By on January 3, 2019

Image: GM

Mark Reuss, General Motors’ global product boss and fan of the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette (especially the ZR1), was named GM president on Thursday morning, replacing Dan Ammann in that vacated role.

Ammann left the president’s chair in November to head up GM’s Cruise self-driving car unit, leading GM to discuss scrapping the role of president. Suffice it to say it had second thoughts. In the 54-year-old Reuss, the automaker has a product-focused company lifer whose attention hasn’t strayed since joining back in 1983.

In his new role, Reuss’s responsibilities aren’t exactly turned on their head. He’ll continue in his prior duties as product chief, adding oversight of quality organization to his plate.

In June of 2018, GM named Reuss Executive Vice President and President, Global Product Group and Cadillac, bumping him up the ladder from his former position as executive VP of global product development. The shakeup served to give then-president Ammann greater oversight of Cruise.

Going back further, Reuss created and headed up the GM’s Performance Division starting in 2001, giving birth to the Chevrolet and Cadillac brands’ SS and V badges. Performance remained a focus for the exec even after moving on to new roles. He infamously crashed a Corvette ZR1 in advance of last year’s Detroit Grand Prix after failing to lift off the throttle at a key moment, forcing the exec to issue an official apology.

“Mark’s global operational experience, deep product knowledge and strong leadership will serve us well as we continue to strengthen our current business, take advantage of growth opportunities and further define the future of personal mobility,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra in a statement. “Mark has played a critical role in leading the development of the company’s award-winning vehicles while transitioning his team to prepare for growing electrification and autonomous technologies.”

In accepting the position, Reuss follows in the footsteps of his father, Lloyd, who served as GM president from 1990 to 1992. Boardroom infighting cut his father’s career short, but the younger Reuss wasn’t swayed in his ambitions.

“I am very proud to have spent my entire career at General Motors, and to now take on this new role is truly a great honor,” Reuss said in a statement. “With our current lineup of outstanding cars, trucks and crossovers around the world, I’m looking forward to keeping our momentum going at full speed.”

[Image: General Motors]

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45 Comments on “Like Father, Like Son: GM’s Mark Reuss Named Company President...”


  • avatar

    reading a front page WSJ article featuring Mark’s father was a key factor in my decision to move from NY to Flint. I figured Charlie did ok after Billy wrote to him and if I only did half as well it would fine.

    “There’s no excitement in the new hires”
    Lloyd Reuss
    Buick Motor

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    A lifer…

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

  • avatar
    redapple

    Mary- GMI grad and Lifer.
    Mark- Lifer and his Dad (Unclassified – highest levels) a Lifer.

    GM= Inbred beyond belief.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    This is getting a lot of press today, but does it actually mean anything? He was already the executive VP of the company per the article, but the “president” role had been vacated for several months and considered to be scrapped entirely.

    I mean if Reuss was already “Executive Vice President and President, Global Product Group and Cadillac” it would seem this latest move is mostly a paper title change.

    …or am I missing something?

    I like the fact he has promoted real performance variants, and I’m pretty certain he’s even shown up here in the comments at times in the past. Wish him the best in the role.

    • 0 avatar

      it’s larger than you may imagine. I recall growing up wanting to be my high school QB like my father. he was proud of me and I loved him.

      fortunately Mark’s dad is still living and got to see his son’s ascension.

      this is well deserved, no paternalism IMO.

      congrats to father and son.

      now let’s kick some ass.

  • avatar

    Mary you just cancelled most of your award winning vehicles.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    He’s got good enthusiast credentials.

    To the extent he’s championed the V-series Cadillacs, Corvettes, and V8 Camaros, he deserves praise.

    On the other hand, the new full-size trucks, GM’s most important products–well, you all don’t seem so positive on them.

    More importantly, to ME, I think it’s sad that America’s biggest automaker has yet to develop a proper small sporty car, like the VW GTI, or the Subaru WRX. Even Ford came up with a Focus RS.

    Pre-bankruptcy GM came close–the Cobalt SS was a better GTI than a GTI (though less practical with it’s two long doors and no hatch). Sadly, apparently they could not do it with the Cruze.

    And it won’t happen for sure now, that they are going away from cars. Short of God Himself taking over, GM will never make a fun small car.

    Reuss won’t change that..

    And that saddens me.

    It’s a shame that to buy a good small car that is quick, fun, holds 4, and gets 30mpg and has a manual trans (that’s part of fun for me), I have get it from a cheating (diesel-gate) company.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Still wish we had gotten the XTS V-sport twin turbo in a limited edition Impala.

    • 0 avatar

      small cars are for kids. not mine tho.

      • 0 avatar
        tomLU86

        IF you want to transport yourself and 1 to 3 others and some stuff using as little time and fuel as possible, small cars are the way to go.

