Are the good times coming for GM, Chrysler?

Edward Lapham is executive editor of Automotive News.
This week has been a classic “Tale of Two Cities.”

In New York, GM's brass hats posed for photo ops ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and honking the horn of a Corvette convertible down on Wall Street.

It almost seemed like happy days are here again as the company's incredibly successful IPO prompted international headlines … and even a little trash talking from President Obama.

GM CEO Dan Akerson is flanked by several GM executives and VIPs -- including UAW President Bob King -- as he rings the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Meanwhile, a continent away at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Chrysler unveiled a half dozen snazzy new products that ought to make consumers happy. The company also threw an open house at a factory-owned dealership that will sell the new Fiat- and Chrysler-brand cars and trucks.

At week's end, it's easy to be upbeat about the future of the two automotive bailouts.

But GM and Chrysler still need to focus on the basics of producing and selling great products. It's time to emphasize blocking and tackling.

It's still too soon for either company to spike the ball in the end zone.