“Bill Holstein is an extremely knowledgeable and perceptive journalist. At a time when GM and the domestic auto industry are in acute crisis, this book makes sense of what has happened–and what should happen next. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of the American auto industry”
— Alex Taylor, Senior Editor, Fortune Magazine
Bill has conducted hundreds of interviews not only in the United States, but also in Germany and China, to zero in on what really is happening inside this giant corporation. He interviewed Rick Wagoner on two occasions in Detroit, and then spoke with him again following his ill-fated testimony before the Senate and House Committees in November 2008.
The message that emerges from many months of research is that Wagoner has truly put GM through the most sweeping transformation since the days of Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., in the 1920s. Wagoner has transformed the cost structure, encouraged a complete transformation of how GM actually manufactures cars, opened up the company’s design capabilities and helped his people engage in very robust innovation, as reflected in GM’s commitment to lithium ion batteries for the Chevrolet Volt.
The financial crisis has obviously ambushed Wagoner’s effort. So it has been shocking to see the company forced to ask the federal government for bridge loans. It appears that some sort of help is forthcoming. Thus it is possible that Wagoner can complete his historic transformation. The American economy may depend on it.