• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    New Documents Shine A Light On GM's Ignition Switch Crisis, Two Executives Step Down


    • More bad news hits General Motors


    Just when you thought General Motors couldn't dig any deeper with the ignition switch recall, they seem to find a way. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee released over 600 pages of documents relating to the GM ignition switch recall early this week and it shows a number of deeply entrenched problems.

    Let's begin with a story we reported last week that said two engineers from GM, Gary Altman and Ray DeGiorgio were put on paid leave. We knew DeGiorgio was put on paid leave for testifying for not knowing the part change, even though he signed a document authorizing the change. But Altman was another question as we didn't know why he was put on paid leave. We now know that Altman was the engineer who bumped the key with his knee thanks to a complaint document filed in 2004. However, Altman was the one testified at the wrongful death trial of Brooke Melton that he did not feel the car was unsafe. Altman was also the one who rejected a fix for the switch because it was expensive and take too long.

    The documents also highlight that a number of GM employees tried to thwart an in-house investigationby Brian Stouffer, an investigator with GM. Bloomberg says the documents reveal a paper trail of pushback, inaccurate data and a lack of cooperation from co-workers into the ignition switch. One of the big question Stouffer was looking into was why airbag issues dropped after 2008. We know now that it was because GM had changed the part, but not the number.

    NHTSA was starting to suspect something was back in 2007. In a presentation on November 15, 2007, NHTSA's Defects Assessment Division (DAD) showed that the 2005 Cobalt had a higher than average airbag warranty than any other GM model. Then there is an email dated September 17 which says in one of the paragraphs,

    "Notwithstanding GM's indications that they see no specific problem pattern, DAD perceives a pattern of non-deployments in these vehicles that does not exist in their peers and that their circumstances are such that, in our engineering judgment, merited a deployment, and that such a deployment would have reduced injury levels or saved lives.

    NHTSA isn't impressed with GM's responses to their inquiries. In a email sent on July 23, 2013, NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation chief Frank Borris wrote "The general perception is that GM is slow to communicate, slow to act, and at times, requires additional effort of ODI that we do not feel is necessary with some of your peers." This is a possible reason as to why NHTSA has started fining the company last week over their slow response to their questions.

    Now it should be noted that Mike Robinson, GM’s vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs said in email "comes like a bolt out of the blue.”

    That isn't only bad news hitting GM. Today, the company announced that two executives were stepping down. Selim Bingol, senior vice president of public policy and communications, and Melissa Howell, senior vice president for human resources, will “pursue other interests,” the company said in a statement.

    Bingol led GM’s public relations team since 2010 when he was appointed by then GM CEO Ed Whitacre. Howell has been with the company since 1990, and became Senior VP of HR last year.

    GM said Howell will be succeeded by John Quattrone, previously executive director of human resources for GM's global product development, purchasing, and supply chain operations. No successor has been named for Bingol at this time.

    Source: Bloomberg, Detroit Free Press, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, General Motors

    Press Release is on Page 2


    GM Names Quattrone Senior VP, Global Human Resources

    • Howell and Bingol to pursue interests outside company

    DETROIT – General Motors today named John J. Quattrone as Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources. Quattrone, currently executive director of Human Resources for Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain organizations, succeeds Melissa A. Howell who is leaving GM to pursue other interests. GM also announced that Selim Bingol, Senior Vice President, Global Communications and Public Policy, is leaving the company to pursue other interests.

    Quattrone's appointment, as well as Howell's and Bingol's departures are effective immediately.

    Quattrone, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., began his GM career in 1975 at the Fisher Body Syracuse Plant. Since then, he has held various positions in human resources and labor relations at GM. Quattrone was appointed General Director of Human Resources for North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing in September 1996. He was appointed GM North America¹s Vice President of Human Resources in 2001 and was GM Powertrain¹s Vice President of Human Resources prior to his current assignment.

    "John brings to the job a deep and rich breadth of experience across all levels of the enterprise," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "This background is invaluable as we create lasting change that puts the customer at the center of how we work and how we measure ourselves going forward."

