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: What is the future of the American automobile industry?
Taylor: Well, in our business, probably like a lot of businesses, survival is only guaranteed by a great product and, you know, great customer service satisfaction. So, doesn’t matter if you’re bringing those cars from Japan, from Europe or… or being an import manufacturer and building them here, it still boils down to that and boils down to… [we’re in art business], the action is in the dealership and… and then the amount of satisfaction that they have as they own that product, so in our case, of course cars. And there’s a whole long complicated list, in our case, many, many, many years of legacies of a 100 years of General Motors that’s build up pretty substantial cost legacy that its taken, in our case, a lot of years to work off and to solve and get taken care of, so that we’re back in a competitive position so that’s where in the process of doing right now [IB] of billions and billions of dollars each year that [IB] is improving and getting us back into a competitive position. All the other things that are going on in the industry and related to these overall volumes, for instance, now running at kind of 13 million unit industry is on top of that challenge of course and is affecting all manufacturers, including the imports right now and then of course, the [IB] market is all imploding and is also providing a huge challenge, no matter what manufacturer you are, so we got both things all going on us, as many people call it a perfect storm right now.