People talk. People talk everyday. Even important people talk everyday. I took a look at the spoken words of three important individuals; words spoken in just the last couple of days. They show the diversity of each human, but also the disparate ‘lives’ of three different companies.
Take a guess – who spoke these words? “I didn’t welcome this morning’s news…. We’ll fight for every sale…We still have the majority of the year in front of us…”
What about these words? “Our first quarter results came in somewhat stronger than expected, but there are many uncertainties going forward… We remain focused on improving our quality, productivity, and business performance.”
Last ones. “We have a vision to grow our business…. into a company that will be competitive for the long run.”
#1 was Rick Wagoner, head of General Motors. Quote #2 was Alan Mullaly, the big-shot at Ford Motor Company, and the third was Tom LaSorda, CEO of the Chrysler Group. Here’s the background. GM just got knocked to number two in worldwide auto sales during the first quarter of the year, behind Toyota. (See story here.) Ford just announced that it lost over $200million dollars in three months. And Chrysler is on the auctioneer’s block, and the gavel could come down soon.
You have one man who speaks with competitive passion because he doesn’t want to stay number 2. Then you have Mullaly (see story here) who speaks with some honesty but also with some hope. And then LaSorda, upon the announcement of new operations in Marysville, Michigan mentioning with some subtlety that, uh…guys, we need to make this company last. It’s struggling, but we’re investing to make this work. The companies three, one with European cars coming (Saturn Astra), another whose CEO desperately wants to bring its European cars (Mondeo, S-MAX, Focus) and another whose European division – that’d be Mercedes-Benz – is the profitable side of their business. Such irony, such coincidence, such oddly coexistent events and circumstances.