What GM Needs To Do To Sell Me a Car

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
what gm needs to do to sell me a car

TTAC commentator Mark writes:

Mr. Farago, I’m an avid fan of your web site / blog. General Motors is a frequent subject, often in a negative light (typically, a well deserved negative light). I have owned and currently own GM vehicles. Why? My father worked for GM for 35 years, was paid well paid and has a good pension. GM helped put bread on our table, a car in our driveway and helped pay for my education. With all the issues and bailouts that GM has recently had, I would find it difficult to purchase another GM vehicle. What would sway me to purchase another GM vehicle? The company would have to change it’s philosophy and be accountable for the products they produce. Promote this via a marketing program centered on a specific model with the following four points:

– The GM CEO, on camera, in a major marketing push, making a pledge that the Chevrolet “Insert model here” has been given the resources required to be designed and built to last and that this model will be at the top of CR or similar independant long term reliablilty report. State consequences if it is not. Then make it happen, don’t hide anything and fix the problems that come up. Improve a model every couple of years rather then churning the same POS out with different sheet metal for 8-10 years until no one will buy it.

– The head design engineer for model “XYZ” on camera, in a major marketing push, describing how they were given carte blanch to design the best vehicle possible, thus ensuring that I will not have to change the brakes every 15-20,000km, redo a head gasket at 100,000km or have the vehicle rust through after 5 years. (Probably better to spin it in a positive light saying how the brakes, engine chassis,sheet metal (etc.) have been improoved.

– The lead assembly plant supervisor for Chevrolet model “insert model here” on camera, in a major marketing push, stating how they were given the mandate to produce the best automobile possible and stating how they are doing it. Then of course DO IT.

– Finally, the president of the UAW/CAW on camera, in a major marketing push, stating how the union is on board and working TOGETHER with the company to produce the finest automobile possible. State how employees have been given the mandate to improve quality and how they are contributing.

I DO NOT want to hear that they are going on strike for any reason, I do NOT want to hear that they are pushing production too hard.

I do NOT want to hear about plant under capacity. Better to underestimate and have a backlog of orders then meet demand by sacrificing quality. Regularly make all these people be accountable for the product that they produce. Make CR reports or equivalent LONG TERM reliability scores a point of accountability. Make people accountable if above mentioned goals are not achieved.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see a UAW/CAW representative resign because the vehicle that they are producing is not meeting the quality and durability goals that they promised on camera? I’d have a lot of respect for that person and the company they represent(ed).

Encourage blogs and whistleblowers to come forward so that issues that may affect quality/durability can be addressed. In all honesty, marketing on good looks and power does not cut it. I’ll be the judge of what looks good and drives well. Put out a car/minivan/SUV/truck that is reliable and bullet proof, then improve on it every couple of years and quickly address any issues.

Why? Because I’m not bloody well purchasing another GM vehicle until GM PROVES that they are producing the most durable product available. I want a good looking, well built, comfortable and durable car/minivan/SUV/truck. I want VALUE for my money.

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2 of 54 comments
  • Wsn Wsn on Aug 07, 2009
    highrpm : August 6th, 2009 at 10:29 pm Mark, Let’s get something straight about your dad. HE put food on the table for you and your family, not GM. If GM closed up, he would find employment elsewhere and you’d be fine. You owe GM nothing. ------------------------------------------- I agree. GM didn't put bread on anyone's plate. The salary and benefit are earned by labor and strike. The majority of us didn't work for GM and we are doing just fine.

  • Geo. Levecque Geo. Levecque on Aug 07, 2009

    I agree with wsn, Mikey seems a bit confused as he certainly purchased a foreign owned Car, a GM Chev. Impala due soon for a complete redesign! Everything built in Canada is a foreign manufacturer no matter if its a Chevy or Chrysler or Honda or Toyota or Ford or most other makes and so it goes! Canada does produce a Green Car but its not allowed on many roads its a "Zenn"

  • Lou_BC I kinda like the blocky lines. The snout has a star wars stormtrooper look so that means it won't hit anything.
  • ToolGuy I respect the work this individual has done from the starting point he was handed ("I have been involved for about 6 months repairing this car acquired form my sister who received it from our dad"; "The car was an oily mess when I received it, had a clogged catalytic converter, and hesitated intermittently on the highway after extended driving (> 20 miles)")...But there is no need to show prospective customers the "before" or "in process" photographs. Very few customers want to see or know how the sausage is made.And rather than show extreme close-ups of the dents, call a PDR shop, and bump up your selling price.
  • Ajla "launched as the GX550 offering a 3.4-liter" I know some people rip on pick up or performance car buyers for insecurity but it is funny that premium vehicle buyers need inflated designations like this because "GX340t" won't get their d*cks hard. Although Lexus isn't alone in this, it's even better here because they went from GX470 to GX460 back in 2009 and no one died over the decrease. The IS500 and LC500 are still matched to their displacement but maybe they'd sell more if it was called LC650? 🤔
  • ToolGuy Q: Is it time for ToolGuy the non-early adopter to purchase an EV for long-term ownership?A: No, it is not.(Get this stuff ironed out and I'll be back later.)
  • Theflyersfan Why take the effort to cover the back plate when the front plate is visible in a couple shots?