Tag Archives: GM

GM Can’t Sell Saab, But Ford Sold Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin

SaabStoryHey Cool Car Fans,

It’s not often that I weigh in on what automobile manufacturer’s do with their brands, but GM has me slightly ticked off and they should have you a bit steamed as well.

GM, formerly known as General Motors, but now referred to by many as Government Motors, after taking $50 billion dollars of tax payer money, can’t seem to figure out how to sell one of their brands, in this case Saab.

They’ve had a number of offers on the table and they were not good enough for GM, mainly because they still have to be involved with Saab during a transition period, but instead they are talking about closing the Saab brand down altogether.  As you will recall they already did this with Pontiac and Saturn.

You may not be a fan of Saab, but there are 5,000 people in the U.S. who are employed because of this brand and another 15,000 worldwide. Didn’t the U.S. government give General Motors a whopping $50 billion to save jobs? I think anyone reading this article could run a car company with $50 billion at your disposal.  Yet, for some reason GM can’t seem to get it figured out.

Saab has been around for 60 years and there are plenty of Saab enthusiasts who drive the brand and GM’s response is that it’s a money losing brand. No doubt it’s a money losing brand because GM owns the company and if GM knew how to manage a car company they wouldn’t have had to take $50 billion from tax payers to run their company.

However, Ford Motor company that didn’t take money from the government in the bailout offer was able to sell Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and soon to be Volvo. It just goes to show you, that it’s much easier to come to negotiations with saving brands when you are dealing with your own money instead of someone else’s money. In this case, it’s your and my tax dollars that are paying for GM to play like they are the 800lb Gorilla and they are really acting more like a chimp or a chump.

GM needs to sell Saab and quit screwing around with the brand. What many don’t realize who are not Saab owners is the minute that brand is shut down by GM, their vehicles are pretty much worthless. I’m already seeing it with Saturn and Pontiac where many people won’t even look at buying those vehicles now that GM has blown them up, unless they can get an unbelievable deal. Banks won’t finance them once they are gone either, so they will go the way of the classic car and someday they may be worth money if you have cash or a specialized lender that’s willing to give you a loan.

All GM is doing is passing their losses on to the consumer again because of their own greed and mis-management of their brands.  In the meantime, they show us commercials that they are a new car company, but it appears that it’s hard to teach an old dog, new tricks, like how to spin off a car company that you don’t want in your portfolio.

Although, they did figure out how to do it with Hummer, but those negotiations were back in June when they were filing for bankruptcy protection and still trying to figure out, if they had a future (Chinese Company Is Buying G.M.’s Hummer).

For more on this topic, visit Automotive News for details.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

Is GM Desperate Or What?

Renault 5 TurboHey Cool Car Fans,

I have to get some photos up here of my new 2007 Mazda MazdaSpeed6 that I picked up as my daily driver, after selling my 2007 Subaru WRX Limited to a client of mine.  Stay tuned for photos and details on that vehicle.

In the meantime, I had to write a quick article about the craziest PR move I’ve seen in a long time.  General Motors is now going to offer a 60 day money back guarantee.  If you’re not completely satisfied with the purchase of your vehicle they will give you your money back.  I saw this was first reported by the New York Times that General Motors wanted to prove to the world that their vehicles are as good as their competitors.  I didn’t believe it at first, but it’s for real.

Talk about a desperate attempt to get more people behind the wheel of a GM product.  They are calling it a Satisfaction Guaranteed program that is promising to give customers their money back within 60 days, if they’re not completely satisfied with their purchase. The new marketing tool, started running today and will start tomorrow.  I saw the commercials while I was watching football today and it will run from September 14, 2009 through November 30th, 2009.

This is the first time a major automaker has backed their product with a money back guarantee. The new initiative will cover new Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC models.  I’m amazed that they would do something like this because it’s going to cause tremendous problems in the marketplace and for the company because of the fine print, details and limitations.  Come on, everyone knows that you buy a vehicle and you can’t return it for a number of liability reasons.  Cars are simply not designed to buy with money back guarantees because too many things can go wrong depending on the person behind the wheel and I’m going to bet that many people are going to be really unhappy with this deal.

If you don’t believe me, you’ll have to go read the FAQ page and see the details and limitations.

For example, you have to keep the vehicle for at least 30 days, return it within day 31 and day 60 by contacting the administrator of the program for the required paperwork.  You then must have the vehicle appraised and if there is at least $200 in damage you won’t qualify for a refund.  The refund doesn’t include dealer fees, accessories, finance charges and a number of other fees.  You can’t get your trade-in back and you are responsible for any negative equity you may have had on that vehicle.  You can have up to 4,000 miles on the vehicle.  You can’t do this deal if you’re looking for a truck for your business, but only for personal purchases.

