Jesus Says: Buy General Motors
When GM was lobbying for a federal bailout back in the Fall and Winter of 2008-09, desperate times called for desperate measures. Unable to explain why 30+ years of decline didn’t open The General’s corporate eyes to the need for change back when it could still afford it, pro-bailout agitators reached for the most divisive, debate-squelching justifications for a billion-dollar handout they could find. Whether that meant accusing opposition of weakening national security, ingratitude towards the outcome of WWII, racism, classism or even more racism, GM’s pro-bailout campaign left no wedge issue or leverageable political identity untouched. And man, are old habits hard to kick. The Detroit News reports that:
General Motors Co. is making a pulpit pit stop today as part of its accelerating quest to change perceptions among buyers, boost market share and reach new customers — particularly minorities.
Yes, Chairman/CEO may be banishing corporate arrogance from the GM boardroom, but clearly the marketing department is still in a bailout-era, all-options-on-the-table mindset. Otherwise, why else would the company consider a church to be an appropriate place to hock the latest Chevys, Cadillacs and Buicks? Oh right, this is Detroit we’re talking about. Hartford Memorial Baptist Church pastor Charles Adams explains:
This is a wonderful opportunity to do something really special for Hartford church members — something that has never been done at a church in Detroit. Minority suppliers help to provide jobs and financial security for thousands of people in metropolitan Detroit.
Because bailing GM out was good for minorities, it now falls on these same minorities to pay it forward by buying a new Buick. At church.
Of course, some analysts are wondering if this is such a good idea. Autoconomy’s Erich Merkle notes that:
Folks see church as a place to worship — it’s not a car show. Some may say, ‘Bring it on in’ because they have a vested interest in the auto industry because they’re dealers or suppliers. But others may look at it as being not the right venue… [besides,] the exposure for GM is going to be relatively small, I would think, so it’s not going to have the multiplier effect you might get from other marketing activities.
But hey, GM has already crossed a once-inviolable line by taking on government stakeholders… why not muddle the line between business and religion as well? What could possibly go wrong?
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