I know this subject is getting beaten to death. But I have to offer my personal experience because we I've never gotten to bitch about it enough publicly.
This article offers up some pretty good case studies for the actions and (non) business moves that have left our auto industry in the crapper. Is anyone weeping for them? I don't mean the employees. I know how it is to work hard and care deeply about what you do only to have the organization piss it all away with greed and stupidity. My criticism is strictly for the decision-makers. They deserve to lose THEIR jobs but, unfortunately, they won't be the ones who suffer the most.
And it isn't fair.
I remember back in the 80s (late 70s?) when Japanese cars really began to capture market share. Detroit's strategy was not to change what they were doing to meet consumer demand. It was to start a campaign shaming us into buying American. We were un-patriotic if we didn't spend more for less quality. Even then, and I was pretty young to have understanding of corporate manipulation, I was disgusted with what they were doing.
Years later I buy a Subaru. I opted for the model that came with Onstar. I liked the idea of the technology and was willing to pay more for the car and for an Onstar subscription. Two years after I bought the car Onstar sent me a letter telling me that my car had the analog version of Onstar and was going to be turned off forever. There was no way to upgrade the system to digital. If I wanted the Onstar technology I had to buy a new car.
I was pretty disgusted for several reasons:
I didn't know there was analog Onstar and digital Onstar. If I had known my model was analog Onstar I actually would have probably thought twice about getting it. I know analog technology is on the way out.
There is no way Onstar just made this decision. This means they had to know they were selling people technology that was about to be made obsolete. How dishonest and underhanded is that?
Don't get me started on Subaru. They were either partners in this or they let Onstar do this to their customers without any protest. You suck too Subaru. I actually won't buy your cars ever again.
I had a monthly subscription for Onstar and purchased "units" every month for the phone. I was handing over money on a regular basis. They had my credit card number and could charge it when needed. And they turned me away without any attempt to save my patronage. What kind of business plan is that? "No thanks, we don't want your money and we'll make sure we burn this bridge so you don't want to do business with us ever again."
Oh, and Onstar is owned by GM.
No. They do not have my sympathy or concern. I'm just surprised the whole thing imploded so soon. I thought I should be a witness when GM was asking for money.
The mis-management of the auto and financial industries gets filed away in my brain as another example of white men being given advancement in the corporate world when they don't have the smarts or know-how to do it.
I think I might be especially bitter about the whole thing because I've watched male peers shoot past me in every organization I've ever been in. Men who did nothing more than figure out how to use Excel (or Viseo) or fetch sodas (seriously, he got nearly double my salary for getting sodas for the training class he organized) or even get an MBA. I earned my master's degree but it didn't make me almost instantly a CEO of a company like it did one male peer.
I've been reading on feminist sites that this economic crises wouldn't have happened if more women had been in leadership positions. I think that conclusion is only partly right. I think this economic crises wouldn't have happened if we had more overall diversity in leadership positions. Inbreeding breeds weakness.
UPDATE: Sorry, I had to close comments. The spam started already.