Jim Taylor has been the CEO of Hummer since October of 2008. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of Cadillac. Since beginning his GM career in 1980 with GM of Canada Limited in Oshawa, Ontario as an industrial engineer, Jim Taylor progressed through several production and purchasing positions, including management positions at Saturn, Adam Opel, Worldwide Purchasing and GM Truck. Taylor was appointed Cadillac General Manager in 2004, and was responsible for the division’s global product, marketing and promotional activities.
Although Taylor is a skilled tactician and engineer, his creative side is exercised through music—he is a concert-level pianist. He also spends free time enjoying the open road on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Question: With their high fuel economy, will motorcycles be the vehicles of the future?
Taylor: Well, I’m probably, you know, [IB]. I’m kind of old school and, you know, all your questions kind of weaved together to come back to, you know, I have a Harley, it’s American, it’s American luxury, it’s an American brand, wouldn’t have anything else. And you know, they have their own era where their quality, you know, was not up to international standards unfortunately. They fixed that over time but there’s many many bikes that are a lot cheaper, probably performed as well or better but that’s a great example… great example of an American icon that thankfully took care of their brand, came back, offers a great product but you’re buying the brand and not just two wheels and an engine and you know, [IB] it is fascinating, funny you asked that because we’ve been talking behind the scenes where [IB] on our case, we announced the new Volt, so General Motors is going to have a… will have, very shortly, a Chevrolet product, it is largely electric. It’s got an extended range, we call it gas engine as an assist but primarily an electric car and the battery industry is a big move that they have to make to try to keep up pace with the kind of expectations that the auto industry has what… in their world too but that’s… that’s going to happen and it’s coming… Chrysler yesterday showed three cars in their press conferences, electric and battery powered. So good question whether the bike industry will soon head that way as well. You know, bikes in this country have some transportation contribution, [IB] they aren’t but, you know, in a lot of cases those are, of course, second or third vehicles, in some cases, just toys and not really the number one basic transportation and so, you know, the expectations in that area were different plus the fuel economy of bikes has already been pretty high compared to a vehicle so good question to think about [IB] Harley where they’re having that same conversation right now.