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CHEVROLET RESTRUCTURING SALES AND SERVICE ORGANIZATION

 CHEVROLET RESTRUCTURING SALES AND SERVICE ORGANIZATION
 WARREN, Mich., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Chevrolet is restructuring


its sales and service organization "to shift more completely its focus toward the field and the division's dealers and customers," General Manager Jim Perkins announced.
 In a televised address to employes and in messages to Chevrolet/Geo dealers, Perkins said that the restructuring is part of a strategy -- begun in 1989 -- to increase dramatically the number of factory representatives in direct contact with the division's dealers.
 At the same time, the division is targeting an approximate 17-percent reduction in overall employment, much of it in its central office staff.
 Perkins said that just a few years ago, Chevrolet had more sales and marketing people in its central office than in the field.
 "When we complete these changes in the spring, some 70 percent of our people will be in the field calling on dealers, selling product, getting orders and satisfying customers. The remaining 30 percent will be positioned to support our field organization in getting those jobs done," Perkins said.
 While the number of factory sales and service representatives calling on dealers will increase considerably, Chevrolet's customer assistance, dealer technical assistance, and dealer warranty assistance operations will continue as central office elements and will not be affected by the restructuring.
 In addition, dealers still will be able to reach their key contact people through the use of "800" numbers as they do now.
 "There are a lot of military analogies in the automobile business," Perkins said, "because it's a war we're fighting out there. What we're doing here is redeploying our troops to bring more firepower at the point of attack -- to the point of sale and the point of customer satisfaction."
 The current Chevrolet field organization operates from 22 branch offices in strategic locations around the country. That field arrangement is mirrored to a great extent by a Central Office Marketing Center, where most of the dealer contact has originated in recent years -- largely by telephone.
 Currently, product distribution also is conducted in the Marketing Center, utilizing a sophisticated computerized national order file.
 By the first quarter of 1993, most of the Marketing Center functions -- including distribution -- will be relocated to 14 regional sales and marketing offices, supported by 28 small zone offices. The 14 regional offices will be formed from 14 of today's Chevrolet branch offices. Most of the small zone offices will be located in cities where there previously was a full branch office.
 The field personnel actually calling on dealers will have at their disposal the latest in laptop computer technology enabling them to tap into a national data base, along with cellular communication technology.
 Perkins said that restructuring plan had begun to take shape in 1989, in response to input from dealers and field sales and service personnel.
 "The message we were getting loud and clear was that we needed to have more face-to-face contact with our dealers and that the distribution function needed to be in the field -- closer to the individual markets, and closer to the folks who buy our cars and trucks," Perkins said.
 "It's also no secret that as nameplates have proliferated and the number of dualed dealers has increased, there has been increased competition for shelf space. This redeployment also will help us protect that shelf space."
 The establishment of the 14 new regional offices permits the consolidation of eight existing branch offices while leaving more people actually in dealer contact in those areas, some of whom will be transferred from Chevrolet headquarters.
 Branches being consolidated are: Houston, Pittsburgh, Portland, Ore.; St. Louis; Syracuse and Tarrytown, N.Y.; Tampa, Fla.; and Washington, D.C.
 Perkins said that the bulk of the reduction in staff in both Chevrolet headquarters and the field will be accomplished through early retirements and attrition.
 -0- 11/13/92
 /CONTACT: Dave Hudgens of Chevrolet, 313-492-8846/
 (GM) CO: Chevrolet Division, General Motors Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: RCN


DH -- DE021 -- 0760 11/13/92 14:14 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 13, 1992
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