When AnAmericanFirst wrote in an Automotive News online discussion about rejected dealers, "I hope that Mark Reuss or Ed Whitacre read our comments here," he got his wish -- within hours.
Reuss, president of GM North America, typed: "I do read the comments here and I do listen. Every day. Most nights, and all weekends."
"...and on the 7th day he rests," cracked CarCzar313.
Reuss was writing under the name phoenix, so readers weren't immediately sure who he was. He told commenters that dealers who haven't received a GM call about reinstatement letters should not conclude they are out for good.
"In many cases it means we want to actually talk to you and come to a mutual agreement," phoenix wrote. "There is history to overcome, and we cannot snap our fingers and say 'its ok'. But just know I want trust and success again -- with honesty and integrity."
Most readers recognized that phoenix was from GM.
"Phoenix, your comments are the FIRST in over 2 years of 'GM speak' that have the ring of truth to them," car guy 2010 wrote.
Said cargirl101: "Refreshing to hear after almost a year of being treated like we have a disease...I understand you need time, but we have given you nothing but time."
Tammy Darvish, a rejected-dealer leader who did not get a reinstatement offer from GM, said phoenix was hiding under a pseudonym. Writing as TAMARA_DARVISH, she accused GM of playing games with dealers who haven't been offered reinstatement.
"The only [thing] missing with this picture (besides who you really are) is exactly what you profess to be .... truth - honesty - integrity," she wrote. "Put up or shut up !!"
I'm not hiding, phoenix then replied.
"Phoenix= me mark reuss. while i am an engineer i am trying to do what is right," Reuss wrote. "Was not here through all this so i apologize but i do care deeply and i do listen."
GM spokesman Jason Laird confirmed that "phoenix" was Reuss.
To read the complete conversation, go to autonews.com/reusschat.