Despite my evil ranting sometimes, I really can be pretty generous with nice things too. ;-)
Here's my free advice to GM, if only they would listen.
1. Do away with Buick. Seriously. Anything that sounds like vomiting is a bad idea. If the old people want "luxury" let them buy a Cadillac.
2. Do away with GMC. All of those cars are just the same as Chevys with different skin. Wasteful repetition.
3. Do away with Hummer. They were just a fad, a passing fancy, mostly for guys who were trying to compensate for lacking something.
4. Do away with Saab. Boring. Nothing special.
5. Do away with Pontiac. This is a little painful for me since I grew up in Pontiacs, and I still have my first car, a 1978 Firebird. But Pontiac has pretty much become more redundancy and nothing very exciting.
6. Keep Cadillac. There will always be some market for luxury, even in a bad economy. Hey, I'd buy an Escalade if I wanted to take on making car payments again, but my car is paid for and that's too good to change right now.
7. Keep Corvette. This is a no-brainer, but they really need to improve their marketing for it. These are consistently highly rated and good performers. But they are also pretty good with fuel mileage. GM should emphasize this fact. Advertise that getting good mileage will never look or feel better, or something like that. Mine can get 30 mpg on long trips and between 22-24 in the 'city', depending on how I drive. ;-)
8. Keep Saturn. Give it a chance. I'm not too familiar with them except the Sky, which is stunningly cute. The other Saturns I've seen on the road don't look so bad.
9. And of course, keep Chevrolet, at least most of them. Maybe eliminate the duds that just haven't moved. And keep the planned 2010 Camaro reintroduction. There is a nostalgia market for that.
Eliminating so many lines will of course result in lots of lay-offs, but that's just the way it will have to be. There is no market for so many cars and it just can't be sustainable for all those people to keep getting paid to make what isn't wanted or needed. As I suggested previously, if the UAW thinks it is so indispensable then let them buy out some of the lines that GM needs to shed.
Obviously, I don't like these bailouts in the guise of "loans" to companies that haven't operated profitably for a long time because of their own bad decisions and poor planning. I do feel a little sorry for the actual factory workers who will lose their jobs, but then again, how bad can you feel for people who have pretty much been babied and coddled in a world that isn't realistic? I've toured the Corvette assembly plant, and some of those people are paid $30+ an hour plus excessive benefits for steering a machine that tightens some nuts and bolts and that's about it.
Maybe the workers should file some class action lawsuits against their stupid bosses? That would be better than demanding money from the government.
Times are tough for all of us. But it can get better if everyone gets their heads out of their asses and accepts that they will have to adapt and adjust instead of expecting everything to always stay the same.