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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

John Larson leaving Buick, Pontiac and GMC

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John Larson leaving Buick, Pontiac and GMC

Jamie LaReau | Automotive News / May 2, 2007 - 10:06 am / UPDATED: 5/2/07 10:48 A.M.

DETROIT -- The head of Buick, Pontiac and GMC is leaving to join a company "outside of the auto industry," a Pontiac spokesman said today.

John Larson, 44, has been general manager for the brands for three years and worked for General Motors for 21 years, spokesman Jim Hopson said. Hopson did not say when Larson's last day would be.

"We know he'll be around at least until the end of next week (May 11). Beyond that it is uncertain," Hopson said.

GM has not named Larson's replacement.

"I would suspect given the importance of Buick, Pontiac and GMC brands that there is a whole team of people right now working on a replacement," Hopson said. "We'll keep on with business as usual, and when an announcement is made it's made."

Last month, GM made several executive changes, including moving Buick General Manager Steve Shannon to run GM's Saab brand in North America. Shannon, 48, replaces Jay Spenchian, 48.

Spenchian, who took over running Saab about two years ago, assumes a newly created position as executive director of strategy and revenue management for GM's vehicle sales, service and marketing organization.

Larson took over Shannon's Buick duties and named Katherine Benoit, 56, as executive director of Buick-Pontiac-GMC, reporting to him. Benoit previously was executive director of order fulfillment. Her replacement will be named.

"The great thing about it is that the team underneath John -- the core team of executives -- is solid and has been working together for than a year," Hopson said. "We'll just see if the new individual will want to continue what we're doing or go in a new direction. But I doubt it'll be the latter because things are starting to click."

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The Solstice and G8 are Pontiac's news-makers, and both were Lutz's kids. So I'm not sure exactly WHAT Larson did while he was running BPG??

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The Solstice and G8 are Pontiac's news-makers, and both were Lutz's kids. So I'm not sure exactly WHAT Larson did while he was running BPG??

He presided over the single largest loss of marketshare in the nameplate's history, thats all.

GM should stop complaining about Union rules and trim their own ranks.

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He presided over the single largest loss of marketshare in the nameplate's history, thats all.

GM should stop complaining about Union rules and trim their own ranks.

That's basically what I figured. :lol:

IMO, both the Union influence and what remains of GM's long-time management needs to go. Fresh blood, please!

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I think Denny Mooney would be a great fit. Hell, he's already been part of making two of the three best Pontiacs in the past ~30 years happen, was part of making the Chinese Buick Park Ave happen, and is helping to make Alpha happen. He may not fit with GMC, but that's just upscale Chevy trucks anyways.

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