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GM chief sales analyst DiGiovanni will retire May 1

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GM chief sales analyst DiGiovanni will retire May 1

Chrissie Thompson

Automotive News -- April 1, 2010 - 9:59 am ET

DETROIT -- Mike DiGiovanni, General Motors Co.'s chief sales analyst and a former general manager of Hummer, is retiring, effective May 1.

DiGiovanni, 62, has worked for GM since 1979, most recently as executive director of the company's forecasting and market research group, Global Market and Industry Analysis. He oversaw sales and production forecasting along with market and industry analysis.

“It's been a long run,” DiGiovanni said. “I'm not Bob Lutz. I don't want to work until I'm 78.”

DiGiovanni's departure comes as GM is splitting up the forecasting group. Under the reorganization, long-term planning and strategy will come under Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, a former Wall Street auto analyst who also sits on the board of directors. DiGiovanni has reported to Girsky since March 1, when he became vice chairman.

The analysis group's short-term-forecasting arm, which handles monthly sales and influences production, will report to Steve Carlisle, appointed vice president of U.S. sales operations this month, and Jim Bunnell, general director of network support. Market effectiveness will join the U.S. marketing team, led by Vice President Susan Docherty.

“It's a good plan,” DiGiovanni said. “It's one I totally endorse. I think we won't miss a beat.”

DiGiovanni joined the automaker as a senior economist. He worked in forecasting and market research until 1999, when he became GM's first Hummer general manager. He ran the brand until September 2004, when Docherty took over as general manager.

Under DiGiovanni, Hummer sales reached 35,259 in 2003, up from the 800 to 1,000 nongovernment units the brand sold annually when GM bought it.

When DiGiovanni was at Hummer, Jeep sued the division for using a seven-slot grille. After a federal judge in South Bend, Ind., ruled in Hummer's favor, DiGiovanni's staff gave him a Hummer grille as a parting gift. It hung in his office at GM when DiGiovanni led the forecasting group and now has a home in his basement, he said.

After leaving Hummer, DiGiovanni headed GM's product, portfolio and brand strategy, where he sought to help the automaker's brands develop distinct positioning. He took over GM's forecasting group in 2007.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100401/OEM02/100409999/1263#ixzz0juNvl9Hr

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