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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Comments

Angel C

Jeff Bridges is charming and Steve Jobs is an idealist. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But it doesn't sell cars. US Auto needs a car guy/business man (a Shelby Trump, if you will). Cars and homes don't sell like other products, which is what current management thinks.

In the 1950s, US cars changed annually and it kept it fresh. The Asians improve their cars every 4 years. And that's the only strategy to beat. Because, let's face it, Toyotas are throw-away cars. Virtually forgettable.

They don't get you on beauty, just on being practical. It works great for hiring nannies or buying 'fridges but it's not something you fall in love with. And when you spend $15k or more LOVE is a factor. US Auto needs to have beauty and practicality in one package... in all of their packages.

guest

The American auto industry began its death throws when it crushed Tucker for having great new ideas and actually using them. Next came delorean, you remember the stainless steel car in the "Back to the future" movies? Yep, they crushed that too. So, the failure of GM, Ford and Chrysler is darn close to assured.
Look at the models GM turns out, the HHR or Horribly Huge Repulsives are a masterwork of out of gas by the side of the road during a fuel crunch cars that the big three like to manufacture.
I remember, back when gas was twenty-nine cents a gallon, having a Barracuda and asking if they could do some tweaking to get more useable space and less weight. Basically, the reply was If you don't like it, go buy a Ford or a GM.
So, I ran to Toyota. I only buy Japanese cars now.
Japanese cars are good on gas and getting better. Japanese cars last longer. Japanese cars carry more and are more versatile for the price. Japanese car makers pay heed to basic common sense, unlike American car makers.
Oh American car makers will not die off, exactly, they will probably buy into surviving car manufacturers and slowly corrupt their ability to make high quality vehicles.
Knowing the Chinese, they may not get that chance. So, when Chinese cars make it to the market at one third the current prices I may just switch.

anonymous expert

Steve Jobs would be the worst case scenario. The American auto makers are already way too hung up on marketing and celebrity. What they need is someone who can tell a decent car and business case from a bad idea and then crack the whip. Steve Jobs?

If you look at Carlos Ghosn and the return of Nissan, you will find they concentrated on identifying profitable products and building them... and then replace them before they become too old to matter.

Ford/GM/Chrysler need to master the basics before they worry about getting cuter, more hip, finding new segment x, or anything else too terribly hopeful.

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