Hackett Group brought in to assist
General Motors are so determined to do so and cut costs that they have hired the Hackett Group, a management consultant group, to help identify the areas of what exactly needs to be cut. The company, who are based in Miami, have not been officially confirmed as being associated with General Motors for this particular project.
The Hackett Group will also supposedly help General Motors identify other areas where they may need some changes. General Motors are clearly intent of their staff efficiency clear up. Although as mentioned earlier Hackett have not been confirmed as the companies partner of choice, many trustworthy sources claim that they actually are.
Continuation of restructuring
The company received a tremendous $50 billion from taxpayers in 2009 during the global automotive crisis in order to keep going. They used the money to restructure the company. It seems as if they are not done just yet.
General Motors are looking to cut the specific “white collar” jobs under the engineering, finance, marketing, and information technology as well as product development departments.
General Motors are looking at ways of reducing needless costs in order to bring about better forecasts compared to rivals Ford and Hyundai.
Improve efficiency – Jay Cooney
An e-mail from Jay Cooney confirmed that there will be a cut in staff as General Motors looks to improve efficiency. His exact statement from the e-mail read “We are streamlining our business, looking for efficiencies, and to this extent, there will be some headcount reductions and it will be on a global basis. GM is continually seeking ways to improve our operating performance and reduce complexity to deliver a world- class cost structure and profit margins.”
Will it work?
Other sources claim that General Motors are working with a number of consulting companies in order to help remove needless “white collar” managers from the company. Will the removal of such staff increase efficiency, reduce costs and enhance profit margins? The American car giants are determined to become more competitive and sell more vehicles. Is this the right way to go about it?
Just as Saab’s bankruptcy has been announced, General Motors confirm that they will cover warranties on selected Saab’s. This will come as great news to Saab owners whose car’s fall under the correct criteria to receive warranty cover (The warranty depends on the age of the car)
Certain owners covered only
Many owners of the newer and brand new Saab models were left worried that their warranty cover would not be fulfilled. The bankruptcy was a big hint along with a statement released by the company stating that they were suspending warranty coverage. Unfortunately their warranty may still not be covered.
Saab’s younger than February 2010 only
If Saab owners have purchased their vehicle before February 2010, when General Motors still owned the company before it was sold to Spyker, will offer warranty coverage to America and Canada.
Jim Cain – GM to honour commitments
Jim Cain, the Financial Communications Manager stated how General Motors will honour necessary warranty commitments. His exact words were “In the event that Saab cannot or will not fulfil its obligations to administer the warranty programs with its U.S. and Canadian dealers through Saab Cars North America or otherwise, GM will take necessary steps to ensure that remaining warranty obligations on Saab vehicles marketed by GM in the United States and Canada will be honoured.”
Saab owners who purchased their car before February 2010 will naturally feel disappointed, especially if something was to go wrong with their car. In what is bitter sweet news for Saab owners, some are certain to feel aggrieved.
No way back
It does seem that there is no way back for Saab after they filed for bankruptcy. The news has been a long time coming, despite glimpses of hope every so often. It’s unlikely that any company will attempt to clear Saab’s debts and revive its fortunes.
General Motors threatened
General Motors blocked Chinese investors saving the company. They were worried that Saab technology licenses would fall into the hands of rivals overseas and effectively felt threatened. The consequences of that have been drastic for the company.
It is a shame not only for the Swedish car manufacturer themselves but for the automotive industry. Saab was ever present throughout the 1990’s globally and were even competing with BMW at one point in offering sporty luxurious cars.
General Motors are looking to increase their Cadillac brand’s profile in China. They want to take advantage of the current rise in luxury car demand in the world’s largest automotive market. Reports suggest that the Chinese automotive car market may rise by 7 to 10 per cent in China next year.
The Chinese car industry is expected to overtake Germany in terms of luxury car demand at the end of the year. That would place China at Number two behind America and push Germany down to number three.
BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, who are the nation’s biggest supplier at present, having been increasing production and offering discounts amongst themselves in order to take advantage of the current market conditions.
How will General Motors compete?
