TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

GM reminds me of Kodak

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by Chickenlittle, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,665
    Location:
    Virginia
    A lot of people don't realize that Kodak was the early innovator in digital photography. They had the best cameras that photo journalist used (and only they could afford). They had very expensive, high end cd writers that would write photos to CDs to be watched on TV (long before cd writers on home pcs). What happened that led to digital photography bankrupting them when they were the pioneer in the field? They used a proprietary file format to control industry but then JPEG format came out. Company abandoned its research and development in digital photography saying it was too expensive and not selling. Film photography was too lucrative to justify continuing to develop digital. They went back to digital coming out with inferior cameras, too little, too late.

    GM very similar. If you hear musk speak about the EV1, very complementary about it. They gave up saying too expensive and not selling. So they abandoned the development efforts until tesla. Gave up a huge lead and have inferior electric car now. Will it end up in similar position to Kodak?
     
  2. Zextraterrestrial

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,636
    Location:
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    kind of hope so.
    We still had some polaroid film in our office last year. that was neat
     
  3. iadbound

    iadbound Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Messages:
    637
    Location:
    No. VA
    GM isn't exactly in Kodak's situation. The entire auto industry isn't going to be supplanted by electric cars anytime soon, and certainly not by pocket-sized cars that are also incredibly power computers. There is still time for GM to become a player in the electric market. And GM already has the Volt and the ELR. That puts it ahead of a lot other automakers.

    GM's biggest problem is that it is huge and not very nimble. Hopefully, Tesla won't become that way once its producing hundreds of thousands of cars a year.
     
  4. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,505
    Location:
    USA
    They have the Spark EV now too. And the forthcoming 200-mile BEV (ie. the LG Chem announcement but didn't name them). And what looks like a pretty nice Volt Gen-II. I suspect a CUV-version as well. Don't forget they have the largest battery testing and engineering lab in the auto industry (of manufacturers). I'm pretty sure that some Model S owners also are or were Volt owners and don't disparage them. GM can do one thing - establish a large scale order and manufacturing process pretty fast. Once they can get their dealers to really accept EVs which I am sure they have trouble doing. The service department is the Heartbeat of the Chevy Shops of America.

    Ford can also do some good in the EV industry by doing new and interesting things like a Ford Focus Energi (probable) and extending the battery range on the existing models. The design of the Focus is quite nice but gets little attention. I like it more than the Leaf for a lower-range BEV.
     
  5. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    GM is the next Kodak. The only reason that the Spark exists is CARB. It's a mediocre effort at best.
     
  6. myoda

    myoda New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Another problem with GM is the lack of marketing for their electric cars. Tesla has done quite well with minimal, if any, advertising.
     
  7. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,665
    Location:
    Virginia
    Kodak also released digital cameras but lower quality, resolution for low cost market. Never made a dent. Also don't forget gm promised a 200 mile 30 K car this year, no enticing of it again
     
  8. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,552
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I would place Toyota ahead of GM if comparing to Kodak. At lease GM is in the electric market while Toyota has pulled back and is hanging their hat on their now ancient hybrid technology.
     
  9. eepic

    eepic Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    Canada
    I think that Toyota actually understands the importance of EVs and are pushing FCVs as a corporate strategy to stall the massive decline in their current ICE sales. My gut says they are probably working on some EV tech behind the scenes and will have a not-too-embarrassing product when EVs are a no-brainer for the majority mainstream consumers.

    For the most part, I hope a lot of the automakers will keep up and help push technology forward for the benefit of consumers. The one exception is that I hope Fiat-Chrysler goes out of business.. I'm a strong capitalist but Sergio Marchionne's business ethics are on its own level of doucheness.
     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,552
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I agree, but have a strong sentimental attachment to Chrysler. The Daimler thing was a fiasco, and this partnership with Fiat is not looking any better with Sergio at the helm. Unfortunately Chrysler was just not able to stand on its own.
     
  11. iadbound

    iadbound Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Messages:
    637
    Location:
    No. VA
    Has Toyota really taken a beating on ICE cars? I thought they were doing ok. The July 2014 sales figures suggest that Corolla sales are way up, and Prius was actually down a bit. Some of the other models are difficult to tell because there are hybrids versions like Camry and Avalon. But I haven't seen any other data, and that doesn't consider any worldwide figures.
     
  12. eepic

    eepic Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    Canada
    What I meant was that in the future steady-state where EVs are the norm, Toyota will likely have a lower market share and thus lower profitability than what it enjoys today (not to mention a large disruption to their current operating model with regards to parts and maintenance revenues during the transition). So from a strategic point of view, the FCV stalling tactic where they can prolong their current profitability is the best way to go even if they believe in the transition to electric vehicles. In my opinion their management is performing their fiduciary responsibility to shareholders appropriately, so long as are silently preparing an EV roadmap in the background.

    Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't call out the BS fuel cell vehicles are.
     
  13. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,496
    Location:
    Maine
    GM ...
    - does significant battery research
    - produced Volt "EREV" means they are already BEV-ready
    - have modified the Volt 1 in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 models, including expanding battery capacity by 1.1kWh from 2011 to the 2015 model
    - releasing Volt 2 early next year
    - are bringing Spark EV battery production in-house to Michigan
    - have made other moves that hint at going national with the Spark EV
    - Has a Baltimore plant producing Spark electric motors
    - Spark EV electric motor just happens to be of a spec very close to the Volt
    - Is developing a scalable, modular 50kW inverter design

    Whatever dumb stuff comes out of the mouths of GM execs, their moves in production and engineering suggest they are serious about electrification.

    Side note: project management methodologies first used by GM in the production of the Volt were spread throughout the company.
     
  14. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,552
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    ...and that's what GM is doing, except they are preparing their EV roadmap in plain sight (Volt, ELR, Spark). I would not trust that Toyota is secretly and silently preparing an EV strategy in some skunkworks somewhere. They're doubling down on their "Hybrid Synergy Drive" which, in fairness, they've sunk a lot of time and money in to.
     

Share This Page