Realignment For Retention: GM Looking To Get Bloated On Maintenance

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The General's Veep of sales, Mark LaNeve sent a memo out to the General's dealer network this week, where he finally revealed the secretive moves GM began "several months ago" to realign the field and support organization for the not-so-spritely General. It looks like the General's gonna be moving to three Regional Sales and Marketing Managers (RSMM) — one for Chevy, one for Pontiac-Buick-GMC and one for GM's "Premium" brands plus Saturn — in each of GM's five regions. That's a heckuva lot of RSMM's! But, just as big as the still-expansive sales and support team is the news that the realignment's going to focus on increasing the seemingly measly "three out of ten return-rate of new GM vehicle owners" to GM dealerships — a focus on what LaNeve calls "customer retention and revenue opportunities so that more GM vehicle owners will return to you for their vehicle maintenance." Remember dealers, you may not be making as much off of your cars as you once were after we dropped those sticker prices — but hey, try your damndest to make it up in the oil change business, k?


Full text of the memo after the jump:

Date: May 16, 2006

To: GM Dealer Network

Subject: VSSM and SPO Field Realignment and Leadership Announcements

Several months ago, we announced that we were planning to realign the VSSM and SPO field organization to support our U.S. Market Growth Plan and Channel strategy. This important initiative will positively impact the way that we interact with all of you on a daily basis, so I wanted to share the leadership structure and appointments with each of you.

Regional Sales and Marketing
Each region will have three Regional Sales and Marketing Managers (RSMMs)—-Chevrolet; Pontiac-Buick-GMC; and Premium-Saturn. The RSMMs will be responsible for the integration and implementation of the marketing and sales tactics for their brands in their region. They will report to the Regional General Manager, and work with their respective Divisional General Manager to ensure linkage to channel specific marketing initiatives. The Regional Divisional Marketing Managers (RDMMs) are aligned by channel and will report to the appropriate RSMM. Zone teams will call on dealers within a channel and will report to the RSMM for that channel. Saturn Market Area Managers and their teams will continue to report to the Saturn RDMM and Sales Manager, who will report to the Premium-Saturn RSMM, in recognition of the Saturn channel. Together, these changes will provide for better development, communication and implementation of our go-to-market strategies.

Customer Retention, Parts and Accessory Sales
Approximately three out of 10 new GM vehicle owners return to their GM dealership for vehicle maintenance. With the field realignment, we are taking steps to focus on customer retention and revenue opportunities so that more GM vehicle owners will return to you for their vehicle maintenance. Each region will have a Regional Service Development, Parts and Accessories Manager and an Assistant Regional Manager-Aftermarket. These positions will report through the Executive Director SPO-Field Operations and have a dotted-line relationship to the Regional General Manager. Duane Miller is appointed to the Executive Director position. The Regional Service Manager (RVM) position will continue to be part of each region and operate with its current responsibilities and reporting relationships, including an ongoing relationship with Peter Lord, Executive Director Service Operations. Together, these positions will lead our efforts with you to increase customer retention and grow parts and accessory sales.


Other Changes and Important Dates
We are now working to appoint dedicated zone teams to a single channel in terms of their assigned dealers. This will result in several new appointments at the zone and direct contact level. We are working to minimize the disruption to you and your business during the transition to this new structure, which we will begin operating under effective July 1. Our goal is to drive sales and service contacts and decisions on a channel basis, which should provide more focused support for your business.

Thank you for your hard work and contributions to helping us achieve GM's turnaround.



Mark R. LaNeve
GMNA Vice President
North American Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing


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