The New GM Is No Longer the "Leaner" GM?
I've complained about this before, it hardly fazes me any more when the media say that GM is going to be “leaner” in the future. Of course, Lean Thinkers realize they mean “smaller” not “more lean” in the sense of the Toyota Production System approach.
USA Today was the latest, in discussing GM coming out of bankruptcy:
Right in the headline. Argh.
Well, we'll see… but they may be considering a superficial, pandering change — their logo:
It will have the same headquarters and many of the same top executives. GM's logo remains a blue square with silver letters â€” although a change to green is on the table, to reflect a new environmental focus.
The “green” crowd has a term similar to “LAME” (which can mean “Lean as Misguidedly Explained”) – they call this sort of thing “greenwashing.” Does GM think, “Hey, American public, why don't you love us? Don't you know we're green? We changed our logo!!!!” This newer article has denials from GM about the logo change.
More from the article:
The company will hold the best assets of Old GM.
Well, except for NUMMI.
“Today marks the beginning of what will be a new company, a New GM, dedicated to building the very best cars and trucks, highly fuel-efficient, world-class quality, green technology development, and with truly outstanding design,”
As opposed to what ever they were dedicated to before.
I will, however, give GM some credit. In an email sent to customers, they avoided the use of the L word:
The New GM is positioned for a profitable, self-sustaining and competitive future.
They can claim that all they want, as long as they quit using “leaner” in their TV ads, like this one. I am, though, suspicious when somebody (even in conversation) says “let's be completely honest here” — you weren't already being honest?
Can GM market their way out of this? Can they get truly “Lean” or can they at least quit throwing “leaner” around?