"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Friday, May 20, 2005

GM trims - good move!

The New York Times > Automobiles > G.M.'s Brands to Cut Back on Variety

Looks like GM is taking action:

"Facing its worst financial outlook in more than a decade, General Motors outlined a new product development and sales strategy Thursday, saying that from now on Chevrolet and Cadillac would be the company's only brands to offer a full lineup of vehicles.

That means G.M.'s other six brands marketed in the United States will focus on a narrower selection of segments. GMC and Hummer will continue to sell trucks while Pontiac, Saab and Saturn will focus mostly on cars and smaller S.U.V.'s, with Buick offering some of both.

The plan indicates that G.M. is trying to wean itself from what has been a highly criticized product development strategy of keeping costs down by developing the same basic vehicle for many of its brands. It will also probably mean consolidation of the company's more than 7,000 dealers."

I can see Pontiac surviving, being the "sporty" division, GMC looks solid (trucks and SUV's still strong despite fuel costs, and likely will get Hybrids), but not sure of placement of Buick.

Saturn, Saab and Hummer as niche products.

More coverage, from Detroit, here:
GM shifts strategy for brands

"The move marks a shift away from GM's long-held philosophy that nearly every brand should offer a full array of cars, trucks and minivans, said Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing.

The automaker's goal is to clearly differentiate each of its brands and phase out cars and trucks that don't fit in with a brand or are too similar to other vehicles in GM's lineup.

"People say we have too many brands," LaNeve said in a recent interview. "We have too many brands if we try to do the same things with all the brands."

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