GM to cutback SUV production. rethinking Hummers

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 09:58
ThreadID: 58365 Views:2059 Replies:1 FollowUps:7
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Just released news from GM is ominous. They clearly don't thinbk fuel prices are a short term thing.
From breaking news. The Australian 9.20AM

GENERAL Motors has predicted the end of the petrol-guzzling vehicle as it announced plans to close four North American truck and sports utility vehicle (SUV) plants and ramp up production of new fuel-efficient vehicles.

The car maker said it was also considering revamping or even selling its hulking Hummer brand as high fuel prices have dramatically shifted consumer demand.

“These moves are all in response to the rapid rise in oil prices and the resulting changes in the US, changes that we believe are more structural than cyclical,'' said Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and chief executive.

“We at GM don't think this is a spike or temporary shift; we believe that it is, by and large, permanent,'' Mr Wagoner said at a press conference ahead of GM's annual shareholder meeting in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Big Three US car makers managed to sustain their profitability in the 1980s and 1990s in the face of a steady loss of market share to Asian competitors because of their dominance in the truck and sports utility market.

But they were slow to match the more fuel-efficient car-based SUVs of their competitors and have been forced to implement massive restructuring plans in recent years in the face of multibillion-dollar losses.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 11:20

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 11:20
The problem with the Americans is that they refuse to focus "out of the box".

GM have set up a manufacturing plant in South Africa to produce a right hand drive version of the Hummer H3 (not a hulking SUV) for export to Europe and Australia.
All indications are this model is successful, with orders in Australia for instance, outstripping supply quotas.

All they need to do now is draw from their European expertise and put a bloody diesel donk in it and they wouldn't need to close down plants in America, or anywhere else.

Unfortunately, the American bred perception of (previously) unlimited "gas" (petrol) supply, has given them a very narrow focus on automotive requirements.
GM are finally getting around to planning a diesel engine for the Commodore, but are probably a couple of years away from possible implementation. Meanwhile, they are tooling about with "hybrid" engined vehicles, which are OK for the cities, but certainly not for country use.

To obtain cash flow, GM have sold their interest in Isuzu and as a result have relinquished their sales and interests in the Rodeo marque, a highly successful vehicle in Australia. This along with the previously popular Jackaroo (yeah, I've still got one) has left them extremely vulnerable in the 4WD (not SUV) market.

The imminent release later this year of the GM Californian as a replacement has yet to be judged and proven as a viable alternative for a 4WD vehicle suitable for Australian conditions.
I'll bet they won't release this with a diesel option either.

Bill.
Bill


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AnswerID: 307694

Follow Up By: Wizard1 - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 12:04

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 12:04
Is the Californian yet to be released in the US as it doesn't appear in the GM stable at he moment?
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Follow Up By: PajeroTD - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:09

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:09
diesel diesel diesel... is not going to fix all the world problems. Diesel is 4.80 per gal in the US and regular unleaded is 3.80 and these prices are only heading north, with the gap of diesel and unleaded growing further. On top of more expensive engines to meet Tier 2, Bin 5 emissions, and higher diesel consumption, we are better off looking at CNG and hydrogen.

watch this video from Bob Lutz on diesel. It really puts things in to perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXA22Q0qXNM


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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:10

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:10
A mob that elects George W Bush deserves everything it gets
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Follow Up By: PajeroTD - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:15

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:15
I suppose so does a mob that votes for Kevin Rudd?
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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 15:21

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 15:21
At least his party won't be run for the benefit of the wife
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Follow Up By: PajeroTD - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 15:34

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 15:34
David, what the heck are you talking about? Hillary Clinton? She is a democrat... Bush is republican...anyway, lets get this back on topic. fueling large vehicles. Diesel and LPG also come from crude oil, so it's side-stepping the problem. Natural gas is a good short term solution, with hydrogen as a good mid-long term. I believe electric motors to drive the vehicles with internal combustion engines (that run on CNG or hydrogen) to only keep the batteries charged would make cars, trucks, SUVs etc a heck of a lot more efficient too.
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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 15:48

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 15:48
OUR recently departed first lady. Didn't you know who ran the Libs.......may I suggest renewal would have saved them, but the party didn't have the BALLS
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