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He starts out this week ranting about the economic "What ifs?" and then goes into the need for GM to slim it's brand portfolio down. I would like to see some discussion about whether GM needs to slim it's brand count or model per brand count. My opinion is that they need to focus each brand on less models rather than get rid of brands.

My line up would go as follows:

Chevy: Full line of core, volume and value focused, models. Crossovers here, body on frame SUV's at GMC. Avalanche at GMC. Chevy trucks would be pushed mostly at fleet and value buyers. Cars like Impala/Malibu/Cobalt would focus on ONLY the Value/Volume trims levels of competing cars. This value/volume focus would also mean limited options and configurations to save on manufacturing costs. Basically I would have a base model with limited options and one trim up with everything that can be had on the base plus a few others and no options for the upper trim. So basically the upper trim would all be identical other than color and powertrain. Chevy would be the only brand attempting full line.

Saturn: They basically would handle the higher trim and optioned versions of the smaller Chevy cars and crossovers only, with a bit of European flare by being higher trimmed Opels in the end. Basically a low volume premium trim brand focused on mid sized and smaller cars only and only the smalles crossovers.

Buick: Buick would be like Saturn, but focus on high style rather than eurostyle and only sell larger cars and crossovers.

Pontiac: Obviously they would focus on performance oriented vehicles. Also they would max out in size at the G8 size and even the G8 probably needs shrunk a bit for dynamic reasons. They should all be RWD or AWD. And every last model should be racing somewhere with factory investment!!

GMC: Only body on frame trucks and SUV's with best in class towing and the most innovatived cargo features. Denali should add more innovative towing and cargo featuresets rather than being near Caddy Lux trucks. Basically GMC should be more about Business and Utility and less about bling than it's current vehicles. GMC can be the top trim Chevy's also, but also needs to offer similar trim levels to Chevy, but with more innovative and costly options and features that add to the utility purpose of the truck.

Hummer: Jeep for the 21st Century will go anywhere vehicles. Need to get more outta the BIGGEST/BADDEST on the road and more into the trail and Baja tested mode.

Cadillac: Their cars should be the Standard of the World again. No smaller cars than a 3 series. They should have a sedan/Limo larger than anything currently being built including larger than Rolls, Bently or Maybach.

Saab: This is probably the hardest brand to define along with Saturn. I think they should focus on smaller and mini sized Standard of the World type cars. Basically be the Cadillac of Saturn and Small Chevy cars.

I think if you did this you could trim 20% plus of the existing GM models, along with those models development, marketing, and other costs, while still retaining the same or better volumes.
 

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http://www.autoextremist.com

He starts out this week ranting about the economic "What ifs?" and then goes into the need for GM to slim it's brand portfolio down. I would like to see some discussion about whether GM needs to slim it's brand count or model per brand count. My opinion is that they need to focus each brand on less models rather than get rid of brands.

My line up would go as follows:

Chevy: Full line of core, volume and value focused, models. Crossovers here, body on frame SUV's at GMC. Avalanche at GMC. Chevy trucks would be pushed mostly at fleet and value buyers. Cars like Impala/Malibu/Cobalt would focus on ONLY the Value/Volume trims levels of competing cars. This value/volume focus would also mean limited options and configurations to save on manufacturing costs. Basically I would have a base model with limited options and one trim up with everything that can be had on the base plus a few others and no options for the upper trim. So basically the upper trim would all be identical other than color and powertrain. Chevy would be the only brand attempting full line.

Saturn: They basically would handle the higher trim and optioned versions of the smaller Chevy cars and crossovers only, with a bit of European flare by being higher trimmed Opels in the end. Basically a low volume premium trim brand focused on mid sized and smaller cars only and only the smalles crossovers.

Buick: Buick would be like Saturn, but focus on high style rather than eurostyle and only sell larger cars and crossovers.

Pontiac: Obviously they would focus on performance oriented vehicles. Also they would max out in size at the G8 size and even the G8 probably needs shrunk a bit for dynamic reasons. They should all be RWD or AWD. And every last model should be racing somewhere with factory investment!!

