BRIEFING: just-autos' review of 2006
This is just-auto managing editor Dave Leggett's review of the automotive industry in 2006. It is concisely presented month-by-month so you can be sure you haven't missed any of the important issues of the last year. From January through December, he chronicles the events that shaped the automotive year in the global automotive industry as well as some of the more quirky happenings. And, as you might expect, there are also some irreverent musings. It was a year in which GM and Ford both implemented North American restructuring programmes, but there was added drama too. For GM there was boardroom turmoil involving Kirk Kerkorian, Rick Wagoner and an outsider called Carlos Ghosn who sniffed an opportunity. Meanwhile, at Ford, an M&A man was brought in to advise on sell-offs and Alan Mulally from Boeing was parachuted in as CEO. There was drama too in Europe. At market leading Volkswagen boardroom disagreements deepened as the management negotiated flexible working arrangements with German labour unions. Behind the scenes, Ferdinand Piech appeared to play a Machiavellian game that increased Porsche's influence at VW and culminated in the abrupt exit of CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder. And volume growth in China kept everyone excited, as usual - but in 2006 Russia joined the emerging markets bandwagon as its market boomed and new factories were announced. Yes, another busy year.
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