2. In being named CEO, Mary Barra broke through several historical barriers in moving from GM's third-most powerful executive position to its first. Her job was made both easier by the appointment of a non-executive chairman to handle the board of directors, and more difficult by the decision to give her old job to one of her rivals. As the first product engineer to head the company in two decades, she will be deluged with suggestions about everything from air conditioning vents in new pickups to the future of brands like Buick and Chevrolet.
4. The cyclical theory depends on a dearth of new investment creating a supply crunch in two, three or five years. A lot of projects are being postponed but postponement is no more than a signal to project managers to find a way of cutting costs. Many are doing exactly that.