What GM Needs To Do To Sell Me a Car
TTAC commentator Mark writes:
Mr. Farago, I’m an avid fan of your web site / blog. General Motors
is a frequent subject, often in a negative light (typically, a well
deserved negative light). I have owned and currently own GM vehicles.
Why? My father worked for GM for 35 years, was paid well paid and has a
good pension. GM helped put bread on our table, a car in our driveway
and helped pay for my education. With all the issues and bailouts that
GM has recently had, I would find it difficult to purchase another GM
vehicle. What would sway me to purchase another GM vehicle? The company
would have to change it’s philosophy and be accountable for the products
they produce. Promote this via a marketing program centered on a
specific model with the following four points:
- The GM CEO, on camera, in a major marketing push, making a pledge
that the Chevrolet “Insert model here” has been given the resources
required to be designed and built to last and that this model will be at
the top of CR or similar independant long term reliablilty report. State
consequences if it is not. Then make it happen, don’t hide anything and
fix the problems that come up. Improve a model every couple of years
rather then churning the same POS out with different sheet metal for
8-10 years until no one will buy it.
- The head design engineer for model “XYZ” on camera, in a major
marketing push, describing how they were given carte blanch to design
the best vehicle possible, thus ensuring that I will not have to change
the brakes every 15-20,000km, redo a head gasket at 100,000km or have
the vehicle rust through after 5 years. (Probably better to spin it in a
positive light saying how the brakes, engine chassis,sheet metal (etc.)
have been improoved.
- The lead assembly plant supervisor for Chevrolet model “insert
model here” on camera, in a major marketing push, stating how they were
given the mandate to produce the best automobile possible and stating
how they are doing it. Then of course DO IT.
- Finally, the president of the UAW/CAW on camera, in a major
marketing push, stating how the union is on board and working TOGETHER
with the company to produce the finest automobile possible. State how
employees have been given the mandate to improve quality and how they
I DO NOT want to hear that they are going on strike for any reason,
I do NOT want to hear that they are pushing production too hard.
I do NOT want to hear about plant under capacity. Better to
underestimate and have a backlog of orders then meet demand by
sacrificing quality. Regularly make all these people be accountable for
the product that they produce. Make CR reports or equivalent LONG TERM
reliability scores a point of accountability. Make people accountable if
above mentioned goals are not achieved.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see a UAW/CAW representative resign because
the vehicle that they are producing is not meeting the quality and
durability goals that they promised on camera? I’d have a lot of respect
for that person and the company they represent(ed).
Encourage blogs and whistleblowers to come forward so that issues
that may affect quality/durability can be addressed. In all honesty,
marketing on good looks and power does not cut it. I’ll be the judge of
what looks good and drives well. Put out a car/minivan/SUV/truck that is
reliable and bullet proof, then improve on it every couple of years and
quickly address any issues.
Why? Because I’m not bloody well purchasing another GM vehicle
until GM PROVES that they are producing the most durable product
available. I want a good looking, well built, comfortable and durable
car/minivan/SUV/truck. I want VALUE for my money.