Mary Barra says GM is riding a wave of new products in North America

Article by Anita Panait, on February 11, 2014

While changes in the management at General Motors are understandable considering that it has a new chief executive in Mary Barra, there are concerns, especially among dealers, that top changes on the carmaker’s sales organization could affect sales. Barra recently said that GM is "riding a wave of new products" in North America as it seeks to boost profitability and market share.

But taking charge of that responsibility are sales and marketing executive teams made up of new people. Just last week, GM named Brian Sweeney as sales chief of Chevrolet replacing the retiring Don Johnson. Taking over Sweeney’s job a GMC-Buick sales chief is Duncan Aldred, who has been leading Vauxhall.

Both Sweeney and Aldred will report to new US sales boss Steve Hill, who was also recently promoted to a new role after Barra took over as CEO.

Some dealers say the latest shuffle came just as the brands, armed with new products, should already be implementing their sales strategies.

"The changes can be a distraction. It makes it hard for dealers to buy into the go-to-market strategy," an owner of a Chevrolet dealership and a Buick-GMC store told Automotive News, adding that changes on a brand's top sales management would have a trickle-down effect on the field sales staff. Likewise, shuffling of top executives could pose a distraction for GM zone managers, district managers and sales reps. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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