Look at this car, it’s horrible. How did this get through so many people?
We’ve all thought something along these lines when we first sat in a Chevy Cobalt, but few GM employees would ever say it out loud to a reporter. At least they wouldn’t until a much-improved replacement was waiting in the wings. But because the Cruze launches this year, GM execs like VP of global vehicle engineering Karl Stracke can bash on the old Cobalt to his heart’s content, knowing the Detroit News will dutifully report it as a sign that GM “gets it.”
GM’s North American honcho Mark Reuss even goes as far as to tell the DetN
We have never really built good small cars. But we are now.
And though it’s heartening to hear that GM’s top brass are regularly driving and critiquing their company’s (hopefully non-prepped) vehicles, this ritual penitence is as old a trick for GM as the “happy days are here again” television ad format. Until those Cruzes hit the streets, sell well, and don’t have the problems their Korean cousins did, GM still hasn’t “really built good small cars,” as Mr Reuss so eloquently puts it.