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Akerson is driven, so expect some ambitious goals

Under a new CEO, is GM going to dust off an old playbook?

Don't be shocked if Daniel Akerson, the automaker's incoming CEO, sets higher sales goals than his predecessor, Ed Whitacre.

During the 1990s as the head of General Instrument -- the dominant cable television equipment maker -- Akerson envisioned a GI "black box" in every home, according to a 1994 profile in Forbes magazine.

"Wouldn't that be wonderful," he said at the time.

For those schooled in GM history, that should sound familiar.

Alfred P. Sloan Jr., GM's legendary CEO and Chairman, once imagined a car for every purse and purpose. GM used Sloan's brilliant marketing approach to pitch Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Buicks and Cadillacs to Americans of all means and stripes to become the world's biggest automaker.

A Naval Academy graduate, Akerson plays to win, according to folks who know him, and he views his new role with a sense of zealous duty to free GM from government ownership.

So there's no question Akerson -- among the most competitive executives in business today -- wants to see a Buick, Chevy, GMC, or Cadillac in every driveway down the road and restore some of GM's old glory.

It's going to be a thrill watching him try to pull it off.

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