By on July 21, 2009

Old GM’s marketing maven is New GM Sales and Service Supremo. Of course, Mark LaNeve held those latter two responsibilities before GM nosedived into bankruptcy. In fact, you could say that LaNeve’s administration of the sales and service elements of his tripartite position helped push GM’s corporate yoke into its maximum forward position. (I couldn’t possibly comment.) LaNeve should take some comfort in the fact that A) he still has a job, despite CEO Fritz Henderson’s dark hints about a sudden shiv in the shower; B) LaNeve still has a high paying job; C) his marketing remit has been filled by Bob Lutz, the only man on planet earth capable of making GM’s taxpayer-fronting taskmasters wish they’d stuck with LaNeve; and D) LaNeve gets a new business card! Automotive News [AN, sub]: “A GM spokesman said an official title remains to be created.” Suggestion box below. Meanwhile . . .

Automotive News also tells us that “Weak July Sales worry GM.” They’re worried? As in what, wringing their hands? Running around muttering “faster! must move faster! that’s it! speed is everything!” AN has GM “grappling with weak sales” How macho is that? And if sales are so weak and GM’s such a great grappler, why are they so worried? I know! Let’s do the math!

Henderson said he is cautiously optimistic about the second half. In the first half, GM’s U.S. sales fell 40.4 percent to 947,518 vehicles. Industrywide sales plunged 35.1 percent to 4.8 million vehicles.

Well, that sucks. But let’s look at this in perspective, shall we? New GM says it can be profitable with a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Sales Rate (SAAR) of 10 million—provided they don’t lose market share and the moon lines up with Saturn—I mean, Mars. Who’s SAARy now?

January  –     9,818,849

February –    9,052,415

March –        9,325,891

April –          9,521,684

May –          9,905,134

June –          9,546,071

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32 Comments on “Mark LaNeve Still Standing. GM? Not so Much....”

  • avatar

    Buickman’s arch-nemesis continues to thrive in GM land.

  • avatar

    GM underestimate how many of its potential customers will not buy from the newest branch of the post office?

  • avatar

    Death Wish

    Rape? Murder? No, simply the death of General Motors, starring Mark LaNaive and Hope Languished. Many of you have emailed wondering how in the world GM could possibly keep the same executives that drove GM into bankruptcy. Well they have and they are. The perpetuator this time is Fritz Henderson, who had his chance to remake the company and instead has chosen to retain incompetency and corruption. Still have a job at GM? Jump quick. Still a dealer? Look elsewhere and fast before your worthless franchise becomes home to worthless real estate as well.

    From an ideological standpoint, GM had a chance, no more! Have a sinking feeling? Welcome to the club. The Titanic has a greater chance of sailing again than this ship of fools! Some of you may wonder…don’t waste your time… this is the most mismanaged company in the world and destined for liquidation.

  • avatar

    How does this guy still have a job?

    If you were to make a list of GMNA’s failures over the last decade, I think it’d be safe to say that the overwhelming majority of them are the responsibility (or the fault) of La Neve and his department.

    If it was incomprehensible that GM’s Board didn’t sack Wagoner, it’s even more shocking that Wagoner, and then Henderson and/or the PTFOA, didn’t kick this guy to to curb. He’s singularly incapable of finding a way to get people to buy product in a sustainable fashion, or do devise products that people want top buy, or to develop a relationship with customers, etc, etc. Everything that sales and marketing needs to be able to do he simoply has not done.

    He must have pictures of someone important in a compromising situation with a sheep. It’s the only explanation.

  • avatar

    or the possibilty that GM is intentionally driving sales down to eliminate as many dealers as possible in advance of them merging the remainders and taking ownership of distribution. been saying it for years. add in the irrational termination of good dealers and the lack of margin in the Camaro prompting dealers to charge over sticker and motivate the public to imagine direct purchasing from the manufacturer.

    build ’em offshore and sell ’em on the net. EBay anyone?

    explore the potential that these people aren’t so much stupid as they are evil…

  • avatar

    Mark LaNeve! Automotive Genius!

    Saw TV ad this morning, Supplier pricing on Silverado and 0% for 60 months.

    First problem, most dealers don’t have that many. At least around the northern New England and upstate New York.

    Most dealers are concentrating on Clunkers for Cash.

    GM needs to advertise, trade a old clunker and get a new clunker!

