Arturo Elias is president and managing director of General Motors de Mexico. Since January 2000, Elias, 46, has been managing director of GM Argentina, where General Motors has increased its market share during one of the industry's most challenging periods.
He is a native of Colombia.
At GM de Mexico, Elias replaces Troy Clarke, who was named GM's vice president of labor relations.
From March 1996 to 1999, Elias contributed to GM product development as assistant vehicle line executive for full-sized trucks at the GM Truck Group in Pontiac, Michigan. He also was vehicle line executive for compact vehicles built off GM's Delta platform, such as the Zafira and Astra, with Adam Opel AG in Russelsheim, Germany. In June 1993, Elias became managing director of GM Chile.
His responsibilities were expanded in 1995 to include GM operations in Peru and Bolivia. Between 1984 and 1991, Elias held various finance positions in several countries, including senior analyst in the GM Treasurer's Office in New York, manager of currency exchange in Brussels, Belgium, treasurer of GM de Mexico and director of finance at GM Venezuela. Elias joined GM in 1978 as a manufacturing engineer with Delco Electronics, now part of Delphi Automotive Systems Corp., a major GM supplier.
GM wants Clarke to continue rebuilding its relationship with the United Auto Workers union. GM fared poorly with the union two years ago when two strikes in Flint, Michigan, stopped nearly all production in North America. GM brought in Gary Cowger, who was chairman of Adam Opel AG in Europe, to repair the damage.
Cowger, credited with improving the relationship, was promoted January 1 to group vice president of manufacturing and labor. Clarke will report to Cowger and oversee labor policy and negotiations with about 168,000 hourly employees in North America.
Clarke worked his way up GM's manufacturing organization. In 1993, he was appointed plant manager of GM's assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, where he launched the redesigned Pontiac Grand Prix.
In June 1997, he was appointed head of manufacturing in Mexico, where he reported to Cowger. Clarke was promoted to president and managing director of GM de Mexico in December 1997 when Cowger, his predecessor, left for Europe.