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tv   The David Rubenstein Show Peer to Peer Conversations  Bloomberg  May 13, 2017 9:00am-9:31am EDT

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tired ofeoeet asking you what it feels like to be a woman ceo? mary: it's a question asked more than it should on reminded me last mother's day the most important job is mom. david: the government put some money in a general motors. to the government get its money back? ma: we will be forever grateful for what the government did. david: youroa of directors let you go and driverless car? mary: it is from general motors, i think yes. >> would you fix your tie, please? david: people wouldn't recognize me if my tie was fixed. let's leave it this way. all right. ♪
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david: i don't consider myself a journalist. nobody else would consider myself a journalist. i began to take on the life of being an interviewer, even though i have a day job of running a private equityir how do you define leadership? what is it that makes somebody tick? yoget tired of people asking you what it feels like to be a woman ceo of any company? mary: i think i was surprised by. when people started asking, it was a reflection on the auto industry and what people thought of the auto industry. i have grown up in it and i would not be sitting here today if not 20 years ago people have not taken chances on me to develop me. it was a bit surprising, but now if i can be a role model for other young girls to pursue engineering careers or pursue math and science, that's a good thing. it is a question asked evelyn
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more than it should. david: when you joined general motors have the age of 18, did you expect to rise up or any woman can rise up to be ceo at that time? mary: i think i had no even vision was something i could achieve. i was studying engineering and loved it. i was looking to pursue it career in engineering. i have this wonderful opportunity to work in so many different areas, great mentors. i feel very fortunate. david: did you hear from high school asate you told you they always knew you were terrific? did you get a lot of that? did you find people laughing at your jokes more? mary: i don't think i have any high school classmates that said we knew this was going to happen, but there was an outreach from people i had not met or talked to in a while that were very positive. it was heartwmi, all the positive messages i got from people in my past. david: did your children treaty
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with more respect after you got to be ceo? mary: come on, they are kids. my son reminded me last mother's day your most important job is mom. david: today, as you look at general motors, what are the most important challenges you face in running the company? mary: the auto industry is seeing more chains and we have seen in the last 50 years. think about the cars you drive today and rewi fe to 10 years ago. think about what you do in your car. you want your smart phone connected. a lot of safety features all around you. we are working on autonomous. you are driving electric vehicles, or you have the option to. when we look at how the industry is being transformed, we are changing the ways people are going to get from point a to point b. --s exciting but there is no we are moving at a rapid pace because we are competing with silicon valley. david: let's talk about autonomous cars. it's a euphemism for driverless
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cars. pple don't like to say driverless because it scares people. have you been in a driverless ca your board of directors let you go in a driverless car? [laughter] mary: give us from general motors, i think yes. i have ridden in one of our vehicles. they do have a safety. it's called the trainer. i have written in the cars in san francisco --ridden in the cars in san francisco. we're seeing progress and also would be basis. david: the put your foot on the brakes to stop it or do you get away from doing that? mary: i do when i'm driving with my children. [laughter] it is kind of a trained response it is so smooth. when you are riding in a vehicle and you come up to an intersection, you look up and the like is yellow. you have to make a decisn. are you going to pick up the
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pace and go through or come to a stop? has sennomous vehicle of exactly when the light turns yellow, knows they can maintain speed or stop. that's one of the benefits of autonomous vehicles. they are processing all the information around them actually more safely than we can as drivers with all the different things we are taking in. david: other phrases that come out. one is ridesharing. what is ridesharing? mary: when you are -- it is similar to a cab. you are looking to get a ride fr someone. ridesharing versus car sharing is you will have the use of the car, whether it is a day or an hour or a month. we are participating -- we have a stake in lyft. our own company may then in 16 cities across united stes what we are doing car sharing. david: you mean you drive the
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car and he given back to somebody? mary: we have in the city of ann arbor, we have cars stationed. he go online and reserve it. you use the app to unlock it and drive it. we have some services we can drop it off in a different place. david: if everyone is using car sharing or ridesharing, will there be fewer cars sold? is that a good thing for general motors? mary: there have been a lot of studies about more cars were less cars. some people c't drive right now. give the physical limitation that doesn't allow you to drive a vehicle. we will open up to a lot of people who can't drive or have the personal ability or freedom of mobility they don't have today. these vehicles in the sharing environments a dven much more frequently. many more smiles traveled. -- many more miles traveled. david: last year it was 10 million miles. a lot of cars are being sold because gasoline prices are
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low and there not worried at the cost of gasoline. is that your experience because people are buying cars because prices are low? if they go up will there be a problem in car sales? mary: we're seeing a shift in u.s. and across the globe he lived suvs andtrucks from a functionality perspective. we are seeing the shift. let's haven't in the last several years is even trucks and crossovers, maybe not as efficient as a car, have become much more fuel-efficient. we believe in having a wide portfolio. we are seeing low gas prices. people are going into an upper level model of vehicle or maybe one size bigger. they definitely are investing the money the are saving from the gas savings into the vehicle, but that's one of the reasons we have a full range of product lines. we will adjust to what the customer wants. david: when people going to buy a car these days who are the real decision-makers? the woman or the man in the relationship? mary: we have data on this.