  • avatar

    explore the potential that these people aren’t so much stupid as they are evil…

    Nah, I’ll bet on stupid, especially given the past few years’ behaviour.

  • avatar
    Samuel L. Bronkowitz

    Anyone that’s ever worked at a big company has seen his type – he simply works the system acting as a parasite and continues to receive a check.

  • avatar

    I know Mark well and am surprised he is still standing. He is a bully plain and simple and most of the poor sales programs can be directly attributed to him.

  • avatar

    SOunds like the foxes still have the keys to the chicken coop. So what else is new. Expecting these bozos to make the right decision is just living in LA LA Land.

  • avatar

    psarhjinian, I agree. Stupidity it is.

  • avatar

    You guys should hear how happy this makes the rank and file non-execs at GM. From the assemblers to the engineers, the worker bees are all watching aghast while the “NEW GM!” is born.

  • avatar

    explore the potential that these people aren’t so much stupid as they are evil…

    My bet is neither. I think they have no incentive to care about anything other than themselves, and therefore GM’s future doesn’t matter one whit. If their pay was dependent on the performance of the company, maybe they’d be a little more interested in making it successful. Rick Wagoner ran the company into the ground, and yet he walked away with a check for $8.7 millon, plus a pension, and that doesn’t even account for what he made while he was there. Does anyone really think Fritz and the rest of those assholes up there wouldn’t love to do the same thing? They’re just riding it out, waiting for their walking papers along with the associated piss-off pay.

  • avatar

    A few weeks ago someone on this forum had posted a quote from Mr. LaNeve back when he was a young buck not yet assimilated into the GM mothership, the quote was to the effect: “Cadillac should be the brand that young buyers aspire to but can’t afford.” Oh what would GMs fortunes be now if more nuggets of wisdom like that were actually heeded by GM rather than seeking out the guys that said them and sucking them up into the Borg collective?

    Side note: Was in my local Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealership yesterday while my girlfriends mother was picking up a new Torrent (trading in a G6) and perused the cars in the showroom. New G8 GT, V8/automatic/charcoal leather with red inserts, sweet ride. Window sticker was just a little over $30K. LaCrosses and Lucerenes with V6s, no leather, one with a bench seat, ancient 4 speed auto, $34K+++. What’s wrong with this picture? I wish I actually had some money cause the G8 looks like a screaming deal to me!

  • avatar

    LaNeve needs a new title — how about “Unindicted Co-conspirator”?


  • avatar

    I can feel the love

  • avatar
    Ralph SS

    “A GM spokesman said an official title remains to be created.” Suggestion box below.

    Really made me giggle with that one. Thanks.

  • avatar

    What will it take to get him out of Detroit? Let’s hope somebody in Hollywood casts him in another Nixon movie.

  • avatar

    bluecon :
    “How does this guy still have a job?

    Obama saved his job with the phoney bankruptcy that was really a payoff to the UAW. When you have a phoney bankruptcy you don’t clean out the deadwood like you should.

    The Government Motors Politburo lives!”

    I wish the political bs would stop, when this first started it was “Gov. involvement with private industry its a socialism”

    Now that it becomes apparant that they were really pretty much hands off and are allowing the companies to make thier own decisions (hands off in comparison to the involvment of DIP financiers normally) its:

    “How can they do this, why didn’t they make these changes, they (whoever it is) have obama in thier pocket”

    It can’t be both ways.

    On a side note, I don’t like it, I would have liked to see them fail, b/c they are taking other automakers’ success.

    However I do understand the government did what it had to do to keep a collapse of whole communities, towns and even a state (not just GM and Cry Co. would have failed) at a time when there was not an economy to absorb it and it would have cost alot more than the $50 billion thrown at GM (with no upside as there is a slim chance to recapture that investment).

    I believe the actions during bk and after have shown that what was needed to give them a chance was done (financially) and from this point they make thier own decisions and if they fail they fail. If you need an example of this its called CIT.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    What the hell is Supplier Pricing? Selling the car for the cost of the parts?

  • avatar

    Obama saved his job with the phoney bankruptcy that was really a payoff to the UAW. When you have a phoney bankruptcy you don’t clean out the deadwood like you should.

    I think you’re stretching things a little.

