5433 Buick-GMC marketing chief Phil Brook retires

Buick-GMC marketing chief Phil Brook retires

DETROIT — Phil Brook, the Buick and GMC marketing chief who led a splashy, wide-ranging GMC Hummer reveal, has retired from General Motors, effective Aug. 1.

Molly Peck, Buick sales and marketing executive director of SAIC-GM in China, will become vice president of Buick-GMC marketing Sept. 1, GM told Automotive News.

Peck, a three-decade veteran of GM, has held lead sales and marketing roles across each of GM’s four brands in the U.S., Shanghai and Dubai.

During her most recent post in China, Peck’s team established product strategy, marketing best practices and sales innovations to expand Buick in China, GM said. Last year, Buick volume grew 4.1 percent to 885,207 vehicles in China. Sales of Buick SUVs climbed 50 percent.

In her new role, one of Peck’s first tasks will be to launch the electric Hummer pickup, slated to go on sale this year, after a nearly 10-year hiatus for the nameplate. GM aims to launch an all-electric lineup by 2035. The Hummer will be the first vehicle powered by GM’s proprietary Ultium battery and marks the automaker’s foray into an EV future.

Brook had been with GM since 2004 and spent most of his time working for GM’s now defunct Holden unit in Australia. Brook’s posts at Holden included marketing director, director of sales and head of the national dealer network. Before joining GM, he was involved in sales and marketing with Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co.

As vice president of Buick-GMC marketing, a title he held since 2017, Brook helped expand the Denali subbrand and establish the sporty, off-road AT4 subbrand. He defined GMC’s lineup as premium pickups and SUVs that are meant to be used. Most recently, he led a multiplatform campaign to reveal the Hummer, which included an unveiling during Game 1 of the 2020 World Series, “The Voice” on NBC, live on the GMC website and YouTube, along with numerous virtual media events.

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All reservations available for the 2022 GMC Hummer Edition 1 were claimed within 10 minutes of the reveal.

“What we really want to do is set GMC Hummer EV up as an iconic nameplate. To do that, you really need broad awareness, broad appeal and maximum excitement,” he told Automotive News at the time. This is not just about selling vehicles today, this is about building a strong brand and selling into the future and really establishing GMC and GM as a leader in the EV space.”

The Hummer was also the first production vehicle revealed on Twitch, a live streaming service initially popular among gamers. Five of Twitch’s biggest influencers hosted watch parties of the Hummer reveal spot.

On the Buick side, Brook and his team launched partnerships with social media influencers, sponsored HBO aftershows and worked with Reese Witherspoon’s media company to integrate her book club picks into Buick’s infotainment system.

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