In GM’s defense

January 3, 2009

I’m glad someone is finally defending G.M.’s Rick Wagoner:

In reality, Mr. Wagoner has presided over the most sweeping transformation of G.M. since the 1920s…

…these moves have largely succeeded and by 2010 should strip $5,000 from the cost of every G.M. vehicle…

…The quality gap between G.M. and Toyota has been closed…

Mr. Wagoner has allowed his designers to recapture car design leadership with products like the Cadillac CTS, the Saturn Aura, the new Chevrolet Malibu and the revived and visually dazzling Camaro. The cliché that G.M. makes only gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles is years out of date.

On the innovation front, Mr. Wagoner was responsible for introducing OnStar, the onboard communications and navigation system, and he has made a huge commitment to lithium-ion batteries, which will power the Chevrolet Volt.

… has globalized G.M. to a degree that it never has been before. The company’s strong position in China has helped support the difficult turnaround effort in North America.

Making him a scapegoat might be politically expedient but it ignores the very tangible progress he has achieved.

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