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June 10, 2005

On The Other Hand « Car Issues »

And just when I think GM is swinging at strike three and out, Bob Lutz says something like this:

...not to introduce vehicles that are merely competitive, but to really target being the best. This has, frankly, also required some recalibration of the internal culture, especially in the United States. And it’s taken some time to lift ourselves to the best international standard in sheet metal fits. Take a look at the upcoming Chevrolet HHR. I ask you to compare that $15,995 Chevy HHR —- in terms of sheet metal fits, hem flanges, the way all of the panels fit to each other —- to a Lexus GS 400, and tell me if there is any significant difference.

And, don’t forget to spend some time examining the beautiful interior. You could argue that in the past General Motors interiors were a little bit utilitarian. They were easy to keep clean, but they lacked charm, they lacked warmth, and they lacked attention to detail. Not any more. You’ll experience well-crafted interiors, great materials, knobs and switches that feel like they’re on an expensive Japanese camera, even in our inexpensive cars. That is the standard that the public expects –- it’s no longer just a question of: Does it last? Is it reliable? Does it start every morning? Those are givens. That’s the transportation part of the automobile business.

Now, words are just words. Anyone can say things like this. But if he's not just blowing smoke...if GM follows through...if the HHR is even close to the Lexus in quality, and all the vehicles are reliable and last beyond the car being paid off, well, GM's prospects could be really bright. That could make those layoffs be only a temporary measure. I sincerely hope so.

Posted by Nathan at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)
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