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How GM Destroyed Its Saturn Success(And now we have the feds ready to destroy what's left in GM)
forbes ^ | 3/8/10 | david hanna

Posted on 03/08/2010 1:54:49 PM PST by bestintxas

A lesson in how to win at innovation in even the most traditional company--and then how to crush that innovation.

General Motors is once again reshuffling its management team--a common occurrence ever since the government took control of the company to save it from bankruptcy last July. One has to keep asking what is so deeply wrong at GM that it can't escape constant turmoil and ongoing struggle. And what really happened to its Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn brands?

A look at the story of the Saturn Corporation provides some answers. Saturn, a GM company that had great promise in the early 1990s, ultimately failed because senior GM leaders couldn't see the benefits of new ways of doing things and a new kind of organizational culture.

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: automakers; generalmotors; gm; saturn; unions
Based upon this article, there should be massive firings and reliquishment of past bonuses given to the GM managers who caused this to happen. Shouldn't matter if they are retired already, they are to blaim.

Wanna bet they will be treated as most government employees are? Never terminated, always paid and never accountable for the devastation they cause.

And now we have healthcare, we Zer0 will of course promise to make so good for all of us............

1 posted on 03/08/2010 1:54:49 PM PST by bestintxas
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To: bestintxas

GM leaders couldn’t see the benefits of new ways of doing things and a new kind of organizational culture.

Translation: they were too arrogant to bring themselves to admit that they could be WRONG about anything.

A big problem in American business leadership, and an absolutely HUGE problem in government.


2 posted on 03/08/2010 1:56:37 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: bestintxas

GM didn’t HAVE a Saturn success, pal. I was GM dealer for years and General Motors had to SUBSIDIZE its Saturn franchise/dealers on the backs of the rest of the dealer body. How do you think Saturn prices were kept so LOW for so long??!!


3 posted on 03/08/2010 2:01:29 PM PST by Oldpuppymax
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To: bestintxas

Seems to me that Saturn workers were only too happy to be non union until tough times arrived. Then they decided the union was just the thing to join.

Hard to feel sorry for people so shortsighted.


4 posted on 03/08/2010 2:06:00 PM PST by Carley (Are you better off now than one year ago? HELL NO!!!!!)
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To: bestintxas

Now way, no how I will ever buy a gub mint motors vehicle.
Chevy and chrysler can go fish.


5 posted on 03/08/2010 2:08:15 PM PST by Joe Boucher (Just say NO to RINOs.)
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To: Joe Boucher

Have you seen the new Ford Mustangs? MMMmmmmmmm. Mmmm.


6 posted on 03/08/2010 2:12:56 PM PST by madison10
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To: bestintxas

As a loyal Saturn owner ( since 1992), I wwas crushed ( but not sruprized) that GM decided to kill Saturn. They never did like competition


7 posted on 03/08/2010 2:14:14 PM PST by the long march
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To: bestintxas
Saturn, a GM company that had great promise in the early 1990s
Yeah, and that's when the promise ended - their cars sucked in both form and function.
And when the sales rep informed me of their "no haggle" pricing policy, I laughed in his face and walked out.
8 posted on 03/08/2010 2:17:25 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: bestintxas
General Motors is once again reshuffling its management team--

Constantly restructuring is a sure sign of an organization in decline. Technically it is known as "moving the deck chairs on the Titanic." Motion looks like progress.

9 posted on 03/08/2010 2:17:39 PM PST by RobinOfKingston (Democrats, the party of evil. Republicans, the party of stupid.)
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To: madison10

Ya, I like my Ford Focus. Thanks to Uncle Sam! Er, I mean Uncle obama...


10 posted on 03/08/2010 2:18:23 PM PST by refermech
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To: bestintxas

I bought new two Saturn Station Wagons, a 1995 and a 2000.

Both were great cars.

Too bad the GM overlords and the UAW thugs were too arrogant and greedy to recognize real innovation.

Now that nobama has taken over, no more GM for me. Screw ‘em. Chrysler too.


11 posted on 03/08/2010 2:25:36 PM PST by upchuck (Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.)
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To: Carley

Saturn workers were unionized from day 1.


12 posted on 03/08/2010 2:27:57 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: oh8eleven
And when the sales rep informed me of their "no haggle" pricing policy, I laughed in his face and walked out.

I agree with your viewpoint, but would point out that a lot of people liked that approach, apparently.

