GM’s in-car technology experience should get a major boost with exec’s new global role

Alicia-Boler Davis News that General Motors’s Alicia Boler-Davis will expand her U.S. role over customer experience to a global level could be a major win for consumers as it relates to the company’s in-car technology.

The official GM press release indicates that the move is part of GM’s ongoing efforts to transform itself into a “customer-centric” company and one of the best in the industry when it comes to the overall customer experience.

The announcement comes on the heels of the release of J.D. Power & Associates annual quality study, where GM placed about 50 percent of its vehicles in the top three of their respective segments with a company-best eight segment awards, according to an official press release.

In the new role, Boler-Davis will oversee everything from the quality of vehicle manufacturing to the overall dealer experience in the global markets where GM does business.

Still, it’s the things more specifically centered on the “connected customer” as it relates to in-car technology in her new role as GM’s VP of Global Quality and Global Customer Experience that tech-oriented consumers should be most excited about.   

In the new position, Boler-Davis will be responsible for ensuring that GM’s infotainment systems – the Cadillac CUE, Chevy MyLink and Buick and GMC IntelliLink – can meet global consumer expectations.

Part of those efforts will include overseeing initiatives such as GM’s Connected Customer Specialists, a group of tech experts that help consumers learn more about their in-car technology, via training dealer representatives to become Certified Technology Experts.

Boler-Davis’ new role is sure to be met with some challenges when pushing to compete with the level of global customer experience associated with infotainment systems such as Audi Connect and BMW’s ConnectedDrive.

Despite some of the easy-to-use features of GM’s in-car tech systems like MyLink, my current test drive of the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala indicates that there are a few areas where the system could use improving to be more user-friendly.

MyLink-overview-masthead-1280x551The CUE infotainment system has also gotten mixed reviews, a sign that while it might be the look of an infotainment system that lures you in, it’s the functionality that consumers find most appealing.

Yep, Boler-Davis definitely has some work ahead of her to ensure that GM’s level of customer experience in the world of car technology meets or exceeds those of some other companies on a global level.

However, in having an opportunity to talk with her on several occasions, I get the sense she’s connected enough to what drives consumers to pull it off.

Before being named vice president, Global Quality and U.S. Customer Experience, Boler-Davis was plant manager of the Pontiac Stamping and Orion Assembly plants in Michigan.

She joined GM in 1994 and has served in various engineering and manufacturing leadership positions, including vehicle line director/vehicle chief engineer, small car; plant manager for Lansing’s Consolidated Operations and Arlington Assembly. 

Throughout her career, she has received high accolades for her commitment to improve overall customer satisfaction.  And we’ve spoken on several occasions about the need for automakers to maintain a high level of connection with consumers after they purchase a vehicle.

If Boler-Davis approaches her new position from the same perspective, which I fully suspect she will, it could help to completely redefine the customer experience when it comes to GM’s in-car technology in more ways than one. 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Bill and Ted 3 celebrates the franchise's 30th birthday with excellent teaser

As the Bill and Ted franchise turns 30, a third installment that the cast and creative team call Bill and Ted Face the Music is officially in preproduction, though there are big hurdles to overcome.
Emerging Tech

InSight’s heat probe will dig 16 feet beneath the surface of Mars

New images from NASA's InSight mission to Mars have confirmed that the lander succeeded in setting the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument onto the surface, from where a self-hammering spike will burrow downwards.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s MAVEN orbiter has a new job as a communication relay for Mars 2020

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter has been collecting atmospheric readings but now is taking on a new job as a data relay satellite for the Mars 2020 mission that launches next year.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Cars

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.
Cars

2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV continue to think inside the box

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of Kia's boxy curiosity. The Soul maintains its signature look, but gets tech and powertrain upgrades. The all-electric Soul EV returns as well.
Cars

Psychedelic Volkswagen Microbus from Woodstock returns for an encore

With its trippy paint scheme, the Volkswagen "Light" bus became a symbol of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. VW teamed up with the artist who created this rolling mural to stage a comeback in time for Woodstock's 50th anniversary.
Cars

Amazon plugs in with $700 million investment in electric pickup company Rivian

Amazon invested $700 million for a minority stake in U.S. all-electric truck maker Rivian, according to a joint release. The announcement follows a Reuters report that GM and Amazon might invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the company.
Cars

2019 RAM 1500 Classic Warlock special edition: Badass style without the whoop

If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks without the cost of a desert racer, FCA announced the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, a special edition pickup that focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.
Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.