General Motors Back on the Hill & More
It was a busy week in the auto industry last week. There was Mary Barra, GM CEO, back in front of Congress, this time in front of the Senate Committed on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Production, Product Safety and Insurance. (Whew!) The session even had a similarly wordy title: “Examining Accountability and Corporate Culture in the Wake of the GM Recalls.”
The long and short of the session is: if you were General Motors Chief Counsel and Executive Vice President Mike Millikin or a member of his staff, you had a bad day. A very bad day. The sort of day that might cause you to dust off your resume. (Though Barra staunchly had his back.)
Photo by Fred Watkins for General Motors
(It is interesting to note that during the Senate session, Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin brought up a story written for the New York Times on the Chevy Cobalt—one of the massively recalled cars—back in June 2005. The story was written by former Automotive Design & Production editor Jeff Sabatini.)
On brighter GM news, there was the naming of Johan de Nysschen, formerly president of Infiniti Motor Car Company, formerly president of Audi of America, as president of Cadillac. Will de Nysschen be able to restart the seemingly stalled Cadillac sales in the U.S.? And will he be able to make Cadillac truly a global brand?
And just, nowadays, what exactly is luxury? It seems that every car company claims to be offering it, but how can someone really tell?
These subjects, and several others, are discussed on this edition of “Autoline After Hours” with a panel consisting of Keith Naughton of Bloomberg, Bill Visnic of Edmunds, and Michael Robinet of IHS Automotive Advisory Services (and, as some of you may recognize, a columnist for Automotive Design & Production).
You can see it here:
In addition to which, you might want to watch this promo for the show that will be on this Thursday, as not only is it going to be an unusual format, but promises to be both informative and entertaining, though not necessarily in that order:
Delegates to the United Auto Workers union’s annual convention in Detroit have overwhelmingly approved a 31% raise for their salaried international leaders.
I'm not talking about a plastic Revell model of a '57 Chevy, but a real vehicle, one that rolls off an assembly line in 1999 with another 99,999 just like it right behind. Is it possible, or is this just a fantasy of the marketing department at Elmer's?
Ford has made an accomplishment that will never be bested, never even be tied.