Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Mike Gorun

Mike Gorun Managing Partner/CEO

Exclusive Blog Posts

Women in the Dealer Workforce: Where We Are & Where We Can Go

Women in the Dealer Workforce: Where We Are & Where We Can Go

It’s no secret that women make up a small portion of the dealer workforce and turnover among women is high. By not attracting and retaining women in the …

Car Subscriptions - Q and A with Bill Playford

Car Subscriptions - Q and A with Bill Playford

I had the chance to interview Bill Playford about car subscription services, and how they're going to change the marketplace. Take a look what this ins…

Be The Exception

Be The Exception

How brilliant marketers find and follow what makes their stories different in a world full of average content DrivingSales is excited to announce th…

Keeping Up with the Joneses in Quick Lube

Keeping Up with the Joneses in Quick Lube

More than half of all sales customers will abandon your dealership’s service department in the first year. It’s a widely varying statistic &nda…

It Has Never Been Easier To Be Average

It Has Never Been Easier To Be Average

It has never been easier to be average. This post was written by Jay Acunzo, who will be speaking at the upcoming DrivingSales Executive Summit in Octob…

GM: Why Customers Are Loyal Despite Recalls

gm_building.jpg?width=300

A recent article on the Huffington Post asked why consumers are still buying GM vehicles despite all of the recent recalls. There’s no question that there are many concerned owners of GM vehicles. According to the article, GM has “issued 44 recalls in North American this year, stemming from problems that have been tied to 50 crashes and 13 dealers, [yet] the company recently said its sales for the month of May were up 13 percent from the month before, the biggest May gain in seven years.” Common sense might lead a person to believe that consumers would become more hesitant to purchase a GM vehicle with all of the problems that are occurring. But the numbers indicate quite the opposite.

Loyalty doesn’t always follow reason. As the article indicates, there are many points that make consumers remain loyal in times of turmoil. One reason the article cites is ignorance of the recalls themselves. “Experts say about one-third of people with a vehicle affected by automaker recalls never bring their car in for repair.” Another reason is that people may perceive that these recalls are for vehicles made in the past and don’t apply to recent vehicles (which is untrue).

The last reason cited in the article is the one most likely to be the case: that GM has been successful at creating emotional bonds with consumers over time. Consumers are quick to back companies that have supported them in times of crisis, especially if the situation is handled properly. GM CEO, Mary Barra, has been running damage control well during her tenure. Her public commitment to identify any issues with GM cars and solve the problems seems zealous in nature at times. Many consumers are willing to forgive companies – especially companies of which they are already brand loyalists – if the company is willing to back heir product quality and rectify the issues.

Think of your favorite store. You may love shopping at that store and patronize it frequently. Perhaps one day you have a problem with a product or a bad experience. If handled properly and made whole, your opinion of the business may even increase. People understand that nobody is perfect. All they want is to know that the business cares about them as a customer and values their business enough to fix the problem.

GM has certainly experienced very trying times over the last 6 years going through bankruptcy and requiring the government’s assistance. It will certainly be an uphill battle to regain consumer confidence in the quality of their vehicles. As a society, however, we tend to have short memories. While GM will be forced to be more vigilant in vehicle quality and customer retention efforts, those efforts may prove to reinforce the emotional attachment its current brand loyalists possess and also earn it some new ones.

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now