At the manfully named FastLane Blog, GM CFO Ray Young has posted a YouTube video, admitting mistakes were made in the past, discounting the possibility that mistakes will be made in the future, and thanking everyone for their support. Well, thank you, Ray.
GM Facts and Fiction tells it like it is with dollops of fear and panic, supported by unsubstantiated statistics and blind patriotism. Always an effective mix. The site features talking points for calling your Congressman, or if you happen to be Canadian and don’t have a Congressman, some nice downloadable PDF’s.
GM’s also set up a Facebook cause. They’ve got 11,000 members. Donations are disabled. For now.
Continuing with the fear and panic motif, GM has contributed an endtime video called “The U.S. Auto Industry and the Ripple Effect.” The video features a gaseous cloud erupting in Flint and obliterating the continental United States.
Why should America care? Chrysler employees apparently feel that since the Big Three won World War II for us, now it’s payback time. If you’re willing to watch this silly and tiresome video long enough, you can also hear a fellow from “International Finance” blame the Asians and their currency manipulation.
Ford also has an odd website called The Ford Story featuring Allan Mulally discussing the current “downdraft” and why Ford is asking for money from the American taxpayer even though it doesn’t need any money. It could have been worse — at least he wasn’t interviewed on his Lear jet.
- The message is essentially negative and backward-looking. Where’s the payoff? You give us $X billion or no more Hummers for you, pal, ever? Doesn’t work.
- The message does not reach beyond the choir. Fixed, static, closed feudal systems rely on everyone being bought into the program. Granted the executives, the dealers, the workers and the supply chain may still believe in Detroit’s program. The rest of us started falling off the bus round about 1974. There’s a measure for this. It’s called market share.
- Detroit executives at this point have zero credibility. Showing this off on YouTube is a mistake.
- The message is one-way. Where’s my opportunity to participate — beyond calling up my Congressman and repeating your pathetic message? Where’s my checkbox, my Save America badge, my Keep America Humming Beefy-Tee?
What do you think?