A new path for General Motors?
GM’s dealers say they are happy with changes, but they want it to make more cars and trucks for them to sell.
“We couldn’t find anybody better” than Whitacre, said Rox Covert, co-owner of the Covert group of auto dealerships in the Austin area. “What’s different is he can make a decision. They could do that before, but it would take two or three weeks. We can run our business now. We don’t have to wait two or three weeks or a month down the road.”
“He has already made a lot of changes,” said Allan Miller, who owns the Miller-Starnes Chevrolet Buick dealership in Rockdale. “We have dealt with the General Motors bureaucracy for many years. It is so refreshing to see the new way of dealing with them.”
Industry analysts say the Volt will be an important image product for GM, although it will represent a fraction of its sales.
“This is a really big showpiece for GM,” said Mark Fitzgerald with Strategy Analytics. “It is a great message to send that GM is back and this is the new GM.”
For cars such as the Volt to become part of a robust U.S. market for alternative vehicles, Fitzgerald said, manufacturing costs need to come down or gasoline prices need to increase dramatically.