9 comments on “GM Test Drive Experience: Detroit Proving Grounds

  1. ken, hehe, sure thing..anytime.
    I’ll take care of the making the bling, while you figure out how to make it legal to drive like a mad man legally on the streets…for fun that is… 😉

  2. Umm, i’d not assume that just because you didn’t see the japanese cars in your drive through detroit that everyone loves them. The japanese dealerships do very well around here-even in the face of GM,ford, and chrysler basically giving their cars away to their employees and family. I see a ton of mazda, toyota, and honda vehicles around my area which is a few miles from VW and Chrysler. I’m not so sure it’s that they love the company or just enjoy the rakeoff prices they get their vehicles at. A person who gets an suv for 200 bucks a month lease and will never deal with the longterm maintenance is not an impartial judge. I’d take a asian vehicle anyday over the formally “big 3” vehicles if i’m paying fully for it.

  3. ethan,
    thanks for your note. As I mentioned, we really only drove through the suburbs of Detroit a few times. My mind was set on GM and I probably spotted more GM cars because of this. I actually did not know all the brands of GM until we landed and the driver talked us through the child brands.

    I’m glad to hear the japanese market for cars over there is strong. I still own a Japanese car and my next car probably will still be a japanese car. There’s something about GM that seems too masculine in my mind… maybe it’s all those commercials I’ve grown up with… overmarketing..like a rock. The brands seem a bit superficial unlike the Japaneses brands who seem more reliable, even if they are not. I guess I have trust in Japaneses brands over the American brands, but then again, I’m asian and have a bit of asian pride in me.

    I’m glad to hear your thoughts on SUV’s. I’ll admit that once you step into one of those SUV’s it feels powerful and you feel safe, but who really needs them besides the construction workers, builders, etc. I dont mind the big vans cause their needed, but seriously, gas guzzlers make me sick at times thinking about them. I’m glad to hear GM tackling the problem, but I’d like to see improvements compared to the European/Asian standards.

  4. Good points. yeah the thing with SUV’s that bugs me is everyone talks about how safe they feel but many of those are not in the typical passenger classes and therefore are not required to have the safety standards that a typical sedan has.

    Also there was a report i read at some point that made a great point – their research showed that suv drivers assumed accidents while drivers of bmw’s put more wieght in a vehicle that can handle well and avoid the accident all together. Mix that attitude with SUV’s coming with tires that are not graded for high speed highway driving and you end up with the kind of devastating blow outs they get. But I think it’s very telling that the asian market seems to meet the needs of the US buyers much quicker than the big 3. Those companies design, produce and execute at a level that the big 3 can’t even dream of.

    I worked in the elearning industry developing technical auto training multimedia and from what i could see-the quality of the technicians at the asian dealerships is far superior as well.

  5. So basically you got a free junket from GM and in return they got a nice writeup and photos—seems like paid advertising. FYI, since you’re a young blogger, you may want to consider that this raises serious ethical questions about your writing and opinions. Because if you can be bought, what we’re getting is not an independent voice (the very essence of what makes a blog great), but a paid shill. It’s called a conflict of interest and if you want to be considered a journalist with some integrity, you should consider the implications of this. It makes absolutely no difference that you weren’t required to write anything–that’s usually the case. You accepted something of significant value from a company and you wrote up a softball puff piece. GM isn’t stupid about this and they know what they’ll get in return–but of course it’s all implicit. You might argue that you would have written the same thing if you had paid for the trip and who knows, you might be right. But, you basically got paid for this writeup and as a reader it calls your whole blog and ethics into question. I’m not trying to slam you because I think you’ve a good blog, but I hope you at least give some thought as to how you handle this kind of thing in the future. —Peace

  6. Barry,

    thanks for your note. I did think about the ethics of a blogger, but then again, what are the ethics? I didn’t get paid, I was invited to experience something. I didn’t have to write about it but I wanted to share an experience… a fun one, and less about all the PR they gave us… i wanted to share a bit on my travels and some design notes about a field I’m not use to talking about.

    Personally, I set off my blog as a mix of things…. Things that inspire me and hopefully others, a bit on myself, and my own experiences. In a snapshot, the ingredients to design and myself. Sure there’s some PR for GM, but hey, it’s an experience for the better or worse. If you noticed, i did not give them such a positive note, but I did find their directions encouraging, sustainability wise.

    Am I a journalist, nah..not quite, my grammar suxs. Am I a blogger, sure, but do I abide to these “Blogger ethics” you mention?… I’ll try, but then again, if i abide to rules of a community, I am not being myself, which in turn is what I think a blogger is… sharing whatever they want to.

    Perhaps further down the line I’ll change up the content some. I do appreciate your comments though. I feel the same when i read other blogs. Hopefully this did not seem like a PR stunt on my end as i did not intend to. GM flying me to Detroit is the same as someone sending me a cool sustainability article on treehugger on GM, though flying to Detroit to test drive cars turned out to be more fun. I get information from people, magazines, blogs, tv, things in the shop… all different channels, but they are all somehow linked to a means of advertising/marketing… yes, i know, this sounds bad, but that’s life. Advertising is everywhere and can’t be ignored..hell, our friends and family brand-vertise without notion. We are made up of what we experience.

    GM sent me on some other adventures and i did not write about them at all cause it was just about their cars. I wrote about this particular trip because it was an experience.. in fact, the most fun was probably in the golf course, which GM had no part of, and I missed out on a portion of the dinner because i was late coming back. What is the difference if GM flew me over vs a friend that had all theses cars. what if my friend was given theses cars and I didn’t know. I can go into soo many loops about this, but I wont ramble on as much as i already have.

    I’m glad you read my blog… I am however curious how you stumbled upon it. What was your means in hearing about Designverb?

    Please keep commenting and letting me know what you think… cause your comments might influence what and how I write..but are you advertising to me the “ethics of a blogger”..hehe? =)

  7. Hello, I’ve work with GM now for almost 2 years at the Milford Proving Grounds. I would just like to let you all in on a couple of things. The “stunt driving course” as you call it is no where near what you claim it to be. It is called Advanced Drivers Training, or ADT and all drivers at that facility are required to take it just to drive on the grounds.

    It’s not true that non-GM cars are not allowed on grounds, this is false. In fact GM purchases many competitor cars just to test and compare products. Many of my co-workers drive other brands and even foreign cars and are not ridiculed or have different parking places for their no-GM cars.

    The fact is while it may seam like GM was trying to get free advertisement or how ever you want to take it, it isn’t something new. Many of the summer moths at the proving grounds are spent having guests visit the grounds from reporters, to most anybody off the street it seams just for this reason.

    GM sells cars and is in the business to make money. They will do at times whatever it takes advertisements, articles, first impressions, and special events. GM is looking to make that buck buy selling customers what they want (not necessarily what they need). I hope this helps to make more sense of it all.

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