I was catching up today on numerous e-blasts and emails I get on various subjects and professions from advertising to entertainment to frugality to marketing to story pitches. As Tess McGill said, You never know where the next big idea will come from. One of them was referring to the impending sale of Saturn from GM to Penske Motors. It quoted a source in the Detroit Daily News that said it’s in the final stages of negotiations, “was at the 2 yard line” and was expected to be signed in the next 24 hours. Great news for not just the Saturn dealers but Saturn owners everywhere. Their brand was going to be continued ensuring the value of the cars they owned. Everyone remembers how Oldsmobile sales plummeted, trade-in values sank and service issues arose after GM announced it was discontinuing the decades old line. Everyone connected with Saturn wouldn’t have to deal with the same issues and problems.
Not 6 hours later as I was driving up to visit my niece and nephews, the news cast said the deal had fallen through, Penske was not going to buy the line, GM was going to phase it out in less than 2 years and another brand, not quite as venerable, was disappearing from the landscape. What struck me was how fast it all happened. This wasn’t a baseball or football game where outcomes can change on a dime. In a sporting event, that’s supposed to happen, or at least the possibility of it changing always exists. This was a business negotiation that had been in the works for months and poof! gone. The changing business climate isn’t just the brands disappearing but the speed in which the change is happening. Staying flexible and agile will be key going forward for any business concern, be it a one person voiceover business or a multi national multi platform entity. The old rules won’t apply anymore, in fact I don’t think they’ll ever apply again. Exciting and scary at the same time.
Thank goodness I drive a Geo, oh wait, that doesn’t exist anymore either. See, that big giant eraser IS trying to wipe my very existence away. I’m not imagining things.