What’s Good for General Motors is Good for America—and for Mexico

Last month, I bought a new car. Even though my beloved Eldorado had served me well, it was time. I flirted with the notion of buying a Hitler car, and I flirted with buying a Honda, but I came to my senses and bought a car made by General Motors. And you know something? I know I made the right decision.

images Brand loyalty has served me well for nearly half a century. If you want a computer, you buy a Dell. If you want a printer, there is no better brand than Hewlett-Packard. If you want good clothes, it’s Neiman Marcus. Well, Saks does run a close second. And if you want solid, reliable vehicle, there’s none better than a General Motors product. All decisions in life should be that easy.

There is no company around which has produced cars longer in Mexico and the U.S. than General Motors. That’s got to tell you something. The Big Three are what made both countries great.

Now I really don’t know enough to even have an opinion about whether a bailout or a bankruptcy is in General Motors’ best interest. But I do know that if every new car buyer in this hemisphere did the right thing and bought a General Motors product we’d all be better off.

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9 comments on “What’s Good for General Motors is Good for America—and for Mexico

  1. Gary Denness says:

    I’ve got to be honest, I couldn’t disagree more. One of the prinicpal reasons GM is in its current mess is because it builds awful cars. No just a little off, or slightly below standard, but just plain awful. The automotive publishing industry could tell us this, but I can see it clearly from experience. My wife and I are forced to change our cars on a regular basis (weekly or monthly, not yearly) as we drive whatever her father gives us. He is a car dealer.
    Whenever we’re given a Big 3 car, we groan. But even more so if it’s a GM product. They are poorly built, unreliable, handling is terrible, fuel consumption is appalling – there’s just nothing good to say about them.
    Give me a Japanese car any day of the week. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Honda, Nissan, Toyota. Failing that, give me a German car. Or an Italian car (same poor quality as GM, but at least there’s a bit of style!) Or even a French car. Anything but GM.
    I have watched the continued demise of GM (and Vauxhall in the UK) and seen what is wrong all along. Along with millions of others. Me. I could see this happening. Me. So why couldn’t GM?
    Out of curiosity, have you based your post on the letter that GM have been posting out to their customers asking them to help out on the lobbying front? the wording is awfully similar.
    http://tinyurl.com/5bjz7f
    Please don’t take this as a personal attack – easy to do as this is my first comment on your blog! I’ve been reading for a few weeks and I enjoy your blog. But as I say, I disagree pretty strongly with your appraisal on this occasion.
    (Incidentally, I’d buy a Dell only if I was on a tight budget and Epson make better printers than HP!)

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  2. jjr says:

    Until I read your comments, Gary, I didn’t even know that GM was contacting its customers to lobby on its behalf. Maybe I’m just left out of the loop since I live in Mexico and bought my Chevrolet here.

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  3. ap says:

    I’ve had 2 Fords, A Taurus and a Windstar.
    The Taurus was OK, except the tran went at 6.5 years and guess what the Windstar tran went at the same time. They are not built to last, and you have to spend 1000’s and 1000’s more to fix them. than Jap cars..
    The Fraud “crapstar” was a real nightmare..
    I will not buy another Fraud .
    How come my son’s 1990 Honda is still on the road with 200,000 miles on it..
    I Just think that American cars are just not worth the risk or time .
    Its not that they are cheaper, they are not, and the dealer attitude is awful.
    As Micheal Moore said put it GM told people what cars to buy and thats what the root cause of all of this is, and sending jobs to third world countries is another big mistake.
    They could not make them cheaper if they tried. The quality is just not there its that simple. All this JD Powers rating junk is just not true… its that simple. Even Kia and Hyundai have changed !
    Let alone the awful management having an ‘entitlement’ syndrome, in ‘Country Club’ America.
    Look at the mess everything is in thanks to greed , corps, ‘experts’ MBA (management by accident), consultants, ‘selling’ junk, and screwing the middle class (or whats left of it)
    How come Honda and Toyota Management is hands on and no one has a title at the plant . Managers and workers all dress the same and do things in a team way. In America, corporations do not work this way and heirachical mathod are used.
    Its time for a major change in thinking.
    Baling them out is the wrong move .. Let them die and entrpreneurs will take over.

