General Motors is to restructure and streamline its design and vehicle development organisation, realign several vehicle line teams and create the position of group vice president of advanced vehicle development.


Mark Hogan, currently president of e-GM, will assume the new position immediately and, working with design, will oversee the advanced work associated with vehicle programmes before they are selected for production.


As a result of Hogan’s move, e-GM and OnStar will now report to Gary Cowger, GM president of North America.


Wayne Cherry, vice president of GM Design, will lead the realigned design organisation and he and Hogan will report directly to Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman and chairman of GM North America. Cherry also will join Hogan on the North America Strategy Board.


In a statement, Lutz said the changes will speed the process of deciding which products are produced and how they are to be designed by compressing the critical, early planning stages.


“We must move with a laser-like focus at getting great-looking, low-cost investment-efficient products into our system quickly,” Lutz said. “Simply put, there’s no room in this intensely competitive environment for anything but superb vehicles that are profitable and can be moved to the market fast.”


The design organisation reporting to Cherry will move to an architecture-based system, led by five executive directors: Anne Asensio, design, quality and brand character; Bryan Nesbitt, unibody architecture design; Ed Welburn, body-on-frame architecture design; and Mark Reuss, design centre engineering and specialty vehicles.


Reuss will also report to Jim Queen, GM vice president of GM Engineering and an executive director of advanced vehicle design will be named at a later date.

Under the new system, design goals for a new product will be established up front by the new advanced vehicle development team. Once these goals are set, design teams will develop up to nine proposals. The product leadership team, headed by Lutz, will select the three best proposals and produce models for consumer clinics This process will reduce the development process by several months and help ensure that the best designs are produced.


The advanced vehicle development teams will essentially mirror the structure of the vehicle line team organisation as the initial development work is conducted. The vehicle line team will execute a programme once it is approved, and will remain fully involved throughout the process.


In a related move, four of the 13 vehicle line teams reporting to Lutz will be consolidated into two. The small truck team will be folded into the midsize truck team, and will be led by Tom Wallace, vehicle line executive.

The premium mid-size car team will be combined with the luxury car team, headed by another vehicle line executive, Dave Whittaker.