Correspondent, Detroit
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Apr 23, 2014

Top GM engineer to leave in post-recall reorganization

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors’ top engineering executive, a longtime colleague and key lieutenant of Chief Executive Mary Barra, is retiring in the automaker’s highest profile executive change since the massive recall of vehicles with defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.

John Calabrese has worked with Barra in various roles over the past 15 years and has been GM vice president of global engineering for the last three years.

Apr 22, 2014

GM restructures engineering to improve vehicle quality, safety

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co said on Tuesday it is restructuring its engineering operations in a move meant to improve quality and safety of its vehicles as a result of the fallout from the defective ignition switch linked to at least 13 deaths.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker said global vehicle engineering is being split into two new organizations: global product integrity, and global vehicle components and subsystems.

Apr 21, 2014

Ford to name Fields as CEO soon, replacing Mulally -source

DETROIT, April 21 (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co will soon
name Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields as successor to Chief
Executive Alan Mulally, a person familiar with the plans said on
Monday.

Mulally, the 68-year-old executive credited with reviving
Ford’s fortunes since taking its helm in 2006, will step down
before the end of the year, said the person, who asked not to be
identified discussing the company’s plans. Fields, 53, was named
COO in December 2012 and has been seen as Mulally’s successor.

Apr 17, 2014

AutoNation posts higher profit despite severe winter weather

DETROIT, April 17 (Reuters) – AutoNation Inc, the
largest U.S. automobile dealer group, on Thursday posted a
stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit despite the severe
winter weather that slowed sales.

The company still expects the U.S. auto industry’s
new-vehicle sales this year to rise 3 to 5 percent, ending above
16 million, Chief Executive Mike Jackson said. Last year, the
industry sold 15.6 million new cars and light trucks.

Apr 9, 2014
Apr 2, 2014

U.S. senator accuses GM of ‘culture of cover-up’ in recalls

WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) – General Motors came under
withering attack for its decade-long failure to notify the
public about defective parts linked to fatal crashes, as a U.S.
Senate hearing opened on Wednesday with accusations that the
company fostered “a culture of cover-up.”

Rebutting some of GM CEO Mary Barra’s testimony to a House
panel on Tuesday that GM had recently cleaned up its act,
Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who chairs a Senate
subcommittee on consumer protection and product safety, told
Barra: “It might have been the Old GM that started sweeping this
defect under the rug 10 years ago. Even under the New GM banner,
the company waited nine months to take action after being
confronted with specific evidence of this egregious violation of
public trust.”

Apr 2, 2014

CEO Barra calls GM’s actions on deadly defect ‘unacceptable’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors Co CEO Mary Barra on Tuesday called her company’s slow response to at least 13 deaths linked to faulty ignition switches “unacceptable,” but could not give U.S. lawmakers many answers as to what went wrong as she pointed to an ongoing internal investigation.

After taking an oath administered by House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy, Barra kicked off the contentious hearing by declaring, “I am deeply sorry” for the company’s failure to respond quickly to the safety problem and subsequent deaths.

Apr 1, 2014

GM CEO says idea cost may have delayed ignition fix ‘disturbing’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors CEO Mary Barra, under intense grilling by members of the U.S. Congress, on Tuesday said she found employee statements “disturbing” that cost considerations may have discouraged the prompt replacement of faulty ignition switches now linked to at least 13 fatalities.

Barra, whose testimony was being delivered under oath before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, announced that GM had retained Kenneth Feinberg as a consultant to gauge possible responses to families of those injured or killed in crashes involving the recalled cars.

Apr 1, 2014

U.S. lawmakers, victims pressure GM on recalled vehicles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers, seeking to establish who is to blame for at least 13 auto-related deaths over the past decade, challenged General Motors (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) CEO Mary Barra on Tuesday afternoon over the automaker’s slow response to defective ignition switches in its cars.

Despite tougher laws enacted in 2000 and 2010 to encourage automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to aggressively root out safety concerns, it took GM more than 10 years to publicly acknowledge that it had a potentially fatal problem.

Apr 1, 2014

U.S. Congress hearings to put harsh spotlight on GM

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress will try
to establish who is to blame for at least 13 auto-related deaths
over the past decade, as public hearings are launched on Tuesday
on General Motors’ slow response to defective ignition
switches in cars.

Despite tougher laws being enacted in 2000 and 2010 to
encourage automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) to aggressively root out safety concerns,
it took GM more than 10 years to acknowledge publicly that it
had a potentially fatal problem.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Klayman is based in Detroit and in April was named leader of the global automotive team for Reuters. Previously, Ben covered the business of sports as well as consumer and retail for three years and led the manufacturing/housing team for four years. He also covered the telecommunications sector for three years. He joined Reuters in Detroit in 1998 to cover autos. Prior to joining Reuters, he worked at a series of daily newspapers in Ohio and Maryland. Ben graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English literature."
      Joined Reuters:
      1998
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