D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

Full Bio →

Written by

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

GM is looking to increase manufacturing efficiency.
GM hopes to increase manufacturing efficiency. (image by automotiveaddicts.com)

General Motors, which passed Ford Motor Company in sales in the 1920s on its way to becoming the largest automaker in the world, has had rough times in the past few years. First they lost their position as the world’s largest automaker to Toyota Motor Corporation, and it ultimately resulted in succumbing to bankruptcy and being forced into receivership by the United States federal government.

The rise and fall of General Motors featured mistakes that are considered typical in huge conglomerates. The company got so large that corporate communications became difficult; they embarked on purchases of a questionable nature, buying companies like Electronic Data Systems, Hughes Aircraft, and even foreign automakers like Saab; manufacturing operations around the world were a complete disaster, with few shared components and domestic products for multiple markets that were all essentially different with few shared components; and at the same time, in the U.S. domestic market, the slew of brands each had their own products, but they were poorly differentiated, and it was easy to tell that despite the nameplates on the cars that they were all essentially the exact same car.

As they rise again, with their emergence from bankruptcy and their quick regaining of the crown as the world’s largest automaker, it appears GM plans on doing business differently in the future. They have announced that they intend on building 90 percent of their automobiles on just 14 basic platforms. That’s half of the platforms they use now. GM has also indicated a desire to half the number of engine varieties they utilize currently.

These platforms and engines will also be global in nature. Currently only about a third of their vehicles sold across the world share common platforms. That’s an improvement from their pre-bankruptcy days, but they’ve got a long way to go to get to the manufacturing efficiency that automakers like Ford, Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen mastered years ago. The 2013 Malibu represents the first true “global car” for General Motors that will essentially be the same, no matter where it is sold.

GM still has other issues that will challenge the company for years to come. Pensions are underfunded by almost $11 billion, and getting their global manufacturing streamlined will take almost a decade. Meanwhile, they’ll have to keep pumping out quality automobiles that the public wants to buy.