Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Marketing Savvy

Times are tough for American automakers. While some of the blame can laid at the feet of the economy and unions who haven’t figured out the Fifties are over, management must carry the greatest burden. Short-sighted negations with the unions, and a refusal to anticipate a need for anything smaller than SUVs and trucks have led the Big Three into dire financial straits.

Their public relations and marketing don’t kick any ass, either.

Here’s an actual example, ripped from the headlines. No one will argue that GM should have to tolerate what is essentially employee fraud. To come down on employees for too liberally interpreting the employee discount within a week of making GM employee discounts available to everyone is surreal, especially considering GM—along with Ford and Chrysler—is likely to come to the federal government, hats in hand, to ask for some kind of public assistance. This kind of thing will not generate a sympathetic hearing.

Never mind about NAFTA; maybe it’s time for more of the American auto industry to be placed into the hands of people who actually know how to run a car company at a profit, while still paying American workers decent wages and benefits. Honda and Toyota come to mind.

No comments: