If GM could convince drivers to buy cars as well as they communicated this week, the auto maker would come out of bankruptcy quickly.
From CEO Fritz Henderson, to UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, to other executives, to the rank and file, as awful as the bankruptcy filing was this week, GM spokespersons were consistent and united in their statements about a new GM. In full page ads, Henderson asks the public to follow the company http://www.gmreinvention.com/ GM sent letters to customers assuring them about quality and warrantees.
As David Leonhardt pointed out in the NY Times many of these promises of GM rebound have been made before. One of the questions is whether the public believes the company and will actually come back and buy, OR whether the younger generation of buyers – who have yet to be enamored with GM and who don’t read the main stream media as much and see the ads – will put the GM vehicles on their desired purchase list.
Yes, the Harbor and JD Power reports do show that initial and long term quality has improved at GM yet, while the factual and statistical gaps between GM and the competition have shrunk, the perception gap has not changed very much.
What do you think? Do you think that GM can close the perception gap so that car buyers will consider Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC in the same way that they think of other cars and trucks? Car buying is both a financial and emotional purchase. Can the turnaround hit us in the hearts and imagination, not just in the pocketbook?