And, in his spare time? Lee, centre, with GM employees at the Rayong plant in Thailand

And, in his spare time? Lee, centre, with GM employees at the Rayong plant in Thailand

General Motors' Tim Lee, already head of international operations, overseeing regional markets which account for 40 percent of the automaker's global sales volume, and including China, Russia and South Korea, has additionally been named vice president, global manufacturing, effective immediately.

The move came as GM on Monday (16 July) announced announced a realignment of its manufacturing organisation "to optimise the company’s global manufacturing footprint and to drive greater efficiencies and cost savings".

Lee will continue reporting to chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.

GM said in a statement: "The move underscores the reality of GM’s manufacturing footprint and regional operations around the world. GM and its partners currently build vehicles in 30 countries for more than 100 global markets. Seventy percent of GM products are built outside of the United States in accordance with the company’s longstanding philosophy of building where it sells."

“Leading a portfolio that includes more than 60 plants in 15 countries gives Tim a terrific vantage point for this job,” said Akerson.  “His extensive manufacturing experience coupled with this alignment will help deliver great, quality vehicles that keep pace with GM’s global growth.”

Lee will have responsibility for GM’s manufacturing operations globally, supervising the regional manufacturing leaders who will report to him, while collaborating with management of the company’s regions in North America, South America and Europe.

In his new role, Lee will also be responsible for global manufacturing engineering, labour relations, safety and manufacturing strategy and planning.

With Lee’s appointment, Diana Tremblay moves to head North America manufacturing, also effective immediately, and will report to Lee. 

“Our realignment now allows Diana to focus her considerable talents and experience exclusively on North America – our single greatest manufacturing region,” said Akerson.  “Diana’s work toward greater North American manufacturing flexibility has helped drive GM’s recent progress of renewed plant investments and job creation.”