GMC: Only body on frame trucks and SUV's with best in class towing and the most innovatived cargo features. Denali should add more innovative towing and cargo featuresets rather than being near Caddy Lux trucks. Basically GMC should be more about Business and Utility and less about bling than it's current vehicles. GMC can be the top trim Chevy's also, but also needs to offer similar trim levels to Chevy, but with more innovative and costly options and features that add to the utility purpose of the truck.

Hummer: Jeep for the 21st Century will go anywhere vehicles. Need to get more outta the BIGGEST/BADDEST on the road and more into the trail and Baja tested mode.

Cadillac: Their cars should be the Standard of the World again. No smaller cars than a 3 series. They should have a sedan/Limo larger than anything currently being built including larger than Rolls, Bently or Maybach.

Saab: This is probably the hardest brand to define along with Saturn. I think they should focus on smaller and mini sized Standard of the World type cars. Basically be the Cadillac of Saturn and Small Chevy cars.

I think if you did this you could trim 20% plus of the existing GM models, along with those models development, marketing, and other costs, while still retaining the same or better volumes.
He didn't eliminate any nameplates and focused the brands more to core themes. Sounds good to me.
 

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Screw pontiac. Give me the Chevy SS.

Screw Buick, buy a lexus or get a Cadillac, outside of Enclave its worthless anyways.

CobaltSS
 

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Screw pontiac. Give me the Chevy SS.

Screw Buick, buy a lexus or get a Cadillac, outside of Enclave its worthless anyways.

CobaltSS
Looking at the value of the brands right now and making the choice to can them shows no foresight (which is what got GM in the spot they are in now).

Buick is weak in the US market right now but they are strong in China and they can be made strong in the US once more.
 

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Screw pontiac. Give me the Chevy SS.

Screw Buick, buy a lexus or get a Cadillac, outside of Enclave its worthless anyways.

CobaltSS
What a steaming pile of BS........Chevy SS?? Yeah, sticking a turboed motor into a warmed over Cavalier really makes sense after you give the PERFORMANCE division a clone of said car with barely any 'performance' whatsoever. Then there's the whole issue of sticking a 300hp V8 into a FWD car......wearing the Impala nameplate of all things (great way to piss all over that car's heritage....) HHR SS? Should've been handed over to Pontiac as a replacement for that Toyota clone they keep peddling (dilutes the brand and is pretty much superfluous now that it doesn't have any AWD).

Cadillac's more of a euro-humping brand.......doesn't focus so much on the 'traditional' luxury typified by Lincoln & Lexus. Once Buick gets some new and improved product, I have a feeling you'll be eating your words. Besides, once the DTS (overpriced Lucerne with the same interior!) disappears, Buick will be needed to mop up that car's clientele (as well as satisfy the 'Lexus-type' customer, who wants a comfortable, luxurious ride minus all of Cadillac's sportiness)
 

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What a steaming pile of BS........Chevy SS?? Yeah, sticking a turboed motor into a warmed over Cavalier really makes sense after you give the PERFORMANCE division a clone of said car with barely any 'performance' whatsoever. Then there's the whole issue of sticking a 300hp V8 into a FWD car......wearing the Impala nameplate of all things (great way to piss all over that car's heritage....) HHR SS? Should've been handed over to Pontiac as a replacement for that Toyota clone they keep peddling (dilutes the brand and is pretty much superfluous now that it doesn't have any AWD).

Cadillac's more of a euro-humping brand.......doesn't focus so much on the 'traditional' luxury typified by Lincoln & Lexus. Once Buick gets some new and improved product, I have a feeling you'll be eating your words. Besides, once the DTS (overpriced Lucerne with the same interior!) disappears, Buick will be needed to mop up that car's clientele (as well as satisfy the 'Lexus-type' customer, who wants a comfortable, luxurious ride minus all of Cadillac's sportiness)
You forgot Cadillac's price too.
 

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Pete is just stating what's been obvious for nearly two decades now.

The world's most successful and wealthiest automakers have 2-3 brands. GM has 8. This isn't rocket science.
 

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I just read Pete's rant and he's basically saying what I've been saying here for a long time - There isn't anything any of GM's brands do better or couldn't be done better by Chevrolet and Cadillac. Everything else is pointless overlap, watering down, and draining resources from GM's two core brands, a complete waste.

HUMMER is the only exception, it has a completely unique image and style unlike anything else in the world. It's GM's only brand that really worth something right now.
 

