GM’s Reinvention - Hope or Hype?

People have been talking a lot lately about GM’s new television spot, “Reinvention,” and most of what I’ve heard has not been positive. If you haven’t yet seen it, please, be my guest.

Criticism of this ad has ranged from the economic: “Why are they spending all this money for a commercial, when they’ve taken billions of dollars of taxpayer money?” to the skeptical: “They did this to themselves - they aren’t going to change anything, so why bother?” (I’m paraphrasing, of course).

But, I would like to look at this as a positive thing. Yes, I realize they are trying to improve their image, and that this is basic marketing. But maybe, just maybe, there’s more to it.

I remember as a kid, my parents would not even consider buying a “foreign” car. Nope, it was “Made in the USA” all the way. Granted, at the time the American cars had it all: they were stylish and they ran seemingly forever. That’s why it really shocked me when my mother bought a Honda in 1995. She’s a practical person, and her research showed her that the Honda Accord was a better car than any of the US models she was considering. And there’s nothing wrong with that. As a consumer, you need to make the decision that makes the most economic sense for your situation.

And, while I don’t think there’s anyone who would disagree that United States car companies have made MANY missteps in the last few decades, maybe it’s time we give them another chance. I’m not going to say I agree with how things have been handled up to this point (bailouts, etc.), but who’s to say that they won’t really make good this time? Perhaps we are about to see a “rebirth” of the American car industry.

Believe me… I’m a staunch believer in taking responsibility for your own actions (or, in this case, your company’s actions). I’m not suggesting that this 60-second commercial can undo all the negativity that has been associated with GM for so long, but maybe it’s a step in the right direction. If nothing else, it lets the American public know that GM is still around, and plans to take the necessary steps to be around for a long time.

Jun 12, 2009

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