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GM to cut number of vehicle platforms, engines in half. also legality of posting internet material

General Motors has announced plans to cut the number of global vehicle platforms by more than half over the course of the next seven years in an attempt to reduce costs and complexity.

The news came out of GM’s long-term sustainability presentation at the automaker’s 2nd annual Global Business Conference where Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson addressed investors and analysts.

According to reports from the ground, Akerson and GM’s senior vice president of global product development, Mary Barra, explained that the automaker intends to reduce the number of car and truck platforms from 30 to 14 by 2018.

Akerson said in a pre-released statement that, “To reach a higher level of performance – for our customers and stockholders – we are accelerating our efforts to simplify and strengthen our processes to improve efficiencies and achieve our vision, which is to design, build and sell the world’s best vehicles.”

The plan is for GM’s “core” architectures to comprise over 90 percent of the automaker’s vehicles (up from 31 percent last year) and to be used on a global scale for high-volume products. Additionally, the number of engine variants will also be reduced from 18 to around 10 by 2018, and combined with new developmental standardization, GM can get new products into showrooms quicker while improving quality in the process.

GM estimates that inefficiencies in its product development cycle, namely cancelled programs, engineering reassignments and late changes to vehicles – something GM calls “churn” – account for nearly $1 billion in lost profits. Annually.

topic title ninja’d. :stuck_out_tongue:


Have you been given written permission by the Autoblog folks to post their copyrighted material in full?

I think GM is making a mistake. Back in the 1940s and 1950s, each GM division produced a different automobile. While it is true that there were just three bodies–the A body, the B body and the C body, the engines and often the automatic transmissions were completely different among the divisions. Take 1952 as an example:

Chevrolet OHV 6 Power glide torque tube coil front–leaf rear

Pontiac flathead 6 or 8 hydramatic hotchkiss drive coil front–leaf rear

Oldsmobile OHV V-8 hydramatic hotchkiss drive coil front–leaf rear

Buick OHV strt 8 Dynaflow torque tube coil front & rear

Cadillac OHV V-8 hydramatic hotchkiss drive coil front- leaf rear

Chevrolet and Pontiac shared the A body. Oldsmobile 88 and Buick Special shared the B body. Oldsmobile 98, Buick Super and Roadmaster, and Cadillac used the C-body.
The Powerglide and Dynaflow depended on the toque multiplication of a torque converter and there were no shifts. A low range could be manually selected. The hydramatic had 4 speeds and a fluid coupling that provided no torque multiplication.
All the makes rode differently, handled differently, and looked different. Even when all the makes offered an OHV V-8 engine in the mid to late 1950s, these V-8 engines were all different. At this time, GM had almost 50 % of the market. When its cars became all the same except for nameplate, the share of the market dropped to about 20%. There were no differences in the GM lineup.
Proctor and Gamble puts out different laundry detergents to satisfy different needs. Cheer is different than TIde, for example. Maybe GM should follow this model.

VDCdriver - good point. Have you, bscar?


It has been…a few years…since I completed my law classes, but I do recall from my Intellectual Properties class that unauthorized posting of copyrighted material is a very good way to wind up in litigation. You know…very expensive litigation…and that is why I am concerned for this forum.

No I have not, but another forum I visit does this, and no one complains on that site. Actually, the owner of that site does it, even the articles as well, and I don’t think he has permission, but I will ask him when I’m on there next time. He posts everything AB/AN has, I’ve just been posting the ones I think others on here would like to see.

However, I shall refrain from any further direct copy/pasting of their articles if you want me to.

Would it be ok to link to the articles, but give a summary, or would that be out of the question as well?

“no one complains on that site”

I hope you realize that I am not “complaining”.
I am trying to help YOU and the folks who run this site avoid the possibility of litigation over the issue of copyright infringement.

“I shall refrain from any further direct copy/pasting of their articles if you want me to.”

It’s certainly not a question of what I want.
I will leave it up to the folks who run this site to determine what is in their best legal interests, and I will leave it up to you to determine what is in your best legal interests.

I can’t give you legal advice, but if I were you, I would do exactly as I suggested in another post of mine, namely–give a brief synopsis in your own words, accompanied by a link to the appropriate article.

I was referring to cdaquila wanting me to stop, or how they want to go about this.

If nothing else, it could be seen as a way to garner traffic to AB’s site. :stuck_out_tongue:

response from the PM I sent the owner of the other forum:
“No, you do not. If they have an RSS feed link, thats for the taking. Thats the whole purpose of it. In 3.5 yrs not once have i ever received an email from anyone from autoblog or anyone else for that matter. If anything, im promoting them.”

granted, i know it isn’t true legal advice, but he does make a point

As far as OP original post, I don’t feel it’s a big deal. GM makes or buys enough platforms and parts overall including moving some from it’s foreign markets, to compete in all the areas it has to. Besides, when it needs a " new car" to sell, they haven’t been reluctant in the past to just buy makes from other manufacturers and slap their names on them. Neither has other car makers or just about any other “appliance” seller.

