General Motors Organizational Structure

  • General Motors employs an organizational structure underpinned by multiple regional divisions. As a global car seller, this helps the company account for differences between the various markets it operates in. Each division also oversees support functions such as finance, information systems, purchasing, and logistics.
  • A secondary component of GM’s organizational structure is the two business-type divisions of GM Automotive and GM Financial. The former houses each regional division, while the latter pertains to vehicle leasing, financing, maintenance, and insurance.
  • GM is also supported by numerous corporate, function-based groups that are headed by a so-called Corporate Officer. Some of these groups include GM China, Global Information Technology, Accounting Services, and Global Communications. There is also a 13-member Board of Directors headed by current CEO Mary Barra.

Introduction

General Motors is an American multinational vehicle manufacturer headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, and founded by William C. Durant, Charles Stewart Mott, and Frederic L. Smith in 1908.

General Motors was the largest such manufacturer in the world for 77 years between 1931 and 2008, so it is perhaps no surprise to learn that the company employs an organizational structure underpinned by multiple regional divisions.

Below we will explain this divisional structure and some other aspects of the GM organizational structure in more detail.

Regional divisions

As a global company, General Motors utilizes regional divisions to help it account for differences between one geographic market and the next.

There are five such divisions:

  1. GMNA – General Motors North America.
  2. GME – General Motors Europe.
  3. GMSA – General Motors South America.
  4. GM AMEO – General Motors Africa & Middle East.
  5. GMAP – General Motors Asia-Pacific.

Each division has a regional headquarters which liaises with company headquarters in the United States. One characteristic of this divisional structure is interdepartmental competition, with several GM brands competing against each other in the same market.

After the Global Financial Crisis, however, the company was forced to accept a government bailout and institute a massive restructuring program. Many unprofitable brands were retired and each division was afforded more autonomy to market to particular consumer preferences. Each division now also oversees support functions such as finance, information systems, purchasing, logistics, corporate communications, and human resources,

Business-type divisions

General Motors is also structured around two business-type divisions:

  1. GM Automotive – which houses the five regional divisions noted above, and
  2. GM Financial – this incorporates a broad range of financial services including fleet leasing, consumer vehicle finance, dealer financing, commercial and vehicle insurance, and car and truck extended service contracts. 

Corporate, function-based groups.

The company is also underpinned by multiple corporate, function-based groups that are headed by a Corporate Officer.

These groups include:

  • Global Communications.
  • Tax. 
  • Global Human Resources.
  • Global Business Solutions.
  • Global Manufacturing and Sustainability.
  • Global Information Technology.
  • Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain.
  • Strategy and Innovation.
  • Accounting Services.
  • GM China.
  • North America.
  • Global Public Policy.

General Motors also has a 13-member Board of Directors headed by current Chair and CEO Mary T. Barra. 

Read Next: What happened to General Motors?, The History of Tesla, Tesla Business Model.

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