Saving GM: Why Wagoner Won't Go

Rick Wagoner
Rick Wagoner

After almost 10 years of covering General Motors, including the last year going behind the scenes for our upcoming documentary "Saving GM", I often hear the same question time and again. Where is chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner taking this company?

I bring this up because GM's board meets today and tomorrow. And despite the deep trouble facing this this company, the board won't sit Wagoner on the bench, nor will he pull himself out of the game.

Some of you are probably saying, "Give me a break, GM's stock is down more than 75 % since Wagoner became CEO. He oughtta be run out of town by now.". I asked Wagoner that very question in putting together "Saving GM". His answer, in a nutshell is if the board didn't think he had the plan to turn around GM they would remove him.

That ain't happening. Nor will it anytime soon.

Under Wagoner, GM's had huge success expanding it's brands and profits overseas. He's pushed the company to cut more than $9 billion in costs in North America. And yes, whether you buy it or not, GM is a far more nimble company under Wagoner than it has ever been.

That said, this is crunch time for the former Duke basketball player. In hoops terms, he needs to score and score often or his team is going to lose.

He knows it. His board knows it. Investors know it.

The question is whether there's enough time on clock for Wagoner's game plan- slashing North American costs, cutting truck/SUV plants and production in the U.S., rapidly cranking out more fuel efficient cars, and leveraging/growing GM overseas- to pull off a come from behind win.

Watch "Saving GM" this Wednesday at 9 PM Eastern and decide for yourself. Also, on our web site, we've posted some clips from our time with Wagoner in China. It's a unique glimpse into just how confident Wagoner is about GM's strategy.

CNBC Original Productions: Saving General Motors
CNBC Original Productions: Saving General Motors

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