SynopsisTom Stephens, Vice Chairman, Global Product Development, General Motors, John Stoll, The Wall Street Journal, Csaba Csere, automotive journalist. Topic: GM’s new product czar.
Walking a high-wire was the dangerous vocation of the world-renown daredevil Karl Wallenda. Whether it was over desert canyons or city streets, the most important aspect of this death-defying act was balance. One wrong step would yield terrible results.
The same can be said about the auto industry. Balance is important on several levels, in many arenas. But perhaps the most important area when it comes to a brand are its front line products. Those the consumer sees when they visit dealer showrooms. There has to be the right balance for not only the buyer, but the brand as well. That is one of many beliefs of General Motors' new Product Czar Tom Stephens.
This GM veteran, who has worn a variety of hats during his years with the company, now slips on the rather large shoes of Bob Lutz, the previous Product Czar who receives much of the credit for spearheading its recent vehicle renaissance. On this week's Autoline, Mr. Stephens discusses not only his automotive philosophy which will drive this side of the business, but the balance he says he must continue to bring to the burgeoning GM product lineup.
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