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Oracle of Delphi

Leaner, quicker GM Europe emerges

4 posts in this topic

John Revill

Automotive News Europe

February 16, 2009 06:01 CET

ENLARGEAlain Visser will focus more on Opel’s sales strategy.

General Motors is restructuring its sales, marketing and aftersales operations in Europe to give its Opel, Chevrolet Europe and Saab brands more autonomy.

The move is likely to include a greater role for Chevrolet in Europe as GM’s entry brand while also making it easier for Saab to be spun off into a separate company.

The change also will allow each brand to be more responsive to market conditions, Brent Dewar, GM Europe’s head of sales, marketing and aftersales told Automotive News Europe.

“This year will be as challenging as 2008. We want to speed up decision making and focus our resources,” Dewar said.

New focus on sales

As part of the initiative, three GM Europe executives will take control of sales and marketing at the company’s key brands March 1.

1. Alain Visser becomes GM Europe’s vice president for Opel. Visser’s old job was GM Europe chief marketing officer, a job that is being abolished as the company gives the former group-run responsibility to the brands.

2. Wayne Brannon will become GM Europe’s vice president for Chevrolet. Currently, Brannon is executive director of Chevrolet Europe.

3. Jan-Ake Jonsson remains managing director of Saab.

GM’s Vauxhall brand in the UK will be unaffected by the change, with its managing director, Bill Parfitt, reporting directly to Dewar on sales matters.

Dewar said GM Europe’s multibrand structure had served the carmaker well but, “We will now transfer to a setup with more autonomy for the individual brands.”

Dewar said making the changes now will allow Opel, Chevrolet and Saab to develop their own marketing strategies for the launches key of models this year.

Opel will launch a new generation of its Astra lower-medium car, Chevrolet will introduce the Cruze lower-medium car and Saab will launch a new 9-5 medium-premium car.

European solution

Dewar said there would be some cost savings as a result of the reorganization, although this was not the main reason for the change.

“We started with the multibrand model and now we are going to the next level. Europe is not a one-size fits all solution,” Dewar said. “Chevrolet is very different from Opel and both are different from Saab.”

Chevrolet is GM’s value-for-money brand in Europe. Opel is its mid-priced volume seller and Saab is a near-premium carmaker.

Chevrolet’s Brannon said the restructuring will boost the brand’s profile in Europe.

“We intend to be more of a player in Europe,” he said.

Despite the economic downturn, Chevrolet increased its sales in Europe, including Russia and Turkey, by 10.7 percent to 507,000 cars last year.

Brannon provided an example of how the structural change should make the brands more responsive. He said that earlier this month he arranged the movement of 400 Chevrolets from one country to another with a 45-minute phone call.

“That is the kind of responsiveness we want in future,” Brannon said. “It would have been much slower under the old structure.”

Other areas where marketing could be changed include pricing and marketing campaigns adapted to fit each market. Saab’s Jonsson said the new structure would let the carmaker react faster to changes in the market.

Said Jonsson: “We will not be working through many different layers and we can better focus our brand.”

Link: http://www.autonews.com/article/20090216/A.../902159953/1179

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Well, GME seems to have the right idea: give more autonomy to the brands.

That's the way it used to be for GMNA back in its golden era; each brand working under it's own MO with GM acting like a central hub that took in and received profit from each brand that offered it's own individual set of strengths.

Edited by YellowJacket894
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I still fail to see why this isn't the plan for GMNA.

Use the same plan, except the three divisions should be Cadillac, Chevrolet and Buick/GMC/Pontiac

(And hopefully Saturn or Saab via GME)

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I still fail to see why this isn't the plan for GMNA.

Use the same plan, except the three divisions should be Cadillac, Chevrolet and Buick/GMC/Pontiac

(And hopefully Saturn or Saab via GME)

This is what I suggested previously in another forum... but everyone is like, "It can't be done"... well, its going to be done in bankruptcy when other companies are making away with the divisions for pennies on the dollar.

Just as the heavy handed federal tactics are causing problems for some individual states, having GM govern every last bit that the divisions do has made it so they can't compete with each other... which has had the disastrous effect of making the divisions uncompetitive with ANYONE.

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