Thursday, April 8, 2010

Honk if You Love General Motors

Before I retired, I needed a vehicle that would get me out of the driveway during a snowstorm if the farmer down the road didn't arrive with his tractor on time.

Not being a large person, I asked the local car dealer to show me the smallest four wheel drive he had. He took me over to see the only Jimmy on the lot. It was love at first sight. I knew the Jimmy was a keeper when I took it for a test drive. I felt safer in that vehicle than in any other car that I have driven. And it had so much power I was sure there were testicles hanging between its back two wheels.

So I was in a good mood when I arrived at work the Monday after I bought the Jimmy, eager to get to the staff room to brag about my new mode of transportation. I parked, turned off the vehicle and pulled the visor down.

No mirror.

Now you might not think this is a major defect in a car. It will likely depend on your sex. Most women will probably understand my feeling - that GM should announce an immediate recall.

I leaned over and checked the passenger seat visor. There was a mirror. It slowly dawned on me then - this wasn't a manufacturing defect, my poor Jimmy was made that way on purpose. There wasn't a mirror on the driver's side, because GM didn't think that women ever needed four wheel drive and men evidently don't worry whether or not they have a piece of their breakfast hanging off a front tooth.

I wasn't happy about it, but I learned to live with my Jimmy's one defect. My cranky attitude towards GM did get me thinking about some of the other things that bug me about cars though.

For example, I would like a selection of pleasant noises that I could use to communicate with someone who is not in the car with me. I hate being limited to the 'F--- you' sound of my present horn. I would like a polite little beep that I could use if I needed to get another driver's attention. I would like a cheery "Hi,how ya doing" chirp that I could use if I saw someone I knew walking down the street. A friendly ' see ya later' sound would be nice, too.

And what about my purse? It goes everywhere I go. It is my most important possession and yet there is no place to store it safely in my car. I need my purse close at hand but up off the floor away from pedals and dirt. Putting it on the passenger seat is sometimes okay if I have no passenger, but too many times my purse has gone flying if I've had to make a quick stop and if I haven't closed it I have to spend half an hour picking up lipstick, coins, keys, cards etc from the floor.

I could go on, but in the interest of brevity I'll only mention one other thing. In my whole life, absolutely no one, and I must stress this point - no one has ever asked me how many revs my car engine makes. So why is the gas gauge, which is REALLY important to me, such a tiny little Tinkerbelle sized window that I have to squint to see while the dial that shows the number of engine revs is the size of the porthole to the whale aquarium at Marine land?

Well, I don't have the Jimmy anymore. If there is a snowstorm I have the luxury of staying home and besides that, the payments were killing me. I went back to my GM dealer because I'm a loyal customer but I don't know if I would have if somebody else offered a girl friendly vehicle at a reasonable price.

Are you listening GM?

Women buy a lot of cars. You need to sell more cars.

Safe, affordable, practical, friendly, attractive .

You can do it.

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