This program may be good for some people who are in a strong financial position and just want to drive a GM vehicle for 60 days to see how they like it.  Odds are good they’ll keep it and that’s what GM is banking on with this promotion.  However, you might want to just rent a GM vehicle before you go through this ordeal.  How many people will go through the brain damage of trading their vehicle, getting financed, drive the car for 4,000 miles and then return it because they decided they don’t really like it?  If they decide to and they find out they don’t qualify for this 60 day guarantee for some reason, what’s going to be the PR backlash against GM when dealers start refusing to take back vehicles or not refunding certain fees?

You can read the full details, including the FAQ’s by clicking here.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

Happy New Year From The Cool Car Guy

CCG Ad1Hey Cool Car Fans,

Happy New Year!

Today, my son Corban turned 9  and we’ll be taking him out for the day – “Happy Birthday Corban!”

Cadillac CTS - Very Cool!

Many people in the automotive industry are saying so long to 2008. GM, Ford, Chrysler and most of the new car manufacturers had a terrible year as everyone knows. It’s true that the perfect storm hit the automotive industry in 2008, but they really didn’t do much to overcome the problem. They were it by high gas prices that went over $4 a gallon, scandals on Wall Street with credit default swaps that nobody had ever heard of except for a few bankers who were betting that people would default on their mortgages (legalized gambling), a real estate crash around teh country, massive layoffs with millions losing their jobs, plus the ongoing War in Iraq. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few other things as well, but needless to say it was not a great year for America or the World as a whole and the automotive industry got killed.

Unfortunately, it’s not over yet! Here’s a headline and an article that came across the New York Times this morning:

Treasury Expands Possibilities for Aiding Auto Industry

According to the article, “The Treasury is giving itself room to provide money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program beyond loans already committed to General Motors, GMAC and Chrysler.

That would make suppliers like Delphi, a former parts unit for G.M. that has filed for bankruptcy, eligible for assistance. The guidelines may encourage more guessing on what companies and industries are next, said Vincent Reinhart, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.”

The article goes on to say, “The bailout was originally intended to buy assets from banks and has instead become a fund for the Treasury to prop up lenders, insurers, carmakers, auto finance companies and, now, any company that may be important to those industries.

The Treasury has already provided $6 billion in aid to GMAC, the financing arm of G.M., and up to $17.4 billion in financing for G.M. and Chrysler, using money from the $700 billion rescue package.”

Personally, I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for the auto manufacturers. I assist my clients in buying, selling, leasing and trading in every make, every model and every price range of vehicle types. I help many of my clients get new vehicles or save them more money on buying or leasing a used vehicle, so I work with people everyday to see what they really want. the problem I see is that the automobile manufacturers have not been innovative to give the consumer more choices in the marketplace. There are plenty of product choices in the way of models, shapes and sizes, but I’m talking about going beyond the gasoline engine. Why would you as a manufacturer ever put your business into the hands of a third-party like the oil tycoons and give them the control to sway sales of your product, but that’s exactly what automobile manufacturers have done and continue to do.

Imagine for a minute if the computer manufacturer stopped innovating or even crazier, if they were to put their livelihood into the hands of a third-party. What if Apple computer had never created the iPod, the iPhone, iTunes, the MacBook and just continued to sell their desktop computers because that’s what they knew how to do? Apple would have been a blip in history instead of a successful technology company.

Think about what they did though and compare that to the automotive industry.  Apple controls their own operating system.   When you buy an Apple computer you get their technology to drive the computer.  When you buy an iPod you have to use iTunes and they control that product, but what if they had created the iPod, and allowed a outsourced the iTunes to a third-party to drive the product?   That third-party could charge a monthly fee, change prices for downloading music and before you know it the sales of iPods would be controlled by the third-party the same way that the oil industry ultimately affects the success of the automotive industry.

In my opinion this is one of the biggest problems facing the automotive industry.   If they don’t have a paradigm shift in the way they create and manage their product, by putting the fuel source that drives the vehicle into the hands of the dealers, manufacturers or better yet the consumer, they will continue to have the fluctuation on oil prices controlling their sales.  They’ve known about this problem for decades, since back when Jimmy Carter was President, but they continue to do the same thing over and over without ever looking at the problem with their business model.  Gas prices are low now, but they could spike again this year and send the automotive industry into a greater tailspin than last year.   This is in addition to the cost of healthcare, dealing with the Unions and other problems that the media focuses on.  However, if you build a better mousetrap and have control over the cheese you will have a stronger position in the marketplace and people will come to buy your product because they want what you’ve created.   It will be very interesting to see what 2009 holds for the automotive industry.

I’m looking forward to 2009 and I’ll continue to assist my clients in getting the vehicles they want at the prices they want with the features they want. I plan to introduce some new services and features at CoolCarGuy.com, I’m writing movie reviews at GoblinNetwork.com and I’ll be writing some automotive articles there as well. I also plan to put on some workshops in 2009 with a client of mine to give people some ideas on how they can fund their vehicle on their own and never have to use a bank again for their car purchases. This will be exciting!

Happy New Year!

Thanks again for visiting CoolCarGuy.com and I hope you have a great and prosperous 2009!

John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with JFR & Associates in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! jboyd@coolcarguy.com