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Old 10-28-2009, 10:04 PM   #1
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Default A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

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A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

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From Knowledge@Wharton: General Motors' decision earlier this month to scrap its Saturn brand triggered frequent retellings of the many ways in which GM missed an opportunity to recast itself and the auto industry. But other manufacturers did adopt some of Saturn's innovations, according to Wharton faculty. Indeed, they say, the Saturn story provides a roadmap for what to do - and what not to do - as the auto industry adjusts to the post-financial crisis world.

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Old 10-28-2009, 10:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

In short - Saturn could have been a success, but GM got in the way and killed it.

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Old 10-29-2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

EXCUSE ME! WTF! The one and only lesson to be learned from the Saturn Failure is that the corporate execs at GM can't tell their arrs from their elbows! The failure for Saturn was GM!

History cannot paint Saturn as a failure! GM is the sinking ship that the Gov't bailed out with taxpayer monies! You will see soon GM will be up to the same old stuff...uh...I mean new and renewed!

Don't hold your breathe!

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Old 10-30-2009, 09:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

GM has not learned anything except how to "put that hand out" for our money. They started Saturn with a great idea "new company new vehicle" concept then they had to go and put their hands, up to their elbow, back into it.

So perhaps this was posted someplace else on this site but I have not run across it.

When I was being driven back home from leaving my Outlook for some warranty work the "courtesy driver" and I were having a good talk.

Did anybody know that GM is planning on "scraping" the remaining 2010 Saturn's? All the vehicles that are already built and have NOT been delivered to a dealer, or built on customer specs, will be destroyed.

WHAT THE F---!!!!

The local dealer will not be receiving any 2010 Saturn's yet they have been told they will still be a recognized Saturn dealer until October 2010. I said this before they are purchasing all the 2009's they can get from other dealers.

THAT my friends really tick me off GM has taken our "tax dollars" and what are going to destroy vehicles that they could have SOLD and at least probably broke even on the cost to produce these vehicles

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Old 10-30-2009, 01:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

As the transporter trucks take away our last remaining new saturns we only have our memories. R.I.P. S.O.S.
We hold are heads up high knowing we worked as hard as anyone possibly could.

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Old 10-30-2009, 02:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

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Originally Posted by MMarlin View Post
Did anybody know that GM is planning on "scraping" the remaining 2010 Saturn's? All the vehicles that are already built and have NOT been delivered to a dealer, or built on customer specs, will be destroyed.
If that's true, that's messed up!

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Old 10-30-2009, 02:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

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If that's true, that's messed up!
That is what I heard from a Saturn dealership employee.

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Old 10-30-2009, 02:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

Okay I just got nosey and called the dealership in Cincinnati where we purchased the 07 Outlook.

I just point blanked asked if they were getting any 2010's in. His comment was no they were not making them. I said well I thought they had already started production on the 2010's. His reply was not that he was aware of.

So if they had started pre-building the 2010 model's and have no intention of putting them out into the market. This leaves the 2009 as their last model year of being built.

Therefore the thought here is if they had any already built they will not be put out into the market and any pre-orders placed will have to be canceled/refused. So into the "crusher" any 2010's built they will go.


US News & World Report did have an article on the 2010 Outlook:
http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com...aturn_Outlook/

This article was more than likely written and published just prior to GM announcing the end of Saturn.

Last edited by MMarlin; 10-30-2009 at 02:57 PM..

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Old 10-30-2009, 10:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMarlin View Post
GM has not learned anything except how to "put that hand out" for our money. They started Saturn with a great idea "new company new vehicle" concept then they had to go and put their hands, up to their elbow, back into it.

So perhaps this was posted someplace else on this site but I have not run across it.

When I was being driven back home from leaving my Outlook for some warranty work the "courtesy driver" and I were having a good talk.

Did anybody know that GM is planning on "scraping" the remaining 2010 Saturn's? All the vehicles that are already built and have NOT been delivered to a dealer, or built on customer specs, will be destroyed.

