General Motors - The Present

General Motors marketing is way out of touch with today's buyers. We lack direction in our programs and create such a confusing situation for our dealers and customers that sales suffer significantly. Customers look to us for more than product knowledge, they want our advice and counsel. Who knows what to recommend when the sand is constantly shifting?

The dealers and managers I talk to absolutely HATE the way incentives bounce in any direction at any time. The factory should concentrate on building vehicles and on brand image and let the dealers sell cars.

--- Buickman

Click to enlarge

"Buick City"

Flint, MI


Click to enlarge

"Buick City"

Flint, MI

Demolished 2002

"CEOs are so well coached these days, it's almost impossible to wrench an unfiltered word out of them. Like baseball players talking about "team effort" and "giving 110 percent," top executives work from a well-rehearsed and colorless script---especially when things go wrong. Seldom is responsibility taken or the problems specifically identified. Instead, blame is firmly affixed to broad slowdowns in business or a lack of visibility. Worse, plenty of executives simply hide at the first sign of trouble, speaking to the media (and thus their shareholders) only through spokespersons who are even better trained in the art of spin."

-- David Faber, "The Faber Report"

"Human beings and organizations are apt to grow fat, dumb and comfortable in the absence of external shocks to the system."

-- Elmer Johnson


April 03 - April 04
GM increased incentives 24.8% year over year but still lost 0.1 pp of Market Share

-- Statistics Auto Data


From 1996 - 2002 Toyota Global sales increased to 6.17M annually from 4.75M

GM increased to only 8.5M from 8.4M.


Toyota - 30% growth

GM - 1%

-- Automotive News

"Don't be fooled by what appear to be some respected names on a board. Having a powerful lawyer or former government official or banker or venture capitalist or professor on the board isn't going to help the company with its business. That's management's job, and if they need the help, they can always hire consultants. If you are looking at the board of directors at all, ask yourself whether you can imagine these people standing up to the CEO when things go bad."

-- David Faber, "The Faber Report"

"Rule: Hire a chief executive who knows something--like the products and the customers--about the business he is in. Frankly, there have been too many M.B.A.s at the top who didn't know these things, and worse, wanted to be surrounded by other M.B.A.s who didn't know them either...You thought auto execs knew these things? They don't. If everyone knew them, the U.S. auto industry--once the greatest industry on earth---wouldn't have lost 40% of its business."

-- J Flint, "Backseat Driver"

H. Ross Perot:
"Where I come from, when you see a snake, you kill it. At GM the first thing you do is form a committee on snakes, next you hire a consultant, then you talk about it for a year."

As Share Goes Bye

You must remember this,
A loss is just a loss.
The pie is still in the sky.
Fundamental marketing will still apply,
As share goes bye.

And when Toyota's up another two,
We only get Daewoo,
On John Smith we can't rely.
No matter what the economy brings,
As share goes bye.

Rebates and confusion way out of date,
Execs full of themselves, ready for their fate,
Buyers want self image, hope its not too late,
For its that we need to supply.

It's still the same old story,
A flight of sales and glory,
A case of change or die.

The world will always respect a winner,
As share goes bye.

Best played in S(as in sales)Flat.