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He didn't eliminate any nameplates and focused the brands more to core themes. Sounds good to me.
Me too...focus would allow them to each take on direct competitors and in time, with proper care and feeding, to dominate their respective sectors. I like it.
 

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I just read Pete's rant and he's basically saying what I've been saying here for a long time - There isn't anything any of GM's brands do better or couldn't be done better by Chevrolet and Cadillac. Everything else is pointless overlap, watering down, and draining resources from GM's two core brands, a complete waste.

HUMMER is the only exception, it has a completely unique image and style unlike anything else in the world. It's GM's only brand that really worth something right now.
If Chevrolet absorbed Buick, Saturn and GMC........which models would stay and which would go?? That'd be one hell of a headache to try and figure out. The Malibu could add a trim level or two.....that would take care of the Aura......the Impala could do the same for the Lucerne (Caprice anyone?), though I'd argue for keeping the Lacrosse (with a nice styling change) and rename that Chevelle perhaps. GMC would just be another trim level or two across Chevrolet's GMT-900 lineup (conversely, they could add alot of std. equipment to existing models & raise prices slightly to compensate).

Saab though is a trickier brand to deal with......give them to Cadillac and you'll have people screaming about 'brand dilution' or something. Not having a RWD model wouldn't help much towards creating a viable competitor sized along the 3 series.....I'd say if brand integration was going to take place......give the wagons to Chevrolet and ax the rest.
 

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http://www.autoextremist.com

He starts out this week ranting about the economic "What ifs?" and then goes into the need for GM to slim it's brand portfolio down. I would like to see some discussion about whether GM needs to slim it's brand count or model per brand count. My opinion is that they need to focus each brand on less models rather than get rid of brands.

My line up would go as follows:

Chevy: Full line of core, volume and value focused, models. Crossovers here, body on frame SUV's at GMC. Avalanche at GMC. Chevy trucks would be pushed mostly at fleet and value buyers. Cars like Impala/Malibu/Cobalt would focus on ONLY the Value/Volume trims levels of competing cars. This value/volume focus would also mean limited options and configurations to save on manufacturing costs. Basically I would have a base model with limited options and one trim up with everything that can be had on the base plus a few others and no options for the upper trim. So basically the upper trim would all be identical other than color and powertrain. Chevy would be the only brand attempting full line.

Saturn: They basically would handle the higher trim and optioned versions of the smaller Chevy cars and crossovers only, with a bit of European flare by being higher trimmed Opels in the end. Basically a low volume premium trim brand focused on mid sized and smaller cars only and only the smalles crossovers.

Buick: Buick would be like Saturn, but focus on high style rather than eurostyle and only sell larger cars and crossovers.

Pontiac: Obviously they would focus on performance oriented vehicles. Also they would max out in size at the G8 size and even the G8 probably needs shrunk a bit for dynamic reasons. They should all be RWD or AWD. And every last model should be racing somewhere with factory investment!!

GMC: Only body on frame trucks and SUV's with best in class towing and the most innovatived cargo features. Denali should add more innovative towing and cargo featuresets rather than being near Caddy Lux trucks. Basically GMC should be more about Business and Utility and less about bling than it's current vehicles. GMC can be the top trim Chevy's also, but also needs to offer similar trim levels to Chevy, but with more innovative and costly options and features that add to the utility purpose of the truck.

Hummer: Jeep for the 21st Century will go anywhere vehicles. Need to get more outta the BIGGEST/BADDEST on the road and more into the trail and Baja tested mode.

Cadillac: Their cars should be the Standard of the World again. No smaller cars than a 3 series. They should have a sedan/Limo larger than anything currently being built including larger than Rolls, Bently or Maybach.

Saab: This is probably the hardest brand to define along with Saturn. I think they should focus on smaller and mini sized Standard of the World type cars. Basically be the Cadillac of Saturn and Small Chevy cars.

I think if you did this you could trim 20% plus of the existing GM models, along with those models development, marketing, and other costs, while still retaining the same or better volumes.
Another good idea......Hummer is really priced too high right now to be a viable Jeep competitor, they need to drop the price & de-content models to put them down on Jeep's level.

