I was recently talking to someone about the auto industry (shocking, I know). Perception about the current state of the industry came up in conversation and, more specifically, we talked about the very distinct and different views within the industry.
Recently we have been having tough economic times. Some called it a recession while some went as far as to call it a depression. I am not an economist but I will say things have been harder in all industries lately. Individuals and companies have tighter budgets and are spending less money.
Somewhat recently, two of the three American automakers filed chapter 11 and reorganized, making the companies reassess all product and future planning along with deciding what is making money and what was not, identifying where the demand is and trying to predict where will it be. Making a mistake can be costly. Ten years ago, mistakes were more easily accepted. These companies were large enough that the marketplace could gloss over mistakes but this is no longer the case. Every product launch counts. GM and other companies have said recently that there is no room for errors and mistakes: all new product launches need to go off without a hitch.
A few people in the automotive industry who I talk with are so negative, it is scary and it seems to be commonplace for many in the industry. The things I hear coming out of people’s mouths blows my mind! The complainers offer little in the way of real feedback and they just blast the automaker for doing anything incorrectly. This may shock some people but humans run the automakers. Humans are not perfect and make mistakes.
One bright spot is Adam Barrera. He tries to think positively. He praises the good and is productively critical of the bad. He does not only focus on the bad things and sees the whole picture. He is not perfect, but what Adam does have is a positive view on life, something others seem to be sorely lacking. Now, more then ever we need to be critical of what these companies are doing but we also need to push the companies to be better by offering feedback that is helpful. Make suggestions. When you say you do not like something, say why. Do not just say this is a piece of junk or that it has little or no reason to exist. Offer reasoning.
The bottom line is that being constantly negative will get us nowhere. Offering up ideas on how to improve will move us forward. The glass is not always half empty. Nothing is perfect and, in fact, many things are far from it. Offering critical feedback that shows the positive things and the negative things is invaluable. I will admit that I maybe a little more positive sometimes then I should be. Bringing a balanced view is important and I am trying to improve how I do that. There are far too many people in the industry that are negative and offer little in the way of praise when it is due. Do not be so high and mighty as to think that you know it all. None of us do. As a society, we need to work together to bring a better future in all aspects of life including the auto industry.