Have a quick look at this screenshot. Scan it as quickly as you scan other news from China. Now picture scanning it under as much time pressure an average news editor is under. That’s what this is for, it is GM China’s site for journalists. Wouldn’t you think that GM China’s January sales were absolutely marvelous?
Well, it’s not true. GM China has seen better months than this horrible January which in all likelihood will bring double-digit declines to China’s car industry. Is GM China simply saying: Ouch, better luck in February? No, it has the urge to spin:
“Shanghai – General Motors sales in China in the first month of 2012 were up 25.3 percent from December 2011, giving GM its second-best January ever in China.”
Well, it just so happened that GM’s best January ever had been January 2011, and second best means in this case that year-on-year, GM China sales are down 8 percent. Which was buried in the body of the release, likely banking on rampant attention deficit.
Will they ever stop playing people for fools? Apparently not.
What’s wrong with telling it as it is? Does every month have to be a record?
Here is the TTAC-recommended format:
|Jan ’12||Jan ’11||Change|
|GM China total||
P.S.: If the columns don’t add up sometimes, don’t blame me.
P.P.S.: GM, when you say “Wuling sales of 106,573 units in China …” without giving a percentage of growth or a prior year number, the trained journalist will know you are fibbing …