No kidding. GM had a big, green, full page ad in the Sunday New York Times entitled "We need to talk." It touts their commitment to the environment and energy efficiency.
It says that because they have a large environmental footprint they have an obligation to change. They say the are one of the leading users of renewable energy, that they have reduced CO2 emissions at their facilities by 80% since 1990, that they have 14 facilities that send no waste from production operations to landfills.
So far so good.
But then they say "there is no greater proof of our commitment to change than the ongoing development of gas-friendly to gas-free fuel solutions by our Chevrolet brand" and that they are "making vehicles with better fuel efficiency than ever before."
As an example, they cite their new Tahoe Hybrid full-size hybrid SUV, and their Chevy Malibu Hybrid, the "most affordable midsize hybrid in the industry." Has anyone seen either of these vehicles in real life?
At any rate, I'm surprised these vehicles aren't an embarrassment to GM instead of feathers in their PR cap. Check out the numbers from the 2008 EPA Fuel Economy Guide:
Chevy Malibu Hybrid MPG: City: 24, Highway: 32, Combined: 27
Chevy Tahoe Hybrid MPG: City: 21, Highway: 22, Combined: 21
That's pathetic. For all major makes and models ranked by MPG, the Malibu Hybrid comes in at number 45, and the Tahoe Hybrid comes in at number 314. The first GM vehicle to appear in the top MPG ranking is the Pontiac Vibe at 21st on the list. It's made by Toyota.
GM is (for now) the world's largest auto manufacturer with 246 models and $207 billion in revenues last year. They should be able to do better than this. GM's overall fleet average for all makes and models is 17.6 MPG, which ranks near the bottom at 15th out of 17 major manufacturers (ahead of only Chrysler and Mercedes Benz).
GM should take a look at their own failed product strategy (and what their competitors* are doing) to improve the bottom line and spend less time and money on propaganda campaigns that deliver lip service instead of solutions.
*EPA top 25 most fuel efficient vehicles for 2008 according to the EPA:
|MERCURY||MARINER HYBRID FWD||32|
|FORD||ESCAPE HYBRID FWD||32|
|MAZDA||TRIBUTE HYBRID 2WD||32|
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