On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors: John Z. de Lorean's Look Inside the Automotive Giant

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Avon, 1980 - Businessmen - 287 pages
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From the Dust Jacket: During his 17 year career at General Motors, John De Lorean was one of the automotive industry's most controversial figures, and also one of its most talented and successful executives. So his resignation from GM in April, 1973 shocked the business community. When word leaked out that he was writing a book about life at General Motors, with journalist J. Patrick Wright, GM and the auto industry anxiously awaited its arrival. But in a jolting new move, De Lorean refused to let the book be published saying he feared that reprisals from GM would sink his attempts to launch a new car company. He continued to block publication of On A Clear Day You Can See General Motors for four years. Now in an unprecedented move this edition is being published without the cooperation of John De Lorean, General Motors or the original publisher. Nevertheless, because of his critical position in top management, De Lorean's disclosures of the inside workings of General Motors are nothing short of shocking. His highly critical assessment will blow the lid off of some of Detroit's most closely held secrets such as: Horrendous product decisions-the ill-fated Corvair's questionable safety was well documented and debated inside GM long before its introduction. Sinister business practices-GM executives were regularly dunned for substantial and possibly illegal political campaign contributions. Serious management blunders-hundreds of millions of dollars were wasted annually in capricious executive decisions which would have ruined smaller companies, but were easily absorbed by GM's vast enterprise. John De Lorean's story is more than an expose, however. It is a personal account of one modern executive's struggle with big business management. As the antithesis of the traditional, stodgy, dark-suited GM executive, De Lorean operated with flare and panache. He openly criticized his company and his industry when he felt they deserved it. He avoided the corporate social scene in favor of a cadre of friends that included professional athletes and movie stars. And he dated models and actresses who were often younger than the daughters of his fellow executives. While his life style chafed his superiors, his exceptional talents as an engineer and a crack executive, produced business success after success, and filled GM's coffers with profit. By age 47, his meteoric rise had placed De Lorean in a key management post, earning over half-a-million dollars a year, with an even-odds chance of becoming president of the industrial giant. But life at the top was a disappointment. De Lorean found his job on executive row to be boring. Moreover, he began to question GM's management system which he felt often promoted mediocrity, sometimes produced illegal and immoral business practices, and stressed personal loyalties to the detriment of the corporation. His efforts to push for change from within were fruitless. To these frustrations was added the startling revelation that resentments inside GM had been formed into a campaign to destroy him. So he quit. It is, therefore, from the privileged perspective of an ex-GM executive, that De Lorean reveals General Motors to be something quite different than the well-run, precisely managed corporation that is its public image today. At a time when Americans are demanding more reliability from American business, On A Clear Day You Can See General Motors demonstrates how one corporate leviathan grew less accountable to its many publics amid booming sales and dwindling competition. And it is this disclosure that makes this book an important document for citizens, politicians and businessmen.

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Contents

THE SYSTEM
39
HOW MORAL MEN MAKE IMMORAL
59
MY LIFE IN AUTOS AND PONTIAC
87
Copyright

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