia Sorento and is happy with it.
I am not partial to GM, I just understand that the EREV is the best concept, and would like to do my commuting without buying any gas.
The other option I am looking at is to buy an EV, and use my wife's car for any longer trips. Either one will work; I prefer the EREV, but it better not be too expensive.
 

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My first car in the States was a '74 Buick Century. I loved the car, but when I had to replace it with a '84 Century, I right away noticed the slide in quality. At about that time my wife became a soccer mom, so we switched to a Chrysler minivan, and I drove a LeBaron.
Neither was really satisfying, so we started buying foreign. I currently own an '02 Infiniti I35, which I have loved from the moment I got it, and my wife drives a Kia Sorento and is happy with it.
I am not partial to GM, I just understand that the EREV is the best concept, and would like to do my commuting without buying any gas.
The other option I am looking at is to buy an EV, and use my wife's car for any longer trips. Either one will work; I prefer the EREV, but it better not be too expensive.
All the US automakers stumbled badly in the 1980's. At the very moment that Asian fuel efficiency and quality started taking marketshare, CAFE standards pushed automakers to suddenly make their existing products more efficient, instead of taking the time to develop completely new platforms to compete. This led to horrific electronic controls bolted onto mechanical devices - my 1980 Ford Escort had so many sensors and controls on the carburator, distributor, valve body transmission, etc. - a complete mess. Finally, the automakers dumped the carburator for throttlebody injection, and eventually direct injection into the piston, they replaced the distributor with an electronically triggered voltage discharge tower(s) for ignition, and jettisoned the transmission valve body for solenoid actuated transmissions.

This time around, the US automakers were prepared, with alcohol tolerant designs, and GM is leaping ahead with a range extended electric vehicles.
 

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GM on the rise

I've been a GM credit card holder since 1990 but that has been because this credit card had the best financial incentive. I had just gotten an Audi A4 and had driven a Buick Skyhawk before that. GM had many brands and I assumed there would always be a car that matched my needs. I've bought 2 cars with savings, a GMC Jimmy in 1998 and a Pontiac Vibe in 2006.

In the mid 90's, I followed EV's developments pretty closely and came to the conclusion that hybrids were the practical mass market vehicle at that time. Since GM had the leading technology with the EV1, I assumed they would come out early with hybrids. By 1998, I gave up waiting and bought the Jimmy. By 2006 my earnings were maxed out and I bought the Vibe to carry me to the first mass produced plug-in. I had pretty much given up on GM, but the last couple of years have been encouraging. I look forward to using credit card discount on the Volt in 2010 (fingers crossed). GM WILL allow GM card holders to use their savings to buy the Volt, correct? I wanted to ask this question at Voltnation but everyone was pretty well cornered the whole time.
 

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I own a 2005 Acura MDX, and a 2006 Honda Civic sedan. Both are excellent cars, have been trouble free and I have no regrets about purchasing them. When I bought them, I did not consider any GM products.

The Volt (and the E-Flex chassis) will get me into a GM showroom. I have been impressed with the systems engineering and smart risk management going into the E-Flex chassis. I think E-Flex is the future, and I have been impressed with the fact that GM is taking a risk on such a radical, paradigm shifting design.

In my opinion, for the past 30 years GM has been following the Japanese and German manufacturers. Now they are attempting to lead, and they have my attention as a consumer.
 

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Koz

Did you get an answer about the GM credit card use for the Volt? If not maybe you or I could start a new thread about it. Several here have discussed interest in it.
 

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I never did get (make) the chance to ask it. I wanted to pose it to the Chevy VP(?) but he was ushered out as I was waiting my turn. I'm hoping it was included on Nasaman's list and that GM answers, but I've got the feeling they be dancing with this one until the price is locked. Don't see them locking a price until the last minute. As gas, government incentives, and commodity prices go up, so will the Volt's MSRP. That's why I like your credo.
 

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:) I have been a GM driver since my second car in 1965. I currently have 3 Chevy's in my garage, a 1959 Chevy BelAir, a 73 Corvette 454 Roadster, and a 2004 Chevy Colorado crew cab. I love them all. I'm the original owner of the Vette, so as you can see, I keep my cars a long time. You just cant beat the dependability and durability of GM vehicles. I've fallen off the wagon 3 times and had Ford brands. Two were total money pits and disasters to drive. The third is the running gear under my motor home. It get awful mileage compared to my older motor home with a Chevy 454, ir rides rough, and the Ford transmission is awful. But what can I say, my wife liked the floor plan, and I was buying a second home not a vehicle to drive a lot. I even owned on foreign brand at one time, and it was total junk. I'll stick with GM as long as GM survives.

I tell all my friends why by Jap Junk that they should have bought GM. Sometimes though I wish that GM would make my pitch a little easier by going back to some styling that makes their vehicles exciting and different. I absolutely hate the new Malibu style wise. Heck, it looks like a Toyota. On the other hand every car on the road looks like every other car on the road anymore. What ever happened to the idea that each company should have a style of its own and build cars with caracter, like the 57 Chevy, or the 63 Vette, or even the 61 Ford, etc, etc, etc?

Oh well, there's my 2-cents worth. I love GM. I want getter looking cars from them, and and I want the Volt yesterday. I sick and tired of being raped by the oil companies.
 

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Honestly,

and this may surprise some people on the board, because I tend to be a little (ok, alot) pessimistic on the Volt's deadlines, production and pricing, but I think GM has/is doing a fabulous job the last few years.

