Do the shuffle: GM swapping Buick and Saab execs

With Saab continuing its sales upswing and its current branding efforts having their intended effects, Jay Spenchian, until recently the general manager of Saab Cars USA, has been shifted to Buick to fill the role of executive director of North America vehicle sales, service and marketing strategy, and revenue management.

In his early days at GM, Spenchian oversaw marketing efforts for Cadillac during its "Break Through" campaign, when Led Zeppelin was wailing "Been a long time. . ." over cruising shots of XLRs and CTSs. Moving to Saab in April of 2005 and heading the brand's "Born from Jets" campaign, Spenchian's efforts have paid dividends in terms of brand awareness and prestige. With the Buick Enclave evoking all the right responses so far, GM will want to get that car's branding campaign just right as a means to recasting and expanding Buick's brand values with potential customers. Spenchian, the man with the so-far golden marketing instincts, has been given the task.

Spenchian's role at Saab will be filled by former Buick General Manager Steve Shannon.

[Source: GM]


GM Announces VSSM Executive Appointments

DETROIT – Several executives at General Motors' North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing (VSSM) staff have been named to new roles, effective immediately.
  • Jay Spenchian has been appointed executive director, VSSM strategy and revenue management. He was previously divisional general manager, Saab. He will report to Mark LaNeve, GMNA vice president, VSSM.
  • Steve Shannon has been named divisional general manager, Saab. He was formerly divisional general manager, Buick. He will report to Mike Jackson, GMNA vice president, Marketing and Advertising, and will also work closely with the Saab organization in Sweden.
  • Katherine Benoit has been appointed executive director, Buick-Pontiac-GMC. She will be responsible for leveraging cross-brand opportunities for the Buick, Pontiac and GMC channel. Benoit will report to John Larson, general manager, Buick-Pontiac-GMC. She was previously executive director, Order Fulfillment. Her replacement will be named later.
"These changes will help us take the necessary steps to move from turnaround to transformation and sharpen our focus on the key areas of the VSSM business plan," said Mark LaNeve. "VSSM played a significant role in the progress that GM North America made last year, and these individuals and their teams will help us continue those efforts in 2007."

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