GM promotes Saturn boss, shifts vet to vacated spot

DETROIT: General Motors has promoted the former head of PR at Saturn and moved another company veteran into the vacated post.

DETROIT: General Motors has promoted the former head of PR at Saturn and moved another company veteran into the vacated post.

DETROIT: General Motors has promoted the former head of PR at

Saturn and moved another company veteran into the vacated post.



Julie Hamp, former Saturn VP for communications, has been named group

director of communications for GM’s North America Car Group. She will

oversee a staff of 35 pros, and is responsible for internal

communications at 13 GM plants, supervising what the company calls

’business integrators’ (essentially PR staffers who deal with employees

and local media).



Hamp, who had spent a year and a half at Saturn after four years with

Cadillac, said she took the position because of its focus on overall

communications issues and messages. A GM employee since 1982, Hamp also

noted her interest in the engineering side of the auto business, and

said she will have the opportunity to provide information on the

engineering and technology aspects of new GM models.



Replacing Hamp at Saturn is Susan Mallino, whose GM tenure began in

1983.



Most recently, she was director of communications in the GM Technical

Center, where she headed media relations and employee communications for

GM’s research, development and planning arms, advanced technology

vehicles and engineering and design centers.



Along with new model introductions, Mallino’s PR challenges will include

continuing to stress Saturn’s consumer-focused approach to car sales and

maintaining good relations with dealers and with the United Auto Workers

union.



It will be difficult, if not impossible, for Mallino to generate the

extensive media attention Saturn received when it launched as a

’different’ kind of car company, observers noted. Saturn has gotten

media attention of late with the debut of its L-series, a new larger

Saturn, but the company has had a low profile.



Hamp is aware of this: ’We cannot assume that growth in the product

alone is the way we’re going to grow our company.’ Mallino, then, will

need to find other ways to capture public and press attention. One

possible growth area may be using the Internet to reach consumers. At

the same time, the company must be sensitive to the needs of dealers

concerned that auto manufacturers may sell cars directly via the Web and

thus bypass dealers.



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