Posts Tagged ‘Pontiac’

Man pulls and nature pushes: a business fundamental

May 20, 2009


A long white Pontiac Catalina convertible sat in front of Café Azafran in downtown Lewes one recent spring evening. Just about suppertime, its occupants were off in one of the local eateries, leaving their transportation for passersby to ponder. Its shiny red interior sparked imaginative cruises on Sussex County’s winding and lightning bug-lit country roads on hazy summer nights.

General Motors, in an effort to find a business model that will work without billions of more dollars worth of U.S. taxpayers’ life support, recently announced that Pontiac is one of the models it will be eliminating.

There truly is nothing constant but change. That and the inexorable pull of gravity and nature on all things stretched across this planet. The Catalina’s current owners remember when cars like the white convertible drew all the stares when they promenaded up and down Rehoboth Avenue in the thick of the season. This one has been lovingly restored, its metal dashboard and chrome accents shining and bright, surprisingly hard against the hands of young ones more familiar with the safety-conscious padded dashboards of newer models. In field-rimming woods and behind barns in the countryside of Delmarva, more cars like this – but nowhere near as pretty – sit on their rims, windows shattered and tires long ago flattened by time’s insistent forces. Honeysuckle and briars climb through gaps created by rusting metal, occasionally given a head start by some youngster out target shooting with a .22 rifle. But even without the youngster, nature and all her soldiers – rain and sun and corrosive bird droppings – make short work of abandoned vehicles.

Businesses, large like General Motors, and small, like the hundreds we see around us in Sussex, need constant care and attention, cultivation and nurturing, to avoid the sure fate of cars abandoned to nature.

But, adjusting to changing times, with liberal application of brain power, common sense and elbow grease, businesses can thrive for long times and take on the patina and grace of the Catalina convertible, so obviously cared for, so obviously appreciated.