Last week, hundreds of General Motors employees packed into a section of GM's sprawling engineering center in suburban Detroit to celebrate the company's top ranking in a major vehicle-quality study.
A local radio personality was master of ceremonies. A rock band of GM engineers jammed out an Allman Brothers song. GM even invited Detroit Tigers ace pitcher Max Scherzer to fire up the crowd.
And CEO Dan Akerson provided the cold water.
"It's a little overwhelming to see the press here, the bands and everything," said Akerson when he finally took the mike as the final speaker of the 30-minute event.
"I was in China all last week. I thought this was a good idea," he said. "But I didn't realize it was going to be this over the top."
GM had never before led all automakers in the 27-year history of the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, which measures the number of problems on cars and light trucks that buyers report after 90 days of ownership.
Akerson views GM's achievement as a big deal. He even referred to the employee celebration as "the most memorable day in my tenure with General Motors." But he made clear that the celebration should be short-lived.
"When you're in the end zone, you don't want to hotdog it too much, because people think you've never been there," he said, snatching a concept from Green Bay Packers coaching great Vince Lombardi. "So next year we'll have to tone it down a little bit."