When could GM have been saved? In my opinion, GM started its slow motion death roll in the 1980s, when it refused to confront the unions or the brand managers and streamline the thing. Every decision they've taken since then has been made in light of the fact that they couldn't really afford the kind of showdown with the UAW that it would have taken to strip the company down to a nimble, profitable core. They skimped on quality and stopped taking care of the brand, mostly to feed the unions, but also to feed their bloated management structure. By the time it became obviously suicidal to keep on as they were, it had also become almost as suicidal to try and turn things around, because the company was no longer healthy enough to take the blow.