GM finally dropping brands?

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Apparently, they’re going back in Washington on Dec 5th with some kind of proposal in order to get money.
In order to show they are serious about their survival, they could consider dropping a few brands.
These rumors include Saturn, Saab and Pontiac.
-Saturn. I thought they were on their way to success… Sure, they do need major advertising money, but they do have good cars.
It’s just that nobody knows about them.
-Saab. Their whole line up is supposed to be new within a couple of years. Why drop them now?
-Pontiac. The G6 and Solstice are popular. The G8 is a really good car. They were on their way to make it the Sporty brand (Before the G3 that is…)

I think if they want to get rid of something, they should be thinking of GMC first. Then maybe Buick.

Other rumors:
The Chinese could buy Buick.
And the Swedish government could nationalize Saab.

What do you think???

Conversation 42 comments

  1. the thing is when you want to sell a business fast, you need to sell something attractive…and with potential

  2. I think I’m glad you don’t run a car company.

    GMC: It’s pretty much impossible since they are basically clones of other GM products, so there would be alot of ‘support issues’ if you sold it off. Plus, GMC outsold 50% of the industry last month, that’s pretty good profit for putting a new grille one.

    Buick: If GM wanted to completely kill it’s profits in China, where it’s profitable, then sure!

    Saab: Nothing but a money pit, has never earned a profit. Kill it.

    Saturn: I don’t think Saturn is possible unless Opel goes with it.

    What GM needs to do is completely get rid of Buick and Pontiac here in the states, sell Hummer and move GMC to Saturn dealerships. This will reduce GM’s dealership network by about 3000 and save them billions.

    GM cannot simply sell most of it’s brands, because they are so integrated with other products. Saab and Hummer are the best canidates, Buick and Pontiac are worth nothing to anyone in North America.

  3. GMC: heavy-duty trucks only (aka Topkick)

    Chevrolet: Volume brand (rebadge the G8 as the Impala/El Camino and bring the Solstice/Sky over to Chevy)

    Cadillac: Luxury brand

    Buick: China-only rebadged Chevys

    Opel/Vauxhall: Europe-only rebadged Chevys

    Holden: Australia-only rebadged Chevys

    Pontiac: dead

    Saturn: dead

    Saab: sell off or combine with Hummer to form a niche brand

    Hummer: sell off or combine with Saab to form a niche brand

  4. GM should completely restructure its dealership network.
    1) Get rid of the Buick/Pontiac/GMC combo.
    2) Move GMC over to Chevy Dealerships – that way you have the “light-duty” Chevy with the “Medium/Heavy-duty” GMC on the same lot.
    3)Take Saturn and move it to Pontiac dealerships. That way Saturn can have the small, economical cars with the Euro styling, and Pontiac can focus on the RWD hot-rod sector. That way you can double your customer base – the Green-Conscious customer and the “I MUST HAVE POWER” customer.
    4) Cadillac, Buick and Saab.. Saab cars should be ‘restyled’ to fit in with the direction of Saturn’s Euro-Import line, Buick can be killed off (except for the Enclave which can be rebadged as a Cadillac or Saab), and fit Cadillac in with either the Chevy/GMC or the Pontiac/Saturn bracket to add the “sport-luxury” lineup for the customer base.
    5) Hummer… Kill it.
    GM has spent far too long with making money off the Gas-Guzzling trucks and SUVs and need to realize that refocusing on Crossovers and Economical Cars that are high quality (NOT like the Aveo/G3/Aveo5 whatever that POS is called) is priority. They already have a potential hit on their hands with the Astra, the new 6sp Trannys on the Malibu, Aura, and G6 are a big leap (although the 09 restyle of the G6 is hideous), and having the Volt (which should be badged as a Saturn under the green plan), and the upcoming Cruze, GM has cars that will put it back on the right track.. They just have to take certain aforementioned steps before they can go back into the black.

  5. The only brands you keep for now (were talking about survival right?) is Chevrolet & Cadillac (Toyota & Lexus – forget Scion for the time being, Nissan & Infiniti, Honda & Acura….anyone see a pattern?).

    If your business turns around after that (and only if), you can create a 'youth' brand if need be, but Scion sales are tanking from what I have heard & actually many older customers are driving them.

