Business: Tales of the 14th Floor

  • Share
  • Read Later

(2 of 2)

"The excessive emphasis on cost cutting," he recalls, "produced an aberrant method of evaluating performance. At one time the assembly plant in Tarrytown, N.Y., year in and year out produced the poorest quality cars of all 22 GM U.S. assembly plants. In some instances, Tarrytown cars were so poorly built the dealers refused to accept them." Yet because of consistently low production costs, DeLorean contends, the plant manager got one of the highest bonuses among all GM managers.

In the most serious charge, DeLorean contends that GM knew about the safety problems of the Chevrolet Corvair before production began and failed to remedy them. Claims DeLorean: "Charlie Chayne, vice president of engineering, along with his staff, took a very strong stand against the Corvair as an unsafe car long before it went on sale in 1959.

He was not listened to but instead told in effect: 'You're not a member of the team. Shut up or go looking for another job.' " DeLorean says he feels that the decision makers were "not immoral men."

But, he adds in Wright's book, "these same men in a business atmosphere, where everything is reduced to costs, profit goals and production deadlines, were able as a group to approve a product that most of them would not have considered approving as individuals."

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next Page