Dan Akerson, CEO of GM, spoke with me in S.F. about the suspension of Chevy Volt production; the future of what he described as GM's "statement car" and his surprisingly candid views on climate change.
Three years later, after President Obama placed his faith in workers, the nation's economic outlook is brighter. As is that of GM and Chrysler. President Obama wagered on American workers. And it paid off.
It's illogical, even unpatriotic to use tax dollars to subsidize companies that send jobs overseas, transferring America's manufacturing power to foreign countries like China.
This auto industry recovery is an example of both parties working together to help save a national treasure in our auto industry and preserve jobs in industries that depend on auto manufacturing.
Today, because of President Obama's commitment to Michigan, Detroit's auto industry is leading America's economic recovery, but this never would have happened if Mitt Romney had his way.
Certainly most Americans would not argue that it's a bad thing that GM has regained the sales crown. And certainly the White House, which spent $82 billion on the auto bailout, will find a place to mention GM in most every speech.
Ads from GM's new agencies have, to use a baseball analogy, been mostly singles, doubles and triples. No home runs yet.
In all my travels around Michigan, New Jersey (my native state), greater Washington, D.C., (where I frequently travel) and California, I haven't bumped into a single person whom I can get interested in Buick. It usually goes like this: "Buick? Seriously? My Uncle Mort drove a Buick."
Boards are biased, too like-minded, made up of friends who are typically cronies uncomfortable with conflict. Worse still, in most of our leading corporations today, the positions of Chairman and CEO are held by the same person.
The way you drive affects your efficiency performance. With an efficiency gauge you experience this in real time. By watching the gauge, you learn how to drive more efficiently.
As green pundits bemoan our consumer society, the culture is quietly morphing to slow the amount we buy.
What Revenge of the Electric Car makes clear is that designing, engineering, building and marketing this transportation revolution isn't going to be easy. Making it affordable and keeping the enthusiasm alive inside the car companies is going to be challenging.
The lobbying group for car dealers wants to block new fuel efficiency standards that will save drivers $80 billion a year at the pump, saying clean car standards are a sign of "over regulation."
Rather than encourage the sustainable use of pesticides, too often agrochemical companies seek only to maximize short-term sales and profits.