General Motors Co. is evaluating how it will structure management in Brazil after Grace Lieblein, who was previously the president of GM Brazil, shifted to head of global purchasing last December. CEO Dan Akerson will have to undertake several decisions in the management of its organization in Brazil, one of its most significant emerging markets.
Jaime Ardila, president of GM South America, said that GM hasn’t yet named a replacement since it still has to determine the tasks that this position will have. As part of GM’s overhaul, Akerson aims to boost accountability and flexibility as the brand competes on the global front with Toyota and Volkswagen.
Akerson will need to decide if it will assign one person to oversee all operations in one country like Brazil or if the top executive could be the Chevrolet boss in the country. During a recent interview, Ardila said that GM is in the midst of talks on how this reorganization will work. Currently, Ardila is leading Brazilian operations aside from his role in managing GM South America.
GM has very recently merged the CFO roles for Brazil and South America with the appointment of Carlos Zarlenga for the job. Last year, GM presented seven new vehicles in Brazil to refresh its offerings and make the region profitable once again. In the first three quarters of 2012, Brazil (the No. 4 largest light-vehicle market in the world) made up 60% of GM’s auto sales in South America.
GM is composed of five divisions, which include the finance arm. Last year, the highest profit came from North America while the fastest sales growth came from the international operations group, including China.