No one is pleased by the continuing monthly decline in General Motors and Ford Motor Co. sales. Both companies have large product planning departments, design offices, accountants, high-profile management and staff paid to resolve such problems.
Two problems seem to exist: high production costs and slow-selling models. They are not being adequately addressed.
Until the domestic industry has competitive production costs, it will continue to get whipped by the competition. Management and union leaders must know that.
It is not just giveback time. It's keep-a-job time. GM's drop to about 25 percent market share and Ford's market share of about 20 percent should have set off alarm bells. Quit shuffling the deck chairs.
Design and model architecture pose more questions.
How does GM expect the new Buick LaCrosse to sell when the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable don't?
You really have to look hard to note that you are seeing a Buick and not a Taurus. Why would GM make a Ford Taurus when it had such an interesting concept car to work from? The conservative Buick buyer they speak about is obviously not that conservative.
Ford's dumbing down of the Lincoln to a range of cheaper front-drive cars is against the grain of what the competition is doing.
The new Fords look like the old Fords. What else is there to say?
Cost cutting will work for a short time, but it's preferable to have desirable models like those Chrysler has at the moment.
Do you think the hundreds of well-paid specialists at GM and Ford are concentrating on this, or are they planning the next deck chair arrangement?