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Monday, April 10, 2006


Rick Wagoner, Thumbs up/Down?

According to Automotive News, Rick Wagoner asked for and received the GM Board's backing in early April. In another article, the WSJ journal indicates that GM needs a "strong leader" to survive its current contretemps. So, the real question, which no one seems to want to ask is, this:

Let's assume Rick Wagoner is the right guy. If he is the right guy, what has changed now that makes him the right guy, vs. the guy who oversaw the largest share decline in recent Automotive History?

Here's how the WSJ sums its up:

GM dealers placed an ad in this newspaper Friday announcing their support of him. But Mr. Wagoner's record after six years at the helm isn't inspiring a lot of confidence among shareholders. GM racked up losses of $10.6 billion in 2005 and last month announced a series of accounting errors that span Mr. Wagoner's tenure as CEO.
On the positive side...for Rick:
On the negative side...against Rick:
Can Rick Wagoner pull it off? If we use history as a judge, he's going to have to bring game we haven't seen before. Let's hope that the current pressure finally brings some breakthrough, desperation and focus. I think GM's history has been to ride things out, shrink and hide out in a segment where the Japanese don't compete (remember Luxury Cars, SUVs, and now big trucks?). They can't ride this one out. The safe harbor segments are all gone now. I truly wish him and his team best of luck...Detroit needs some good news out of GM.

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