Jeffrey Hollender on Toyota

13782289-566x849The Toyota Corolla, a highly popular car in the U.S. (Jupiter Images photo)

I’m into corporate responsibility in case you haven’t noticed. (I was recently approached by someone wanting me to join a pyramid scheme. It was so laughable I wrote a satire piece about it. I’ll let you know when it’s published.)

One of the biggest proponents of this is Jeffrey Hollender, the CEO of the cleaning-products company Seventh Generation.

I looked into his recent blog posts because I noticed something about Toyota’s CEO in the Seventh Generation newsletter. Hollender, referencing a New York Times article, said it’s about time leaders of a corporation really owned up to their mistakes instead of denying blatant facts and blameshifting, like GM often does. (Ever seen Who Killed the Electric Car? It’s free at that link.)

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Lutz race proves CTS-V


The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2008. (Flickr creative commons photo from joeross)

I sent out a Facebook update a few days ago about a cool marketing concept: Bob Lutz, a famous General Motors executive, challenged his competitors to a race.

“May the best car win,” the GM ads now proclaim, a genius marketing strategy for the situation if I ever saw one. Lutz’ race was the logical extension of it.

The premise was that Lutz would drive the Cadillac CTS-V, claiming there’s no other production, stock, sedan in the world that can win against the model.

(For those of you who don’t know, “production” means you can buy it and drive it on the road, “stock” means it’s not modified after you buy it, and “sedan” means 4-door.)

The race featured engineers, journalists, “normal” people and Lutz. Looks like Mercedes-Benz opted out of the race, but BMW, Audi and Jag sent their emissaries. And got slaughtered.

I’m happy to see GM doing so well with its new advertising campaign and money-back guarantee. They’re making great cars nowadays, even if they are among the most socially- and environmentally-irresponsible car companies. I probably wouldn’t buy from them because of that, but I love the CTS-V’s design, and I can’t help but feel some odd nationalistic pride for one of America’s car companies.

If only they’d buy Aptera and adapt other parts of their company to follow its standards of operation.


The Aptera Typ-1e. (Flickr Creative Commons photo from Ho0n)

(P.S. — Happy birthday to my little sister Christin, who turns 22 Sunday!)