A NEW GM: FAST, FO­CU­SED AND DE­CI­SIVE

Ge­ne­ral Mo­tors plus ré­ac­tive, pré­cise et ré­so­lue que ja­mais

Vocable (Anglais) - - Economie -

A la fin des an­nées 1990, Ge­ne­ral Mo­tors contrô­lait une quin­zaine de marques. Le construc­teur au­to­mo­bile amé­ri­cain ba­sé à Dé­troit était le plus grand fa­bri­cant au­to­mo­bile au monde. Dans les an­nées 2000, suite à un sur­en­det­te­ment in­con­trô­lable, c’est la chute et GM ne doit son sa­lut qu’à un prêt d’ur­gence de l’état. Au­jourd’hui, le groupe se porte mieux grâce à la stra­té­gie de son sa PDG Ma­ry Bar­ra. Dé­cou­vrez ses mé­thodes.

DETROIT — Ma­ry Bar­ra has been chair­man and CEO of Ge­ne­ral Mo­tors for on­ly 3 1/2 years, but the com­pa­ny she leads to­day is vast­ly dif­ferent from the one she in­he­ri­ted: more de­ci­sive, fo­cu­sed, res­pon­sive and res­pon­sible.

2. Bar­ra and a team that com­bines GM li­fers and ca­re­ful­ly se­lec­ted new­co­mers are crea­ting a com­pa­ny that’s more sen­si­tive to its cus­to­mers and more fo­cu­sed on pro­fit than ever be­fore. 3. “We’ve ne­ver seen any­bo­dy run GM like this. She’s brea­king all the rules,” KBB.com exe­cu­tive ana­lyst Re­bec­ca Lind­land said.

4. Ph­rases such as “cus­to­mer first” and “good ste­wards of our ow­ners’ mo­ney,” are touchs­tones of the culture gro­wing wi­thin GM.

5. “GM used to be all about sales vo­lume and mar­ket share,” Au­to­tra­der se­nior ana­lyst Mi­chelle Krebs said. “Now, if they don’t see a path to pro­fi­ta­bi­li­ty and lea­der­ship, they get out. The goal is to sell fe­wer ve­hicles and make more mo­ney. It’s a new GM.”

6. Among the de­fi­ning mo­ments of Bar­ra’s te­nure: ––The com­pa­ny ac­cep­ted res­pon­si­bi­li­ty, apo­lo­gi­zed and es­sen­tial­ly wrote a blank check when a GM em­ployee al­le­ged­ly concea­led faul­ty ig­ni­tion switches that led to ac­ci­dents and mul­tiple deaths. ––It has ag­gres­si­ve­ly pur­sued ra­di­cal new tech­no­lo­gies and de­ve­lo­ping bu­si­nesses, in­clu­ding ri­de­sha­ring, au­to­no­mous ve­hicles and mass-mar­ket elec­tric cars. ––It has shut down mo­ney-lo­sing ope­ra­tions in Rus­sia, Aus­tra­lia, In­dia and South Afri­ca.

––It has sold its Eu­ro­pean ope­ra­tions to Peu­geot SA, es­sen­tial­ly exi­ting a huge, but un­pro­fi­table, mar­ket. ––It has put da­ta from cus­to­mers at the heart of its pro­duct de­ve­lop­ment and ma­nu­fac­tu­ring de­ci­sions.

7. Com­mon themes among those de­ci­sions in­clude a re­fu­sal to let pro­blems fes­ter and an un­ders­tan­ding that bright ideas and cat­chy slo­gans are mea­nin­gless un­less GM has the fo­cus and fi­nances to de­li­ver on them.

When Bar­ra joi­ned GM in 1985, a fe­male chair and CEO of GM was al­most in­con­cei­vable.

SORTING THINGS OUT

8. “The ea­siest time to solve a pro­blem is when it’s small,” Bar­ra said in an in­ter­view. “We talk to eve­ry­bo­dy about that: Raise is­sues (ear­ly) so you can get the help to solve them.”

