June 24, 2013 / 4:30 PM / 5 years ago

GM to name global Chevy brand chief this week

DETROIT, June 24 (Reuters) - General Motors Co will name its current U.S. sales chief, Alan Batey, as global head of its Chevrolet brand this week as part of the automaker’s push to make the mainstream brand more successful around the world, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The announcement could come as early as Tuesday, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing news that GM has not announced.

GM officials declined to confirm the move, which the Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Monday.

Batey, 50, is currently vice president of U.S. sales, service and marketing and has been the acting chief marketing officer since Joel Ewanick was forced out last summer. The new structure would echo an approach GM took with Cadillac when it named Bob Ferguson global chief for its luxury brand last October.

GM has defined Chevrolet and Cadillac as its global brands, with other marques sold in specific parts of the world: Opel in Europe; and Buick in China and the United States. GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson had indicated a job much like Ferguson’s would likely be created to run Chevrolet.

Batey, from Luton, England, was credited with launching Chevrolet’s global advertising campaign, “Find New Roads” in January. GM executives felt it would resonate better with consumers globally than the previous “Chevy Runs Deep” campaign.

The advertising campaign is part of GM’s push to make Chevy even stronger globally. Ten years ago, the U.S. market accounted for about 70 percent of the brand’s overall sales, but now makes up only 36 percent of the total as overseas sales have grown, especially in China and South America. Chevy is sold in more than 140 countries.

Batey began his career with GM in 1979 as a mechanical engineering apprentice for Vauxhall in the United Kingdom. He has held senior management positions in Western Europe, South Korea, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining Chevy in 2010, he led GM’s Holden operations in Australia and New Zealand.

Tim Mahoney, a former Volkswagen AG executive, was named head of global marketing operations and chief marketing officer for global Chevy in February, and the source said his job will not change. Ewanick’s old position will disappear as part of the new structure.

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