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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Docherty’

Former GM Euro Boss Docherty Takes Non-Auto CEO Job

Now helming Canyon Ranch resort operator.

by on May.04, 2015

Susan Docherty, formerly Chevy Europe's boss, is now the CEO of Canyon Ranch, a spa and resort operator.

Former General Motors executive Susan Docherty, who was considered by some observers to be a candidate to be the first woman CEO at the automaker, has been appointed the CEO of the Canyon Ranch, the operator of spas and health resorts.

Docherty left GM in September 2013 after holding series of top level positions in sales and marketing in North America, China and finally Europe where she was president of Cadillac and European operations.

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She oversaw the establishment of Chevrolet in Europe as possible replacement for Opel, which was up for sale. However, the sale didn’t come to pass and Chevy never really gained any traction in Europe. Ultimately, GM pulled the brand out of the continent after she resigned. (more…)

GM’s Exec Revolving Door Continues to Spin

Southeast Asian chief is latest to be broomed.

by on Jul.11, 2013

GM's outgoing Southeast Asian chief Martin Apfel with the Chevrolet Miray concept vehicle.

Another experienced executive has elected to quit a senior post with General Motors’ vital overseas operations in a sensitive and fast growing emerging market where GM has been pressing to gain market share.

Martin Apfel, president of GM South East Asia Operations, GM Thailand and Chevrolet Sales Thailand, has elected to leave General Motors, effective July 31, to “pursue other interests”. A permanent replacement will be announced at a later date.

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Apfel is the latest in a growing line of senior GM executives, a large share of them working abroad, who have tendered resignations in recent months – or been shown the door.  It’s unclear why so many are exiting at this point, even as GM’s overseas sales gain momentum, but CEO Dan Akerson has made a point of saying that the company will hold its managers more accountable for their work than in decades past.


Chevy Names Batey New Global Brand Boss

Move comes days after Docherty’s unexpected resignation.

by on Jun.25, 2013

Chevy's new global brand czar Alan Batey.

Just days after the head of Chevrolet’s struggling European arm unexpectedly tendered her resignation, General Motors has appointed Alan Batey as its new global brand czar.

The appointment is one of a series of actions by GM meant to shore up Chevy’s image not only in the U.S. but in worldwide markets that have come to increasingly dominate the bowtie brand’s sales.  Nearly three of every four products badged Chevrolet will be sold outside the U.S. in 2013, GM forecasts.

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“Chevrolet is our mainstream global brand, and with the growth we are experiencing and the barrage of new products we have coming, the time is right for us to have a single leader responsible for managing the brand around the world,” said GM CEO Dan Akerson.


Docherty Latest GM Exec to Exit From Europe

Europe becoming a sinkhole for senior GM managers.

by on Jun.24, 2013

European chief Susan Docherty shown during a recent product preview.

Europe has become a sinkhole for once-promising senior General Motors executives – claiming a number of top managers in recent months including one-time Chevy Volt powertrain overseer Mickey Bly, and now Susan Docherty, who had been spearheading efforts to turn Chevrolet and Cadillac into major players in the European market.

Docherty, president and managing director of Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe, has announced she plans to leave General Motors “to spend more time with her family.”

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The parting is an amiable one, according to GM insiders, who noted that the Canadian-born Docherty will remain at her post until September 30. If Docherty was leaving for another job, her departure from GM would have been immediate, they noted. A successor for Docherty will be named at a later date, GM officials said.


Opel Cascada Anchors “10-Year Action Plan”

GM’s new European boss puts in first appearance.

by on Mar.08, 2013

New Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann and the Opel Cascada convertible.

General Motors can only hope it gets a warm reception for the new Opel Cascada convertible making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week, as it anchors the maker’s crucial “10-Year action plan.”

The past decade hasn’t been a very good one for Opel, which has plunged in sales and market share, helping GM run up European losses of $18 billion since plunging into the red there in 1999. Steve Girsky, the General Motors Vice Chairman who was put in charge of devising the action plan formally handed the reins over to GM Europe’s new boss, Karl-Thomas Neumann, during the Opel news conference.

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“My goal is to steer Opel back to its former strength and glory,” declared Neumann, who previously served in a senior management role at GM’s arch-rival Volkswagen AG. And the key to that, he said, was the plan formally known as “Drive 2022.”

While there are a variety of cost-cutting measures in the program, the crucial piece is the launch of new products, such as the new Cascada and the recently introduced Opel Adam. In all, the maker intends to launch 23 new vehicles and 13 new powertrain packages over the next five years alone.


European Automakers Compound Their Own Crisis

“Unsustainable” practices conceal depth of crisis, worsen losses.

by on Oct.02, 2012

VW's Winterkorn and Fiat's Marchionne emerge from a meeting aimed at resolving their mounting differences.

Few doubt the European automotive industry’s downward spiral will get worse before things start to improve. But there are growing concerns that the industry is compounding its own problem with “unsustainable” practices that conceal the depth of the downturn while running up losses that have already climbed into the billions of Euros.

