BRUSSELS - How do you tell a General Motors brand manager?
It is someone who dreams about his brand all night, said Klaus Leydecker, head of brand marketing for the new GM Astra.
Leydecker has been eating, drinking and sleeping Astra since he was appointed to the post last March. He will follow the car through its life cycle.
'We're responsible for product, pricing and advertising,' said Leydecker
His long term goal is 'to become the No. 1 in the segment.' In Europe last year Astra nearly beat its chief rival, the Volkswagen Golf, which was being replaced.
For Leydecker, 51, the Astra is his biggest challenge since joining Opel in 1978. The German native was trained as an economist and spent the first two years of his career with Opel as assistant to the chief economist.
But car sales are in his blood. His father was an Opel dealer.
Leydecker was named manager of Opel's dealer business in 1983. He later took over product strategy for Europe and in 1992 became marketing director at Vauxhall in the UK. He moved into other planning and marketing jobs, ending up with responsibility for Opel's top-selling car.
That doesn't leave much spare time.
'During the week, I eat very late, about 9: 30 pm, talk to my wife and that's about it,' he said. 'There is no time for a night out.'