Sleepless In Detroit, Wagoner on the Offensive

Like a politician on the campaign trail, General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner is out drumming up support for his leadership and turnaround plan for the troubled auto maker. After suffering a string of setbacks, including revelations the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating possible accounting violations, and news that GM had to add another $2 billion to $8.6 billion in losses in 2005,

Like a politician on the campaign trail, General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner is out drumming up support for his leadership and turnaround plan for the troubled auto maker.

After suffering a string of setbacks, including revelations the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating possible accounting violations, and news that GM had to add another $2 billion to $8.6 billion in losses in 2005, Wagoner won a GM board vote of confidence and support in several full-page newspaper advertisements from a group of 36 GM dealers.

Support also comes from Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation Inc., the nation's largest dealership chain, who predicts a GM recovery. Meanwhile, detractors call for Wagoner's resignation.

He appears to be on a campaign to explain his comeback strategy for the auto maker in a series of interviews with major news outlets, including an appearance on CBS's Face the Nation news show.

Meeting with a small group of reporters in Detroit, Wagoner declines to comment on a report that he had pressed GM's board for the statement of support, and was prepared to resign without it.

“The statement they issued stands for itself, and beyond that I'm not really going to be commenting on anything that goes on inside board meetings,” he says.

Asked how he is sleeping these days, Wagoner says he sleeps well — when he has the time. “The issue is finding the time to sleep,” he says.

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