Freep: "General Motors Corp. Can Once Again Be Counted on to Build Some of the World's Best Vehicles"
December 20th, 2007 1:08 PM Share
Some? I mean, c'mon Mr. Phelan. As a Detroit Free Press columnist, if you're going to proclaim a design renaissance at GM, why go half way? Why just trot out the Buick Enclave, Saturn Aura, Chevy Malibu and Silverado, draped though they are in various advertiser ingratiating COTY awards? What of the Pontiac G6? Saturn Sky? Chevrolet HHR? The General has 51 models spread over eight brands. Or are these four examples a sign of things to come. Apparently so… "The reason the new 'vehicles happened is that GM now has a hyperefficient, product-focused vehicle development program,' said Jim Hall, managing director of 2953 Analytics of Birmingham. GM's vehicle-development system today can stand alongside Toyota and BMW as the best in the industry." While one wonders just how efficient a development system has to be to qualify as "hyperefficient," Phelan identifies the three major changes ensuring that his Big Four aren't flukes. First, "A single executive is responsible for each family of vehicles, usually keeping the job for 10 years." Second, "Each of GM's global engineering centers now concentrates on the kind of vehicles it does best." And third, "The goal for each new vehicle is to be the best in its class, rather than simply hoping to be competitive." Phelan ends his paean to The General by elevating CEO Rick Wagoner, design chief Ed Wellburn and Car Czar Bob Lutz to sainthood. Clearly, the hometown scribe knows how to put the sick in sycophancy.
Published December 20th, 2007 10:48 AM