By on July 25, 2011

With CAFE negotiations heating up, safety regulation coming down the pipe and the UAW pushing for another round of “retooling” loans, GM is upping its profile in the nation’s capitol with a new ad campaign aimed at policymakers. The DetN reports

A Washington-based spokesman for the automaker, Greg Martin, said the effort is to make sure policy makers “are aware of GM’s contribution to our nation’s economic and competitive strength.”

GM has a broader story than just profits and sales, he said.

“GM has started an ad campaign in select Washington publications because there’s more to GM’s resurgence than just increased sales and profitability,” Martin said. “GM is also an auto company investing heavily in America’s future, creating new jobs and inventing solutions and technologies that will make a real difference in energy and safety.”

But the waves of coming auto-related regulations may not actually have motivated the ad so much as the fact that the government is likely to sell off its remaining 26% share in GM by the end of the year (if not by the end of the Summer), and they’re facing an $11b loss at current stock prices. By emphasizing that the auto bailout created a positive corporate citizen rather than just a newly-profitable company, GM likely hopes to convince the government that the political downsides of taking a big loss on The General was ultimately worth it. And that’s an important PR step in the short term as well, as CAFE negotiations are giving rise to bailout-tinged rhetorical attacks on the automaker. For example, Ralph Nader tells the Freep

We give GM billions of dollars, and what do taxpayers get in return? Opposition to a policy that will clearly save them money and give them better cars,

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14 Comments on “GM To DC: Take A Look At Me Now...”


  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    I had to enlarge the photo to read everything…

    There’s an environmentally conscious company inside every car we design

    Ever heard of the Corvair? Or the Aztek? How about the Monza? If you ever drove one of these cars, you would know our commitment to self-recycling automobiles. By 2015, we’ll reduce carbon emissions up to 8 million metric tons by doing what we’ve always done – manufacture cars that don’t start.

    We invest in wind farms and planting trees. You’ll find many of our previously manufactured vehicles planted right next to them behind barns, garages and salvage yards. The steps we’re taking to reduce carbon are often associated with environmentally conscious companies, and like us, profitably unconscious companies. We’re changing the way we do business. Thanks to you. And your children. And your grandchildren. Especially those of you in China. From the way we design and build to the type of energy we wish we could use in our factories we wish we were building in the United States. It’s all a part of how we’re becoming more responsible. For the environment, but who knows, perhaps even your tax dollars. Take a look inside the new General Motors. You’ll find a completely new company being lead by people who remember how they built the Corvair, the Aztek and the Monza!

    Cue forest. Smog. Filtering sunlight. Suburban. Make it white and oh, so clean! Coastal California. We sold a Suburban there a while back.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    I feel compelled to note that the phrase is “coming down the pike” and not “pipe.”

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Ralph Nader is loony. CAFE isn’t needed to get better cars that save them money. All auto makers are in a race to get more fuel efficient cars. Mandating it with policy is just stupid. $3.75-$4.00 a gallon gas is doing giving plenty of auto makers enough reason to get fuel efficient cars ASAP.

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    The surest way to kill CAFE is to have Ralph Nader go around championing it – keep it up!

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      Ralph Nader lost a lot of money when the trial lawyers figured out that they could do better by donating their money to the Democratic party rather than his pressure groups. It was years before that that I stopped listening to anything that pisher had to say.

  • avatar
    stuki

    That’s our brand new world. Success come to those well connected and versed in playing nicely indoctrinated progressive drone, not to those capable of producing goods people are willing to pay for. I’m sure the progtards are proud of their achievement as corporate chieftains, and worshipers of unions and whatever other leftover nonsense they considered cool back in the Che era.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Ralph Nader hates cars so if he says something is going to make cars better, I wonder.

    So GM puts out a “feel good” pr campaign in advance of some politics. Typical. Wish they would use that money to lower the price of the cars instead.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    GM is unaware of how their relationship to American buyers has changed. Because if they were, they would not be playing political PR games with ads like this.

    The last thing buyers want to read about is politics. GM should be doing everything it can to avoid politics because when they fail to do that, the Company reminds buyers that they bailed out GM because no one wanted to buy their cars.

    Just make it a general rule: when America is undergoing a political crisis during a economic downturn, avoid political ads regardless of their sincere intentions. Buyers want to escape the bad news bombarding them and automobiles are escape machines. Reminding buyers of their political situations will not sell cars during these times. Buyers want to escape and feel good instead.

    GM should be promoting FUN. These ads are kill-joys.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    GM will nevah, evah, get another penny from me.

    May all of their executives and union members come to live up Gore’s smelly Obama.

    • 0 avatar
      drylbrg

      I’m sure that last sentence makes sense to those who live in the echo chamber of Fox News and conservative radio nutcases but to normal people it’s gibberish. Can you just say, “I’m butt hurt that laissez-faire economics don’t work and will only buy cars from companies that don’t get any government help”? It’s too bad that you’ll never buy another car.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I think Caterham might have a chassis sans powertrain they could sell him?

        But yeah, not exactly the lofty peaks of civil intellectual discourse.

  • avatar
    eldard

    “There’s an environmentally conscious company inside every car we design…”

    …that’s why we put a photo of a giant SUV on our marvelous ad.


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