Dealer reaction was mixed after the reshuffling of leaders late last week inside General Motors Co.
Some viewed the management shakeup as positive and praised the automaker's speed in announcing the changes after Chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre took over Tuesday, Dec. 1. Others expressed dismay.
New GM North America President Mark Reuss is unfamiliar to some dealers, since he has spent nearly all of his career in engineering jobs. But Chris Haydocy, who owns two stores with GM brands in Ohio, said putting an engineer in charge of North America shows the company cares about product.
"We're seeing them working with urgency. It's contagious," Haydocy said.
"It's been a long time since any dealership has tried to copy anything that GM has done."
Scott Smith, president of Sonic Automotive Inc., questioned the need to change CEOs for the third time this year.
"What happens every time a leader is changed?" Smith said. "What if the U.S. changed presidents like GM has changed CEOs? Would that foster instability? Of course. What does instability foster? Answer: Failure."
Smith said, "There is a complete and inexcusable lack of leadership at GM, starting with the board of directors. That board owes it to the GM employees and to the American people who bailed them out to get their house in order."
Tim Bowers, general sales manager of Tarr Chevrolet in Jefferson City, Tenn., said the important change is a return to profitability for GM.
Said Bowers: "We don't really care who they've got or where they get them as long as they get the job done."
Donna Harris contributed to this report