General Motors Canada has a new leader in Travis Hester. He replaced Steve Carlisle this past April after GM ousted Johan de Nysschen from the top role at Cadillac and installed Carlisle in his place.
Hester, who previously worked in engineering and program management, laid out GM Canada’s latest strategic vision on Wednesday. And it’s more of the same: building on current work and expanding GM Canada’s sales momentum.
The managing director said the vehicles in GM’s pipeline will absolutely build on the Canadian sales momentum. Specifically, Hester said, “One of my top priorities will be to work with Canada’s network of dealers to help them serve our customers and expand market leadership for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac across Canada.”
Secondly, he moved to manufacturing. Hester said he will support GM Canada’s manufacturing base and applauded workers in in Oshawa, Ingersoll and St. Catharines. Oshawa, particularly, got a shoutout for its quick transformation in the past few months. The plant now builds cars and pickup trucks on the same line.
“To watch new pickups and sedans rolling off the same final assembly line is an impressive achievement for any manufacturer in any country in the world,” Hester commented.
Finally, Hester stated he wants to bolster and help complete GM Canada’s vision for innovation growth. GM Canada has invested heavily in research and development, and the unit continues to partner with startup companies and local universities.
“Our partnerships with universities and Canadian start-up companies are enabling us to do something unique and powerful in the product development world. GM has established its position as Canada’s leader for core automotive engineering and testing work. At the same time, we are developing software for self-driving cars and building partnerships that will drive toward a future of electric, self-driving cars and shared mobility,” he added.