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Old 11-07-2009, 01:01 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Christ -

Originally Posted by Christ View Post
Carlos -

I may be mistaken, but I took your "autonomous entities" comment to mean something closer to being back in the earlier days, like pre-70's.

There were engines in those days such as the 401 (Caddilac) and big blocks into the 500 and 600 CI range, as well as a few smaller engines, but mostly 8 cylinders. Buick at the time had the "Straight 8", a well renowned "beast" of the day, that made boat loads of torque and was most reliable run at nearly steady state.

One of the car guys I used to hang out with had a 1941 (I believe) Buick Straight 8 wagon in his carport for most of his life, and ended up selling it in unmolested condition with only maintenance performed, original tires, etc. for well over $100,000 to a collector who happened to be driving down the road.
Ok. Not such a hard to find thing after all :
1984 reorganization

Smith took on the massive GM bureaucracy with disastrous results. A sea change in how GM would market and build cars in the future, the 1984 reorganization was intended to streamline the process and create greater efficiencies; the reverse actually occurred. Combining the nameplate divisions, Fisher Body, and GM Assembly into two groups, C-P-C (Chevrolet, Pontiac, Canada) to build small cars and B-O-C (Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac) to build large cars, the effort was subsequently criticized for creating chaos within the company. Longstanding informal relationships that greased the wheels of GM were severed, seemingly overnight, leading to confusion and slipping new product programs. The reorganization virtually stopped GM in its tracks for 18 months, and never really worked as intended, with the CPC division building Cadillacs and BOC building Pontiacs. The reorganization added costs and created more layers of bureaucracy when the new Groups added management, marketing and engineering staff, duplicating existing staff at both the corporate and division levels. Almost ten years elapsed before the 1984 reorganization was unwound and all car groups were combined into one division.

By the 1990s, GM's program of sharing components across divisions that began in the 70s as a way to cut costs grew into a marketing problem. After the 1984 reorganization forced teamwork by the divisions, parts sharing evolved into wholesale sharing of entire designs and simply re-badging vehicles for each division. Observers suggested that differences between automobiles produced and marketed by the Chevy, Buick, and Oldsmobile divisions were less distinct as a consequence. Automotive commentators cited a lack of a distinct brand identity and demographic changes as crucial factors in the demise of the Oldsmobile division in 2004. Compounding GM's problems was the fact that while entire platforms shared designs, the engineered parts beneath the surface, where customers didn't care or didn't notice were often not shared, which is where money could be saved. Analyst David Cole summed it up: "The engineering was 180 degrees out of phase. GM cars looked alike outside but were all different inside."
I guess I'm just burping the opinion of a Mr. David Cole, .


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