A thorough beatdown on GM

This is a powerful article on “GM’s continuing woes”:http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2012/08/15/general-motors-is-headed-for-bankruptcy-again/. The contrast between VW’s design-centric culture and GM’s culture is stark and telling.

Early in my career I was a (very junior) business strategy consultant and visited GM several times. Even in the 80s the company had a culture problem — design by committee, too many brand and marketing driven decisions and not enough product driven decisions. And it showed in the cars. Seems like those cultural problems have never been fully fixed — or they have returned in spades in the new financially-managed GM.

The only GM product I have ever owned was a Chevy truck and I was happy with that, and I’d look at GM truck products again if I was in the market for that kind of vehicle. For any other class of vehicle, I can’t imagine looking at a GM product, which is sad.

Energy links — IT leaders, Tesla, Nuclear, Duke Energy, Construction

* HP working on solar PV, IBM putting a billion dollars into green datacenters, Intel spinning out a PV firm — nice to see the IT leaders getting behind alternate energy
* DOE funds electric vehicle projects — not sure why GM, GE, Ford need DOE money — give it to startups! More interesting is the note about Tesla’s deal with Daimler, very smart.
* Nuclear option gets more public support — thank goodness. The public is more rational than the politicians about energy strategy
* Duke Energy jumping into residential and commercial solar installs — the wave of the future?
* Green construction materials — I wonder about the 50 year life of these. I think I will let others be the beta testers.