Why cant GM manage expectations?

While the likes of Tesla are happy to keep the market up to date and manage expectations why do companies such as GM ALWAYS fail to manage expectations?

GM admits goal of 500,000 EVs by 2017 won’t be met

The easy answer in the United States is $2.50 Gas/Petrol and the recent doubling of petroleum reserves due to technological extraction advances. In other Countries the situation may be different.

I don’t think GM failed in this situation. They made a decision based on knowledge and studies made long before we knew we were going to have this much extractable energy available. Fracking wasn’t even a word and shale oil was considered to expensive. The demand for “Green” vehicles was a political situation that pushed development of the present availability of the alternate energy vehicles that are available to day. I truly believe were ahead of the game because the vehicles that resulted are truly remarkable.

IMHO The true future, in the United States, is Hybrids. Combining the 2 technologies makes so much sense. The energy supply infrastructure doesn’t have to change to support an all electric vehicle population. You can still pump 300+ miles into the tank in 5 minutes and the electric powered feature eliminates the wasteful energy expenditure in stop and go and intermittent driving. For the really economy minded the “Plug In Hybrid” (in my mind) is probably the ultimate “Go To” vehicle of the future.

What Say You?

Yes, you make some very good points there. Hybrids are a useful long term stepping stone to EVs, but GM always seems to be behind the curve. How do companies such as Tesla always manage to keep markets abreast of what is happening but GM cant?

Easy answer is that small Companies are more nimble. Mr Musk is a very intelligent decision maker with extreme resources. He staffs his company with a small cadre of capable engineers and “does it”. He also possess an “attitude” and sometimes tends to ask forgiveness rather than permission.

He’s of the same mold as Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison. My Hero’s all.

GM on the other hand is HUGE. Nothing is done without crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s more than once. Political nuances have a big influence on every decision and this slows the process down. With as many people involved in every decision it’s magic that anything gets done. I worked for GM for 34 years. My role was a little bit different as I fixed things that were broke. But in reality Big Corporations make big decisions and this takes time. Most decisions result in positive outcomes. Some don’t but this doesn’t mean they were bad. It’s just over time the situation changed.

What say you?

Some fair points and from someone who has been “on the inside” I cant really argue with any of those comments. It is a shame in some ways that the likes of GM, who do have new technologies waiting to get out, are not able to be a bit nimbler on their feet. Even when they do hive off new projects and ventures it seems that those at the top of the food chain still want the final say - and take the glory - which delays things?

True. However they are miles quicker than they were 10 years ago. The recession and bailout did wonders for their attitude. They have pulled layers of bureaucracy out of their system. revamped their product line and are going from conception to product in roughly half the time it used to take. They used to produce basically the same car under different badges and the public bought a lot of them then stopped.

The products they now produce are attractive and better in every way. IMHO the Impala is one of the best looking Chevy’s ever built. (I like big cars) The Volt is the most attractive, well balanced Hybrid out there. Can’t wait for version 2.

The bottom line is competition should/does make companies refocus and look at themselves in a different light. Hopefully we will see GM starting to shine again and become a leader in the EV industry as opposed to a follower - or is that a little harsh?

I dont think the GM EV1 debacle did the company any favours amongst EV fanatics? I have no doubt the company was under massive political pressure at the time but it was hung out to dry by the politicians.