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monsoon

Back to the Future and General Motors

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It sounds as if General Motors will be going to bankruptcy this week since the management there has been incapable of coming up with any workable plan to keep the company in operation.

So why the "Back to The Future Refererence"? As you might remember, if you watched that movie it featured a DeLorean DMC-12 automobile that had been turned into a time machine. The DeLorean was a short lived vehicle produced in Ireland by John Delorean in the 1980s. It is relevant to GM because at one time Delorean was a VP at GM and even more importantly was the general manager of Chevrolet. He ended up resigning in disgust from GM in 1973 with a lot of negative things to say about the management and corporate shortcomings of the corporation. He wrote a book about it in the mid 70s.

So I ran across this accounting of the development of the Chevrolet Vega. (pictured below) This was Chevy's iconic small car of the 1970s which was created in part to combat the imports that were beginning to make headway in market share by the beginning of the decade. The car, on the surface was attractive for the time and offered up innovations that had not been used in vehicles before. GM developed this car from scratch. However if you jump down and read the section called The Delorian Factor and Problems you get a insiders view of what was horrible wrong about GM. Sadly, it hasn't gotten any better 40 years later.

It's a fascinating read of what "too big to fail" means.

784px-1972_Chevrolet_Vega_Hatcback.jpg

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The bankruptcy is pretty much imminent now. GM is also considering moving its HQ out of Detroit to the Southeast and may drop the GM name and go with one of their popular brands for a company name, possibly Chevrolet.

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