Autoline LIVE: Tom Stephens, GM Global Product Development

September 21st, 2009 at 8:59am


GM’s Tom Stephens, the Vice Chairman of Global Product Development, joined us for a LIVE taping of Autoline Detroit and then continued the broadcast in an exclusive web-only Q & A session with you, our audience. Watch as Tom responds to questions about the Pontiac G8, what General Motors’ answer is to EcoBoost, whether natural gas is a viable option going forward and more!

16 Comments to “Autoline LIVE: Tom Stephens, GM Global Product Development”

  1. Robert Alan Says:

    Many suppliers have new technologies that can enhance a GM vehicle’s product feature content. Yet, when GM wants to hear more details about a specific technology, GM will not sign a non-disclosure agreement with a supplier. Why? The supplier is trying to protect their intellectual property.

  2. Don Siefkes Says:

    GM has already announced an E85 direct injection engine. Retail motor fuel franchisees in Kansas and Nebraska are purchasing E100 direcrtly from ethanol producers and blending either E10 or E85 at the pump using “blender” pumps. Why can’t GM make E100 engines optimized for ethanol, not gasoline, and make these available. The retail franchisee could then just pump E100 into the vehicle bypassing the oil companies.

  3. Jerry Scott Says:

    Tom Stephens–
    GM is losing an entire wave of executives to retirement effective Oct. 1, including Dr. Larry Burns at Research and Jim Queen at Engineering. How do you make up this loss of “institutional knowledge” from the loss of a half-dozen more important senior executives, but also, what is the opportunity for younger and middle aged employees at GM to step up and make a contribution?

    –Question from Jerry Scott / Tech Center News in Warren /

  4. Bob S Says:

    GM has a lot of great new products, but how do you plan to change the mindset of the American Public that GM can build a car that people want to buy?

  5. leroy Says:

    what will the new impala be like will it be rwd or fwd

  6. Bill T Says:

    Right now GM is asking the public to
    “buy the best car” with a line up that is the best that GM has ever offered, but how are you addressing the long term flaws? Flaws that take a car from a showroom dream to a driveway nightmare like the Citation make a car company untrustworthy. Is the new GM trustworthy?

  7. Ralph Panhuyzen Says:

    Thanks for bringing my question first to Mr. Stephens’ attention. Perhaps you could forward to him my full email message with the suggestions I made.

    Thanks again, Ralph Panhuyzen

  8. Jim Sachetti Says:

    Very interesting show, one would expect it, whenever the brilliant and knowledgeable Czaba Czere is around.

    But looking at this poor (not really, her musat haul in $1 million a year even now) Stephens fellow, one realizes what has been wrong with GM, and what is still wrong with it. When I looked at him, I would see a coffin around his face… He is just as bad as Wagoner, or Henderson and even Lutz.

    At least he admits to some of the many faults of GM vehicles today, and claims they are fixing them. Well, they should have been fixed 20 years ago minimum, and now we the logn suffering US Taxpayers are paying for it dearly!

    And in all this, you can see that the once proud, mighty GM is NOT a LEADER any more, but a 1005 FOLLOWER. Instead of touting its vehicles as the STANDARD OF THW WORLD, as they once were, this Stephens fellow kept comparing them to BMWs and M-BS and Lexi…

  9. Andrew Charles Says:

    The Citation? Holy Rip Van Winkle Batman, that’s more than 20 years ago!

  10. Robinson Mason Says:

    GM’s trucks have recently consisted of mostly large, long hooded and heavy vehicles – and the vans have followed suit. With the S-10 and Astro gone, and the Colorado priced too closely to the Silverado and not particularly fuel efficient, there is no ultra-affordable fuel-efficient small truck or van in GM’s stables.

    In many parts of the world smaller trucks and vans are sold, and going forward GM Wuling will be exporting its low cost vans and trucks even to South America.

    Does GM North America’s “green” strategy for trucks mean more expensive fuel saving technology, or can we hope for mini trucks or even micro vans to arrive in the US market?

    -Robinson Mason AKA “Ming”

  11. JOHN Says:

    Bring Csaba back please……..

  12. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Poor Mr Stephens, how can you try to be upbeat about a company that w/o taxpayers money would have been out of business due to poor quality, management, etc. This sound like an interview from 20yrs ago, with new car names thrown in.

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  14. Andrew Charles Says:

    In cold climates such as much of North America, E100 has severe cold-starting problems. Even in Brazil a small gasoline reservoir is required for starting. Although pre-warming technology has been developed by GM, E85 remains the best solution for business considerations.

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