Smith to Preside over Pontiac Excitement 400 as Grand Marshal DETROIT, May 1, 2001 - John F. Smith, General Motors Vice President and General Manager, General Motors Service Parts Operations, is set to serve as grand marshal for this weekend's...
Smith to Preside over Pontiac Excitement 400 as Grand Marshal
DETROIT, May 1, 2001 - John F. Smith, General Motors Vice President and General Manager, General Motors Service Parts Operations, is set to serve as grand marshal for this weekend's Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
Smith, a native of Kansas City, Mo., accepted his current role at GM in February 2000. Prior to this appointment, he worked as GM Vice President and General Manager of Cadillac Motor Car Division, beginning in February 1997. Prior to that, he served as President of Allison Transmission, headquartered in Indianapolis, and Vice President of planning for General Motors Europe, based in Zurich.
"It will be a true honor to serve as the grand marshal over the Pontiac Excitement 400, which has certainly become one of NASCAR's most popular races," said Smith. "Everyone at General Motors is looking forward to bringing our brand of 'Pontiac excitement' to the NASCAR fans in Richmond."
Smith joined General Motors in June 1968 at the then Chevrolet-Kansas City assembly plant. He was an engineering student at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), graduating in 1973. Smith later obtained a master's degree in business from Harvard Business School in 1976.
Upon graduation from Harvard, Smith joined the New York treasurer's office in New York, holding several analytical and executive positions until moving to the comptroller's staff in 1982, where he was responsible for the Forward Product Programs activity. In 1983, Smith joined Pontiac as Assistant Comptroller and moved to the newly formed Buick-Olds-Cadillac Group in 1984.
In 1985, Smith assumed responsibilities for the International and Joint Venture Programs activity at the Chevrolet-Pontiac-Canada Group, which managed the development and sourcing of vehicles from Isuzu, Suzuki, Daewoo and Toyota (NUMMI). In 1987, Smith returned to the Buick-Olds-Cadillac Group as director of planning, where he remained until his move to GM Europe.
Pontiac, which is sponsoring the spring race at Richmond for the 13th year, brings its 75-year heritage of bold, daring and innovative design and high performance to the road and on the track each time a driver gets behind the wheel.