Vauxhall chief Aldred to head Buick-GMC

Vauxhall Managing Director Duncan Aldred will relocate from the UK to the United States.
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MUNICH -- GM has appointed Vauxhall Managing Director Duncan Aldred as U.S. vice president of sales at the Buick and GMC brands. He will relocate from the UK to GM's Detroit headquarters and start the new job next month, the company said. Aldred's successor at Vauxhall has not been named.

Aldred, 43, has been head of GM's UK unit since January 2010, adding the role of Vauxhall chairman in January 2012. His job included responsibility for GM's UK plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton.

Last year Aldred also served as interim vice president of sales and aftersales for General Motors Europe for 10 months until being replaced by Peter Christian Kuespert in November.

At Vauxhall, Aldred is credited with building the brand with new schemes such as Vauxhall's lifetime warranty. He also successfully secured two all-new models for the Luton and Ellesmere Port factories.

Prior to taking up the position as Vauxhall managing director, Aldred was GM Europe's sales operations director in Ruesselsheim, Germany. He began his career at the Ellesmere Port plant in 1990 and was named an Automotive News Europe Rising Star in 2012.

Chevrolet changes

Aldred succeeds Brian Sweeney, who will take over Chevrolet's top U.S. post, part of an effort by GM's biggest brand to boost its sliding market share.

Sweeney, 46, will become U.S. vice president of Chevrolet, in charge of sales, service and marketing, GM said in a statement. He replaces Don Johnson, 56, who will retire.

The changes take effect March 1.

The moves come one month after GM appointed Steve Hill as its new head of U.S. sales, overseeing both Chevy and Buick-GMC. He succeeded Alan Batey, who was promoted to president of GM North America.

Sweeney and Aldred will report to Hill.

"Brian and Duncan both have a broad understanding of sales and marketing and the right skills to help us delight our current customers and attract new ones," Hill said in a statement.

Johnson had been head of Chevy sales and service since June 2012. Before that he was vice president of U.S. sales operations.

Chevrolet's U.S. market share slipped to 12.5 percent last year, from 12.8 percent in 2012 and 13.9 percent in 2011. In January, Chevy's sales slid 13 percent, dragging its market share down to 11.8 percent for the month, vs. 13.2 percent a year earlier.

Despite the shrinking share, GM executives have touted the brand's sharply higher transaction prices on its rejuvenated passenger car lineup and its redesigned Silverado pickup.

Don Johnson, 56, plans to retire.

Sweeney has been head of sales for Buick-GMC since March 2010. He's generally well-liked by dealers, who credit him with boosting Buick's lease business and raising customer-service standards, including the implementation of a courtesy transportation program for service customers.

Chevrolet's U.S. sales have declined two consecutive months, with volume off 8 percent in December and 13 percent last month. Overall, U.S. sales of Chevrolet rose 5 percent to 1.95 million last year while Buick deliveries increased 14 percent to 205,509, and GMC gained 9 percent to 450,901.

Sweeney joined GM in 1990 and has worked in sales and service jobs at Pontiac and Saab.

Sean Gagnier contributed to this report

PRESS RELEASE: DUNCAN ALDRED MOVES TO SENIOR GM LEADERSHIP ROLE IN DETROIT


Duncan Aldred, chairman and managing director of Vauxhall Motors and CEO of Opel Ireland has been appointed US vice president, Buick-GMC Sales, Service and Marketing commencing March 1st 2014 and will be based at GM's global headquarters in Detroit.

Duncan joined Vauxhall as an undergraduate at its Ellesmere Port plant in 1990 and, with Vauxhall sponsorship, went on to graduate from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA (Hons) in 1992. He subsequently worked in various positions in Vauxhall sales and marketing and was appointed retail sales director in 2004. In July 2006 he moved to Budapest as director, sales, marketing and aftersales for GM's South East Europe region, transferring to Germany to take the role of sales operations director for GM Europe in 2009. Ceded

Returning to the UK in January 2010, he became managing director of Vauxhall Motors, adding the chairman's responsibilities in December 2011. In addition to these roles, Duncan took the assignment of acting vice president, sales, marketing and aftersales for Opel/Vauxhall in January 2013.

Duncan has led Vauxhall out of the global recession into a vibrant company, launching over a dozen new models and a new brand strategy in just three years. He also successfully secured two all-new models for its Luton and Ellesmere Port manufacturing plants which begin build in 2014/15 respectively. With over 4000 employees and sales approaching 300,000 units per annum, Vauxhall is now a firm number two in the UK market and is the UK's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

A successor will be announced later.

You can reach Douglas A. Bolduc at dbolduc@crain.com.

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