Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Can G.M. "Transform" Itself?

Bernard Rosenberg writes: "
This was forwarded to me by my former Flint Southwestern girlfriend who lives in Maine. She got it from her Southwestern friend who now lives in California. Now you get from this from a Southwestern ExPat who lives in Florida."


  1. Wow!!! Now that's a big transformer. I have a couple of Grandsons that would love one of those. I wonder if you could get them delivered before Christmas...unclebuck

  2. Wow.... my son would love to see that guy... or BE that guy.

    Maybe GM should consider selling Halloween costumes on the side. I've heard there's a market for that. :)

  3. While the world does indeed revolve around Flint Southwestern HIGH SCHOOL and its accomplished alumni, this story of SIX DEGREES OF FLINT SOUTHWESTERN that was posted is too convoluted for me to follow.

  4. Looking seriously at the question:

    Unlike companies that make less emotionally charged products, GM is subject to customer and pundit opinion and reaction...and while those holding such opinions may perceive them to be substantially based and having considerable permanence, history shows that they can change quickly and in unexpected ways.

    It was only weeks ago that GM was almost sent to liquidation, and the broad discussion was that Japan would now be the world's leading automobile maker, with other nations struggling to catch up to them rather than the US.

    Then a number of long-term missteps came to light in rapid-fire fashion involving Toyota, seemingly indicating that their prior aura of invincibility may have been a marketers' invention.

    Today MSNBC ran a section headline: "As Toyota sputters, Volkswagen steers for top".

    Also, with the past week we've had recent share numbers...and GM has shown a 2+% share gain over the past months, even with no new products and all the turmoil in the news and their dealer network.

    The takeaway from this, for me at least, is that GM's current market position is no more preordained and permanent than their prior one. To some extent, the rise of Toyota occurred not solely because they did well, but because GM screwed up while on top. The market's fickle; it likes good product, and it likes a leader. But that concept applies to whoever's on top, and that's still Toyota at the moment. If they continue to screw up, whoever's hungriest and best-executing below them is likely to do well.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at