13 posted on 03/08/2010 2:29:25 PM PST by Hardastarboard (Note to self: Never post in a thread about religion again.)
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To: Mr. Lucky

NO


14 posted on 03/08/2010 2:32:29 PM PST by Carley (Are you better off now than one year ago? HELL NO!!!!!)
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To: RobinOfKingston

Of course, it’s also characteristic of an organization undergoing rapid expansion.


15 posted on 03/08/2010 2:34:25 PM PST by Erasmus (Give to the Antonio Janigro College Fund; a strong bow is a terrible thing to waste.)
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To: bestintxas

I think my next purchase will be a Toyota. At least it will accelerate.


16 posted on 03/08/2010 2:37:12 PM PST by Lion Den Dan
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Translation: they were too arrogant to bring themselves to admit that they could be WRONG about anything.

Does that remind you of any one in the federal government?

But it's slightly deeper, a yes-man is a complicit soul, absent of any principle whatsoever to gain promotion, and then countering the emptiness with arrogance.

How obvious is it with the current administration and its sycophants? Or tragically for a majority of the US adult population today - the sheeple?

The foundation of LEFTISM.

17 posted on 03/08/2010 2:37:13 PM PST by jnsun (The Left: the need to manipulate others because of nothing productive to offer.)
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To: Oldpuppymax
Why was Saturn high cost?

Supposedly it cost them less to build since it was in Tennessee, non-union labor, flexible "Toyota style" work rules.

Not true?

18 posted on 03/08/2010 2:39:32 PM PST by Regulator (Welcome to Zimbabwe! Now hand over your property....)
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To: bestintxas

GM management won’t work for peanuts???


19 posted on 03/08/2010 2:47:12 PM PST by OrioleFan (Republicans believe every day is the 4th of July, democrats believe every day is April 15)
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To: madison10

Yes I have.
Impressed and FORD did NOT take the gub mint takeover B.S.
Go Ford.


20 posted on 03/08/2010 3:02:42 PM PST by Joe Boucher (Just say NO to RINOs.)
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To: Oldpuppymax

+1. Saturns were junk for a very long time.


21 posted on 03/08/2010 3:03:42 PM PST by naturalized
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To: bestintxas

Nothing new here with GM. Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that DuPont had to sell off all its GM holdings - a decision later admitted to be a wrong decision, by the Court - GM has been in a downward spiral. Success has NOT been a requirement at GM going back to the 1950’s, when that verdict was rendered. How else to explain the demise of the Saturn, the discontinuance of the Corsica and the ultimate fiasco, going from the 57 Chevy to the 58.


22 posted on 03/08/2010 3:15:07 PM PST by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: Lion Den Dan
I think my next purchase will be a Toyota. At least it will accelerate.

But only when you tell it to.

ML/NJ

23 posted on 03/08/2010 3:44:35 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: Carley

Google on something to the effect of “Saturn original labor agreement”. Saturn was always unionized; their original contract merely turned out to be too innovative both for the UAW and for GM senior management.


24 posted on 03/08/2010 3:59:40 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Hardastarboard
I agree with your viewpoint, but would point out that a lot of people liked that approach, apparently.
Yeah, and that led to places like Auction Direct USA where you pay the advertised price PLUS a $399 fee.
Baaaaaa, baaaaaaaaa
25 posted on 03/08/2010 4:08:54 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: bestintxas

...”and a new kind of organizational culture.”

I think they’ve overdosed on political correctness. However, I can’t tell whether it’s been self-administered or brutally forced upon them. It’s probably been a lot of both beginning in the early-to-mid-’80’s.

I am amazed at how the fools let themselves be trapped like this. I wouldn’t trust General Motors if my life depended on it. If I was working there now as a direct hire or non-union contract worker, I’d have to keep even my humblest opinions to myself and cover my ass good because in times like these, the long knives will come out with every man for himself....and that’s the name of that tune.

My best case scenario would be if I was a member of a protected class of citizen, which I am definitely not. It’s not my father’s General Motors anymore and that is not to say that GM’s business culture had so much to “overcome”.

I liken the changes in GM to their having undergone a series of corporate sex change operations with an overabundance of ethnicity-concious genetic code enhancements resulting in a kind of multi-personality disorder.

They are so obsessed with projecting a PC image that it has become something of a preoccupation when they should be channeling all of their “synergies” into designing, engineering and building great American automobiles.

Yes, I love my 2009 GMC Sierra. It’s worth more than what I owe on it. I got a great deal with incentives up the wazoo and the dealership is now out of business. I don’t think they’ll be back, either.

General Motors Corporation? Oh yeah, I remember them...


26 posted on 03/10/2010 4:46:40 AM PST by equaviator ("There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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