Wednesday, December 08, 2004


GM gets desperate; Ferrari sells out?

GM Takes Aim with New Incentive Plan:

As its last incentive offer - "Lock 'n' Roll" - failed to attract more than
about five percent of customers, GM is planning a big public push for its next
enticement. Automotive News says the GM will unleash a new "Red Tag Sales Event" today, featuring major incentive deals on all Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick,
Cadillac, GMC, Oldsmobile, Hummer, Saturn, and Saab products. The Lock 'n' Roll
program gave buyers a chance to buy one GM vehicle and to lock in an interest
rate for a second vehicle up to five years hence, but the response to the offer
was light. GM sales were off 16.5 percent in November and the company's market
share hit a low of 24.8 percent, a level not seen since September of 2002.

Heh - great. Problems selling your wares? Just treat this like an end-of-the-year appliance blow-out. Check out those market share numbers, though. Remember the end of 2002, when 0% financing had people pouring into GM's showrooms? GM execs saw market share numbers topping 28%, 29% was just around the corner, and privately management was talking about hitting the much-desired 30% number. Now, they've slipped below 25%, and they probably haven't bottomed-out yet.

Oh, and Ferrari? Scroll down the page a bit further:

Indian Company to Engineer Ferrari Engines

Ferrari is the latest company to take advantage of low, low labor rates
in the nation of India. The racecar company has awarded software giant Tata
Consultancy Services a contract to design its Formula 1 engines. The Associated
Press reports the Indian engineers will start working with Italian engineers in
March. Ferrari confirmed a three-year deal to the news wires, but did not
disclose the value of the contract. Tata also performs software engineering for
companies such as American Express and IBM, the AP adds.

Holy bejeezus! Is there no end to to the insanity? And it's F1 work, at that. Dang. No insult intended to Indian engineers - clearly, this shows the high level of skill present in that country - but this just doesn't seem wise for a company as dependent on racing as Ferrari to outsource any part of their premier competition program.

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