Disappointing customers without remorse – until the handouts begin

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could ignore, abuse and ridicule your customers and still make money?  Usually, the ability to “ignore” the economic realities of doing business is limited to giant corporations who keep running in spite of themselves.  However, a recent phenomenon is for these giant corporations to come begging for taxpayer money because they’re just too important to our economy to allow them to “go under”.

Reuters reported yesterday that GM has issued a HUGE “mea culpa” to the “American People” in yet another effort to secure more money from the government.   In the article at Reuters, GM says it “disappointed” and “betrayed” consumers:

General Motors Corp on Monday unveiled an unusually frank advertisement acknowledging it had “disappointed” and sometimes even “betrayed” American consumers as it lobbies to clinch the federal aid it needs to stay afloat into next month.

The print advertisement marked a sharp break from GM’s public stance of just several weeks ago when it sought to justify its bid for a U.S. government on the grounds that the credit crisis had undermined its business in ways executives could never have foreseen.

It also came as Chief Executive Rick Wagoner, who has led the automaker since 2000, faces new pressure to step aside as GM seeks up to $18 billion in federal funding.

GM has been making repeated trips to the government hand out trough.  Briggs Armstrong in a post at the Ludwig von Mises Institute blog points out:

It should not be forgotten that in September of 2008, Congress gave the “big three” automakers a loan totaling $25 billion. Now they are back. This time they say that with a mere $50 billion they can turn things around and become profitable in the future.

I can’t remember a time when GM cared about their pleasing their customers.   In the words of just about every business analyst on the planet – the reason GM isn’t making any  money is they aren’t making cars anyone wants to buy!

I love working with small business owners and this is why – because small business owners “get it”.  If they don’t, they’re bankrupt and broke in no time.  Meanwhile, it is going to literally take an act of Congress for GM execs to get it through their collective thick corporate heads that they need to start building cars people WANT to buy.

Remember the blockbuster movie, Transformers – released way back in 2007?  Remember the ultra HOT Camaro featured in the movie?  Remember?  Gosh – I remember.  I haven’t been passionate about a car in DECADES, yet I really wanted to own a new Camaro when I walked out of that movie.  It’s a good thing I couldn’t walk out of the theater and buy one because there would be on sitting in my driveway right now if GM had played their cards right.

Instead 2009 is almost upon us and  you may be able to finally drive one next spring.  That’s right – spring of  2009.   Oh, and instead of featuring the 2010 Camaro in another blockbuster action movie (been there, done that) , the dolts in charge of marketing are giving you a sneak peak during a third rate network television show “My Own Worst Enemy”.  (Is that show still ON television?  Hasn’t it been cancelled yet?)

Can you imagine Naomi Dunford promoting her Online Business School and then waiting two YEARS to release it for sale?  If Naomi were to adopt such an idiotic marketing strategy, you’d seriously doubt her marketing acumen – yet that’s the rule rather than the exception over at GM.

Long live small business!  Long live the small business owners who “get it” and who product products and services that people want to buy!


  1. AMEN! If they had been making cars people wanted to buy at competitive pricing, we wouldn’t be here today. Notice how there is nothing being said about the unions offering any type of concessions?


  2. Betsy,

    YOU KNOW IT!! We’re supposed to buy over priced cars that are not only “ugly”, “dull” and “boring” – but are also built to fall apart at 50,000 miles!!!

    I have two “beater cars” for the two teenage drivers in my house. One is a 10 year old VW – the other is an 11 year old Chevy. The VW is “worth” about 5X what the Chevy is. Why? Well, we have a close personal relationship with our mechanic thanks to the Chevy. Last year was the first time he discovered we had the VW – because it needed BRAKES (for the first time I might add)!!!!

    When it comes down to our next car – do you think we’ll be buying another Chevy? Of course not!!!

    People in general tend to make smart purchasing decisions. Of course you’ll pay a little extra for the VW “up front” but look at the long term value.

    BTW- my father was a GM dealer when I was growing up. If my father reads this blog post, I can expect a first class ass chewing over it.

  3. “BTW- my father was a GM dealer when I was growing up. If my father reads this blog post, I can expect a first class ass chewing over it.”

    I was happy we drove our Jeep to the family reunion in Michigan this summer. We avoided any ruffled feathers. My cousin who has a Subaru Outback received some flak from the rellies who work at GM. This is what bugs me. We’re supposed to accept shoddiness due to some backassward interpretation of loyalty. I should’ve mentioned it in my recent post, as Buy American is really quite the phenomenon. It’s one thing when there’s quality to buy, and quite another when you’re forced to accept an inferior product. Kind of like how the Romanians or whoever felt about the Yugo, no?


  4. AMEN – AMEN -AMEN!!! Oh, I’m surprised your cousin only got “flak” from GM employed relatives. I’ve heard of cases where violence has erupted over “treasonous acts” such as purchasing an import!

  5. Hey Missy, don’t be messin’ with good TV! 😉

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