• Dec 1, 2009
Fritz Henderson's unexpected resignation may have taken top billing today, but it wasn't the only move announced by General Motors today. Michael Richards has been named the new General Manager of Buick GMC effective immediately, with the automaker looking from outside the company to fill the roll. Richards replaces Susan Docherty, who was named Vice President of US Sales in October. Richards joins GM after a short stint at Trilogy Automotive in Austin, Texas, where he led the use of digital and Internet-based solutions. Richards also worked as a consultant for JD Power where he launched tools for improved vehicle launch profitability and customer satisfaction.

The bulk of Richards' experience comes from cross-town rival Ford where he worked from 1981-2008. Richards was most recently the marketing brand manager for Lincoln Mercury from 2006-2008. Prior to that he worked as the general sales manager for Ford Customer Service from 2002-2006.

Regardless of where Richards received his management chops, Vice Chairman and Marketing and Communications chief Bob Lutz likes what he has with the long-time Ford man. "We are pleased to have Mike as a member of the GM family. His vast sales and marketing experience will be invaluable in his new role, as he leads the team building the Buick and GMC brands."

[Source: GM]

PRESS RELEASE:

DETROIT – Robert A. Lutz, GM vice chairman, marketing and communications, today named Michael D. Richards, 52, general manager of Buick GMC, effective immediately. Richards replaces Susan Docherty, who was appointed General Motors vice president, U.S. sales, in October.

"Michael is an automotive industry veteran who brings extensive experience in both marketing and sales," Lutz said. "We are confident he will build on the positive momentum Buick GMC has with the 2010 Buick LaCrosse and GMC Terrain, as well as the upcoming Buick Regal."

Richards brings a diverse automotive background to Buick GMC. He was most recently vice president of marketing and sales for the global automotive business at Trilogy, based in Austin, Texas. At Trilogy, he led the use of digital and internet-based solutions to assist automakers in building profitable share growth and improving customer satisfaction.

Prior to his time at Trilogy, he was a consultant to J.D. Power and Associates in Troy, Mich. In that capacity, he led the company's efforts to develop products to improve customer satisfaction, market share and profitability for newly launched vehicles, and developed a syndicated index to measure new vehicle launch performance.

From 1981 to 2008, Richards held several sales and marketing positions at the Ford Motor Company, including general marketing manager for the Lincoln Mercury Division from 2006 to 2008. While at Lincoln Mercury, he oversaw the launch of six new products in 14 months and significantly increased the brands' internet presence. He also was the general sales manager of the Ford Customer Service Division from 2002 to 2006, where he led all U.S. parts and service activities.

Richards also gained significant regional experience while at Ford, leading the Western Region in Los Angeles from 2000 to 2002, and the Great Lakes Region from 1998 to 1999.

Richards holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University and attended the Strategic Marketing Education Program at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

"We are pleased to have Mike as a member of the GM family," Lutz said. "His vast sales and marketing experience will be invaluable in his new role, as he leads the team building the Buick and GMC brands."

About Buick GMC

Buick is in the midst of a transformation that started with the Enclave luxury crossover and continues with the completely redesigned LaCrosse luxury sedan and Regal sport sedan. Buick is emerging as a modern, premium brand with vehicles characterized by sculpted designs, personal technologies, luxurious interiors and responsive performance. Future new sedans and crossovers are planned and will continue to expand Buick's portfolio both in North America and China. More information can be found at www.buick.com.

GMC is one of the industry's healthiest brands and is evolving to include more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers. The all-new GMC Terrain is a smaller SUV that offers outstanding fuel economy along with the capability, engineering excellence and refinement that have defined GMC for more than a century. Complementing the Terrain is the Acadia eight-passenger crossover, Yukon and Yukon XL and Sierra pickups. Today GMC is the only manufacturer offering three full-size hybrid models. Details on all GMC models are available at www.gmc.com.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's it, then. GM is officially a comedy act.
      • 5 Years Ago
      G.M. should do away with both Buick and GMC too. Chevrolet and Cadillac are all that are needed and are what should be concentrated on. We don't need any more Buicks, let alone Chinese made ones. GMC buyers would switch over to Chevrolet if their redundant brand were no longer an option. Having the same amenities inside and out while being the same identical vehicles with the exception of some minor badge engineering they are are hardly unique. They could save a bundle just by adding an upscale trim level to Chevrolet and calling it quits on the idea of nursing along yet another brand. By doing so they could also claim the title to the number one selling pickup in America that an undeserving Ford has claimed for twenty some years now. The only reason they have been able to do so is because GMC and Chevrolet truck sales were never combined.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if every time he opens a door, the audience cheers
      • 5 Years Ago
      Giddyup!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Any country music fan would have told you it's:

        "Giddy up go, daddy! Giddy up go!"
        • 5 Years Ago
        You sir made my day!
        • 5 Years Ago

        This is in response to a different post by you on the subject of manual vs automatic transmissions since it will not allow posts onto old aricles



