Jim Taylor on the New Dealership Model

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.


  • Transcript


Question: How is the dealership system changing

Taylor:    Well, it’s a… again, it’s a complicated system, this isn’t just General Motors, it is the US system, it’s franchise system and it’s very very, you know, significant and long term laws, [state laws in place] that guarantee the survival of franchise system.  And so, they are independent businessmen that, you know, run around stores and we are, literally, suppliers of their product.  We don’t sell cars to the customers, we sell them the dealerships as it’s all of it, all the manufacturers do it as well.  So, they’re really in charge of their own destiny.  We have all kinds of activities in place to support them, to send people there, to call them, to teach them, they run seminars, invite them to places and help them be as good a business people as they can but at the end of the day, you know, it’s up to them and like any business how well they run their business as leaders, as executives, as managers and some of them run huge conglomerates of hundreds of dealerships, others run, you know, one dealership and a lot of them, of course, family businesses so it’s a complicated formula for these guys and it comes down to maybe like sports, you know, we have outstanding dealerships that boils down a really good dealer and then we have average dealerships [IB] pretty much back to the dealer and the person and the leader, just like sports.