Raising the profile of their Cadillac brand would add a bit more interest into the luxury car battle. They will face an uphill battle to compete with the likes of the firmly established Audi. Their stake hold in China is so big that they expect the country to overtake their home country of Germany as their number one market place.
Passenger car slowdown benefits luxury cars
Apparent increasing wealth in China has driven the demand for luxury cars over standard passenger cars according to some experts. There is some proof to that theory as passenger cars in China have recently experienced a slowdown in sales.
Good performance for GM gives reason for Cadillac focus
General Motors increase in sales from January to November of 2011 has perhaps given the company reason to begin Cadillac sales in China. Sales are so high that experts are claiming General Motors will overtake Toyota for in terms of global sales. They are reportedly planning to expand their sport utility and luxury car deliveries to China by 5 million.
No better time
Cadillac production in China is expected to increase as well as the imports into the country. It will be very interesting to see how well the luxury vehicle will fare as they look to claim battle with some Germany’s elite. Can they take the fight to them? As mentioned earlier it will be difficult but now is a better time than ever considering the huge increase in luxury car demand in China.
$185 million in total
Altogether, $185 million has been invested into the companies Oshawa assembly. This is due to the 2013 Cadillac XTS also being built at the factory. The news also means that approximately 1,100 jobs will be retained at the factory.
The workers seem to have a lot on their hands with the new Impala. It has a brand new exterior style making the vehicle look a lot more attractive and stylish. The interior will also receive a revamp, with a more appealing design.
Details on the new Impala
The vehicle will have a 3.6 litre V6 engine with direct injection technology. It has a six speed automatic transmission with the car expected to have provide a thrilling performance. Rumours claim that other variants will contain a 2.4 or a brand new 2.5 engine with the General Motors exclusive eAssist mild hybrid system.
Kevin Williams – “High quality workforce”
Kevin Williams who holds the important role of being the President and Managing Director of General Motors Canada was keen to state how much the cars are improving. He said “With the investments for the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS, we are taking big steps forward to ensure we maximize the flexible manufacturing facility and high-quality workforce that exist in Oshawa,”
“We are building on the recent capacity increases, product launches and shift additions at our Canadian operations to affirm that Canada will play an important role in the new GM as we continue to transform our product line-up.”
Dan Hermer – “Hard work”
Dan Hermer, the plant Manager at the busy assembly plant said that the workforces dedication and hard work is a major reason for the recent vote in confidence and investment from General Motors. He said “Our workforce has always worked hard to exceed expectations and execute exceptional product launches, and we’re happy to receive another vote of confidence with this most recent investment,”
Other models being produced at the General Motors Oshawa plant includes the Chevrolet Camaro Coupe and Convertible and the Chevrolet Equinox as well as the upcoming Cadillac XTS.
General Motors Oshawa plant is clearly a reason for the company doing so well in that particular region.
Useful for businesses
It has been used by many fleet companies to track business journeys. A common problem for fleet businesses or those who may have a few drivers is that claims are sometimes made time consuming and complex. The actual journeys taken are able to be viewed through a GPS system. Addresses are easily found with the phone clever postcode look up.
The useful application isn’t just restricted to Vauxhall vehicles. There is now a considerable range of vehicles in the line up.
The data is very well maintained too. Valuable information is able to be stored and backed up in a secure fashion with it being password protected. Reports are able to be imported directly to Microsoft Excel which will make it useful and a lot easier for appropriate departments to analyse.
Extended in 2012
For those of you without an iPhone, the Android version is available next year.
BusinessCar magazine award
The news comes as double success for the company as they recently celebrated receiving the best fleet manufacturer website by BusinessCar magazine. It is quite a difficult award to win with the website having to go through quite an extensive number of tests.
Paul Barker, from the editor of BusinessCar said that the improvement of Vauxhall’s website left them no choice but to select Vauxhall for the award. He said “Vauxhall’s work to revamp its fleet website has proved to be well worth all the effort, with the revised site jumping to the top of BusinessCar’s chart,”
He went on to say how the RoadTrip app was responsible in helping Vauxhall win the award. He said “Our comprehensive review of the top car manufacturers’ online presence found Vauxhall’s site to be the best at serving the business car industry, and the company’s further investment in developing the RoadTrip app, suitable for drivers of all cars, shows how seriously Vauxhall is taking its digital presence.”
