GM Battles Bad News With Positive

Just tallied June US auto sales suggest that General Motors is fending off the battering ram of quality lapses and recalls where it counts… on the showroom floor.

Moving more than 267,000 cars for the month, about 46,000 ahead of Ford and 65,000 up on Toyota, GM sales rose 1 percent.

While confounding conventional wisdom about bad PR there is an odd industry logic behind the news.

In 2001 then co-chairman Bob Lutz said GM’s cars were like “angry kitchen appliances” …so the auto giant has had a relatively short fall from grace.

Also this highly public ritual cleansing — including the over-abundance of caution recalling 26 million vehicles — offers absolution not only for the current safety issues but past GM management failures that led to the bankruptcy and government bailout.

The company is strong enough to take the hit now, and will prosper as long as it the resolves underlying command and control problems. And while reports of a mounting body count of GM management departures and dismissals are encouraging, the deeply ingrained culture of corporate entitlement and turf wars are the distractions that led to the current crisis.

This George Polgar of GT Marketing for KYW News Radio.

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