Since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, General Motors has been spending a goodly amount of effort trying to prove that the "New GM" does things differently than the company that squandered over 15 points of market share in the past two decades. Its latest gambit is linking salaried employee bonuses, in part, to customer loyalty. While we tend to cast a skeptical eye on such proclamations – whether they come from GM or any other automaker – we're intrigued by what seems like a legitimate effort by GM North American President Mark Reuss to truly remake the automaker into a customer-focused company.

According to Automotive News, Reuss has ended the longstanding practice of each GM fiefdom having its own internal goals, with the overall success of the organization rendered irrelevant. As Reuss told AN, "Everybody had their own metrics, which somehow were all green. But, weirdly, when we added it up, it was pretty red."

All of GM's 29,000 salaried North American employees, including both sales and marketing and design and engineering staff, will be covered by the new policy, which rewards employees with year-end bonuses only if goals for quality and customer retention are met. The customer focus was added this year, with the quality goals having been set in 2011, according to the report.

AN says the biggest change the policy will have on GM's corporate culture may come at the dealership level. Where, in the past, GM's sales managers were known to push cars down the pipeline, essentially strong-arming dealers to take cars they didn't want, that practice has ended, according to the report.


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  • 84 Comments
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      Customer loyalty is definitely a good thing but it seems like this wouldn't be fair for a lot of people. For example, I imagine there are people in marketing whose job is to figure out how to lure customers from other brands -- high customer loyalty doesn't have anything to do with those people doing a good job.
      cayce58
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you want better cars you give a bonus to the hourly worker also and tie it to satisfaction of customer on quality of finished product. Profit sharing has lead to a work force that polices itself but management at GM continues to think union labor a separate and lower species.
      david davidson
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would like to know what Reuss plans to do to improve his own worth as a "GM" executive. He is rarely ever seen, has only the Aztek as a feather in his cap...what kind of bonus did he receive for that fiasco. To date the only thing going for him is that he is the off spring of a former 'GM exec who was removed in the early 90's. Still seems like the old GM to me.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        rlog100
        • 2 Years Ago
        If you think 2008 was all about Rick, you have no clue. 2008 for GM was the result of 40 years of decisions.
      Todd Fleming
      • 2 Years Ago
      So are the executives bonuses tied in the same manner I doubt it. Come on you know lead by example, BAH hahahaha...
      BRKF06
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, that blows. You can do a great job and get screwed over on the bonus because the company builds cars people don't want? Sucks to be a GM employee even more...
      mikebphoto
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have purchased my last GM vehicle since GM pulled the plug on Pontiac. My purchasing and service relationship with my local Pontiac dealer was outstanding but they were a Pontiac only dealership. GM could have kept them as a Buick/GMC dealership but didn't. My local Pontiac dealer had OUTSTANDING customer relationship ratings-top ten in all Pontiac/Buick/GMC dealerships nationwide. I will be looking at Ford products for my next new vehicle. Sorry GM employees-no customer loyalty here anymore. I have purchased 7 new GM vehicles in the past 20 years. You screwed my dealer-thus you screwed me.
      kaydev2
      • 2 Years Ago
      You really should have done some research before making such statements.
      redjr537
      • 2 Years Ago
      What About the Actual Workers that Make the Cars !!
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      I worked for a huge auto insurance company for five years. They have a very generous profit-sharing that was spread across the company and actually tied to things that mattered. I was a claims adjuster. My personal performance was tied to those new ridiculous 'customer satisfaction surveys' that every company now punishes consumers with. It got to the point the most important thing I did was grovel, yes grovel, for EXCELLENT ratings. It was less about the actual customer satisfaction and more about the marketing department wanted the commercial to say '93% of customers say the claims experience was excellent.' Ever notice how those marketing piece use odd numbers? SOunds more precise. WILL INCREASE YOUR FUEL ECONOMY 17%!!
      nowaczyk1
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM needs to step up better than this.... I contacted GMC Customer Assistance for issues involving a 2001 Jimmy with ABS Brake issues.... The dealer just kept claiming parts needed to be replaced and $4,000 later it still is not repaired.... GMC claims they can't do anything, so if they cannot control their dealers and how they work with the public and how their work is performed, GM still does not have a clue how to maintain customer loyalty.... The worst part is I used to work for GMC Customer Assistance back when we took pride in doing the job and worked to help people not just tell them that they are on their own when going to a GM Dealership.... Mr. Reuss needs to look at how it used to be done before making policy on how to recreate something that does not work in its current form!!!!!!
      ragtopdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Benjamin Franklin once proposed that elected officials not be paid for their service to the nation -- a proposal that was quickly struck down by other representatives. However, it must be said that during the recent recession, members of Congress did conform somewhat to the idea of "austerity" and quietly declined their annual salary bump for the second year in a row. Regardless, members of Congress have continued to see their wealth grow. Many saw their fortunes increase by millions of dollars. The combined minimum net worth of this year's 50 wealthiest lawmakers was $1.6 billion, over $200 million more than last year's (2010) group.
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