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GM Struggles to Change Perceptions

Getting out from under the shadow of “Government Motors.”

by on Oct.11, 2013

The Chevrolet Sonic has made quite a splash since its debut for 2012.

The quality of General Motors vehicles is getting better but consumers still tend to believe cars from Toyota and Honda are more reliable, according to independent research. And that’s a serious problem the Detroit maker is struggling to overcome, particularly along the East and West Coasts where GM lags well behind its import rivals.

The irony is that General Motors products have actually bested Toyota in a number of recent surveys, including the closely followed J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey. GM was the top maker in the 2013 IQS while Chevrolet landed in the Top Five, a rarified group normally limited to luxury brands. Meanwhile, the maker’s Chevy Sonic subcompact topped its segment for the second year running in Power’s APEAL, or Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout survey.

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That prompted a celebration at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in suburban Detroit this week, where Roman Lesnau, of J.D. Power Associates told employees that their work has been a critical part of improving the maker’s quality and customer satisfaction scores.


GM Betting Improved Quality, Customer Service Will Yield Big Payoff on Bottom Line

A 1% customer retention gain will yield $700 million.

by on Sep.19, 2012

Customer retention is GM's next big target, says quality and service chief Alicia Boler-Davis.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that add up.  Just ask General Motors which is making a major push to improve quality and customer service in the hopes of boosting customer retention.

Right now, company officials suggest, about 52% to 53% of GM buyers can be expected to trade in for another Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac or GMC product next time around.  Simply boosting that by 1% would have a significant impact on the bottom line, however.

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“A single-point improvement in sales retention is the equivalent of 25,000 (added sales) or $700 million in annual revenue,” explained Mary Barra, GM’s global product development chief, during a discussion of the maker’s plans to enhance quality and customer satisfaction.