    Quattrone received his Bachelor of Science degree from Le Moyne College and earned a Master of Science degree from West Virginia University. Quattrone serves on the board of directors of American Society of Employers and previously served on the board of directors of Health Grades, Inc.

    Barra praised Howell's contribution at a key time for the company. "Through Melissa's passion, the values that make up today's GM are now becoming a central part of how we develop and guide our employees around the world," said Barra. "We are deeply grateful for her dedication to GM and all that she did to help build a stronger HR function to support our people and business."

    Howell joined GM in 1990. She was named Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources in February 2013.

    Bingol was Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications at AT&T before joining GM in 2010 as Senior Vice President Global Communications. Global Public Policy was added to Bingol's portfolio in October 2012.

    During his tenure, Bingol guided the communications around GM's 2010 initial public offering, the largest in history at that time, as well as the introduction of several new products that have received widespread acclaim for quality, styling, and performance.

    "We appreciate Selim's service and for his helping tell the GM story during one of the most exciting periods in the company's history," said Barra.

    A successor to Bingol will be named later.

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    Always ugly before the light comes through. They should use this time to purge old GM thinking. Time for new fresh blood to fully turn GM into the World Class company it is capable of.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

      Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. stlcadet11
      stlcadet11
      (27 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com
      Hyundai and Kia possibly replacing 1.2 Million engines!
      According to a breaking story on King 5 News, Hyundai and Kia are recalling 1.2 million auto's for possible engine failure. 
      2013 - 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport & Sonata
      2011 - 2014 Kia Sportage & Sorento
      Company has stated that debri from manufacturing was possibly left in the engine that will restrict oil flow to connecting rod bearings that will increase temperatures and cause premature wear and failure on the bearings.
      Dealerships will inspect engines and if wear is detected, will replace the block if needed at no cost.
      The Detroit Free Press also has this story but states that the recall is 1.4 million as they are also including Canada and South Korea models affected in this recall.
    • By William Maley
      Last week saw the PSA Group (parent company of Citroen and Peugeot) purchasing Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors for $2.3 billion. This move would make the PSA Group the second-largest automaker in Europe. We already know some of the plans that PSA Group has for their new brands such as setting operating profit targets of 2 percent in 2020 (jumps to 6 percent by 2026) and the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa being the first new product developed with PSA. But as we alluded to in the original news story, there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered such as possible job cuts or what happens to Buick and Holden as they share products with Opel. I have been doing a bit of thinking on these and some other questions. The end result is this piece.
      1: Will there be job cuts and plant closures?
      In 2016, PSA Group employed 172,000 people worldwide. With the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall, they will be adding close to 42,000 workers (the majority of those from Opel). The number of plants will also increase to 28 due to this purchase. Sooner or later, PSA Group is going have to make cuts. During the press conference announcing the deal, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares said the company “would honor existing labor agreements and closing plants is a “simplistic” solution.” That may be true for now, but this might change within the coming years. Some analysts believe PSA Group will close two to three plants within five years.
      The most likely place where the closures and layoffs could take place is in Great Britain. The reason as we talked about in a story back in February deals with the decision made by British citizens last year with leaving the European Union.
      “By leaving, the country would lose access to the EU Single Market which guarantees unconstrained trade across the member states. It would mean various countries would be leveraging tariffs on British-made goods, making production in the country less competitive.”
      Former British member of parliament and business secretary Sir Vincent Cable outlined how bad this decision looks for Vauxhall in a recent interview on BBC Radio 4.
      There could be a way that the British Government could at least stall the possible closures. Back in October, the British Government worked out a secret deal with Nissan to keep them investing in British car production at their plant in Sunderland. This deal caused an uproar as the details were kept as many believed the British Government would be handing over money to keep Nissan happy. But sources told British newspaper The Independent back in January that the deal had no mention of money.
