General Motors Corp.'s top market researcher on Dec. 16 said the automaker must continue to use generous incentives and aggressive marketing to overcome consumer perceptions that the automaker's quality still lags behind rivals, according to the Detroit News. Paul Ballew called GM's reputation for building shoddy products dating back almost two decades a "legacy cost" that has not been completely surmounted, despite documented quality improvements in recent years. "We are paying for sins of the past," Ballew said. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and in response to signs the United States economy and consumer confidence remain fragile, GM has unleashed a wave of rebates to spur sales. Other automakers have been forced to follow GM with similar deals, according to the News.