Sure there’s the obvious issues like the fact that they have to spend more per car made. Sure there’s the issues with the unions and high salaries. Sure there’s the issues with the lower quality of their cars. Sure there’s the mismanagement issues. Sure there’s the issue that they’re focusing on government bailouts rather than solving their business issues. There’s a lot wrong, no doubt about it. But I believe it’s even more fundamental than that.
Let me ask you a few questions:
- What’s the family sedan from Honda?
- What’s the family sedan for Toyota?
- What’s the family sedan for Ford?
- What’s the family sedan for GM?
I bet you were immediately able to answer the first two questions (Honda Accord and Toyota Camry). I’ll also wager that you weren’t really able to answer the last two. What is the family sedan for Ford and GM? Why is that such a hard question to answer when that’s the most common car people buy?
It’s because they have no focus. They’re all over the place. To succeed you need to be about something, something that people can care about and follow your lead. It doesn’t matter how good your idea is or how good your execution is, without a goal and focus it’s all for nothing. So let’s hope they can figure it out before it’s too late.