The collapse of General Motors captured headlines in early 2009, but as Alex Taylor III writes in this in-depth dissection of the automaker's undoing, GM's was a meltdown forty years in the making. Drawing on more than thirty years of experience and insight as an automotive industry reporter, as well as personal relationships with many of the leading players, Taylor reveals the many missteps of GM and its competitors: a refusal to follow market cues and consumer trends; a lack of follow-through on major initiatives; and a history of hesitance, inaction, and failure to learn from mistakes. In the process, he provides lasting lessons for every executive who confronts the challenges of a changing marketplace and global competition. Yet Taylor resists condemning GM's leadership from the privileged view of hindsight. Instead, his account enables the reader to see GM's decline through the eyes of an insider, with the understanding that corporate decision-making at a company as large as General Motors isn't as simple as it may seem. Taylor's book serves as a marvelous case study of one of the United States' premier companies, of which every American quite literally now holds a share.
Alex Taylor III is a senior editor at Fortune magazine. He is a member of the International Motor Press Association and is on the jury for the North America Car of the Year Awards. Mike Jackson is the chairman and chief executive officer of AutoNation. Previously, he served as president and chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC.