Ask The Best And Brightest: Could You Do Maximum Bob's Job?

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

Let’s imagine that Bob Lutz has quit his job (“New GM? It’s a crock of shit!”) and you applied for the job and got it. What would you do? How would you change “New GM’s” marketing? Would you change some of GM’s brands’ slogans (“The New Class in World Class”)? Would you redefine some of the brands? Maybe you know a better spokesman than Ed Whitacre? Maybe a new brand is the order of the day? Bob Lutz does come in for a lot of stick, but could you do any better? Please help “New GM”, you’re their only hope . . .

Cammy Corrigan
Cammy Corrigan

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  • Jrderego Jrderego on Sep 24, 2009

    stars9texashockey : Thanks for the compliment. I'd love to write goofball articles for this site. Review completely fictional cars, add a little levity, you know?

  • Msquare Msquare on Sep 24, 2009

    Everyone who says improve quality first is spot-on. That has been Toyota's stock-in-trade all along. Do Toyotas perform better than other cars? Mostly no. Do they look better? Nope. Handle better? Again, no. Hold together better? Save for rust problems until relatively recently, hell yes. Complacency is what got GM in the hole to begin with, so once the quality gremlins are under control, start working on the aesthetics. Personally, I think GM peaked around 1970 or so, where styling, performance and quality led the industry. One thing I would do differently from what everyone else is suggesting is what Chrysler has done for its remaining three brands. Give each of them independence once again, each responsible for styling, marketing and most important, profit and loss. Cost redundancies, for sure, but the increased sales from better product will be worth it. Some coordination is needed to prevent product overlap, but GM worked best when the divisions acted like separate car companies. The days of separate engine designs are over, market share won't allow it, but here's how I would position the brands. Cadillac: Top of the line, high-end models, but needs a 5-series type car like the CTS to maintain volume. Caddy owners in the good old days tended to be flashy. Target cars: BMW 7 and 5, Mercedes S and E. Keep the Slade because the imports really don't have anything like it. Buick: While Caddy slugs it out with the Europeans, Buick fights in the Pacific theater. LaCrosse actually is the right car for the purpose, as it is similar in size and luxury to the CTS but a completely different configuration priced a cut below. More like a mid-level Acura or Lexus. There's room for a Park Avenue as well, like the rear-drive one sold in China. Keep the Chinese involved, they seem to have a better idea what a Buick is than anyone these days. Chinese market gets whatever it wants. Chevy: Volume and value leader. Less opulent than the others means a little sportier. Use the late 1960's as a benchmark once again. Must be able to slug it out in Corolla/Civic and Camry/Accord segments, and if quality is up there, the battle is already half won. Give the cars some good ol' Chevy style to win the other half. Lutz's greatest achievement at Chrysler was helping it become a design leader, as it was in the 1950's. GM took over from there, only falling back in the 1980's. GM has to take the styling lead once again to get the edge they need.

  • Greenb1ood Greenb1ood on Sep 25, 2009

    Once again, Lokkii types what I'm thinking in a more clear and concise manner than feel like I could have...+1

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