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Professional Development Assignment Pairs GM Engineers, Dealers

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In order to ensure vehicles that are more specifically catered to the needs of customers, GM sent out 90 of its engineers to convene with people working in different positions at dealerships across the country. The Professional Development Assignment will ensure that General Motors engineers have a greater perspective on what customers enjoy about the cars they have a hand in making and learn what they can do to improve upon the product in future iterations.

“The engineers who have experienced this program have initiated or enhanced product improvements already underway,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply Chain, in a press release. “They are acting as change agents for their departments, and their lessons fuel the customer-centric culture at GM.”

Participants in the Professional Development Assignment were chosen by their respective group leaders and include engineers responsible for vehicles such as the Chevy Corvette, Cadillac ATS, GMC Sierra, and Buick Enclave. Upon arriving at their dealership, the engineers would begin to shadow sales and service team members and meet with some of the people who purchase the very same cars they have a hand in creating.

Michael Bailey, Professional Development Assignment

Michael Bailey, Corvette Engineer

“This program has taught me how important our dealers are to our customers,” said Michael Bailey, Corvette chassis systems engineer. “It gives me new perspective on what I do every day, like things I need to put more focus on that can help our dealers and improve the customer experience.”

More than 2,000 observations have been made by engineers involved in the Professional Development Assignment, and will eventually end up factored into various aspects of the creation process. At the program’s conclusion, the participants will travel to Walt Disney World to study how the popular attraction handles its customers and their suggestions.

A business trip to Disney World? Hard work, but somebody has to do it!