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GM Restructures North American Management

CEO Rick Wagoner Takes Over for Bob Lutz, Gary Cowger

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- General Motors Corp. today said Chairman-CEO Rick Wagoner will take over the automaker's North American operations, replacing two top executives who are being assigned roles with global oversight.

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'Relinquish roles'
The world's largest automaker in a release said Vice Chairman Bob Lutz and Group Vice President Gary Cowger "will relinquish their current roles" at GM North America. In their new roles, Mr. Lutz will lead global product development and Mr. Cowger will oversee global manufacturing and labor.

"Given the challenges we face in North America, it makes sense for me to assume control of [GM's] day-to-day operations and shorten the lines of communication and decision-making," Mr. Wagoner said in a prepared statement.

Serious problems
GM last month announced it expected a first-quarter loss of $850 million in North America. The automaker has lost market share in the region despite offering the industry's highest incentives for car buyers for several years. Its new models, which GM predicted would lift sales in North America, have gotten off to a slow start.

The automaker said it is continuing to cut costs in attempts to be more efficient.

The move follows GM's announcement last month that it had appointed several executives to global positions in product development.

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