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On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors: John Z. DeLorean's Look Inside the Automotive Giant Hardcover – 1979

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 237 pages
  • Publisher: Wright Enterprises; 1st edition (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0960356207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0960356201
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Gresham on May 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a favorite book because of the clear description of the life and emotions of an innovative project leader working inside one of the world's most bureaucratic organizations. Once seen as the ultimate in career security and lifelong comfort, General Motors became a constraining and anti-innovative weight around the passions of Mr. DeLorean. And, while once he was seen as a bright and promising superstar by the corporation, he was later considered irresponsible and a danger to corporate stability. His journey story, as told here, will give serious insights into corporate life that workers, managers, and leaders in many organizations would do well to study. Favorite quotes: "I got the empty feeling that "what I am doing here may be nothing more than perpetuating a gigantic fraud," a fraud on the American consumer by promising him something new but giving him only the surface alterations....I always had he vague suspicion that the annual model change may be good for the auto business in the short term but that it wasn't good for the economy and the country. Couldn't the money we spent on annual, superficial styling changes be better spent in reducing prices or in improving service and reliability? Or seeking solutions to the sociological problems with which our products were creating in areas of pollution, energy consumption, safety, and congestion?" "A fault that GM has had for a long time is its feeling that, since it sells more cars and trucks than anyone else in the world and makes far more money than any other automotive company, the GM way is the only way. At Chevrolet this corporate thinking translated into the theory that since Chevrolet is the number one nameplate in the American automobile industry it is unwise to tamper with its proven formula for success....Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Cherry on June 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After cooperating with the author to write an honest account of his time at GM, John DeLorean tried to supress this book, perhaps because he feared it would impact his attempt to start his own company. The book is incendiary, frank and candid. It lays bare the suffocating bean counter culture that's all but killed the greatest manufacturing company the world had ever seen. But that's what happens when you ruthlessly subtract content and compromise quality in the name of next quarter's profits.
Japanese car companies are generally run by engineers. Since the 1950s U.S. car companies have been helmed by MBAs. The industry's current situation has proved Mr. DeLorean correct in his judgements.
I couldn't put this book down.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "scarebird" on May 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book had as much rythym as a train switchyard run by an epileptic. John DeLorean is cast as the ignored messiah, one who's reputation for rocking the boat is only countered by the results he achieved. Simple technical errors abound, leading one to wonder what other facts where not true. What is true is the basic premise: GM had the world by the ass, and thru arrogance and sheer inertia is suffocating under it's own weight. It is grim to read this, written in the mid 70's realising that half-wit Roger Smith was just around the corner...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Imperator on December 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll make this short.

If you are a gearhead and/or automotive history buff like I am, get this book.

This book offers an inside glimpse of GM during the 1950s through 1970s as seen through the lens of the young and talented engineer/executive John Z. DeLorean. A candid view of the industry, as well as the incompetence of the red tape on the "Fourteenth Floor" that DeLorean predicted, rightly, would lead to the loss of profit, market share, and ultimately bankruptcy of GM.

This book is also not a dry read, it is filled with a lot of heart, and is the best "inside look" account of the rise and fall of the American auto industry that I have read. In short, get it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tec80 on September 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an awesome inside look at John De Lorean's rapid trip up the ladder at General Motors. It is of course highly self-congratulatory, but the fact that he is dead tempers any offense you might take at this. Many of the ideas he presents are very relevant even today, and one wonders if the "cult of power" at the top of GM still exists...I think it does, to their great peril. The book really allows the reader to feel as if he or she is JDL, working to make things better. Very highly recommended.

The book was in almost perfect condition, and I am grateful to the seller for offering it at such a reasonable price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Roth on October 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What an insightful book. I originally read the book in 1981 and re-read it on a recent trip to Europe. It is ironic that General Motors senior executives were worried about "government intervention" during the 1960's and eary 1970's. I can't imagine that they thought that government intervention would come in the form of bankruptcy protection and government ownership some 40 years later. Mr. DeLorean's accounts are riveting and descriptive of the "seeds of destruction" sown during the late 1950's, 1960's and 1970's.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Reynolds on September 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting ego-trip examination of the stagnation of General Motors, which beginning in the mid-1970s declined into a top-heavy bureaucracy that appeared to have forgotten it was in the automobile business. DeLorean rammed a literary ice pick into several nerves, though the entire presentation had a bit of an I-told-them-so-at-the-time shade to it.
DeLorean later encountered his own executive problems at DeLorean Motors, but his lawyer was able to convince the jury that Naive John was a victim of entrapment. DeLorean and his Motors never really recovered after that, but the car went on to do very well in three Michael J. Fox movies.
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