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Whitacre - He's no Iacocca

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The ad begins a long-awaited overhaul of GM's roughly $2 billion per year in advertising, now that the automaker has emerged from bankruptcy. The company's board, including Whitacre -- and even the government's auto task force -- recognized that GM was in need of an image makeover. The company needs to attract skeptical customers and improve sales to pay back the billions in aid it received from the government.

The Whitacre ad was originally slated to run only one week, but GM now plans to keep it rolling, "due to the positive response," spokeswoman Katie McBride said in an e-mail. Bob Lutz, GM's marketing chief, has said the ad tested well with consumers and he couldn't have found a better star if he'd tried.



2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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I remember a FUD campaign from the 1970's to the effect that American cars were junky and unreliable compared to Japanese cars, particularly Toyota. Three generations have been born since I first heard that, pervasively, and it's pretty much accepted. A family that had all Toyotas and had for many years saw my new Cadillac when it was just a few months old, and when a few years had passed, I was asked on a telephone call whether "all that stuff still worked" on my Cadillac. Well, the rain sensor isn't as sensitive as it used to be, but that's pretty much it. My car is pretty much a revelation to them. My car did have three defects when delivered: loose windshield mounding, broken air conditioner duct, and loose weatherstripping on a portion of the door frame on the driver's side, all of which were fixed in a few minutes on my first service visit, but J D Powers survey, destroying my confidence in their awards forever. I read once some time ago that American cars have always had the lowest incidence of breakdowns requiring towing in the first two years over any of the imports, and since then I have looked at stalled cars to try to identify late-model cars by brand, and yes, it's obvious that if you see a car only a year or two old by the side of the road dead, it is very rarely an American car. In fact, the more expensive the import, the more often you will see them by the side of the road, it seems.

I've felt for 15 years now that American cars were very underrated by the public. In particular, in the years I owned my Quad 4 HO, 1990 through 1997, that car was rock solid reliable and delivered 80 hp per liter. Because of that car, I was looking for a car with 4 valves per cylinder and a lubricated timing chain (as opposed to a dry Fiberglas/neoprene cam belt like many OHC cars of the period), and that's one reason that the Northstar was on my short list.

I've seen some of the new ads, some of which point out that the American cars have fuel economy right with the world's best, and of course the "may the best car win" ad with the older gentleman. The new campaign is hitting right at the core of the old FUD campaign, as the American car industry should have been doing for the last 30 years or more.

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-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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