General Motors (NYSE:GM) is essentially entering a make or break couple of years while it launches an unprecedented amount of redesigned or new vehicles – 90% of its portfolio will be replaced, redesigned, or refreshed by 2016. GM hopes this badly needed refresh will help the company recoup its market share which sits new historic lows. To make sure this next chapter goes well GM needs to have the right team put together, and it is continuing to shake up its executives.
In addition to its plans to refresh the oldest vehicle lineup in the industry, success overseas is one of the biggest factors in GM's future profitability. Globally, GM will launch more than 60 vehicles between 2013 and 2014. Tim Lee, in his new position of chairman of GM China, will strengthen the company's international management team.
"GM leads in the U.S. and China, the two most important auto markets in the world," said GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson, in a press release. "We are also in the midst of the most aggressive product rollout in our history. Tim is critical to building on our success in China and to ensuring flawless vehicle launches around the globe."
His new role comes with responsibility for 12 joint ventures, two foreign enterprises, and more than 55,000 employees. Lee will continue to keep his responsibilities from his role as executive vice president global manufacturing, the section in which GM produces components in 168 manufacturing plants in more than 30 countries.
In addition to Lee, Stefan Jacoby, who was recently the CEO of Volvo Cars, will become executive vice president in consolidated international operations. That title comes with the job of leading operations in more than 100 countries and territories in the Asia Pacific, Africa, and Europe segment.
"Stefan is a great addition to an already strong team," said Akerson in a press release. "We expect him to continue building on his record of delivering results in markets around the world."
Few companies are as disliked as General Motors after the company drove its business into the ground and needed a taxpayer-fueled bailout. That's unfortunately what makes GM an intriguing investment, as it was able to wipe billions of debt from its financial statements, and continues to compete for the No. 1 spot in global sales with Toyota.
Crosstown rival Ford has industry-leading management in my opinion, but as GM continues to shake up and strengthen its staff, it may be able to clone Ford's success in economies of scale and consolidation of platforms – if it does this successfully, then buying into GM at this price will be a steal in the long run, regardless of how you feel about the company.