By on October 15, 2012

Reports out of the Ren Cen state that departed Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick’s position won’t be filled. Instead, CEO Dan Akerson will delegate those responsibilities to the global heads of Chevrolet and Cadillac.

GM recently hired Bob Ferguson, a former telecom exec and GM lobbyist, to run Cadillac. According to GM, Ferguson is responsible “...for growth of the Cadillac brand…marketing, sales, service — the whole retail experience.” Akerson has come under fire for appointing a lobbyist to a post that is traditionally meant for “car guys”, and the search for a Chevrolet equivalent is apparently open to candidates outside the company as well as current GM employees.

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29 Comments on “Ewanick’s Position At GM Won’t Be Filled...”


  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I like the way this article is presented. I read the first paragraph and opened the thread to applaud GM for de-emphasizing marketing. Then I found out that Cadillac is now in the hands of a political figure. In a way, it shows that all is still right with the world.

    • 0 avatar
      D in the D

      Cadillac, and of course, all of GM is in politically-appointed hands. There is something comforting about that. Not!

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-X

      What first pops into my mind is Akerson’s whining about not being able to hire GM outsiders because of government pay restrictions. He had an outsider, his name was Ewanick. Now he’s saying: “Well, you know, maybe we don’t need that position anyway”, outsider or otherwise. Really? The story sure changes a lot at GM. It sure seems like they’re wrong a lot, or changing their mind, or whatever, doesn’t it?

      So Ewanick was fired for fudging account numbers. But GM managers and execs have done this for years. GM’s even bragged about it in media handouts.

      This sure is one long train wreck, again, ladies and gentlemen. Hang on.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Akerson is a fool. Sure, leave the Marketing to a bunch of ivy-league brats. Genius.

    What GM needs now is a ‘Homer Simpson’ to head marketing; ‘they’ (being the lower middle class, what is left of it) long for Caprices, Monaros, Commodores, G8s :), et. al.

    What the eliteists at RenCen gave us was the Volt. Pitiful and disgusting.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      You do recall the end result of Homer Simpson’s brief career in the automotive industry, don’t you?

    • 0 avatar

      Mr Akerson is no fool, a man who perhaps bit off more than he could chew and as yet unable to turn the corner on sales. he’s a little impetuous perhaps and somewhat mistaken in believing his ways would make a difference in the numbers, but certainly no fool.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        A valid argument, BuickMan, but…

        ‘a man who perhaps bit off more than he could chew’. Ok, but as the current Fuhrer, this is no excuse for incompetence. I’ll admit Mr. Akerson is not stupid, but should step down from CEO of Gov’t Motors in lieu of a person who knows WTF is going on with the automotive market worldwide. Hands down, he doesn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Andy,

        What would be some examples of his incompetence at understanding the automotive market worldwide?

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        Ok, Sunridge:

        Overestimating the Red (yeah, I said it) Chinese market, and underestimating the NA market.

        GM = Commies; as much as it pains me to type it, the ol’ General is very much in bed with the Chinese via ‘Joint Ventures’.

        Back where I came from, ‘Joint Ventures’ were the best car+weed man=a nice night drive in 2005ish….

        So yeah, keep propping up Gov’t Motors, but those of us who actually BUY new cars will keep laughing. Like I said, build an AFFORDABLE Commodore or Ute and us Gen Why’ers would probably at least take a look.

        The ’13 Malishit Turbo however, not so much…..

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Thanks Andy….so Ackerson is incompentent because:

        1. He is in ‘Joint Ventures’ with the Red Chinese. You do realize that it is required to be in a joint venture with a Chinese company to sell cars in China right? Even your beloved Honda has to do that. I think you’ve watched one too many Youtube videos.

        http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/is-gm-becoming-china-motors/

        2. He ‘underestimated’ NA. So, GM isn’t building enough cars in NA?

        3. He hasn’t tried to build a $20k modern day El Camino yet?

        4. He built the Malibu turbo?

        Ooookay….thanks for the clarification.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Because, you know, so many of these Homer Simpson-types bought GTOs and G8s…

      And yet the Volt still outsells a large number of conventional ICE-powered vehicles, last I checked, despite being an expensive halo-type vehicle that will probably be considerably cheaper in the second generation.

      Notwithstanding your jealousy of people with high-falutin’ college degrees, Bob Ferguson is very much not an Ivy Leaguer:

      “Ferguson received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri”

      I had never heard of the college, but apparently it affiliates with the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, and one of its presidents back in the day was John Ashcroft’s dad. Far far far, from the Ivy League, sir.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        corntrollio (love the handle BTW :):

        ‘Because, you know, so many of these Homer Simpson-types bought GTOs and G8s…’

        If they were ‘affordable’ and accessible to the masses (sorry, but $30k for ‘American’ muscle (built in Australia with ‘Murican engines/transmissions) is NOT accessible to most lower to middle class, then yes. Most of us back then were bringing take-home in pay, well, jack SHIT.

        As i’ve proposed before, bring back a 35-40mpg RWD coupe (and/or sedan/wagon:) that has 150+hp for about $15k and the ol’ General would have quite a few buyers. But since they are cramming the Volt and Cruze down Gen Why’s throats, well….as a fellow shareholder (US, as well as Canadian), i’m not buying.

