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September 29, 2006

GM Makes Good Business Decisions

Apparently, GM just made Sean Hannity their spokesman. Their new ad campaign is the "You're A Great American!" giveaway, and who better to kick that one off than the guy who said a Kerry win -- which 48 percent of the country voted for -- would be a victory for the terrorists, and keeping Nancy Pelosi out of the speakership would be "worth dying for."

Guess they thought the problem with their cars was that too many folks bought them.

September 29, 2006 | Permalink


Given that Japanese car companies employ more Americans than American car companies do... isn't it more patriotic to buy a Toyota or Honda??

Posted by: Grumpy | Sep 29, 2006 6:37:09 PM

GM is so inept at everything that it's just funny now. This is like that "American Voices" feature in The Onion where they asked about GM's plans to unveil a re-born Camaro in 2009, responded one guy: "It's so cute that GM think's it'll still be in business in 2009."

Seriously, it's like if you tried to run a major company into the ground, GM is exactly how you'd do it.

Posted by: justin | Sep 29, 2006 6:41:06 PM

I knew I felt comfortable with a GM short.

Posted by: wcw | Sep 29, 2006 6:46:51 PM

My brother in law works for GM. I like my brother in law. I drive a Honda, and will continue to buy foreign for the foreseeable future.

Memo to GM: Stop telling me to buy American because “it’s the right thing to do”. $20K-$40K is a lot of money to spend on a “statement”. I’ll pay a little more to buy towels and such that are made in America, but if you want me to buy your cars, you might try a real novel approach - make better cars!

Posted by: Seitz | Sep 29, 2006 7:17:43 PM

Good god. Not that I was going to anyway, but I'm never buying a GM now!

Posted by: amy | Sep 29, 2006 7:23:53 PM

Besides all of the sniping, the real issue is that America no longer has a comparative advantage in the auto business. The evidence for this is the breadth of difficulties of all American auto manufacturers, not just GM. Ford is in dire straits as well.

The nomination of Hannity is a smart move on their part to appeal to patriotsm. It's simply marketing, and little else (morons).

Posted by: Fred Jones | Sep 29, 2006 8:14:56 PM

Correction: 48% of the voting public voted Kerry.

Because facts matter.

Posted by: Justin | Sep 29, 2006 8:28:11 PM

The nomination of Hannity is a smart move on their part to appeal to patriotsm. It's simply marketing, and little else (morons).

Posted by: TJ | Sep 29, 2006 9:14:15 PM

This is what I e-mailed to the Chairman via ThinkProgress.org:

Dear Mr. Wagoner:

I don't buy a GM product every time I purchase a motor vehicle, but

In 1978 I purchased a used 1974 half ton pickup
In 1985 I purchased a brand new Chevy S-10 (my very first brand new vehicle)
In 1991 I purchased a used Chevy Astro Van for my wife
In 1994, I purchased a brand new Chevy Astro van for my wife
In 1995, I purchased a brand new Chevy C1500 W/T pickup
In 1996, I leased a 1996 Chevy Tahoe for 4 years

I've always been a Chevy pickup truck kind of guy. But our present domestic political situation is precarious. Incipient fascism is on the rise in America. It is time for all patriotic Americans to take a stand and make their voices heard.

Sean Hannity is an anti-American pig. I will never purchase another GM product again.

Whaddya think?

Posted by: paul | Sep 29, 2006 9:35:15 PM

Whaddya think?

I doubt I'd let Sean Hannity determine which car I buy, or don't buy.

Posted by: Sanpete | Sep 29, 2006 9:49:49 PM

Claiming that people are only buying "American" if they buy from a "domestic" auto-maker is not only stupid - it's not true. Buy from any Japanese auto-maker and you are buying just as American a car as those you buy from GM. Just as much, if not more, of the car or truck is produced here, in the U.S. And they are better cars. I drive an '84 Mazda, light duty pick-up. I get 30mpg on average, 36 on the highway - in a truck with nearly 200,000 miles on it. And I can work on it quite easily, myself.

Posted by: DuWayne | Sep 29, 2006 9:50:50 PM

Now that Chrysler has a German in it's ads, it may not be a bad short-term decision to go patriotic. As Amy noted she wouldn't buy a domestic anyway, so they aren't alienating current buyers. Long-term, however, GM is effectively writing off the buyers it would need if it were ever to regain significant market share.

