confirms today it has named Alan Batey senior vice president-global Chevrolet, a brand the auto maker wants to grow into a volume powerhouse in markets around the world.
“Chevrolet is our mainstream global brand, and with the growth we are experiencing and the barrage of new products we have coming, the time is right for us to have a single leader responsible for managing the brand around the world,” GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson says in a statement.
“Alan Batey has worked in markets all over the world, has demonstrated the ability to deliver great business results and understands how to balance global brand consistency while maintaining the local voice of the customer,” he says, confirming wide-spread media speculation this week.
A 34-year veteran of GM’s global operations, Batey will continue in his current role as head of U.S. sales, service and marketing for the auto maker. He had been serving as head of global Chevrolet marketing on an interim basis.
The appointment comes as GM works to expand the global presence of Chevrolet, already selling in more than 140 countries with 1.18 million deliveries in the first quarter, by grabbing more of the important markets such as China, Russia and the Middle East.
The auto maker also has made a priority to grow the brand in Western Europe, where it slots under GM’s Opel name, and in its bread-and-butter native country of the U.S. with more than a dozen new products arriving now or coming within the next several months.
Worldwide, Chevrolet plans to introduce 25 new vehicles before the end of the year.
Batey would seem to have the global credentials for his new task, having risen through the engineering ranks at Vauxhall in the U.K. to senior management roles there and in Switzerland, the Middle East, Germany, Korea and Australia. In Australia, he served as chairman and managing director of GM Holden. He came to the U.S. in 2010.
Batey’s appointment, effective immediately, comes roughly one year after GM named Bob Ferguson as the global chief for Cadillac. GM’s post-bankruptcy strategy focuses on Chevrolet and Cadillac as bookend international brands, with Buick and GMC complementing them on a regional basis.
It also comes as GM launches a new Chevrolet advertising and marketing effort under the tagline “Find New Roads.” The new plan includes a multimillion-dollar sponsorship of the English football club Manchester United.
At nearly the same time, GM is losing a longtime executive with the resignation of Susan Docherty as head of Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe. Docherty has spent nearly 30 years with GM in a number of senior management roles and global markets. She leaves the auto maker on Sept. 30.
Batey will report to Akerson as head of global Chevrolet and continue to report to GM North America President Mark Reuss in his role as head of U.S. sales, service and marketing.