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Story of Three Turnarounds (autosavant.net)

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Story of Three Turnarounds

The Detroit Three pursue three very different turnaround strategies

By Igor Holas | 04.22.2008 | www.autosavant.net

All three major domestic manufacturers are in the midst of major turnarounds, but while their ultimate goals are the same, their approaches to this turbulent process could not be more different: while Ford is paring the business down to a centrally managed core, GM has re-grouped to dissolve much of its central management, and Chrysler commenced its path to a potential merger with Nissan. These three strategies show the vastly different philosophies guiding the leadership of each company, and point to very different challenges faced by each.



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If this new structure is implemented properly it will return GM to the brand strategy essence of its heyday. Back then, GM managed independent and competing brands that were happy to piss each other off. Now, while we will not see the return of Pontiac or Chevrolet-specific engines, or Buick commercials taking cheap shots at Cadillac, we should see more independence between the channels. GM should once again become an organization of loosely related brands (channels) each run much like an independent company. Many fellow automotive journalists expressed worry that the new four-channel strategy will remain no more than a formality, leaving key product, marketing, and other decisions to global executives such as Wagoner, Lutz, and Welbrum. That worry is not unwarranted, but I am hopeful, GM is finally moving past its all-too meaningless divisional structure.

I wish. Sadly, even I can agree that is not realistic with today's profitability woes.

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