Drivin' Diesel Man

Detroit had one of its worst years in 1991, but not Detroit Diesel and its owner, Roger Penske. When he bought the company from GM in 1987, its share of the U.S. market for heavy-truck engines had fallen to 3.2%. By the end of last year, it was back up to 23%. Penske's secret? Get back to basics. Talk to your employees, and share the profits with them. That improves quality. Speed up delivery of parts so they arrive in days, not weeks. Above all, keep close to your customers. Penske calls on them frequently.

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