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March 19, 2002 -- News Brief

Executive team presents case to IDM class

Auto buyers don't have to kick tires any more.

Top executives from General Motors and Auto-by-Tel were guest lecturers in a CCBA class for first-year MBA students in mid-March to discuss selling cars over the Internet. Specifically the team talked about the partnership of GM and Auto-by-Tel that is successfully marketing GM cars online. Their challenge is working effectively with automobile dealers. A field test of 22 dealers in the Washington, D.C. area has proven quite successful.

Mark Hogan, former president of e-GM, predicted that in the future consumers will play an critical role in the design off their automobiles. Within the next five years, Hogan commented, consumers will be able to design and specify online what they want in an automobile. The order will go directly to the factory line where the custom car will be made and then delivered to their local dealer.

Justin Wasik, Auto-by-Tel project leader at e-GM, gave the MBA students the background of the case. Wasik then took questions as part of a panel that included Hogan and Mark Lorimer, CEO of Auto-by-Tel. William Qualls, professor of business administration and director of the IDM program, cautioned students to "come prepared to ask the tough question and engage these two executives in a dialog."

Qualls reports he is pleased with the showing of his students. "They really paid attention and came up with good, probing questions," he noted. The special seminar was part of BA 405T, Electronic Commerce and Internet Marketing, which Qualls co-teaches with visiting executives, including Dale Brill, dean of eCommerce at e-GM.

Mark Lorimer, Mark Hogan, and Justin Wasik (l to r)

A well-known figure at the college, Mark Hogan frequently flies in from his home base of Detriot to participate in CCBA classes. He was appointed group vice president of advanced vehicle development at GM in January. Hogan is a 1973 CCBA graduate in Business Administration. He received an MBA from Harvard in 1977.

Wasik poses a question to the MBA students.

 


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