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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Reuss’

GM Shakes Up Engineering in Wake of Recall Scandal

Maker hopes to catch potential safety problems earlier.

by on Apr.23, 2014

GM Product Chief Mark Reuss unveiling the Corvette Z06 during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

General Motors continues to shake up its senior management ranks in the wake of the ongoing ignition switch recall scandal, this time ousting its global engineering chief and splitting the job into two new posts with a goal of catching potential safety problems earlier on.

The “retirement” of 55-year-old John Calabrese comes shortly after GM’s directors of Human Resources and Public Relations announced their departures amidst a crisis that could see the automaker face criminal charges levied by the Justice Department for the decade-long delay in ordering a recall of defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. GM has also been accused of delaying another recall while federal regulators have launched an investigation into braking problems involving the company’s new Chevrolet Impala sedan.

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“We feel that just an organizational change is not going to solve everything,” said Mark Reuss, the GM veteran who took over as global product development director late last year. “We have to have the right people with the organization, with the right leadership and with the right processes in place. … We know we can do it and we are going to do it.”

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December Likely to Bring Record Spending on New Cars

Automakers offer tempting deals to draw in buyers.

by on Dec.23, 2013

A new Ford F-150 rolls off the maker's assembly line in Kansas City, Missouri. Strong pickup demand helped boost car sales in 2013.

With millions of dollars of television commercials airing this month and millions more in incentive money on the table, automakers are expected to end the year with a bang, sales expected to be up at least 4% from December 2012 – with the industry anticipating all-time record consumer spending.

While new-vehicle sales started off slowly in December, they are expected to finish strong at the end of the month, according to a monthly sales forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.  That would be good news for industry planners worried about a recent bulge in dealer inventories that’s already led several manufacturers to trim back production.

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Consumers in the U.S. are expected to spend more than $34 billion on new vehicles in December, a historic high for the month. That reflects not just the end-of-year sales burst but also record transaction prices, according to the forecast. The optimism was reinforced by a new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce which indicated the U.S. economy was expanding more rapidly than first thought. The Commerce Department now estimates the U.S. economy grew by 4.1% during the third quarter.

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GM Investing $1.3 Billion at Five U.S. Plants

Move means 1,000 jobs, better quality and logistics.

by on Dec.16, 2013

General Motors announced nearly $1.3 billion in equipment upgrades at five U.S. plants.

The good news for U.S. manufacturing continued today with the announcement that General Motors plans to invest nearly $1.3 billion in five U.S. plants creating or saving 1,000 jobs.

The announcement comes just days after cross-town rival Ford Motor Co. announced it would add 5,000 jobs in the U.S. in 2014, part of a global expansion program. Detroit-based automakers, collectively, have added tens of thousands of jobs since emerging from the most recent recession and a period during which they slashed employment and closed scores of plant.

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“GM is committed to a strong American manufacturing base and creating jobs in dozens of communities throughout the country,” said GM Executive Vice President and North America President Mark Reuss in a statement. (more…)

Auto Inventories Bulging – Will Makers Cut Production or Launch Price Wars?

Trouble for manufacturers could be good news for consumers.

by on Dec.11, 2013

Dealers are seeing a build-up of inventory despite strong U.S. car sales.

The nation may be in the grips of a continent-sized cold spell but automotive sales continue to run hot, as they have for much of the year.  Still, November’s unexpectedly strong numbers only barely conceal the fact that manufacturers may have gotten a bit too ambitious trying to take advantage of the best new car market since before the economy went into a nosedive six years ago.

While there are a handful of hot new models, like the 2014 Jeep Cherokee and the ’14 Chevrolet Corvette, that are flying off showrooms almost as fast as they’re delivered from the factories, dealers around the country are reporting bulging inventories of many other products, such as the Acura RLX and the Ford Fusion.

Dealer's Choice!

And that’s worrying industry planners and analysts alike.  In years past, the build-up would have been a recipe for trouble, makers playing a game of chicken by ramping up incentives to maintain sales and market share – even at the cost of profits. It was precisely that sort of strategy that helped nearly sink the Detroit Three as the U.S. auto market collapsed in 2009 and 2010.

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Akerson Retiring, Barra Becomes New GM CEO, with Ammann President

51-year-old Barra is industry’s first woman chief executive.

by on Dec.10, 2013

GM names Barra its new CEO - and the first woman to lead a global automaker.

Just a day after the federal government ended its ownership stake in the post-bankruptcy General Motors, the automaker has announced a sweeping change in its management line-up.  That includes the retirement of Chairman and Chief Executive Dan Akerson, with Mary Barra taking his place as CEO of January 15, 2014.