    Get ready for a lot of Franchise law suits however… many GM dealers are in the U.S. alone?? Good luck with that…GM might be done folks!

  6. GM has a $200B long-term debt so it does not matter what they do…If people are not willing to pay $40K for $20K (true cost) SUV/Trucks then GM will go under…GM can’t survive selling Malibus. GM has been bankrupt for many years.

  7. This is what badge-engineering did: ruined GM’s brand differentiation so that almost all GM cars became Chevys.

    GM’s market share has dropped from 50% of the U.S. market to about 20%, but the company still tries to support 5 U.S. car lines plus Saab and GMC trucks. That’s ridiculous.

    The new Chevy Malibu is an excellent car, but nobody needs the Saturn Aura and Pontiac G6 which are essentially the same, but less refined because some of their parts are older. Maintaining too many redundant brands is expensive and dilutes all of those brands.

    When GM had 50% of the car market the company could make decidedly different cars: For example, Buicks had different engines and transmissions from other GM cars. Now, most GM cars have the same guts in them and brands mean nothing–especially to young people who don’t remember when GM cars were significantly different from one another.

    Any plan to retain all of GM’s current brands will fail.

  8. GM can never be profitable enough to support the UAW parasites…Killing brands won’t help…Nothing will except perhaps chapter 11.

  9. Get rid of something? Hmmmm, what about Wagoner, Lutz ……

    That is the best idea so far.
    They killed GM. And the are grossly overpaid.

  10. Saturn is not profitable and has not been for many years…The Astra looses money with every sale and Saturn can’t even sell Astras.

  11. I agree with most of the posts. Get rid of GMC(it's also an unnecessary redundancy) in addition to Pontiac, Saturn and Saab. All you really need is Chevy and Caddy. Maybe Buick too especially internationally. Yeah….badge engineering screwed these companies over big time. I guess they figured why spend money on r&d for cars when everyone in the USA is buying SUV's. Then they should have gotten rid of most of the cars and had maybe a few really good ones that people would buy instead of a lot of crappy ones. This is probably a nieve statement and I'm no ceo or economist or anything but this does'nt really seem that hard to me.

  12. GM’s recipe for success is very simple: If it builds reliable, stylish, drivers’ cars, then customers will buy them. It also needs to be realistic about the true demand for its products and stop oversupplying the market with a bunch of junk. Cadillac seems to be a good start. They finally woke up and started bringing the European designs here. How about matching the warranty of Huyndai to show self confidence about the reliability of its products? Also get rid of brands that have no allure. Who the heck wants to be seen in a GMC or Pontiac these days? Management needs to change and its cost structure to be realligned with reality.

  13. i think they should sell opel nd vauxhaul. then turn all their us divisions into sweatshops for the chineses.

  14. I think it’s not a good idea to drop a whole brand. I think they should move their best vehicles from one brand to another and kill duplicates.

    My kills (i’m from canada, only listing canadian vehicles) :
    Hummer (all of them)
    Cadillac XLR
    Chevrolet Impala
    Chevrolet HHR
    Pontiac Solstice
    Pontiac Torrent
    Pontiac G3
    GMC Envoy
    Pontiac Montana

    I think that would be a good start…

  15. “GM hopes to block public tracking of Jets” is a headline in the news. I say let them die….they are not serious about survival…only the next paycheck. Replace all upper management and then maybe give them money to try. Perhaps Vince Burlapp for CEO….he knows more about cars than Waggoner

  16. The question is, what CAN they sell? Who would want to buy anything from them at a time like this?

    Anyway, they have to focus on stop losing money, and kill of the parts that are not profitable.

    Doing something about the too many brands and dealers in the US seems like an obvious start.

  17. They have nothing to sell other than Saab. Buick seems like a waste but the others are useful:

    Hummer – For men who are not stupid enough to fall for the global warming hoax.
    GMC – Commercial vehicles.
    Chevy – Cars for boring ol’ massman.
    Pontiac – Performance.
    Saturn – Saturn seems pointless.

  18. I think that it’s the most appropriate time to rethink how GM does business. I agree with the above poster, that most brands are not different enough to dictate their own separate brand.

