GM Canada’s New President Reveals His Plans for the Future

When Cadillac got a new leader, Steve Carlisle headed over and left GM Canada leaderless. He was quickly replaced by Travis Hester, though, who has now lain out his plans for the future of the Canadian wing.

Since Carlisle left on good terms, Hester doesn’t think the ship needs to turn too sharply. Building on previous work and expanding sales momentum are top of the list for the new leader. And that means working with dealers.

“One of my top priorities will be to work with Canada’s network of dealers to help them serve our customers and expand market leadership for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac across Canada,” says Hester.

Next, the engineering and program management veteran, moved onto manufacturing.

“To watch new pickips and sedans rolling off the same final assembly line is an impressive achievement for any manufacturer in any country in the world,” says Hester, referring to GM’s Oshawa plant, which has taken over pickup assembly as US plants are retooled for the next generation of 1500s.

He didn’t limit his to Oshawa plant, though, and was glowing about Ingersoll and St. Catharines, as well, which build the Equinox and engines, respectively.

And finally, Hester says he wants GM Canada to be a locus of innovation for the brand. Already heavily invested in R&D, the company will have to double down on tech to remain relevant.

“Our partnerships with universities and Canadian start-up companies are enabling us to do something unique and powerful in the product development world,” says Hester. “GM has established its position as Canada’s leader for core automotive engineering and testing work. At the same time, we are developing software for self-driving cars and building partnerships that will drive toward a future of electric, self-driving cars and shared mobility.”

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