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Old 2nd July 2015, 12:58   #1
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Default GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

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General Motors USA announced several senior-level changes in it's Indian subsidary's management hierarchy, while also creating a separate Chief Operating Officer post which will be filled by the company's Uzbekistan head, Mr. Kaher Kazem.

Mr. Kazem has been with the company's Uzbekistan-based operations since 2012.

Also, Mr. Hardeep Singh Brar has moved to GM India as Vice-President, Sales, from Volkswagen India (Group Sales), where he was head of Network and Dealer Development since 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Brar had held various posts in Maruti-Suzuki India for 17 years.

Mr. Jack Uppal has been appointed as Vice-President, Marketing and Customer Service. He has been with the company for the past 14 years, working in GM's Canada and Middle East operations.

Also, Rajesh Singh, Vice President of Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing, has decided to leave the company, effective August 1.

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Hardeep Singh Brar has been also appointed to the new position of Vice President of Sales for GM India effective July 1, while Jack Uppal has been appointed as Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience from August 1, General Motors India said in a statement.

Commenting on the development, General Motors India President and Managing Director Arvind Saxena said: "The new appointments further strengthen our commitment to the Indian market to offer class leading vehicles along with a truly satisfying ownership experience for our esteemed customers."

Kazem, Brar and Uppal will report to Saxena. While Kazem will be based at the Talegaon manufacturing facility, the other two will be based at the company's Gurgaon headquarters.

In his new role, Kazem will manage the industrial side of GM India's business.
ET
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Old 2nd July 2015, 13:11   #2
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Default re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

Whats the point? They need proper cars to sell first!
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Old 2nd July 2015, 14:23   #3
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Default re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

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Whats the point? They need proper cars to sell first!
Truth. Having a comical line up of cars and half baked products and they think they can sell it to India because its "American". I can tell you that the Spark ownership was a really enjoyable one but I was really looking forward to their next generation cars coming to India. Instead, they just screwed it all up by adding chrome.

Hopefully, the new COO will ask the question "what operations am I supposed to manage if there are no cars that need operations management?"
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Old 2nd July 2015, 14:34   #4
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Default re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

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Hopefully, the new COO will ask the question "what operations am I supposed to manage if there are no cars that need operations management?"
Operations management is the most lucrative revenue stream at GM as an ex-GM owner (thank God for that being in my past) like me can certify. After 15-24 months of ownership, the vehicles need regular surgeries and body part operations/replacements to carry on any further.
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Old 2nd July 2015, 14:40   #5
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Default re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

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Whats the point? They need proper cars to sell first!
So true. Even with a stellar value proposition like 'no maintenance cost for 3 years' they aren't able to succeed.
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Old 2nd July 2015, 16:22   #6
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Default re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

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So true. Even with a stellar value proposition like 'no maintenance cost for 3 years' they aren't able to succeed.
The need of the hour for all such laggards like GMI, Tata, Fiat is two fold.

One and Primary is PRODUCT. This is not India of the 1990s - incidentally a time when all the above three were there and missed adapting to this brave new world. GMI needs new product like a deep sea diver needing oxygen. It is a necessity for survival. They can have a two pronged strategy like Nissan/Datsun and dump all Wuling products like Enjoy/Sail in the cheaper brand with discounted prices and bring in US product to India. I would think a mixture of Buick and Chevy would do wonders.
- Get the Corvette and Camaro at 35L and 50L respectively as brand building products. The Escalade would be a hit in India enamored with bling and will see quite nicely at the price of an ML (sorry GLE)
- GM sold the Subaru Forester in 2002 for 12L with a 2L petrol motor. It would be a fantastic runaway hit if they can get the current Forester (which now looks is CR-V sized and more SUV like) for say 18L but with the Cruze 2.2 160hp motor.
- It is inexplicable that the 1.3L National engine that Fiat and GM created jointly, works better in a Maruti than in with Fiat or GM and the 1.6L version of the same is being launched by Maruti and not Fiat or GM.

Second is PRICE. GMI and the other laggards must realize that they will not sell if they price at similar levels to successful competition. Whether it is the Swift/Grand i10 or i20 or DZire/SCent/Amaze or City/Ciaz or Ertiga or Innova or Corolla, every segment has its entrenched leader. In order to break into the segment, you will have to provide substantial class leading and class unique features at a substantial discount. No one in their right mind is going to buy a Sail or Zest at the same price as a DZire or Amaze even if equipment levels of the laggards are more.

