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GM Appoints New U.S. Marketing Chief In Latest Shakeup

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 8:17am

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Co. has hired the former head of marketing at Hyundai Motor America to lead its marketing efforts as it pushes too sell more Chevys, Cadillacs and trucks following its restructuring.

Joel Ewanick, 49, will take over as vice president of U.S. marketing from Susan Docherty starting May 24. Docherty had run both sales and marketing at GM, but saw her duties shrink to just marketing in March as top GM executives expressed dissatisfaction with advertising and marketing efforts. GM said Wednesday it still deciding what her new role will be.

Ewanick spent three years as vice president for marketing at Hyundai's U.S. subsidiary, where he led several campaigns that were instrumental in boosting the Korean automaker's U.S. market share.

One successful promotion offered to take back the cars of customers who lost their jobs. It featured a voiceover from actor Jeff Bridges, who remains a spokesman for Hyundai.

Ewanick joins GM at a critical time, as it aims to boost sales and focus its marketing efforts on Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC. GM's April sales rose 7 percent, though the four brands saw sales jump 20 percent, in line with the broader industry.

Through April, Hyundai's sales are up nearly 20 percent compared with the same period last year.

Ewanick left Hyundai in March to take over marketing for Nissan North America. Nissan said Ewanick tendered his resignation on Wednesday and no replacement has been named.

GM last month fired the Detroit-area ad agency that had the Chevrolet account since 1919.

AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this report.

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