Have you ever had a spark plug or a plug wire go bad? It's a major drain on your vehicle's performance and efficiency.
But GM North America continues to suck the power away from the wheels. North American operations lost $1.2 billion despite gaining 1.1 points of market share using new sales incentives.
Does all of this sound familiar? It should. Ford's
To give you an idea of just how saturated things are, GM reduced its dealer inventory by 349,000 units compared with last year. That's a lot of old units to sell to get new products in front of customers. But I will ask the same questions: Why will customers buy another new car soon thereafter, and why will they want to give up their employee discount?
CEO Rick Wagoner continued his mantra of "costs are out of control." I agree. And although he can continue to pressure the union chiefs about benefit costs (which he does in every press release), they aren't going to budge. The two big levers Wagoner has are sourcing, which he mentions, and scale reduction, which at least he started by ramping production down by 142,000 units for the quarter. I don't think sales volumes will increase substantially, so he will have to get his costs in line with lower production volumes to restore profitability. That's a tough task.
My takeaway today: GM North America needs to extract some "best practices" from its sister business units that are making money. Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen for a long time, and to make matters worse, the GMAC premium is going away. It doesn't look good.