By on August 6, 2009

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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54 Comments on “What GM Needs To Do To Sell Me a Car...”


  • avatar
    educatordan

    As my grandmother would say (widow of a GM employee): “That will never happen cause it’s too much like right.”

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    Talk talk talk. Demand they put their money where their mouth is.

    Back their cars with the best warranty on the planet. No weasel clauses. No exceptions. No BS.

    Insure the resale value of their cars. If you can’t sell it in 5 years for X amount, then they will buy it from you for that amount.

  • avatar
    segfault

    “If you can’t sell it in 5 years for X amount, then they will buy it from you for that amount.”

    Yes, a straight repurchase, not credit against a trade on another GM product, like the last time they offered it.

  • avatar
    Logans_Run

    This article causes me the question “why did we bail these people out?” Haven’t we been abused by Detroit enough for one lifetime? This bailout has set us up for yet another round with the very same people who got us here in the first place. Nothing has changed. Nothing will change.

  • avatar
    Logans_Run

    @yankinwaoz

    Isn’t that put our money where their mouth is?

  • avatar
    wsn

    – 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.

    ————————————–

    Please please don’t.

    If that were to happen, Chairman Obama would pressure CR to give the Chevrolet “Insert model here” top score, or else. (Such as claiming CR to be a conspiracy organized by Japanese spies. Don’t laugh. Somehow people who lend money to Chrysler became the dark evil figure than block the progress of Chrysler, according to the Chairman.)

    Leave CR alone.

    As for you, to buy a car, don’t listen to any GM executive, on camera or not, under oath or not. Just wait after the fact that CR gives the Chevrolet “Insert model here” top score.

  • avatar
    loverofcars1969

    Better designs and 5 yr 100K bumper to bumper warranty would do it for me. Make the warranty tranferable to the second owner as well which should help resell values.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    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?

    No, because the unions have effectively nothing to do with the quality of the car these days. What this proposes will lead to little more than a shit-rolls-downhill exercise in blamestorming that will, at best, see some bitching about quality gaps and some entry-level white-collar people fired. Because you know Henderson, Lutz, La Neve or any of the division heads is not going to let any of this stick to them.**

    It is almost impossible to encourage accountability when the deck is so badly stacked in favour of those with power. We’ve had years of promises and assurances and interpretations. It doesn’t work.

    What I would want to see, as a GM shareholder, is to see upper management’s incentives delayed six years. You do well in 2009, you’re compensated in 2015, with interest. You leave, you lose compensation; your product fails in the interim, you lose compensation. Company suffers huge loss, you lose compensation.

    What I’d ideally like to see is wholesale management change, but since that’s not likely to happen, this is the best I could hope for.

    ** You’ll note that Toyota was more aggressive in it’s housecleaning and responsibility-taking than GM was. The same guys are still in charge a GM. What do you think would happen the next time around?

  • avatar
    ctowne32

    hm… What would it take for me to walk into a GM showroom….

    For every BS promise, failed goal, product deficiency, etc, the manager in charge committing sepuku?

    Nah. That’ll never do.

    Surely there must be *something*…

  • avatar
    wsn

    # Logans_Run :
    August 6th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    @yankinwaoz

    Isn’t that put our money where their mouth is?

    ———————————————-

    What a mouth that is!

    The world hasn’t seen such public speech talent since Adolf.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    Mark, even if they did all that and more it would not change the well entrenched notion that GM is a manufacturer of inferior, almost-there, poorly made vehicles that should only be bought if heavily discounted and then not kept 1 microsecond past it’s warranty. It will take years and a huge amount of effort on GM’s part to get back even some of the customers they once had especially if they are even losing former loyal customers like yourself. The current crop of characters running GM do not have what it takes to do it. They are not even close. A question for you, Have you driven a ford Lately?

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    The bailouts piss me off, but they shouldn’t piss you off, they’re why your dad still has a full pension, particularly the healthcare benefits.

    GM’s cars are more or less reliable now – better than, for example, any German manufacturer.

    GMs used to be awful in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, but now the problem isn’t that GM can’t make reliable cars, it’s that GM can’t do it at a profit.

