Daily Archives: December 12, 2010

Why GM’s CEO should be fired

Fact: folks living in “geeky” San Francisco Bay Area buy more electric and hybrid cars than elsewhere in the world.
Fact: the “geeky” economy in San Francisco Bay Area startups is booming, much higher than state or national averages. IE, geeks have more money to spend on cars than people elsewhere in USA (which is borne out by looking at the cars on the road — California’s roads have more “expensive” cars, like the Chevy Volt is).
Fact: General Motors has a research division located in “geeky” Palo Alto (right next to the original “geeky” Frys).
Fact: every other car company CEO knows that what differentiates cars today is GEEKY FEATURES +not+ engine, transmission, etc. (see the video of Nissan’s CEO below).
Fact: the Toyota Prius has life-saving features like radar-based crash preparation and better headlights than Chevy Volt (which doesn’t yet have those features, despite being more expensive than the Toyota Prius).

So, why should GM’s CEO, Daniel Akerson, be fired? Because he just denigrated his competition’s car by calling it “geeky.”

Now I know why the Chevy Volt has no driver assist features available. The CEO doesn’t care about technology and doesn’t care about the very customers who could help his company attain profitability. He should be fired.

By the way, my Toyota Prius is the best car I’ve owned. It gets more than 40mpg, even with my lead foot. Something most other American cars have yet to attain. All while having a better stereo, great blue-tooth audio integration so my iPhone plays music well without cords (stereo even), great display screens, and while having features like self-parking, a camera that both keeps me inside the lane and warns me if I’m getting out of one (say, if I’m falling asleep, which could save my life), and radar that makes my cruise control a LOT better than that in the Chevy Volt. Not to mention my Prius has LED headlights that are nicer on the dark road I drive home on every evening.

But the Chevy Volt has slightly more acceleration.

Now I know why the Chevy Volt has more acceleration but fewer features that could save my life. That alone tells me why GM’s CEO should be fired. But trying to call his potential Silicon Valley customers lame is the real reason he should be fired. Any CEO that tries to call customers lame should immediately be shown the door.

Compare this to Carlos Ghosn, Chairman & CEO, Renault S.A. & Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. who celebrated geeks last week in his speech at LeWeb. I interviewed him after his speech (in which he showed off a prototype “geeky” car that even had an iPad holder). Listen to how he talks, he’s a great CEO for the “geeky” age. Why? He knows who has the money to buy his high-end electric cars: geeks. Compare the Nissan and GM CEOs and you can tell instantly that one should be shown the door.

Carlos’ LeWeb speech is here: