By on October 31, 2019

Image: GM

A number of General Motors executives will have to update their CVs come November 1st. As it moves to position its increasingly streamlined business for hard-fought future growth, the automaker has provided President Mark Reuss with a number of new hats.

Doug Parks, head of GM’s autonomous and electric vehicle programs since 2016, will soon find himself in charge of global product development.

“I am thrilled to be able to hand over the keys to our Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply chain team to someone as talented and dedicated as Doug, who has been instrumental in leading the development of our electric and autonomous vehicle programs,” Reuss said in a statement. “He has an outstanding team in place that will keep this company moving forward.”

The career upgrade sees Perks join the automaker’s senior leadership team. Filling Park’s castoff shoes is Ken Morris, vice president of Global Product Programs, who’ll see his old job filled by Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer of GM’s full-size trucks.

Donning the title of president in January, Reuss’ responsibilities expand come November. He’ll be tasked with overseeing the company’s North America, South America, China and International regions.

“Our industry is transforming faster than at any time in its history,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement. “Aligning our regional operations under Mark will drive even greater collaboration and speed-to-market, and accelerate growth opportunities in our core business and in the future of mobility.”

Elsewhere in the automaker’s executive suite, Steve Kiefer, senior vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, will take on the role of senior vice president and president for the company’s South American and international operations.

 

[Image: General Motors]

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36 Comments on “Executive Shuffle: GM’s Reuss Straddles the Globe As EV Boss Tackles Product...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Doug Parks, head of GM’s autonomous and electric vehicle programs since 2016, will soon find himself in charge of global product development.”

    Because GM electrics have been so successful! /sarc

    Seriously though, good luck to Mr. Parks.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Seriously though, good luck to Mr. Parks.”

      I also wish everyone elevated to a new position the best of luck. But I wonder if all the reshuffling isn’t akin to re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, while the band played on.

      Every time I hear or see one of those GM commercials where real GM owners tell us how many awards GM has received, I can’t help but wonder why their sales don’t reflect that.

      A good rule of thumb in advertising is that you don’t need to advertise the items that sell well or are in demand because they sell themselves; but you have to advertise the hell out of the stuff that isn’t moving or generating revenue.

      Even massive amounts of cash on the hood have not increased sales of GM’s best sellers, the Silverado and Sierra. Potential buyers got wise to GM.

      But what I find surprising is how quickly buyers have caught on to RAM, on merit, value and content alone.

      I hope that the UAW doesn’t fvck up the most successful lines of Fiatsler with their unrealistic demands for even higher wages and even more benefits. Because THAT would be a total waste of excellent Jeep, RAM and Chrysler/Dodge products.

      If GM is trending anywhere at all, it is downward.

      • 0 avatar
        Robotdawn

        I freely acknowledge being a GM fan, and most (certainly not all) of the cars I’ve bought have been GM cars, but I don’t think your take represents reality since bankruptcy. Pre-bankruptcy surely.

        Since bankruptcy they have lost market share but they’ve also culled most of their low margin vehicles, and are still No 1 in sales in the US. That’s quite an accomplishment.

        Now, I have issue with abandoning cars. I think they could have done something there, stay in the market so the next recession doesn’t hit them so hard. However, at least they aren’t where FCA will be next recession. All FCA sells is low margin cars and trucks. GM will be able to weather the reduced margins and volume a recession will bring, just like Toyota and Honda always do. FCA will not. Neither will Nissan. Ford, eh, could go either way.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I was a GM fan for many decades, primarily new Oldsmobiles and then later a new Silverado, but I stepped away from GM in July 1988 and bought our first-ever Made in Japan Highlander for my wife’s DD.

          Made me a convert and disciple of Toyota.

          GM is never going to fail completely because the full faith and credit of the US Treasury stands behind GM to keep it solvent and the UAW employed, as it did in 2009, no matter who is in the White House or who runs the Hill.

          Your assertion that Fiatsler sells low-margin cars and trucks is most likely true, when compared to GM.

          But at least Fiatsler sells them, and outsells GM’s best sellers, their bread&butter cash cows, their trucks.

          So, when the new car buyers get right down to the decision-making process and make their financial commitment to actually buy, put money where their mouth is, that will be what reflects the effectiveness of GM’s marketing & advertising campaign and the acceptability of their products by the real-world purchasing public.

          And that’s why I wrote elsewhere that I can’t wait to see the Oct y/y sales figs.

          However your comment and point are both well taken. The question is, “Does the buying public continue to exude confidence in GM and continue to buy their products?”

          For that, we all have to wait and see.

          Hope springs eternal. And it ain’t over ’til its over.

          Maybe in 2020 Ms Barra will have GM turned around to where it outsells the Ford pickup trucks, outsells the best Toyota has to offer like Highlander, RAV4 and Corolla, and volunteers to repay the $11BILLION they took the US taxpayers for, with interest.

        • 0 avatar
          roloboto

          “Now, I have issue with abandoning cars.”

          GM abandoning cars is such a joke. I stead of stepping up and building cars with either actual real or precieved quality, they just say “fuck it” and stop offering cars. What a joke.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        “Every time I hear or see one of those GM commercials where real GM owners tell us how many awards GM has received, I can’t help but wonder why their sales don’t reflect that.”

        While I’m no fan of GM or their real people commercial series fact is they are still the #1 mfg by sales in the US.

        Through the end of the 3rd quarter.

        GM 737K
        Toyota 627K
        Ford 576K

        And they are actually up 6.3% over the first 3 quarters of 2018.

        • 0 avatar
          Robotdawn

          Exactly, GM is still #1 in sales and also jettisoned most of their low margin cars at the same time. Pretty impressive feat.

          I hate it. Like quite a few GM buyers I’m used to getting a great deal off sticker with a little patience. It’s getting thinner on the ground every year.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Gentlemen, I never stated that GM was not the #1 mfg by sales in the US. But numbers do not necessarily translate into profitability.

          I suspect GM has more fleet sales than individual sales. Not to mention auction sales of unsold goods every year.

          If things are indeed as rosy as their #1 mfg by sales in the US would imply, then GM has absolutely nothing to worry about.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            highdesertcat,

            Still working on my reading comprehension. Are you proposing that GM’s U.S. sales are over 50% Fleet?

            (Perhaps you will show me where you said exactly the opposite thing elsewhere.)

            Thanks in advance.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “Aligning our regional operations under Mark will drive even greater collaboration and speed-to-market, and accelerate growth opportunities in our core business and in the future of mobility.”

    Am I the only one who gets a migraine when reading official corporate-speak?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good question. Has anyone ever done a scientific study on the relationship between eye-rolling and migraines?

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Translation (reverse everything for current condition which the changes seek to address):

      ‘We are making these changes because we recognize that currently:
      – We do not work well together
      – We are slow to market
      – We are not growing in our core business
      – We are not growing fast enough in future/mobility business’

      Bonus, if you read carefully: ‘Our core business does not represent the future of mobility’ i.e., customers are moving away from our traditional model.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        “Our industry is transforming faster than at any time in its history” translates to:

        ‘We are getting our butts kicked at a surprisingly fast clip.’

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Can’t wait for the October y/y sales figures.

          I’ll be watching the RAM vs Silverado/Sierra sales.

          I mean, we can assume that the Ford trucks will remain the best sellers on the planet.

          • 0 avatar
            Robotdawn

            They don’t publish monthly numbers anymore, none of the Domestics do.

            I’m sure Dodge will beat Chevy YoY through December in trucks. And I don’t think GM will catch Ford any time soon.

            I also bet you a dollar GM’s Net Income and free cash flow outpaces both Ford and FCA for 2019.Maybe combined.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, that’s too bad because they reported monthly numbers since EOM 1.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That crap is right out of the MBA Handbook.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The best take on this is the colleague of mine who said that “you need a Master’s Degree in [bovine excrement] to understand it!

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Is a post coming on the 600,000 GM truck/SUV 4WD braking system recall?

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    Straddling the globe is a good way to get a shot in the jimmies.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t see GM going out of business but I do think they will continue to shrink. GM really screwed the pooch with the new Silverado and Sierra two product lines that they depend on for big sales and profit. I think GM should keep the Malibu and upgrade the interior and a few other things without a redesign. At least keep one car in their lineup but make it more competitive. Also think it is a mistake to discontinue the Impala just lower the price. The tooling has already been paid off on both the Malibu and Impala just update them. As for the Silverado and Sierra they need to do a refresh to make them more appealing. The Colorado and Canyon should be left alone for now. GM needs to have a newer more competitive hybrid system with a battery that doesn’t take up as much trunk space. I believe a hybrid system similar to Toyota’s and better interiors would make both the Impala and Malibu more competitive but offer a V6 in the Malibu as well.

  • avatar

    I was ready to sell my stock if it hit 40.

    gonna hang on and see what Reuss has planned first.

    he’s the sharpest they’ve got.

    Buickman
    Founder
    GeneralWatch.com

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “I am thrilled to be able to hand over the keys to our Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply chain team…”

    What? GM’s GPDPS team doesn’t have pushbutton start? Luddites.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    After reading Buickman’s site I believe he knows what is talking about it but it might be too late for GM. There are only so many mistakes and product flops that a company can get by with. At the very least take the products you already have and improve them and get someone you knows how to successfully market and advertise those products. “Find New Roads” or “Is that a Buick” are lame compared to “Like a Rock”, “Heartbeat of America”, “See the USA in your Chevrolet”, and “Wouldn’t You Rather Have a Buick”. Maybe GM needs to add some dogs to their ads it works for Subaru. Better to have dogs in your commercials that have commercials that are dogs.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    Him standing in front of that ugly as hell Silverado is proof he’s as clueless as the people who approved that design, along with the person(s) who approved the Camaro, and the C8. GM’s designers need to go…

  • avatar

    until they fix the marketing, nothing else matters and most of our work ends futile and frustrating.

    here’s our new tailgate, buy one without and get $10,000. WTF?

  • avatar
    Lokki

    What really bothers me about this move electric cars is not the change itself, as much as how it shows that the fundamental culture of GM survived the bankruptcy.

    That is – Here we go with another “Great Leap Forward”. GM has always and forever embraced new technologies and just jumped right in with both feet, and sadly, usually without enough testing and development before release to the public.

    The last successful great leap I remember is the Chevy V8 back in 1955 (although it may have had teething problems that had been forgotten and forgiven by the time I appeared on the scene). But since then, well:

    The Corvair.
    The Vega
    The Citation
    The Diesel
    Saturn
    The Fiero
    The 8-6-4
    The Northstar

    All of these were -like the electric car program- headlong plunges. No gradual introductions and slow refinements for The General!

    Damn the Toyota Torpedos! Full Speed Ahead! Again.

    Almost always later abbreviated to read, “ Damn Torpedos….”

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