Thursday, July 23, 2009

GM Just Doesn't Get It.

As most of my readers know, I'm a big fan of the GM F-body (The GM Platform code for the Camaro/Firebird), in fact, I own two GM/Pontiac TransAms, a 98 and a 00, and for the most part I'm happy with them. Since GM stopped making the F-cars in 2002, I've been eye-balling Corvettes as a replacement and with GM/Chevy introducing the new Camaro this year, I've visited the local dealer a few times to check out what the General has to offer.

But following the government bailout of GM, I was having a hard time bringing myself to give that company any more of my money. Lucky for me, GM has gone on to completely dissolve any and all interest I might have had in a new Camaro with their "Transformers Edition" Camaro as it just demonstrates that despite being "The New GM" thanks to my (and your) tax money, they still just don't get it.

Let me review - in the "blockbuster hit" movie "Transformers", the first and second from what I gather, I haven't seen either, the Transformer "BumbleBee" is not only the young, cool, hip car, but it's a totally awesome, brand spankin' new yellow Camaro with black racing stripes and an exhaust system that makes Fat Al Gore cry; the Kids might say "that car is the bomb".. if it was 1997. Regardless of what they call it, the kids (young and old) WANT to own BumbleBee.

Problem is, GM isn't selling anyone a BumbleBee Camaro. They've, one again, completely missed the mark. The THING that The New GM is selling and calling the Transformer car lacks the Z28 front fascia, the exhaust, the "coolness" of the car in the movie. The New GM BumbleBee Camaro hardly represents the car from the movie, the one that people want. The New GM is charging $1000 for a set of stripes and a badge, probably parts made in China for $10, if that. The guys at AutoBlog suggest that the package GM is selling for $995 has a value of about $470. Most savy consumers in these tough economic times will just buy a yellow Camaro and pickup some aftermarket parts so that they can have the same car as the one in the movie. Revenue GM misses out on. GM, again, has just missed the mark.

Even worse for GM, they have had since 2002 to get the new Camaro right. The Transformers movie has many consumers interested in the car. The least GM could have done would be to have made sure that the manual transmission wasn't a giant pile of poo.
It seems that doing a hard launch or using the launch control system occasionally results in a broken output shaft, a serious failure that will most likely leave the car immobile and in need of repair.
Yeah for The New GM. A working car, with quality parts, at affordable prices, with the options that The People want, for a price that wasn't ridiculous, and a good Consumer Reports review (rather than a broken transmission review) could have been a score for GM, and helped turn the company around.

So there it is. Meet The New GM. Same as the Old GM, just with billions more of our tax money bailing them thanks to folks like Frank Pallone and yet still missing the mark on supplying what consumers want, and producing broken down junk, then overcharging for it. Seems like it's time to check out what the German's have to offer.

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