I respect “Triedag” and others in their concern, but I feel mechanics on cars have evolved so much, they are much more flexible in use then they ever were and fewer models can serve multiple needs. A compact SUV can be anything from a sporty handler to a med. duty hauler for example. Besides, it’s just too expensive to meet regulations in too many different models and be competitive in pricing.

VDC makes a good point. But, to tell the truth, I’ve never had an original idea. :=)

I’m NOT a lawyer VDCdriver, but I am very familiar with the internet and how many companies handle this type of situation.

Providing a link to an OPEN internet URL is NOT the same as actually cut and pasting exact data from a URL. We have lawyers in our company who I’ve had many meetings with about some of this…and they in no way think there is anything illegal about it. Now if the URL was not open and someone provided a URL with a password or some unlock feature…then that would be a problem. Providing links to open URL’s is done millions of times a day all over the world. I’ve yet to hear anything what-so-ever that this was a problem.

In addition to what MikeInNH said, Autoblog could thank the OP for the publicity given for their site.

I’ve been in and out of meetings all morning and didn’t really have much time to address this…

But I’m going to have to say this CAN’T be illegal.

First off…Google posts URLS for every company that has a public URL. Google doesn’t ask permission. You do a search…and google will post that URL.

Second…Not only is google posting the URL’s…they are actually scarfing MILLIONS of websites every day to collect the data to create the huge database for their searching. They’re NOT asking permission…It would be IMPOSSIBLE to even get permission.

There’s one company I know of that has a database of well over 1 million companies and their executives. The database is kept up-to-date by constantly getting public feeds from other companies and by them doing their own scarfing of the database to find out when a executive leaves a company or is promoted or when a company hires someone new. You can buy into their service and they’ll provide you access to this data. You can then do a search on a company and it’ll list all it’s executives (VP’s and up). You can click on one of the executive links and the BIO information of that person will come up.

I’m not a lawyer…but I can say is pretty certain-tee that it’s perfectly legal. Companies like Google and Yahoo have very deep pockets and they’d have been sued years ago.

How many people here ever visited autoblog or before I started posting their stuff on here?

Though I’ve only posted a few things from AN because it’s subscription based, but still allows one to read 2 articles a day for free before telling them they need to pony up some cash to read more.

If you cut and paste a section from their article and post it as your own material, that can get you into trouble. If the information is in the public domain and you write a summary, that is ok. As pointed out above, pasting a link to an open url is ok.

You can cut and paste a small section from their article as long as you put it in quotes and give them credit. Small section would be like a sentence or maybe a paragraph.

I don’t care for long posts. I’m more likely to read yours because they are news articles. But I would prefer a recap and the URL. When someone posts 50 lines about their car problem, I most likely will move to the next thread.

If GM is cutting the number of platforms in half, I wonder how that will affect their model line-up? I’m mostly thinking about the domestic models. Is there room for Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC if there are only 14 platforms? Are there that many different platforms in the rest of the world?

In essence, it could ditch the GMC brand altogether, it’s basically an upscale Chevy; similar to Mercury in Ford’s old lineup

Hmmm. Normally all you do is provide a brief summary of what GM plans to do for the third time in the last 15 years, then provide the link. I think that’s perfectly proper. Its redundant to copy and paste the whole article, then provide the link that says the same thing. Correct, you just can’t copy and paste an article without permission but you can summarize and provide the source.

As far as GM goes, I liked it better in the late 50’s where you bought a cheap Biscayne, a more expensive Bel Air, or a top line Impala. Most of the sheet metal was the same but the interiors, ride, options, and so on classed it up. Olds, Pontiac and Buick had different markets. Started getting out of hand when the compacts hit and over the top when everyone wanted an SUV. I really see no reason why they can’t standardize engines and transmissions and other mechanical systems. Regardless, I can’t see ever buying a Chev. I’ve had Olds, Buick, Pontiac, etc., but I just can’t see settling for a Chev and a Cadillac is just too outrageous.

“In essence, it could ditch the GMC brand altogether, it’s basically an upscale Chevy; similar to Mercury in Ford’s old lineup”

But GMC and Chevrolet trucks share the same platforms already. Reducing the number of platforms means reducing the number of models by two (one Chevy, one GMC) for each platform eliminated.

GMC and Chevrolet weren’t always the same trucks. The GMC pickup used a different displacement engine that the Chevrolet back in the 1940s and into the 1950s. GMC truck engines were often swapped into Chevrolet automobiles and these cars were called “Jimmy” Chevrolets. GMC pickups introduced the GM Hydramatic transmission in 1953–one year before it was introduced into the Chevrolet pickup. In 1955, when Chevrolet installed its V-8 engine into the Chevrolet pickup truck, GMC used a Pontiac based V-8 as its V-8 option. At one time in either the late 1950s or early 1960s, the GMC pickup had a V-6 as its standard engine while the Chevrolet pickup had an inline 6 as the standard engine.
I believe that having differences in the truck lines was healthy for GM.