And there are few signs that industry leaders – or government regulators – are ready to come together on a common solution that can resolve endemic problems, such as overcapacity, only made worse by the broader European economic meltdown.

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“We are not very bullish about Europe next year,” said a glum Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, during an appearance at the Paris Motor Show.  “We do not see a rebound in Europe for several years.”


No Plans to Replace Ailing Opel with Chevrolet

Chevy gaining ground in a plunging European market – but profits are another matter.

by on Oct.02, 2012

Chevrolet's European chief Susan Docherty.

Despite growing calls for General Motors to abandon its increasingly troubled Opel brand, there are no plans to replace the German-based subsidiary with Chevrolet – one of the few brands actually gaining sales and market share despite the ongoing collapse of the European automotive market.

Nonetheless, Chevy appears to be the best opportunity GM has for regaining some momentum in Europe, said Susan Docherty, the veteran executive who took over Chevrolet’s European operations last January.

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From a peak of more than 17 million vehicles a year, Docherty said the European market could dip to somewhere between 14.0 million and 14.3 million in 2013, which she termed “very scary numbers.”  Even so, her goal is to continue building the Chevy brand’s sales and market share. Relatively new to the European market, the bow-tie brand sold 206,000 vehicles in Europe last year and is on track for a 5% gain for all of 2012.


GM Beats Forecast – But Earnings Still Hurt by Europe

North America on the rise.

by on May.03, 2012

GM CEO Dan Akerson during a recent visit to China.

General Motors reported a $1.0 billion profit, equal to 60 cents a share, for the first quarter, handily beating analysts’ expectations – but the numbers would have been substantially better were it not for the maker’s continuing problems in Europe.

Once forecast to be back in the black this year, GM Europe lost $256 million for the January to March quarter, with GM taking another $590 million writedown in what is now likely to become the subsidiary’s 12th consecutive year of losses.

But those losses were offset by unexpectedly strong numbers from the maker’s home operations in North America, where GM earnings rose 35%, to $1.7 billion.

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“It’s a long-term path that we’re on to get to the profitability levels that we want,” Dan Ammann, GM’s chief financial officer, said during a conference call with reporters. “This is a solid quarter: revenue growth, profit growth, margin growth, cash flow improvement.”


Louis Chevrolet Monument Revealed

Chrome bust will go to pioneer’s Swiss hometown.

by on Mar.23, 2012

A rendering of the monument that will go into a park in Louis Chevrolet's Swiss hometown.

No, that’s not the world’s largest wad of used aluminum foil.  Stare more closely and you’ll pick out the trademark mustache of auto racer and automotive pioneer Louis Chevrolet.

The rendering seen here is an approximation of what it will look like when a large chrome bust goes into Park West in La Chaux-du-Fonds, Switzerland, Louis Chevrolet’s birthplace.  The work of artist Christian Gonzenbach, it was selected from a wide range of entries in an international competition designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the iconic automotive brand and its founder.

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(For more on Louis Chevrolet, Swiss watch capital La Chaud-du-Fonds and the competition, Click Here.)

Ultimately, an international jury had to select from four quite distinct and different ways of interpreting Louis Joseph Chevrolet’s role in automotive history.  The polished steel bust, measuring 16.4 feet, will be a permanent fixture in the park, which anchors a community that serves as home to Omega, Movado and a number of other well-known Swiss watch companies.


From Watchmaker’s Son to Auto Pioneer, Tracing the Roots of Louis Chevrolet

Honoring a native son.

by on Mar.16, 2012

He tried his hand at making cars but the real passion for Louis Joseph Chevrolet was racing them.

Better late than never for the town of La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Nestled into the snow-covered Alps, it’s not a place the tourists often go, even if it is the third-largest community in the French-speaking cantons of Switzerland.  Yet its reach is surprisingly broad.  A disproportionate share of the town’s residents tick off their days toiling in the watch industry, with eagerly-sought brands like Rolex, Omega, Movado and Girard-Perregaux headquartered here.

But some of La Chaux-de-Fonds’ more legendary citizens had to leave to find their fame, among them Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as architect Le Corbusier, and Louis Joseph Chevrolet.  The latter, the son of a local watchmaker, was born in the Jura Mountains town in 1878 but left by the time he was 20 to pursue a career in racing and automobile manufacturing.

He is, of course, the man who lent his name to the Chevrolet Motor Car Company, which the American emigrant cofounded with Billy Durant – himself the founder of General Motors, who had been forced out of GM and was looking for a way to get back into the auto industry.  Their venture was officially registered on November 3, 1911, triggering the extensive centennial celebrations that ran most of last year.

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And for good reason.  After emerging from bankruptcy two years earlier, GM abandoned a number of brands, including well-known Pontiac, shifting emphasis to the marques still remaining.  Chevrolet is playing a particular important role as the singular focus of GM’s global expansion plans.  The maker set an all-time sales record of more than 5 million vehicles last month – clicking off an additional sale “every six seconds,” as Susan Docherty, president of Chevrolet of Europe is quick to point out.