KausFiles

Bad Nuze for GM

Bad Nuze for the Cruze: The new Consumer Reports reliability ratings are out, and the much-hyped Chevy Cruze rates … “significantly below average,”  according to the Detroit Freep. Yikes.  According to David Champion, CR‘s head of auto testing, the poor result was “due to a number of small issues such as electrical functions and electronic parts.” Electronic parts. Who needs them?

It’s pretty hard to imagine worse news for Obama’s “New GM,” short of a Jaguar-style safety scandal.  The Cruze, remember, was an almost make-or-break test of whether GM’s union-saturated culture could produce a reliable and profitable small car in the United States.  Initial sales were good. Media reports emphasized the positive. (The L.A. Times breathlessly reported that Cruze sales had “soared to 3.3% of the subcompact market” in California.)  But reliability is crucial in this category. It now looks like GM and the UAW can’t get it done. …

P.S.: I told you so. Dysfunctional–or at any rate, not-functional-enough–corporate cultures are hard to change. That would include both the culture of the Old GM and that of many of its suppliers. Obama should have been more skeptical about “New GM’s” ability to turn itself around with its same old workforce and same old union, just as he should have been skeptical of the ability of the Departments of Energy and Labor to produce “green jobs.” Maybe he was skeptical about GM but saw no alternative. There’s no similar excuse for the MSM joining in the cheerleading. … And there were harbingers! …

P.P.S.: Overall, General Motors’ “reliability slipped this year.” Chevrolet is the 17th ranked manufacturer, out of 28, and Buick is 24th. One version of the Buick Enclave–the car that so impressed Megan McArdle–is now “no longer recommended.”  …

More: Another favorite MSM meme–the idea that Detroit cars are now as good as the Japanese competition–also took a major hit in this survey. The top 9 brands are all Japanese. The highest-rated America brand is Jeep (!), at #13. ….

But: The controversial Chevy Volt hybrid, which isn’t selling, seems to be quite reliable. …