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  4. Daniel Banks says:

    Wow! The guy driving the Eldorado is so lost. “Buy a GM if you want solid, reliable, quality..” A GM vehicle is anything but. Drive a Honda for one week and you will never drive another GM car as your daily driver. GM cars are the poorest qulity and worst designed cars that i can think of. Japenese cars (Honda especially) are always years in front of GM with their designs (hey, people buy what they looks nice) and they are unmatched with reliability. My Acura has 135,000 on it and drives like new. I have not had a single issue with it in 30,000 miles. When ou hit 100k with a GM, start thinking about selling it! My god, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if resale values are consistently better year after year after year, then the japenese must be making good cars. Anyone who still thinks like this guy is fooling themselves. The big three are suffering because thier cars suck!! The unions have also sucked them dry. GM is so poorly mis-managed and has been for thirty years. My god people, wake up. You make crappy, low quality cars that suck gas and then pay the highest labor costs to do it, how long does it take before you go down in flames????

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  5. muycontento says:

    If I’m even close to being in agreement with Micheal Moore (traitor, whiner, desgraciado, all-around fat slob) about anything I will quickly change my opinion. But the worse car I ever owned was a mid-1980’s Cadillac, big comfortable car with no power and high maintenance. Best was a rotary engine Mazda sports car closely followed followed by a Honda Accord. Just the facts. BMW is still probably the best on the road.

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  6. Felipe Zapata says:

    I´ve had a GM/Vauxhall Meriva for four years, and I´ve never had a lick of trouble with it. That said, it´s pretty clear that the Japanese brands are far better cars, and when I buy another one, I´ll almost certainly be returning to the Japs. Or maybe a Hitler car.
    The troubles of GM are due to two things: bad management and greedy unions.

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  7. If we brought products to support our local industry, then economics would argue that we would be worse off not better off. We should buy products that are well made, cheap and satisfy our wants. The US car companies for years have failed to deliver on all three of these while foreign car makers have listened to the market and provided what consumers want. Why should General Motors be rewarded for failure to listen to the market? Why should we buy products merely because they are local and go against our own self interest?
    This argument about free trade would be supported by left and right economists because at the heart of the matter is the best allocation of scarce resources to satisfy as many wants as possible. Oh dear an old economics teacher never really goes away. Something deep inside me surfaced plus my surprise Jennifer that you would advocate helping inefficiency.

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  8. John Calyspo says:

    ‘Have to agree with Richard Lander (did I just write that?) – Quality and cost should be the motivating factors – not some false sense of allegiance that supports mediocrity.
    I most often agree with you – just not this time.

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  9. Esteban says:

    It’s a sign of the times when Mattel is worth much more than GM. We live in a throw away society. Nothing is built to last; nothing is built to be fixed by the owner himself; everything is non recyclable plastic junk. However, being the optimist that I am, I believe, in the near future, things may change just like the old free paper dresses of the sixties. It was a good idea but they caught fire easily. We are Rome burning.
    The best thing to do is buy any car that suits you for the time being, but, for the most part, you should be riding a bicycle. Not only will you get in shape, save gas and see the neighborhood, you’ll be a part of the future. You’ll be ahead of your time.
    GM, Ford and the rest of their greedy ilk should be allowed to die. It’s time for some new innovation from young smart minds. I hate to say it but we were talking this stuff back on the streets of San Francisco in the 60’s. Guess we were a little ahead of our time.
    The apathetic youth need to get off their duffs and create intelligent quality products. It’ll save their asses and recreate the America of which we dream.
    As a side note, I gave up on ALL Microsoft products. I’m using a MacBook Pro and let me tell you, once you change, you’ll never go back. What a dream come true.

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