New York Times Opinions About GM

A New York Times opinion piece accused Toyota and GM of "Willfully Endangering Drivers" by delaying automobile recalls. The author partly blames the government for succumbing to pressure from the car industry and from lawmakers who opposed a 2010 Motor Vehicle Safety Act. The Act would have provided more funding to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate safety issues and improve consumers' access to safety information.

Another New York Times story this weekend comments on GM's social media activity. On the surface, it looks like "business as usual" at GM. Recent posts describe an employee recruiting campaign, a "Fan Friday" contest, and a new FB cover photo.

But a deeper look into posts shows individual responses to complaints. Recall issues dominate customers' comments, and GM is engaged in the conversation as in this example:


How is GM's reputation faring online? According to the article, pretty well: 

"So far, the damage to the company's brand appears to have been minimal online.

"Despite the barrage of headlines about federal investigations into G.M.'s decade-long failure to issue the recall, overall sentiment about G.M. and its brands on Twitter has remained the same since the crisis began. According to an analysis by Crimson Hexagon, a social media analytics firm in Boston, about 26 percent of Twitter messages mentioning the company were positive, 71 percent were neutral and 3 percent were negative."

Discussion Starters: 

  • What's your view of the first article? In what ways do you agree and disagree with the writer's assessment of GM?
  • Assess GM's responses on its Facebook page. What principles from Chapter 7, Responding to Negative Feedback, does the company demonstrate in this and other examples online?