Here’s a quiz for you: What do you do if you’re the CEO of a car company that has been the biggest company almost since car companies have existed, but you are about to be surpassed? If you’re GM CEO Rick Wagoner, you tell everyone that you aren’t trying to be the biggest company anymore. At a press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the company is building a new plant, Wagoner said that being the largest car company is no longer the company’s priority. Instead, the focus is on strong profitability growth and balance-sheet strength.
Though there is nothing that doesn’t make sense about what he says, and it is almost inevitable that Toyota will pass them in global sales revenue soon, it still seems like an odd way to inspire confidence in employees, partners and shareholders. On the other hand, the new Russian plant is a sign that the company is continuing to pursue opportunities for growth which could keep them in the race with Toyota, so maybe this is just some misdirection for the competition.