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Notable Women in the Automotive Industry: Susan E. Docherty, Vice President, U.S. Marketing for General Motors

Susan E. Docherty

Think women don’t have a place in the automotive industry?  Maybe you believe that if you study automotive technology, automotive design, auto maintenance and repair, or have a marketing degree and a love of cars, that it simply doesn’t matter; that no one will take you seriously or hire you in the automotive field just because you’re a woman.  If so, it’s time to dust yourself off and get a new point of view!  Afterall, this is 2010 and women are making great strides in the automotive industry. 

If you need a little inspiration. here’s a good place to start!  

Susan Docherty was named Vice President, U.S. Marketing for General Motors on March 1, 2010. 

As the single point for marketing, her focus is on improving the positioning of the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands and consumer consideration of GM’s vehicles in the United States.

Since December 4, 2009, Docherty had served as GM Vice President, U.S. Sales, Service and Marketing.  She was responsible for sales, incentives and marketing for the company’s vehicle brands, as well as OnStar, Goodwrench and ACDelco. She was also responsible for GM’s relationship with dealers, dealer organizations and councils. Prior to that role, she briefly served as Vice President of U.S. Sales.

On June 1, 2008, Docherty was named general manager of Buick-Pontiac-GMC (BPG).  She was responsible for sales, service and marketing for BPG, which comprised nearly 2,000 dealers. In this role, she led the launches of the 2010 Buick LaCrosse and 2010 GMC Terrain.

In 2006, Docherty was the Regional General Manager for General Motors Western Region, based in Thousand Oaks, California, where she oversaw sales, service, distribution, marketing and parts for over 1,000 dealers in 16 states. Her areas of focus included the launch of Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, and a strategy to promote GM’s efforts on Gas Friendly to Gas Free with hybrids, hydrogen, electric and ethanol-based alternative fuel vehicles.

Docherty has also served as the General Manager of HUMMER. During her tenure, she led the marketing, sales, distribution and dealer relations of HUMMER globally. Prior to joining HUMMER, Docherty was Marketing Director for Cadillac, where she was responsible for conceiving, creating and launching the Escalade family of sport utility vehicles.

Docherty went to Cadillac after working four years in Europe, where she led a turnaround and right-sizing effort as the Marketing Director for the GM European organization. Based in Russelsheim, Germany, she was responsible for selling North American produced vehicles in Europe. Prior to her turnaround assignment, Docherty was based in Zurich, Switzerland, where she was Manager for International Marketing and Communications, playing a leadership role by introducing and implementing brand management across GM’s European and Asian operations.

A native of Canada and a graduate of Stanford University in 2004, Docherty holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Windsor; a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Administration with a major in Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Economics.

Of the 43 Senior Leadership Group members at GM, she’s one of only six females.

According to the Cheers and Gears website, she plans to spend even more time with customers and dealers because that’s where she can make the biggest impact, help strengthen their brands, and earn consideration in the hearts and minds of consumers. 

I think it’s safe to say that Susan Docherty has proven herself to be one impressive lady!   If you have a love of  cars, whether it be racing, design, repair, restoration, selling – or something else in the field, get out there and do what you love!   Don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible, because it isn’t.  You can do it!


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One Response to “Notable Women in the Automotive Industry: Susan E. Docherty, Vice President, U.S. Marketing for General Motors”

  1. I just wanted to rave to SOMEONE at GM about my 2002 Chevy Tahoe. This is now my 2nd tahoe I have owned & will continue to buy Chevy! My Tahoe currently has 257,089 MILES ON IT!!!!! I have had no major repairs done & to date, each time I take my Tahoe in for a minor repair my mechanic is astounded at how long it’s lasted. He looks forward to checking my odometer & chuckles each time he reads it. I have taken pictures of my odometer as well as my vehicle, but I do not know who to send them to so that GM can have one more reason to be proud of what they do! I HOPE somebody that reads this will tell someone…who tells someone…who tells someone. I just wanted to say THANK YOU!
    Lifetime GM Customer,
    Channa Hobbs

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