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GM sales leader to focus on dealer innovation

Breana Noble   | The Detroit News

General Motors Co. is creating a new role for dealership innovation as competition in the U.S. marketplace revs up.

Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet sales, service and marketing, is moving to a newly created position as vice president of dealer operations and innovation. He will lead retail development and work with dealers to strengthen business models and improve customer experience.

GM's market share in the third quarter of 2019 was 17.1%, according to auto resource website Inc. That is up from 16.1% year-over-year, but down from nearly 24% in 2007. Its top-selling vehicle, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup, this year is expected to fall behind Ram to be the No. 3 selling truck in the United States for the first time.

“Competition is intensifying, customer expectations are rising and technology is transforming vehicles, dealership operations and the way we engage with customers,” Barry Engle, president of GM North America, said in a statement. "Our goals are ambitious but attainable: make our dealers the most successful in the industry, make our brands even more valuable and drive even higher levels of customer loyalty.”

Steve Hill, vice president of U.S. sales, service and marketing, will take over for Sweeney to lead Chevrolet in addition to his current role. The change will maintain continuity and sales momentum, the company said in a news release.

Both men will report to Engle. Sweeney also will report to Travis Hester, vice president of global customer experience, a new team formed in September.

“We will meet these changes head-on," Engle said, "and we are putting some of our most experienced and accomplished leaders in charge of embracing change and driving innovation."

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble