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August 30, 2007

"Project 2000: The Rise and Fall of Oldsmobile." GM Insider's Book Reveals Secret Project Leading to Crumbling of GM's Empire : GlobalGiants.com

2003 Oldsmobile Alero


Photo: 2003 Oldsmobile Alero.

MIAMI, Aug. 30 -- As General Motors' empire started to crumble, automotive expert Bob Horvath was hardly surprised.

"In fact, Detroit's Big Three forgot how to satisfy customers and dealers back in the eighties," says Horvath, a 40-year GM veteran, who details one of the carmaker's notable missteps in "Project 2000: The Rise and Fall of Oldsmobile."

In the mid-80's, when GM had Oldsmobile, their world market share was 54 percent. In 2007, it has declined to 13 percent, according to Automotive News.

The key to success in the car industry is simple. Keep customers happy by giving them the products they want, and keep your dealers happy too. Horvath says GM forgot about all that and squandered its market dominance in the process.

Horvath continues, "GM's attitude and regime change in the mid-80's allowed Japan to make significant inroads in the U.S. and world-wide auto industry."

Failure to recognize consumer demand for a Toyota Camry-type or Honda Accord-type car, and failure to compete in this market, partly led Toyota to becoming the world's number-one auto manufacturer through June of 2007, Horvath says.

Tatsuya Mizuno, a Fitch Ratings auto analyst, said it was inevitable that GM would hand over its crown to Toyota at the end of 2007, ending its 76-year reign as the world's best-selling automaker.

"One key element in GM's demise was the closing of the Oldsmobile Division. From 1970 to 1985, the Olds Cutlass was the number-one selling car in America and Oldsmobile was the most sought-after franchise in the world. Oldsmobile went from best to worst in 20 years and became a dinosaur in October 2005," says Horvath.

Horvath said another key element contributing to GM's declining share was a secret project that GM called "Project 2000" which was the systematic elimination of dealers to take place by the year 2000. This benefited GM's upper management at the expense of the dealers who were betrayed.

Horvath, who had a front seat to the "Project 2000" scheme hatched by GM, offers an insider's viewpoint in his book why GM has lost its spot as the perennial number-one carmaker to Japan's Toyota, and backs it up by hundreds of documents contained in the book. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 2:10 PM | Link to this Post


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