    Have you owned a recent GM that had issues?

    If you are really concerned about reliablity then use one of the government subsidized leases that GM is again offering.

    If you need to hear some rabbid GM cheerleading then just find some of the Bob we’re-on-par-with-the-Japanese-it’s-all-a-perception-gap-import-buyers-are-lemmings Lutz interviews and speeches on youtube.

  • avatar
    twotone

    In order to sell me a car, GM needs to build cars that are equal to, or better than (in no particular order):

    BMW 3-Series
    Mercedes Benz S-Class
    Toyota Prius
    Honda Accord/Civic
    Subaru Outback/Forester
    Mini Cooper
    VW Jetta TDI
    Audi A4
    Infiniti G37
    Porsche Boxter/Cayman
    Mercedes Benz E320 BlueTEC/E63 AMG
    Mazda Miata

    Twotone

  • avatar
    Logans_Run

    To oboylepr’s point, I have an 07 Suburban that just rolled over 100K. I find myself waking up in cold sweats at night wondering what part will be the first to fail since the warranty expired. My 84 K-5 Blazer spun bearings at 53K, just 3K after the warranty expired. That one cost me a cool $2K back in 86. I successfully managed to never own another GM product again until my wife caught the Saturn craze in 94. We bought an SW-2 that went through two transmissions and ultimately headed for the scrap yard with only 96K on it. I’ve been lied to and cheated too many times by GM. I bought the ‘burban only because my wife wanted a land yaught to haul the kids around the country in for soccer tournaments. I’m praying that I’m not going to be lied to again and that this one will last a couple hundred thousand. Me, I drive a WRX. I’ve got no time for GM junk.

  • avatar
    beken

    Like Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, BMW and every other import company that came to America and eventually succeeded, GM will need to build quality reliable cars for 10 to 20 years before they establish a reputation for reliability, quality and value. In the same timeframe, they must also entrench a culture where their customers are treated with respect, including respect for their time. When GM fixes a problem, that problem better be fixed the first time. Even better, that problem should not have cropped up in the first place.

    For those of you who say GM cars are more reliable than ever and of great quality and design, likely have not owned a GM car for more than 5 years. Tell me about your 2007 Aveo in 2012….or even your Malibu, or CTS, or Enclave.

    Mark, nice suggestions. But unlikely to happen. Reputation is earned, rather justly or not. I and many other former GM customers are extremely loyal and passionate people. GM really worked hard to lose me and others as customers and no amount of good talk is going to bring us back.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ twotone..Wow you don’t set the bar too high. A Mini Cooper or VW Jetta? VW can’t mangage to keep thier pieces OS out of the repair shop. How about the trannys from the Mini Coopers? A Porsche or a Mercedes? Come on! And you want GM to match a Cayman? Not a problem, if your willing to drop 80k down for an Acadia.

    slushbox has it right. GM is building the best cars they have ever made. Of course,so is everybody else. Every car on your list with the possible exception of the Hondas,has had quality issues at one time or another.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    I think the real point I’m taking from this is, “If this is how a guy with every reason on earth to support GM feels, imagine how many of the rest of us feel”.

    Regardless of the precision of the arguments or there practicality, evry GM exec, member of the PTFOA and Prez Goodwrench himself should read this.

    It’s a clue factory boyz, come an get ‘um.
    I feel your perception gap, GM.
    It’s your perception gap, not the publics.

    Thanks for shareing Mark.

    Bunter

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Mikey-VW’s reliability average in CR was a bit ahead of GM’s last year.

    Think about it.

    Stay groovy,

    Bunter

  • avatar

    My only quibble with the blog is that the managers have to refrain from pushing the workers too hard. That’s one of the things that hurt the quality of the first generation saturns.

  • avatar
    zdriver

    I agree with no_slushbox. My wife had an ’03 CTS til this past December, when she got an “09 CTS. She never had a minute’s problem with the ’03 and has had no problems with the ’09 yet. I bought an ’04 SRX in Jan ’04 and still have it. So far, no problems whatsoever. Hoping to get a CTS sportwagon someday. Neither of us have ever worked for GM and have no relatives that ever worked for GM.

