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BangShift Question Of The Day: If They Would Listen, What Would You Tell The Auto CEOs?

BangShift Question Of The Day: If They Would Listen, What Would You Tell The Auto CEOs?

If someone showed up at your desk today, tapped you on the shoulder, and told you that you were officially the head honcho of Nissan, what would you do? If it were me, I’d jam my fingers into my ears and run full-bore away from them, pretending that I didn’t hear jack squat. Ever since the arrest, jailing, and exceptionally strange escape story of former CEO Carlos Ghosn, Nissan has been a dumpster fire with a drip feed of JP8 jet fuel nearby, making sure the party keeps going. Nissan’s newest CEO, Makoto Uchida, smartly decided to do the right thing and face the music first and foremost. Recently, he held a meeting with U.S. Nissan dealers and told them to be brutally honest with what they had to say. Reports from many different angles agree: Uchida got blunt-force honesty that most CEOs never experience. He heard about market strategy, about aging products, the over-use of incentives to move vehicles. Will that kind of honesty fix Nissan’s problems in the short term? No. But it’s a great start into providing insight as to where to start taking steps. Certainly, giving the Frontier pickup an update it’s needed since just after I graduated high school should be a start.

Readers, if nothing else, you are chock-full of great ideas and opinions. We read them every day. But you’re telling us, which is the equivalent of preaching to the choir. What if Mike Manley from FCA, or Mary Barra from GM, or whoever stepped into the shoes left empty by Dave Buttner at Holden happened to tune into BangShift one night and offered to do an Ask Me Anything deal? We aren’t looking at blame-game deals here. That’s easy. We’re talking genuine, no-shit criticisms, and to be very fair, solutions that make a business sense and could very well function in an upcoming market.

You’ve been vocal before, readers. What would you say if you had the chance?

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17 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: If They Would Listen, What Would You Tell The Auto CEOs?

  1. Dan Barlow

    Not everyone wants a CUV . Some of us want cars . And we want them RWD . They don’t have to be V8s but they must have a optional 300 horse V6 .The mass can have a 200 here 4 popper . That little nomad concept vehicle from a few years back comes to mind . Until then , I’ll entertain used BMWs .

  2. Olds455guy

    100% agree with Dan Barlow. I would like to add that not everyone wants a super high end truck. The supply of good, honest old work trucks is running out and soon all we\’ll have available are these super-sized family sedans with a basket attached out back as a \”bed\”.

  3. Gary

    Other than telling Chrysler to give us some real HP in the 300, I’d say, Give us simple cars again, don’t try to make every low line car look so damned fancy, make something simple. Like a second gen Honda Civic. Also, give us a defeat button for ALL the goddamned buzzers and alarms that go off when you aren’t driving the way some pencil necked dickhead lawyer thinks you ought. Let ME, the guy who spend his money to buy this overcomplicated POS, shut off the goddamned noisemakers when I want to drive down my driveway without a seatbelt, so I can jump out quickly to drop my garbage in teh pail, or move trash and do yardwork around my property without having to clicick my seatbelt behind me and closing the door tight every time I inch my truck forward a few feet!

  4. Woody

    Require newly hired engineers to work in a repair shop for at least two years before there allowed to design anything. Working in a shop will expose what a nightmare it is to work on cars and their components that are poorly designed. It seems that cars are designed to work, not to be worked on. This not only applies to Nissan, but to all makes.

  5. 71C10SWB

    Ford – quite taking some quirky new styling que and cloning it onto every vehicle you design. And redesign your cars into something exciting and you might actually sell something other than Trucks, Mustangs and CUV’s.

    GM – Fire your stylists, you’re ignoring your falling sales and blaming it on things like fickle consumers. You ruined the Camaro styling and your trucks. And advertise something that’s exciting…not CUV’s! You’ll sell those regardless of if you ever advertise them.

    FCA – You’re a little pudgy and showing a little age…but, keep doing what you’re doing!

  6. Brian Cooper

    Americans want station wagons, sedans, and simple basic trucks. We want to buy a basic work truck for less than a sedan. I don’t need or want a monster huge truck that costs over $50k. In fact, I’m not buying anything that expensive.

    I want a station wagon. That means if I’m buying new, I better get a Regal right now. After it’s gone, there will be no more wagons made by a US maker. I also don’t want a CUV, SUV or anything like one. I want a sedan or a wagon.

    Looking in my yard right now, there are 2 Buick sedans, 2 Camaros, and a 57 Plymouth sedan. I can’t afford a truck because a used one costs over $20k with under 100k miles. A new one is over $40k.

    I want to ride in a comfortable sedan. I don’t need extra cameras, screens, lane warnings, or any of that crap. I want a comfortable sedan.

  7. Shawn Wedge

    Both Nissan and GM need to fire all their stylists.
    Ford need to retake the diesel market and let people know their 6.7 is good. Everyone already knows how bad the 2 previous engines were.
    All truck manufacturers, build some innovation more than a fancy tailgate.
    Ford quit bringing a knife to a gun fight. Your engines are great and tough but please give them some cubes so the customer doesn’t have to work so hard.
    Dodge, do something, anything to lighten up the Challenger.
    Chevy lower the damn side windows on the Camaro.
    Ford the GT is fantastic but financially we cant afford it as a corvette challenger.
    There is so much more but I don’t want to be typing all day!

  8. Scott Liggett

    Have all the nanny crap as an option, not loading down every vehicle with extra weight and cost. Build something besides the Mom car CUV’s and SUV’s. They are all over priced anyways and hideous.

    Build basic work trucks that don’t cost $60K. How about a diesel 3/4 ton for under $40k that isn’t trying to impersonate a Cadillac? Stop building every diesel to look like it wants to impersonate a dump truck. They are ugly. Fire whomever designs the grilles in these trucks. The 1973-1998 diesel 3/4 tons did the job just fine without weighing 8000 lbs empty.

    Rear wheel drive sedan and coupe, on the same platform. Maybe even a station wagon. Have a V8 option, or a turbo charged V6 and price it so middle income earners can afford one. You can always have fancy high horsepower versions that richy rich types can buy to show off to their friends.

  9. James Boos

    Slash CEO wages, invest in workers and design department.
    I would love to see what many have said (wagons, RWD, trucks with no frills), but when I worked at a dealership I watched “low-end” trucks sit while 60k+ sold with ease. It’s a sign that those who can afford a new vehicle do want all the options.
    If the auto companies want to impress me, add style. What is missing from most cars/trucks is self-owned design, everyone just impersonates each other until they all look similar.

  10. Mark Watkins

    How about designing cars that people would feel passionately about again. Today’s lemon shaped electroshitboxes are appliances.

  11. drivindadsdodge

    bring back the coupe’s….they sold great for years… what happened?
    my kids are grown … I dont need 4 doors …
    and I want a Grand Prix , Monte Carlo or a Thunder Bird
    Cordoba … Charger
    where I can put my golf clubs or a couple suit cases in the trunk
    a super charged or turbo V6 that handles
    I don’t need a back up cameras.. parking assist..lane change warning ….

  12. Threedoor

    A pickup bed that won’t dent when you lean on it. A tailgate made of 16 gauge or better. A steering column that tilts at the head not down at the firewall.


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