According to an Associated Press article which sites GM's loss of the number one auto sales position to Toyota GM's Executive Director of global market and industry analysis Mike DiGiovanni downplayed the significance of the drop to number two saying the automaker is focused on profitability rather than sales volume. "I don't think being number one in vehicle sales means all that much at all to the American consumer. I think what matters most to the is consumer is strong brands and strong products..."
Jesus Mike! How do you have strong products and brands if you're not number one? Those are the strong products and brands! This statement is about as intelligent a move as your CEO flying to DC on a private jet asking for a handout. Seriously. It's in the same league. Did your PR department approve this statement before you let fly? Are your advertising agencies reviving an Avis like "We try harder" campaign? Mike, this type of thinking is why GM stock was trading around $3.50 yesterday. Oh, that's right Mike, I forgot. It's OK to say stupid things that influence consumer perception by telling us being a winner isn't important. Or did you never learn that Americans love winners? Your excuse for being stuck on stupid? ...GM is a penny stock company and penny stock companies don't employ the best, the brightest or those with much common sense. That's why they're penny stocks instead of corporate leaders. I won't even have to look today to know GM stock selling even lower.
But this type of gaff reminds me of another GM story years ago when GM hired a Deputy Director of the US Census named Vince Barabba to come in and give the company "a voice of the consumer." Vince met me in his office to explain he believed there was "a market for people who wanted cars that didn't look good." I had to ask Vince to repeat the objective of that new product assignment before I graciously declined to participate. I left. Vince stayed. Vince didn't last long at General Motors and neither did his Chevy Lumina.
If GM was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz do you think they and CEO Rick Wagner wake up each morning tapping their heels together saying, "It's not about sales. It's not about sales."