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You just bought a car company. Now what?

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At the Atlantic, blogger Marc Ambinder suggests putting Detroit native Mitt Romney in charge, because what's needed is "forceful, even ruthless, leadership" from someone unafraid of "bringing the hammer down – repeatedly" and "jack[ing] up the stakes." Plus, installing a Republican would give Obama some political wiggle room to turn the company around swiftly. Mr. Ambinder doesn't get into exactly what GM should do, only that it should do it right away.

Keith Johnson, the Wall Street Journal's eco-blogger, wonders if GM will need to abandon the Volt, the company's plug-in electric hybrid vehichle scheduled to go on sale late next year. Noting the compact's $40,000 price tag, Mr. Johnson lays out the options:

GM can focus on making mass-market cars that sell well and abandon the Volt. Or it can carry on with the Volt and hope either costs come down or consumers suddenly change their habits and run out to buy a $40,000 compact sedan.

Treehugger's Michael Graham Richard calls this a false choice. Oil was selling at $20 a barrell in 1997. What if Toyota decided to abandon the Prius then? Where would it be now?

If GM wants to be successful in the future, it has to aim for the future, not for the present or the past. So the advice of dropping the Volt because it is too expensive now is simply shortsighted.
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