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GM’s New Chevy Head to Spend Time Developing Models

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co.’s new worldwide Chevrolet brand chief, Alan Batey, said he will spend more time on product development to help establish the brand globally.

“There will be changes in the way we look at product and the way we look at our global programs,” Batey said today in a telephone interview.

Batey was named senior vice president of global Chevrolet on June 25, a new position. The move is part of Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson’s strategy to build Chevrolet and Cadillac into GM’s worldwide volume and luxury brands as the company competes against Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG.

In the previous 11 months, Batey had been interim global chief marketing officer in addition to being GM’s U.S. sales chief, a job he’s essentially keeping. In his marketing role, he oversaw the creation of a new global advertising tagline, Find New Roads, and worked to implement a consolidation of advertising and media buying.

The automaker is trying to increase Chevrolet appeal to international markets.

Sixty-three percent of Chevy sales were outside of the U.S. last year up from 27 percent a decade earlier, Batey has said. The brand’s top five markets now include China and Russia replacing Canada and Venezuela from a decade ago, according to GM. Yet with all of the growth, Chevy isn’t among Interbrand’s top 100 global brands while competitors, including Toyota and VW, are.

“We’ve grown so fast over the last decade that the brand is very, very young in a lot of these markets,” Batey said. “It has an awareness opportunity.”

GM rose 0.6 percent to $33.31 at the close in New York. The shares have climbed 16 percent this year, compared with a 13 percent rise for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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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