You would think that an industry in trouble would change, wouldn’t you? You would imagine that these unprecedented times would call for newer ways of doing business, wouldn’t you? You would like to believe that American carmakers would finally get the message that their business model sucks, wouldn’t you? Well, if the ads I saw during a few football games this year are any indication, you’re going to be disappointed.
Consider the following contrast: GMC is running ads that look exactly like last year’s and the year before that and the year before that and so on and so forth. And what are they offering? Well, at least one ad promised low finance rates on 60 month loans on overpowered, over-engineered, over-priced trucks and SUVs.
Think about that for a minute. Here’s a company that just weeks ago was caterwauling that if it didn’t get significant government support and get it NOW, it would go under. Why? Well, there may be some debate, but I’m guessing that most of us believe that GMC, like many carmakers, spent way too many years making cars that cost too much that no one wanted.
So now their idea is to run the same old ads hawking the same old vehicles with the same old incentives? Even if I wanted a gas-guzzling bad-boy pick-em-up truck, why would I finance one for five years from a company that just a few weeks ago was telling America that they might have to shut down? Is it just me, or do these doofuses have their head even deeper in the sand (or … ahem … elsewhere) than they ever have?
On the other hand, consider the ads from Hyundai. They’re promoting something they call the Hyundai Assurance program. Buy a new car from Hyundai and, if you should lose your income at any time in the coming year, they’ll let you return it — free of negative equity.
Look, I realize the Hyundai plan likely has many holes as — well, a really holey thing — but come on. Who do you think has a better handle on the way America’s thinking these days? Who do you think has really been paying attention? Who do you think has got your back?
The Koreans? Who knew?