Unfortunately i feel it necessary to correct the talking heads on US news shows, who continue to spread their misinformed opinions about the Detroit automakers. These include Mark Haines of CNBC, George Will and Aryana Huffington. The fact that these people continues to demand new executives for the Big 3, arguing that you need outsiders to fix the problem.
Well the outsiders are there at 2 of the 3 companies. The people who own and run Chrysler are vulture capital group Cerberus Capital, they’ve put Bob Nardelli, formerly of GE and Home Depot in charge. Whether you like Nardelli or not, he’s not a car guy nor is he from Detroit. Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally, was brought to Detroit from Seattle, where he ran manufacturing for the largest exporter in the US, Boeing Aerospace. Mulally has been tasked with restructing the company, which generally means cutting manufacturing and operational costs. He’s solely responsible for reversing Ford’s biggest marketing mistake since the Edsel, the retiring of the Taurus brand name. So 2 of the 3 companies are led by outsiders, non-auto, non-detroit guys, yet we should fire them?
You may ask if 2 men can make a difference? Maybe, but there are more new hires that make a difference. Here is a list:
Jim Press - President, vice chairman. Former COO of Toyota NA, a 37 year Toyota Veteran.
Sigmund Huber Supplier Relations, former General Manager Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing in North America.
JC Mays - Divisional VP, former Audi Designer, vp at SHR perpetual management
James D. Farley - Group Vice President, Marketing and Communications. Was Group Vice President and General Manager of Lexus, before leading Lexus, group vice president of Toyota Division marketing.
Well this is not a company that has brought in outsiders to held turn the tide, they are the exception of the 3. The old guard at GM did put the guys in place who had succeeded in Europe and the ROW. Europe was one of the GM’s more successful and most competitive markets.
So why don’t the media and the US Congress seem to know this?