Automotive General's Move

General Motors should . .

  1. GO METRIC so they can . .
  2. GO GLOBAL making cars that compete in all markets around the world like their competitors do. Saab makes cars that are competitive worldwide. So does the G.M. German subsidiary. Bring in the engineering smarts from "over there". But at the same time . .
  3. GO AMERICAN emphasize traditional American strengths, such as pick-ups, SUV's, full-sized cars, V-8's, and muscle cars, which also happen to be high-profit when done right.
  4. GO LEAN drop Pontiac (shifting quality cars to surviving groups), combine Saab with Saturn (or just drop Saturn, it's not distinctive anymore), distinguish the truck missions of GMC (focus on work? go up-scale?) and Chevrolet (focus on consumer?). Ditch the requirement to make a car for every segment, just meet Toyota head-to-head with Chevrolet products, Acura head-to-head with Buick, and Lexis head-to-head with Cadillac. Discontinue all models that aren't making money, except where a hard argument can be made that they drive traffic to the showrooms, maintain customer loyalty, or lead to move-ups later.
  5. GO DISTINCTIVE like Cadillac has done so successfully; like Hummer has done.
  6. GO GOVERNMENT make the pitch to the U.S. Federal government regarding "legacy costs" and how to be competitive with global interests who don't shoulder them to the same degree. Use the government to bargain with the unions to combat their anti-competitive effect.


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