DETROIT -- Unlike auto executives who seek a bigger budget for their divisions, Jim Queen is creating his own savings.
Queen, the 57-year-old vice president of global engineering at General Motors, estimates GM will save more than $1 billion annually with the latest changes to its global engineering program.
GM cut several hundred white-collar jobs last month, mostly at its engineering center and proving grounds in suburban Detroit and its headquarters.
The cuts are the first since GM said in November that it would slash 7 percent of its 36,000-person white-collar work force in an effort to cut costs. GM lost $10.6 billion in 2005.
GM can make the reductions in part because its global product development organization is cutting overlapping engineering work.
CEO Rick Wagoner tapped Queen to take over as head of global engineering in March 2005.
Queen was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Marines and still loves to fly. That heritage and need for speed helped him bond with another former Marine pilot, GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz.
Queen is married to GM vehicle line executive Lori Queen.