Quote Of The Day: Filling The Pipe Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Changes are coming to GM’s corporate ranks, likely as soon as government pay regulations are put into effect. CFO Ray Young’s departure is already a sure thing, and former car czarlet Steve Rattner has revealed that Fritz Henderson is an interim placeholder in everything but title. Oh, and Bob Lutz won’t last forever (gosh, that will be a sad day, won’t it?). Meanwhile, GM’s promote-from-within approach to culture change practically guarantees that some other denizen of the RenCen will move up at some point. Sweeping generalizations about GM management aside, is there anyone we should be particularly worried about? Autoextremist Peter DeLorenzo seems to think so. In his latest “rant” about Chevrolet’s decision to review its ad account, he skewers a particular GM executive in terms that make one almost believe he has given up his recent, lamentable role as GM’s resident cheerleader.

The other aspect of this story is that Brent Dewar, one of Fritz Henderson’s pals – they served at GM Brazil together – was brought back from GM Europe to run Chevrolet and significantly was the only divisional head to be given a VP title right off of the bat. It is said that he is the chief instigator of the Chevrolet account review, but that’s not completely true, as previously noted. It is clear, however, that Dewar – a legend in his own mind and if a contest were staged would be hands-down winner of the GM executive least likely to engender any love for his arrogant, reactionary and at times nonsensical behavior and rigid view of the world and his place in it – is the heir-apparent to Lutz’s CMO title whenever Bob is ready to hang up his spurs. And in case any of you analysts out there are paying attention, this is a very bad thing and at the very least should give one pause about GM’s marketing future, “A.L.” (After Lutz.) Needless to say, this is a developing situation that will bear watching.

Snap! But if Dewar so perfectly exemplifies what Rattner termed “the friendly arrogance” of GM’s executive culture, shouldn’t we be worried about the fact that he’s currently running the company’s only relevant brand?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Lokkii Lokkii on Oct 23, 2009

    Another vote (however reluctantly) for Lutz vs. [s] an inbred [/s] a homegrown choice. While it can be argued that Lutz did not do enough, or that he did the wrong things, it can't be said that he did nothing. There have been improvements in the appearance of GM cars and of GM interiors on his watch. The second generation CTS, unlike the first generation, is a handsome car. Care to speculate what the Camaro might have looked like without him? As someone who was severely disappointed with the Sky/Solstice I must at least admit he tried. Getting a team of camels to make cappuccino -let alone a good cappuccino - isn't easy.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Oct 23, 2009

    I personally think Lutz' biggest success has been the marked improvement in GM's interior design and execution. Go from the Pontiac G6 to the Saturn Aura to the Chevy Malibu and you'll see significant improvements in the interior with each iteration of the platform. Same with the CTS. At one of the shows, Lutz said that interior design and quality was one way a mfg could really leapfrog the competition. While exterior styling is the emotional draw, the driving experience takes place inside the car. A well executed interior can very positively enhance a consumer's impression of a car.

  • Bkojote I'm so glad I bought a Kia Telluride instead of a Toyota Tacoma given all these recalls. I wanted an off roady looking vehicle so I could impress the secretary we hired but instead my wife left me when she saw my phone messages and now I'm stuck making the $1200 monthly payment until I can refinance at a lower rate than 28% even though I lost my job last month. I'm hoping the Kia dealers will let me trade to the new one with the bigger infotainment tooFunny enough the secretary's new boyfriend is driving a Tacoma but with the recall maybe I'll have a shot.
  • Buickman Stop the Invasion. Boycott Envision.I am the top Buick salesman in history, bar none.have never sold this Commie Car and will not until they are built stateside.BuickmanFounderGeneralWatch.com
  • SCE to AUX Nice car for a nice price. I'd replace the headlights.
  • Fred Of course they will retaliate. Expect things to worse before they get better.
  • GBJT I think there are still non-turbo cars.