What Would You Do if You Ran GM?

Cars.com’s Lindsay Bjerregaard and Stephen Markley pounded the pavement at the 2009 Taste of Chicago in search of an answer to one simple question: Now that we, the taxpayers, own a part of GM, what should we do with the company? They interviewed plenty of people with ideas about what direction the storied automotive company should take. Watch the video, then let us know if you agree.

By Stephen Markley | July 14, 2009 | Comments (19)

Comments 

Dan

Give a huge bonus to the owners!

(okay, that might get diluted a bit)

Rich

Bust the unions. The union management is owed as much responsibility for breaking the American auto companies as GM management. Maybe even more with their outrageous demands for furlough programs (who gets 90% guaranteed pay??), lavish northern Michigan golf courses (for the working man, right?!) and 100% employer-paid gold-level health benefits (the average American gets this too, right?)... Unrealistic demands from unions combined with weak management has killed American companies.

JM

1. ditch all pushrod engines from the lineup, even if the models arent due to be redesigned for a few years (i.e. Tahoe, Silverado), and replace them with DOHC or even a more modern replacement.

2. get rid of all 4-speed autos and 5-speed manuals, and replace them with 6-speed manuals and 6-, 7-, and even 8-speed automatics.

3. create a real hybrid system, or adapt the Two-Mode system to four cylinder engines. the mild hybrid junk worked for a little while, but now people expect to see real fuel savings with their hybrid system. if you really need to keep the mild-hybrid system, put it in the Cruze.

4. Differentiate the Equinox and Terrain more. perhaps offer the Terrain with the 3.6L V6 hybrid that was supposed to go in the Vue, and offer the Equinox with the adapted Two-Mode 4-cylinder powertrain.

5. stop badge engineering. this wont be much of a problem for mainstream sedans now that Pontiac and Saturn are gone, but give GMC something to differentiate itself from Chevrolet.

6. update all interiors. a vehicle that costs as much as a Tahoe or Yukon should have a soft-touch dash. the Denali does, but even a regular Tahoe can easily cost $45,000 or $50,000. having a hard plastic interior is unacceptable at that price.

7. bring the Cruz to the US NOW.

8. put Direct injection and variable valve timing on all engines.

9. improve driving dynamics of all vehicles, especially the full-size sedans and full-size SUV's.

10. reintroduce a few models: the Pontiac Vibe as a Chevrolet and give the interior a little sprucing up; the G8 as the next Impala, STS, or even as a new model; the Sky as a Chevrolet or even as a Cadillac, but with a major interior and powertrain overhaul, along with redesigning that terrible soft top.

Josh in Wisconsin

1. Start testing the market with cheaper diesel options. The only choice that most people know about is the VW Jetta. It doesn't seem to be very popular right now (I haven't seen many on the roads) but if you market it right I think us, Americans, might consider this option over a hybrid that will only get you 32mpg.

A diesel Cobalt might grab more attention both for the gas conscious people and the car enthusiasts. Heck I know Opel had offered an Astra diesel...why not let it cross the pond? (Even though Saturn is on its way to the sunset).

2. Definitely focus on specific market shares. Too many times have I heard GM products taking either the middle of the pack or are at the rear during a car review comparison. Make sure to give the market shares that are delved into enough attention so that the vehicles meet demands on more than one level. And get clever with the vehicles that are made!

3. Don't put the same dash layout into all vehicles. I admit that I like the new stereo layout (especially coming from a person who has an '04 Cavalier). However, it is kinda nerving to see the same stereo layout that is in the Cobalt in a Silverado.

4. A Vibe shouldn't cost $20,000+

5. Be smarter about how GM vehicles are built. Like how the Asians do it!

6. Agreed JM!! No more 4 speed automatics!!! ugh!

Paul

I know,bring back the Vega,Corvair and Chevette as electric cars,retool up the 73-87 pickups with sidesaddle gas tanks but fill them with propane,and revive the "great" X-cars with only a working reverse gear and knocking 2.5 liter engines burning E85.Oh,and give Cadillac an economy model,call it.....Cimmaron!

