Move Addresses International Market Share Losses

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DETROIT ( -- General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, has reorganized some of its executive management ranks to reflect a more global structure.
GM has been struggling in several key international regions.

The comapny, which has been struggling in several key regions with market-share losses, today said it was taking the move to leverage its worldwide resources, especially in product development.

Among the promotions, which include changes to the sales ranks as well as engineering and product development, John Smith, formerly group vice president of sales, service and marketing in North America, was named to the new post of group vice president for global product planning. Mr. Smith will report to Bob Lutz, vice chairman for global product development.

Mark LaNeve becomes vice president of sales, service and marketing in North America. Mr. LaNeve was vice president of marketing and advertising in North America.

Brent Dewar was promoted to vice president and gets Mr. LaNeve's job. Mr. Dewar had been a marketing general manager of Chevrolet. GM said his replacement will be named at a later date.

Struggling in U.S., Europe
Although China has become very profitable for GM, the automaker is struggling in the U.S. and Europe.

"GM's future success in the global automotive marketplace will depend heavily on our ability to fully leverage our broad and deep resources, especially in the critical area of product development," Richard Wagoner, the automaker's chairman-CEO, said in a statement.

Stock price drops
GM is reeling from a "sell" recommendation by Bank of America Securities Feb. 28 on its stock. That caused the carmaker's shares to tumble by just more than $1 per share.

The auto industry, including GM, has increasingly shared base structures, called platforms or architectures, for more vehicles worldwide because it is too expensive to develop new base structures for one or two models. A single new platform can easily cost $1 billion.

In the U.S., GM spent $2.36 billion in measured media in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

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