      It could be that the British Government could do something similar for PSA Group to keep jobs, but it is too early to say if this will happen or not.
      2: Will this affect PSA’s plans of entering the U.S.?
      Probably not. Let’s remember that PSA Group is working through a ten-year plan that may or may not see the return of the Citroen and Peugeot, along with the introduction of DS to the country. Already, the first part of this plan is gearing up for the launch of a car sharing service next month. There is also extensive research going on into the U.S. marketplace. 
      But could there be a possibility of Opel or Vauxhall vehicles being sold here? It would not be surprising if there isn’t talk about this at PSA Group’s HQ. But there is a slight complication to this idea. As part of the sale, PSA Group cannot sell any Opel vehicles developed by GM anywhere in various markets outside of Europe (China and U.S. for example) until they transition to PSA platforms. That means a number of models such as the Astra, Insignia, and Mokka are out of the question for the time being. If Opel was chosen to be one of the brands PSA would sell in the U.S., they might not have a full line of vehicles to sell due to this clause.
      3: What does the future hold for Buick and Holden?
      If there are some losers from the sale of Opel, it has to Buick and Holden. Buick has found some success with Opel products as the Encore (rebadged Mokka) has become one the best-selling models for the brand. Holden is getting a shot in the arm as the Astra will hopefully help their fortunes in the compact space, and the new Commodore (rebadged Insignia) has a tough task ahead of it with living up to an iconic name. For the time being, Opel will continue supplying models to both brands. It is what happens in the future that many are concerned about.
      During the Geneva Motor Show, GM President Dan Ammann said something very interest to Australian journalists about the future of Holden’s products.
      This makes sense as the Astra was only launched and the Commodore is getting ready to go on sale. But I wouldn’t be surprised if talks begin very soon about this very topic. The same talks are likely to begin at Buick soon where they face the same issue for the Regal and Encore. Our hunch is Buick might have the easier time of two. The Encore would continue on since it shares the same platform as the Chevrolet Trax. As for the Regal, it could leave Buick’s lineup once the next-generation model runs its course.
      4: Does GM lose anything with this deal?
      There has been a lot of talk about how much money will be freed up from the sale of Opel/Vauxhall for GM, along with making a bit more profit. But it comes at a cost that could hurt GM down the road. The recent crop of compact and midsize sedans from GM owe a lot to Opel’s engineering knowledge. Vehicles that excel in driving dynamics and fuel economy are worth their weight in gold when it comes to the European marketplace. As we know, one part of why GM went into bankruptcy was the lack of competitive small and midsize cars that got good fuel economy. Opel would prove to be GM’s savior with this key knowledge.
      Right now, compacts and midsize sedans aren’t selling as consumers are directing their attention to crossovers and SUVs. This is due in part to lower gas prices. But sooner or later, the price of gas will go back up and cause many to go back to smaller vehicles. With talk about GM scaling back on their small and midsize car lineup, this decision could have consequences down the road. Plus with Opel out of the picture, GM doesn’t have someone it can rely on to get these models back to the forefront. We can hope GM’s North American office has learned some stuff when working with their European counterparts.
    • By William Maley
      Last week saw the PSA Group (parent company of Citroen and Peugeot) purchasing Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors for $2.3 billion. This move would make the PSA Group the second-largest automaker in Europe. We already know some of the plans that PSA Group has for their new brands such as setting operating profit targets of 2 percent in 2020 (jumps to 6 percent by 2026) and the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa being the first new product developed with PSA. But as we alluded to in the original news story, there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered such as possible job cuts or what happens to Buick and Holden as they share products with Opel. I have been doing a bit of thinking on these and some other questions. The end result is this piece.
      1: Will there be job cuts and plant closures?
      In 2016, PSA Group employed 172,000 people worldwide. With the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall, they will be adding close to 42,000 workers (the majority of those from Opel). The number of plants will also increase to 28 due to this purchase. Sooner or later, PSA Group is going have to make cuts. During the press conference announcing the deal, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares said the company “would honor existing labor agreements and closing plants is a “simplistic” solution.” That may be true for now, but this might change within the coming years. Some analysts believe PSA Group will close two to three plants within five years.
