Mary Barra, GM, United States discussed on Squawk Pod
Entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban on Sports Post pandemic and tackling white privilege in America. People have got to have difficult conversations right now. We as white people all know people who are raised this, maybe not overtly racist, but you know subtly racist, and when we think people act that way, we have to step in and say something. Those stories plus delivery for president, Putin. It's a four year. It's a chamber. It's a disinfection tunnel. It's Wednesday June seventeenth twenty twenty squad. Right Days after accepting the job as motors CEO in January twenty fourteen Mary, Barra had to confront a crisis that threatens the entire company's future and ignition switch malfunctioned from a decade, prior had resulted in one hundred twenty four deaths and two hundred seventy five injuries bars started a string of recalls. That would ultimately involve more than thirty million vehicles that year she also revamped the company's culture and management process focusing on keyword safety, the first woman to run an American car maker said the experience taught her to be impatient about solving problems and encouraged employees and managers to be transparent. Fast forward to twenty twenty. Mary Barra. Is the word impatient again. General Motors has had a rough spring like most companies forced to close plans for two months to develop safety protocols to deal with the threat of coronavirus. And when the crisis of racial inequality in our cities and our workplaces spilled over into the biggest public demonstrations in decades, Mary Barra wrote to GM, employees, suppliers and dealers, saying that she was impatient and disgusted, with Americans, passive discussions about inequality, the chairman and CEO of General Motors Mary Barra spoke to Joe Kernan Becky Quick Andrew Ross sorkin today on squawk box about all of this as well as about the automakers virtual shareholders meeting yesterday consumers after Corona virus, and how you build an inclusive workplace. Here's Mary. Really going to see you. Thank you for being here. Let's get. Get to be with you today to Becky, thank you. Let's talk a little bit about the year. You have seen so far leading up to the shareholder meeting. You said that this was a tragic year. Can you kind of walk through what you've learned what you've seen? What would? GM has experienced this year? Well? When you think about first pandemic, it started with our operations in China and has moved through the entire world, so we've been experience in that and trying to make sure that we do everything we can to keep our people safe are. As we look at this, we want to make sure we protect lives then livelihoods, and so we've been applying learnings from across the globe to make sure that we can do just that, and so as you look at that, which has had a tremendous impact on our business, as it has many businesses across the globe. And then with the incident dealing with social inequity and racial equity. Clearly. That has been. Hanging and very heavy on all of our hearts, so those are serious issues that we need to look at to from a business perspective, but also doing what's right and making sure that we create an environment for include to be inclusive for everyone, so we have a lot of work that we've outlined, and we're very committed to taking action, not just talking about why things are happening, but what? What are we going to do to be part of the change? Definitely want to talk more about the Justice and equality measures in just a moment, but before we get to that, let's let's talk about some of the things that you mentioned yesterday at the shareholders meeting and leading up to that you had said that by the end of this month. You're really hoping to get GM production levels. Levels back to the pre cova levels That's a tall order considering what you all have been doing in terms of having handle the shutdowns, and then shift to making some of the personal protective equipment that th that people have been using for the cove response to where where are you on that track? Anything that that is is a goal that you're likely to have. Yes, WE I. I have been in eight of our plan. Cy in the United States over the last few weeks. Plan to visit moral being another one of our facilities tomorrow, so the return to work has been going pretty well. We took the time to really train. Everybody on what our safety protocols are, and why they're so important, but then very importantly listened to everybody's concerns in questions and I think. That has allowed us to. Make sure people return with the protocols that with all the work we've done. We believe are safe, but also to give them confidence in the safety, so that has been very very important. We have well over ninety percent of our team. In the United States back and most of North America and so we believe we're on trend for virtually every one of our facilities to be back to the levels. They were producing prior to the impact of covert in this country we. We are also back. as it relates to China cree and other locations around the world. South America is coming back up. It's a little slower because they're at a different point. in the curve as it relates to the coronavirus that create any problems just in terms of your supply chain, the particularly looking at some of the situations in Mexico that we had seen earlier to have. Have you had issues trying to make sure you get everything? You need these cars? We're working through them A. we have a complex global supply chain, so there's always challenges working very closely with local and federal governments in many countries as well as our suppliers, and you know we're on a good path will continue to work through any challenges that we have I think that we can successfully work through those as we progress through the end of the month, and then continue on into third quarter. There've been a lot of questions about consumer demand and I know there are issues. Issues that people worry about their jobs. Worry about what's going to happen next, but then there are probably potentially other buyers who had been out of the market, or maybe never bought a car before who think, wait a second I need a car. I need my own transportation now because I trust public transportation less. What are you starting to see? Some of the car? Dealers actually reopen around the country well we been pleasantly surprised that how how demand has come back and even stage. It didn't drop as low as it had. In other countries in the United States, even during the height of the peak from from an impact perspective, so we're cautiously optimistic. We do see people very interested. In completing much of the transaction online using our shop clicked Dr Tool. We also have many of our dealers. Virtually all of them that have signed up for kind of a clean certification context list delivery, and I think that is giving consumers confidence as well so I think it's too soon to tell but a work cautiously optimistic as we see demand resuming. Where where is demand? Coming up is their pent up demand. People looking to buy trucks. Are they looking to buy cars? What what what have you seen from the consumer? We've seen strength in trucks, and because of the strength of our truck franchise effect that we just have been over the last year and a half wanting all new full size trucks both light duty and heavy duty were right now also launching our full size suv, the the Chevrolet suburban and Tahoe the GMC Yukon and then the Cadillac. Escalade we're very. Encouraged by the fact that demand for full size trucks SUV's has been very strong, and now we're starting to see on. Mid crossovers SUV demand also increase. Just in terms of trying to restart financially, you obviously took some some measures to try and battle the shutdown that you were dealing with during the second quarter. Do you think you've gotten through the worst of the coronavirus? Issues and shut down at this point, or do you worry that there? There are more repercussions to come down the road well I think it's A. It's a very uncertain time. I think when you look back the steps that we've taken over the last five six years to strengthen the company making some the tough decisions and transforming our industry that put us in a much better. Better position as we face this pandemic and right now we're hopeful that will have a a strong recovery, but we're planning multiple scenarios to make sure that the the company were that we're strong from a business perspective, and can whether whatever outcome, but right now we're cautiously optimistic and Mary one thing I want to ask you from a CNBC poll. That's out this morning. Morning. We've been testing people to kind of ask them how they feel about.