General Motors sales chief to retire ( ordering system was full of bugs) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

General Motors Sales Chief To Retire

Story Filed: Tuesday, January 18, 2000 1:56 PM EST

DETROIT (AP) -- The head of General Motors Corp.'s North American sales, service and marketing division will retire April 1, but said his retirement had nothing to do with a string of disputes with GM dealers.

Roy S. Roberts, 60, said he had wanted to retire last year and run his own business, but stayed on to oversee a sweeping reorganization of GM's sales department.

``I've had a wonderful career, far beyond anything I could have imagined,'' Roberts said. ``My people will be in good hands.''

Since being named to the position in October 1998, Roberts has seen GM's sales rebound from a crippling strike. GM's sales were up 9 percent this year, and while its yearly market share was the lowest for a year without a war or strike, it did not lose share, as Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler division of DaimlerChrysler AG did.

The reorganization of GM's sales division last year saw 1,000 people trimmed from a 5,000-person organization, with hundreds of people shifting jobs. Roberts said the goal was to streamline GM's relationship with its dealers.

While the reorganization was a hit inside the company, some dealers complained that GM was taking too much control of advertising and said a new ordering system was full of bugs. Roberts also was the target of criticism for a GM plan to buy up to 800 dealerships in major markets. After a dealer backlash, the plan was scuttled.

Dealer surveys now show GM with the lowest dealer satisfaction in the industry.

In a recent speech to the Automotive News World Congress, Roberts said one of GM's main goals for 2000 was to improve its dealer relations.

``Dealer relations are down across the board'' due to turmoil in the industry, Roberts said. ``I think our problems with dealers reached a fulcrum last year, and I'm looking forward to ... addressing our issues going forward.''

-- Homer Beanfang (, January 19, 2000


Another one bites the dust...

Thanks for the post Homer. =)

-- Dee (, January 19, 2000.

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