Steve Auvenshine retired from his position as manager of General Motors fleet sales on Aug. 1 after working for the automaker for almost 42 years, supporting the fleet business for nearly the entirety of this span of time. You might think that Auvenshine has seen a great deal of change in the industry over the past four decades. But when asked, he says, “There are many changes in the industry, yet it remains the same.”

When it comes to change, he said that vehicles have changed for the better. Improvements in technology has resulted in better safety, fuel efficiency, and overall cost of ownership. Those factors, Auvenshine says, “are high on the minds of people who run business fleets as well as individual retail buyers.” But fleet vehicles are just another “tool of trade,” he said, and that has not changed.

“Companies still need these vehicles in place for their employees to be productive and efficient and earn revenues for the company,” he said.

History With GM

As someone who has been in the fleet industry since the early 1970s, he should know. Most of those 42 years were with Oldsmobile; he started out assembling vehicles in an Oldsmobile final assembly plant while still in college. He left GM for a few years, managing an independent service outlet, but then he came back to stay, returning in 1977 to work as a district service manager for Oldsmobile. He would go on to serve as a customer support manager, then to Chicago as a zone service manager, and then to national merchandising manager. He stayed with Oldsmobile until 1998, about two years before the phase-out of the brand. He was promoted to oversee national service and parts merchandising for GM across the U.S. In 2005, he moved to fleet sales, focusing on the fleet leasing companies, where he worked until retiring.

He has worked to ensure fleet management companies understand what GM products can offer and how the automaker continues working hard to earn the right to be the No. 1 business partner of choice for them and our mutual customers “in overall service, people, and products.” What can the products offer? Auvenshine mentions GM vehicles’ provide safety for drivers, technology that drives dependability, reliability, and efficiencies, as well as over 21 years of built-in connected vehicle capabilities” he said.

The importance of people is another factor Auvenshine mentions as an example of fleet staying the same. He has found that to be the case in his positions in both retail and fleet.

Gratitude for the Industry

After retiring this year, he reflected on the fact that GM’s dedication to nurturing, growing, and supporting staff has and continues to provide outstanding employees focused on the customer and the business. He also said that Connie Scarpelli, his replacement, and the rest of her team are more than qualified to continue and exceed the strong support to our business partners and customers.

“In 42 years, I’ve been blessed with opportunities to work in production, service, sales, marketing, legal, and dealer development at the great company of General Motors,” said Auvenshine. “ It has provided a great wealth of information and knowledge, and the opportunity to work with phenomenal people over the years both inside and outside of GM.”

Auvenshine further expressed gratitude to those he worked with during his tenure at GM.

“Thank you to the personnel at GM, dealers, customers, and business associates for making my almost 42 year career phenomenal,” he added. “I wish you all the best in business and your personal lives. It is now time to dedicate 100% of my focus with family and friends, especially my wife Theresa; Daman and Jessica; Stacie and Chris; and of course my grandson Benjamin!”