Demise of GM’s Saturn-Another Business Execution Failure

13,000 employees and nearly 400 dealers received the news yesterday that GM failed to secure a deal to sell GM’s Saturn business to Roger Penske.  Why?  Penske could not find another manufacturer willing to produce the vehicles beyond 2011.

An automobile manufacturer without manufacturing support is doomed.

The problem didn’t happen overnight.  Saturn has not made a profit since 1994.  15 years with no profit.  This is beyond comprehension.

This is not only a business execution failure, it is a failure of leadership–management and the board–that a brand is allowed to flounder for 15 years.  This failure is going to create incredible pain for those who relied on this brand for their livelihoods.

Would Jack Welch have allowed this to happen?  Maybe for one year.

What do you think?

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting


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