Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why wait another 60 days for another GM restructure plan?

I wrote in a blog a number of months ago that 'GM is dead; long live GM' http://mykalsreport.blogspot.com/2009/03/gm-is-dead-long-live-gm_2909.html. That was my take on the ages-old statement announcing the death of a king and the installation of his replacement. It formalizes the transition process: first grieving for the departed monarch, then celebration for the new regime.

I suggested then and still believe that the sustainable way forward was to replace the existing management (done) then focus on the car and truck brands (Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, etc) and design and build vehicles relevant to the needs of the market.

The first step happened with the departure of Richard Wagner this past week. Unfortunately the announcement of the new regime will not occur for 'another 60 days'. After 30 years of 'restructuring' we need another 60 days to figure out a plan?

The old GM is dead. Everyone knows it. Some of us don't want to admit it. Most of us know that we are delaying the inevitable.

For a point-of-view on why this delay actually doesn't matter, check out this article written by David Brooks and published in the New York Times March 30. I agree with his opinion. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/31/opinion/31brooks.html?_r=2

All is not lost in the US 'domestic' automotive manufacturing industry however. While we have focused on the declining fortunes of GM and Chrysler, Ford has not been idle. They made their structural changes years ago and seem to be weathering this storm. They have attractive new products ready to launch. I saw the future at the recent Toronto Auto show: the 2010 Taurus. http://www.fordvehicles.com/2010taurus/.

And although it is not a 'domestic-based' company, the new Venza from Toyota hits the mark for me as well http://www.toyota.ca/cgi-bin/WebObjects/WWW.woa/wa/vp?vp=Home&language=english. It is built in Kentucky.

The automotive world is not waiting. GM better get on with it...

1 comment:

  1. Replacing Wagoner does not constitute 'replacing existing management'. The lack of leadership and vision is systemic throughout the ranks of senior management. A complete culling of these individuals will be the only way to eliminate the arrogance that has plagued General Motors for decades. A viable restrucuturing plan can only be developed once new leaders are put in place who have an 'open mind' and a new vision. Without this required change of leadership, the 'insanity' will continue and permanent Bankruptcy (yes - I mean liquidation, not Chapter 11) will be the ultimate end result.


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