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Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business


Guest longinvestor
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Guest longinvestor

Just finished reading (listening) to this book. This is the story of GM over the past 100 years, written by a maverick car guy, Bob Lutz.

 

I was attracted to the title with bean counters in it. About 20% in to the book, I almost gave up but hung on; Glad I did, the promise of the title was fulfilled, at least for me. Here's my take,

 

++++

Passionate car guy, if you want to understand the car industry from an insider's perspective, this is a great book.

The amount of stupidity that goes on in corporate America in the form of idiot financial management by the know-it-all MBA's is called out.

It doesn't take a committee of 1000's of engineers to come up with a car concept. One is best; iPhones etc. is the same!

GM rose because of styling and fell because they took their eyes off this. (At least this is Lutz's view); Car buying has been always emotional - styling is huge.

 

 

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"it is because of everybody else" - Liberal press, biased ratings agencies and on and on. I actually got the sense that it was everybody but "him".

He was lucid about many of his failure descriptions @ GM. Some of it happened under his watch and he actually blessed them. Hindsight is ...

Thought the candor was quite a bit lacking; Given what happened to GM. You name a folly and you got it in GM. Lutz grudgingly acknowledges this, at the end when the fat lady had sung. I can see why he did that; the facts would have come in the way of his narrative if he put it out first. 

 

Recommendation:

 

For someone like me with a career based on manufacturing, this is good book; It will read like your own experiences every day. If you follow GM, this does get into the soul of the company. If you are doing numbers analysis to put a value on GM stock, this is not a book for you.

 

 

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