C.J. Fraleigh Moved to Operational Position

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NEW YORK ( -- General Motors Corp. named a new advertising chief yesterday, swapping C.J. Fraleigh's role as executive director of corporate advertising and marketing with that of Roger Adams, general manager of Buick and Pontiac-GMC and the GM Customer Network.

Different role
Mr. Adams, 47, who takes up his new role

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Feb. 1, will play a slightly different role to that of Mr. Fraleigh. According to a company statement, Mr. Adam's role will see advertising integrated with customer relationship campaigns.

The automaker's press office said Mr. Adams would not be available for interviews because he hasn't yet taken up the new post.

Mr. Fraleigh, 40, who at times has been a vocal critic of the way advertising and media clients fail to serve marketers, takes up Mr. Adam's role.

GM announced the changes along with a number of other appointments, including the retirement of Lynn Myers, marketing general manager of Pontiac-GMC.

Sales woes
The Buick and Pontiac-GMC divisions are "two divisions that have seen sales fall in the recent past," said Wes Brown, a partner at Los Angeles-based forecasting firm Iceology. Iceology estimates 2004 sales for GM's Chevrolet division will be flat at 2.4 million units. Buick sales will be flat at 340,000, GMC will fall slightly to under 500,000, while Pontiac will increase slightly to 500,000.

According to sibling Automotive News, Chevrolet sold 2,600,000 units in 2003, Buick sold 337,000, GMC 563,000 units, and Pontiac 475,000.

'Major challenge'
Mr. Fraleigh "has a major challenge" running Pontiac, Buick and GMC, Mr. Brown said, because the brands "don't appeal to the younger generation of consumer. They are not aspirational." Mr. Brown said the Buick division has been on a downward spiral for some time, so despite the arrival of new products, any changes "probably won't make much of a difference."

Pontiac seems to have the most upside, according to Mr. Brown, especially with Bob Lutz, vice chairman, product development, championing the brand. As for GMC, its issues are a bit different: "As other GM brands come out with trucks, GMC must differentiate against its own family as well as against the competition."

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Lisa Sanders contributed to this report.

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