The latest–and perhaps most hazardous–roadblock on the Chevy Volt’s journey to a car dealership near you might just be the unexpected resignation of General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson. Henderson has only been running the bankrupt corporate giant since President Obama and his Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry ousted Rich Wagoner in March. Back then conservatives and unreconstructed free marketers howled at the White House’s intervention in corporate affairs–and no doubt Fox News will be dusting for any White House fingerprints in this latest switcheroo. But The New York Times reported that Henderson’s dismissal was a “board-led” decision. If nothing else, this expresses quite eloquently what Detroit thinks of Obama’s pick.
But more important than any one CEO is the following question: What will happen to the Chevy Volt? The star-crossed electric-powered vehicle, whose problems we’ve recently covered has the future of GM in its 440-pound battery pack; and the Obama Administration as well as the American Taxpayer–who currently owns about 60% of the company after investing $50 billion in stimulus money–have a lot riding on it. It was just a few months ago that were flying that the Volt wouldn’t be ready for its November 2011 debut. Now, besides solving the Volt’s remaining problems–any luck with getting the price below $30,000, guys?–GM has to find a new CEO. Good luck.JVT