GM 'Lab' an Experiment in Customer Contact

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General Motors logo

In the new GM, where the big push is getting closer to the customer, there's an interesting experiment the company is about to launch.

GM is creating a web-site called "The Lab" where you can weigh in with suggestions for future models being developed. Car nuts and closet designers rejoice.

It looks like your time has finally come.

Or has it?

On paper, "The Lab" sounds like a great chance for GM designers, engineers, and marketing executives to hear first hand what you want, or don't want in future Chevy, Cadillac, Buick, or GMC models. Hey, maybe this will help the company kick some of its annoying habits like cheap looking knobs or switches in some interiors. After all, if you'd been consulted in advance, wouldn't you have told GM designers the Pontiac Aztec was a ridiculous looking SUV?

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But for you to truly have an impact on a future model, GM will have to let you into the design process early on. Is that likely happen? I'm skeptical. What's more likely is GM designers will get feedback from people logging on about their tastes, driving preferences, and what future models should include.

GM's lab is another way the company can promote future models and spread its message of "listening to the customer". There's nothing wrong with that, just call it what it is.

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