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Once Upon a Car

The Fall and Resurrection of America's Big Three Automakers--GM, Ford, and Chrysler

Bill Vlasic

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Once Upon a Car is the brilliantly reported inside-the-boardrooms-and-factories story of Detroit’s fight for survival, going beyond the headlines to chronicle how the country’s Big Three auto companies—General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler—teetered on the brink of collapse during the 2008 financial crisis. In a tale that reads like a corporate thriller, Bill Vlasic, who has covered the auto industry for more than fifteen years, first for the Detroit News and now for the New York Times, takes readers into the executive offices, assembly plants, and union halls to introduce a cast of memorable characters, many of whom are speaking out for the first time, including the executives who struggled to save their companies but in the end had to seek a controversial, last-gasp rescue from the U.S. government.

Vlasic goes behind the scenes to portray the men at the top during Detroit’s last stand. Rick Wagoner, the CEO of General Motors, tried to turn around a dying company, only to be forced to resign as a condition of the government bailout. Bill Ford, great-grandson of the legendary Henry Ford, had the will to keep Ford alive but needed the guts to hire an unknown outsider, Alan Mulally, to transform the company before it crashed. At Chrysler, leadership was constantly changing as new owners tried in vain to fix the smallest of the beleaguered Big Three. And through it all, the president of the United Auto Workers union, Ron Gettelfinger, fought to save the jobs of the men and women who build American-made cars and trucks.

This tale of an iconic industry in crisis is more than a big business drama and provides a rich, unvarnished portrait of how Detroit’s decline affected tens of thousands of workers and dozens of communities nationwide. The story moves from the gleaming corporate skyscrapers and massive auto plants to the halls of the U.S. Congress and into the Oval Office, where President Obama and his aides wrestled with how to keep General Motors and Chrysler from going out of business. Vlasic shows why the bailout worked, and how Detroit can succeed under new leadership and build automobiles equal to any in the world.

Once Upon a Car tells a uniquely American tale of success, failure, and redemption. It is an important and illuminating chapter in an astonishing story that is still unfolding. And no one is more qualified to write it than Bill Vlasic.

Publishers Weekly Review

Nov 07, 2011 – NY Times Detroit Bureau chief Vlasic (Taken For a Ride) delivers a devastating account of auto industry arrogance, ignorance, and tragedy. Brought down by unsustainable legacy costs, poor planning, and weak product, Detroit CEOs shocked the nation in November 2008 when they waltzed into Congress cap-in-hand. Despite public opposition to more bail-outs, bankruptcy reorganization for GM and Chrysler wasn’t far away. As Southern Senators protected foreign companies like Toyota that opened plants in their states, GM and Ford found themselves hampered by union contracts and federal regulations. Unable to compete with subsidized imports, they attempted to offset their auto sector losses with a disastrous plunge into mortgage finance services. It remains to be seen whether Vlasic’s examination of mismanagement in this former economic bedrock proves to be a litmus case for the economy as whole. Agency: Dystel & Goderick

Customer Reviews

Great Book

Really enjoyed it, good info on what went on in the industry.

Once Upon a Car
View In iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Business & Personal Finance
  • Published: Oct 04, 2011
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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