Under Reuss, racing spurs urgency in GM engineering
February 23, 2013
by Tim Higgins
When the Daytona 500 starts this weekend with Danica Patrick in the pole position driving her Chevrolet SS, General Motors will be seeking something more than a winner's trophy: adding a greater sense of urgency to GM product development.
Mark Reuss, GM's North America president since December 2009, is seeding the automaker's racing operations with engineers who spend time helping Chevy and Cadillac racing teams, eventually rotating back into product development.
Race on Sunday, engineer better cars on Monday.
GM isn't alone in looking to racing to better its product development staff.
Honda Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and other automakers have long been active in racing.
What's new is the interest by Reuss, an engineer by training and a longtime racing enthusiast, in making sure GM executives see the experience as a career boost and rotating potential high-performers in and out of the racing teams for leadership development.
GM's racing effort has traditionally been under the company's marketing operations and separated from product development.
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