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over 80% of decisions are made or influenced by women. andd: when people buy a car the salesman goes back and says i have to talk to my manager to see whether i can do this, do they really talk to their manager? [laughter] [applause] all, there are several dealers in the room so i have to get this right. [laughter] no. our dealers are independent operators. they have the ultimate control and what price a cell vehicle for. david: everything has all the options now. are still options that are optional? mary: we are creating options every day. one of the things we just put out, one of the most recent additions we put into our vehicles is teen driver package. it comes standard on the chevrolet malibu. you can monitor have a child's
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driving, and also,nd acceleration and deceleration. teenan see how safely your is driving. david: what age does that go off? does ago to 21 or 22 or 25? mary: it's really who owns the control of the account on the car. david: what about texting. some people are texting and driving. is there another option you can keep people from driving if they are texting? mary: you are right. distracted driving is now surpassing as the most common cause of injuries. very disturbingly in the last -- fatalitieseen in the u.s. have been going down and now they are starting to go up. i personally have not reviewed all the data on distracted debt -- but distracted driving is a big piece of it. we need to educate the public. that message can wait. there are things we have done to integrate it.
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a voice can come over and read your text. screen, onn the main the console of the vehicle. when you are holding your phone and looking down, that's one of the worst things you can do. we are trying to put technology in a place to make it better. distracted driving is a real issue and wha to take esponsibility. david: you are a member of the president's advisory council. you were seated right next to him. what is donald trump like? mary: he was a very productive meeting or we could share our views. ♪
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♪ david: on the weekends do you drive yourself around. what can a card you drive? yousef out for audits or
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mercedes-benz? mary: i do. i usually drive competitor models that are proving ground. any timheot the driving test one of army vehicles, we lighted up against the competition to know how we are performing. the head of product development doesn't every friday afternoon with a team of engineers. they go out and test the vehicles against the competition. i've had the opportunity to do that. right now i'm driving a cadillac. i can generally drive -- i can answer whatever car i like. [laughter] david: any color you want, too. your driving around michigan and unique gas. do you go pump it yourself? mary: absolutely. david: if anyone says you are the ceo, you shouldn't be popping your own gas. mary: in michigan it is self-serve. if between you and the pump. [laughter] david: are there any competitor models you would recommend? or not really?
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mary: i think is an important question. maybe it's because i ran product development for a while. whether you're talking about a chevrolet spark or heavy-duty ickupr cadillac escalade, fe we have worked hard to have a vehicle for every segment. we work hard to improve quality, have the right features. i can honestly say across our widespread portfolio of vehicles we have you covered. i mean that in all sincerity. we work hard to do the right thing for the customer and have great vehicles. dad: i want to buy a general motors car today and i have $50,000. what would you recommend i do? mary: a lot of vehicles you can buy. $50,000 david: $30,000? [laughter] mary: you can buy this one right here, bolt after federal incentives. a camaro if you have a need for speed. canyon, or the colorado, the chevrolet
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colorado. these are all products that have won a lot of awards and are great depending on what your use is. david: i just want to go fast. what is your fastest car? mary: the corvette. although now the camaro is getting it a run for its money. i thought we might go around the room. david: you are a member of the president's advisory counc. you were seated right next to him. what is donald trump like? mary: we had a very productive meeting. it was very -- we were able to really talk about some of the issues and challenges in our industry and our company, especially as we look at changes thatayccur in tax and trade in regulatory. it was a very productive meeting or we could share our views. the administration and the president really listened.
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he seems to be very action oriented. david: your business is very profitable and united states, not as much in europe but it is profitable in china. why are you so successful in china? the manufacture cars there? mary: yes, but i think is back to the buick brand. china a rich history in of driving some of the chinese official around back in the 1920's and 1930's. great brands. we been able to grow the chevrolet brand and the cadillac. the cadillac is one of fastest-growing luxury brands. we build many of the products in country. david: he used to have pontiac that has gone away and oldsmobile. now you have chevrolet, cadillac, buick and gmc. are those the main ones in the united states? mary yes. david: cadillac, that's your premium. it also makes the presidential limousine, which is like bombproof or something.