    Make Chevrolet the only entry to medium brand.

    Make Cadillac the upscale brand.

    Make Buicks for the Chinese…and rebrand them here as Cadillacs or Chevys…but don’t sell the division to them…we finally have market share, and it’s a great thing to sell them the imports for once!

    Pontiac hasn’t built excitement for over 10 years…when the Firebird died, it should have as well.

    Take the Opels and rebadge them as entry level Chevys…and kill off the crap that we get here now…aveo

    Saturn used to be different, but no more, thus they should have the same fate.

    Hum Hummer outta here…

    GMC is the Truck division. Do the unthinkable, and get rid of the Chevy trucks, and give them all to GMC.

    Saab…they should be sold off like Jaguar…they don’t add anything to our domestic cars as it is, so why keep them?

    Would this mean killing American jobs? Yes. Would it save GM? maybe, hopefully. Does America need domestic car makers?

    I want to purchase an American car, but it needs to be the best for the price. The jobs need to be there, but the product needs to be great for us to purchase them, otherwise we waste our money on non-competitive products.

    As Spock said, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…

    and Kirk says…or the one.

  19. What is this Buick ‘near luxury’ crap…I could buy a one year old Cadillac for less money than a new buick.

    Maybe Buick is FWD luxury for people in the snowbelts.

  20. GMC – People who buy commercial vehicles also want to buy their personal vehicles from GMC…GMC is a profitable division when GM is actually selling vehicles.

    Saturn and Saab can go.

  21. What about Ford and Chrysler?

    Ford: Kill the Explorer,Flex, Taurus X and Expedition.?
    Chysler:Sebring, Apsen and PT Cruiser.

    I am not sure yet.

    Chevy: Colbolt, Tailblazer and Tahoe too much gas eaters as it and people need to go on a diet if they need more space)

    Pontiac:kill G5 and G3 (re-bade rest as Chevy)

    Chevy should get rid of that ugly emblem already, but they will never listen. It is too tacky and makes the car worth less. Porsche is the only company that can get away with a gold emblem.

  22. GMs plan should be to shut all REDUNDANT brands down and only sell Chevrolet and Cadillac Brands.

  23. imho the key is all those nameplates (they’re not really ‘brands’ anymore) between Chevrolet and Cadillac – lump them all together – but only make one of each vehicle… …for a full premium lineup.

    Of course Cadillac MUST improve to world class (possibly while partnering with global-Saab) tho they’re not all bad now…
    …Yet the current CTS would make a darn nice Pontiac with just a nip'n'tuck and fewer frills.

    Face it, GM only has 2 "Brands" right now: Cadillac and everything else < the rebadges/clones.
    Having just a mainstream (Chevy),
    a single upscale premium version (Saturn=small, Buick=mid>large, plus the Rwd Pontiacs AND as top-power pkgs on the Saturns & Buicks),
    + "the Standard of the World",
    would make an easily understood and Honest vehicle range.

    Odds of this happening?
    (or anyone here agreeing)
    not so good…

  24. “Chevy: Colbolt, Tailblazer and Tahoe too much gas eaters as it and people need to go on a diet if they need more space)”

    The Cobalt gets excellent gas milage. It’s the Aveo that one needs to worry over.

  25. Chevrolet – For the masses who like appliances.
    Cadillac – Luxury.
    GMC – Commercial Vehicles.
    Pontiac – Performance.
    Hummer – For men and strong women…Maybe move them to GMC.

    What more do they need here? Buick can be Asia only.

  26. Anonymous said…
    They have nothing to sell other than Saab. Buick seems like a waste but the others are useful:

    Hummer – For men who are not stupid enough to fall for the global warming hoax.
    GMC – Commercial vehicles.
    Chevy – Cars for boring ol’ massman.
    Pontiac – Performance.
    Saturn – Saturn seems pointless.

    Almost agree except hummer would be on the chopping block, pointless. I really like saturns lineup, people just have to discover them. Buick sell to Chinese, Saab is a company that was bought just because ford bought Volvo (a much better company with a much better reputation), merge together GMC and Chevy, keep pontiac, and keep the crown jewel Cadillac. (Good job on Cadillac btw GM!

