"GM is Painfully Aware of the Problems of Perception"
GM's come-up with a new use for OnStar: collecting data on test mules. The Detroit News reports that The General racked up 1m miles testing the Lambda CUVS and collected the test data via telemetrics. Since OnStar can't tell them when a body panel's buzzing or note that a radio knob just fell off, they also collect data from dealers. That's how they found out the Malibu's hazard light switch wouldn't pop out like it was supposed to; which resulted in an "engineering analysis" of the problem and an "engineering tool change." Perhaps they should do an engineering analysis of their PR department too. In the same article, the DetN also reports GM "has added a shift at its Lake Orion plant to build more" Malibus to meet demand. And this right after they attributed the shortage of Malibus to problems with their part supply chain. Looks like someone needs to get their story straight.
GM should monitor quality control by having the OnStar system record swear words. Reliable cars tend to get sworn at less. It's a fact.
You asked me, what have they done? Well? This thread is about the PERCEPTION problem GM is trying to overcome. When I stood in front of the white 2008 Malibu (which was in a parking lot filled with other cars) it stood right out. Its obvious with its excellent fit and finish.... The way they designed its stance... For one moment, it looked like an expensive European import. I thought it was odd. The Chevy emblem looked out of place. I could not believe it. That is why I applauded. They have done it! And in case you are wondering. I drive a Honda which I got new a few years back. I notice cars all the time, and appreciate quality when I see it. The new Malibu is now on that list with me. I still can not get over it. But? Maybe, it really was the lighting and makeup? ;) It shines with quality! The immediate perception is quality of a very high order. Now, how it drives? It has the same underpinnings as the Aura. So, if I were in the market? Yes... I would not ignore it at all. It would be a 'must try.'