GM's Mistaken Replay

June 8, 2005
If you want to know why General Motors has turned out a long series of duds like the Pontiac Aztek, Richard Wagoner offered something of an explanation near the tail end of his press conference in Wilmington, Del. -- and apparently no one in GM's top management noticed.

"If we had a chance to rerun the last five years," Mr. Wagoner said, "we probably would have done a little more thinking about making sure that each product was distinctive and had a chance to be successful. There probably would have been a little less expansion of the model line. We also didn't build brands in the way we wanted to over the long term," Wagoner added.

If Wagoner has just now realized that GM's product development team is replaying past mistakes, the past five years have been lost completely. And if that's the case, when some shareholders called for the management team to resign this week, were they right?

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