WHAT THE F---!!!!

The local dealer will not be receiving any 2010 Saturn's yet they have been told they will still be a recognized Saturn dealer until October 2010. I said this before they are purchasing all the 2009's they can get from other dealers.

THAT my friends really tick me off GM has taken our "tax dollars" and what are going to destroy vehicles that they could have SOLD and at least probably broke even on the cost to produce these vehicles

I heard that what 2010's were made all went to rental fleets. None were sold privately.

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Old 10-31-2009, 01:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

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Originally Posted by mike08vue View Post
I heard that what 2010's were made all went to rental fleets. None were sold privately.
And doesn't "Hertz" and "National" and "Enterprise" eventually place their rental vehicles up for sale? That would mean there would eventually be 2010 Saturn's trickling down into the "private" market place.

All information I have been able to collect indicates that there will be no 2010 Saturn's out there.

Think about this if there were, let's say of the 2010 model year 5,000 built and eventually sold, what would their value be down the road? The LAST model year built and a LIMITED number. Do you think GM would want one of what they considered "throw away" companies have a car that would rival any of their "special edition" Camaro's or Vettes?

If anybody see's a 2010 on a rental companies lot PLEASE let me know so I can say publically "I WAS WRONG".

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

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Originally Posted by Saturn#5 View Post
EXCUSE ME! WTF! The one and only lesson to be learned from the Saturn Failure is that the corporate execs at GM can't tell their arrs from their elbows! The failure for Saturn was GM!

History cannot paint Saturn as a failure! GM is the sinking ship that the Gov't bailed out with taxpayer monies! You will see soon GM will be up to the same old stuff...uh...I mean new and renewed!

Don't hold your breathe!
+1 Saturn was a success. They showed how you can build a unique car and a unique car company with a highly loyal customer base.

GM's influence and dragging Saturn into their corporate black hole killed Saturn.

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Old 11-01-2009, 07:11 AM   #12
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

Saturn is a text book example of GM decision making and policies. If the squandering of their other brands and market place equity was bad [Olds, Pontiac, Cadillac, Saab], what was done with and to Saturn says it all.

Letting the line rot and not reinvesting in it over the years? Check.

Believing that the line needed clones of the corporate minivan,midsize,SUV, CUV platforms, etc ? Check.

Piling on incentives and destroying resale value? Check.

Ignoring the attributes of what made the line popular with it's customers in the first place? Check.

Not listening to it's customers as to what they wanted ? Check.

Saturn: GM mismanagement exemplified.

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Old 11-01-2009, 10:58 AM   #13
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Default The irony: an MBA mill critiques GM management

The Wharton article is a good enough read, but I have to give a big sigh and shake my head about the know-it-all tone of a b-school journal. Graduate business schools are to America what Taliban militants are to central Asia: the destructive inner demon that undoes the hopes and hard work of ordinary people.

While getting my master's at UC Berkeley way back when I took an accounting course from the Haas business school, since once you're a student in the graduate division, you can take grad level courses from any college there, and what the heck, I figured it would be interesting to see what the business types were up to (and it would be nice to have an EZ course for a quarter, accounting math never had more than one variable). Man, I was appalled at the business ethos being taught. All the rumors you hear about executives being fixated on short term profit are true, insofar as that's what they teach the MBA students. I distinctly remember one lecture where the accounting professor posed a question to the clas, what's the best course of action for company X? Long story short, the "correct answer" was to liquidate plant and equipment, because that freed up the most cash for reporting the end of quarter numbers. I'm not kidding. The prof rather smugly circled the optimized cash proceeds numbers on the blackboard from the "shut it down and sell it" scenario.

