But the authors, who were interviewed last week as prospects for a GM court filing grew imminent, said unknowns could undermine chances for a comeback.
"If the management of the company gets in the hands of the UAW and the government, the outcome could be dour," Wright said. "If the administration starts dictating the kind of cars that are produced and not what the market wants, it's a whole other kind of situation."
Ingrassia warned of difficulties if the company's leadership does not undergo an overdue cultural change. He said GM should have replaced then-CEO Rick Wagoner after it posted a $10.4 million loss in 2005, despite U.S. sales of 17 million light vehicles, the third-highest total on record.
"For them to lose that much money in a near-record sales year showed that something was seriously wrong," he said. "Red flag doesn't even begin to describe it."
GM also may have trouble raising capital for its operations, "since the rights of creditors have been trampled by this process," Keller said.
"The way (GM) has gone about going into bankruptcy will raise questions about whether it is a bankable company," she said. "If they can't raise money in the open market -- and I don't think they can, not for a while -- they will be dependent upon the government for additional money."
Keller followed Rude Awakening in 1993 with Collision: GM, Toyota, Volkswagen and the Race to Own the 21st Century. Toyota last year overtook GM to become the world's undisputed global sales leader. Collapsing fortunes at the U.S. and Japanese leaders have since put Germany's VW within striking distance.