Friday, August 13, 2010

743 More On Cars

743 More On Cars

Memo

To: GM Chairman-designate Daniel Ackerson
From: Wessays™
Subject: Your New Job

Dan, babes, you're the fourth chairman in a year and a half and it's pretty well known that while you're already a GM director you don't have experience running a huge industrial enterprise that manufactures stuff you can't lift. Telecom may teach you some stuff about big companies. But cars are different. So here's the Prime Directive:

DON'T SHIP CRAP

Credit real Car Guy Lee Iacocca with that three word mega-concept. Your predecessor, Ed Whitaker, didn't have any automotive experience beyond driving, either. But he managed to squeek out at least a paper profit for two consecutive quarters, nothing short of a miracle if true (we haven't read the zillion footnotes and exceptions and special charges and one-time this and thats.)

Another real car guy, Bob Lutz, says you have a good team in place but you need to learn to listen to its members, something he seems to think you are disinclined to do. Lutz's retirement is the worst thing to happen to GM since the spontaneously combusting 1978 Cadillac or maybe even the first Corvair which flipped over on command like an obedient cocker spaniel. (Yes, yes, it was corrected before Nader's book about it was published, but it still happened.)

Your government-owned and bankrupt company is making some beautiful vehicles. The Malibu, the Escalade, the 'Vette, the LaCrosse. And no one disputes you guys have re-learned your once forgotten ability to make a drive train that actually works. Well, sort of.

Guy in the parking lot with a new Caddy STS mentioned he was worried about blowing a rod after 50 thousand miles. People shouldn't be worried about that stuff. But the devil is in the details. The windows have to fit the doors and the doors have to fit the body and your cars should not be needing headlights after three months on the road. Or tail lights.

Parking lot guy shouldn't have to think about that stuff after spending 60 grand for wheels, pretty as they are. And he bought the thing, even knowing it might be trouble. THAT, is something on which to capitalize.


Shrapnel:

--Is anyone interested in reading about a method to game the solitaire game in Windows Vista? It's not the wimpy "guaranteed to win" trick you can play in XP, and it doesn't guarantee a win each time. But you'll up your percentage if you use it.

--Some party for Charlie Rangel at the Plaza as he turned 80, and one guest shouted out something about attending a "party for a crook." Former mayor Dinkins answered for the rest of the crowd by giving the heckler the finger. David Dinkins (?) did WHAT(?,) a guy who never broke a sweat in public and was always seen as a guy qualified for the U.S. Ambassadorship to the Court of St. James?

--There's conchee in the the slow cooker, just about ready to eat after an overnight of bubbling away. Hard to figure how all the white stuff that goes into the pot manages to turn brown in a few hours. And the stuff never tastes the same twice, even with the same ingredients in the same amounts every time.


I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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