Former leading engineer at General Motors Jim Federico certainly didn't take long to find a new job. After recently announcing his retirement from GM, he is moving to Harley-Davidson on June 2 as its new Vice President of Engineering.

"We've been talking to Jim about this position for some time," said Harley-Davidson spokesperson Maripat Blankenheim in Motorcycle.

Federico spent nearly 36 years at GM and retired as the company's Executive Director of Global Vehicle Integration. He held high-level engineering positions for a wide variety of vehicles including the Chevrolet Spark (pictured above), Cadillac CTS and many others. However, his most notable recent job was as lead investigator on a team that examined the automaker's faulty ignition switches. In 2012, his group analyzed the components to understand what was happening to them. However, he later left the team because of an excessive workload. "Jim plans to take on new engineering and design challenges outside of the auto industry," said the the automaker's official statement on his retirement.

Federico's leaving appeared to be timed as GM split its engineering department into two sections. John Calabrese, GM Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering, also retired during the change.


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  • 23 Comments
      Hazdaz
      • 7 Months Ago
      I hope H-D uses this guy's talent to really modernize their fleet of bikes. Indian and other bike makers have shown that you don't need antiquated technology just to pursue sales of heritage bikes. The styling can stay retro (to a certain degree), but modern machinery can be hidden below that retro sheetmetal. This could be a big win for HD if they use this guy correctly.
      DesignWhuuu
      • 7 Months Ago
      Wear a helmet
      LW
      • 7 Months Ago
      going from designing pushrod dinosaurs to designing more pushrod dinosaurs
      Jim R
      • 7 Months Ago
      Well at least Harley's reliability can't get any worse.
      keet
      • 7 Months Ago
      Wow, Harley has an engineering department? Last time they designed a bike from scratch they had to have Porsche help them.
      Jerry
      • 7 Months Ago
      Not joking, GM f'ed up by letting this guy go. Worked with him for a short period on the Regal GS program. Was always very impressed. GM's loss, Harley's gain. I thought he was MUCH younger than he actually is! Must be a highlander or something.
      Neez
      • 7 Months Ago
      Well, at least harley's can't get any worse in reliability??? You would think after 60+ years of making the same motorcycle, they would be bulletproof by now?? So that means, the quality and reliability charts can only go up, with looks good on his resume after HD finally teters off into bankruptcy(shrinking customer base).
        cruzer
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Neez
        Harley Davidson will not be going bankrupt. They have a huge customer base and it won't be going anywhere for a long time. American bikes>jap bikes
          Neez
          • 7 Months Ago
          @cruzer
          Huge customer base now, but that culture is dwindling down as their riders get older. The next generations are joining that culture in the same percentages that they were in the baby boomer generation. Generation X will soon be in the proper age bracket to buy harleys, but their percentages compared to the baby boomers will be way less. Then generation Y will be even less. In 20-30 years, harley will need to change their product portfolio significantly to win over the generation X and Y. If they keep up this attitude of building the same bike over and over again, they will lose a great many customers because they became complacent. They should have kept the buell brand and ousted eric buell, and created a few bikes that don't compete directly with the japanese, but maybe a simpler model for beginners with less engine power in a vtwin setup.
        bootsnchaps60
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Neez
        Got your daily dose of gloom and doom in? Feel better?
          Neez
          • 7 Months Ago
          @bootsnchaps60
          Harley has been on the brink of bankruptcy several times. I know several people that work at harley, i only live 35 minutes from their York PA plant. Harley's customer base has been shrinking. I'm an avid reader of motorcycle daily as well. Their sales have been steadily declining. The percentages of the next generations of people are less and less getting into that biking culture. That harley culture is the only thing keeping them alive, as the japanese bikes are a superior product. Don't take my word for it. See what Forbes(an investing website) has to say about harley in 2012, i agree. http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2013/11/13/harley-davidsons-downfall-baby-boomer-demographics/
        Hazdaz
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Neez
        What are you smokin'? HD sales have been damn good since the end of '09 and their margins have remained pretty good as well. Similar deal with their quality rankings and their customer satisfaction - they tend to be up near the top of surveys year after year. I'm all for HD modernizing their bikes, but to claim that they are anywhere near bankruptcy or their quality sucks speaks volumes to how ignorant you are. If someone doesn't like their bikes... OK, I can get that, I guess, but to blatantly come up with bullsh!t is a different story altogether.
          Neez
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Hazdaz
          Utter BS???? Not according to consumer reports last year. 1 in 4 harleys has a major failure, that's 25%. As opposed to the japanese bikes, which are closer to 1 in 10 (10%). Here for reference, you don't have to believe me: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/200035711.html But for some reason, even with the problems, harley owners are still the most loyal of all the brands. It's because of that bike culture. Harley Davidson has large margins because they don't spend that much on R&D. There motorcycles are just small iterations of the same bike over and over, aside from maybe the Vrod. These motorcycles still appeal to the current baby boomer generation which are aged as low as 38 years old right now. THey are in the prime target age range for harley. THe next generation, generation X will soon be jumping into that range, and the baby boomers will be fizzling out. That's when you'll see demand for harley drop. I personally wouldn't invest in Harley Long term.
        bootsnchaps60
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Neez
        Got your daily dose of gloom and doom in? Feel better?
        cruzer
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Neez
        Harley Davidson will not be going bankrupt. They have a huge customer base and it won't be going anywhere for a long time. American bikes>jap bikes
      Koenigsegg
      • 7 Months Ago
      look at that fuggin headlight ROFL
      Wetstuff
      • 7 Months Ago
      He better be careful, ole' Fat Bob has a lot of keys on his ring. Jim
      Neez
      • 7 Months Ago
      Well, at least harley's can't get any worse in reliability??? You would think after 60+ years of making the same motorcycle, they would be bulletproof by now?? So that means, the quality and reliability charts can only go up, with looks good on his resume after HD finally teters off into bankruptcy(shrinking customer base).
      fordskydog
      • 7 Months Ago
      That's funny, that Hardly-Changerson uses engineers...
      jebibudala
      • 7 Months Ago
      He retired because of the headlight incident.
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