If I were handed the CEO job I would just sit there and look out of the window... I honestly believe that a CEO that didn't make any decisions would be better then one that gets EVERY SINGLE ONE WRONG
Lets review... Rick was:
WRONG on Oldsmobile
Was absolutely already dead.
Possibly wrong on Delphi, however the spinoff of Delphi had been put in motion way before Rick Wagoner was but in charge of GM. Furthermore, it could have worked had the economy not begun deteriorating.
Your way wrong on Fiat. The Fiat deal was crucial to GM getting its hands on the diesel technology it needed to stay competitive in Europe and for small diesel engines which would start making their way to this side of the Atlantic. Opel wouldn't be in the good position it is today without competent diesel engines and those came from the Fiat deal.
WRONG on SUV's and Trucks
That decision was made before people had even started dreaming of gasoline exceeding $2. Furthermore, GM needed to reguvinate sales of its cash cows (SUVs/Pickups) to subsidize the investment into GM's car products (see Impala, new Malibu, forthcoming Cobalt and Volt).
WRONG on Killing the Camaro
The F-Body was dead anyways. It couldn't meet the new safety requirements, not to mention that the last generation Camaro/Firebird was a bloated, overweight and poorly assembled.
WRONG on taking forever to bring it back
First they are wrong for investing in gas guzzles, and now they should be condemned for taking their time and building an actual business case and engineering the Camaro to survive a high fuel price environment? You can't have it both ways.
WRONG on thinking Hybrids were dumb
This is one area where GM's beancounting mentality came to bite it in the ass. GM did an analysis of the cost savings of a hybrid powertrain versus conventional power for compact cars (as the Prius is a compact), and you wouldn't have saved enough in gas (even with it at $4 a gallon) to recoup the extra upfront costs for almost a decade. Hybrids still don't make much sense economically, but having the products would have helped GM combat its image problem.
WRONG on starving Pontiac for product
This started way before Rick Wagoner took control of GM or GMNA. I put the blame for this squarely at Ron Zarrella and Roger Smith's doorsteps. They spent money on the most pointless of things (like automated assembly where the robots painted each other instead of the cars) instead of investing it in product. Since Bob Lutz and Rick Wagoner took control of GM we have had the GTO, the Solstice and the G8, which is more product differentiation than Pontiac has enjoyed in at least two decades.
I have never been a huge fan of Hummer. I always thought it was nothing but a PR nightmare for GM but the numbers don't lie. When gas was cheaper, Hummer was nothing but a money printing press for GM. The H3 rides on the same platform as the Colorado, sometimes sold almost as many units with nearly twice the average transaction price. Instant goldmine but it doesn't work with gas at $4 a gallon.
WRONG on Product Marketing
GM has been sorely lacking in this area most definitely, although the new Malibu ad campaign has given me hope that GM might have finally figured it out.
So was everyone else. In an industry with product lead times of at LEAST 5 years, there was no one in 2003 who foresaw gas prices at $4 a gallon. The fact that Ford and GM have been able to react so quickly to this crisis (new Focus, upcoming Cobalt, new Corsa, new Beat, new Aveo) is somewhat amazing.
and at least half WRONG on the GMAC deal
If GM hadn't ditched the half of GMAC it did (and got a ton of money out of it, I might add) we'd be looking at GM in bankruptcy. It was a smart move at the time that looks even smarter now with the mortgage meltdown that currently in progress.
But what else has GM done right? The new UAW/CAW contracts for one which have removed a tremendous liability from the company's balance sheets and freed up cash flow for product investment.