Saturday, March 3, 2012

Follow Up: Chevy Volt

I've have questioned the strategy decisions made by General Motors on this blog before. The basis of argument has been that they're driving too many unfocused auto brands. Each brand doesn't truly have a definition to it and they even cannibalize one another.

After facing some real adversity with the financial crisis, GM sought and received help from the taxpayer, which certainly didn't win them any popularity points at the time. General Motors proudly proclaimed to the consumer, "May the Best Car Win" when smart marketers know that's not true. The best marketing does.

In January of 2011, General Motors appeared vindicated in saying "May the Best Car Win" when the Chevy Volt was named North American Car of the Year. It's marketing position was that the Chevy Volt was "More Car Than Electric." Again I quipped that the marketing will win and that the Volt's unfocused approach wouldn't win in the marketplace.

Although the game isn't over, it scoreboard is now saying that General Motors isn't winning anymore. According to today's Los Angeles Times, General Motors will be halting production on its Chevy Volt for five weeks, forcing 1,300 workers into a temporary absence because an unforeseen lack of demand has created a surplus of vehicles.

It's terrible that the factory workers, who are building that better car GM promised, have to sacrifice for the GM team again. At least to me, it's obvious that the coaches who strategized such a gameplan should be the ones getting their pink slip today.

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