First let me state that I love and have always loved GM products.
A brand, by definition, is the image of the product in the market. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service.
It is with this definition that you may ask why wouldn't a Pontiac Loyalist buy a LaCrosse or a Malibu?
Pontiac was built aroung the idea that an American car company cared about performance, flair, and even the driving experience. Execution was questionable at times, but the brand was built around the idea that driving a Pontiac was the purpose, and not transportation. To experience a Pontiac meant having no destination!!
The Buick brand has always meant, at least in my lifetime, dependability. They never talked about driving dynamics or excitement. There were exceptions like the GN, but for the most part Buick was all about value and dependability. It became and remains the "old person's brand". The average age of a Buick buyer is 70 years old!! That is the average. WOW. I could never be caught alive driving any vehicle from a brand so clearly embraced by those that want comfort above all else, including the driving experience.
The Chevy brand has likewise always been sold as the value brand. They bragged about what you got for how much. Chevy too has an exception in the Corvette, a vehicle that is a micro-brand in itself. Other than the Vette, Chevy's are the everyman's car. Unfortunately, that means they are targeting the bland, saying drive one of these and you can blend right in with the rest of the world. If I wanted to blend in I would just drive a Camry!
That leaves Cadillac, and this is the easiest of all of them. I cannot afford to spend on one car what I would normally spend on two.
What is very sad is that Ford, with their current lineup, does a much better job of appealing to Pontiac Loyalists than GM does. The Mustang, New Taurus, and Fusion all look fresh and sporty. They sell them as fun and exciting automobiles. They market them almost exactly at the same people that wanted "Driving Excitement".
I feel that if GM wanted to abandon everything that I loved, a love that they created and built up through their own marketing as any good brand should, than why shouldn't I abandon GM? They chose a lesser brand with half of the sales and an average buyer age only 8 years less than the average age of death in the US! They have thrown product and marketing dollars towards the reinvention of that brand and as a reward the average age actually increased. They fostered a marketing tie-in with one of the most respected and revered athletes (until recently) at great expense to no avail. They replaced legacy product with fresh styling (dull) and names (duller) with no rewards. The new LaCrosse could have just as easliy been the new Bonneville or G1207 (stupid G names were a mistake). The new Regal could have just as easily been the new Grand Prix or LeMans or G6.5. The Enclave could have been the Safari. The G8 should have been the Catalina. One could speculate that if the same product and marketing dollars were thrown at Pontiac, with a much younger average buyer, a much greater success could have been realized. Just in loyalty purchases alone you have 30 years of possible customers at twice the volume versus 8 years at half the volume. Add to that the fact that Pontiac's average buyer age is near the peak of their earnings whereas Buick's are near their lowest and on fixed incomes!
No, GM, this does not make business sense to me nor do I agree with any of your other arguments. You made a choice, one by which I must hold you accountable, and for that I will shop elsewhere. Additionally, I will take with me every person who solicits my advice, which are many. I will steer them away from your brands as to buy from you is to buy from stupidity. If they insist on GM product, I will make sure that I minimize your profit and maximize their product.
In your decision to build me up as a Pontiac customer and then drop me you have created a professional foe and no matter what you claim, it isn't just business, it's personal!!!