DETROIT - General Motors believes the consolidation of its fleet and commercial operations will simplify fleet and commercial sales for customers and dealers.
The automaker also hopes the new fleet and commercial organization will boost vehicle sales.
On Jan. 1, GM merged the fleet group of its North American Operations with the commercial sales groups of Chevrolet and GMC. The new fleet and commercial operations group is headed by general managers Rick Lee and David Hansen.
NAO fleet oversaw the sale of about 950,000 GM passenger vehicles a year to fleet customers. Chevrolet and GMC were responsible for the sale of about 250,000 light and medium trucks a year to the commercial market.
The consolidation is part of the overall restructuring of GM's North American field staff, which also became effective Jan. 1.
Through that restructuring, GM pulled sales, service and marketing responsibilities of five vehicle divisions under one roof. Dealers now have a single point of contact - a market area team responsible for Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac-GMC, Oldsmobile and Cadillac.
That is the idea behind the new fleet and commercial group, said Hansen, who oversees marketing, finance and brand support for the new organization. He had been category director for Chevrolet since November 1995.
Representatives for NAO fleet, Chevrolet and GMC often talked to the same fleet and commercial customers and the same GM dealers who handled those customers.
By consolidating NAO fleet with commercial sales, GM gives 'a good, solid, single point of contact for our dealers and our business to business customers,' Hansen said.
By simplifying the process, Hansen said, the fleet and commercial group can better support and build its market share.
Lee, former executive director of NAO fleet and now in charge of sales and service for the new organization, said more responsibility will be given to five regional and 214 market-area managers.
However, approximately 25 of GM's largest customers - companies such as Hertz Corp., Penske Corp. and GE Capital Fleet Services - will be handled by a Detroit-based staff led by Gary Meteer, GM's new director of fleet and commercial sales. Meteer reports to Lee.