Malibu sales are down 12% so far this year, and GM is going back to the drawing board. Unfortunately, it can't do much with the Malibu's cramped rear seat. Back in its bankruptcy days, product planners shrank the Malibu's wheelbase by putting it on a platform it shares with a smaller car. Bad call. Growing it larger would be prohibitively expensive, leaving Malibu at a disadvantage in the important mid-size segment.
A bad leader will inflict serious damage on any company. But for automakers, the results are often catastrophic.