General Motors is ringing in the new year with a new president. Thursday the company announced that Mark L. Reuss, a GM veteran, would assume the role immediately. The fifty-five-year-old Reuss has held several positions within the company, including executive director of the Performance Division. In addition to having spent the entirety of his career with GM, Reuss’ own father, Lloyd E. Reuss, served as GM’s president from 1990 to 1992.
Earlier last year, Reuss made the news when he crashed the pace car he was driving at June’s Detroit Grand Prix into a wall. Neither Reuss nor his passenger, Mark Sandy, were injured in the accident, which delayed the start of the race. Prior to the race, GM stated that Reuss was “no stranger to racing,” as he was “a certified industry pool test driver on the North Course of the Nürburgring track in Germany.” After the crash, Reuss apologized for having lost control of the car and letting pe ople down.
That incident hasn’t overshadowed Reuss’ recent success on product development. In June of last year, Reuss was given additional responsibilities for global portfolio planning and Cadilac and has since accelerated the brand’s growth, with the manufacturer slated to introduce four new vehicles over the next two years. He has aslo led the company’s transformation of its global product development workforce and is working to expand GM’s electric and autonomous vehicle programs.
“Mark’s global operational experience, deep product knowledge and strong leadership will serve us well as we continue to strengthen our current business, take advantage of growth opportunities and further define the future of personal mobility,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra in a GM press release. “Mark has played a critical role in leading the development of the company’s award-winning vehicles while transitioning his team to prepare for growing electrification and autonomous technologies.”
For his part, Reuss is energized by the opportunity. “I am very proud to have spent my entire career at General Motors, and to now take on this new role is truly a great honor. With our current lineup of outstanding cars, trucks and crossovers around the world, I’m looking forward to keeping our momentum going at full speed.”
This announcement comes after a strong year for the company. In 2018, GM sold over a million crossovers in the US and saw significant increases in sales for several of their other vehicles, especially pickups.
That said, 2019 could be a tricky one for General Motors as they seek to restructure operations in a move that is projected to leave several thousands of workers jobless as factories are closed as the company shifts its focus towards trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. At this time several congressmen and union representatives are negotiating compromises with GM in efforts to mitigate the possible effects mass layoffs could have on individuals and local economies. For now, Barra has reassured those involved that GM is commited to the American workforce and will do its best to help all those in need to transition to new positions within the company or to new jobs.