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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.

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Mark LaNeve, General Motors' head of U.S. sales, is reportedly set to leave the company on October 15th. LaNeve had been appointed GM North America vice president of marketing and advertising back in September of 2004 after starting his career as the brand manager for the now-defunct Pontiac Bonneville.

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Buick LaCrosse "Photo Shoot" ad - Click the image above to view the video after the jump

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Over the last several years, we've heard a lot of excuses from many auto executives as to why their companies aren't offering diesel engines in their American market cars. Yesterday, General Motors' Mark LaNeve, the company's vice president of sales and marketing, made an appearance on C-SPAN's Washington Journal. The final question of the segment came from a viewer wondering why GM has failed to offer U.S. consumers the chance to buy some of the high-mileage diesel cars it offers in Europe.

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Over the last several years, we've heard a lot of excuses from many auto executives as to why their companies aren't offering diesel engines in their American market cars. Yesterday, General Motors' Mark LaNeve, the company's vice president of sales and marketing, made an appearance on C-SPAN's Washington Journal. The final question of the segment came from a viewer wondering why GM has failed to offer U.S. consumers the chance to buy some of the high-mileage diesel cars it offers in Europe.

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A bit of positive news about General Motors: April sales were up 15% compared to March. GM Sales and Marketing Vice President Mark LaNeve notes that April is typically worse for sales than March and credits GM's Total Confidence program for the reversal.

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In an interview Sunday with Automotive News (sub. req'd), Troy Clarke, GM's North American president, said that General Motors will be able to make good on its promise to Congress to drastically cut costs. Clarke said that GM will now focus its "product and marketing resources" on Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC. That would leave Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and HUMMER in automotive limbo. As part of that same plan presented to lawmakers, GM said it would sell or close Saturn. And since no one has y

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From November 28 to December 11, GM is holding back incentive payments to dealers, including dealer cash and customer cash. Why? in the words of Mark LaNeve, GM's VP of North American sales, because "Anytime you can delay any kind of a payment, it helps cash flow" And cash is probably the most important four-letter word in any GM dictionary.

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"Like a Rock" might now refer to how quickly Chevy drops its long-time advertising agency if it doesn't get with the program. According to Advertising Age, GM marketing chief Mark LaNeve sent a stern message to Campbell-Ewald, the agency responsible for the bulk of Chevy's ads since 1922. LaNeve's message? Chevrolet is a "smart choice" and shoppers need to know it. With stagnant sales and a $756 million ad budget, the company needs results and LeNeve apparently thinks this is the way to get them

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At a GM function Autoblog attended Wednesday night, Mark LaNeve, in his remarks to the assembled media, mentioned the Astra by name when responding to a question about Saturn. That was the first time we'd heard anyone from GM refer to the forthcoming Ion replacement by its Opel moniker in a Saturn context, and given LaNeve's stature, we took notice. We caught up with him later on and asked if "Saturn Astra" was indeed the official name, and he responded that it was being "heavily considered."

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