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Discounting Added 100,000 Sales, Claims GM CEO

Not a “predictable competitor,” Akerson says.

by on Apr.20, 2011

GM CEO Dan Akerson: not a "predictable competitor."

General Motors sold as many as 100,000 more cars than it might have, during the first quarter, by unexpectedly increasing its incentives, CEO Dan Akerson said at an industry conference marking the start of the New York Auto Show.

The maker surprised analysts and competitors alike when it boosted rebates and other givebacks by about $400 a vehicle during the early days of the new year, a time when rising demand led some makers to curb their incentives.

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“I don’t want to be a predictable competitor,” explained Akerson.  “I don’t want the other guy to know exactly what I’m doing.”

Industry observers have questioned the move, which cuts into the maker’s cash flow and potential profitability.  But the added demand more than justifies the cost, the GM CEO asserted.


GM President Reuss Betting on Good Product, Not Toyota’s Misfortunes

Customers "didn't think we were listening," says hands-on exec.

by on Feb.11, 2010

General Motors must succeed on its products, not its competitors' misfortunes, says GM President Mark Reuss.

There might be a rare opportunity to take advantage of its arch-rivals problems, but Mark Reuss, General Motors’ new president of North American operations , insists he’d rather do it the old fashioned way, with better product.

Nonetheless, seven months after emerging from bankruptcy, the “new” GM is in a much better position than it has been in decades, Reuss said repeatedly, during a series of conversations this week, as well as his keynote speech at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show.

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The executive pointed to GM’s “May the Best Car Win” program as a sign that customers see big improvements in the company’s cars, trucks and crossovers.  The recently-concluded marketing campaign offered potential customers the opportunity to buy a GM vehicle – and then return it if it didn’t meet their expectations.  Of 439,000 eligible buyers, only 505 returned their vehicles, Reuss revealed, adding that in some cases, buyers simply choose to swap for a different General Motors vehicle.