Regarding "Downsizing Detroit" and General Motors' recent problems, I have this to say:
No one should support GM until top management is held accountable. As Carlos Ghosn demanded when saving Nissan, measurable, worthwhile goals must be stated publicly and accomplished within a rapid time frame, or management must go.
Terrific vehicles are the measurable foundation of long-term health. GM has been crowing about a product onslaught.
What onslaught? Four newly styled nine-year-old minivans? A dearth of five- or six-speed automatic transmissions? The underpowered five-cylinder Hummer H3 to come? An endless series of duplicated SUVs? A refusal to retire yester-tech 3.8-liter V-6 engines? A plethora of low-tech automatic transmissions?
The way GM operates, don't be surprised to see a new decree that all executives must wear "25" pins to signify maintaining 25 percent of the market so folks like Buick dealers will be motivated to order 2005 Lexus-challenging Taurus - oops - I mean LaCrosse models with their gear-deprived four-speed automatic transmissions and yester-tech 3.8-liter engines.
With four or five redundant divisions squeezed between Cadillac and Chevrolet, not even Toyota or Honda could manage the menagerie of mediocre models that GM claims give it an advantage.
If $2 billion can be thrown at Fiat, why not just pay off dealers and eliminate redundant vehicle divisions like Buick, which are filled with not-gotta-have products?
We must expect accountability from GM now, or the company will disintegrate.