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Ousted GM Marketing Chief Makes Unexpected Reappearance at Fisker

Joel Ewanick will serve as “interim” marketing chief.

by on Nov.27, 2012

During his heyday, former Hyundai and GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick was hailed as a major game-changer.

Joel Ewanick, the high-profile marketing chief ousted in a sudden shake-up at General Motors earlier this year has resurfaced at Fisker Automotive where he will serve as the battery-car start-ups interim global sales and marketing chief.

The 52-year-old executive will work in a consulting role while Fisker searches for a permanent replacement for automotive industry veteran Richard Beattie, 58, who will retire.  It’s the latest in a series of unexpected management changes at Fisker, which has been struggling to gain momentum with its Karma plug-in hybrid after a slow launch and a series of subsequent recalls and other problems.

“As we seek to appoint a long-term successor, there is no one better than Joel, with his wealth of motor industry experience and knowledge to guide us through this interim period. I am delighted to welcome him to the Fisker team,” said Posawatz.

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Posawatz, who himself only joined California-based Fisker two months ago, had significant experiencing working with Ewanick in an earlier part of his career. A General Motors veteran, Posawatz played a lead role in the development  of the maker’s own plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt.  Marketing the breakthrough product was one of the most challenging assignments for Ewanick after joining GM in mid-2010.


Chevrolet Inks Deal with Manchester United as it Expands Marketing Efforts Worldwide

“It’s all about efficiencies,” says marketing czar Ewanick.

by on May.31, 2012

"There are no sacred lines in the budget," says GM Marketing Czar Joel Ewanick.

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet?  That may have been the automaker’s mantra in the 1950s and ‘60s, but with six of every 10 Chevys now being sold in markets as far afield as Berlin and Beijing more and more of the maker’s marketing effort is focused overseas.

The latest move links Chevrolet with what is generally considered the world’s most popular soccer team – football to most of the world – Manchester United.  The five-year partnership comes only weeks after Chevy’s parent General Motors confirmed it is pulling its ads off the 2013 Super Bowl.

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Calling the tie-up with the British team a “natural synergy,” GM’s global marketing czar Joel Ewanick stressed that “Where they’re strong we want to grow. Where we’re strong they want to grow.”


GM Kicks in on Global Soccer Charity Program

Will supply 1.5 million free “indestructible” soccer balls to needy children worldwide.

by on May.31, 2012

GM Marketing Chief Joel Ewanick and One World COO Lisa Tarver.

Even as it announced a new marketing alliance with the world’s most valuable soccer team, Manchester United, General Motors revealed plans to donate 1.5 million soccer balls to needy children around the world.

The charity program is “the work I’m most proud of,” said GM global marketing czar Joel Ewanick, during a Thursday news conference called to announce the automaker’s deal with Manchester United.

(For more on the Chevy deal and its changing global marketing strategy, Click Here.)

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The “virtually indestructible” soccer balls will be distributed through the One World Futbol Project, which spent more than a year developing a ball that could be played with in even the most rugged environments without damage.  The project has already lined up support from a number of companies and celebrities such as pop singer Sting.


OnStar Ousts Preuss; Among Other GM Changes

Perry named U.S marketing chief.

by on Jan.18, 2011

Former OnStar President Chris Preuss during a presentation at CES, in Las Vegas, earlier this month.

General Motors launched another round of executive changes, ousting the head of OnStar and placing a new executive in charge of marketing the company’s four “core” brands in North America.

Linda Marshall has been appointed president of OnStar, effective February 1, 2011.  Marshall succeeds J. Christopher Preuss, who has “elected to leave the company” to launch a communications consultancy practice, GM said Tuesday.

“As we continue to evolve the OnStar brand and bring new features to our customers, we believe Linda’s deep experience can take the brand and platform to the next level,” said Stephen J. Girsky, vice chairman, corporate strategy and business development.

The shake-up at the telecommunications subsidiary comes as OnStar begins a big push to expand its customer base – among other things by offering an aftermarket mirror, which it will sell through Best Buy, that owners of non-GM vehicles can use to subscribe to the service.  Preuss launched that new product and outlined other OnStar plans, earlier this month, at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.


GM Names Ewanick Global Marketing Czar

“All good marketing is done locally.”

by on Dec.17, 2010

GM's new global marketing czar, Joel Ewanick, at last month's Los Angeles Auto Show.

As the new global marketing czar for General Motors, Joe Ewanick knows that the worst thing he can do is try to dictate how to advertise a Chevrolet in China or an Opel in Austria.

“All good marketing is done locally, first,” said the 50-year-old Ewanick, who first joined GM, earlier this year, as head of North American marketing.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that GM’s various regions should operate as individual fiefdoms, stressed Ewanick, in a conversation with  The challenge is to find a common theme – and one that is driven by customer needs and desires – that can help shape a consistent brand message around the world.

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That’s all the more important in the wake of the 2009 GM bankruptcy, which left only four North American brands standing.  Chevy, in particular, is rapidly becoming a global nameplate, along with German-based Opel.  And with GM focusing on the development of global product platforms, it makes it easier to come up with consistent messaging to back those products – as long as the marketing campaigns reflect the differences of local markets.