To differentiate GMC/Chevrolet.......I'd have GMC get way deeper into the whole 'off-road' segment as far as trucks go. Anyone take a look at Ford's Raptor concept? This is what GMC needs to be doing.......I'd say take the 'Denali' trim level and steer it towards off-road/extreme hauling type capabilities. Keep the Raptor and Ram Power Wagon in mind.

Chevrolet needs to go back to the KISS philosophy and offer 2 vehicle trim levels that are packed with basic 'bang-for-your-buck' options......power windows, dual-zone climate control, mid-level audio etc. Let Saturn take care of the DVD Nav, heated seats and the like. As far as performance goes......the Corvette and Camaro can stay, that's a given. I'd limit the 'SS' lineup to the Camaro and perhaps a RWD Impala if that ever came back. As far as hot midsizers, an Aura Redline or G6 GT/GXP would do good in place of a Malibu SS. Turbochargers, Sport Compacts and all that peripheral stuff should be made the responsibility of Pontiac.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
He didn't eliminate any nameplates and focused the brands more to core themes. Sounds good to me.
That write up was MY rant. DeLorenzo actually said they need to just have Chevy and Caddy for the US basically. I don't agree. I actually think Toyota/Honda/Nissan and other full line brands are slowly going need to add brands here if they want to continue gaining market share. I think the ONLY reason GM has held off Toyota and Ford hasn't in the US is primarily due to their many brands. Ford has three brands, but only the Ford brand itself still has any following really. I think Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge actually all have more recognition today than either Mercury or Lincoln. Saturn and Buick are really the only two of GM's brands that have lost their luster. And both are probably still ahead of Mercury on recognition.

But really my theory is that the market has got so segmented that you need several brands to stand any chance of retaining more than 15-25% of the market. I actually think Toyota is nearing the end of their growth in the US if they can't make Scion more successful and also add maybe one more brand and turn it into a success here. Even if GM started seriously faultering, I wouldn't see traditional GM buyers moving to Toyota in any significant way. Time will tell, but I think if GM can trim some redundent vehicles even IF they aren't exactly rebadges, they will actually profit from having so many established brands rather than bleed because of them. I think their bigger problem is really just TOO many brands still trying to be full line.
 

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I know I come across as recalcitrant in my position on this (and perhaps other) topic(s), but I don't buy this strategy of paring divisions as means for GM to finally focus on its brands. If it isn't going to do it with eight brands, it certainly isn't with fewer brands. It has demonstrated its brand mismanagement for decades. Rather than interpreting that as too many brands, maybe it needs to be interpreted as it's time to manage what they have better for once.

Oldsmobile (and Plymouth and Eagle) show that there are few conquest sales for the corporation closing divisions. So, Peter's argument that GM should shed divisions so that division number reflects a company with 25% share seems odd. Kill off Pontiac and GMC, and sales will fall nearly commensurately, and you end up with a smaller GM with smaller share and therefore in the same position: "GM has too many divisions." On top of that, you have less revenue to address extremely large fixed costs.

Funny, there's no room in the market for Buick, yet there's room for Hyundai to move upscale, right into Buick's market niche. Funny, there's no room for Pontiac, but there's room for Chinese brands to fill Pontiac's niche, and there's room for other foreign divisions, like Nissan, that sell arguably competing products.

Throwing in the towel is not always the solution. Maybe the money that GM can always unearth for important projects like supporting Delphi (again and again and again) and payoff money for Fiat can actually be found and invested to making the brands work again?!
 

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sell Hummer to Tata.

Pontiac/Buick can be absorbed and invest Saturn's stuff into Chevrolet. Only the pontiac lovers on GMI want a Pontiac. Who really wants a fleet special when Dodge, Chevy SS, Nissan, Mazda and Honda all offer *SUPERIOR* product. As of right now G8 is arguably better than a Charger Hemi (not Challenger) and thats it. EVERY OTHER product by Pontiac is clearly outclassed by all competitors and GM should just sell Buick in China since they won't give a Buick proper product now. No buick should cost under 26k. No buick should have hub caps, cloth seats, and 20 year old chassis with dated styling.

Again, who wants a pontiac when you can drive an "SS"? Seriously, not me. No chance. I love the Trans Am's we own and driving them as my first car, but I'm just sick and tired of Vibes, G5's, G6's, Torrents, GP's, etc.

