GM appoints global marketing supremo

General Motors (GM), the world’s largest car manufacturer, has promoted GM North America vice-president of marketing and advertising John Middlebrook to the new role of vice-president of global sales, service and marketing operations.

Middlebrook will report to GM chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner. Wagoner says Middlebrook will be responsible for implementing best practice in sales and marketing, which he describes as “critical areas” in its global businesses. GM has already restructured its European operations, but has yet to rejig its marketing structure under European vice- president of sales, marketing and after-sales Jonathan Browning.

General Motors’ core European brands are Vauxhall, Opel and Saab. Daewoo, which GM acquired in 2002, is to be rebranded as Chevrolet, GM’s US value marque (MW March 18). Other marques marketed globally include Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Holden, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Saturn. GM also holds stakes in Fiat, Suzuki, Isuzu and Subaru.

GM contracts out the European rights to market luxury marque Cadillac to Dutch company Kroymans, but there has been recent speculation that the US company is to use Saab factories to produce Cadillacs in Europe and will take control of the distribution of the brand’s cars.

Last year, GM took 15 per cent of global vehicle sales, selling a total of 8.6 million cars and commercial vehicles in 192 countries.

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