Friday, January 07, 2005

GM executive becomes a blogger

Yahoo! News - GM executive becomes a blogger

By Matt Nauman, Mercury News

The world's largest automaker has entered the conversational world of blogs.

Bob Lutz, the outspoken vice chairman of General Motors, posted a Weblog on Thursday touting the "new face" of its Saturn brand.

GM studied the world of blogs for 18 months before entering it "with caution" in the fall with a blog on the 50th anniversary of the small-block engine.

"We thought it was a relatively safe topic," said Michael Wiley, GM's director of emerging technology and new media. "It's not something with much of a chance for controversy."

And, after liking what it learned about the grass-roots nature of blogs, GM decided to do more, starting with Lutz's effort this week. It coincides with the introduction of two Saturn concept cars next week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The vehicles -- a small, sporty roadster called the Saturn Sky and a mid-size sedan called the Aura -- are scheduled to go on sale in 2006. They may determine whether it's possible to revitalize the ailing Saturn brand, which has bounced between promise and disappointment for most of its history.

Before talking about Saturn, Lutz notes that "in the age of the Internet, anybody can be a journalist." Wiley said Lutz wrote the eight-paragraph commentary himself.

The first few postings on the site Thursday were positive comments about the blog and Saturn. Wiley said GM will allow negative comments. "The only thing we want to filter out are things that are total nonsense, spam and profanity," he said.

Corporate blogs are in their infancy, Wiley said. "Tech companies are doing it. We're the first industrial-type company to really get into it."


The GM blog is at

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