Keep climbing down: Delta Air holds bags of Cadillac CEO hostage

de Nysschen in Beijing, bags in Detroit

de Nysschen in Beijing, bags in Detroit


As I write this, the CEO of Cadillac is crammed into steerage class of American 187, Chicago to Beijing. The CEO of Cadillac will arrive in his Beijing hotel long after midnight, and will take his morning meetings in a suit crumpled from the 13 hr flight in the back of the bus. No fresh clothes, his bags are in Detroit, and if he’s lucky, the luggage will catch up with him some day. Knowing Delta, however, the bags will be last seen in Mogadishu, Somalia. An inauspicious start of a fresh initiative for exporting American luxury abroad.

Johan de Nysschen, freshly minted Cadillac CEO, went to Detroit Airport on Saturday morning, to take the Delta flight to China’s capital. In Beijing, he wanted to meet Cadillac’s China team, to discuss plans for enlarging Cadillac’s share of the world’s largest car market.

The plans collided with a tardy Delta crew. And just in case you are wondering: This is a true story, no satire.

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Never Mind The Part Number, GM’s Ignition Sign-Off Had No Purchase Order

Follow the asterisks...

Follow the asterisks…

The Ray DeGorgio-signed GM Validation Sign-Off for the “stealth redesigned” ignition has been much-mentioned for the fact that it showed GM did sign off on engineering changes without a part number change. But the most interesting part of the document seems to have been little discussed anywhere: the unfilled fields for “GM Validation Engineer” and “Purchase Order No.” Perhaps the asterisk next to them means something important…

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GM Recall: Answers Hiding In Plain Sight?

And all the investigations, all of Lutz's men/ couldn't figure out who was in charge of things then.

And all the investigations, all of Lutz’s men, couldn’t figure out who was in charge of things then…

In the wake of General Motors’ and Mary Barra’s public lambasting last week, at the hands Congress and Comedy alike, a new sense of gravity now surrounds the still-unfolding scandal. Combined with the shocking facts surrounding the defect itself, Barra’s performance paints a picture of a GM unable to establish basic accountability without outside intervention. In a recent interview with New York Magazine, and sounding more like a corporate consultant than radical activist, Ralph Nader advises Barra to act relentlessly, arguing:

Look what it’s costing them: It’s already at $750 million and growing. What’s it cost them in lost sales? All kinds of stuff spills out, even if it’s not directly related to the ignition switch. She knows that it’s just going to get worse and worse. There are going to be whistle-blowers, and plain envelopes, especially when the press sees prizes — they see Polk Awards, Pulitzers, and so on — once they get into that realm, there’s no stopping it.

This has all the elements. It’s a cocktail that gets it going. It is very difficult to get the press into that realm — take it from someone who knows from over the years.

Ralph’s right: Barra’s unconvincing performance last week has stepped up pressure to find the answers she wouldn’t provide, and there’s no knowing where some tough digging could lead. After all, there are answers that Barra refused to give still hiding in (relatively) plain sight. With the help of a single book and internet access, anyone can find insight into the problems that are stumping Congress, the media and Mary Barra herself… Let’s not wait for the investigation, shall we?

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