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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.




"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. 




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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