OK so I am weird and I am enthralled with GM cheap transportation. A few years back I toyed with the idea with an Aveo as a disposable automobile. I could buy it, keep it for five years, and sell what was left of it on Craigslist to someone down on their automotive luck.
I liked the idea of the replacement Spark and its relatively foolproof Daewoo-inspired powertrain and four-speed slushbox. Easy to fix, easy to maintain, easy at the pump, and easy to live with. Especially when you had one of the most progressive Chevrolet MyLink head units. Seven-inch touchscreen display, USB connectivity, Bluetooth streaming audio, and mobile apps including BringGo.
That is why I am so confused about outgoing GM President Mark Ruess’ comments at the NAIAS this year.
“We went through an era here where there were certain people who thought that if we just did the coolest telematics and driver infotainment thing that we would win. Obviously nobody is going to care about how a car drives, how the car sounds, how the car crashes … it’s all going to be about infotainment.”
“All those things are important, but are they the defining things on how good a car is?”
Yes. You have to deliver the total package. Safety is very important. But as we have found out, there are usually a few standout features of a new vehicle that makes us fall in love with it. Extra powerful ventilated seats, HUDs that prevent accidents, or a wildly progressive infotainment center stack. If a car company wows us with a few well-done engineering details, it usually follows suit that the rest of the car is pretty good — or at least acceptable.
Think outside the box, GM. Rather than being simply good, be good at something. I don’t want the return of the mundane Lumina or Corsica. At least the Spark is interesting.
Hopefully Mary Barra is listening.