Today's Quiz

In our new corporate state, does anyone think this decision was made purely on the business merits?  Note that the only people mentioned or commenting in the article (other than a GM and UAW PR flack) are politicians of the various states.


  1. Michael:

    GM created the GEO line to bring crappy little cars to America. It took 9 years to go bust. At least these new crappy little cars will be made by Americans until we come to out senses and offer Michigan to Canada.

  2. Allen:

    "They also said it was a sound business decision."

    Sound business decision? It's hard to imagine given Michigan's high taxes. Maybe if retooling the plant is a better option than others. But if they don't have a car ready to produce, what will these people do?

    Having just looked at a butt ton of new cars, it's hard to imagine GM coming out with a small car that will do well. Toyota's got the market for boring, cheap interiors when it comes to small cars. Others have some of their own advantages that would seem hard for today's GM to deal with. The Mazda 3's got a nice design, decent reliability and handles great (planted). Kia and Huyundai [sic] have figured out how to make reliable, cheap and increasingly interesting small cars. And surely Nissan's got the hipsters drooling with their art project, the Cube.

    On the other hand GM's got what? HHR isn't exactly small nor fun to drive. They're dropping Pontiac so the G6 is going bye-bye. The Aveo? Oi! That one doesn't do it.

    And of course even if they pull something off, one has to wonder if it'll sell. Annual auto sales are still under 10m, right? That is, down @35% from the peak and without any signs that it's going to recover any time soon. Will enough people buy whatever likely clunker they'll churn out?

  3. Michael:

    GM has small cars in Europe that could be built in the US. The question is can Obama get gas above $5 a gallon without government taking the blame so people will buy these cars. GM US makes 86 models of cars. The 20 models that are profitable are SUVs, light trucks, and high end sedans.

    But even with high gas prices, I think most Americans would rather have a bigger car and driver less, than have a small car and drive more.

  4. Tim:

    Janesville, as a GM car assembly plant, dates back to 1923. It has, if I remember correctly, a coal fired cogen power plant. If you have surplus capacity, you need to look at which makes the most sense to keep, and Janesville's age certainly makes it the least likely contender.

    Spring Hill was, for some time, a Saturn only plant; and is somewhat remote from the engineering center in Warren, MI. So you have design and engineering support logistics problems.

    Considering Spring Hill and Orion were both recently retooled, being close to the tech center, other powertrain plants, and other final assembly plants were probably the weighting factors.

  5. sethstorm:

    Kia and Huyundai [sic] have figured out how to make reliable, cheap and increasingly interesting small cars

    Only by copying everyone else and making it worse.