Like Reuss, GM took its time on tech moves
Edward Lapham is executive editor of Automotive News.
Mark Reuss made a telling admission last week.
"I was a BlackBerry person, probably for too long," said Reuss, General Motors' North American president, relating how he had waited and waited before switching to an iPhone.
That puts him in pretty good company with plenty of other Americans who took their time, too.
Reuss came clean about his BlackBerry during a luncheon roundtable with a group of reporters and editors who are jurors for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. The discussion was about the Cadillac ATS, which is on the short list for the North American Car of the Year.
But we got around to other topics, like the company's approach to technology, especially Cadillac's telematics system known as CUE -- which stands for Cadillac User Experience.
Telematics was a timely topic.
Earlier in the week Ford got hammered in a Consumer Reports survey of auto reliability, in part because of persistent issues with the way many consumers feel about the company's MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems.
Ford has been an innovator when it comes to in-car connectivity, which has created some of the issues the company has been struggling to fix.
Who knows, next year could be GM's turn to get hammered by Consumer Reports for issues with CUE.
But it won't be because GM rushed the system to market. Like Reuss, who took a while to switch from his BlackBerry to an iPhone, GM took its time developing CUE and devised a touch-and-drag system that is on the order of using an iPhone or iPad.
It was a conscious choice to be different, Reuss said.
Reuss also told us that after using his iPhone for a while, he borrowed his wife's BlackBerry and marveled at the difference in technologies.
That, too, is a common reaction -- and one that Reuss thinks consumers will have about CUE.
You can reach Edward Lapham at email@example.com.