    Frankly BMW would be the automobile that I would not keep one microsecond past the waranty period.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    If GM’s cars are as reliable as some on this thread say they are, then GM would be wise to institute that 5 yr 100k mile warranty on their cars to instill the confidence needed.

    As it stands now, they’re playing fast and loose with warranty descriptors. When I drove the G8 months ago, the sales guy kept talking up the 5 yr 100k mile POWERTRAIN warranty.

    What about non-powertrain related warranty or the ‘bumper to bumper’ warranty?

    3 yrs/36k miles – same as VW’s.
    Hyundai – 5 yr/60k mile bumper to bumper warranty

    Any included scheduled maintenance? Hah!

  • avatar
    drifter

    When the Malibu was released, Lutz said it was the best vehicle GM build. Didn’t do so great at the showroom floor though.

  • avatar
    chris724

    There is no type of “major marketing push” that would convince me to buy a GM product. In fact, I would probably be more inclined if they canceled all their marketing. Actions speak louder than words. If they think their problem is the marketing, then they must think we’re all stupid.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    It will never happen again in this lifetime.
    My 99 Cavalier was trouble free.

    My 05 ION has not been.There is no excuse for the same problems first discovered at introduction [sway bar bushings, bum ignition switches and random no starts, water leaks and headlight gasket leaks to name a few] to carry on into the 3rd year of production and even into the very end of the run.

    I love this car, but it’s a 2/3rds car: 2/3rds is good and will easily see 200,000 miles [engine, trans, body panels]the other third is cost cut, built to the lowest price bottom of the barrel junk [the irritating small bits that go wrong and not chosen for durability: fasteners, gaskets, weather stripping,locks, electronics].

    I’ll buy a Korean made Saturn based on a French car before I would ever buy anything even remotely associated with GM ever again.

    After these bail outs my loyalty and obligation to my fellow Americans working in the auto industry is paid in full.

  • avatar
    loverofcars1969

    I am surprised I havent seen an article on this site regarding the analbrusing you get on labor rates at dealerships. It seems people are falling dead at the thought of paying a lineworker $15 an hour but have no issue with the dealership charging $95+ an hour. Still I would love to be able to purchase a GM vehicle (father is retired UAW) but the fear factor is to great and the quality just isnt there compared to the competition.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Asian manufacturers embrace kaizen, Japanese for continuous improvement. The domestic automakers have a different philosophy. If something doesn’t work, they ignore it. If it does work they cheapen it until it stops working.

    Regardless the sums of taxpayer money thrown at them the domestic automakers have to change their attitudes, a tall order for civil servants, or die.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    My 05 Odyssey was a lemon, not to mention the horrid service treatment from the dealer.

    My 02 Passat was a lemon, but the dealer service was great.

    “Quality” needs to permeate the organization so that both products and services are satisfying.

    GM’s promises mean nothing until years of data support them. I don’t believe that will happen, because I think financial issues will crush them again in a few years.

    Furthermore, government intervention will ruin any sincere attempts to produce quality. Quality usually doesn’t accompany government policies, particularly if it means being less ‘green’ these days.

    Building the “best” car is a slippery notion, because it means so many different things [just read the Camaro review here, relating to interiors]. Building an indestructible or super-efficient car means it won’t be affordable [just ask an airplane designer]. Building an interesting/exciting car means you may not sell enough to break even, if appliances are all people want.

    Lastly, quality issues stem from the ‘not my problem’ philosophy. This philosophy permeates many organizations, including GM. Bankruptcy is blamed on the economy. The line worker can blame engineering for a poor design. Engineering can blame marketing for poor requirements and faulty sales projections. And marketing can blame the union for high product costs. And so on. True quality won’t happen until it becomes personal to each member of the organization.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Good luck with that. Let us know when hell freezes over.

  • avatar
    davejay

    They could take advantage of the fact that they’re subsidized, and build one new really good affordable car that makes a profit per-sale, albeit a small one. Take the excellent exterior design teams they have, competing to create a design that looks as good as any GM product (minus the overlarge wheel openings and with a taller greenhouse to avoid the typical GM claustrophobia) and wrap it around an interior that’s simple but made with decent materials. Aim for quality and reliability and economy and good crash test scores and a really good stereo, but don’t worry as much about performance or handling or features.

