General Motors has chosen its next chief executive in the persona of Mary Barra – and its dealers love it. GM dealers praised the naming of Mary Barra as successor to current top honcho Dan Akerson. They also praised the appointment of Mark Reuss as chief of product development and Alan Batey as head of GM’s North American operations.
“They’re just three outstanding executives for GM,” said Steve Hurley, co-chairman of the Chevrolet dealer council. He remarked that for the three to be tapped for their positions is “very, very encouraging.” Dealers praised Barra’s work in leading GM product development, crediting her with the high quality of GM vehicles, which has increased competitiveness and boosted sales.
According to Hurley, while he knows Reuss and Batey better than Barra, the soon-to-be first woman CEO of GM and of any auto company impressed him when they met a few months ago. He said that she was “very grounded“ and has “a very realistic attitude.” Hurley credited Reuss for much of GM’s recent success in North America, adding that he would be suitable for his new role as GM’s product chief.
Hurley remarked that Reuss’ appointment will be excellent for GM because he is so focused on the product and understands the need of the customer when it comes to the product. Hurley also praised Batey’s leadership, saying that he was always willing to lend an ear to dealers.
“He’s always looking for solutions, but he’s the kind of guy that doesn’t want to hear somebody complain about a problem and not have an idea for a solution,” he said.