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Delphi's "Turnaround Kid" is back in town

Sep 11, 2015

Credit Quentin Kruger / Wikimedia Commons

Robert "Steve" Miller is back in town.

The former Chrysler exec known as "The Turnaround Kid" is running International Automotive Components. 

It's been nearly 10 years since Miller and the Delphi directors decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy - making Delphi an American company in name only. 

The reaction at the time was instantaneous and loud. 

But given what the auto industry has been through since then, Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says Miller just led the way to an industry that today is more competitive and more financially healthy.

From his column

Miller’s message, wildly unpopular among labor and entrenched interests invested in the status quo, was simple: the industry is structured to lose money, destroy capital and alienate customers whose money fuels the machine.

Embracing that reality, as Miller and his successor, rival executives and union leaders eventually did, proved to be a watershed for an industry founded on the bedrock of post-war prosperity, rising expectations and enviable affluence. It could not — nor would not — continue indefinitely.

Listen to our conversation with Howes below: