Roger Smith was really the worst CEO GM has had in a long time, the massive spending decisions and botched consolidations haunted GM and hurt them for many many years. his massive investment in creating saturn was a gamble that never paid off for the company.
I am not sure if the Fiat alliance should have ever been cancelled. the CEO needed a better understanding of how to use industry alliances to the advantage of the company as a whole.
by 2011 the Saturn,Saab,Hummer, brands should be shut down. their small marketshare do not warrant the continued investment by GM. Saturn should have been under strategic review when Rick Wagoner first got on board since it is rumored that Saturn has never turned a profit for GM.
The surprising shuttering of oldsmobile was a neccesary evil, but that restructuring did not go far enough. over the years GM over-extended themselves and bought out unprofitable companies and stakes in companies that it could not actively invest in, to make solvent and whole.
GM was over extended into finance,alliances,too many dealerships, medium duty and heavy duty trucks.
I think the task-force itself might ultimately recomend the merger of Chrysler-GM to take the best of both companies and combine them into a solid operating company.
with this consolidation GM can sell a majority stake in Opel-Vauxhall division, and possibly choose between shuttering Dodge or Pontiac leaving them with one strong sport brand.
This merger would propel GM back to the spot of top worldwide automaker and allow the companies to massively shave costs from their operating structure.
Chrysler is in a much better position than GM and has only requested a total of $11billion dollars even though they are perceived as the weaker company, GM has as a perceived stronger company has asked for upwards of $30 billion to remaind afloat.
Chrysler is undergoing many changes and making rough but neccesary changes while GM has been resistant. although both companies seem troubled and people will question the logic of two somewhat struggling companies merging, it might be the best possible solution to propel both companies and solidify american automotive companies.
GM excels in areas that Chrysler does not, and vice versa. the company's will be able to share platforms,development costs, hyrbid technology, GM-ONStar technology, amongst other things.
To all a merger might not make sense, but the head of the U.S auto-task force is an investment banker, we can all expect radical suggestions just like the ouster of GM CEO which has been announced today, I believe that the task force is leaning towards the possibility of a merger to enhance both companies, cut both companies massive costs, and re-establish the u.s. auto-industry.
I think GM-Chrysler combo could be made viable, but also think some excellent suggestions will come from the automotive task force. I am not here to speculate but to point out the way I believe things are headed by the tone of the current president and information being relayed by the automotive task force, that major changes possibly like the ones mentioned above are inevitable and coming shortly.