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Former Holden boss Mark Reuss vows to win back GM customers - one by one

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Former Holden boss Mark Reuss vows to win back GM customers - one by one

19 January 2010

By JAMES STANFORD

THE new president of General Motors North America, former GM Holden chief Mark Reuss, admits he is facing a big challenge to win back the trust of US consumers following the government bail-out and restructuring.

“The customer in this country is going to have some kind of opinion of GM after we come off of bankruptcy,” he said in Detroit last week.

“So how do we fix that? We have to fix it one customer at a time. You can’t come out with an ad saying ‘Trust Us’ - it ain’t going to happen.”

Mr Reuss is looking at taking a hands-on approach and that means picking up the phone.

“It is going to happen if I start calling customers and make sure the cars are delivered on time… There was a Cobalt owner that had a wheelhouse liner that had come off during winter driving and thought there was something wrong with the car because it was making noise,” he said.

“I had two of my engineers drive eight hours in a snow storm to Pennsylvania to fix the car, wash the car and deliver it back. This is what we are going to do,” he said.

“There are no parlour tricks on this - this is going to be hard and it is hard. I don’t know about you guys, but helping customers is very rewarding to me.”

Left: Mark Reuss (right) with US speaker of the house and California congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who plugs in the Chevrolet Volt at the Detroit show on January 11.

Mr Reuss, who left his position as GM Holden managing director last year to take up the position of global engineering chief before he was selected for his latest role, said improvements could also be made when it comes to product.

“Market position and placing product correctly is something which we haven’t done on a consistent basis with all brands because we have had the money to do it,” he said.

Streamlining the dealership body with reforms that are currently being resisted by some dealers and strengthening ties with remaining dealers is important, Mr Reuss said.

“We are going through to get the right dealership body with integrity, get the right the relationships with the dealers back,” he said.

Mr Reuss, who said he plans to retire to Australia, said that if he acts properly in his position, others will likely follow which will help move GM move forward.

“It has got to start with me and it has to start with leadership,” he said.

“How do you change the culture in GM? The culture to me is just how the leadership and beyond behaves. So if you have people behaving the wrong way, then others are going to behave the wrong way and they are not going to trust you, they are not going to believe you and it just goes on and on and on,” he said.

Mr Reuss admitted he never aspired to his current job when asked if he wanted to take the job of GM chairman.

“I had no ambition to have the job I have,” he said.

Mr Reuss indicated he was enjoying his position at the head of global engineering, before the latest shake up left him in his new role.

“Being an engineer in the company is a great thing and I enjoyed it for four months,” he said.

link:

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/A88BB8BBC991C94BCA2576B0001AB0B8

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Former Holden boss Mark Reuss vows to win back GM customers - one by one

*Knock, Knock*

Hello, My name is Mark Ruess, and I'm looking for a Mr. Camino LS6.

Yes, I have a pleasant surprise for you...

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*Knock, Knock*

Hello, My name is Mark Ruess, and I'm looking for a Mr. Camino LS6.

Yes, I have a pleasant surprise for you...

:booyah:

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You know Mark just stopped by to air up my left rear tire. He said it looked a little low. He then aired it up with Nitrogen!

But really I hope this works as GM has been pretty hands on in the past if you were in the right place at the right time or knew the right people.

I had an issue with my HHR after my accident. The intake tube blew the map sensor out of the tube and it would get drop in pressure after it was repaired. One e mail to the engineer at the GM Perfromance Division and I got a call from him with in min's. He advised that when they replace the intercooler they did not get it space far enough forward for the new map sensor to clear the AC. He also asked for my vin and found he had my tube at his desk that blew out two weeks before. He said it was a early made tube and the plastic weld was poor and failed once the engine was hitting 22+ PSI.

He even followed up with me later and with the dealer to make sure it was taken care of. Since then I have exchanged e mails and been able to learn a lot about the Turbo upgrade and other things about the 2.0 DI.

This is the kind of treatment GM needs to let others know about. Too often web sites are just complaints about what GM did not do and seldom about the good things they do.

I also have been able to work with some of the Marketing and Brand mangers in the past with some help with car clubs I belong to. One brand manager even invited me to his house outside Detroit to show me a collection of rare items he had from Pontiac.

Several engineers and a designer from the tech center also help me get info on some 1990 Fiero prototype parts I had. It made it possible to document my parts not only with their feedback but some large engineering drawings they Fed Ex me over night free of charge.

There are a lot of good people that do a lot of good work at GM and the public needs to know.

Edited by hyperv6
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>>"“I had two of my engineers drive eight hours in a snow storm to Pennsylvania to fix the car, wash the car and deliver it back."<<

I remember reading where Packard once sent 2 engineers to rebuild one of the early UltraMatics in the owner's driveway, overnight. Sorry- but cappachino (<- sp?) and fresh Krispy Kremes ain't got NOTHING on service like that.

Reuss is right, a 'trust us' ad isn't going to do it, but true service above & beyond will.

Edited by balthazar
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>>"“I had two of my engineers drive eight hours in a snow storm to Pennsylvania to fix the car, wash the car and deliver it back."<<

I remember reading where Packard once sent 2 engineers to rebuild one of the early UltraMatics in the owner's driveway, overnight. Sorry- but cappachino (<- sp?) and fresh Krispy Kremes ain't got NOTHING on service like that.

Reuss is right, a 'trust us' ad isn't going to do it, but true service above & beyond will.

Actions speak louder than words. Not only does GM itself need to act for the consumer they need to make sure all the dealers do the same. It is like UPS, they have very good service and do a hell of a job getting the package to the distribution center but often their service is seen only as good as the driver on your route.

GM needs all the people who come in contact with the customer do the best job they can. This kind of grass roots service is what brings customers back.

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*Knock, Knock*

Hello, My name is Mark Ruess, and I'm looking for a Mr. Camino LS6.

Yes, I have a pleasant surprise for you...

I would certainly welcome that.

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Follow through/ GM thats an oxymoron

In the past, perhaps... but Mark and a lot of others at GM are working hard to change that perception.

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