GM colleague remembers Betsy
I thoroughly enjoyed your Nov. 29 piece on Betsy Ancker-Johnson. It was my pleasure to be on the scene when Betsy arrived at General Motors.
As I recall, the novelty of a female vice president evaporated quickly as Betsy took control of her job and imposed her own high standards on the highly sensitive functions for which she was responsible.
I suspect that the 'gentlemen walking on eggshells' that Betsy referred to were those who didn't have frequent contact with her.
I see from the picture with your article that Betsy is still swimming competitively. I sure would not want to swim against her.
The writer retired in 1986 as General Motors sales and service vice president
GM should build its own engines
Will somebody please save General Motors? GM has become a blundering bureaucracy that is bringing shame to our nation. The fact that GM would even consider outsourcing engines from Japan (Automotive News, Nov. 1) is a national disgrace and a slap in the face to every American and to every GM employee.
GM has the greatest engineering resources in the world, but it refuses to let its engineers do what they do best - design engines. GM has spent millions of dollars trying to re-establish its brand identities. What brand identity will be left when there is a Honda powertrain under the hood of a GM car?
GM must regain its pride, and that cannot be done through purchased engines. The comment by Anna Kretz on outsourcing - that she doesn't view powertrains as being different from other vehicle systems - is the mindset that will destroy not only GM but also industry in this country. I hate to be the one to tell her, but an engine is different from a tire, a battery or even a differential.
The $4 billion GM wasted in Flint last year would have paid for a lot of research and development and would have built morale in the rank and file. GM doesn't want to be a car company; it wants to be a marketing company that does all it can to undermine America and its workers.
GM's only saving grace is Saturn, and GM is working overtime to destroy that.
RAY T. BOHACZ
The writer is a free-lance technical writer
You win some, you lose some
Dodge's participation in NASCAR (Automotive News, Oct. 18) is a great step to enhance our brand image and to regain the dominance we once had in the race circuit.
Every dealer I have contacted supported the program but took exception to any funding from our advertising budgets. Score one for the factory - cost shifting at its best.
With the development of those rear-drive vehicles, maybe - just maybe - Dodge could return to the police and taxicab business we lost years ago. Score one for the dealers.
HAROLD REESE JR.
Reese Bros. Inc.
Sparky's card graces Web site
In trying to think of creative ways to make us more Web-aware to our community, I asked our dealer, Paul Broome, if we could try a new idea for our dealer identification decal, and he was delighted with it. It has generated positive response; we call it our E-cal.
Automotive News is just getting up and rolling with its Web site. We, also, are in the process of evolution. I guess a good one will always be in a state of evolution.
Like you, we still have a long way to go to be as interactive as we want, but thanks to your many articles and updates, we are far more Web and e-commerce informed.
I am enclosing a copy of my 1999 Christmas card, which is on our Web site.
Business Development Manager