Monday, June 8, 2009

My Personal Farewell to General Motors

Over the course of my life, I've owned more than one GM product and driven many more than I've owned. And it's not nice to kick a corporation when they're down and all, but I'm going to anyway. GM? We are through. Sure, I may one day get a Corvette, but it'll be a vintage Corvette and you won't have anything to do with it by that time. And, as for your flagship brand, I have this to say -- Cadillac sucks.

You may ask, why the GM animosity all of a sudden? And, really, it wasn't always like this between me and GM. My first car was a used 1970 Chevy 4-door Impala. Seated 12 on the inside and 6 in the trunk. I loved that car. It was like my own personal tank. I hit things, but I never knew about it. The things I hit knew, but you never felt so much as a shimmy inside.

So, I had a predisposition to GM cars young. Not that it stopped me from buying other cars. The first two cars I bought with my own money were Mazdas, which I drove until they died. After those, however, I wasn't able to find a car that would last. Then we got the Lexus and the true joys of car ownership were explained to me.

My Lexus IS300 is the greatest car ever made. Turns on a dime (still), handles like a dream (still), very few problems with it (still), and Lexus service is the best in the world (still and always). So, I now compare everything to Lexus quality. If it doesn't match up, I'm not a happy girl.

A year or so after we got the Lexus, we needed to trade in our then-current SUV for one that, hopefully, wouldn't have constant front-end problems. Enter Cadillac. I love the newer styling of the Cadillac RX series, and really wanted the SRX, a mid-sized SUV. So, we got one. And I loved it. For one whole day.

We started having problems with it on, I swear to God, the second day of ownership. And the realization that nothing matters more at a car dealership than the Service Department was brought home to me in sharp relief. Because everything that went wrong with the Cadillac became a huge issue due to the lack of cohesion or interest on the parts of the Service, Parts and Scheduling Departments at our dealership. (Lund Cadillac, for those in the Greater Phoenix Metro Area who want to avoid buying from the worst dealership in the world.)

Any time I brought the car in for service, it took 3 times longer than estimated, the service was done wrong, and they managed to break something else while 'fixing' the original problem. I wish I was making this up to be funny, but I'm not. The car itself drives, handles, and brakes wonderfully. It feels great inside. All's super until you notice that your rear view mirror casing has fallen off in your hand...again. Parts fall off this beast like it's a leprous zombie. And don't start me on the stereo/CD system...which has been replaced an amazing, I kid you not, 11 times and counting.

Things came to a head these last few months. My service agent advised me that my factory warranty had expired the month prior. As in, he let me know a month after expiration, not a month before. (For comparison, Lexus advised me a year prior to my extended warranty's coming expiration and worked with me to determine when I should re-extend, so that there will be no blip in coverage.) Meaning that all the repairs for all the stuff that falls off on a regular basis will no longer be covered even though we have an extended warranty. And then he shared that services heretofore free -- like loaner cars when my SRX is in for its 3 times too long repairs -- would now be charged. Services that were part of the reason you bought a Cadillac in the first place.

When I complained, my service guy reminded me that, well, things are bad all over. Oh, really? Gosh, I hadn't noticed. I sure don't notice at Lexus. My service level hasn't gone down one whit over there.

So, I whined and I pleaded and whined some more. I wanted to get rid of the Cadillac and get something else. Seeing as we have 3 large dogs, we have to have something that can carry them easily. So, my husband searched around and we determined that we would see how we liked the Scion xB.

Guess what? We like it a whole lot.

In fact, we liked it so much, that we traded in the Cadillac and got a Scion. A limited edition Scion. In red (which is this year's limited edition color).

We still haven't seen the car in person. "Our" car arrived in the port at Long Beach on Saturday morning and we bought it Saturday afternoon. (Oh, and SNAP to anyone else who wanted it -- we got it first, nyah, nyah, nyah.) So we're still in the Cadillac, but only until our Scion arrives and gets all its fancy upgrades that we added on (hey, if you're gonna play...PLAY).

I have absolutely no buyer's remorse, either. I have buyer's longing -- I can't wait to shove the Cadillac into my Scion dealer's hands and never have to deal with it or any Cadillac dealer ever again, and then drive off in my smokin', new, bright red, lowered, fancied up, blacked out, stylin' Scion xB.

So, GM -- so long, farewell, auf weidersein, goodbye. And Scion -- here's to start of a new and beautiful friendship.

TGC

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4 Comments:

Blogger Adrian in Phoenix said...

That tale is tragically familiar. A competent vehicle ruined by poor execution in some details, and compounded by poor service. Brands like Cadillac have to get everything right all the time - Lexus shows it can be done.

We got rid of our Nissan Quest the week the extended warranty ended for similar problems - our A/C system (manufactured for Nissan by Ford) was repaired several times before finally being completely replaced from dash knob to rubber belts (that did fix it however).

That van always started, stopped, & turned reliably, but the luxurie$ weren't so reliable, and little plastic covers & clips kept emerging from under the seats & other things.

My brother once rented a Renault while he was on assignment in Denver. In six weeks, he had to replace it twice and he always had loose parts to hand to the car rental people.

Enjoy the Scion!

June 8, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger . said...

LOL, thanks Adrian! Since Scion is a Toyota brand, as is Lexus, I have high hopes for a more consistently pleasant ownership experience. Plus, did I mention it's bright red? :-D

TGC

June 8, 2009 at 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Mumsy said...

I don't know where that 0 came from in my name. Oh well, the vagaries of the interwebs. That Cadillac was the blackest lemon I have ever seen.

M

June 16, 2009 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger . said...

LOL. In its defense, the Caddy drives, handles, breaks and feels great. It's the fact that parts fall off the beast at the slightest provocation and that Lund Cadillac has, perhaps, the worst service department in the world that made ownership such a horror.

But soon, SOON, our Scion will be ready and we will be DONE with the whole sordid affair.

TGC

June 19, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

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