General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, in his keynote speech Saturday, called on dealers and auto manufacturers to improve their communication and embrace change.
Wagoner said the elimination of Oldsmobile has convinced him how important "open, frequent and consistent communications can be in addressing tough issues."
He said dealers and manufacturers should not only embrace change but get out in front of innovation. "I'll be the first to say that we at GM have got to push much harder on innovation. But I'll bet there's a certain level of inertia in all of your organizations, too."
Still, rapid changes in today's business environment challenge OEM and dealer relations "that even great communication and our best efforts at embracing innovation won't solve. I refer to those as tough calls."
Wagoner commended Oldsmobile dealers for "working harder than anyone on the front lines to make Oldsmobile work. Yet we thought we had to take the action we did."