General Motors, R.I.P.

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Except for my first hand-me-down car when I got my driver’s license 30+ years ago, I’ve bought only new cars, and only General Motors vehicles. They were all Pontiacs, and were all assembled in the United States.

GM is dying, and that’s just fine by me. I don’t want any heroic measures taken to save them. So please, Doctor, sign the DNR order.

General Motors has been in declining health and suicidal for years. It has been predeceased by several of it’s children, and their surviving siblings are in frail health.

I have had my share of problems with GM vehicles, but I believe they are generally very reliable. I think that GM has made some poor design choices that affect reliability and which lead to unnecessary recalls. These design problems are probably driven by attempts at cost-cutting. I have always insisted on buying a vehicle that was, at the very least, assembled by Americans, in a USA assembly plant. (The UAW can contact me to find out where to send my check.)

So why have I written off General Motors? I feel that GM and it’s dealerships have no respect for their customers. They’ve been driving along, all fat and happy for years, and never noticed that the highway ends up ahead. I have never had a good sales experience with any GM dealership, and their warranty service has always been a nightmare. Dealer’s service departments don’t like to do warranty repairs because they are paid less than they earn from non-warranty work. My experience has always been that GM dealer’s service departments perform slip-shod work. Many times, either before you leave your car for a repair(s), or after you pick up your car, it is an exercise in futility to try and convince them that an obvious problem exists/still exists. In my opinion, Pontiac’s customer care toll-free number was always a sad joke. Worthless. They take your complaint, refer it back to the dealership, but can’t get a problem resolved for you. It’s a game, and you’re the looser. I honestly believe GM operates in the hope that they will simply wear you down, and you’ll give up. Bring back your vehicle as many times as you like, call GM as many times as you like, write all the letters you want to write. Get nowhere. It’s almost like they want to make you regret buying a GM product.

Case in point: My current GM vehicle has had problems with it’s automatic transmission since around 25,000 miles. GM dealerships removed and rebuilt the transmission twice, and serviced the transmission on the car a third time, while it was under warranty. It has never operated correctly since the first time they attempted repairs, and has been out-of-warranty for a few years now. I drive it the way it is, because I refuse to give GM another cent of my money, and because I have zero confidence in the quality of their service departments. When the vehicle is no longer drivable, I’ll make the decision to either junk it or have a non-GM shop work on it.

Now, General Motors is hurting.

Good.

I doubt I will ever purchase another GM vehicle. My next car will probably have a Japanese nameplate. It’s not so much that I love Japanese cars as it is that I refuse to buy another American nameplate. I think this is is a decision most Americans have already made. Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me again and again, and you’ve lost me as a customer forever.

There are plenty of disgusted GM customers out there. Here’s one example.

Here’s another. And another. And another. And another.

It seems a lot of people are fed up with General Motors.

I’ll drive my Japanese car to GM’s funeral. I doubt many tears will be shed by the mourners.

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Filed under Automobile Manufacturers, Cars, Consumerism, Money, News, Retail, Retailers, Shopping, Technology, Your Money

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