  27. Pontiac could be gone today and nobody would miss them. They haven’t had an exclusive car since the Fiero, and that’s 20 years ago. The G8 (which is a Holden rebadge) would make a great Buick Grand National.

    Buick needs product, pure and simple. Right now they have two obsolete sedans and a rebadged crossover. They could be a very profitable brand in the US if they had something to sell.

    GM needs to give Saturn some direction. Are they Chevy rebadges or US Opels? Pick one and stick to your decision.

    Hummer needs some diesels and a Jeep Wrangler competitor.

    GMC is a higher margin Chevy. Nothing wrong with that.

    Saab could be a BMW/Audi beater if they gave it a chance. No point killing them if they are built with the same tooling as Opel and GM Europe is profitable.

    GM’s big problem is that most of their platforms are junk. Compare a Chevy van to a Sprinter, an Impala to an Accord, a Trailblazer to a Tribeca, or an Entourage to anyone else’s minivan.

    GM keeps these crappy products around because they cost nothing to build. They should think long-term and realize that the really bad cars are the reason why their market share has eroded over the years.

    How many times have you heard someone say “I’ll never buy a GM product again”? GM could get those buyers back if they made a very conspicuous decision not to sell inferior products.

  28. So, GM dumped Oldsmobile only to make Saturn a substitute in all but the name. Good job, guys!

    I thought the idea was to reduce redundancy, but even that simple task failed for GM which still tries to sell 5 car brands in the U.S. even though GM’s market share is less than half what it was 50 years ago.

    GM is the automotive equivalent of the dodo bird.

  29. let hope GM does more than that! Like I have said in your many blogs, GM should just keep Chevy and Caddilac. No reason for ‘in-fighting’ within the company.

    Same goes with Chrysler .. just keep Chrysler and Jeep.

    Ford should just keep Ford and maybe has a little stake in Mazda. Mazda is unique is that it built great sporty cars but no one seem to give it a serious thought. Ford should explore that avenue for its more sporty vehicles.

  30. Chevrolet, GMC, and Pontiac are the only brands that are selling right now…You people would run GM into the ground 10x faster than Wagoner or the UAW.

  31. I am doubted that GMC and Pontiac are selling. I don’t see many new Pontiac out on the road (except for the occasion Solstice). The same goes with GMC. I see more ‘Burban than Yukon, more Express than Savana (in the trade).

  32. Chevrolet and Cadillac are the only brands GM can afford to keep at this point…..
    Buick, GMC, Saturn, Pontiac should go the way of the Dodo bird…..
    Cadillac for Luxury, Chevy for everything else…..
    Keep the current Cadillac models except for the big old DTS…DeVille
    Chevy….incorporate some of the Saturn models, loose the current Impala, downsize the truck offerings…..
    Yup…downsizing the company would be tough, but…I don’t think they have many alternatives at this point….

  33. Here are my proposed changes:


    Chevrolet – Mass market fuel-efficient FWD cars.

    Pontiac – RWD niche brand partnered with Chevrolet.

    GMC – Taking over Chevrolet trucks and SUVs.

    Cadillac – Upmarket, performance-oriented RWD cars.

    Saturn – Upmarket FWD fuel-efficient vehicles (sporty).

    Buick – Upmarket FWD fuel-efficient vehicles (comfy).

    Hummer – Dead. Will cannibalize sales from the GMC lineup while attracting few new customers. Sold as a package deal with Saab.

    Saab – Dead. Will cannibalize sales from Buick/Cadillac while attracting few new customers. Sold as a package deal with Hummer.

    Dealer Arrangment

    Chevrolet/Pontiac/GMC – Large and diverse lineup of fuel-efficient FWD cars (Chevrolet), performance-oriented RWD cars (Pontiac), personal trucks and SUVS (GMC), with a mass-market focus.

    GMC – Light and Medium duty trucks targeted towards businesses replacing Chevrolet Trucks. Personal models sold at Chevrolet dealers.

    Saturn/Buick/Cadillac – A diverse selection of fuel-efficient FWD (Saturn/Buick) and performance-oriented RWD (Cadillac) vehicles. Upmarket focus.

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