General Motors' sales chief Mark LaNeve is leaving the company and leaving behind a job opening that falls somewhere on the impossibility spectrum between handling Goldman Sachs' PR and opening a Focus on the Family chapter at Yeshiva. GM's problem isn't just that it's an old cripple of a company carrying a mountain of debt and pensions (although that's certainly a leading concern). There are so many reasons why GM is hosed:


Sales were down 45 percent in September, and it didn't even win the Cash for Clunkers sweepstakes. GM isn't just a slowly-failing company, it's just been a bad auto maker, objectively. Consumer Reports recommended 19% of its cars this year. That's worst in the auto making world, and under the Mendoza Line. You could even say GM isn't a car company any more. It's pretty much turned itself into a truck company that also makes some cars.

carstrucks.png
Atlantic contributor "Anal_yst" would say: Yes, but that's not so crazy. Americans don't want small cars, after all. So perhaps GM would be better off cornering the market on hybrid SUVs, I don't know. What I do know is that I have little envy for the poor soul who fills LaNeve's shoes.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.