The news that GM CEO Rick Wagoner resigned under White House pressure is time for both sadness and a quick gut check and time to get back to work for anyone in the auto business.
CommCore has been working with GM for more than 20 years. Some of my best friends in the business have come through the Detroit doors – and many are still working in communications, design, manufacturing and quality control. Almost all have been Wagoner loyalists – they have been inspired by his leadership and his low key hands on approach.
In the last couple of months, once Toyota started losing money, it’s been clear that the GM, Chrysler and Ford problems are global in nature. At some point, consumers will start buying cars again, but they aren’t doing it today. Recent news that Buick had better quality scores than Lexus doesn’t create a stampede at the showrooms.
So in the absence of results, something had to give. For GM’ers it’s important to pick up on Wagoner’s optimistic note to employees. He implored: “Ignore the doubters because I know it is a company with a great future.”
If I had the answer I wouldn’t be blogging – I’d be in Detroit or working for the Government’s auto task force. A Buy American strategy is a nice idea, but it doesn’t work. It’s critical to harness all of the creative efforts to get people to consider US cars and trucks and into the showrooms.