Car Sick (Vol. 2)

I had in mind to offer up some extensive comments on the state of the auto industry, who’s to blame for what, and so forth, but I think those subjects have been pretty well beaten into the ground.  So I’ll just offer these two personal experiences, both of which involved rental cars, which is just about the only way I ever drive something made by GM:

  • In 1987 or so, I rented a Pontiac that had a dial on the dashboard that looked something like this.  I remember thinking at the time that as Fuel Gagebad as GM’s designs and quality were, if they couldn’t spell then they probably were in even worse shape than I thought.  I guess I was right.

  • This summer, my wife and I took a vacation during which we UPGRADED our rental car from a Chevrolet to a Hyundai.  That’s right – we upgraded from a Chevy to a Hyundai, which sounds a lot like “Game Over” to me.

Since I’m not at all above kicking a company I don’t particularly like when it’s down, here’s a little piling on, just for good measure.  A few years ago, GM released the Chevrolet HHR, which is a blatant knock-off of Chrysler’s PT Cruiser.  It took them five years to produce a copy of an existing product, and even then they weren’t able to do it themselves.  It turns out that they had to hire the guy who designed the original PT Cruiser to do it for them.

That’s a deep hole to climb out of.  Time to stop digging!

2 thoughts on “Car Sick (Vol. 2)

  1. The fuel gage was a cost cutting effort, and successful — as it reduced letter usage by 11% according to internal studies. Reflects well on their workforce engagement initiative.

  2. The most amazing thing about this posting is that you actually can remember such a thing from around 1987. I can’t tell you what car I owned in 1987. And remembering the Fuel Gage…now that’s impressive.

    But it does reinforce the fact that everything matters and we really do remember when companies make stupid mistakes…and continue to talk about it decades later.

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