Professor Louis Lataif, who is currently the Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of Boston University's School of Management, spent 27 years at Ford Motor Company and has a few thoughts on Toyota sharing the top spot with GM.
"The competitive marketplace is remarkably efficient over time. Nothing is forever. Certainly no corporation is assured of its position, except to the extent it earns it, day in and day out. That a company the size of General Motors can be overtaken is a testament to free-market capitalism," Lataif says.
"There have been attempts to 'break up' General Motors going back to the mid l960s because, allegedly, it had too much market power. Well it wasn't artificially broken up, but unfettered competition prevailed, as it always does," he added.
Looking foward Latief comments, "GM may well be able to recover its first place position. If it does, it will be because it offers sufficiently attractive products and services in its various markets the bring customers back."
Latief was named corporate vice president at Ford in 1981, making him Ford's youngest officer. Four years later, he was appointed vice president, North American Sales Operations and, in l988, president of Ford of Europe.