Low-margin sales to fleet customers are less helpful to automakers than retail sales, and the perception that comes along with being a fleet powerhouse dings the perception further.
Lutz doesn't sound overly concerned with short-term hits in the bottom line, preferring to take the uncommon long view and even admitting that there will be bloodletting before GM is fully realizing its potential. He's been refreshingly candid about making the product good enough that it requires no excuses or incentives to sell, and changing the sales mentality at GM from one of panic to true competition for the foreign makers that have cleaned the domestic industry's clock. Product is no longer the hurdle for GM to clear, there's lots of great stuff for 2007, and we look forward to the day when people strike up excited conversations about domestic product with us.
[Source: Automotive News sub. req'd]