Date: 21 Nov 2001 22:15:27 GMT
From: jmel5nopsamcomnospam (JMEL5)
Subject: Re: Purchasing a Saab

>1) The American lack of maintenance ethics that is REQUIRED for European > cars (Grand pa Jeremiah gas-up the car and just go). This commitment > to maintenance is very well understood by the Europeans. You raised some really good points, though I don't know if I agree with this one referenced above. Americans have worked on their own cars as a passion for years. Older American cars needed a lot of attention, too. That's why the Japanese models took off so quickly, they were truly gas and go cars. >2) Few people understood the "Foreign" car. Hacks worked on the cars > and miss handled them. This is very likely, but also, probably the fault of the European companies' that were importing the cars. It is extremely important to have a strong dealer and service network to take care of the cars that you ship around the world to keep the customers happy. >You have to understand who gets to a position of power and influence >in a place like GM; it's not the brilliant designer or the gifted >engineer but it's management and marketing types. These are >people that realized from the very beginning that their careers will >not be based on their talent but in belonging to a corporate gang; >(you carry me I'll carry you) and both of us gang-up against the one >better than us. > From what I know of corporate GM, that's right on the money. Bob Lutz may have high hopes to change things at GM, but he is fighting a losing battle, I think. That company is now full of hacks and people that made their careers based upon an old boy network and stupid cliches, they aren't about to let Lutz threaten their livelihoods. Of course, there are some people at GM that still hold passion for cars close to their hearts. The team that developed this latest generation of Corvette is one, and Holden, out in Australia seems to have been to far away for GM to corrupt fully. Also, the lead designer of the PT Cruiser is now at GM and rumored to be working on a retro variant of the fabled Camaro. So far, Saab has held up well, too, still making great cars. Though, I do question their dropping of the 9-5 hatchback variant in favor of a sedan only, but hatchbacks have never been an easy car to sell in the US, except for a few niche markets. Luxury hatches are an even harder sale, especially with SUV's dominating the landscape. JJ

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