General Motors CFO Dan Ammann takes the Corvette Z06 to the test track

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 22, 2012

General Motors CFO Dan Ammann wants to be known as a true car guy and will be demonstrating just how dynamic he is by taking a gray-metallic Corvette Z06 and proving that it can reach 150 miles per hour on a three-mile test track. With this move, Ammann can never be mistaken as one of those finance people who nearly devastated the U.S. brand.

He said that he went to the track to get a view of how the company makes cars in order to “make a difference.” For many years, GM has been struggling under a corporate culture that was bureaucratic. Other factors that hurt it were persistent losses in Europe, the sluggish industry demand in China, and GM's $134 billion in pension obligations at the end of last year.

Several industry officials think that the issues are so deep-rooted that the most probable outcome is that GM will never be able to resolve its underlying problems. Steve Rattner, the former head of the U.S. auto task force, said that GM hasn’t been able to solve its management challenges yet.

He acknowledges that GM is raking in a lot of money but it’s not making as much as Ford in terms of percentage since it has several inefficiencies that have to be eliminated. Even when GM made a record profit of $7.6 billion in 2011, GM's operating margin of 3.8% still fell behind its competitors like Hyundai with 10.4%, Volkswagen with 7.1% and Ford with 5.4%.

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