Bookmark and Share

October 19, 2015

CAF recently spoke with Roberto Carvalho, the new National Sales and Marketing Manager, Fleet Field Operations, VSM at General Motors Canada. Discussions included the commercial van market, the state of the automotive industry, and how GM is helping customers maximize the value of their vehicles.

CAF: You assumed the key role of marketing and sales to fleets at a particularly volatile time in not just Canadian but global markets. Many, if not most Canadian companies including those that operate fleets of cars and trucks, will be wary and careful about spending during the coming year, extending vehicle lives while possibly delaying traditionally timed, scheduled replacement. Given these (world-wide) financial concerns, what are some of your primary objectives as you begin your tasks? 

Roberto Carvalho, the new National Sales and Marketing Manager, Fleet Field Operations, VSM at General Motors Canadas
Roberto Carvalho, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Fleet Field Operations, VSM at General Motors Canada.
CARVALHO: When we look at what is happening in the Canadian automotive industry, we see a consistent growth in the future of GM Canada, mainly due to its capacity to bring innovation, build high quality products, innovate in terms of connectivity. With our professional dealership network and the high level of services to our customers, I believe we have all conditions to continue fighting for a bigger slice of this important market.If I define now what will be my primary objective, I would say that I will work hard to continue improving our standards of services for our customers. 

CAF: The useful life of a fleet vehicle appears to grow from year to year in part due to the increasingly sophisticated and widely used maintenance and operational technologies available to fleets these days. How does General Motors help its commercial customers utilize these to maximize the value in their GM fleet vehicles? 

CARVALHO: On the road, our customers are demanding for new technologies such as better integration between phones and their vehicles and GM Canada has been responding very well to this demand, enabling a smarter, simpler integration that brings that digital life into the car. We are also investing a lot in new technologies, product quality and high quality safety standards to offer the best and most durable cars in the automotive industry. 

CAF: The commercial van market has quickly gone from what many considered a sleepy backwater to one of the most contested segments of the fleet market. What are General Motors plans for this space? 

CARVALHO: General Motors is constantly seeking feedback from our customers in terms of product needs and real world applications. With vans being such a big chunk of the fleet industry we are obviously focused on having the right product programs to serve the market demand. We meet regularly with our Commercial Sounding Board to get real world input on the product programs of today and tomorrow and vans are obviously core to our business. 

Furthermore, as you know, GM has an expansive global footprint and a variety of van offering around the world. Right now, in North America we are focused on selling our Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana in the large van category and the Chevrolet City Express in the small van segment. As our large vans continue to appeal to customers, we continue to hear customers trusting our brands and products. In the fleet market, it is not only about the smooth ride but also the cargo, cutaway configurations that require different powertrains and passenger capability. 

CAF: GM is in the midst of a model overhaul with new versions of the Cruze, Volt, Malibu and Camaro about to hit the market as well as introducing new vehicles like the Cadillac CT6. How will GM balance the needs of its fleet customers with retail demand for these exciting new products?

CARVALHO: Updating our fleet with our refreshed portfolio Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles an always top priority. GM brings our most robust and contemporary line-up of vehicles to the fleet market for our customers.

Roberto Carvalho, the new National Sales and Marketing Manager, Fleet Field Operations, VSM at General Motors Canadas
Roberto Carvalho, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Fleet Field Operations, VSM at General Motors Canada.
According to Strategy Analytics, there are more than 2.3 billion smartphones in use globally, and that number continues to rise. And on the road, customers are demanding better integration between phones and their vehicles. Whether they have an Apple or Android phone, GM is committed to providing the smartest, simplest connected driving experience possible to owners across the globe. For the 2016 model year, our vehciles will offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility in more models than any automotive brand. Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features you’d want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle’s display in a smart, simple manner. That allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps. A full list of those apps can be found at Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers spend more time with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.


The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Spark is a completely redesigned version of itself, strengthening its exceptional reputation as a mini-car with a great deal to offer. From new available safety features that help protect those inside to a more efficient powertrain, the Spark gives customers features and technology that aren’t typically offered in its segment.

The all-new, 2016 Chevrolet Cruze – a larger and lighter, more efficient and more sophisticated evolution of the brand’s best-selling global car. Packed with new technologies such as available Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and new active safety features, as well as a more spacious interior and an athletic, aerodynamically optimized design, the 2016 Cruze elevates the compact car segment

Roberto Carvalho, the new National Sales and Marketing Manager, Fleet Field Operations, VSM at General Motors Canadas
Roberto Carvalho, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Fleet Field Operations, VSM at General Motors Canada.
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu reaches an exceptional level of fuel efficiency with an all-new hybrid powertrain that uses technology from the Chevrolet Volt. The hybrid helps offer a GM-estimated 4.9 L/100km city, 5.2 L/100km highway – and 5.0 L/100km combined. The Malibu’s standard 1.5L turbo powertrain is projected to offer 6.4 L/100km highway

The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt electric car with extended range, showcasing a sleeker, sportier design that offers up to 80 kilometres of EV range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. The Volt’s new propulsion system will offer a significantly increased total driving range.

The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro revealed today offers higher levels of performance, technology and refinement and is designed to maintain the sporty car segment leadership earned over the past five years. Camaro’s leaner, stiffer platform and slightly smaller dimensions are accentuated by a dramatic, sculpted exterior. Meticulously tuned in the wind tunnel, the exterior contributes to performance through reduced aerodynamic lift for better handling while enhancing efficiency.


The 2016 CT6, elevating it to the top of its range and creating a new formula for the prestige sedan through the integration of new technologies developed to achieve dynamic performance, efficiency and agility previously unseen in large luxury cars. CT6 marks Cadillac’s long-awaited return to the global prestige luxury segment, and is one of eight all-new vehicles the brand will launch by the end of the decade as part of its $12-billion product investment to expand and elevate.

CAF: Please share with our readers your past experience with GM and how it has prepared you for this new role.

CARVALHO: I had the pleasure to work with General Motors of Brazil where I managed several important projects in marketing and sales, with very important results for my career. For sure it helps a lot when you know the company’s culture and can bring some oversees experience to the current challenge. I am so proud and happy now to be part of GM Canada’s team.

CAF: Maybe you can talk a little bit about your life away from the office.

CARVALHO: When I am with my wife and my son I like to go to restaurants in Toronto or simply stay at home doing one of my hobbies which is to cook for family and/or friends.

I also like to read books (currently I am reading “Gung Ho!”), watch movies and go to museums.

© 2018 Bobit Publishing Canada Ltd. All rights reserved.