        If one needs to haul mulch or building materials or tow a boat, cars in general and small cars in particular are not going to do that.

        German cars used to excel ….they went faster and used less fuel.

        So today, Mercedes, BMW, and Audi make a lot of money selling expensive cars to Americans. A lot of these cars are Germanized ‘Murican cars…crossovers/tall wagons.

        As long as fuel is cheap, life is good for everyone! If, or when, we start paying $6 to $10 per gallon, maybe not so good for the Detroit three.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Reuss is at the center of the major failings that have bedeviled Cadillac the past dozen years or so.

      Reuss was the one who was so intent on beating BMW that had Cadillac benchmark the E90.

      Problem was, by the time the ATS was ready, BMW had already moved on to the larger and more luxurious F30. which itself, was surpassed by Mercedes w/ the new C Class.

      Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what the ATS failed miserably – tight and crappy interior.

      Most buyers in the segment couldn’t care less that the ATS was a better handler than the F30 3 Series.

      Compounding that problem was the fact that the platform that underpinned the ATS (and 3G CTS) was developed so that it was unsuitable to underpin equivalent crossovers.

      Hence, the delay in Cadillac CUVs and none being RWD (Mark was also the one who canceled the flagship Omega-based CUV that had been on JDN’s drawing board).

      GM needed to try to recoup some of the money it had sunk into the Alpha platform and decided to use it to underpin the new Camaro.

      Not surprisingly, we have seen the same results – sales tanking,

      Being the best handling Camaro ever made by GM can’t override the useless rear seats and claustrophobic (and cheap) interior.

      Basically, the Alpha and Omega platforms have been a huge and costly debacle for GM, but as is so typical at RenCen, Reuss, instead of paying the price for his huge mistakes, gets promoted time and time again.

      But hey, it helps being able to play the climb-the-corporate-ladder game well and Mark is a big friend and supporter of Barra.

      And oh, as for the continual cheap interiors in GM vehicles, Reuss has a big hand in that as well.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    For what it’s worth, DeLorenzo of Autoextremist really loves this guy.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    What I could never understand about GM is why for the last 40+ years they could never do the bulk of their line-up as well as the Corvette. They have recently cancelled (aka put out of their misery) most of their lackluster cars, which might be seen as a smart strategic move, but then they launch a new line of pickups that are also pretty lackluster compared to the F-150 and Ram, which is unforgivable given pickups probably account for 90% of GM profits. Outside the truck based SUVs, which have limited competition, GM really don’t offer market leading CUVs either, but the Corvette (and to a lesser extent the Camaro) continue to be world-beating products. Does GM only have enough leading edge engineers and stylists to do a good job only on the specialty sports cars?

    • 0 avatar

      that’s easy. Vette so good it sold itself

      most models have to compete. while our products do our marketing fails.

      that is and has been the problem for decades now.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I too wondered this. I believe it comes down to the fact the ‘Vette is a niche product with reasonable sales goals and a strong racing team tie in. Thus it easily hits its sales & performance goals so the team is given the green light to keep making it the best it can be. Other GM vehicles fall short, so the blame game starts (excuses, excuses), the deck chairs get rearranged and the cycle repeats resulting in one subpar product after another until they are force to give up (name changes, model cancellation, etc)

      Maybe since Mark is actually a high performance car guy he get those under him to understand what a car should do. As a current ‘Vette owner I just hope the model continues to be world class. I do think they have made a big mistake by going mid-engine. Previously anytime the ‘Vette came up short it would get a pass for being A) half the price of the competition, or B) old school front engine / rear drive. With option B removed the C8 will only have cost factor as an excuse. However rumor has it that we are looking at six figure price tag here. Now I think GM leaked out that info in order come in under budget will result much hand clapping and high fives. This tactic also helps cushion the blow when the C8’s price is much higher then the outgoing model.

    • 0 avatar

      May be they lay off or piss off their most experienced engineers? May be bean counters run the company?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Vette was kinda blah until the C7 and the current Camaro has been a sales disaster for GM (thanks to the switch to the Alpha platform).

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    (Meant to be @Stingray)

    “but then they launch a new line of pickups that are also pretty lackluster compared to the F-150 and Ram, which is unforgivable given pickups probably account for 90% of GM profits.”

    Car and Driver compared the new Chevy, new Ram, and current F150 in high trim and called the Chevy a “$70,000 kick in the nuts” also commented “I like the engine in this truck (6.2) and that’s it.”

    Only the loyalists will be buying these.

