This Customer Gives His Two-Cents on GM

You know that I like to talk about GM often in this column. I’m just another frustrated customer.

The company’s making a big move with 30,000 job cuts and a dozen plant closures, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be enough to make a difference to GM’s future.

Don’t get me wrong, I like owning a GMC pick-up truck. It really comes in handy for me, as I like doing a lot of outside work. My friends and family find it handy as well. But, I’m not enthused by the other GM offerings, with the possible exception of the Corvette.

I want to be excited about the company’s prospects, but the company just isn’t making products (other than my truck) that I support. I like the Chevy Equinox, but the interior is really drab. I like the Cadillac CTS, but, again, the interior is really drab. GM needs to cut its expenses, but more so, it needs to cut the cars that aren’t selling and create new products that people actually want to buy!

Just this week, MotorTrend magazine announced its 2006 “Car of the Year,” and it picked the new Honda Civic — a Honda Civic! You guessed it, the economy car is back, big-time. Of course, the domestic manufacturers have small car offerings of their own, but the Honda Civic been in development for 33 years. That’s 33 years of perfecting and refining an automobile and a brand. The result is a great car with an excellent reputation of reliability, as well as style. The car is made in Canada, and the new 2006 body design looks fantastic.

Without new product, GM’s pickle will only further sour. GM needs to create some buzz for its products. The Chevy Impala is a decent car, and a great value, but it’s a little plain. The Impala SS has a great engine under the hood, but alas, it’s front wheel drive. Where’s the excitement in that. Just what I don’t want to own, a V8-powered, front wheel drive, plain looking sedan.

Perhaps I’m being a little too hard on GM, but, as a long-time customer, I can’t help but feel it somehow deserves the criticism.

For decades, GM’s marketing has been nothing more than “if we build it, they will buy.” This strategy doesn’t work when the competition offers more exciting products.

I’m worried for you, GM. You’d better act fast, or your situation will only worsen.