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20/20 Behind the Scenes at GM: What Went Wrong?

Little Woman

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20/20 is going to take a look back at GM and their future now that tax payers own the company. It is going to be on this Friday. Thought I would post a little excerpt of the story just incase anyone would be interested in watching. :patriot:

Behind the Scenes at GM: What Went Wrong?


A Look Back at the Giant Automaker's Victories and Losses, Decade by Decade

It was one of the most brilliant marketing schemes ever devised. General Motors convinced the average American that with each new year, you need a new car. It was the perfect sales pitch for a prosperous country raring to try out a brand new highway system. And the company could offer a car for "every purse and purpose," because from the beginning, GM was really several car companies in one. GM came along with this hierarchy of brands, so you can start off life with a practical and modest Chevrolet and then you get to a prestigious Cadillac at the end," explained journalist Paul Ingrassia. "Essentially, in between, maybe you'd go through a Pontiac, an Olds and a Buick."
Each line of vehicles was a marriage of brains and brawn. Designers like Harley Earle, the "Da Vinci of Detroit," would come up with glorious moving sculptures, engineers would add mathematical horsepower, and laborers -- often immigrants or the descendants of slaves -- took on the back-breaking, mind-numbing task of building them.
"In the '20s and '30s, these were horrible jobs to have," said New York Times reporter Mickie Maynard. "There was a caste system, and yet, you could pretty much get hired if you could show up and you had the might to do those jobs. 'Cause they were physically very tiring jobs."
Watch "20/20" FRIDAY at 10 p.m. ET for the full story.
Out of this sweat and noise, through the Depression and the second World War, rose the United Auto Workers. The union proved its might through sit-down strikes and world-beating productivity. By 1950, GM could easily afford to give pensions and health care to its workers. As a result, employer-based coverage became the American way ... and a UAW card became a ticket to middle-class security. Men without high school educations could buy homes and cars, and send their children to college.
Through the '50s and '60s, life in Motown was good. But with higher GM profits came greater union demands. In 1970, after a two-month strike, employees were given a sweet deal known as "30 and out." If you started on the line at 18, you could retire at 48 ... with full benefits for life.
According to Ingrassia, GM's attitude was "we can afford it. "
But the deal only shortened the fuse on a ticking bomb, because as the work force aged, GM would have to spend more on retirees and less on cars.
"There wasn't any leadership on the union side," said Maynard. "They had to get re-elected. There wasn't any leadership on the company side. They couldn't afford a strike."
 

Cadillac Tech

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Thanks for posting this. It should be a good episode, sad but interesting. I hope there is a future to talk about.

Bruce :)
 
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speedway

Guest
Thanks for posting this. It should be a good episode, sad but interesting. I hope there is a future to talk about.

Bruce :)
I am with you on this Bruce and I also believe there is NO Car Company that can out perform GM if they are determined to make cars that people want. Now they have a chance to come out a much better company.

Fred
 

Little Woman

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I am with you on this Bruce and I also believe there is NO Car Company that can out perform GM if they are determined to make cars that people want. Now they have a chance to come out a much better company.

Fred
They do have the chance but here is the problem I believe. With the government running it and making the decision it is not going to be producing the cars that the consumer wants. JMO. :patriot:
 
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speedway

Guest
They do have the chance but here is the problem I believe. With the government running it and making the decision it is not going to be producing the cars that the consumer wants. JMO. :patriot:
I am going to believe President Obama until he proves he cant be believed. He said the government WOULD NOT have any say as to what this company builds they have been provided the help to move forward and they will succeed or fail on there own.

Fred:patriot:
 

Little Woman

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I am going to believe President Obama until he proves he cant be believed. He said the government WOULD NOT have any say as to what this company builds they have been provided the help to move forward and they will succeed or fail on there own.

Fred:patriot:
That would be nice if it is true and works out. But when you put people in there running the company and over seeing the company then they are having a say aren't they. :dunno: Also, he says the government would not have a say isn't it the government that forced Wagner to resign. :D
 
S

speedway

Guest
That would be nice if it is true and works out. But when you put people in there running the company and over seeing the company then they are having a say aren't they. :dunno: Also, he says the government would not have a say isn't it the government that forced Wagner to resign. :D
We will just have to wait and see. I wish to believe GM "will get er done" I also would say dont sell the XLR out yet Infinity just came out with a hardtop convertible (not a rodster) and I just do not beleive they are not going to compete when they already have a palnt set up. I may be dreaming but I hope it happens.:wave:

Fred;)
 

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