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GM CEO Says They Won’t Let Up On Quality

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GM CEO Dan Akerson (GM photo)

GM CEO Dan Akerson (GM photo)

jeffgilbert Jeff Gilbert
Automotive reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Radio News....
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WARREN (WWJ) – As General Motors employees celebrated their top ranking in the latest J.D. Power quality rankings, they also got an important reminder from their boss.

“The truth is this honor will mean very little if we do not build on it,” said GM CEO Dan Akerson.

Akerson joined by Detroit Tiger pitcher Max Scherzer, who’s started the season with a perfect 11-0 record, to help explain that quality is an ongoing process.

“The best thing about success is that gives you motivation to keep going. You never want to have success breed complacency.”

General Motors had eight products that ranked highest for quality in their category. But only one of those products, the Buick Encore, was a new vehicle. Most of the rest had been around for years, long enough to work out most of the bugs.

J.D. Power Automotive President Dave Sargent said a number of new launches this year could impact GM’s quality score.

“Next year could be a little more difficult because you’re launching a lot of replacements for your absolute best quality products. Life may not be quite so easy next year.”

To that, one GM worker yelled, “Bring em on.”

Sergeant also getting a lot of applause when he said his wife recently traded in her import vehicle for a Cadillac.

General Motors is currently in the middle of launching all new pickup trucks. CEO Dan Akerson says so far the very important launch is going flawlessly.

“We’ve produced tens of thousands of these new trucks. Initial cut is this is probably our best launch ever.”

General Motors promoting its quality chief to a more global role. Alica Boler-Davis will become vice president, Global Quality and Global Customer experience. In addition to overseeing quality at the company, she will work to improve the customer experience worldwide.

Boler-Davis says there are a lot of good programs around the world. Her job is to pull them together.

“It’s looking at ‘What have our customers told us? What are they expecting? What can we do immediately?”

General Motors is starting to win over more customers, says CEO Dan Akerson, who related the story of a flight attendant on an airplane who told him how proud she was of GM’s success.

“This has gotten a lot of play with the average person on main street,” said Akerson. “We have to carry that message forward, and reaffirm that when they buy a General Motors product–Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Chevrolet–that indeed, they’re buying a quality product with the hearts and soul of our employees behind it.”

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Email: jdgilbert@cbs.com
Facebook: facebook.com/carchronicles
Twitter: @jefferygilbert

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