He should make clear that the overarching objectives are to create a profitable company that makes cars that people want to buy, and that are more fuel-efficient.
Listen NYT, your economic skills have never been stellar. So it's not like you let me down. But I'm telling you, you can EITHER make cars that people want to buy and hope they are more fuel-efficient OR you can make cars more fuel-efficient and hope people want to buy them. But you can't dictate doing both. You may get lucky and both happen, but you cannot dictate it so. This GM situation is a complete debacle and is only going to get worse. I've put off blogging about it because the possibilities for terribleness taking place are endless. Protectionism? Unwillingness to close politically favored dealerships? Unwillingness to close plants for political implications? Ford having to compete with the government?
The NYT's needs to realize: to create a profitable company, make cars that people want to buy at prices they want to pay. GM specialized in this for decades, they became terrible at it and have failed. Now you think you can step in and do a better job simply because it can't be that difficult to manage a car company. You're right. It couldn't possibly be difficult to analyze consumer wants, coordinate purchasing with manufacturing with distribution with sales with service, decide pay structure, designate R&D projects and advertise...while staying politically neutral. You're experience as government bureaucrats have given you all the skills sets necessary to successfully run an automotive behemoth.