The car lineup is probably as strong as I have ever seen it, half the hybids they offer seems to be legitimate (friggin Tahoe PoS), the trucks are still strong...and the Cadillac divsion pulled itself out of...where...the seventh circl of hell?

Saying all that, there is a caveat. And it's debtload. I think to survive the next 3-5 years (continued US recession/worldwide possible recession) a automaker has to be lean and mean.

I liken GM to a 'working Joe' that had a gambling problem, but is now rehabilitated...unfortunately for him, he now owes $400,000 on his $150,000 house and only has 10K in the bank. Every month Joe tries really hard, he works his 3 jobs, but loses 500 bucks. Joe's day of reckoning for his sins is coming...regardless of what he is today.
 

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Saying all that, there is a caveat. And it's debtload. I think to survive the next 3-5 years (continued US recession/worldwide possible recession) a automaker has to be lean and mean.

I liken GM to a 'working Joe' that had a gambling problem, but is now rehabilitated...unfortunately for him, he now owes $400,000 on his $150,000 house and only has 10K in the bank. Every month Joe tries really hard, he works his 3 jobs, but loses 500 bucks. Joe's day of reckoning for his sins is coming...regardless of what he is today.
GM has tens of billions of cash on hand - more than enough to get through the upcoming economic downturn. It's Chrysler and Ford that I am worried about - I am hoping they have strong overseas sales to carry them.
 

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GM has tens of billions of cash on hand - more than enough to get through the upcoming economic downturn. It's Chrysler and Ford that I am worried about - I am hoping they have strong overseas sales to carry them.
GM only has cash from the fire sale of it's assets, of which it has none left. (Think GMAC). If you look at their annual burn rate on cash for the past few years it has been around 8 billion a year....'non-recession'. It's like you being unemployed and selling your car for 20K to keep making payments on your 300k mortgage.

And if GM goes under 10 billion in cash, the stock is worth a dollar, there is widespread panic because everyone knows it can't keep the lights on for more than a year. The only thing floating the market cap at all is it's cash.

It's net tangible assets have gone from 10.2 billion in 05 to -38 billion in 07. They basically sold off all their assets to offset rampant liabilities. Assets went from 476 billion to 148...to pay down liabilities from 461 to 185.

When a company has 24 billion in cash, but it's market capitalization is only 11 billion? It's not good.

Ford is worse, that is true. Sold Jag off to Tata yesturday to pick up almost 2 billion in cash...but much like GM that is a desperation cash grab move.

Chrsyler's fate relies less on market realities and more on the willingness of Cerberus to keep it viable rather than cutting it up and cutting their losses.
 

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GM only has cash from the fire sale of it's assets, of which it has none left. (Think GMAC). If you look at their annual burn rate on cash for the past few years it has been around 8 billion a year....'non-recession'. It's like you being unemployed and selling your car for 20K to keep making payments on your 300k mortgage.

And if GM goes under 10 billion in cash, the stock is worth a dollar, there is widespread panic because everyone knows it can't keep the lights on for more than a year. The only thing floating the market cap at all is it's cash.

It's net tangible assets have gone from 10.2 billion in 05 to -38 billion in 07. They basically sold off all their assets to offset rampant liabilities. Assets went from 476 billion to 148...to pay down liabilities from 461 to 185.

When a company has 24 billion in cash, but it's market capitalization is only 11 billion? It's not good.

Ford is worse, that is true. Sold Jag off to Tata yesturday to pick up almost 2 billion in cash...but much like GM that is a desperation cash grab move.

Chrsyler's fate relies less on market realities and more on the willingness of Cerberus to keep it viable rather than cutting it up and cutting their losses.
No question that the North American operations of the big 3 are in trouble, as analysts predicted they would collapse in five years over a year ago, but the orchestration of new union contracts, new designs and protective regulations for those new designs should turn things around for the big 3 in just a few years. Again, international divisions of the big 3 are keeping them afloat, so if North American operations can manage not to lose any money, they should make it through the recession.
 

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No question that the North American operations of the big 3 are in trouble, as analysts predicted they would collapse in five years over a year ago, but the orchestration of new union contracts, new designs and protective regulations for those new designs should turn things around for the big 3 in just a few years. Again, international divisions of the big 3 are keeping them afloat, so if North American operations can manage not to lose any money, they should make it through the recession.
I hope you are right, I'd happily be wrong on this one.
 

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GM only has cash from the fire sale of it's assets, of which it has none left. (Think GMAC). If you look at their annual burn rate on cash for the past few years it has been around 8 billion a year....'non-recession'. It's like you being unemployed and selling your car for 20K to keep making payments on your 300k mortgage.
And if GM goes under 10 billion in cash, the stock is worth a dollar, there is widespread panic because everyone knows it can't keep the lights on for more than a year. The only thing floating the market cap at all is it's cash.
It's net tangible assets have gone from 10.2 billion in 05 to -38 billion in 07. They basically sold off all their assets to offset rampant liabilities. Assets went from 476 billion to 148...to pay down liabilities from 461 to 185.
When a company has 24 billion in cash, but it's market capitalization is only 11 billion? It's not good.
Ford is worse, that is true. Sold Jag off to Tata yesturday to pick up almost 2 billion in cash...but much like GM that is a desperation cash grab move.
Chrsyler's fate relies less on market realities and more on the willingness of Cerberus to keep it viable rather than cutting it up and cutting their losses.
Statik: Well aren't YOU Little Miss Sunsihine! (lol)
 
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