The Yahoo! Buzz site is has so far almost 100 comments on the story about GM putting out a print ad apologizing for its past actions and admitting it “disappointed” and “betrayed” customers.
The fates of the three car companies are something of a case study for business in general, in that they show how years of customer dissatisfaction can build up to dangerous levels. The comments are almost exclusively negative and do not support bailing out any of the car companies. There’s an unusual amount of pure animosity against the three car giants.
Many readers mentioned their own bad experiences with American-made cars. Here are just a few examples:
- “The transmission went out on my GM Suv at 28,000 miles. My VW bug has 175,000 without a worry. Bailing out these bozos is a huge mistake. . . ” – ‘James M’
- “I have a 2001 malibu that has a new motor due to issues that Gm knew about, and a 2006 Impala that has to be realigned every 20 thousand miles. Thanks GM, while you get 14 billion the american citizen agains takes the bullet for you.” – ‘MichaelP’
- “. . .They are all a bunch of crooks,But we have to bail them out to save the people who depend on that job. . .” – ‘donohewton’
The last comment, referencing one of the auto industry’s main arguments for a bailout – that millions of jobs and averting economic calamity are at stake – didn’t get much traction among our readers.
The view of the three automakers was so bad, that the animosity trickled down to the employees and their union, the UAW. Many believed the workers are overpaid, and some blamed the UAW equally for the problems that the big three are facing.
Other companies would be wise to take note of this phenomenon and adjust their business practices accordingly, because customer anger is also voter anger. And when times are bad, that could matter a great deal.