Ron Zarrella, who has masterminded General Motors' changes in marketing and sales, will speak at the Automotive News World Congress.
Zarrella was hired in 1994 to overhaul brand management. He chose brand managers for each GM model, and pruned GM's overlapping vehicle line. In October he was named president of GM North America.
He will speak after the World Congress dinner Jan. 11. He replaces Lou Hughes, GM executive vice president in new business strategies, at the event.
Another executive managing rapid change, Don Walker, CEO of Magna International Inc., will speak Tuesday morning, Jan. 12.
Walker is overseeing Magna's integration into DaimlerChrysler AG's purchasing operation. Magna has been a major supplier to Chrysler Corp. and Daimler-Benz AG.
Magna, based in Aurora, Ontario, employs more than 49,000 people in 155 plants in 16 countries.
A panel discussion, 'Powertrains of the Future' is scheduled for Monday afternoon, Jan. 11. Gordon Willis, Ford Motor Co. chief engineer for automatic transmissions and powertrain operations, is a featured speaker.
Other panelists are David Hermance, general manager, powertrain, Toyota Technical Center U.S.A. Inc.; Donald Runkle, general manager, Delphi Energy & Engine Management Systems; Robert Stempel, chairman of Energy Conversion Devices Inc.; and Firoz Rasul, president of Ballard Power Systems Inc.
The Automotive News World Congress will be held Jan. 10-13, 1999, at the Marriott Renaissance Center (formerly the Westin Hotel) in Detroit. The program will include individual speakers and panel discussions on engineering, intelligent transportation and the world after DaimlerChrysler.