60 Minutes: So will GM be "braindead?"
Tonight on 60 Minutes, nothing really new…. GM blames labor costs, the reporter blames the lack of a national healthcare plan. They all have their own agendas, none of it seems based around really fixing GM.
Nothing about the lean practices of Toyota or GM’s mismanagement. I was surprised the reporter, Steve Kroft, was pretty polite to Rick Wagoner. At least CBS didn’t stage GM truck explosions like NBC News did years back on “Dateline.”
Bob Lutz is on the right track about how GM lost its focus on design. But, why hasn’t Lutz been able to influence that more than he has? I have tons of respect for Lutz and saw him speak about seven years ago, before he joined GM. But, it’s disappointing that the bean-counters still rule apparently.
So frustrating…. Kroft asked Wagoner if they are going to build the Camaro that was announced in Detroit…. CEO Wagoner says “a firm maybe.”
After a smirk, Wagoner continued, “If we didn’t try to build this, we might be braindead.”
So why not announce you’re planning on building it!!?!?!?!? Now! My wife, who works in other industries and has a great business mind even asked why “that guy” was so gutless. I told her that was the CEO. “Oh my God” was her gasping response. The slowness and lack of risk taking might be holding them back as much as anything.
The exact conversation (page 3 of the CBS transcript)
“We’re enthused about it and everybody wants to know, ‘So, are you gonna build it?'” says Wagoner.
The answer to that question, Wagoner says, is a firm maybe. “We’d like to do it. … We haven’t made the call. We’ve introduced it as a concept. Sometimes we do that to see how people react to it.”
“The best car in the show,” Kroft remarked.
“Yeah, well I just got that information,” Wagoner says. “I think that does suggest that if we didn’t try to build this, we might be brain dead. Stay tuned.”