GM apologizes for saying bikes suck

Bicycling enthusiasts across the country started shouting at General Motors on Monday over this ad in several college newspapers pitching GM discounts as a way to avoid the suckitude of biking places. Within hours, GM apologized and promised changes. Here's why it's so sensitive.

Transportation history buffs know General Motors' infamous role in replacing U.S. streetcar systems in dozens of cities with GM diesel buses in the middle of the 20th century. Since then, mass-transit and anti-car activists have questioned how many more people might have eschewed their own vehicles for People Movers had those systems survived.


So when GM's ad for college discounts showed a bicyclist hiding his face in shame and what appeared to be a bus rider getting splashed, along with taglines to "stop pedaling, start driving," the Twitter volume rose quickly.

The League of American Bicyclists even called it "one of the more remarkably ill-conceived car ad campaigns of all time." (Have they seen the J-Lo Fiat 500 ad yet?)


Last night, GM began apologizing abjectly on Twitter, telling angry cyclists the ads were "created with student input," were not meant to slag biking or public transit and would be changed. While they're at it, maybe they can explain what kind of college student would use a discount to buy a Buick Enclave.

Share This Story