Thursday, October 9, 2014

GM woes: Now the Corvette???

It might seem like piling on, but really, Ronn Torossian said GM is doing it to itself … and that may not be a bad thing. Aside from the Silverado truck, if anyone had to name an iconic GM model, there is really only one top contender. The Corvette. But now, the auto manufacturer has announced it will stop selling Corvettes. At least temporarily. Yes, seriously.

Sure the latest ‘Vette can go 0 to 60 in less than four seconds, but as far as driving one off the lot … well, you’re pretty much at a stand still. According to a recent press statement, GMhas told Chevy dealers to stop delivery of about 2,000 Corvettes in order to inspect them for a, quote, “suspicious part” that, apparently, has something to do with the driver’s side airbag. Further, GM has also stopped shipments from its Bowling Green, Kentucky plant, the place that has been building Corvettes for three decades. This issue has to do with the parking brake, which “must be inspected to ensure it works on both rear tires.”

Come again? The breaks don’t work and the airbag might be faulty? Oh, and this just in, the Corvette only makes up a few thousand of the 270,000 vehicles GM currently has on recall for a plethora of reasons.

Now, there might be two sides to this PR nightmare. Side one, GM is in it deep. Simple, and it’s likely the tactic Ford and Chrysler will approach. However, that’s not exactly a fair assessment. At the heart of all of GM’s recent troubles has been the fact that they were clearly lax and tardy in resolving an issue that has claimed (at least) nineteen lives. HOWEVER, here they are voluntarily recalling their MOST ICONIC automobile. I’d say that’s cause for an “atta boy.” Yes, recalls are common, and yes, recalls are responsible. But by now, even GM’s top brass have got to be thinking, “What now?”

No matter how they spin it, this will be difficult treading from a public relations perspective. They knew this before they released the statement – but they made the statement, anyway. This is clearly the action of a company that has seen its errors and is working hard to rebuild public trust.

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