We already gave a preview to the RoadTrip just before it was released in our article named “Vauxhall’s new RoadTrip App” on the 23rd September. We predicted that it would be popular and it seems that we were not wrong.
Saab has finally given in after years of uncertainty. We have reported on numerous occasions on the our blog how the Swedish car producers have had many struggles. Although it may have appeared that there could be light at the end of the tunnel, Saab’s days are now well and truly numbered.
Victor Muller, the Saab CEO has personally submitted the bankruptcy application to the appropriate courts in Sweden. Mr Muller was on a personal mission to revive the company’s fortunes. After two years he has no choice but to finally concede defeat. The courts are expected to accept Saab’s declaration later this week.
Saab employ over 3,000 people who are surely looking for other jobs. Some however have that they still hope that a perspective buyer could jump in before it’s too late. Would General Motors still have a problem?
Spyker Cars had promised to purchase the brand and revive the companies “Swedish identity”. The deal fell through as the funds needed to complete the deal were simply not provided.
Saab have resisted the threat of bankruptcy before even when production was cut along with payment to suppliers and employees.
General Motors threatened
General Motors own technology licenses from Saab. The former owners of the company were concerned that they may fall into the wrong hands in form of Chinese rivals. The negotiations ended after General Motors rejected the latest proposal from their Chinese investors.
The company could still be sold amid the bankruptcy. General Motors hold the key, but they are unlikely to let anyone takeover. They are said to be too afraid of anyone getting hold of their associated technology licenses.
Britain was Saab’s biggest market outside of Europe. It’s a sad time for the Swedish company, who started off as an aircraft developer. The vehicle has been a household name throughout the world for a number of years. Their production of brilliant models such as the 9-5 helped establish Saab as one of the best.
Warranties of new Saab’s purchased in the UK will still be valid according to the company’s website.
The agreement will have certain and specific conditions whereby BMW will be given access to General Motors’ current fuel cell technology. In return, General Motors will be supplied with funds for future research plans.
Hydrogen powered vehicles
Both companies are not new to developing hydrogen powered vehicles. They have been doing so for around two decades.
General Motors developed the Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicle which recorded more than 2 million miles at Project Driveway. They have now moved to another stage of the testing by recording some Fleet and Consumer testing over in Hawaii.
1 Series and 7 Series hybrid
BMW showcased their 1 Series hybrid fuel cell prototype which they have been developing for a number of years. This car is said to be a more sophisticated version of the BMW 7 Series fuel cell car that was tested globally.
Simplify and lower the cost
General Motors have spent the tremendous amount of $1.6 million on developing fuel cell technology within their vehicles.
This is could be a major reason as to why the company have decided to go into partnership with BMW, as it would reduce the development costs. Toyota believe that the general cost of the technology will dip after 2015. With the partnership of BMW and General Motors it may well do. It’s also a great way to simplify what is already a very complex piece of technology.
Toyota, Hyundai and Honda
As you may have expected, other car manufacturers have also pledged commitment to creating hydrogen fuel technology within vehicles. Hyundai, Toyota and Honda have been heard saying they intend to introduce their developments of hydrogen vehicles as soon as 2015, which is right around the corner.
Despite BMW not confirming that the partnership has been agreed yet, a lot of the press have predicted that they will indeed form an alliance. BMW earlier reported that they have entered an agreement with Toyota to develop lithium ion batteries.
General Motors couldn’t have possibly found a better partner to develop fuel cell technology. Let’s hope it doesn’t end up like Toyota and Suzuki.
The Managing director of Vauxhall Duncan Aldred has been announced as the Chairman of the company. It is understood that he will keep his current role after being promoted.
His job will be to manage Vauxhall’s operations throughout the country. This will include the company’s Human Resources department and employees within Vauxhall’s famous Ellesmere Port and Luton plants.
Mr Aldred has certainly come a very long way since his appointment as Managing Director back in 2010 by being chairman. His achievements in his current role have justified exactly why he was chosen for the top role.