Better yet,Reduce GM to merely a couple Cadillac models,call pickups and SUVs "GM Truck",and keep only a couple Chevrolet models.Corvette could be kept as a halo model until sales slip.No more divisional clones,no more progressive levels of models per divison.Just a smaller "econo" model(Spark?) and a larger "family" sized unit(Impala?).

Bowrider

I disagree with most of them, with the exception of the guy who mentions the Cavalier changed to the Cobalt. GM does make fuel-efficient cars. And they Silverado and Sierra combine for the best selling vehicles on the planet. So, why would they stop making them.

They will invest money in to making their cars more fuel efficient and they currently are doing so. The perception out there is inaccurate. Catch up with the Japanese? What...start making a competitor to the Tundra, the Titan, the Sequoia (sp?), or the LX570? I know I am skipping the fuel efficient cars here, but GM does make fuel efficient cars.

Nic

I have a better idea.........light a match and watch it burn.

Red

JM,
I disagree with scrapping the pushrod engines, except for small vehicles - they should all be overhead cam. GM's pushrod V8s are some of the best mills on the planet, and the pushrod configuration allows for cylinder deactivation, which I can report from personal experience works very well for fuel economy. Our family just returned from a two week vacation where our Silverado with the 5.3 V8 averaged 23 to 24 mpg the entire time - lots of highway driving, but also rural roads and in-town cruising. Dropping from a V8 to V4 on the highway saves lots of gas and GM deserves credit for developing that system. OHC V8s like Toyotas don't have the room to allow for cylinder deactivation gear and while they're good engines they just don't get the mileage. I agree with most of the rest of your ideas.

Keep the pushrod 6 & 8's, ditch the 4 speed autos and use sixes, complete the next gen mild hybrid, and allow all hybrids plugin availability update the interiors, all autos should have standard folding rear seats and ABS (maybe with the overhyped stability control that everyone is falling all over themselves about). Keep the control stalk! :-)

Original sheth

Just more proof that the general public is clueless about GM or cars in general. Little of what was said made any sense.

George

Downsize the engines, upsize the transmissions.

Finish the 8 speed auto GM was working on. Get a 7 speed double clutch to replace transverse 6 speed autos.

Chop two cylinders off the LS3 V8 engine, make a 300+hp regular fuel, cylinder idling V6. Even firing/balance shaft, integral exhaust manifolds for good cold start emissions, and maybe concentric camshafts for real variable valve timing.
Perfect for: GM full size van, Silverado, Tahoe/Suburban 1500, especially with the 8 speed auto: 1-7 in tow/haul, 2-8 otherwise

GM small pickup: Chop LS3 V8 in half, 3.1 liter 200+hp I4 (seeing as GM went nowhere with the Atlas 4/5/6 family-still no variable intake valve timing?!?-or 300hp 4.4 liter I6) Be economical, skip cylinder idling & VVT, use VCT, and 6 speed autos.

Chevy Malibu: new 3.0 V6 & 6t45 transmission, direct injection 2.4 & 6t40.

Cheryl

Give Stephen his beer, Man!! lol

OS,

I agree.

It's wishful thinking, but, maybe it's just the camera presence.

That'd be enough to make me look like babbling fool lol

Dave Wuss

Very insightful responses from average Joe's. You can't argue with them as GM cars are not attractive and they have no quality hybrid system so the responses are not surprising. It's clear that GM can no longer fool the average American.

Style

And it's clear that you are nothing but a troll.

Belly

Yes, Orange Shet and his alter egos are trolls.

shopa

I would make the engineers evaluate my invention to make small cars safer in collisions.

www.safersmallcars.com

Anybody want to help me?

Original sheth

How did Belly make it back here? I was hoping he was banished for life.

Belly

Why would I get banned? I don't make up fictitious accounts just so I have someone agree with me.

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