Former Holden boss Alan Batey is set to be installed as the new global chief of Chevrolet later this week.
The Wall Street Journal reports British-born Batey – who headed up Holden’s local operations as chairman and managing director for seven months in 2009-2010 – will be appointed to the new position from his current role as vice president of sales and service for Chevrolet in the US.
General Motors CEO Dan Akerson flagged the introduction of the new Chevrolet leadership position earlier this year to create clear accountability for the brand’s global growth. Batey’s main objective in the newly created role will be to accelerate Chevrolet’s growth in its 140 markets around the world.
Chevrolet models accounted for approximately 70 per cent of GM’s 9.3 million global vehicle sales in 2012, and while sales are expanding in developing markets like China and Brazil, the bowtie brand’s US market share is currently at its lowest level in history, last month dipping to 12.8 per cent.
Batey told the Wall Street Journal in an earlier interview the biggest challenge facing Chevrolet was uniting two very distinct sides of the brand, which still relies heavily on its large cars and pick-up trucks in North America while focusing on cheaper family and city cars in other markets.
“We used to operate regionally with each country or local area doing their own thing,” Batey said. “That’s over. From now on we will operate as one.
“When you go back in time and look at when we were at our best, it was when Chevrolet had products that moved people’s minds and connected to them on an emotional basis.
“They were cars for the people and cars for families, and we are moving back to that.”
Batey has already taken steps towards this global unification in his current role at Chevrolet, introducing the brand’s first global advertising slogan ‘Find New Roads’ – one chosen because of its ease of translation – and instigating daily conference calls between the company’s 10 design studios around the world.