Quote of the Day: Beyond the Thunderdome Edition

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

From Will GM’s Story Have a Hero? by our friends at the New York Times:

When asked at an early meeting to discuss G.M.’s culture, he gave what some members of the task force described as a long, meandering answer, concluding: “I’ve been here 25 years. This is the only culture I know.” However, Mr. Henderson quickly added that he was determined to change it.

Robert Farago
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  • Montgomery burns Montgomery burns on Jul 26, 2009

    I don't see what facts the NYT got wrong almost everything in the article has been reported here. The comment about Sloan is right on though. A big, no huge, problem at GM is that they think it's 1959 and changing any part of that is excruciating, usually years too late and half-assed in execution. Carperson hit the nail. GM traditionally (from the Sloan days) has had an adversarial relationship with labor and suppliers. It tolerated its customers in the past because of GMAC but now finds that it needs customers to survive. I don't think Henderson is the guy to change all of that, they really need an outsider to come in and make the drastic changes that need to be made.

  • Kurtamaxxguy Kurtamaxxguy on Jul 26, 2009

    While it's not looking terribly sunny for GM at moment (general / government motors: your choice) the management change / recycling may surprise us. Then again, it may not. Meanwhile, A question for the best and brightest, inspired by this article: Which car companies __should__ survive? And if they survive, what vehicles should they be producing / selling ?

  • Newfdawg Newfdawg on Jul 26, 2009

    Fritz the Cat has been at GM for 25 years, "this is the only culture I know(!)"...and he expects to change it...what a Cluster ***k. If he can significantly change GM culture and the way the corporation operates, I'll be more than a little suprised.

  • Windswords Windswords on Jul 26, 2009

    "Which car companies __should__ survive?" The ones that can produce cars for a profit that customers will buy. "And if they survive, what vehicles should they be producing / selling ?" The vehicles that customers will pay their hard earned money to buy. You see, it's not for us to say who lives or dies as a corporation or what kinds of vehicles they should make. Like we would be that wise. You don't know who will come out with the next great car or segment defining vehicle. I shake my head at folks on the interwebs who all-knowingly post "brand x needs to die" verbal diarrhea. Let the market run it's course. Let the deeds of those who work at these corporations decide who succeeds and who fails. It's not possible and not in our power to make those decisions. Yes, I know that governments (plural, from many countries) have interfered and tried to stack the deck in favor of one company or another. But it won't work forever. Eventually the customers will decide who makes it and who ends up as a page in the history books.