When word got out that Mark LaNeve (right) was leaving General Motors effective October 15, we weren't at all sure where the soon-to-be-former exec was heading. The Wall Street Journal has finally let the cat out of the bag, reporting that LaNeve is leaving the auto business for a marketing gig at Allstate. LaNeve will sign on as the overseer of all marketing initiatives including brand stewardship, strategy and advertising, reporting only to CEO Thomas Wilson.
Just last week we were chatting with Buick GMC General Manager Susan Docherty on the GM Fastlane Blog about our lack of confidence in the 2010 GMC Terrain, and now she's moved up to GM's Vice President of US sales. Docherty will replace the soon to be departed Mark LeNeve as sales VP and one of the General's executive team members on October 16. Docherty enters her new role with a wealth of experience including stints as general manager of Hummer and GM's western region. CEO Fritz Henderson used
General Motors' sales for the month of February dropped by a gut-wrenching 53% versus February 2008, giving the General plenty of incentive to kick up, well, incentives. GM knows it has to do something more than the typical cash on the hood, 0% financing marketing initiatives, and it has looked at the Hyundai Assurance program for inspiration.
GM may have just half the market share it had 30 years ago, but the Detroit-based automaker still seems to have as many dealers as McDonald's has drive-thrus. The General has slashed more than 2,000 dealerships over the past 12 years, but the company will accelerate closings in order to right-size its sales outlets. GM closed 260 stores in 2007 and another 23 in January of this year, but according to Automotive News, the automaker still has a sizable 6,753 member dealer body. That number seems e