GM aims to drive transformation, promising risk, disruption

General Motors Co. is acting like a company in trouble.

But it isn’t — and that’s what makes the automaker’s pessimism so optimistic. Nearly 10 years after GM emerged from its historic bankruptcy, its leadership is pushing to manage both a looming shift to self-driving vehicles and an inevitable slowdown in the business cycle.

We don’t usually do that in this town, where complacency in good times historically gives way to panic in slower times. But these aren’t usual times at a GM led by executives with a very large chip on their collective shoulders. They have something to prove, a mantra boiled down to two words: never again.