WHAT’S GOOD FOR GENERAL MOTORS . . .
While Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., transformed General Motors into the icon of corporate efficiency and success, Billy Durant’s new dreams ended hollow. Durant Motors initially drew investors like a magnet, largely on the basis of Billy’s personal reputation, but the costs of doing product development, building a new manufacturing and supplier infrastructure, and supporting a new dealer network were soon too daunting for even him. By the time Sloan became president of General Motors in 1923, Durant Motors was already fading and Billy’s own interest had shifted back to the stock market rather than the automobile business.
Again through his personal reputation as “the wizard,” he settled in on Wall Street ...