Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Exclusive: The Inside Story of GM's Comeback and Mary Barra's Rise

What kind of company is GM CEO Dan Akerson handing Mary Barra?

Behind this week’s cover

Dan Akerson, the chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors, arrives at the company’s Technical Center on Nov. 13 to address about 1,000 engineers and designers. The sprawling, multibuilding campus in Warren, Mich., is about 15 miles north of downtown Detroit and includes a planetarium-like laboratory for studying secret prototypes under shadowless lighting. The helicopter landing pad used by former Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, the self-appointed king of the “car guys,” is here, too. The Tech Center isn’t GM’s headquarters, though it almost was: In 2009, GM was ready to move to Warren, abandoning downtown Detroit to the hustlers and hockey fans before political considerations scuttled the plan.