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Your Next GM Car Could Alert You Before it Breaks Down

Maker developing “active, preventive maintenance system.”

by on Nov.14, 2014

The next version of the Chevy Impala may alert you to a possible mechanical problem before it happens.

If you haven’t just gotten your driver’s license last week, odds are you’ve faced that mysterious and inexplicable “Check Engine” light at least once or twice, leaving you the choice of heading to the dealer or ignoring the indicator, hoping the bulb might burn out.  Then again, you might have gotten no warning whatsoever when your battery died or a water pump failed.

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General Motors is developing an “active, preventive maintenance” system that could avoid such headaches by giving a motorist a detailed alert before something on the vehicle breaks, says the maker’s global product development chief.

“We’re testing the system now with our employees,” noted Mark Reuss, during a lunchtime interview.


GM Hopes to Turn Frustrated Owners into Loyal Buyers

Maker dedicates new Customer Engagement Center in Detroit.

by on Dec.09, 2013

One of the growing team of "advisors" at the new GM Customer Engagement Center.

For decades, General Motors viewed frustrated customers as a costly nuisance.  Today, the maker says, it wants to turn them into loyal owners. At least, that’s the strategy behind the new Customer Engagement Center officially opening at the GM Technical Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren, Michigan.

The facility, which will eventually employ nearly 350 “advisors” and managers, is part of a dramatic shift in the way GM wants to do business – a recognition that in today’s crowded and highly competitive automotive market it doesn’t take much to send buyers over to your competition if they aren’t treated right.

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“I don’t know if there’s anything more important than getting a customer to come back,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM’s North American automotive operations, during a tour of the new facility which consolidates earlier call centers based as far away as Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Goodbye, Mr. Goodwrench

GM to focus on core brands, abandon its auto repair line.

by on Nov.09, 2010

The Goodwrench name was long associated with GM racing sponsorships, especially NASCAR.

General Motors has sidelined thousands of workers since its bankruptcy, last year, and though it has begun rebuilding its job rolls as sales improve, the maker has decided to make at least one more cut: Mr. Goodwrench.

The long-familiar figure, the symbol of the company’s dealer service operations, is being retired as of February 1, 2011.  First hired on three decades ago, the Mr. Goodwrench brand is being set aside to allow for more specific brand-related “Certified Service” operations for each of the four automotive brands, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC, that survived last year’s run through Chapter 11.

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“Our No. 1 priority is providing a world-class ownership experience that creates positive long-lasting relationships with our customers,” said Steve Hill, GM’s vice president for customer care and after sales.

The move doesn’t mean General Motors – or its dealers — are cutting back on the service side of their business.  Anything but; along with financing and insurance, and used car sales, that’s where most retailers actually make their money.  In recent years, selling new cars has often proved a showroom’s loss leader.