Mary Barra has issued a formal apology for the Volkswagen emissions scandal, in which the Environmental Protection Agency has formally accused Volkswagen of installing a “defeat device” to pass emissions test.
“Volkswagen has violated the trust of thousands of its customers, and for that, General Motors would like to apologize,” Ms. Barra said.
“We know the general public will have a difficult time forgiving and forgetting what Volkswagen has done,” Ms. Barra added. “And for that, General Motors can only say we are very, very sorry.”
Asked what role General Motors played in the VW emissions scandal, Ms. Barra said, “None whatsoever. But that won’t stop people from blaming us and saying how much our cars suck compared to the Germans and the Japanese. Just you watch.”
“Obviously, we feel a great deal of sympathy for Volkswagen considering our own recent troubles,” she added. “But give us some credit. A car that has had its engine involuntarily switched off doesn’t pollute.”
Citing consumer reaction to its decision last week to cancel advertising on Facebook and the Super Bowl, General Motors announced that it is going to cease advertising altogether.
“Reaction to our Facebook announcement led to a 1.4% increase in consumer traffic to our web sites, and the news that we were pulling out of the Super Bowl gave us another increase of 2.3%,” said General Motors PR professional Bert Fanktanker, speaking on the condition that we refer to him as Lance Hardmore. “Those two outlets represent approximately 4% of our advertising budget, so we figure if we drop all of our advertising, besides saving a buttload of money, we’ll increase consumer interest by a factor of… um… well, a lot.”
GM plans to rely primarily on word-of-mouth advertising and strong buyer loyalty as exemplified by satisfied Chevrolet customer Fern D. Climptrap, who was brought along to the interview despite our strenuous objections.
“Ain’ no way I’d buy a furrin’ car from one of those pissant little countries we kicked the shit out of back before the god-damned Democrats ruined the god-damned country,” Climptrap said. “God-damned Mexicans.”
Fanktanker Hardmore underscored the effectiveness of this strategy. “We read an article in the Delta in-flight magazine that said that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising, and we realized that was true. I mean, Nader wrote that book about the Corvair, what, fifty years ago? People are still talking about that, and it didn’t cost us a dime.”
“God-damned right,” added Climptrap.
General Motors’ global marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, was unfazed by the news that he was out of a job.
“I was there for two years,” Ewanick told a woman putting change in the parking meter who he mistook for a reporter but who, it turns out, actually is a reporter for Autoblopnik, so that worked out well for us. “That’s an eternity for me.”
Ewanick would not comment on his immediate post-GM future, but sources close to his cleaning lady say he plans to take over Ford’s European marketing efforts for about twenty minutes before being hired by Mazda and then getting recruited by Toyota later that afternoon.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, interviewed by Autoblopnik in the men’s room near Gate E14 at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, said he supported the move.
“We’re General Motors, for crying out loud. Why the hell do we need to advertise? Anyone who would even consider one of our cars already knows who we are. Shit, my fly’s stuck. I should never have let Karin go to that discount tailor. Don’t print that.”
© 2012 Autoblopnik