Judging from the ratings decline of the conservative media recently, they are climbing on this train a little late. They could be patriotic without being divisive.

Posted by: Tentakles | Sep 29, 2006 10:26:55 PM

49% voted for Kerry.

Posted by: David Weman | Sep 29, 2006 11:27:45 PM

I read on another thread that GM now denies it. I did send my email. Another commenter mentioned that Wagoner won't read it, but I think, even if no one does (and I think they will), the volume will be a sore spot.

Posted by: Killer | Sep 29, 2006 11:28:03 PM

I think it's an excellent idea to make Hannity their spokesperson. Appeal to your market. I don't know one intelligent educated person who drives a GM. Even one of my best friends - a self labeled conservative who's father worked for GM bought a Honda this year. Hannity Innannity Insanity it just fits.

Posted by: quisp | Sep 30, 2006 12:41:32 AM

My guess is, the sort of demographic that will this message will appeal to will be more open to buying a GM or Ford car versus a Toyota. That's not even a statement of judgment, just an idea.

Posted by: Brian | Sep 30, 2006 9:32:05 AM

>I doubt I'd let Sean Hannity determine which car I buy, or don't buy.

Actually in some segments, especially pickup trucks, nowadays it's pretty hard to make a clear final determination. I work with a complete blue oval Ford guy who - being intelligent with a kid on the way - showed up one day in a brand new full-sized Ram. The Dodge was just - on that day - way cheaper for about the same thing.

I need a 3/4 in a couple of years, and they just aren't that much different. And I gotta wonder if Toyota is ever going to offer one, despite noises in that direction. If they do it is unlikely to be worth the extra cash.

So if they aren't that much different, why shouldn't one shot of Hannity's oversized head put Chevy/GMC out of the picture? Knocks out 1/3 of my agonizing dealership trips, and yet I don't tell them that I'm not buying GM so they still think they have to compete with 2 other companies. 500K people a year buy Fords (200K Dodge? Not sure, something like that), so something that at least works for 700K people is certainly gonna work for me.

Posted by: doesn't matter | Sep 30, 2006 10:18:22 AM

Hey, using polarizing figures in your advertising is nothing but good marketing. Why bother trying to get someone who is universally respected?

As a former Detroiter, if this is true this is just par for the course.

Posted by: mwg | Sep 30, 2006 12:32:27 PM


Just who is "universally respected" these days?

Posted by: modus potus | Sep 30, 2006 12:58:55 PM

That's a good point. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to find someone who is "universally respected" these days. If nothing else, overexposure makes it difficult.

That being said, it wouldn't be that difficult to find a spokesperson who is respected of by a solid majority of the population. Think Lance Armstrong or Oprah Winfrey.

GM should also find a spokesperson who isn't disliked as intensely as Hannity is by his distractors . Armstrong and Winfrey have their detractors, true, but neither is anywhere near as polarizing a personality as Hannity is.

Posted by: mwg | Sep 30, 2006 8:10:19 PM

Honda v. GM: I can only see two underlying advantages for Honda.

One is that Japan presumably has centralized health insurance, like pretty much every advanced country besides us, while GM has to pay for health coverage for a whole bunch of employees and retirees.

The other is that Honda execs are smart, and GM execs are dumb.

I mean, what else is there? It's not like Japan's got a big pool of cheap labor anymore; that's part of why they make so many cars over here.

If GM and the other auto makers would get behind single-payer health insurance, they might have a chance to survive. But they're against it. It seems to be a class-war thing: the GM execs are placing the interests of their class ahead of the interests of their company. Again, what other explanation IS there?

Posted by: RT | Sep 30, 2006 9:22:44 PM

I think they are mistaken if they think people who think Hannity is a scumbag will not think twice or three times before touching a GM product.

Posted by: della Rovere | Sep 30, 2006 10:12:17 PM

If you want to buy American, by Toyota or Honda.

I wonder how much of GM's production is assembled in Mexico.

Posted by: raj | Oct 1, 2006 12:55:06 PM

BTW, if GM wanted to alienate a substantial portion of its possible market, it couldn't have chosen a better way of doing so than by hiring a wingnut such as Hannity as its spokesman.

Posted by: raj | Oct 1, 2006 12:56:38 PM

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