Finally, enhance PERCEPTION. Take the long trek that Hyundai took in the 90s and most of the aughts after the Excel debacle in the late 80s. Once your name is mud, it takes a very long struggle to make it mainstream acceptable. Stand behind your products.
- Provide an industry leading warranty like 10/100k like Hyndai/Kia does in the US. Stand behind said warranty.
- Provide a transferable free maintenance package for 4/48k like BMW does in India. None of the nonsense of charging extra for it like BMW India does.
- Ensure that spare parts are available and reasonably priced by sourcing from India. Provide voluntary recalls and free replacement to out of warranty vehicles (since the current warranty is so pathetically small) for problem parts unique to GM which cost a ton. Things like diesel filter housing which is inexplicably made of plastic and which cracks and which costs 10k to replace or the AC compressor which costs 40k to replace. These are regular failures and should be taken care of by GM without any impact to customer. The 10/100k warranty will take care of most of this.

The three Ps above will start them on the road to recovery. Make no mistake, it will be a long and arduous struggle but it will have to be done if they are not content with selling 2000 cars a month.

Knowing GM, Tata and Fiat, they will continue doing what they have been for the past 20 years and wondering why their vehicles dont sell.
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Old 2nd July 2015, 17:02   #7
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Default re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

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Second is PRICE. GMI and the other laggards must realize that they will not sell if they price at similar levels to successful competition. No one in their right mind is going to buy a Sail or Zest at the same price as a DZire or Amaze even if equipment levels of the laggards are more.
At least GM dealers and GM knows that what is the price. Their sticker price is just the suggested price and when the negotiations end, even a half-intelligent buyer can walk off with substantial discounts on MRP.
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Old 2nd July 2015, 22:03   #8
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Default re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

The other point which I often wonder is: Has GM updated its production lines to the newer ones to keep it current? Surely does not look like. Because, they then should have had updated products too.

Because updation of production lines should be in sync with the product roadmaps. Any info on the underlying aspect should also throw some light whats in store for GM in India.
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Old 3rd July 2015, 14:28   #9
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Default re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

Personally, I was looking forward to see some 'Arvind Saxena' magic...the same stuff we saw on Hyundai through its growth years. Sadly, Chevrolet's Indian position has proven too weak even for him.

General Motors & Tata find themselves in a similar situation today = A damaged brand, demotivated dealerships, confused / old product range and lack of focus. But at least Tata is trying. You have to drive the Bolt & Zest to know they're working hard. I still have to see one convincing move from Chevrolet in the last 4 years. What they did with the Beat diesel was impressive, but it was too little, too late.

4 years is a long time. Maruti, Hyundai & Honda have significantly strengthened their positions in the same time.
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Old 3rd July 2015, 14:47   #10
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Default Re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

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I still have to see one convincing move from Chevrolet in the last 4 years. What they did with the Beat diesel was impressive, but it was too little, too late.

4 years is a long time. Maruti, Hyundai & Honda have significantly strengthened their positions in the same time.
Why 4 years. In fact, I will say that last 4 years is just a continuum of what has happened with GM since they landed in India (late 1990s) or at least till I know (2002-03). Even in 2002-03, there were huge discounts with no end to negotiations. It still trailed Ford (and when Toyota was just in with their Qualis) and GM still had to rely on new launches to bump up sales for a while. All the usual signs of a mediocre product could be seen, but one can fool some customers some of the time (like me when I bought a Corsa). Both GM and Toyota landed with outdated products (Tavera and Qualis) but one did extremely well (and reinforced Toyota's reputation) while the other was powered with a flop Isuzu engine (is that right??).

Fast forward to early 2007, and all the above still held. Huge and never ending discounts, cars that stopped selling beyond 1 quarter of launch, shoddy dealership ambience, and the usual 2nd rate experience.

Looking at the sales number and the discounts offered on GM now, I think things are the same in 2015.

PS: I sold the Corsa (2003 oct) in May 2012 and it was a relief. From 2007-12, my wife ran it and she could manage because her usual monthly run was less than 60-70 km. Even then, like clockwork, every few months, I would get a call from her that the car had broken down (fortunately all times near our home). It had started giving problems from around 15K km and I sold it at 51K in May 2012 for scrap-like value. I am not sure that things are vastly improved with Chevrolet badge. Who in their right mind would like to repeat the continuous punishment.

Last edited by vasudeva : 3rd July 2015 at 14:53.
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Old 3rd July 2015, 15:11   #11
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Default Re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

Somehow, I feel that the Opel brand was better off than the existing crop of SAIC products that GM dishes out for India.

+1 to your Arvind Saxena views, Rush!!
One person alone cannot change a rotting system with a bruised image, brink of bankruptcy in the motherland, demotivated dealers and poor products.

Ideally, this has to be a step by step approach starting with the products, follow it by strengthening the brand equity and dealers network and finally on the internal management.

A top down approach with not a single good product to sell wont take them anywhere!!
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Old 8th July 2015, 13:47   #12
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Default Re: GM India sees changes in top management - new COO post created

Chevrolet has been in India from around 20 years. If we look into the sales chart for last 6 months, they have been able to sell only Beat (i.,e 1000 per month).
They should try to bring new and stylish models if they want to sustain in India.
Its very sad to see General Motors which is the 2nd largest automaker in world, is trying hard to catch up the market in India.

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