General Motors Co. named Mary Barra to succeed Dan Akerson as chief executive officer, completing the GM insider’s rise from a factory-floor worker to the industry’s first female CEO after more than a century of global automaking.
General Motors Co. is free from U.S. taxpayer ownership almost half a decade after first receiving government aid, underscoring the domestic auto industry’s rebound from the deepest downturn since the Great Depression.
By David Welch April 29 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek) -- The 15 General Motors dealers who flew to Detroit last September for a dinner with GM management were not an easily rattled bunch. They had endured the worst auto sales slide in 25 years, as well as the bankruptcy of the iconic carmaker on which they had built their businesses. Only three months had passed since GM accepted a $50 billion federal bailout, announcing the retirement of four of its eight brands and the shutting down of 1,900 dealers—a third of its domestic retail network. These dealers were the survivors, some of the more prosperous people in their towns, and they wanted a little reassurance. CEO Fritz Henderson gathered the group in a private conference room at the Westin Detroit Metro Airport and tried to demonstrate that he had a plan, according to an executive in the room who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to describe the dinner. Henderson announced that GM was going on the
U.S. automakers would endorse four more years with profits like those this week. A second term for President Barack Obama, who made saving General Motors Co. a campaign pillar, hinges on whether voters give him the credit.
It’s not just Toyota Motor Corp.’s recalls last year or Japan’s earthquake driving General Motors Co. back to being the world’s largest carmaker. Nor is it completely to GM’s credit. What’s really happening is a historic shift in the car business.