Can Automakers Catch Up with Google in Driverless Cars?
General Motors celebrated being the world’s largest carmaker for the 76th straight year in 2007. It was sitting on $25 billion in cash. Eighteen months later, it was bankrupt. The automotive industry is among the most capital intensive in the world: If the economy sours, assets turn into liabilities overnight as factories churning out thousands of cars begin to hemorrhage cash. So when toxic mortgage securities blew up in 2008, causing a recession, banks performed terribly — but carmakers fared even worse. (Article originally appeared in Financial Times)