GM turnaround plan

I’m worried that my brother – and many other good people – could lose their jobs in the GM bankruptcy (filing doc pdf). Now is not the time to point fingers or argue over the same stale disagreements that have existed for years, but a time to figure out how to make business better for the future.

The turnaround plans I’ve read in the media seem to consist mainly of wiping out shareholders (done), swapping debt for equity, and starting over. However, I haven’t seen much to address what I believe are structural problems at GM, such as:

  • Splitting the finance arm from manufacturing
  • Divesting the international divisions (Opel, Vauxhall, Saab)
  • The failed ideas of globalization
  • Improving labor relations (okay, they’re giving part of the company to the union to erase a debt, but what are they actually doing to improve morale & productivity of the workers, or to create a pipeline of talented engineers and skilled technicians?)

So I wrote a turnaround plan for GM, admittedly from outside looking in. Hopefully some of it will fall on the right ears in Detroit, Washington, New York or Germany. You can download my GM turnaround plan from Although I wrote the presentation with GM in mind, many of the ideas are also relevant to other struggling, 20th century businesses.

Download GM turnaround plan – Powerpointhtml

I was influenced by ideas from others, most notably Option Armageddon and Umair Haque. If I overlooked any credits in the presentation, please let me know. If you use any of the ideas in the presentation, please also be so kind as to give credit.

My presentation is certainly no silver bullet to the GM restructuring (there’s billions in bondholder obligations), so feel free to add ideas in the comments or contact me for discussion.

Ward Welvaert

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