Bail Them Out: Save Detroit

Right now my friend Liz is having a heart attack. Based on the post title she’s probably already walked away from the screen, but give me a minute y’all. I haven’t gone socialist on you.

I’m just really tired.

I was at the LA Auto show in 2008 and I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Monty. I’m not a Ford fan, per se, but I’ve owned them and I wouldn’t be opposed to having another if they were the best product for me, at the best price (and price includes convenience). In fact, part of me wants to own a Ford so I can go into a dealership and be all, “Yeah I know the dudes that pimp market these cars.” Also, they gave a 2010 Mustang to a soldier, and well, it was like a Hallmark Card. I’m easy that way.

GM then comes on the scene (and by scene I mean Twitter) and they’re saying stuff like, “If you want to see the bailout stimulus plan, we have it on our website.”

Here’s the glitch with Twitter. I’m asking questions as I’m reading, so at page 21 I read that there are alternate fuel plants in Brazil. Being me, I get pissed. Let the Brazilians bail them out.


GM responds, not with great lovin’ at first, but soon they warm up to me. We move from icy to wary. I tell them I have a ton more questions, and they suggest I read other bloggers.

Huh? Thanks dudes.

Then I get a message later on, and finally a phone call. I’ve had time to read the whole stimulus appeal. I’d suggest that you do too.

I don’t have a sense from the phone call that GM has a great plan in place, that they’ll be successful, or that our generation has a Lee Iaccoca. Here’s what I did get from the phone call.

GM is a mostly a bunch of guys (and gals) just like me. I think they’d like to be good neighbors, I believe that they’d like to be more sustainable (both fiscally and environmentally) and they appear to be casting a wide net.

Much like all of us, in these uncertain times, they’re trying a whole bunch of stuff and hoping the cream rises to the top. Maybe two or three work and two or three can be called experiments?

GM was late to the party with Hybrid technology. They admit it, but they’d still like to sit at the table with the big kids. They’re mostly into hybrid tech with trucks. To be fair, trucks are completely off my radar. I don’t want a Tahoe, I want to be able to smile and say, “Geez, I’d love to pick your kids up, but I don’t have the space. How about you do the driving and I’ll crack open a glass of wine to reward you?” *Don’t knock it, it’s a no fail tactic*

Here’s where the real success is.

I like them. Not ooooh, I think that Cadillac is great. I like the guys I spoke to at GM. I think they’re passionate, I think they’re fearful, I think they’re working hard, and I know they’re just like me. We had the discussion about the expense of raising kids and the need for a safe vehicle. We talked about inner cities and why investing in them is the duty of a large corporation.

I like that they weren’t afraid to tell me they didn’t particularly care for the eff word. It made them authentic, I like authentic.

I appreciate that GM provides jobs for tens of thousands of people. People who are just like you and I.

I’m not going to talk to you about the stimulus package and why I think it works, and why I know it’s flawed. I won’t tell you that I think that GM should get my money, but I can’t tell you that they shouldn’t.

Here’s my challenge to you all today. You read the plan. You make your own decision. They’ve been late to two very important parties (hybrid tech and social media), so they’re socially awkward, but sometimes it’s good to let folks have a chance.

Read the plan here
Follow GM on Twitter

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