    Sell that for a few years, so it establishes a good reputation (like the SX4 has for Suzuki even though the rest of the line up is meh) just in time for the mid-sized car you designed the same way to come out — except give up some economy for some performance, and add some features.

    Lather, rinse, repeat for a luxury model that gets a much nicer interior and more features, and a sports model that gets better performance and handling. Release one at a time and make sure that, by the time the next model is released, the previous one has established a good reputation — and if it hasn’t, fix it or dump it. And at no time sacrifice reliability, quality, good crash test scores and a really good stereo.

  • avatar
    cstoc

    Honda has had their issues, too. Remember the igniter issue in the late 80’s to early 90’s? I know several people who were stranded without warning by that one, and Honda didn’t issue a recall for years.

    The 2008 Accord has brake durability problems. At 14k miles I replace both front rotors (warped too badly to refinish) and all the brake pads (the rears were on the squealers). I did the work myself because the dealer would rather blame the customer than admit a problem, but check the car problem web sites and see the brake issues. My other cars have gone at least 40k on front brakes and longer on rears, so it’s definitely an issue. Honda A/C sucks, too, but the dealer won’t admit to that, either. I hope the rest of the Honda lasts better than the brakes.

    My other cars? Mostly GM, and they’ve been good to me. The least reliable vehicle I owned was German.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    It’s simple, really.

    GM needs to fill up the entry at Consumer Reports reliability survey results for every model they make as full of little red circles as Toyota, Honda, and Subaru do with every model they make.

    For ten or twenty years or so (like Toyota, Honda, and Subaru have).

    Then I’ll buy a GM product.

    Until then, nope.

  • avatar
    NoSubstitute

    I’ve had cars from just about every manufacturer, but my last GM vehicle was my late lamented Chevy Vega. Not for any of the usual whiny reasons, but just because they haven’t built anything I wanted.

    The Corvette comes close, but notwithstanding its admirable svelteness, it just drives “big.” That’s a deal breaker for a sports car.

    I don’t require some re-education camp confession from management to get me back into a GM vehicle. I don’t need proof of quality or reliability; all modern cars are just fine on those fronts. I don’t need an interior built for fondling (my first 996 had a dash that would embarrass Playskool and the GS350 I drove for a while had an interior fit for a potentate-loved the Porsche and couldn’t wait to get out of the Lexus).

    All I need from GM is a car that I want more than its competitors. They haven’t come out with one in a long, long time. When they do, if they do, I’ll be more than happy to re-up with the General.

    But I’m not holding my breath.

  • avatar
    Tommy Boy

    I currently drive a 2006 Jeep, but have no intent of again purchasing anything assembled by UAW hands.

    The bailouts were bailouts of the UAW far more than they were bailouts of GM and Chrysler.

    Besides the principal of the thing – that bailouts and welfare (corporate or social welfare) are bad – my taxes are already too high, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to keep paying taxes, and interest on the debt to fund the UAW bailout AND then voluntarily hand even more money over to the UAW by purchasing one of their products.

    Hopefully once Obama leaves office the UAW will be left to fend for itself, and die.

    There are plenty of fine “foreign” vehicles assembled by Americans who aren’t feeding off of the government teat.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Mark, this company of accountability you’re describing, it almost sounds like the Japanese Big 3.

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Frankly, I don’t think that GM CAN sell me a car.

    I’m not going to take a chance on a promise “to do better this time”. I’ve heard that story too many times before.

    Ijust don’t see any indication that the ‘NEW’ GM intends to change anything.

    So why should I risk $30K plus?

  • avatar
    derm81

    No, because the unions have effectively nothing to do with the quality of the car these days

    This. Now, I am not a huge fan of the UAW but the quality and reliablity issues arent the fault of the line worker. It’s the bean counters cheapening the parts in the vehicle.

  • avatar

    Ya know… All that, a bag of chips, and unicorns flying out of my ass won’t get me back on a GM lot.
    Nope, forget it. Nada, Zip, Zilch. Game over.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Excellent post.

