Magazine article USA TODAY

Can Auto Industry Meltdown Be Stopped?

Magazine article USA TODAY

Can Auto Industry Meltdown Be Stopped?

Article excerpt

With gas prices through the roof (well, sort of), the Japanese overtaking Ford Motor Co. in U.S. sales, and American automakers rethinking current structuring, the need for clear guidance about simple, straight-shooting automaking is critical. Charlie Hughes, former head of Land Rover and Mazda, and William Jeanes, a veteran auto journalist, feel they deliver that advice in Branding Iron, a book about the devaluing of American auto brands, the pitfalls of following conventional wisdom, and the need to build a world class brand in an overbranded world.

Released shortly after reports that Ford Motor Co. might become allied with General Motors Corp.--following Ford's 2006 second-quarter loss of $254,000,000--the advice could not be timelier, as the pair point out that, since 2000, GM's market cap has fallen from $66,000,000,000 to as low as $12,000,000,000 and, in 1980, GM sold 45 of every 100 cars that rolled out of U.S. showrooms. It now sells a mere 24. …

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