AutoWeek: GM's Cutbacks "a Brilliant Tactical Move"

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
autoweek gms cutbacks a brilliant tactical move

AutoWeek's Dutch Mandel thinks GM has got it sussed. The mag's Editor & Associate Publisher is full of praise for The General's decision to shut down truck plants, kill Hummer and ramp-up car production. Mandel calls the plan "a brilliant tactical move." That's because it "telegraphs a message that this company understands life as we have known it has changed." (What was their first clue?) Dutch then pooh-poohs the notion that consumers should change/are changing their driving habits. It's better for a "big-time corporate CEO to be proactive and go with the flow of consumer sentiment." He's obviously confused about the difference between being proactive (which implies anticipating a problem and taking steps to avoid it) and a knee-jerk reaction in response to a sudden "oh shit!" realization that you'd better do something fast because you're going down the toilet. Nevertheless, Mandel "applaud[s] all who put collective heads together to make this tough decision– Rick Wagoner, Fritz Henderson, Bob Lutz, all the way down the line." How come GM doesn't list its advertising budget as a PR expense?

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  • Menno Menno on Jun 04, 2008

    Interestingly enough, my LAST (ever) GM car was a 1997 Cavalier. Craptastic non-service under the worthless warrantee by the local dealer and multiple disc rotor "turnings" later (and an absolute refusal to put new parts on), as well as windshield wipers which worked just fine (as long as it wasn't raining) not to mention a mystery sound from the new electronic automatic transmission and my suspicion that GM had taken yet another short cut on traction control (hence the continually warping front rotors) gave me a chance to tell the Chevy service writer that he had a choice. When presented with an $80 bill for turning the front rotors for the 3rd or 4th time, with less than 36,000 miles / 3 years on the car (and as noted above, no chance of convincing them to actually do themselves proud / do well by a customer, and replace the dang parts) - I said "you can have $80, or you can have a GM customer for the next 25 or 30 years. Choose now." He chose, I went out, bought non-GM rotors myself (no use putting more drek on drek, is there?) and traded it off. I didn't want someone buying the car after me to have the GM rotors on there, any more than I wanted the GM rotors on there. I haven't bought a GM product in 9 years and won't be bothering ever again - just as promised (even assuming they survive). I wrote to GM and even told them so, and got a nice letter back by some guy whose job solely consisted of writing such letters. I bet he was one busy guy, and by the look of the continuing GM sales drop over the last decade, he's probably the busiest guy in the organization.

  • SloStang SloStang on Jun 04, 2008
    But those aren’t the yardsticks here. Are you even aware of that? Overall, the Cavalier has been exceedingly unreliable Please define "unreliable". Do you mean the brake light that stopped working and was fixed under warranty without question? That's the biggest problem I've had with the car, and I can live with that. Yes, the local Chevy dealer actually does do a great job with warranty work. I did test drive a Toyota and was quite disappointed actually, not enough torque. Given that the Chevy dealer is closer and I've had good experiences with them, I chose the Cavalier.

  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Jun 04, 2008

    Leaving the 6th Army stuck in Stalingrad was probably also "a brilliant tactical move ..."

  • Bozoer Rebbe Bozoer Rebbe on Jun 04, 2008
    Dutch certainly isn’t his father. True, but he's not as pompous and self-impressed as his boss, Keith Crain, another member of the lucky sperm club.