Completely agree with JCS3F. In fact, one of the best "thrillers" I've ever read - but focuses primarily on the fall, and not so much on the resurrection. I think some historical insight might have been useful and beneficial too, touching on the start of the US auto industry and the role of quality and the fact that exactly the same mistakes were made 25 years previously. Still - a real page-turner and impressively accessible.
This was a great read! It gave me a better understanding of all the the things that had to go wrong for GM and Chrysler to fail so tremendously and the amazing insight and risks of Ford (the company and the man Bill Ford) to rebuild without needing to declare bankruptcy.
Insightful and exhaustive overview of the structural constraints and poor business decisions that led to the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler. The author has clearly gained access to the most important men in the automotive business and the result is an inside look at the drama leading up to the emergence of GM and Chrysler from Chapter 11 in 2009. Very little time, however, is spent on the "resurrection" of GM and Chrysler and access to pivotal characters, such as Ed Whitaker and Dan Akerson, slows to a trickle once the companies emerge. This is the more interesting part of the story and Vlasic covers it in less than 50 pages. Also, after the hiring of Mulally, Once Upon a Car reads like a long-form ad for Ford, ignoring issues with the Mercury brand (terminated) and a lack of traction for Lincoln. Well worth the read, however, since the author does an excellent job of detailing the strategies, trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the Big Three down to an impressively microscopic level.
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