Other Editorials

Buickman Annual Meeting Speech

Jim Dollinger
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Good Morning Fellow Shareholders:

James Michael Dollinger, The Buickman, from Fashionable Flint Michigan, Founder of GeneralWatch.com and America's top car salesman, ever.

I sold my first car in 1976, 41 years ago.

I attended my first Shareholder meeting in 1982, featuring Roger Smith and Jim McDonald.

I am America's top Buick salesman, recognized 6 times in the 90's and managed a franchise to Number One Buick store in our nation.

As the father of 7 daughters, I would like to congratulate The Board for electing a female as our Chair, and compliment Ms Barra on her numerous successes.

I am here today to introduce my Proposal for a Separate Chair & CEO.

General Motors is far too large for any one person to effectively perform both roles

The great Billy Durant himself failed in this dual capacity

We prospered under the duPont/Sloan form of governance, making money even through the Depression.

GM expanded globally, and grew into the world's most successful manufacturer.

Having only one person in charge of both long term strategy AND ongoing operations has led to things such as the Fiat Fiasco, horrific marketing (in truth the worst imaginable. One could claim stupidity but it's sequential, if not purposeful), and bankruptcy. Today, we have withdrawn from Europe, India, Australia, and sell virtually nothing in Japan. We need an independent Chair to provide vision, separate from running such an enormous enterprise on a day to day basis. remember War is won the night before plotting strategy, not simply on the Field of Battle.

My proposal for independent Chair provides for a change in leadership direction.

Last month in the US we dropped to 15% market share, (which I predicted) and the trend is downward.

Should the US market implode we will have to sell out to the Chinese or go Bankrupt again. Talk about risk management... remember those classes?

Let's "Bail ourselves out"

What needs to be addressed isn't classes of stock. that is divisive. our profit sharing has brought labor and ownership together. that's a good thing for everyone. Solidarity Baby!

We need less Evelyn Y Davis in these meetings, more Ross Perot and Jerry York.

What we need most however, is to sell cars. our dealers lots are flooded with inventory, many renting off site space to simply park the merchandise.

We have great products. our designers, engineers, production people...all do a fine job, from Warren and Milford, to Lansing and Kansas City, kudos.

Then we screw it all up in the Tubes and Manhattan.

Problem is we don't know what we're doing. we interfere and create confusion. our merchandising is distressful rather than aspirational.

We sell the deal not the product, our incentives frustrate our dealers and our customers.

Our results don't change, only our excuses. Where's the bottom?

Well, we have employees, retirees, families and friends of franchisees, and loyalists.

But I'm here to tell you unless the marketing changes dramatically we will keep pushing people away.

We need an executive completely focused on operations, sales and market share.

We can fix our marketing. but don't have the talent in house, and can't hire it because we don't recognize it standing right in front of us.

I have to leave, if you'd like help, I can bring you 5 points of market share within 6 months while reducing the spend. Point the searchlight north, flash the Tri Shield toward Buick City, and I'll be back.