On Monday the Federal and Ontario governments bellied up to the bar at the Bailout Saloon, drunk with the certainty that they had no choice but to bail out General Motors. A company which only a few years ago killed the EV1 in favour of the Hummer.
"On Jan. 21, 1988, a General Motors executive named Elmer Johnson wrote a brave and prophetic memo. Its main point was contained in this sentence: 'We have vastly underestimated how deeply ingrained are the organizational and cultural rigidities that hamper our ability to execute.'
On Jan. 26, 2009, Rob Kleinbaum, a former G.M. employee and consultant, wrote his own memo. Kleinbaum’s argument was eerily similar: 'It is apparent that unless G.M.’s culture is fundamentally changed, especially in North America, its true heart, G.M. will likely be back at the public trough again and again.'"