August 23, 2005
Auto ShowsHaving a Blast at Pebble
By Tom Kowaleski
GM Vice President, Communications
The Cadillac V series family
The Cadillac V series family
I just got back from the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, and what a weekend it was. It’s hard to beat Pebble for beautiful machinery in a beautiful setting. Best in Show was a 1937 Delage D8-120 S Pourtout Aréo Coupé owned by Sam and Emily Mann & Alfredo Brener from Englewood, New Jersey. This is a truly spectacular car. Check it out.
Watching and participating in the "goings-on" there during the weekend was a really uplifting experience, primarily because it proved to me that GM is making tremendous progress with our product programs.
Our new cars and trucks are getting on the trend line, and being perceived in an entirely new and positive light. I’m convinced that we are breaking through the old conventional wisdom that we're incapable of doing visually compelling, dynamically satisfying cars and trucks. Corvette, Z06, all the new Cadillacs, Solstice, and yes, HHR, are chiefly accountable for this. And our other newer vehicles, like the LaCrosse and G6, are providing undeniable quality and value to the hundreds of thousands buying them.
At Pebble last weekend, we had the Solstice on the road throughout the area and it was a smash hit everywhere. We had to beg, borrow and steal to get three cars there and should have had a gaggle of Z06 models as well.
For example, a guy driving a new $290,000 Ferrari Super America pulled up to me when I was in a Solstice, looked over and said, "That's a really cool car!" It was the same all weekend ... there was simply no class system surrounding this car in a sea of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, BMWs and all other upscale brands. Not one person said, "It’s just a Pontiac." Not one person said, "That’s nice ... for a little inexpensive car." Instead, everyone fell all over the car. A few fingerprint smudges were a small price to pay for all the adulation and affirmation.
We are working our way back into the "car guys’ club." For a time, we ceased to be a real player in the enthusiast game. But all weekend I heard, "You guys are starting to do some neat stuff!" "Do you have the new [insert Z06, STS-V or Solstice] here?" "When can I try one of those new Cadillacs?" There’s no other way to put it: It all got me really excited!
Of course, not everyone is a car guy. But by building vehicles that please the enthusiasts, our reputation as a maker of inspired vehicles will continue to grow. We’re beginning to see the evidence firsthand, and believe me, it’s fun.
And that’s what helped make it such a great weekend. Yes, seeing all the old friends and unbelievably spectacular classic automobiles was a special treat, as always. But coming home feeling good about what we’re doing at GM was very sweet icing on the cake for me.
Posted by Editor at August 23, 2005 04:34 PM