The New General Motors

It’s all over the news. I saw a TV report about it last night, and listened to more today while driving into work.

This morning General Motors is filing for bankruptcy!

According to a Detroit News article:

GM, the storied 100-year-old Detroit automaker that once was the world’s largest company, was forced into bankruptcy by the administration after losing $88 billion since 2005. The company ran out of money in late 2008 before being rescued by $13.4 billion in government loans in the waning days of the Bush administration.

“Today will rank as another historic day for the company — the end of an old General Motors and the beginning of a new one,” the White House said in a fact sheet.

I’m intrigued. What will this new General Motors look like?

What innovations will bridge the new General Motors into our future?



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  • The New General Motors transitioning to CAD V6 to leverage the CATIA industry standard, decrease cost to the suppliers, increase quality and decrease warrenty costs. Create the new product development legacy for the new decision makers and GM leaders leveraging the thought leadership inside DS and with the automotive OEM sector.

  • I believe the New GM will look and operate in a dramatically different manner…. they will be much smaller (Chevrolet and Cadillac as the premier brands… Buick and GMC as smaller brands). No more Hummer, SAAB, Saturn, Pontiac, Opel…

    As a private company (primarily owned by the US Govt and the United Auto Workers Union), we can expect a much different business/management decision process influenced by these two stakeholders…

    While they will most certainly emerge from the Bankruptcy…. whether or not the NEW GM will thrive and survive in the hotly competitive global auto market is another question all together.

  • Jonathan

    From out of the ashes life is born…I just hope the New GM will be as invincible as a phoenix.

    I also hope that all the people who work for GM directly or un-directly can continue to work – now that’s what I call sustainable!

    Who knows maybe a big US company can pave the way again…

  • I think the General Motors bankruptcy is an excellent opportunity for a deep makeover.

    @Marrianne Schrode: I agree that anywhere GM can streamline operations will help, but their ability to adapt to the evolving consumer and environmental demands may be more important. If people aren’t buying, then streamlined processes and decreased warranty costs will only buffer another crash. Totally revamping their product portfolio seems to be in order, and for that, they’ll need solutions to help facilitate fast and prolific design experimentation, co-creation and the integration of outside innovations. The sooner they can start selling new models, the better.

    @John Leney: I like the concept of a smaller GM. I was at a business breakfast yesterday and people were talking about P&G, how they’re now too big to innovate. It reminded me of Rose’s post “Proudly Invented Elsewhere” talking about the new “open innovation” wave. Big companies like P&G are going to start having to buy and integrate innovations from outside their organizations. So GM going smaller would only help to boost their innovation capacity, which the automotive industry surely needs right now.

    @Jonathan: The Phoenix is such a poetic metaphor. I’m optimistic that GM will rise to the challenge. And yes, hopefully there will be sustainability in employment.

    What kind of cars would you like to buy from GM???

  • @Kate: what kind of car I would like to buy from GM?
    Hmmm… In no particular order:
    – nice
    – need to refuel once every 10 years
    – quiet
    – comfortable
    – small, yet to be able to handle 10 people + – luggage
    – fast
    – safe
    – green and runs on anything from grass to water including trash
    – the color changes according to mood and time of the day
    – full of electronics which never fail
    – autodrive included on request
    – children friendly (includes a playing area)
    – parents friendly (includes soundproofing from the back seats)
    – can occasionally fly to avoid traffic jams
    – costs 10 EUR (the expensive version)
    – can walk the dog when it is raining outside

    That should be it, I probably missed one or two points but you get the idea: the kind of cool, basic car.

  • [edit of my previous comment]

    I realized that my comment should have been in fact addressed to any car vendor independently of their country of origin, age, political affiliations or lack of, choice of computer platform, pet preferences and left-or-right side of road driving.

  • @Wojtek: You have a creative wish list. My favorite is “the color changes according to your mood and time of day.” True, it would be helpful for other drivers to know when people behind the wheel are angry. 😉 It also reminded me of a conversation with Jonathan about the eco car of the future. He was saying if we could have a dashboard that changed to a certain color when you’re driving too fast, we could condition people to drive slower and reap higher fuel economy. For me the GM car I’d buy would be smart in its usage of resources and one that would be easy to maintain so that I could keep it for years. And affordable.

  • Pat

    Take a look at this:


  • Looks like a wheelchair on steroids! Interesting article Pat, merci. While an innovative idea, I wonder if the world has enough lithium to make it sustainable?

    As Jonathan blogged earlier, “for the batteries there isn’t enough lithium in the world to replace today’s car population.” Hmmmmm. GM?

    Here’s the full post:

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