Manage episode 380027664 series 3267776
Though regardless of my formal position, I had always been pulled into GM Europe's discussions with Suzuki from the very beginning. As this potential collaboration became closer to a reality, I found myself basically devoting most of my time and emergy to ongoing discussions. Then once Opel and Suzuki agreed to do the program, I was assigned as the European head of the program. The vehicle was called Opel Agila, and I became the Regional Vehicle Line Executive of this joint program. I would not call this a joint vehicle "development" program since Suzuki took the lead in engineering, however, the program required significant interactions between the two companies involving many memorable and talented people on both sides. And my role in this program eventually moved to Japan as a result of a dynamic shift in the reformation of the global automotive industry sparked by a merger between Chrysler and Daimler Benz. It could not get any more exciting than this, and I found myself right in the thick of alliance formation discussions. This episode describes the beginning of the Opel Agila program and my involvement in it.