CobaltSS
 

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. . . they won't give a Buick proper product now . . .
See the Buick Enclave, which they will be exporting ( ! ) to China.

And see, on this website, today's spyshots, inside and out, of Buick's next hit, the NG LaCrosse, which will be completely unveiled in 9 days (or less).
 

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Again, who wants a pontiac when you can drive an "SS"? Seriously, not me. No chance. I love the Trans Am's we own and driving them as my first car, but I'm just sick and tired of Vibes, G5's, G6's, Torrents, GP's, etc.

CobaltSS
This goes back to what jasaero was saying though.......fighting Toyota, Honda, Nissan and all the others with just Chevrolet and Cadillac or any other sort of trimmed down brand lineup would be much harder for GM than it is now.

Even with overlapping products that are in desperate need of redo's......given that GM has eight brands means they can go up against their competitors with a 'divide-and-conquer' strategy. Now it's harder to 'restructure' and takes longer to roll out revamped/improved products, but it is working for the General. Cadillac is getting attention, so is Saturn and Chevrolet and now Pontiac is as well. There are still areas for improvement though (transforming Buick into a viable Lexus competitor, restoring 'Performance' to Pontiac.....so on and so forth) and though things may look dim every now and then........I don't think things will ever be as bad as the fearmongers suggest.
 

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This goes back to what jasaero was saying though.......fighting Toyota, Honda, Nissan and all the others with just Chevrolet and Cadillac or any other sort of trimmed down brand lineup would be much harder for GM than it is now.

Even with overlapping products that are in desperate need of redo's......given that GM has eight brands means they can go up against their competitors with a 'divide-and-conquer' strategy. Now it's harder to 'restructure' and takes longer to roll out revamped/improved products, but it is working for the General. Cadillac is getting attention, so is Saturn and Chevrolet and now Pontiac is as well. There are still areas for improvement though (transforming Buick into a viable Lexus competitor, restoring 'Performance' to Pontiac.....so on and so forth) and though things may look dim every now and then........I don't think things will ever be as bad as the fearmongers suggest.
we will see how it goes. I hope to GOD the Ep. 2 LaX is up to my Mom's standards and not priced like a CTS. If so, SHE"LL PROBABLY BUY IT!!!!:yup::eek:

If it isn't that good, SHAME on Buick.

  • The fact that Buick and Pontiac have taken How long?
To get legit product is embarrassing. An Enclave G8 and Solstice...thats it for two divisions? GM needs to step it up majorly. Denali lineup and Escalade are embarrassing for what they should be!:yup::yup::yup: Mgescuro will agree with me to that end also.

Who gives a flying **** about niche/sports car/halo products when the bread and butter is inferior?

CobaltSS

PS: I hope I'm wrong, but I firmly believe in

Chevrolet=Toyota

Saturn=Scion

Cadillac=Lexus cars/Mercedes and BMW cars and trucks

GMC= Infiniti / Lincoln trucks

CobaltSS
 

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The fact that Buick and Pontiac have taken How long?
Buick and Pontiac, including their customers and dealers, have been pleading for new products and have been ready for a l-o-n-g time. It's corporate GM that has been dragging their feet. Put the blame where it belongs: not at Buick or Pontiac, but at Renaissance Center.
 

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Buick and Pontiac, including their customers and dealers, have been pleading for new products and have been ready for a l-o-n-g time. It's corporate GM that has been dragging their feet. Put the blame where it belongs: not at Buick or Pontiac, but at Renaissance Center.
The beancounters are still desperately trying to exert their influence via 'corporate footdragging'
 

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This guy is an idiot. He's basically saying to turn Buick and Saturn into rebadge brands. But I do like the general idea of where he's going. GM's problem isn't that is has too many brands. The problem is the brands are all the same. Buick should be a Lexus fighter, Cadillac needs to be a more exciting / unique luxury brand (which I think it's doing fairly well), and Saturn just needs more time. Pontiac is obvious what needs to be done. They need to have visually exciting, affordable performance cars. Think solstice. Chevy is doing exactly what they should be doing (think Malibu, Tahoe, Traverse, Camaro), they just need to do it to their whole line faster. Hummer is one their brands that's got a good direction. Their problem is mostly image and just a lack of product. SAAB... I don't know or care what GM should do with them.
 
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