Tim Leuliette has been Preaching the need for change for years, and he takes his own advice: He was CEO or president of five automotive companies and his own investment firm before taking the top job at Dura Automotive Systems in July.

Today, preaching about change is preaching to the choir. Most companies seem to know the old business models don't work.

General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC “have closed 35 plants and lost 89,000 manufacturing jobs,” he says, “and there are more closings on the horizon.”

Nonetheless, he says, a fourth of North American suppliers are on the edge of failure and “too many are still in denial or just beginning to grasp the idea that the world has changed.”

At the recent Management Briefing Seminars, Leuliette pledges Dura, which had emerged from 20 months of bankruptcy in June, will be global under his hand.

Crisis demands radical change, he says, and the global energy crisis is dividing the industry into two groups, “the quick and the walking dead.”

“Dura will be one of the quick ones now,” Leuliette proclaims. “We've been through the fire. We will prioritize around a worldwide opportunity set. We will be bold, innovative, willing to take risks.”

Dura makes structural door modules, parking brakes and shifters, glass systems, external trim and other vehicle components.