  • avatar
    FWD Donuts

    I was offered a Sales Management Trainee job with Oldsmobile out of college back in the mid 80’s. That night, before making my go / no go decision, I went to the local Oldsmobile dealership and looked at what they had to offer. Landau tops. Wire wheel hubcaps. Absolute rubbish. If I was going to be moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lansing, Michigan — the product had to be worth it. It wasn’t.

    That said, Ruess has done very well for himself. I just don’t have the stomach for corporate politics and BS.

    • 0 avatar

      when I started on Clio Road at Blain Buick 11/1/82 as a 24 year old native New Yorker, knowing no one the store was surrounded by boarded up buildings, weeded lots, and high crime levels. having found a 100 or so black 2 door base Lesabres out back, all black, cloth bench, AM radios, power windows, no locks, identical. it was a funeral fleet order that went bad and the cars were sitting there sinking into the blacktop.

      I contracted half Landau tops at Kelly’s Trim, wide whites at Discount Tire, wire caps from Iggy’s, AM/FM at Duke’s Car Stereo, power locks at Speed’s and Eric pasted wheel opening moldings down the side adding black taped slots emulating vent ports.

      the cars were gone in 60 with plenty of gross profit.

      “this business isn’t difficult, all it takes is a good car and someone who knows how to sell it.” Jerry Flint

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Two-doors?

        Four-door sedans I could see. (Staff cars for the directors, maybe, or cars used to transport from the church to cemetery.)

        Were those used as the basis for hearse conversions? (If so, why wouldn’t they use an Estate Wagon as a basis?)

        • 0 avatar

          they were two door LeSabre Customs, Black w Red Cloth. air C60, no tilt N33 or Cruise K34. added the cruise, tilt couldn’t do. I don’t remember specific intended use other than final riders, but was Eureka Coach I think and to be stretched. Fred Balcom was Fleet Manager and he was VERY appreciative of me moving that metal.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Reuss has done very well for himself considering all the major blunders he has made.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    Bush, Clinton, Bush, almost Clinton again, we’ve seen this movie before.

    Why does the country (or in this case the Board) feel that nepotism is best for the country (or in this case for the shareholders)?

    His crashing of a Corvette pace car, in Detroit of all places, would have eliminated him for consideration if I were a Board member (which I will never be).

    • 0 avatar

      you can tell how ignorant people are when they speak.

      same can be said for posts.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        @Buickman, I hope my comment is not ignorant, but I’m just speaking my mind, which could render it useless.

        Maybe he was the best employee in GM history, if so, why in the hell isn’t he filling Barra’s shoes?

        There is an old adage in the small business community that basically says “what the parent has built, the child will destroy”. I personally have been in the middle of 2 companies where that played out. I’m sure you can’t compare small companies to this, but maybe sometime we should.

  • avatar
    Mr.EpMini9

    What the father couldn’t accomplish, the son will.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    I think GM’s board members are paid $300,000 per year.

    Even for millionaires, that is not a trivial amount.

    300k for 4 meetings a year. Oh, and they don’t meet at the Hampton Inn in Flint. No siree. Manhattan, San Francisco, Florida….nice places. All expenses paid.

    Many of them are CEOs. GM’s CEO may be on their board. Why rock the boat?

    I sure wish I was on GM’s board.

    No one is perfect of course, but many of GM’s dumber strategies are things that no one working there making less than #$100-150k and living in the real world would do.

    Moving Cadillac to NYC (lotsa dough…). Cadillac’s dumb naming convention. Badge-engineered Cadillac crossovers (not as bad as the 80s, but….), overpricing the ATS, CTS, Impala, and Lacrosse, and expecting to sell MORE and planning accordingly. Saving a few pennies and nickels on some interiors, making GM’s vehicles be perceived as “cheap” (that’s the commentary on the new truck).

    These are really dumb things I have a problem with. Those are things the board should have a problem with. They are much better educated and more affluent than I am, they don’t seem to mind. What do I know?

    Underneath the sheetmetal, I’m sure GM is about the same as everyone else when it comes to cutting costs. Everyone does it–the better ones do it in ways the customer doesn’t notice.

  • avatar
    JoDa

    It seems What the GM Board does is stupid but GM is just preparing for the totalitarian UN Agenda 2030 future.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Amen bd2

    Competent (not necessarily exciting) cars can be successful. The Camry comes to mind.

    GM’s crossovers fit that description. But their cars don’t. Mr. Product, why is that?

    Perhaps I’m a bit hard. Overall GM has been quite successful the past 5 years, thanks to trucks, BOF SUVs, and crossovers.

    Cars, not so much.

    • 0 avatar

      the cars are fine, it’s the marketing

      17 Lacrosse, completely new, great car. +25% $, lease nearly doubled.

      wrong target market, current owners rejected.

      called Roadmaster, more shifts and overtime right now.

      see?


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