9. Bar­ra was a high­ly re­gar­ded but lit­tlek­nown ca­reer en­gi­neer — GM’s glo­bal pro­duct de­ve­lop­ment chief — when she was thrust in­to the glo­bal spot­light as the first fe­male CEO of an au­to­ma­ker.

10. “My mom and dad rai­sed me and my bro­ther to be­lieve we could do any­thing we set our minds to,” she said. “They were rai­sed in the De­pres­sion, and they so be­lie­ved in the Ame­ri­can Dream.

11. When Bar­ra joi­ned GM in 1985, a fe­male chair and CEO of GM was al­most in­con­cei­vable. GM and all au­to­ma­kers were an old-eco­no­my boys club, ve­ry un­like the high-tech com­pa­nies the 21st cen­tu­ry de­mands. “I didn’t ne­ces­sa­ri­ly go ‘I’m a wo­man in the wor­king world,’” she said. “I was a per­son in the wor­king world.

12. “I do sit here to­day be­cause there were people 20 years ago who gave me ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties and gave me construc­tive feed­back and al­lo­wed me to grow and took risks on me with the jobs they put me in.” Paying that for­ward, she’s an avid sup­por­ter of New York-ba­sed Girls Who Code, a non­pro­fit group en­cou­ra­ging middle and high school girls to learn com­pu­ter science. Bar­ra hel­ped in­tro­duce the pro­gram to me­tro­po­li­tan Detroit schools and has vi­si­ted some of their mee­tings.

GET­TING STAR­TED AGAIN

13. GM glo­bal pro­duct de­ve­lop­ment and pur­cha­sing boss Mark Reuss wor­ked along­side Bar­ra for de­cades. They wat­ched GM ma­na­ge­ment kick pro­blems down the road and make one mo­ney-lo­sing de­ci­sion af­ter ano­ther. When the go­vern­ment-over­seen ban­krupt­cy gave GM a fresh start af­ter the 2007-09 re­ces­sion, the two fast-ri­sing exe­cu­tives pro­mi­sed them­selves they would not re­peat those mis­takes.

14. “GM came out of ban­krupt­cy with a clean slate, none of the bag­gage that had crip­pled them,” Ma­ryann Kel­ler, prin­ci­pal ana­lyst at Ma­ryann Kel­ler & As­so­ciates, said. “The on­ly lia­bi­li­ty was cultu­ral is­sues that al­lo­wed them to pre­tend the ban­krupt­cy had been be­cause of the cre­dit cri­sis, not ma­na­ge­ment’s own bad de­ci­sions.”

15. Bol­ste­red by GM pre­sident Dan Am­mann’s fi­nan­cial ana­ly­sis, Bar­ra set a new course, aban­do­ning some long­time bu­si­nesses that made lit­tle mo­ney, streng­the­ning those po­si­tio­ned to grow and com­mit­ting GM to new areas in­clu­ding au­to­no­mous ve­hicles, car-sha­ring and al­ter­na­tive ener­gy.

PRO­FITS

16. “One of the most im­por­tant things lea­ders do is de­ploy ca­pi­tal,” Bar­ra said. “You’ve got to set stra­te­gy and de­ploy ca­pi­tal. We have been sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly going through the bu­si­ness, re­gion by re­gion and seg­ment by seg­ment, as­king, ‘Do we have a path to pro­fi­ta­bi­li­ty, and is this the best place for us to al­lo­cate this ca­pi­tal?’ ”

17. That ana­ly­sis led GM to shed mo­ney-lo­sing ope­ra­tions around the world, despite the fact that those de­ci­sions put re­gai­ning the com­pa­ny’s long­time sta­tus as the world’s lar­gest au­to­ma­ker out of reach. For de­cades, GM de­fi­ned it­self lar­ge­ly by the fact that it was the world’s lar­gest au­to­ma­ker. En­ding pro­duc­tion in Eu­rope took GM out of a three-way race with Toyo­ta and Volks­wa­gen for No. 1.

18. Bar­ra’s com­for­table with that: “Big­gest doesn’t mean best. We don’t win un­til our cus­to­mers say we win. They need to de­cide to buy our pro­ducts.”

Newspapers in French

Newspapers from France

© PressReader. All rights reserved.