    Show me why, as a past purchaser of GM, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai products, it would be in my best interest to purchase a 2010 GM product.

    Answer honestly, and you might find more friends on TTAC.com than you expected.

  • avatar
    rivercat30

    Frankly BMW would be the automobile that I would not keep one microsecond past the waranty period.

    Not as bad as a lot of people think unless you insist on taking them to a dealer for the (rare) necessary repairs.

    Regarding GM, had a 96 Z24 once….worst car I have owned by far. For me to buy, they could try making a reliable car that performs and looks nice. They could also think about doing it without an endless stream of my tax money. Kind of like real car companies do.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Chances are I have purchased my last new car. I’m shooting for 15 to 20 years out’a my 09 Implala. Easily atainable with proper care. So if by the time I’m seventy, GM is gone,I’ll buy a used Ford.

    One thing is for certain though. As long as I’m walking on Gods green earth.I will never,ever buy a foreign car. The good news is I’m not the only guy that thinks that way.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    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 have owned my share of GM vehicles, including several cargo vans. Without exception, my experience with the GMs (minivan, Saturn sedan, cargo vans) has been problematic.

    I will not buy a GM car again. Ever. I don’t care if you offer a 10 year/100k mile warranty. I don’t care if you send your ex-boss Wagoner to my house to personally change the oil while at the same time telling me how fit I look.

    I have a lot of bad will toward GM after my history with your cars. I tell everybody about it. I wish you a speedy route to Chapter 7.

    Mikey, I know you’re an ex-GMer, but you have to understand that a lot of folks have had many, many bad experiences with the GM products and service, and basically want them to go under.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Here’s what I wrote at GM Fastlane:

    Every member of the GM Board of Directors, and every executive in the top three tiers of management should be forced to drive a GM product that they have to purchase, on their own, from a GM dealership. They also should have to drive said vehicle for a minimum of six months, with all the requisite visits to the dealership for warranty and service repairs.

    At the same time, designers, engineers and accountants from each GM division should have to meet with the BoD and answer this: “Have you purchased the top three vehicles from each market segment from the competition and compared them to GM vehicles? Why is each vehicle significantly better than the corresponding GM vehicle? What do you plan to do to improve every GM vehicle in each segment to be substantially better than the competition? What is the plan to continue to improve every offering from GM so that it remains the best vehicle in every segment?”

    Only when the BoD and top executive levels of GM become aware of how poorly GM products and dealers compare to the rest of the industry will any significant change occur in how GM carries on business.

    “Making the customer the centre of everything we have to do.”

    For the last fifty years the customer has been the very last priority. GM has a long way to go to change the corporate thinking on customer service and satisfaction. Only when GM management experiences sales and service at the customer’s level will change occur.

    I’m adding this to what I posted:

    GM makes some excellent cars now, and I’m willing to bet that some of them will still be good cars ten years from now. It’s not the freakin’ cars. It’s the dealer experience. Until GM can prove that every GM dealer has turned over a new leaf they will never get customers to return. I know it’s anecdotal, but every GM owner I talk to about cars has at least one or more horror story for every GM product they have owned. They get stiffed on warranty repairs; the car needs to return to the service department repeatedly to fix the same problem; service issues never seem to be completed within the promised time and so on and so on. GM dealers are responsible for more lost customers than are shitty cars, IMHO.

    Fix the dealer experience, and we will forgive not quite industry leading cars.

  • avatar
    twotone

    “Frankly BMW would be the automobile that I would not keep one microsecond past the waranty period.”

    My 1998 BMW 328i sedan now has 95,000 miles. It’s only needed regular scheduled maintenance — oil changes, tires and brakes. Never broken down and no repairs.

  • avatar
    Durask

    There’s nothing that Bailout Motors can do to sell me a car short of putting a gun to my head. :)

  • avatar
    escapenguin

    GM doesn’t have what you’re looking for, and despite all their progress of late in design it’s too little too late. You don’t owe anything to GM just because your pops worked there or because you live wherever. You really don’t. Go buy what you want.

