What I’ve Read Lately: Car Guys vs. Bean Counters

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iimage“Car Guys vs. Bean Counters – The Battle for the Soul of American Business”
By: Bob Lutz
eISBN: 978-1-101-51602-7

 

With over almost 5 decades in the automotive industry, Bob narrates the industry’s history using a flair only he has.  He not only walks readers through history, but gives us a first-hand perspective at why many things happened the way they did—as one of the key players.

If you have conducted business with a major domestic automotive OEM, like I have, you will find yourself frequently nodding your head.  But beyond having shared some of the experiences, Bob explains, from leadership’s perspective, why and how many of these things occurred the way they did.

As intriguing as the history may be, I really enjoyed his assessment of why the industry went (largely from GM’s perspective) from a position of incredible leadership, cranking out amazingly popular cars, to one that suffered ‘de-contenting’, being made increasingly cheap and unappealing, and finally how—with his own significant effort—GM was able to again start producing award winning cars—that people want to buy!

Along  the way, Bob discusses electric cars (including the Volt), GM’s bankruptcy and rebirth, and ‘if I had been CEO.’ 

I’ll admit, I was rather curious what path he might take ‘as CEO.’  To his credit, there are indeed things he felt should have been done differently. Yet he concedes that there were a number of things he’d have done exactly the same way given the cards dealt at the time.

As the old saying used to go, “As goes GM, so goes the Nation…,” Bob’s book serves well as an analogy to the US as a whole, currently.  GM has shown us what may happen if we don’t get our collective act together.

While automotive types may enjoy this book the most, it really is simply a great read that you’ll enjoy.