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ever been in that car to see what it's like? what you cannot comment? mary: i can't comment. david: i guess the average person cannot affordo y some thing like that. probably not. he joined general motors in it s a dominant company, then he went south for a while. what was the atmosphere like when you are working there? mary: it was very difficult. acoss the globe we had 220,000 people. the restructuring event was primarily in north america, but that was 100,000 people we employed today. it was a difficult time. that's when you saw the result. one of the thgs i think is so special that general motors is the men and women at general motors. they work so hard during that period doing what needed to be done to get the restructuring completed. david: the government put money in a general motors. to the government get its money back in some form or another over the years? mary: we -- there was a portion
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of what the government provided that was loans. they has a mothership in stock. we pay back the loans and the stock piece, they chose when to sell it. i would say there is a difference, but when you look at the jobs created because we invested million -- billions of dollars in the u.s. and the ime, from that perspective it has been successful. i general motors we will be forever grateful for what the government did. david: you meet with members of congress. two they understand the issues? mary: there is a willingness to understand how to create jobs. do they ever say can you give me a discount on a general motors car? mary: we can do that. david: what about people doing interviews? [laughter] ♪
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♪ david: other than a woman nning the company, what makes it so successful now? what's the major difference. mary: it is not like it's a switch on and off. they were some things they were restructuring, changing the culture. looking at how to have the right
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capacity. the work that was going. but through great theaters and my predecessors at the table here, really put a focus on the company of excellence in putting the customer at the center. what we said is we don't win until the customer says we win. and then deciding what we would be good at and what we shouldn't be doing, that focus and discipline has been with guided us since that time. david: your workforce is largely unionized in the united states, but you compete against companies that often are not unionized. is that right? is there a big differential now between unionized workforce compensation and nonunionized? mary: there is a bit of a gap in that is something we continually work on. the focus with the uaw partners, and we have a productive relationship of working together for. workplace safety, quality and productivity david: when you work with coress, do they understand
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your issue or the not understand ur issues as much as you think they should? mary: there was a willingness to have a discussion. there has not been a single mb of government that has not wanted to understand how her business operates, how we create jobs. david: did he ever say can you get a discount on a general motors car? mary: we can't for the government. david: what about people interviewing you? [laughter] mary: if not a government employee, i think we can work that out. david: tax reform has been talked about. the you favor or tax rate going down and how would you propose the president or congress pay for that? mary: we are in support of corporate tax reform. there is a lot of moving pieces. if not done very thoughtfully, it can be problematic. it would take a period of time to make adjustments to that. -- what we are asking for is we support tax reform, but it has to be done in a way that doesn't have unintended
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consequences. they are very capital intensive industries. david: are you promoting any particular project right now? mary: one of the areas is in the regulatory area. we are very much committed to the environment. place the only ones in a by 2050 will use all renewable energy. i would also say we are pro-on education. -- pro on education. safety, education and economic development in the regions where we work. from education perspective, and i reside in southeast michigan so detroit is a big concern, the education system there. are things we can do at state, local and federal government working together to improve the education system. david: if somebody graduates from college now, why should he or she went to work in the automobile industry?
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more specific general motors? mary: it's like the most exciting time ever. when you look at crossovers, usually the most important were second-most important purchase a person makes in their life. to get to be a part of that. people name their cars. it'anxciting thing to be a part of. the fact we are being transformed by technology with conductivity, which we have a leadership role in, collector vacation, autonomous -- electrification, autonomous. it's a very exciting time. there many other women likely to become ceos or executives in the automobile in his or is a relatively rare? mary: i can't speak outside of general motors, but we have women leading major areas of the corporation. our head of global manufacturing, our head of the electric product, our head of tax. there are many areas across the country or -- where women
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are meeting. we have diversity and you have to have a strong pipeline. just because i sit here now doesn't mean witutontinued focus on diversity and understanding biases, we all have biases, and we need to understand is biases. that is something we spent a lot of time on at general motors. david: you have 220,000 employees. do you tweet to keep them informed? mary: i do have a twitter account. for those of you wanting to communicate with your organization, i have found it to be an extremely effective way to communicate and share what's going on. and also in a employees that are doing great things and capture that on my facebo otwitter account. i find it a very effectively communicate. david: you have been ceo for a relatively short period. at some point ceos retire. when you do retire, what you want to do afterwards? when you go into government?
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d e president said i want to be secretary of this for that, would you go and? mary: i would not. i have a job to do for many years. hopefully serving at the pleasure of the board. i'm so excited about the technology we are working on. when i'm done doing that, i will probably focus on sweet. [laughter] -- sleep. [laughter] david: the three main companies in detroit that are making ord,mobiles, chrysler, f and general motors. you run into the other ceos at shopping centers? mary: not so much at shopping centers. i might have a different shopping center than they do. i like to shop. at events. clearly at events. whether it's the detroit grand prix or meeting such as this often we will be in the same place. david: for relaxation other than retail therapy, what do you do?
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argue a golfer? do you ski? mary: at this point a lot of my free time has been dedicated to going to my children's sports. hockey, soccer, cross-country, football. , hockey montana soccer mom. i watch a lot of sports. i'm starting to take golf lessons. that is probably all the time i have right now. david: i would suggest miniature golf. [laughter] mary: that is a good suggestion. david: when you're watching your kids sports, do you tweet? are you emailing when you're watching them? mary: when they are on the field, i am watching. if they are not playing, i'm probably on my phone. ♪
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megan: robert kraft leads a corporate empire worth $5 billion. as the owner of the new england england patriots, he has built an organization that has won five championships. robert: in our organization, people are free to do with they --hat they do and are not encumbered by corporate bs. megan: kraft shares his thoughts on what makes tom brady special. robert: he's the most genuine, nice, hard-working person. i do not hold grudges, but i also do not forget anything. [laughter] megan: and on his close, personal bond with president donald trump. be
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