'I'm the Guy to Run GM'

Over dinner in Detroit last Friday night, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner and Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn discussed concocting a car colossus that would control one quarter of the world's auto sales.

I'm the Right Guy for GM'

On the Friday morning before all of General Motors was to go on its Independence Day holiday, a surprise letter hummed over CEO Rick Wagoner's fax machine.

'The Craziest Thing I've Ever Heard'

General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner felt like the turnaround he's struggled to engineer was finally gaining some traction when he was broadsided last month by a proposal to marry the U.S. automaker with France's Renault and Japan's Nissan.

Tailing the X-Commuter

The drive to get out of big cities is turning the United States into a land of nomads. "Extreme commuters" who travel more than 90 minutes to work, one way, are the fastest-growing group of commuters, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Auto Nation

Last year, I wrote an article that identified Toyota's relentless rise in the United States as being the real source of General Motors' problems. At the end of the piece, I put a wry twist to the old axiom that what's good for GM is good for America. "With a new automotive order emerging," I wrote, "it may not be long before someone in Washington—or even Detroit—observes: 'What's good for Toyota is good for America'."  I got the location wrong, but something close to those words appeared...

Detroit: It's All on The Line

United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger doesn't look like your typical union boss. Soft-spoken with a neatly trimmed mustache, he's more like a college professor.

Periscope

It isn't easy being Mahmoud Abbas. As if the Palestinian president weren't wrestling with enough problems, last week Israel gave him one more headache, when an errant artillery shell killed seven civilians on a Gaza beach.

The Long and Grinding Road

At 5:40 a.m., the alarm blares news-talk radio and Bill Small rolls out of bed. With a two-hour commute ahead of him, the Chicago doctor wastes little time.

Fighting Back

This is a tough time to be Rick Wagoner. The embattled chairman and CEO of General Motors is facing a growing chorus of critics calling for his head. With his company losing $10.6 billion last year and Toyota on the verge of overtaking GM as the world's No. 1 automaker, Wagoner has become the personification of Detroit's declining fortunes.

GM's Game of Bumpercars

Even before Jerry York elbowed his way onto General Motors' board last month, he was stirring things up inside the sputtering automaker. In a speech during the Detroit Auto Show in January, the veteran turnaround artist recommended a radical repair job for GM that included dumping its Saab and Hummer divisions. "Saab and Hummer," York said, "will not save GM." The old guard immediately declined to follow York's advice, and last month GM vice chairman Bob Lutz told the media that York had...

Detroit Muscles Up

GM chief designer Ed Welburn sweeps into his Chevrolet design studio and it's as if he were stepping back in time. On one side of the cavernous white room, designers huddle over a silver retro remake of the Chevy Camaro.

Outsourcing: Silicon Valley East

During the height of the dot-com boom, Dan Scheinman was one of Silicon Valley's most popular tech execs. As the chief of mergers and acquisitions for Cisco Systems, he couldn't go to a party without being besieged by entrepreneurs eager to sell their business to the deep-pocketed tech giant.

Renovating Martha Inc.

When Martha Stewart's people first approached KB Home CEO Bruce Karatz last May about building mini-versions of Martha's mansions, he was skeptical. After all, Stewart was still under house arrest for her conviction in the ImClone stock scandal. "There was a little risk that the public might not forgive her," says Karatz.

International Periscope

Nearly six years after the first dot-com bubble burst, the lesson is clear: "Nobody ever learns anything," says Tim Price, chief investment officer for brokerage Ansbacher & Co.

'You Were Terrible'

Look out Martha, the Donald is gunning for you. "I'm tired of Martha blaming me for her failure," Donald Trump roared over the phone to NEWSWEEK on Tuesday.Trump was referring to comments Martha Stewart made in the current edition of NEWSWEEK about why her version of "The Apprentice" failed. (NBC declined to renew Stewart's version of the program after its initial season).

