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Discussion Starter #1
In unmitigated and precarious precedent GM has exposed their rote arrogance and incompetence in one fell swoop.

GM executives help scour social media to spot vehicle flaws is the headline I've just come across and it couldn't be more misguided...

Amid the worst safety-defect crisis in its history, General Motors executives and staff have taken to social media to find customer complaints and identify quality issues long before they become a crisis.

GM, which faces lawsuits for dragging its feet before recalling a faulty ignition switch that's connected to at least 35 deaths, is now mining every source of information to head off another crisis, President Dan Ammann said in an interview.
Now, I'm sure this strategy is more cost effective then proper engineering, so understand it as PR not as change, because nothing is changing, once consumers have taken to social media to complain its too late, you've failed as a company to create a functional and desirable product...

but don't let logic get in the way of a great headline...
 

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It is impossible to completely eliminate any mistakes with products forever even though that is the goal. If you admit that there will be mistakes, then your next move would be to identify and deal with them as quickly as possible. That is what GM is doing.

I bet they can create an algorithm to monitor this. Investors have bots that trade stocks based on tweets so I figure GM could make a program that checks for people complaining about GM vehicles.
 

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there's also a sense of urgency, they can work on perfecting a vehicle and making it flawless and take forever but those days are long gone. so now they just fix as they go, sucks on the consumers end but as a consumer you need to do your own research
 

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I'm not sure its the case that they are "fixing as they go." I only say that because its not like car companies can be that responsive to problems once their products are on the market.

I think that social media makes it easier for people to express and publicize issues that they are having though.
 

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there's also a sense of urgency, they can work on perfecting a vehicle and making it flawless and take forever but those days are long gone. so now they just fix as they go, sucks on the consumers end but as a consumer you need to do your own research
Good point.

I can see that being one of the ugly truths to the industry.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It is impossible to completely eliminate any mistakes with products forever even though that is the goal. If you admit that there will be mistakes, then your next move would be to identify and deal with them as quickly as possible. That is what GM is doing.

I bet they can create an algorithm to monitor this. Investors have bots that trade stocks based on tweets so I figure GM could make a program that checks for people complaining about GM vehicles.
To say that is to completely ignore GM's behaviour for the past 20-30 years. This is a shortcut to proper engineering. I'm confident you understand Beta testing, yea, farm that out to consumers et voila ;)

I swear everytime this company opens its mouth it drives me further and further away...
 

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They are not putting out worse products and letting the general public beta test them.

Like I said before, social media allows people to bring forward complaints and issues in an easier and more public way. It only makes sense that GM would monitor this in order to be more responsive to issues with their vehicles.

Would you prefer that they not monitor social media at all? Monitoring social media is not the problem. If you think GM is testing their cars less before they put them out on the market, that would be wrong, but it is a separate issue from whether or not they monitor social media.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
They are not putting out worse products and letting the general public beta test them.

Like I said before, social media allows people to bring forward complaints and issues in an easier and more public way. It only makes sense that GM would monitor this in order to be more responsive to issues with their vehicles.

Would you prefer that they not monitor social media at all? Monitoring social media is not the problem. If you think GM is testing their cars less before they put them out on the market, that would be wrong, but it is a separate issue from whether or not they monitor social media.

LOL you've completely missed the point, the two are intrinsically linked. Its the announcement you see, its the publicity it genereates by saying well were going to monitor social media and then people like you get to say to people like me WELL WOULD YOU RATHER THEY DONT.

YES in fact i would rather they didnt and instead focused on the product, pouring every available resource into product engineering and not wasting time with hashtag complaints. This is a PR play because there is little value in this endeavour, you want to know how i know? GM is the only one who counts on social media to catch engineering defects.

You know where else owners make their issues heard, at the dealership, logically anything that an owner deems irrelevant to take to the dealership is then not an issue worth perusing...
 

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They are not putting out worse products and letting the general public beta test them.

Like I said before, social media allows people to bring forward complaints and issues in an easier and more public way. It only makes sense that GM would monitor this in order to be more responsive to issues with their vehicles.

Would you prefer that they not monitor social media at all? Monitoring social media is not the problem. If you think GM is testing their cars less before they put them out on the market, that would be wrong, but it is a separate issue from whether or not they monitor social media.
Why would it be wrong for GM to be "testing their cars less before they pout them out on the market"?

There's only so much time you can spend working on a product.

It's not just limited to car makers, many, MANY other products are like this.
 

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LOL you've completely missed the point, the two are intrinsically linked. Its the announcement you see, its the publicity it genereates by saying well were going to monitor social media and then people like you get to say to people like me WELL WOULD YOU RATHER THEY DONT.

YES in fact i would rather they didnt and instead focused on the product, pouring every available resource into product engineering and not wasting time with hashtag complaints. This is a PR play because there is little value in this endeavour, you want to know how i know? GM is the only one who counts on social media to catch engineering defects.

You know where else owners make their issues heard, at the dealership, logically anything that an owner deems irrelevant to take to the dealership is then not an issue worth perusing...
This is a false choice. GM can monitor social media and also put full resources into engineering. You think the social media person is being diverted from their role as a product engineer? Perhaps it is a PR move, but its a good one.

And finally, I think testing cars less is fine as long as you are testing them enough to find defects if they exist.

I really am surprised that you guys have read so much into a company monitoring social media for talk about their products. They would be dumb not to monitor it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is a false choice. GM can monitor social media and also put full resources into engineering. You think the social media person is being diverted from their role as a product engineer? Perhaps it is a PR move, but its a good one.

And finally, I think testing cars less is fine as long as you are testing them enough to find defects if they exist.

I really am surprised that you guys have read so much into a company monitoring social media for talk about their products. They would be dumb not to monitor it.
Its not a false choice in the slightest. GM made the choice to announce they would be monitoring social media for product defects INSTEAD of announcing they would be upping their engineering and testing standards. There was a choice and the path of least resistance was chosen. Social Media is buzz worthy, engineering is totally boring and like full of math.

In terms of PR, can GM afford another fiasco like the product quality issues that plunged them into bankruptcy in the first place, followed by the product quality issues that plague them currently? Because I fail to see how monitoring social media can somehow now alleviate the culture issues that are clearly behind the engineering short comings. That culture is called cost cutting.

This social media move can be viewed as cost cutting as well, its less cost to monitor social media for engineering defects than it is to rigorously test and ENSURE quality.

Yes a company would be dumb not to monitor social media, but a company is SUPREMELY STUPID to monitor social media looking for engineering defects. That's the key difference...
 

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Also adding to this, perfect preparing is procrastination, they can spend year and decades refining things but going about dealing with issues by seeing what people are reporting on social media and other online platforms, you get right to the consumers key problems and help to restore what ever positive image people have of the brand.

Might as well deal with problems people are experiencing and want action to be taken on.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
GM is not committed to Engineering Quality, you want further proof than this silly Social Media nonsense? GM is set to shutter their Oshawa plant in 2016, the Oshawa plant is consistently one of their highest performing plants in terms of Quality output. Do you know what the replacement is, Mexico...

Cost wins over Quality.

Whats double funny is GM cites cost as the reason they need to move, they say they can't manufacture profitably because of the exchange rate, well you know what GM, tell that to Honda, Ford and Toyota who are all producing and profiting in Southern Ontario. So either they're lying or are simply inept.
 
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