Oh, THIS Makes Me Want to Buy a GM Car…

I personally think the world stopped turning or something.  I found something on the Huffington Post that I agreed with.

Here’s the Huffington Post article in question:

Whitacre, New GM Chairman: “I Don’t Know Anything About Cars”

Ryan McCarthy
Huffington Post
6/10/2009

No car experience is necessary to take a top spot at the bankrupt icon of Detroit’s automobile industry.

Believe it or not, the newly appointed chairman of GM, Edward Whitacre, Jr., has zero experience with cars — and he’s okay with that. According to Bloomberg:

“I don’t know anything about cars,” Whitacre, 67, said yesterday in an interview after his appointment. “A business is a business, and I think I can learn about cars. I’m not that old, and I think the business principles are the same.”

Business principles may be universal, but it must come as a shock for some to hear that a key figure in charge of building the new GM is vowing to “learn about cars.” GM and Detroit have long been criticized for being out of touch with the latest in automobile design, and for failing to anticipate industry trends.

Whitacre, formerly the CEO of AT&T, is certainly a top-notch executive. But his appointment is certain to raise some eyebrows. Besides claiming that they plan to jettison several brands during the bankruptcy process, GM has said little about how the restructured automaker will reinvigorate its R&D and engineering departments.

The AP pointed to some heavy skepticism about Whitacre’s appointment. Telecom analyst Victor Schnee of Probe Financial, who followed Whitacre’s successes at AT&T. Schnee called Whitacre’s appointment “bizzarre,” and said Whitacre lacked long-term vision GM’s future.

Others were more positive:

A bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and record in shaping a “monolithic” AT&T into a diversified enterprise make Whitacre “a good choice,” said Jim Hall, principal of 2953 Analytics auto-consulting firm in Birmingham, Michigan.

“He was one of the guys who helped create a new AT&T that wasn’t so dependent on land-line phone service,” said Hall, a former GM engineer. “There’s a parallel with General Motors. GM is not now about just making cars. It’s about re-creating itself as a 21st-century car company. They have to have somebody at the top that understands they have to make a new GM.”

OK, as some of you know, I make my living writing software.  In fact, I make my living writing software in a variety of business sectors.  I literally jump into a company’s process, figure it out, and write software to fulfill their needs.

So, I can say with some authority that what Whitacre said was probably one of the stupidest things I’ve heard in a while.  No business is like another.

The car business is nothing like the telecommunications business.  The former is a mostly a service-based industry, whereas the latter relies on pushing products that you can taste/touch/see.  They are like night and day.  You don’t get a steady stream of renewal fees from cars, you have to turn them over so often in order to make profit.  And the regulation you see in the telecom sector?  Pfft!  Child’s play when compared to building cars.

What’s even more irritating is the following comment in the article:

“He was one of the guys who helped create a new AT&T that wasn’t so dependent on land-line phone service,” said Hall, a former GM engineer. “There’s a parallel with General Motors. GM is not now about just making cars. It’s about re-creating itself as a 21st-century car company. They have to have somebody at the top that understands they have to make a new GM.”

Ok, and after Whitacre steps in and straightens things out, GM will start building airplanes?  Is that what’s being said here?  The fact is that GM was building cars before Whitacre came on board, and they will STILL be building cars after he gets done walking on water, and raising Lazarus from the grave.  How in the hell they are going to “remake” themselves into a 21st century company (as if we’re not already driving cars in the 21st century already) is a little beyond me.  I dunno, maybe they’ll start making Jetsons-style cars, and have Whitacre invent the technology because he steered AT&T to wireless?  He has that kind of power, I guess.

On a more serious note, it is little wonder that GM is in such bad shape when an engineer at GM says such M-O-N-U-M-E-N-T-A-L-L-Y stupid crap as that!

Mind you – this is the hand-picked guy from the Obama regime to be the Chairman of the Board of GM.

The sad fact of the matter is that the Huffington Post called this one correctly.  Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again.

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2 Responses to Oh, THIS Makes Me Want to Buy a GM Car…

  1. Miguel says:

    Solidarity brother!

  2. unknownconservative says:

    (Places fist to temple.)

    What is clear with the Obama “reorganization” of the auto industry is that Dear Leader has decided to replace one set of incompetent dipsh*ts with a brand new crop of incompetent dipsh*ts.

    Such sterling intellect is what having an Ivy League education affords.

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