Detroit: Hoping for a Small Victory

Motown's mantra has always been "bigger is better." But now that General Motors and Ford are cutting a combined 60,000 workers and closing more than two dozen factories, Detroit is slowly and painfully learning to live with less: fewer employees, fewer plants, fewer paying customers. "For too long, we've used the advantage of size to avoid change," Bill Ford said in a televised address from his company's design studios last week, where he shrank his payroll by 25 percent and encouraged his...

Fixing Ford

For the most important speech of his career, Ford Motor Co. CEO Bill Ford on Monday stood on a makeshift stage inside a car design studio that reeked of modeler's clay.

Curtain Calls

As I look back on the Detroit Auto Show of 2006, I will remember it as the contrition car show. This is the show where automakers--chastened by high gas prices and driver defection from drab designs--were out to atone for past sins.

Detroit Reloaded

Move over Hollywood. Detroit is the new home of the sequel. At least that's what it felt like at the Detroit Auto Show this week.The remake of the Chevy Camaro was the King Kong of the Detroit show on Monday, day two of the press preview.

Showtime at the Cobo

As the Detroit Auto Show opened to the media on Sunday, America's two biggest and most beleaguered automakers, General Motors and Ford, tried desperately to change the subject from their banged up finances.

The Blue-Collar CEO

For a carmaker, choreographing an elaborate new model show for its dealers can be as routine as an oil change. But at a rehearsal last month for a Chrysler extravaganza inside an enormous Las Vegas arena, the carmaker's past and future leaders struggled to pass the baton.

Autos: Going the Extra Mileage

Inside Ford Motor Co.'s cavernous wind tunnel, a thin stream of smoke glides gracefully over the new Lincoln Zephyr. But what catches the eye of aerodynamic engineer Wayne Koester is a tiny somersault of smoke just where the back window hits the trunk. "Do you see that?" he says, pointing from behind the control-room window. "That's turbulence." And turbulence is the archenemy of aerodynamics.

Exit Interview: A Showman's Parting Shot

When Dieter Zetsche arrived at Chrysler five years ago, Detroit viewed him with deep suspicion. With Chrysler sinking fast after its messy merger with Daimler-Benz, the mustached former Mercedes exec was cast as a storm trooper coming to strip America's No. 3 automaker of its swagger.

Go the Extra Mile

Inside Ford Motor Co.'s cavernous wind tunnel, a thin stream of smoke glides gracefully over the new Lincoln Zephyr. But what catches the eye of aerodynamic engineer Wayne Koester is a tiny somersault of smoke just where the back window hits the trunk. "Do you see that?" he says, pointing from behind the control-room window. "That's turbulence." And turbulence is the archenemy of aerodynamics.

Motown Mechanic

Steve Miller, CEO of newly bankrupt Delphi Corp., has always known how to cut the tension in difficult situations. As a young Chrysler exec during its 1980 federal-bailout talks, he once pulled out a toy pistol at a bankers' meeting and held it to his head, saying: "If you guys can't agree on this stuff, I'm going to have to kill myself." Last month, with Delphi in feverish (and ultimately fruitless) negotiations for a bailout from General Motors, Miller found himself beside GM CEO Rick Wagoner...

Burning the Furniture

Steve Miller, CEO of newly bankrupt U.S. car-parts maker Delphi Corp., has always known how to cut the tension in difficult situations. Last month, with Delphi in feverish (and ultimately fruitless) negotiations for a bailout from General Motors, Miller found himself sitting beside GM CEO Rick Wagoner at an executive confab in Washington.

New Perils At The Pump

Hummer drivers, welcome to the era of the $100 fill-up. No matter what you drive, the new normal is monthly gas bills that look like car payments. After a year of $2-a-gallon gas, we worry that it could pass $3 and approach the inflation-adjusted record.

CRUISING ON CAMPUS

When Morris Lifschutz began his sophomore year at the University of Southern California in 2004, he noticed a lot more hot cars cruising campus. So he and a buddy decided to restart something USC hadn't had in more than a decade: a car club.

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