Some car dealers have fancy signage and amazing waiting rooms. Those are the types of stores updated once every few years with LED TVs, magazine racks filled with iPads and waiting rooms that smell like morning lilies.
For every dealer that’s all hoity-toity, there is a store that’s a little rough around the edges. They’re the used car lots off the mile roads. They haven’t changed with the times, the televisions are analog and the waiting rooms smell like cigarettes and stale coffee. Those are the stores, however, that rock old-school and vintage used car signs that are like time machines, gaudy time machines. [keep reading]
Bob Lutz, legendary gear head and businessman who has worked at BMW, Ford Europe, Chrysler and General Motors tackles the challenges he faced during the decline of General Motors in his book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters. He writes about the disorganized management, layers upon layers of red tape and the embarrassing debacle known as the automotive bailout when General Motors pseudonym became Government Motors.
The book has gotten a bad rap because Lutz blames a large chunk of GM’s downfall on the penny-pinching financial types who were given charge of the automotive design. These folks were focused on cost-cutting, systematizing production and making the most money on each car produced, even if that meant sacrificing quality. As a result, Lutz contends, General Motors was building vehicles notorious for wide body gaps between panels, cheap interiors and being, well, really ugly.