      The most likely place where the closures and layoffs could take place is in Great Britain. The reason as we talked about in a story back in February deals with the decision made by British citizens last year with leaving the European Union.
      “By leaving, the country would lose access to the EU Single Market which guarantees unconstrained trade across the member states. It would mean various countries would be leveraging tariffs on British-made goods, making production in the country less competitive.”
      Former British member of parliament and business secretary Sir Vincent Cable outlined how bad this decision looks for Vauxhall in a recent interview on BBC Radio 4.
      There could be a way that the British Government could at least stall the possible closures. Back in October, the British Government worked out a secret deal with Nissan to keep them investing in British car production at their plant in Sunderland. This deal caused an uproar as the details were kept as many believed the British Government would be handing over money to keep Nissan happy. But sources told British newspaper The Independent back in January that the deal had no mention of money.
      It could be that the British Government could do something similar for PSA Group to keep jobs, but it is too early to say if this will happen or not.
      2: Will this affect PSA’s plans of entering the U.S.?
      Probably not. Let’s remember that PSA Group is working through a ten-year plan that may or may not see the return of the Citroen and Peugeot, along with the introduction of DS to the country. Already, the first part of this plan is gearing up for the launch of a car sharing service next month. There is also extensive research going on into the U.S. marketplace. 
      But could there be a possibility of Opel or Vauxhall vehicles being sold here? It would not be surprising if there isn’t talk about this at PSA Group’s HQ. But there is a slight complication to this idea. As part of the sale, PSA Group cannot sell any Opel vehicles developed by GM anywhere in various markets outside of Europe (China and U.S. for example) until they transition to PSA platforms. That means a number of models such as the Astra, Insignia, and Mokka are out of the question for the time being. If Opel was chosen to be one of the brands PSA would sell in the U.S., they might not have a full line of vehicles to sell due to this clause.
      3: What does the future hold for Buick and Holden?
      If there are some losers from the sale of Opel, it has to Buick and Holden. Buick has found some success with Opel products as the Encore (rebadged Mokka) has become one the best-selling models for the brand. Holden is getting a shot in the arm as the Astra will hopefully help their fortunes in the compact space, and the new Commodore (rebadged Insignia) has a tough task ahead of it with living up to an iconic name. For the time being, Opel will continue supplying models to both brands. It is what happens in the future that many are concerned about.
      During the Geneva Motor Show, GM President Dan Ammann said something very interest to Australian journalists about the future of Holden’s products.
      This makes sense as the Astra was only launched and the Commodore is getting ready to go on sale. But I wouldn’t be surprised if talks begin very soon about this very topic. The same talks are likely to begin at Buick soon where they face the same issue for the Regal and Encore. Our hunch is Buick might have the easier time of two. The Encore would continue on since it shares the same platform as the Chevrolet Trax. As for the Regal, it could leave Buick’s lineup once the next-generation model runs its course.
      4: Does GM lose anything with this deal?
      There has been a lot of talk about how much money will be freed up from the sale of Opel/Vauxhall for GM, along with making a bit more profit. But it comes at a cost that could hurt GM down the road. The recent crop of compact and midsize sedans from GM owe a lot to Opel’s engineering knowledge. Vehicles that excel in driving dynamics and fuel economy are worth their weight in gold when it comes to the European marketplace. As we know, one part of why GM went into bankruptcy was the lack of competitive small and midsize cars that got good fuel economy. Opel would prove to be GM’s savior with this key knowledge.
      Right now, compacts and midsize sedans aren’t selling as consumers are directing their attention to crossovers and SUVs. This is due in part to lower gas prices. But sooner or later, the price of gas will go back up and cause many to go back to smaller vehicles. With talk about GM scaling back on their small and midsize car lineup, this decision could have consequences down the road. Plus with Opel out of the picture, GM doesn’t have someone it can rely on to get these models back to the forefront. We can hope GM’s North American office has learned some stuff when working with their European counterparts.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      General Motors seems being in a cutting mood as it drives to improve its profit margins and stock price. Last week saw the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group and it's only the beginning said GM CEO Mary Barra.
