On Wednesday night Letterman decided to make a few anti “Volt” remarks (GM’s new car) basically saying that the gas mileage isn’t great and that in general he isn’t fond of the car. Bob Lutz, the GM Vice Chairman decided to respond to Letterman’s comments about the Volt via the GM Fastlane Blog. Bob Lutz was visibly upset and for good reason, nobody wants to hear their company product get trashed on national television with millions of people watching. Bob Lutz took a great approach to addressing Letterman though, he publicly invited him to come learn more about the “Volt,” and offered him a test car to borrow for a while, Bob also offered to appear on the Letterman show!
“I would like to personally invite Dave to come learn more about the Volt, including the hugely important but unmentioned-by-him fact that its range is 40 purely electric miles plus several hundred more miles thanks to its range-extender. Dave may drive more than 40 miles a day on his commute from the palatial Connecticut estate, but about 80 percent of Americans don’t. And those people could conceivably drive the Volt every day and never use a drop of gasoline.
I’d like Dave to drive a Volt test mule and see for himself. And I’d be happy to appear on his show, like Mr. Musk had the opportunity to do, and set the record straight on the Volt and its promise.”
As I mentioned above Bob took a great approach to addressing Letterman, here’s what I think he did right:
- publicly stated that he disagreed with Letterman’s remarks and offered to help “educate” him
- showed the GM community that GM is listening to what is being said about their cars
- acknowledged that GM has other issues to worry about but is still concerned with brand reputation
- acknowledged that if Letterman is misinformed then it’s partly due to GM not spreading the message properly
- clearly stated that their (GM) goal is to correct any misunderstandings or lack of communication
Bob also ended his post with a great statement:
“So that’s why we’re taking a moment on a Friday to let you know we heard what was said, we don’t agree with it, and we’d like the opportunity to put things right. Simple as that.”
Very well played in my opinion, your thoughts?