GM Names Batey Vice President of U.S. Sales and Service

General Motors Co. (GM), the world’s largest automaker last year, said it named Alan Batey to the new position of vice president of U.S. sales and service.

Batey, who had been vice president of U.S. Chevrolet sales and service, becomes the top sales executive in the U.S., reporting to Mark Reuss, North America president.

“GM is playing offense with an aggressive rollout of new cars, trucks and crossovers,” Reuss said in an e-mailed statement. “Strengthening our U.S. sales team will help take full advantage of these growth opportunities.”

The automaker’s U.S. sales in the year’s first four months slid after a 13 percent gain in 2011. GM’s U.S. light-vehicle sales fell 0.4 percent through April to 821,707, according to researcher Autodata Corp.

“They have to get back into the car business, meaning small cars versus trucks and SUVs,” said Jesse Toprak, an industry analyst with TrueCar.com, a website that tracks auto sales. “Batey’s experience around the globe really has been mostly about making smaller vehicles. They probably they think having that experience will pay off as they try rebalance their mix in the U.S.”

Don Johnson, 55, currently U.S. vice president of sales operations, was named U.S. vice president of Chevrolet sales and service, replacing Batey, 49, according to the statement. The appointments are effective June 1, GM said.

In other changes, Kurt McNeil, 48, U.S. vice president of Cadillac sales and service, replaces Johnson as U.S. vice president of sales operations, GM said. Chase Hawkins, 43, regional director of Cadillac sales and service in the northeast region, replaces McNeil as head of Cadillac sales.

Ed Peper, 50, becomes U.S. vice president of fleet and commercial sales, according to the statement. He has been general manager.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Higgins in Southfield, Michigan, at thiggins21@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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