Detroit, Know Thy Consumer

March 2, 2009

An insightful piece by our own Jorg Pierach led the Star Tribune’s op-ed section on Sunday. For those of you who may have missed it, here’s an intro and a link.

SO, a hydra-headed task force headed by a couple of noted economists — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers — will try to guide the rescue of the American auto industry.

The group will be advised by officials from the treasury, labor, transportation, commerce and energy departments, as well as from the National Economic Council, the White House Office of Energy and Environment, the Council of Economic Advisers and the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s quite a collection of experts.

But I’d feel better if just one of them knew how to sell cars.

The mess in Detroit isn’t primarily a manufacturing problem, a management problem, or a wage and expense problem. Tougher managers and more tightfisted bean counters aren’t going to fix what’s broken in Detroit. It will take deep and innovative marketing knowledge.

To read the rest, click here.