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GM lures more marketing talent from another winning automaker

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GM lures more marketing talent from another winning automaker

David Phillips

and Diana T. Kurylko

Automotive News -- September 24, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT -- General Motors Co.'s new U.S. advertising chief has again tapped another winning automaker to strengthen Chevrolet's marketing bench.

Kevin Mayer has been named director of Chevrolet advertising and sales promotion, the automaker said Thursday. He joins GM from Subaru of America Inc., where he had been director of marketing communications.

In recent months, GM has also lured marketing executives from Hyundai -- one of three brands to post a U.S. sales increase last year. Subaru and Kia were the other two, and Subaru was the only marque to advance in 2008.

“Kevin has consistently demonstrated a unique ability to engage the customer and build a relationship with the brand -- and ultimately the products -- through bold strategies,” Joel Ewanick, GM's vice president for U.S. marketing, said in a statement.

Ewanick joined GM in May after leaving Hyundai earlier this year for Nissan, where he worked six weeks.

He said in a statement that Mayer will be an “asset” as GM prepares to launch two key products, the Chevrolet Cruze small car and the Volt plug-in hybrid.

Hyundai recruits

In August, Hyundai's chief U.S. marketing officer, Chris Perry, was lured away to head marketing at Chevrolet. GM's biggest division lost sales and share in 2008 and 2009 as the automaker slid into bankruptcy and battled the weakest U.S. market in nearly three decades. This year's Chevy sales have risen 19 percent through August, more than twice the industry's advance.

Mayer, 41, will report to Liz Boone, GM's new director for U.S. advertising strategy. Boone was recently hired from Innocean Worldwide Americas -- where she led Hyundai's passenger car account. She reports to Ewanick.

Mayer joined Subaru in 2007. Before that, he served as senior vice president and account director at Colby and Partners, where he led the American Suzuki Motor Co. account.

In a related matter, Subaru said Alan Bethke will replace Mayer as director of marketing communications.

Bethke, 38, was previously marketing planning and operations manager for Subaru. He joined Subaru in 2003 from Suzuki.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100924/OEM/100929923/1261#ixzz10UQRGzaF

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