Detroit Free Press Steals TTAC's GM ADD Analysis

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
detroit free press steals ttac s gm add analysis

Or, more charitably (if equally egomaniacally), great minds think alike. Or, even less charitably (to both the Freep and TTAC), duh. First, let me get this off my chest. We've done the GM Attention Deficiency Disorder thing here, here, recently here and just about everywhere since ever I started this website. The fact that the Freep's Tom Walsh has only just reached this conclusion- after trying to reconcile J.D. Power's IQS rankings with domestic auto sales– is mind-boggling. As is the format of his treatise: " conversation with self." As are the simple-minded counter-arguments forwarded by his Detroit-loving half. "This [J.D.'s survey results] means that Detroit’s Big Two – General Motors and Ford Motor – are back in the game again. Right up there in quality with Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Audi and all those other foreign brands.” “Who cares?” “Whaddya mean, who cares? I care. We’ve got lots of trouble here in River City with plants closing, suppliers bankrupt, lots of people losing jobs. Better quality means our hometown companies will stop shrinking and start growing again.” Like Walsh's column, this realization is too little, too late. And too optimistic, too soon.

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  • Oldyak Oldyak on Jun 05, 2008

    i still think theres hope for all three! But it will take the Toyota,Nissan and Honda buyers to switch. and the only way to do that it by being better or cheaper. and,most importantly,giving them a chance.... which in our current " I want Japanese" trend could be tough!

  • Getacargetacheck Getacargetacheck on Jun 05, 2008

    Geotpf: You are confusing what will likely happen with what could happen. You are probably right with what will happen. However... Yes, moving to Buick is ADD. But it really belongs with Cadillac if at all. By converting Pontiac-GMC dealers to Chevrolet the idea would be to sell an extra number of Chevrolets but not nearly as many extra as the previous total of Pontiac-GMC combined. Yes, market share goes down but then you're saving by not engineering, building and marketing hundreds of thousands of cars people don't want. So what if you have 2 Chevrolet dealers on the same street? The old PBG dealer would be constrained by their allocation based on their sales history (just like BMW does), and wouldn't pose a threat to the established Chevy dealer. Obviously, there could be other variations on same theme. It's called thinking outside of the box. getacargetacheck-Nope, that’s not a solution. First, they’ve spent lots of time, effort, and money to combine Pontiac, Buick, and GMC into a single dealership. They aren’t going to then undo that by taking Buick away. Second, in most cities, there is a PBG dealer and a Chevy dealer, which are frequently owned by seperate people. They can’t then turn the PBG dealer into another Chevy dealer (even though they sell similar product-it’s not identical).

  • Michael Karesh Michael Karesh on Jun 05, 2008

    Initial quality isn't the only reason Detroit lost so much market share. Automakers aren't losing people over things that happen in the first 90 days. They're losing them over things that happen after the warranty ends--which J.D. Power doesn't even measure.

  • Beken Beken on Jun 06, 2008

    "Automakers aren’t losing people over things that happen in the first 90 days. They’re losing them over things that happen after the warranty ends–which J.D. Power doesn’t even measure." Totally agree with Michael K on that statement. GM's problems are totally cultural. Of the one or two great competitive models they have, they also have umpteen models that nobody would touch. Their competitors build better cars through their entire line-up, not only one or two great halo cars. Then GM needs to treat their customers like they own the best cars available out there so the customers will come back for more If something goes wrong, fix it - no apologies accepted. They've done the exact opposite for the last 3 decades, that's more than two generations of buyers and will need two generations of car buyers to rebuild their reputation. Us armchair quarterbacks and former customers (victims) can see that, but the GM powers that be aren't listening. Investors in GM need to be in for the long run and prepared to lose it all.