The lifetime warranty scheme was introduced thanks to him, with him being playing a major part in developing the scheme. This has proved quite significant as it has proved quite attractive to many prospective buyers. He secured a major sponsorship deal for the Four Nations tournament, which helped to raise the companies profile by quite a bit.
He has also been responsible for the introduction of new models, which always involve risky decisions but have proved to be success for Mr Aldred. The Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Astra and Vauxhall Insignia have been recording excellent annual sales figures making their way to the top 10 list of most cars sold in the UK. The company also has a great employability factor as Vauxhall were voted as one of the best companies to work for.
In what is a turnaround at the top for Vauxhall, the current Chairman will have his job role changed.
Cobra UK, who are a UK parts based company based in Shropshire, have secured a massive £12 million contract with Vauxhall.
In what is pleasing news to the company, there is more for perspective workers in the area as 50 brand new jobs are said to be created within the company.
They will begin production of an automatic retracting boot cover to be placed in the new Vauxhall Astra.
Cobra UK themselves already have a fantastic reputation. They have supplied car parts Audi, Volvo as well as Bentley.
The new regulations will accelerate plans for General Motors, one of the world’s largest car producers, to expand their business in China.
The decision to add a tariff on U.S imported car comes after their appeal to add a tariff on U.S tyre imports were soundly rejected. The country is clearly looking at methods of raising funds during what is the biggest slowdown in China’s automotive industry for 13 years.
Jurgen Pieper, a Frankfurt based analyst who works for Bankhaus Metzler said that the Chinese automotive market needs to break out of their current stage of decline as many other markets depend on them. He said “The move shows that China is always capable of intervening politically in its markets,”
“The auto-mobile industry is very dependent on China for growth, and there are doubts about the pace of future expansion.”
Chrysler, one of General Motors main brands will be affected by the tariffs. Ford is said to one of the fortunate companies who will avoid the charge.
This means that car imported from the United States of America will now be more expensive. If General Motors are to create cars in China, they would naturally bring down the overall cost as parts as well as labour would appear to be a lot cheaper.
America has understandably not taken to the news very well. A joint statement from the House Republicans and Democrats said “China’s actions are unjustifiable, and unfortunately, this appears to be just one more instance of impermissible Chinese retaliation against the United States and other trading partners,”
China and the U.S.A have had on going issues which may have brought about the current situation. The U.S.A has issues with China’s currency and the way the countries plans for it.
Whatever the issues are they are clearly affecting the world largest and second largest automotive industry in a negative way. The world’s overall motor industry depends on these particular regions to prosper. Let’s hope that the two countries can resolve their issues amicably.
We have some good and bad news to report about Opel, the European version of Vauxhall in our article today. One bit of news is about a highly ambitious target set by Opel for 2016 and the other is the delayed delivery of a highly anticipated vehicle.
Opel plan to make €1 billion profit
We start off with the good news that Opel have set a highly ambitious target of making €1 billion in profit by 2016. Karl Friedrich Stracke stated just how he is planning on the company making such a huge amount of money. He said “My vision is as follows – Opel/Vauxhall will make a profit of 1 billion euros from 2016, a return on sales of 5 percent and have a market share of 8.5 percent in Europe,”
The announcement may come as a surprise considering that Opel actually lost $1.6 billion last year. The company are currently looking at ways to recover the loss by making cuts where necessary and increase sales. In a strange way, the €1 billion target may derive from the business closing down factories and making staff members redundant. Other rumours state that the company may even make them bankrupt. General Motors, who own Opel, will drop their 2011 break even target for the company.
The company hope to release 30 new vehicles within the next 3 years. Executives want to refresh Opel’s brand and the way that they are perceived in order to change the company’s direction.
Things will get worse before they will get better for Opel. Can they really make €1 billion in profit after losing €1 billion last year?
Vauxhall Ampera deliveries delayed
Vauxhall have announced that the delivery of their hybrid and highly efficient Ampera vehicle has been delayed. The holdup was caused by American authorities who have decided to take this specific course of action as they investigate battery fires of the Chevrolet Volt.
Opel have however already begun deliveries of the car to a number of European countries including Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France and Germany. The Ampera will be on the road by the end of the year throughout Europe, according to Opel. Over here in the UK, the car will be launched in May.
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