"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

After 76 Years GM Falls to Toyota

For the first time in car history, Toyota sold more cars worldwide then General Motors, marking the first time a car company other then GM ruled the "world's largest automaker" title. A title that based on recent GM history is unlikely to change.

Full article here.

I can't really say I am surprised. GM reported record losses, has a history of so-so reliability, not so good quality, choosing to fire employees while protecting executive bonuses, its clear that for GM the decisions made are with one and only one concern: "How will this effect my bonus?". Toyota has made it clear with its long term planning (Hybrids, move away from SUVs etc) and by its history that the goal is truly quality and reliability. Nail those two and the rest will sort itself out. Basically Toyota has figured out that people are willing to pay and will follow a manufacture that has good cars versus a manufacturer that has cars made to break.

I am hoping that GM can turn things around. However to do that requires long term planning with a consistent goal of quality and reliability. A goal to turn the American car reputation around one customer at a time. A goal that simply will take a while to fruition. Sadly, the American CEO/Exec mindset is the opposite of that where the prize is simply to create a large yearly bonus and nothing else.

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