      Automotive News reports that GM is considering reducing investments in North American cars and "select" international markets according to a chart that was shared during a conference call with analysts last week. The chart says these two earned a spot on the chopping block due to low profit potential and weak strength in franchises.
      "There's a little bit more work that we're doing in the international markets. Our overall philosophy is that every country, every market segment has to earn its cost of capital," Barra said on the conference call. 
      Barra and GM President Dan Ammann declined to go into details about these plans.
      GM has already made significant changes in terms of their international operations by ending or reducing operations Australia, Indonesia, Russia, and Thailand. The automaker has also scaled back plans in India. The comments made during the call suggest more cuts could take place here and possibly elsewhere.
      As for 'reducing investments in North American cars', this likely means GM is taking a hard look at various segments in passenger car segment. With consumers trending towards utility vehicles and trucks, sales of passenger cars have been falling precipitously. As of March 1st, dealers had four month's worth of inventory of cars, compared to an 81-day supply for light trucks and less than 60-days for full-size SUVs. GM could walk away from certain segments such as compacts or full-size sedans, or delay investments in certain models.
      These moves will allow GM to funnel money into models that make more money, and returning capital to shareholders.
      "That's an immediate opportunity for us to reward shareholders without changing the risk profile of the company or our ability to manage through a downturn," GM CFO Chuck Stevens said.
      Analysts are mixed on GM's plans.
      "It takes a lot of discipline to shift away from a volume-is-king kind of mentality," she said. "In the end, that's going to make a better GM -- a longer-standing company that's not only more profitable but more relevant," said Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book to Automotive News.
      John Murphy, an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch isn't so sure about this plan.
      "It appears that GM's recent decision-making has become much more short-term-focused and, in our opinion, could create challenges for the company in the coming years," Murphy wrote in a report.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      General Motors seems being in a cutting mood as it drives to improve its profit margins and stock price. Last week saw the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group and it's only the beginning said GM CEO Mary Barra.
      Automotive News reports that GM is considering reducing investments in North American cars and "select" international markets according to a chart that was shared during a conference call with analysts last week. The chart says these two earned a spot on the chopping block due to low profit potential and weak strength in franchises.
      "There's a little bit more work that we're doing in the international markets. Our overall philosophy is that every country, every market segment has to earn its cost of capital," Barra said on the conference call. 
      Barra and GM President Dan Ammann declined to go into details about these plans.
      GM has already made significant changes in terms of their international operations by ending or reducing operations Australia, Indonesia, Russia, and Thailand. The automaker has also scaled back plans in India. The comments made during the call suggest more cuts could take place here and possibly elsewhere.
      As for 'reducing investments in North American cars', this likely means GM is taking a hard look at various segments in passenger car segment. With consumers trending towards utility vehicles and trucks, sales of passenger cars have been falling precipitously. As of March 1st, dealers had four month's worth of inventory of cars, compared to an 81-day supply for light trucks and less than 60-days for full-size SUVs. GM could walk away from certain segments such as compacts or full-size sedans, or delay investments in certain models.
      These moves will allow GM to funnel money into models that make more money, and returning capital to shareholders.
      "That's an immediate opportunity for us to reward shareholders without changing the risk profile of the company or our ability to manage through a downturn," GM CFO Chuck Stevens said.
      Analysts are mixed on GM's plans.
      "It takes a lot of discipline to shift away from a volume-is-king kind of mentality," she said. "In the end, that's going to make a better GM -- a longer-standing company that's not only more profitable but more relevant," said Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book to Automotive News.
      John Murphy, an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch isn't so sure about this plan.
      "It appears that GM's recent decision-making has become much more short-term-focused and, in our opinion, could create challenges for the company in the coming years," Murphy wrote in a report.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)