Change, Credibility, and The Business Cycle

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Why does TTAC roll its eyes at every proclamation of change, rebirth and renewal from automakers, particularly of the Detroit-based variety? To put it in a single French phrase, dèjá vu. In an industry as cyclical as the automaking game, the latest downturn always takes place within recent memory of the last downturn. As a result, the promises of reinvention and renewed focus are still ringing in our ears by the time each new PR offensive rolls out. One can only hear so many pleas and promises before they all start running together, creating the permanent, inescapable sense that we’ve been here before and it didn’t work out. No better evidence for this phenomenon exists than this series of videos from the 1988 edition of GM’s perennial campaign of renewal (especially in part two). The music may have changed, but the beat goes on.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

More by Edward Niedermeyer

Join the conversation
4 of 10 comments
  • Mr Carpenter Mr Carpenter on Dec 09, 2009

    When I was young, back in the stone age, my father used to say that GM could take an Ass (as in Donkey), put a Chevy bow tie on it, and sell it. Those days are LOOOOOOONG gone. Interestingly, he never owned a Chevrolet in his life. I stopped buying GM about 10 years after this film, after giving them over a decade of business, along with other US manufacturers. I just didn't believe the B-S any more. Anyone else notice how similar the situations are between GM and the US? The parallels are terrifyingly real.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Dec 09, 2009

    Everybody in those videos was drinking the Delusional Kool-Aid. Interesting that the Lucerne name did eventually surface some 20 years later. Interesting that people referred to the "struggles" over the "last six years". I wonder how many of those dealers are in court against GM today. Claiming that the Quad-4 was better than all its competitors is both funny and sad. Why should we believe any of GM's post-bankruptcy jive?

  • Mtypex Mtypex on Dec 09, 2009

    I need those 8 minutes of my life back so I can watch some RoboCop.

  • Steven02 Steven02 on Dec 14, 2009

    A speech from a 20 year old video... so very relevant? Only at TTAC!!!