QOTD: How Many Times Has GM Made This Claim Before?

Michael Karesh
by Michael Karesh
qotd how many times has gm made this claim before

Automotive News reports, with their usual straight face, that “GM sees new models spurring rebound from lower U.S. market share.” The question isn’t whether GM has made this claim before, but how many times it has made it.

For me, flashbacks from the 1980s and 1990s continue to roll in. Some of those times I believed that promising new cars actually would turn GM around. But at this point I’m with Alex Taylor III, who recounted in his 2010 memoir:

“My first cover story for Time, dated September 9, 1980, quoted [Roger] Smith, then an executive vice president, as likening the company to a hockey team in the midst of a line change. As soon as all the players are on the ice, he was certain, GM would be competitive again. It was an excuse I would hear again and again from GM: ‘We’re not doing so well right now, but wait until you see the new models we have coming next year.’ As often as not, the market ignored the new GM models when they did arrive.”

After basing a few too many stories on GM’s predictions, Taylor eventually lost faith in them. One can only be proven wrong so many times…unless you’re a GM PR exec.

Perhaps we can have a contest. Who can track down the most previous GM claims that upcoming models would reverse its market share slide? To keep it simple, we’ll only count a max of one per model year. Bonus points: which models were supposed to save GM’s bacon?

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4 of 62 comments
  • Chicagoland Chicagoland on Apr 11, 2012

    The only products that actually did sell well in past 15 years: New versions of Full sized Pickups, Escalade, CTS, Enclave, and Cruze. By the way, GM sold the Chevy LUV truck in the 70's, and the Equinox was just a newer, bigger Geo Tracker, which they had before the CR-V.

  • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Apr 11, 2012

    With GM, as with the other domestic auto manufacturers, it has always been the same slogan, year after year, "NEW, IMPROVED, BETTER THAN EVER!!!" And every year, for the past four decades it has been the same let down. SOSO: Same old same old. Or SSDD: Same sh!t, different day. What GM needs to do is replace its old OHV pushrods with state of the art 32-valve DOHC V8 engines in its half-ton trucks, and while they are at it, reverse engineer the new Chrysler Pentastar 24-valve DOHC VVT V6. That would go a long way to improving anything from GM. For GM to approach being consistently profitable it needs to shed itself of GMC and Buick and focus on its core brands: Chevrolet and Cadillac. GM could instill confidence in its products by doing what made Hyundai so successful: provide a 10-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. All this talk about 'future' GM products is just so much hog wash. At the rate GM is going, it won't be around for 2016, unless the taxpayers provide even more money for this zombie. Opel is a gushing wound and the French connection is losing money faster than even Obama can spend it. The current and future line-up of GM products can't even come close to those from Ford or Fiatsler, and GM isn't even in the same ball park as the foreigners.

  • Msquare Msquare on Apr 12, 2012

    Same old haters, same old hate. This being April, there are 30 Major League Baseball teams who will tell you they all have a chance of winning the World Series this year. 29 are full of it. So when GM paints a rosy picture of its immediate future for its customers and stockholders, it is actually behaving like any other business. You expect them to be pessimistic? There are people who make careers of crunching the numbers and coming to their own conclusions. They're there for a reason. And GM's current products are definitely competitive in their market segments. I might actually believe their market-share forecasts this time because independent sources back it up. Sure, they catch a break because of Japan's recent natural disasters, but if their cars were anything like they were even 5 years ago, the Koreans would be eating their lunch. They're good, but they're not. Do some research, crunch the numbers and back up the hate with something substantial. Otherwise it's the same old drivel.

  • Windswords Windswords on Apr 12, 2012

    Just 2 or 3 years ago there were many on this site who said that Chrysler should be put out of it's misery so that GM would have a better chance of making it. I pointed out that GM was the better candidate in this game of automotive life boat to throw over the side because it would benefit both Chrysler and Ford. GM was too broken, would cost too much money, and take too much time to fix (IF - it could be fixed). Chrysler on the other hand could quickly be back in health with the right leaders and products. Now I have never been for hoping or helping a company go out of business. I believe the market should make that decision not a government and certainly not an enthusiast site. But it's nice to be proven right.