Just five months ago, GM was very healthy, with the first-ever female appointed as the CEO, while at Ford, unsettling rumors about its CEO eclipsed news about new model introductions.
General Motors was riding hard the wave, fresh out of shedding the “Government Motors” moniker after the US Treasury sold – at a loss for the taxpayer – the remainder of the stock it owned in the automaker. Also, it was basking in high profits and was considering finally opening up the dividends, while receiving praise for the courage of naming Mary Barra as the new chief executive.
Meanwhile, Ford, which was reading a huge number of model introductions for the year, was shaken by stories about Alan Mulally, its CEO – either staying beyond 2014 or promptly leaving to head Microsoft.
Now, all that has changed, and fast. GM is facing a mountain of litigations and probes from every possible federal authority in regard to the public relations scandal concerning the very late recall of 2.6 million cars. What’s more, the tally of recalls so far has surpassed 11 million cars – a number that already dwarfs the total for 2013.
On the other hand, Mulally and Ford decided to cut their arrangement short in a great gentleman’s agreement, paving the way for its groomed successor – chief operating officer Mark Fields. In the process, he praised his younger follower and received standing ovations at his last Ford annual shareholders gathering.