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What will it take for American's to buy American again?

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In all the talk about GM restructuring and the possibility of bankruptcy, nobody has come up with a solution to GM's true problem; the American public general perception of the company and its products.

What do you think it would take for people to believe in GM again? Or more importantly, what do you think it would take to get Americans to believe in other Americans again?

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Good old fashion American ingenuity, great marketing, great PR.

Americans take note of class leaders, not also rans.

You mean like the Malibu? I'm thinking it will take much more than that as this has not gotten the "Foreign car humpers" to reconsider American products.

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You mean like the Malibu? I'm thinking it will take much more than that as this has not gotten the "Foreign car humpers" to reconsider American products.

No, i has to far outclass the competition and it has to continually do it for several generations.

Reputations are not easy to get, and easy to lose.

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To be accurate, TRC also mentioned 'great marketing, great PR', which has not quite been the case with the Malibu. Quality marketing is extremely important (and I don't think the Malibu's has been necc. poor), but quantity sorely needs to be addressed, too.

IMO- the car itself is quite competitive- the word just needs to get out better. I do not think 'far outclass' is really possible from anyone, esp in realistic price classes.

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PR and advertising.

Awareness and reinforcement.

A concerted effort to drive the sheep.

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All good ideas and I agree this will help GM in the long run, but is there anything they can do over then next 5 years? GM continues to loose market share, which in itself, creates financial issues.

1. Does getting new board members help create a "new" image of the company?

2. Would a bankruptcy make people think they are thinking in a "new" way?

3. Does killing off the union help, or does it just make sure more Americans are underpaid?

4. What about focusing on cars for the next few years, with little to no updates on their trucks?

5. What about making a division focus on high gas mileage compact and subcompact class leading vehicles (Pontiac) verses keeping a truck division(GMC)? 6. What about an electric car division (Pontiac)?

7. What about a truck division (GMC) that is the first in the industry to have electric, hybrid, etc. as their main products?

8. What about a CEO that does weekly town halls, or similar, like a President?

9. What about a batttery powered Firebird?

10. What can they do about quality perception?

a. Do they dump any vehicle and plant that does not get top rankings?

b. Do they make sure EVERY vehicle that got a reward due to quality has a sticker showing of such?

11. Do they work with GMAC to see if dealer customer satisfaction surveys can be linked to the interest charged for the vehicles floored?

12. How do they get the public to believe, those running for office should drive what we make?

I believe it is as much the little things that GM does wrong as the big things. Class leading trucks and SUVs have been big for GM for years, but it hasn't stopped toyota from selling a fair number of tundras. A new image is needed beyond making top notch vehicles and making sure people know about it. It is an overall image that they need to change. Not so easy, and not so cheap when you have no money available and don't like to do things that are considered out of the box.

I'm not saying I have the right answers, but I am wondering if GM, and it's fans, are still thinking within the same box that got them into trouble in the first place.

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GM needs to cut down on the number of models and brands substantially. Then focus heavily on each individual model to make sure it's a class leader.

No more rebadges.

GM needs to ditch any hints of old technology. Yes, they can still make pushrods and leaf springs work, but consumers like new technology and new thinking. These technologies hold GM in the past. If it ain't broke don't fix it doesn't fly.

The Malibu is a great vehicle; good styling inside and out, good build quality, high tech engine; but there is too much crap everywhere else. The Aveo? The Cobalt? Not to mention 80% of GM's lineup that is forgettable.

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Spin is everything these days - otherwise, Toyota wouldn't be so successful.

Perception is reality.

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About a 100 point increase in the average IQ of the country.

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:scratchchin: I would say GM needs to start with Talking to the American People.

Saturn's new ad with the Black man who talks about those companies who will take back your auto if you loose your job and they make lite of it by saying Honey I am home, Lost my Job, Lost my Car, what is for dinner. We believe in you and the value of your car with our program.

I think you all have seen this ad.

GM needs to step out of the box and talk to America, highlite the problems they have had and the route they are going to fix it, Focus on the quality auto's, cars, suv's & trucks they have, the high milage models and the over all plan they are doing FOR the American people. You need to highlite the high milage auto's as much as clearly state the SUV's / Trucks are used by Americans who Build America.

Buy American, From American Company with the promise of us backing your payment, backing your value in the auto and more than anything backing your satisfaction with the best built auto's backed by the best warranty in the auto business. 10yr / 125,000 miles bumper to bumper warranty.

Any company that builds a quality product and believes it can handle 250,000 miles should be able to back up this kind of warranty.

