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GM Fails to Mention The Faith of Opel

Miscellaneous - December 10th, 2008

Today GM (together with Ford and Chrysler) got its $18bn bailout from the U.S Congress which will hopefully keep them alive -until March 31st, that is. All good and well, but there’s one aspect that’s been mostly overlooked. GM has announced that they’ll focus on their core brands (Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Cadillac) and either sell (SAAB, Hummer) or bury (Saturn) their non-core brands and return one to a niche product (Pontiac). What they haven’t mentioned at all is what’ll happen to Opel, Vauxhall and Holden.

Opel has been GM’s main European presence since it was acquired in 1929 and many Opel designs are global platforms for GM cars.They were sold in Buick dealerships between 1958 and 1975 but has since been sold under Saturn and Pontiac brands in the U.S. Cars from Opel are sold as Vauxhalls in the U.K. and Holdens in Australia.

What does GM mean by forgetting to mention them? My guess is that they see them as a core brand and vital part of their operation but don’t want to upset the Congress and American public by displaying that American tax-payers money could potentially go abroad. Sneaky, but maybe that’s the way the game has to be played.

References

GM’s Government credit details from December 2nd: GM’s asks Congress to kickstart its ambitious plan
GM’s Letter of Apology: GM’S Commitment to the American People

Corporate Blunders – Chevrolet Volt

Miscellaneous - November 28th, 2008

General Motors is in big trouble, they’ll be out of money within months without some serious cash infusion. However, they presented a possible saviour to the company in form of the Volt concept car January 7, 2007. The plug-in hybrid featured lithium-ion batteries with a gasoline drive generator to act as a range-extender and a futuristic, edgy and muscular design appealing to technology and environmental geeks, designers,muscle car fans and hip city couples. When they presented the Volt in its final production form though, they sealed their own future.

Chevrolet Volt Production Front

The Chevrolet Volt in production form. Photo by GM.

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The BMW Mini-E and the Launch of Electric Cars

Miscellaneous - November 21st, 2008

Where some (GM Volt and Tesla Roadster) are fumbling to get their electric cars out to consumers, others are continously presenting concept models that will never see production (Volvo ReCharge) and some just don’t do anything at all (Mercedes). During this time though, BMW have remained quite and almost seem ignorant of the environmental and regulatory challenges lying ahead for the auto industry. BMW has sneaked up behind everyones back and will deliver 500 electric Mini-Es to customers in Los Angeles, New York and New Jersey from the end of 2008. The electric car is the automotive future and this surprising move by one of the most dominating players is a most welcome one bound to fuel the fire for the other major manufacturers.

BMW Mini-E

The BMW Mini-E. Photo by BMW.

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