        Dear Crunkjuice from autoblog.com,
        There are many situations in life in which people must choose between one of two things such as Burger King and Mcdonalds, or a Mustang and a Corvette, and even an automatic or manual transmission for their car. In these situations they must do the research and determine which is best for them and why it is best for them. In your post you state that, for the average driver an automatic transmission is best for the daily driver, and that they do not need a manual, and furthermore that you will be happy to see manuals go. This is interesting in the fact that you may not have really looked into the situation as you claim that there is a very small difference in the miles per gallon that can be saved by driving a manual, or that a boost in performance is unnecessary. However, you state that you have driven manual for the past five years so you do have some experience handling the cars, and probably live in an urban area where driving a standard shift is not as entertaining as it is in rural areas, so take a deeper look into the subject.
        Begin with fuel economy you claim that a manual only gets one to two miles per gallon better than an automatic. This statistic is according to the Environmental Protection Agency and is inaccurate because they dry run these cars and figure out how far they will go in theory, however consumerreports.org did their own independent study and found that a Mini Cooper in manual for will get two to five miles per gallon better than the Mini Cooper Clubman version of the same dimensions, this was not a dry run in a stationary position either, but rather on the actual road during different sets of conditions. The EPA is not necessarily an unreliable source however, because of this it’s simply that they performed this test the wrong way. In fact one statistic that the EPA did get correct is how far the average person drives and that would be around twelve-thousand miles per year. An automatic mini cooper generally will get around twenty six miles per gallon city and thirty four miles per gallon on the highway(Lazarony). This translates to around an average of twenty nine miles per gallon depending on where one lives, with a manual getting thirty one miles per gallon bare minimum. Over twelve thousand miles, or one year’s driving distance it will save the driver around seventy dollars per year bare minimum. This figure will go up depending on distance driven, gas prices, and where a person even lives. A person who lives in the country will gain more benefit for instance than a city dweller, because of the distances that they are required to drive in rural areas. This may not be an enormous amount of money, but when combined with other factors, it can become a really good financial decision.
        Another factor to consider when choosing between these two different types of vehicles is performance of the car itself. In a standard vehicle, stock, a stick shift can greatly increase the performance of the car because the driver is able to handle how fast they need to change gears. This of course is not favorable in an incredibly fast car that might be used in drag racing as a modified car will require the driver to shift very quickly, and this is a situation where an automatic would be best for the driver. The aforementioned is not the typical situation however, as most people are not drag racers, but normal drivers who would like to be able to accelerate up a hill rather than “crawl” up it in an automatic. Or another example is someone who is parked at a red light and has to change lanes because they are about to make a turn and are in the inappropriate lane and really are not sure where they are going, they know that they made a mistake by not changing lanes sooner, but they simply accelerate past the car beside of them and are able to make their turn. This is much safer than the minivan races that typically happen every day. This may not be a safe driving maneuver but this is not a perfect world and a very common practice so people, should learn to live with the fact that if it is going to occur, it should be made safer. An increase in performance is one of the major reasons to transfer over to driving manual, as stock manual, with a skilled driver, will always beat stock automatic of the same type of car. Performance is a major factor for a serious driver who has to cut through traffic on occasion to get where they are headed on time.
        Back to a more economic side of the issue however that couples with the gas mileage, is original price and maintenance of the car. The original price of a vehicle which is available in both manual and automatic can have a great price range depending on the tran
      • 5 Years Ago
      The GM management demographic continues.
      Maybe when they learn to diversify their management, I will consider buying one of their vehicles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      G.M. should do away with both Buick and GMC. Chevrolet and Cadillac are all that are needed and are what should be concentrated on. We don't need any more Buicks, let alone Chinese made ones. GMC buyers would switch over to Chevrolet if their redundant brand were no longer an option. Having the same amenities inside and out while being the same identical vehicles with the exception of some minor badge engineering they are are hardly unique. They could save a bundle just by adding an upscale trim level to Chevrolet and calling it quits on the idea of nursing along yet another brand. By doing so they could also claim the title to the number one selling pickup in America that an undeserving Ford has claimed for twenty some years now. The only reason they have been able to do so is because GMC and Chevrolet truck sales were never combined.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "general sales manager for Ford Customer Service from 2002-2006"

      .... so basically this guy is a salesman. Yah, that should work out great... :- Car salesman are some of the most intelligent, charismatic and trustworthy people I've ever met. Cough.
      • 5 Years Ago
      let the racial slurs commence
      • 5 Years Ago
      Before I scrolled down to see the picture and article I thought it was Kramer who was named GM. Haha man that would have been awesome!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Richards joins GM after a short stint at Trilogy Automotive in Austin, Texas, where he led the use of digital and Internet-based solutions."

        Sooo... whats this mean? probubly nothing, sounds like a nice BS title...

        "Richards also worked as a consultant for JD Power where he launched tools for improved vehicle launch profitability and customer satisfaction."

        Oh and this one is great too, as im sure he just "managed" something that comprised of a bunch of techs doing all the work.

        "Richards was most recently the marketing brand manager for Lincoln Mercury from 2006-2008"

        And up until recent, and i mean really recent, has linconln got back in the game, as far as merc? still going bland



        im glad GM picked this guy.... phew, and to think i was worried.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I pictured in my mind Kramer saying: "wrong mujumbo" LOL
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mr. Skunk: You wrote - "the automaker looking from outside the company to fill the roll"

        You used the wrong word, it should be ROLE.

        You're a journalist dammit, typos are somewhat acceptable, not knowing the meaning the words that you type is NOT. That was not a typo.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This picture of Kramer would have been the greatest: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v244/antoniojvr/Misc/kramer10.jpg
        • 5 Years Ago
        Glad I'm not the only one who thought of the Seinfeld visual when I read the headline :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      There was Lincoln/Mercury marketing in 2006-2008? Mercury's still around?

      Oh that's right - the "hey let's ditch real car names" plan.

      Buick LC? GMC TRN? Buick RG? Anyone, anyone?

      About as sane a plan as installing Fritz was.
    • Load More Comments