Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed out

Genuine GM parts



Well, what goes around comes around. Or is that what comes around goes around?  I'm never sure and, frankly, not certain it matters in a post-literate world. It's kind of like walking the walk, talking the talk or talking the walk which, for years, I was sure had something to do with lying about your golf score but now suspect it really refers to sustainability. Doesn't everything?

About a year ago I ended my on-again, off-again relationship with General Motors - Motto: we were number one... honest - when they explained to me, after heartlessly subjecting me to hours of tortuous hold music, that customer service at GM pretty much meant no service at all.

Fifteen minutes after the warranty expired on my GM car, a part never before known to fail on any car I'd ever owned, including a 25-year-old Chevy truck, the heater core, bled out like a sacrificial lamb. No amount of explaining how this was a come-to-Jesus moment for my relationship with GM could sway them to come around to my point of view - that they'd made the core out of recycled Coors cans and they should pony up the replacement. They offered to send me a $2,500 coupon for a new GM car. I countered by sending them the sharp shards of my GM Visa card with the heartfelt hope they didn't hurt themselves when they filed them where the sun don't shine.

And now inexplicably, I own the company. Of course, you do too. And all the rest of our brothers and sisters from sea to sea to sea and all our cousins in the land of the free, home of the brave. Now more than ever, what's good for GM is good for the country.

Except that what's good for GM right now is probably bankruptcy. And the country, having flirted with that state of monetary distress under the last Regressive Conservative regime of Brian "Cash'n'Carry" Mulroney, is better off not traveling the same road again, all current indications to the contrary.

The reasons GM should be allowed a dignified death are numerous. That their cars suck is only the most obvious. Far from being a key part of their corporate culture, quality at GM has been an infrequent and seemingly unwanted visitor. This is, after all, a company that produced a car, not many years ago, so well engineered the service people discovered they had to dismount and slightly raise the entire engine to replace the spark plugs. You can't design quality like that; it is simply the Hand of God at work.

And now, GM is in effect, a governmental entity, like Parks Canada or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  While the Harper Conservatives play a proportionately fractional role to the Big Obama Machine, the only thing I can imagine that would be worse than the management of GM continuing to run GM - which it appears they will - is the government of either the U.S. or Canada running GM... with the United Autoworkers as their partners!