Wagoner Removed from GM; Edmunds.com Comments and Ours!
Commentary by Bob Gordon
President/Co-Publisher, The Auto Channel
On the GM fiasco, Edmunds' CEO Jeremy Anwyl had this to say: "In the end, this is less of an indictment of Rick’s tenure as CEO and more about the political need for a scapegoat before unpopular loans could be offered." See Edmund's complete statement below.
HUH? This statement from the publisher of an important automotive web site is an example of why problems in Detroit have been allowed to fester until today’s treatment for gangrene was necessary …certain publications will not do or say anything to jeopardize their advertising revenue or piss-off Detroit's auto industry executives, even if it means not publishing articles reporting things the way they really are.
This unhealthy (as proven by today’s reality) symbiotic relationship, along with small town Detroit’s historic cronyism among the parties involved; the GM Board, the Watchdog Press and Wall Street Bankers; have all done their part in the fall of the U.S. car industry and resultant economic chaos in our country.
How can anyone that follows the auto industry call the forced resignation of Mr. Wagoner a political move? Mr. Wagoner just did not do the job he was paid to do. When he had the opportunity to move GM back into leadership for a new century and beyond, he just didn’t' do it. In fact, his decisions ignored any possibility of success in today's economy. Moreover, many other product mix decisions make me believe that last year's global oil crisis came as a surprise to GM and Mr. Wagoner...Sir the horse has left the barn.
He just didn’t do his job. When was the last time your kids or your spouse insisted that the family's next car come from Detroit? Mr. Wagoner has had over 8 years as the top man, of what was the world's number one car maker, to make all of the changes needed to bring GM back to a position of building cars that people want to buy, and he didn’t do it.
Although we do agree that the technical and mechanical quality of GM's products have improved greatly during his tenure, and that many GM models deserve consideration for purchase, we more strongly believe that the magic and excitement of great car design and the intrinsic energy needed to build and sustain a successful auto company just wasn't there under his leadership… it was time to go.
What do you think? firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Edmunds) SANTA MONICA, Calif - March 30, 2009 --Rick Wagoner is stepping down from his position as CEO of General Motors.
“In the end, this is less of an indictment of Rick’s tenure as CEO and more about the political need for a scapegoat before unpopular loans could be offered,” commented Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. “GM is certainly a company in distress, but under Ricks’ leadership had been making solid progress. With the economy unraveling last year, Rick simply ran out of time.”
In recent months, Wagoner had insisted that he was not leaving his job.
“Numerous people from various quarters called for the resignation of Wagoner, who led GM for the past eight years when it racked up billions in losses,” reported Michelle Krebs, Editor of Edmunds’ AutoObserver.com. “But he was committed to GM’s success, and was frustrated that GM's progress in product, technology and the competitiveness of its workforce had not been fully appreciated.”
The government has promised to guarantee warranties for Chrysler and General Motors as part of the assistance package.
“No one can blame car buyers who shied away from brands that were mentioned in the same breath as the word ‘bankruptcy,’” stated Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed. “Now that their warranties are being guaranteed, Chrysler and GM vehicles are good deals which are definitely worth considering.”
What does Wagoner’s departure from GM mean for product development?
“Wagoner - as have many in Detroit - finally recognized that the auto industry needed to begin responding to growing demand for cleaner, greener vehicles if it was to remain competitive,” observed John O’Dell, Editor of Edmunds’ GreenCarAdvisor.com. “Looking ahead, the green agenda is going to continue to be pushed, and pushed hard, whoever is running the show, in part because Washington wants it.”
Edmunds.com advocates for a consistent energy policy that maintains gas prices at a level that motivates car-buyers to strongly consider fuel efficient vehicles. This will allow automakers to focus on developing the vehicles in significant volumes with a reasonable expectation of selling them. Edmunds.com data shows a strong correlation between gas prices and consumer prioritization of fuel efficiency in their vehicle choices.