    The bankruptcy as a payoff to the UAW would have a) seen GM become a permanent ward of the state, which isn’t going to happen and/or b) would have mandated a kicking-out of people like La Neve either because it would feel good, or because it would allow the UAW to get competent management in there who would assure that there would be UAW jobs in the future.

    Keeping La Neve is a symptom of insufficient government intervention, probably because this was a phony bankruptcy–you’re right there—but instead of it being for the UAW’s benefit, it happened purely to float GM and Chrysler (and the economy as a whole) through a tight spot. The government never really wanted, nor will, have an active hand in running GM.

  • avatar

    Mark LaNeve and Susan Docherty both represent perfect examples of why stupid should be horribly painful.
    The beauty of this bankruptcy? It hasn’t changed one damn thing in Detroit. The same old corrupt inmates are running the same old crappy asylum.
    Die GM, and take that stinking rotten turd, Chrysler with you.

    And yes, that was the sugar coated version.

  • avatar
    Captain Tungsten

    Best I can tell, New GM = smaller Old GM….

  • avatar

    psarhjinian : “The government never really wanted, nor will, have an active hand in running GM.”

    Dream on…

    rnc: “I wish the political bs would stop, when this first started it was “Gov. involvement with private industry its a socialism””

    Let’s see, how many BILLIONS of PUBLIC money has been given pissed away “invested” in these PRIVATE companies?? And just what percentage of ownership does the good ole American guvment control??

    WHEN did anyone decide it WASN’T socialism? (Other than the socialists)

  • avatar

    Guys, I guess it depends whether GM has its own personality or whether it’s just a lemming-like follower of current sentiment. I think an audacious and bold company with a mind of its own should stick by those most loyal to the company’s vision and see that great people like Mark LaNeve and Susan Docherty easily trounce competition from outside the corporate culture in performance and value. I think it’s uncool to judge execitives based on their past performance.

  • avatar

    How about
    “La NERVE”

  • avatar

    Susan Docherty makes Laneve look like a star. Few people realize that Docherty and her skirt club cooked up the Hummer debacle.

    I remember watching the Autoline Detroit episode Susan and her skirts waxed poetically how women are the true keepers of the Hummer brand. It was astonishing.

    In classic GM style, Susan and her hangers on left to screw up other GM divisions before they could be held accountable. Now she keeps on keeping on.

  • avatar

    I’m sure that nobody in the Obama administration has ever had any illusions that the bailouts are anything but an 18 month or so postponement of the inevitable liquidation and total closure of both GM and Chrysler.

  • avatar

    The bankruptcy was designed primarily to benefit the UAW, and that’s really pretty hard to ignore. The UAW and government ended up owning the company, but the UAW’s contract is barely touched and its retiree benefits are not touched. Meantime, the dealers are cut off at the knees, the bondholders take a haircut and the stockholders end up with nothing.

    Of course, it could be said that the company couldn’t survive without appeasing the UAW. But, that’s been true at GM for years. It’s how it got where it is.

    Obama bailed out the union. Of course he did. He’s a Democrat. What did you expect a Democrat to do when the UAW faced the consequences of having its own decades of greed come back to haunt them? Did you actually think Obama wouldn’t have the taxpayers picking up the tab?

  • avatar

    LaNeve reminds me of Roy S. Roberts.
    Docherty does the same as Lynn Meyers.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • avatar

    The UAW and government ended up owning the company, but the UAW’s contract is barely touched and its retiree benefits are not touched.

    1) The healthcare benefits are being hacked to the bone.

    2) Thier shares are essentially worthless and provides an incentive to help the company succeed.

    3) There was only so much of an advantage that the Gov. was going to allow GM and Cry. to gain over Ford with the BK with them funding it.

    Once again I didn’t like it, but I do understand that an out of control Ch7 would have been far more costly than what was done. Just think about PGC and Medicare absorbing the retirees and thats just the Retirees. Then add in the much higher cost of providing unemployment and medicaid to whole communities and then transfer payments to cover lost tax base for education and infrastructure. Economy levels and rebounds (albeit at much lower level, but thats what all of closures/buyouts were for) in one/two year time frame and then if they collapse it can be absorbed.

    And the line of thinking isn’t a politcal one, if so, Bush never would have made the original loans and kicked the can. Despite to right wing/left wing reitoric they all knew it.

  • avatar

    This is proof that GM does recycle, and uses retreads.

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