Really, GM? A hybrid?
GM is pushing an even-more-efficient-than-Toyota hybrid called the Vue, already on Saturn’s sales floor and due out en masse in the next couple of years. See source.
This news is not good. GM should be working on a solar-powered model, or the next big step. Object lesson from personal experience: In my first semester of law school I struggled against a steep learning curve in my legal writing course, where I also did not get along with my attorney-adjunct professor. Each week the adjunct would stall in returning our projects to us, so the next project was due before we had seen his (often excoriating) comments on the previous one. I learned a lot that semester, but I was only learning in relation to my own writing bc, without feedback, I couldn’t climb the curve to improve grade-wise against my section.
This is precisely what GM is doing. By stalling on their mass hybrid production, they’re making it so that GM will only be able to improve against GM. But GM is not the market leader. Toyota, Honda, even Hyundai are the market leaders right now in the field where GM operates. If GM wants to stay in business, they should find the next thing, and focus there. At this rate, by the time GM gets its act together on hybrids, we’ll already be seeing massive storage problems with trashed, non-biodegradable Prius batteries. We’ll be shunning hybrid power by that time, and on to the next thing. GM should focus on finding (and selling) that next thing.
Further: We’re talking a lot about bail-outs, but I haven’t seen any restructuring plans. When Delta went bankrupt, the only reason they got any government assistance at all was because of the massive restructuring requirements laid on the company. Delta went bankrupt when they irresponsibly permitted unions (are you listening, GM?) to take over their entire cost model, and after their bankruptcy Delta got rid of their unions and are still in business today. It’s a happy story. But had Delta not restructured, they would certainly not be in business now. They would have gone the route of PanAm (whose logo I actually own — true story!).
Can we please talk a little about what GM will do to earn the money coming their way? Can we discuss how we’ll blockbust the unions and let a little old-school American practicality pave the way to profits and earnestly-rendered balance sheets? Otherwise we’re just printing dollars and not even asking for anything in return.