GM Sweeps 'Car of the Year'
If GM needed an exclamation point at the end of their recent statements about turning the company around, they got it at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The world's largest automaker swept the awards, winning both the car and truck categories with the Saturn Aura and Chevrolet Silverado.
The Car and Truck of the Year Awards are voted on by a jury of 49 automotive journalists from around the United States and Canada.
There were three finalists for each award. The Aura won against the redesigned Toyota Camry and the all-new Honda Fit. The Silverado beat out the Ford Edge and Mazda CX-7 SUVs.
Both the Aura and Silverado represent key products in the GM portfolio, with the all-new Aura serving as Saturn's mainstream sedan entry and the Silverado an established to-seller in the highly lucrative truck market. Back in September we wrote that Saturn was ready to be a contender. This just proves my point.
This award should help validate both models in what have become highly competitive segments.
I do not know if winning awards at auto shows will help big 3 in surviving in the market. Toyota is here to stay in the new definition of the big 3. I hope that the new designs so something good for GM and and other american auto manufacturers.
Author also didn't mention that this "EXCLAMATION POINT!" comes at the end of a sentence that goes something along the lines of:
"We are no longer able to compete in the global marketplace because of stubbornness in changing our ways, therefore, we are likely to go bankrupt in following decade(!)"
Excuse me, that sentence should read:
"We are no longer able to compete in the global marketplace because we have effectively ceded control of our company to American unions whose members then gleefully use their inflated wages, and benefits, to buy cars from foreign manufactures who won't tolerate unions!"
To Bob - the unions don't design the cars - management does.
It's not the folks on the assembly line that are the problem. Foreign auto companies employ American workers to build their cars here in the states. Quality is same or better than when the vehicle is produced in their home country. Difference once again is management...
Pathetic! American companies can compete! Take away Toyota's protected car market at home and where would they be. Only Americans give away there future in the name of free enterprise while the rest of the world uses industrial policy to develop national champions - loook at Korea, Japan, France etc... We willing trade our future away while the jobs disappear.
Hopefully, GM consulted with consumers while designing this latest batch of new vehicles. Not only has quality been a problem, but designs were nothing to write home about. It seemed to me like they were saying "you're going to take what we give you". From what I read, I believe some of Fords past and most recent success for certain models was conceived by old hot rodders and actual "car guys". This concept will generally produce the best looking, best performing, and fuel efficient vehicles.
Seems a little suspicious that the struggling GM just happens to win both car and truck of the year awards at an auto show in...where else, Detroit! I'm going to go out on a limb and say they would not do the same at any other auto show anywhere else in the world.
Not to say the Aura and Silverado are not great products, but let's be honest here. The Saturn Aura does not even begin to reach the appeal of the Toyota Camry, and sales show this overwhelmingly.
Brian is right. Lets see if these cars win any other award and if there are any buyers for them! Consumers ask for quality and reliability. But all American automakers do is to put the same pathetic engine in a new body. Why dont they reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency.
These companies can compete!!! Yeah right... Have you looked at the asian and european emission standards?? They wont ever let the emission levels match with the global levels becuase they cant compete. These companies must learn now. There is still a few months time before Toyota becomes #1.
Bits of truth abound in the threads:
1) Winning awards don't turn around automakers by themselves, but they don't hurt either.
2) Protected market for Japanese automakers only go so far. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi et al fight it out at home just like the "Big 3" do here.
3) Union are far from the only problem in the auto industry, but they are active contributor. I am in plants on a daily basis and the difference in work ethic between a union and non-union plant is something you have to see to believe.
4) "Big 3" management is a major problem. GM has long held the idea that people will simply buy whatever they design. Ford has an unhealthy and overt reliance on 4WD pick-ups
I just traded in my GM car for a brand new Toyota. What a world of difference! GM has lost me for good, Ford lost me many years ago.
As long as GM is building low quality cars they can win whatever they can but not the consumer.
Dan, The truth is that sometimes it hurts to win awards. The false satisfaction gained by GM will make them sit back, relax and hope for a great year ahead.
Friends, here comes a new #1 in 2007...
Brian (Seattle) - Have a look at who won those awards last year.
All - I am just absolutely amazed at the level of the hostility towards the Big 3 Automakers in so many of the blogs I've bothered to read. Where on earth does it come from? I've driven domestic cars for years, and have never had a real issue with ANY of them. Seems like most of the people who want to blog just want to complain, while most of the happy people continue on without your wisdom.
I just don't get the hostility toward American manufacturers....I've had great experiences with my GM products and frankly just don't like the japanese non-designs of toyota and nissan...no emotion and the excitement of my blender. I hope all you american manufacturers nay sayers get the opportunity to visit Japan or Korea and notice the total absence of things american made...and think about when your industry is next. Wake up and realize your role in all of this.
Dan of Mi.
Apperently you have either been extremely lucky or more likely as a domestic car buyer living in the land of the Big 3 you either don't mind fixing those heaps every other month or don't consider anything less than a major overhaul a "real issue". For those of us who switched to the Honda's and Toyota's of the world years ago and got used to not needing to do anything other than change the oil and brakes on our cars American cars poor relibility simply do not compare. Finally I have to ask what exactly American consumers really "owe" American manufacturers? These are the same guys who will outsource your behind in a hot second if they think they can increase profits. American companies have no loyatly to American workers, so why should I have any loyalty to them?
Blind faith in a company is foolish. Toyota has had more recalls in the last year than in the previous 5 years prior combined. GM has consistantly won top initial quality awards across the world for the past few years. Toyota does an amazing job innovating and bringing out cars and trucks faster and more efficent. Ford motor company invests the most money in safety than any other company in the world. Chrystler has so far improved quality, cut costs, and brought product that was bold to the american market. All of the companies are offering better and better products. I do not know how these people can bash american anything... The highest quality Toyotas are built in the united states.
Well Dan of MI, I am one American who trusted GM a decade ago, and gave them a chance by buying a Saturn. After about 18 months, I had nothing but problems, and they couldn't or wouldn't fix them. It got to where I was afraid to trust the car even to drive it around town. They blamed the way I drove the car (short trips). I did some research on the web and saw HORDES of complaints by unhappy Saturn owners getting similar treatment at Saturn dealerships across the country. Saturn dealerships apparently blamed drivers on stereotypes according to their age, their driving habits, etc. as a normal way of doing business. I also learned that all a GM warranty buys you is the assurance they'll accept the car at the shop and claim they worked on it. It assures NOTHING about the actual performance of the car once the lemon period expires.
Funny how my two Toyotas and my Nissan sedans have never given me ANYTHING like the problems of the Saturn. Funny how I've lived in the same town and driven with the same habits for the past 26 years and Toyota and Nissan have never had to blame ME for their cars having problems.
Out of curiosity, while still owning the troubled Saturn, I did some searches on Toyota and problems. Aside from the isolated issue of things like a 10+ year old Corolla with a corroded battery cable, I found NOTHING of any discernable problem areas for Toyotas causing ANY consumer web backlash.
Given the sales trends, I can imagine this kind of story has been repeated for many millions of Americans. Do all American car owners have this kind of problem? Of course not -- but FAR too many do. The American car companies have earned their ugly fate.
please read the positive reviews given by current saturn aura owners on their respective models. I know, these individuals work for G. M. and are in a conspiracy with the company.
It took many, many years for GM to finally offer the public a good looking and solid quality
sedan,probably to thank the GM Vice Chaiman for his know how and input !
CNNMoney.com Comment Policy: CNNMoney.com encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNNMoney.com makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNNMoney.com may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNNMoney.com the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNNMoney.com Privacy Statement.