The Car That Could by Michael Shnayerson  » Books  »
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  • One interesting topic was figuring out how many cars will have to be sold to break even, given that developing a brand new car from the ground up costs millions of dollars
  • One problem that I had with the book is that it talks too much of the personality traits of the people who worked on the development of the EV1
  • I love the way that Shayerson describes the dysfunctionality of the GM corporation without ever saying it directly

    • by jamesa9791
      all reviews
      The book The Car that Could by Michael Shnayerson is the story of General Motors developing an electric vehicle called the EV1 in the 1990’s. It discusses how the GM team decided on the car’s design, a two-door, two-seater, how they decided to design the interior and exterior of the car, and also GM’s management style. The book is very informative in all of these areas.

      One can read the book to follow the development of the EV1 from the concept to production. The book is also good as a general reference about the process that goes into building cars.

      One interesting topic was figuring out


      how many cars will have to be sold to break even, given that developing a brand new car from the ground up costs millions of dollars. Also, they talk about how the engineering team is huge, and one engineer’s modificatoins to one part of the car can make another part of the car not work.

      It takes a brilliant management team to bring a good car to production, because all of the engineers have to function as one big brain, not seperate people each working on their own isolated tasks. One problem that I had with the book is that it talks too much of the personality traits of ...


      • the people who worked on the development of the EV1.

        I was very bored listening to the author describe the personalitites of the different people in the story, and tell very dull anecdotes from their personal lives. I would have much preferred the writer to cut out all of the biographical information and just focused on what the people did to design the car, because the parts about car design are very interesting.

        I love the way that Shayerson describes the dysfunctionality of the GM corporation without ever saying it directly. Shnayerson describes employees, or entire departments, which refuse to cut down the weight of their components for

        fear that once the weight is reduced they will not be able to improve the produce (and thus add slight amounts of weight).

        Shnayerson brings out details, such as how even the simplest parts of the car are designed, to show that building a car from the ground up can be a nightmare. Still, Shayerson could have shortened a few of the less-critical scenes in the book.

        These and the anecdotes from employees’ personal lives make the book much too long and booring. The book The Car that Could by Michael Shnayerson certainly is a good source for facts about the design process of the EV1, but it is not very enjoyable to read.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in April, 2006. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 17290451151130/k2311a0429/4.29.06
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