So now America is full of "trained business leaders" who gleefully shut down R and D labs, factories, and physical plant, layoff all the engineers and technicians, and pocket a nice performance bonus, rather than a kick in the rear. I've worked with Chinese and German engineers, and there's nothing wrong with American engineering talent. But the culture of American corporate leadership is absolutely toxic.

BTW, the above is not just my opinion, the long time auto industry writer for Forbes, Jerry Flint I think was his name, wrote very eloquently several times about how MBAs were killing American business and the U.S. auto industry in particular. I don't think one can place the lion's share of blame at the foot of the UAW, since Germany has shown you can have a pretty robust car industry with even higher labor costs than here. But to make that work, you have to have smart uber-engineers running the company, not bonus-driven MBAs with obvious contempt for the workers who support them, and who neither know nor care about what their company builds.

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Old 11-01-2009, 11:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

I could not agree more with linuxdude

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Old 11-01-2009, 01:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

I located this article in the Wall Street Journal. Granted it is from October 2nd but I found the article a good read.

I lived in Nashville from 1984 to 1989 and the main topic the last year I was there was all about Saturn. I only posted the first paragraph which actually says it all.



http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...719252350.html


Saturn Couldn't Escape GM's Dysfunctional Orbit
Union leaders hated the flexible work rules and eventually got rid of them.

By PAUL INGRASSIA

General Motors and the United Auto Workers union have waged war against each other—sometimes hot, sometimes cold—for most of the past 80 years. One of the few things on which they collaborated, sadly, was undermining Saturn, which began as the boldest effort to reform the dysfunctional dynamics of their relationship.


Also the link I am posting below has the "first" Saturn commercial aired. Really interesting.


http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time....turn-farewell/

Last edited by MMarlin; 11-01-2009 at 01:25 PM..

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Old 11-01-2009, 01:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: The irony: an MBA mill critiques GM management

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Graduate business schools are to America what Taliban militants are to central Asia: the destructive inner demon that undoes the hopes and hard work of ordinary people.
This is spot on! "We have met the enemy and he is us."

I'm an engineer who spent a few decades working for "corporate" America, and I've felt this way for quite a while now. One big Dilbert Zone! The question is: Can we somehow turn things around, or is the country doomed, just like Saturn?

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Old 11-01-2009, 06:21 PM   #17
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

I agree. I had been thinking about trying to pursue an MBA myself, but in this climate who knows what career path is worth pursuing...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33552866...sinessweekcom/

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Old 11-01-2009, 06:46 PM   #18
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

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I agree. I had been thinking about trying to pursue an MBA myself, but in this climate who knows what career path is worth pursuing...
A little over 20 years ago I was moving into a new position, and my new boss (an 'old school' engineer, now in a management position) lamented: "Pretty soon we'll just have a bunch of managers managing managers, and noone who can actually produce something." And I've been watching it go that way ever since. It's all about PowerPoints nowadays . . .
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:14 PM   #19
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

From what I hear, the president of the company that took us over got a multi-million dollar bonus for the acquisition/merger that cost me and most of my colleagues our jobs. Seems so typical! (Really, our parent company bought a controlling interest in a foreign company, but merged our division with it and sent all our jobs out of the country.)

I'm still unemployed, and realizing that finding a job isn't going to be as easy as I initially thought!

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Old 11-01-2009, 08:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: A Wealth of Lessons from Saturn Failure

Between our corrupt, incompetent politicians, and our scumbag corporate execs with off-the-chart greed, this country is in some seriously deep doo-doo!

My story: The Democrats decide to deregulate the gas and electric industries - b/c more competition is going to lower costs for the consumer. Since that time, my electric costs have almost doubled. I worked for the gas industry - Feds stopped mandating R&D that was supposed to help the consumer. More mergers and acquisitions - I'm no longer with a small, people-friendly company. R&D becomes dispensible - I'm out of work. Company gets sold to the Brits and the CEO walks with a platinum parachute. Now a foreign company owns a big chunk of our natural gas infrastructure. You can't make this stuff up!

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