        This ‘Homer Simpson’ wants a Ute SS (or Commodore Estate). In Charcoal, with LS2 and 6MT, please :) Hey RenCen, ya’ll listening??? :)

        P.S. In Brooklyn Park, MN, there is one G8 and one at a dealer lot both with Holden emblems. ?: What do Country music and GM have in common? The best comes from Australia….:)

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “As i’ve proposed before, bring back a 35-40mpg RWD coupe (and/or sedan/wagon:) that has 150+hp for about $15k”

        So basically a RWD Neon? Or maybe a 150hp SMART?

        To be honest, I’m not sure that that’s a realistic ask. Do you even know what you can get for $15K these days? And you can’t use a more expensive car’s platform, or suddenly the more expensive car turns into a Cimarron. Maybe you should submit your idea to Daimler to engineer the SMART this way.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        @sunridge:

        Referring to whom? Obamaunist or Mr. Akenson?

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        His rush to introduce the half-baked 2013 Malibu is all the proof I need that Akerson is an absolute f***ing moron.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        ‘Do you even know what you can get for $15K these days?’

        Yes. An antiquated Cruze, Fiesta, Focus, Dart or what not.

        Personally I got an Accent, have put about 15k on it with very few issues, and have never looked back (especially considering my previous ride, a 2008 Malishit with Saturn trans and EcoTec 2.4L (that the ol’ General would refuse to fix at all costs -according verbatim to Miller Chevrolet in Rogers, MN- ‘GM Corporate tells us that we should get the cars ‘roadworthy’ (WTF that means) again and let them go down the road under ‘warranty’. Really? That’s what the US/CA bailout paid for?

        P.S. from the day I bought it 4 years ago, the Torque Converter in that pile of rubbish would lock in and out improperly at will, hence why I traded it in. :)

        The day I traded in Epsilon it averaged 19.9MPG (some Country roads but a lot of freeway). On the way home and ever since, my ’12 Accent averaged 42mpg :)

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “Yes. An antiquated Cruze, Fiesta, Focus, Dart or what not.”

        Yeah, okay, that answers the question. None of those cars is actually antiquated, and all of them give you an idea of what is actually available for $15K. Basically, you want a unicorn.

        Again, if GM actually made an el cheapo $15K RWD Alpha car, you’d be talking about the ATS being a Cimarron, because you can’t be pleased by the General even when they did what you said. If you want a good car, you have to paid good money. If you’re not willing, buy used.

        Do Hyundais still spontaneously blow up their transmission within 60K because they use plastic gears?

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Chrysler is doing the Homer Simpson lineup with great success. Big, brash, affordable cars with blue collar marketing.

      But learning from their rivals isn’t the GM way. Even being aware of their rivals isn’t the GM way.

      This is the company that didn’t offer a retail grade midsize SUV between 2004-2010. The company that still hasn’t discovered cute utes.

      Competing isn’t the GM way.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Would my Homer SS Ute have a chip that goes D’oh! when I leave the lights on:)

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Is your implication that the Chevy TrailBlazer and the Chevy Equinox were not “retail grade”?

        Technically the old Blazer was mid-size, although the TrailBlazer was a bit bigger. The Equinox would probably be seen as the spiritual successor to the Blazer, whereas the TrailBlazer was probably the predecessor of the Traverse.

        If you meant to say “compact SUV” then GM had the Saturn Vue, which is now being used as the basis for the Chevy Captiva rental car. There was a Chevy gap from 2004 to 2010 from the Geo/Chevy Tracker to the Capitva.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Corntrollio I bought my Escape in 05. GM didn’t have a “Cute Ute” and I thought the Trailblazer was a tad long in the tooth. Before the rotten fruit and vegetables fly, it was my opinion and my money. The dealer sold GM and Ford, I just got a better deal on the Escape. I’d also bought five F-150’s XL’s from him earlier that year.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        el scotto, the Escape is a compact SUV, not a mid-size. The Explorer is the mid-size.

        What’s confusing is that the Blazer used to be a compact SUV in the 1st gen (up until 1994), but the 2nd gen was a mid-size SUV. It was sold concurrently for a while with the new Chevy TrailBlazer (first out in 2002), which was its successor. The TrailBlazer was slightly bigger than the Blazer and sold at the same time, so I could see how this is confusing. I believe the Blazer was due to be discontinued when the TrailBlazer came out, but wasn’t for some reason.

        Chevy’s compact SUVs were the Geo/Chevy Tracker, and then the Chevy Equinox/Saturn Vue. Now Chevy also has the Captiva rental fleet model.

        All cars have gotten bigger, so now the Equinox is considered mid-size, and the Traverse (which replaced the TrailBlazer) is considered full-size.

  • avatar

    nor should he be replaced as Ebonics was worthless, even to the point of detrimental.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    When can we restart the GM Death Watch?

  • avatar

    I was one who hollered over the promotion of Ferguson to the Cadillac slot, but… I keep thinking there must be something more to this that we’re all missing. From all I’ve heard, Cadillac’s revival is really important to Akerson personally. Maybe Ferguson just happens to get Akerson’s vision for the brand better than any of the more obvious alternatives? I dunno. But there’s gotta be something.

    Oh, and: Akerson isn’t a fool. In over his head at times, maybe, though he has come a long long way. But not a fool, not at all.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Sounds like Akerson is making it up as he goes along.

  • avatar
    Mr Nosy

    Hate that gold Chevy emblem.Honestly,its all I could focus on.Until that’s resolved,shaving the marketing budget is a moneysaver.

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

    No matter how good the product is, General Mismanagement will ALWAYS find a way to screw things up…


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