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Jim Federico - Harley-Davidson VP Engineering

Jim Federico – Harley-Davidson VP Engineering

I’m intrigued by appearances and a hound for information, for your story. I want to hear everybody’s story, from the homeless person to the billionaire, because that’s what life’s about, the victories, the defeats, and within said stories is wisdom. And the older I get the smarter I become. But, I also know the older you get in America the more irrelevant you become.

And speaking of appearances…

On May 6th, General Motors Co. announced that Jim Federico, 56, an executive involved in the investigation of faulty ignition switches, had decided to retire, effective the day before.  “After a 36-year career with General Motors, Jim Federico has decided to retire from the company to pursue other opportunities,” said Greg Martin, a GM spokesman.  From the tone of this announcement GM must have been heartbroken!

Then today,  Harley Davidson announced Jim Federico, who “just retired,” would start as vice president of engineering on June 2, working at the company’s Milwaukee headquarters.  I’m not sure what conclusions can be gleaned from this other than the institution of a versatile employee wanting to return to work to maintain a desired lifestyle after retirement is still respected in Milwaukee.

Federico holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University).  In his 30+ year career at GM, Federico oversaw the development of a number of global vehicle programs for markets around the world, including the Opel Insignia, the Chevrolet Silverado, and he also served as vehicle chief engineer for Cadillac, working on the CTS, STS and SRX.

Federico was one of the executives involved in looking into why GM cars were stalling in 2012, according to GM records released by a House panel last month. Federico, held different jobs during the period related to small- and compact-car development. For a time, he oversaw the company’s in-house investigator who failed to unravel the source of the defect or its poorly documented fix.

The automaker has recalled 2.59 million small cars with faulty switches that have been linked to at least 13 deaths. Congress, federal regulators and the U.S. Justice Department are all investigating why it took GM more than a decade to recall cars with switches that allowed the key to slip out of the “on” position, shutting off the engine and disabling air bags.

GM stated that Federico’s retirement was his choice and had nothing to do with the switch recall.

Photo courtesy of automobilemag.com

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