If I was appointed CEO at General Motors, I’d do exactly what Fritz Henderson did: Work for a few months, pull in a million bucks, and then quit.
And why not? No other job title in the world rewards people with millions of dollars regardless of how well they do the job. Henderson was pulling down $1.3 million per year in salary alone and was on the job for about 10 months. During that time he killed Pontiac, failed to sell Saturn, and just recently couldn’t push through the sale of Saab to Koenigsegg.
I could have done that, and I would have accepted a lot less than a million dollars to do it.
Regardless, Henderson can retire fat and happy while Texas good ol’ boy Ed Whitacre, Jr., takes the steering wheel at GM while he searches for a permanent replacement.
Just when I think I’m ready to give GM another chance and want to admit that I like the tenacity and effort I’m seeing from the company, the CEO gives up. If he did, why shouldn’t consumers? Let’s hope the next guy or gal gives us a few good reasons.
In other not-so-good automotive news, Edmunds is reporting that it expects Chrysler sales to drop another 35 percent in November compared to last year. That, quite frankly, is a pace that cannot continue if the company hopes to survive the two years before Fiat models begin entering showrooms. At this point, it might be better if Fiat just immediately killed the Chrysler brand altogether, then began selling Fiats in the U.S. If I was CEO, that’s a move I would seriously consider, then happily collect my million bucks if it didn’t work.
Next, 24/7 Wall St. had the audacity to declare that Nissan has lost its relevance in the U.S. Um…what!? The same Edmunds prediction that had Chrysler sales down 35 percent has Nissan down only 0.7 percent. Nissan is a company on the cutting edge of the green industry and is about to become the first major automaker to mass produce an electric vehicle, the Leaf. If that is considered irrelevant, maybe we should just write off Tesla, the Chevy Volt, and all hybrids while we’re at it. I’d call Chrysler the most irrelevant brand in America right now, while Nissan could very well be the next big thing.
That is, if Hyundai doesn’t get there first. The Korean automaker should see November sales increase by 25.9 percent. The guys at Car and Driver are reporting that the company has also just been named the most fuel efficient automaker in the U.S., with an EPA 2009 Corporate Average Fuel Economy of 30.1 mpg. Hyundai is the only automaker to come in above the magic 30-mpg mark. Last place was Chrysler, at 23.2 mpg.
Which automaker would you call irrelevant: Chrysler or Nissan?