  • avatar
    late_apex

    GM products are sub-par. I didn’t choose to buy one, so you went to my leaders and took my money anyway. The whole ch11 thing is just atrocious in the manner that it broke existing law and showcased how even the supreme court can be bought. Politics isn’t honest business and GM will never be free-standing in business again because of this.

    I will be voting out whoever supported this sham as soon and often as possible. Thou have seen no scorn like that of the internet generation.

    Hyundai made crap cars back in the day…took them 10 years and a leading warranty to be a real player. Hyundai didn’t take my money by force when they made those crap cars back then, so I’d consider them now.

    GM’s chance to be saved was years ago. At most 3 years life left. Think this will be a topic for the next election? I do. Whoever says sink or swim gets my vote!

  • avatar
    Subifreak

    Amen Mark……very well said!

  • avatar
    55vw

    derm81:

    I have to disagree about workers having an effect on quality. The new 08 leftover Canyon I bought a few months back came off the lot with serveral UAW caused problems:

    – bad wheel alignment
    – steering wheel assembled onto column a few degrees off
    – front bumper hanging lower on one side than the other
    – various incorrectly fitted pieces underneath which caused rattles

    All of those problems were fixed by the dealer, but they were all caused by the line workers due to what seems to be lack of care for the finished product. The brake rotors also warped in the first hundred miles, I wonder if the front wheels were not torqued evenly.

    The truck has been great since then however. Its a shame too cause its a great truck, but I dont think I would buy another GM. I’d buy a Dodge though, my 05 Neon has had 105k trouble free miles and is still going strong.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    they were all caused by the line workers due to what seems to be lack of care for the finished product

    No, the lousy QC is really a management-driven outcome. When the management policy is to deal with the defects rate by ignoring them instead of fixing them (or better yet, having a build process that produces a lower defects rate in the first place), then there are bound to be more problems.

    The whole point of mass production is to have processes that create consistency that are independent of the people. If an assembly line is well managed, the individual workers should have very little to do with the result. The process itself should be so consistent and reliable that the people can work at a fairly minimal standard and still produce very good results.

    This is not the creative arts here, but industrial manufacturing. It’s a place for good systems and practices, not heroism. If Toyota tried to build vehicles by having supermen on the line, it would fail. As it turns out, they can build a perfectly good Corolla with UAW labor and make Americans quite happy with it. It’s all about the management.

  • avatar
    ChristyGarwood

    @Bunter1 said

    “Regardless of the precision of the arguments or there practicality, evry GM exec, member of the PTFOA and Prez Goodwrench himself should read this.”

    Bunter and all, please go to this site

    http://www.gmreinvention.com/

    and find the Tell Fritz section and leave all of these same comments there.

    There is evidence trickling into the engineering departments that your comments will be read and acted upon.

    As a GM employee, I will also do my best to pass on your concerns, but your direct comments send a stronger message.

  • avatar
    The Walking Eye

    Mark,

    My father was a 30 year man at the Indianapolis Truck & Bus plant, w/ only a couple years on the line to start off (went into the salary side). I’ve been seriously conflicted on this issue myself as GM hasn’t looked out for their retired salary workers as well as the UAW has for their retired hourly workers. If GM goes under, he loses a lot, but I almost want them to go under because of all the shit he went through. His experiences with the UAW were terrible, nearly exclusively due to the work rules. He’s just as upset as I am with all of this. I truly feel the agony you’re going through.

    I just bought my first new non-GM car after having wrecked my Cobalt last week. I got a Subaru Impreza 5-door and am ecstatic with it so far. It lists for ~$2000 more than the base Cobalt, yet is light years ahead of it in features and overall quality. That’s what GM needs to fix.

    One reason I bought the Subaru is because GM doesn’t make a single car I want and can afford, even with the GMS pricing. Not one. This from a guy who willingly bought a base Cobalt and wasn’t offended by it like I should have been.

  • avatar
    wsn

    mikey :
    August 6th, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    One thing is for certain though. As long as I’m walking on Gods green earth.I will never,ever buy a foreign car. The good news is I’m not the only guy that thinks that way.
    ————————————————-

    Mikey, I am confused. I thought you live in Ontario. Do you hold American citizenship?

  • avatar
    wsn

    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.

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    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”

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