Warren Brown: GM Rocks!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
warren brown gm rocks

We're happy that Washington Post car columnist Warren Brown is happy with the "new" GM. But methinks he protests too little. In his latest minimus opus, Brown begins by admitting that "it's too early for General Motors to declare 'mission accomplished'"– even though that expression has been considered ironic since GWB gave a post-Iraq invasion press conference on the U.S.S. Lincoln. Anyway, if that's not scary enough, Warren reveals there's a "discernible note of confidence in the voices of GM's top executives today" and "smiles on the faces of the company's designers, engineers, vehicle line executives, marketing and communications people." And that's because GM's "changed its culture from one of authoritarian control with little regard for consumers or rank-and-file employees to one in which car people — designers, engineers and marketers — have been empowered to go full blast in anticipating and meeting consumer needs and demands." Wow! On the tangible proof side, Brown lauds the new Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Saturn Sky, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave (Shhh! Don't tell Warren's readers that the last three are the same vehicle.) As for actual factual evidence of this turnaround, Warren cites the Sky "stealing sales from the iconic MX-5 Miata," GM's slight sales increase during the last two months and, uh, that's it. With a cheering section like this, who needs PR?

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  • Terry Terry on Oct 15, 2007

    "As for actual factual evidence of this turnaround, Warren cites the Sky "stealing sales from the iconic MX-5 Miata," Sure thing, BUB! The Miata OWNS this class, GM aint stealing anything from anybody. Somewhow I dont think Mazda is too worried...and I work in Mazda franchise with a Saturn dealership in our network. I guess he thinks the Malibu Maxx was "stealing" sales from the Mazda6, and the Cobalt was "stealing" sales from the Mazda3. Reality--what a concept! LOL

  • Terry Parkhurst Terry Parkhurst on Oct 15, 2007

    While I've read Warren Brown's work, in syndication for years, something he wrote recently now makes me cast a jaundiced eye on anything he does. It was a review of the new Jaguar XK coupe. He said that it was nothing special, technically; and thought lesser cars had all the things that the XK came with and with better design. He took aim at the Jag's navigation system, among other things. The fact that the new XK has a body made entirely from aluminum, using a bonding method that is similar to that used in airplane construction, was nowhere to be found in his review. Admittedly, he might have thought that too "over the heads" of the average newspaper reader. But to call the Jaguar XK's technology comparable to a Toyota or Honda was inaccurate, in the extreme. Maybe Warren was just having a bad day when he wrote that piece. However, I lost a hat on the freeway, when I road-tested a 2007 Jaguar XK convertible, last summer, and still managed to look at that car as objectively as I could. So when Warren gushes over GM's turn-around I, and many others, should take pause and consider the source - most especially when he doesn't note that three vehicles are, in point of fact, variants of the same platform.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Oct 15, 2007

    "The lineup is indeed the best its been in -well- forever." Hardly. The 1967 GM lineup was highly competitive in every category they played in. Now 40 years later the lineup is still a very, very mixed bag. Look at the 2007 Chevy cars for example (set aside the special case Corvette): Aveo, Cobalt, Malibu & Impala. No 2 door coupes, no station wagon, no convertibles, nothing interesting at all. Every one a rental grade vehicle except perhaps the Aveo which might not hold up to rental service. Then you have the Chevy Uplander trying to compete in the minivan market. A dud. Chevy has some competitive trucks, but also makes the unloved Colorado and Trailblazer. Calling the present GM lineup the best in it's history shows a serious lack of historic perspective. Chevrolet is the heart of GM and it's lineup is so far away from best in class status it isn't funny.

  • Suto Suto on Oct 16, 2007

    Not that it matters too much, but the Cobalt has a coupe, and a lot of people like the SS. I agree, it is all front-wheel drive sedans nowadays. Just look at the Toyota of today compared to 1992 (Pasao, MR2, Celica, Subra). Now they have the Solara (or is it gone already?)