General Motors’ Executive Vice
President of Manufacturing,
Alicia Boler Davis, believes a
combination of transformative
new technologies and
models can earn customers for life.
N JUNE LAST YEAR, ALICIA BOLER DAVIS WAS APPOINTED EXEC-
Utive Vice President of Global Manufacturing at General Motors to become the
highest-ranking African American in the global automotive industry. A passionate
advocate for both women in manufacturing and STEM education, her new role is
the culmination of an impressive 22-year career with the company, 18 years of which I
were directly involved in manufacturing and manufacturing engineering.
She now oversees more than 170 manufacturing sites in 30 countries, around 190,000 em-
ployees including joint ventures, and critical relationships with 45 union partners. That glob-
al manufacturing network builds around 10
million vehicles a year for customers in 140 covers all manufacturing operations, man-
countries across six continents in support of ufacturing engineering and labor relations
GM’s 10 distinct vehicle brands – Chevro- for GM around the world – all the processes
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let, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel, Vauxhall, and people, the equipment and the tools we “The challenge
Holden, Baojun, Wuling, and Jiefang.
use to manufacture our vehicles and our
In our latest Dialogue with a global manu- propulsion systems.
turing is how
facturing industry thought-leader, Alicia
So the thing that’s really exciting for me
to stay on top
Boler Davis talks to Executive Editor Paul is the chance to lead a manufacturing team when things are
Tate about the need for speed in today’s fast that is aiming at earning customers for life more digitally
changing world, the transformative impact by delivering the highest quality vehicles
of new technologies on manufacturing re- that we possibly can. That’s what I focus on.
sponsiveness, efficiency and quality, and the Having had responsibility for GM’s global connected, and
essential role people will play along the jour- quality and customer experience in one of
moving a lot
ney to Manufacturing 4.0.
my previous roles just brings it all together.
I think it’s the perfect opportunity for me.
Q: What excites you most
about your new role?
The other thing that’s exciting is that we
are not only producing our traditional cars,
A: I’ve spent about 18 years of my career trucks and crossovers, we’re also working
at General Motors either in manufacturing on new technologies and services for cus-
or manufacturing engineering, so in many tomers as well.
ways, my new role is going back to my roots Q: What kinds of new technologies and
at the company. Today my responsibility services are you working on?