With the Economic mess we have, straight talking to the american people of what you are doing for them, to help them and how they also help other Americans is the best ad they can do right now. :gm_logo:

Edited by dfelt
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All good ideas and I agree this will help GM in the long run, but is there anything they can do over then next 5 years? GM continues to loose market share, which in itself, creates financial issues.

1. Does getting new board members help create a "new" image of the company?

Probably not, but if they are actually active they can direct management to further the company

2. Would a bankruptcy make people think they are thinking in a "new" way?

If they go through bankruptcy and survive? Then yes definitely, it would show Americans that even through adversity and the toughest of tough times they are able to come through fighting. To keep receiving Federal Aid (or receiving any federal aid for that matter) only drags down Americans view of the company.

3. Does killing off the union help, or does it just make sure more Americans are underpaid?

Wages are relative. If everyone made only 10% of what they currently make, no one would be any better or worse off than they were before, however our currency would be extremely strong. Unions contribute to the wage-price spiral which leads to inflation. Of course there are many other effects that lead to inflation such as the treasury printing 1 trillion bucks out of thin air.

4. What about focusing on cars for the next few years, with little to no updates on their trucks?

This is fine, Americans are still pretty hardcore fans of American trucks. Trucks did not use to be updated very often but people who needed a truck were always fine with the offerings, and were very loyal.

5. What about making a division focus on high gas mileage compact and subcompact class leading vehicles (Pontiac) verses keeping a truck division(GMC)?

No

6. What about an electric car division (Pontiac)?

No. Not Pontiac. If they wanted to create an electric car under the GM brand that's fine.

7. What about a truck division (GMC) that is the first in the industry to have electric, hybrid, etc. as their main products?

idiotic, all you are doing is reinforcing peoples perceptions that by buying these hybrids they are helping the environment when they really are not helping it at all with all the manufacturing pollution plus battery recycling/production pollution. No, GMC should be built on conventional V8 engines, its a work truck. If they want to build lean burn V8s that get great gas mileage but can still tow that's definitely a viable option... Or diesels.

8. What about a CEO that does weekly town halls, or similar, like a President?

Perhaps, a monthly statement seems a better use of a CEOs time however.

9. What about a batttery powered Firebird?

Firebirds already are battery powered, they don't work to well without em

10. What can they do about quality perception?

a. Do they dump any vehicle and plant that does not get top rankings?

No, they should ensure continuous improvement of quality.

b. Do they make sure EVERY vehicle that got a reward due to quality has a sticker showing of such?

Don't see how it could hurt.

11. Do they work with GMAC to see if dealer customer satisfaction surveys can be linked to the interest charged for the vehicles floored?

seems like a silly way to run a finance business

12. How do they get the public to believe, those running for office should drive what we make?

The same way the Japanese did, continious improvement. Great marketing. And a proactive PR department that likes to announce problems BEFORE any regulatory agency points them out. If GM appears to be generous to the people, people will have a higher favorability of GM. Money spent on Goodwill can be very expensive, but it can also turn great returns and build great loyalty

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I agree with allot of what Riccer says. :)

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I would argue that a charismatic, well known figure like Iaccoca would do wonders to help GM's image.

Get Jobs, or Gates, or someone like that.

Imagine if they put Gates, with all his ruthlessness, at the head of GM.

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Imagine if they put Gates, with all his ruthlessness, at the head of GM.

But will he leave his mansion overlooking Lake Washington is the question...

To answer the OP, GM must figure out what it takes to get those who think it's highly uncool to drive domestic iron (like too many people I know through work or socially) to consider an American car.

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But will he leave his mansion overlooking Lake Washington is the question...

To answer the OP, GM must figure out what it takes to get those who think it's highly uncool to drive domestic iron (like too many people I know through work or socially) to consider an American car.

Exactly! That is why producing great product & advertising cannot be the only answer. They have to do something to recapture the attention of the American public in a positive way, NOT using the same old . . .

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To buy American, I think it would take Americans to care more about supporting their own country economic base than about their own selfish needs.

It would also take good products that are provide some pride in ownership for the consumer.

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Good products, good marketing, keeping the brands that made GM GM, consistancy(GM's biggest problem), and time.

Well I guess consistancy isn't a problem per se, since GM can seemingly do the wrong thing consistantly, like cancelling programs that are 75% developed or sending cars like the G3 to Pontiac. GM needs to consistantly do things right. The brands need to be consistant with their stated values.

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