Saturday, May 9, 2009

A few days in Arizona

This past week I had a business trip to Phoenix to preview new cars and trucks from General Motors. Sort of like a private auto show for folks in my industry. Of course the local media was all over them for spending money. Let me just say this,

A. You have to spend money to make money.
B. GM has held these previews for the past 20 years and schedules/contracts with the host locations years in advance. The hotels have very large cancellation penalties. Had GM canceled this preview the penalty would have been very large it just wouldn't have been as public.
C. Fleet customers like myself made up nearly 30% of GM's business in 2008. Projections indicate that fleet business would be at least that for this year as well. That is a huge captured customer base.
D. This event was a no frills event. It was business, business, business. Standing out on asphalt on Thursday in 104 degrees checking out trucks, driving the new design Equinox, etc...

I don't know what the future holds for GM. I hope it's not bankruptcy. We should know this by the end of the month at the latest.

GM normally has a guest speaker and they did continue with that this year. The speaker spoke of change and adversity which he was very familiar with. Planning for life to go the way you are planning and then having everything fall apart.

Joe Theisman was at the top of his game going into the Monday night football game, November 18, 1984. Joe had just renewd his contract with the Redskins and was set to play with them for the next 5 years. That game and a tackle by Lawrence Taylor changed his life forever. Joe is a very dynamic speaker and an extremely nice person.

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