The well-respected Barra, currently GM’s global product development czar, will become the first woman to serve as the chief executive officer of any major auto manufacturer in the world.

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Her new second-in-command will be Dan Ammann, a New Zealand native who signed on as GM chief financial officer after assisting the maker through its 2009 bankruptcy.

“I will leave with great satisfaction in what we have accomplished, great optimism over what is ahead and great pride that we are restoring General Motors as America’s standard bearer in the global auto industry,”  Akerson said in a message to the maker’s 85,500 employees.

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US Treasury Sells off Final Shares of GM

“Government Motors” is now a completely private enterprise.

by on Dec.09, 2013

The Treasury exits GM more than four years after the maker's 2009 bankruptcy.

Call it “Government Motors” no more.  More than four years after it emerged from bankruptcy with the help of a $49.5 billion federal bailout that left American taxpayers holding the majority of the company the U.S. Treasury has sold off its final holdings in General Motors.

Wall Street traders have been reacting strongly to news that the White House was set to get out of the auto business, GM shares setting surging during Monday trading after last week topping the $40 mark since the maker’s November 2011 IPO.  Among other things, the maker will now be in a position to pay dividends on its common stock and to raise the pay of senior managers without first getting approval from the administration’s pay czar – limits enacted as part of the terms of GM’s bailout.

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“The U.S. Treasury’s ownership exit closes just one chapter in GM’s ongoing turnaround story,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.  “We will always be grateful for the second chance extended to us and we are doing our best to make the most of it. Today is not dramatically different from the hundreds of preceding days during which we have worked to make GM a company our country can be proud of again.

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GM Bailout Saved 1.2 Mil Jobs, According to New Report

Feds to sell off last stake by month’s end.

by on Dec.09, 2013

Bailout "put food on the table for 10s of 1,000s," says GM Pres. Mark Reuss.

The federal government bailout of General Motors spared at least 1.2 million U.S. jobs, according to a new report – and even though taxpayers will lose more than $9 billion on the rescue effort, that was more than offset by nearly $40 billion in additional taxes generated in just the year the government pulled the beleaguered automaker out of bankruptcy in 2009.

The white House has been rapidly selling off its final shares in what critics have called “Government Motors,” and expects to be completely out of the automotive business by the end of this month.  The most recent Washington forecast indicated taxpayers could lose $9.7 billion on the bailout, though the rapid run-up in GM stock this past month could trim that loss, analysts note.

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“Any complete cost-benefit assessment of the federal assistance to GM in its restructuring must consider the total net returns to the public investment,” declared authors Sean McAlinden and Debra Maranger Menk, in the study, “The Effect on the U.S. Economy of the Successful Restructuring of General Motors,” released today by the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research, or CAR.

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GM Readies to Take on All Comers in Pick Up Truck Market

Maker boasts trucks in mid-size, full-size and heavy-duty segments unlike competitors.

by on Oct.18, 2013

The launch of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will highlight GM's new three-truck strategy.

As it prepares to roll out the new mid-sized trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, at the Los Angeles Auto Show next, General Motors is pursuing what it describes as a three-truck strategy.

While GM has put more emphasis on its passenger cars in the past few years, GM still depends on its truck line for the bulk of its profits, notes Joe Phillippi, an independent analyst, who keeps a watch of GM.

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“They make some money on the cars,” he said, adding that the margins on the trucks are much greater. (more…)

From Track to Street, How Motorsports Improves What We Drive

“Improving the breed.”

by on May.31, 2013

GM President Mark Reuss with the Corvette pace car he'll be riding in during the IndyCar race on Detroit's Belle Isle.

When the field of IndyCars lines up on the grid at Detroit’s Belle Isle race track this Sunday, you can be guaranteed that General Motors will lead the pack. That’s because Mark Reuss, GM’s President of North America, will be riding in the pace car, a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

There’s no way to know who’ll ultimately take the checkered flag but Reuss and GM clearly hope for a repeat of last week’s Indy 500, the maker’s Chevrolet division powering to a 1-2-3 victory, the first time Chevy has won the celebrated race in 11 years.

The Last Word!

That victory has a number of benefits, according to Reuss. “We’re a company that lost what it feels like to win,” he says, recalling with a grimace the bankruptcy that nearly shut GM down just four years ago. But wins like Indy are “giving us a feel of what it’s like to win again as a company.”

There are other payoffs, the executive says.

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