Thursday, Mar. 15, 2012, 01:57 AM UPDATED 2:14 AMBy Auto Remarketing Staff
Having been captain of his college basketball team, General Motors’ Ed Peper is bringing the same mentality to his current position as general manger of GM fleet and commercial operations.
Peper highlighted what’s in GM’s vehicle pipeline for commercial buyers, as well as how he plans to lead the automaker’s team to meet the demands of that industry segment. In a recent post on the blog Faces of GM, the OEM mentioned Peper was captain of the basketball team at Hillsdale College.
“Many of those things rub off into business, pushing yourself hard, having goals and chasing after them, working together as a team. It’s all about the team,” Peper emphasized.
“That’s one of the things I’ve talked about with our fleet and commercial team. We’re going to be the No. 1 choice in the fleet and commercial market for very business-savvy fleet buyers by doing three things: providing them with great products, providing them with very innovative business solutions and providing an exceptional customer experience they can’t get anywhere else,” he continued.
“Early on here in my job, I am really trying to install this vision and these three pillars and everything we do is going to be about doing these things well,” Peper went on to say.
Peper is no stranger to GM. During his 28 years with the company, he’s held a number of jobs, including vice president of the Chevrolet brand in the U.S., and general sales manager of Cadillac.
Now as his latest challenge as general manager of fleet and commercial operations, Peper’s job is to push GM’s commercial offerings, which include a full-size pickup from Chevrolet and GMC that can run on either compressed natural gas or regular gasoline.
Peper hopes vehicles like this truck can serve big companies such as AT&T and FedEx, as well as government, law enforcement and local municipalities, rental car companies and small operations such as plumbers, construction workers and florists.
“It’s a phenomenal technology. It’s a lot cheaper than gasoline but the customers who buy them run them on either fuel. We anticipate this is going to a very big seller for us,” Peper projected.
“Fuel economy is incredibly important,” he stressed. “We look at this compressed fuel pickups that we’re launching right now, with fuel prices where they are over the course of three or four years the potential savings may be anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 on these vehicles. This is really important.
“Fleet customers desire the lowest cost of ownership so if we can give them vehicles that are great looking, get great fuel economy, have great residuals, that all contributes to that total cost of ownership for them as fleet customers. That is what’s most important,” Peper went on to say.
The GM executive contends the market is ripe for GM to leverage sales in the commercial and fleet spaces.
“The average age of fleet vehicles out there is almost 11 years so there are a lot of customers who want to replace their vehicles,” Peper noted. “What we’re seeing early on this year is a lot of pent-up demand and excitement around wanting to replace fleets.”
A video containing Peper’s interview can be viewed below.