Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation, the largest U.S. dealership group, didn’t mince words in a Q&A session with GM CEO Dan Akerson at today’s National Automobile Dealers Association /IHS Global Insight Automotive Forum in New York.
Jackson took automakers to task for past sins -- building too many cars, relying too heavily on incentives, and expecting retailers to “go sit quietly in a corner.”
Akerson, as a recent outsider from the telecommunications industry, agreed. After all, he can say none of that happened on his watch.
“Out of the 10 worst things we could do, we hit eight or nine of them,” Akerson said.
“Really?,” Jackson shot back. “What ones did you miss?”
That generated a big laugh from the dealer-heavy audience.
“Well,” Akerson gamely replied, “the colors were right on the cars.”