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Didn't see this anywhere, but it was posted at 4:37pm today. Sorry if a repost

SOURCE: Automotive News

No other GM brands up for review, LaNeve says

Jamie LaReau
Automotive News
July 8, 2008 - 4:37 pm ET

DETROIT -- General Motors' sales chief, Mark LaNeve, told dealers Tuesday that the automaker is not conducting a strategic review of Saturn or any other brands other than Hummer.

On June 3, GM said it was conducting a "strategic review" and considering all options including a sale of its Hummer brand. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that GM management is considering cutting other GM brands in an attempt to save costs in a challenging market.

"(LaNeve) felt it was important to send it out because the news article in the Wall Street Journal inaccurately depicted what was going on in GM, so he wanted to clarify it," said GM spokesman Pete Ternes.

"The response by the dealers to Mark's letter, has been overwhelmingly supportive for Mark with things like 'we needed to hear this,' 'we've got your back' and in general very positive and supportive statements."

In a letter to all GM dealers, LaNeve cited the Journal article that mentioned Saturn as being one of the other GM brands under "examination." LaNeve, who is GM's vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing, denies that is the case.

"We have invested heavily to give Saturn one of the best and freshest lineups in the industry," LaNeve wrote to dealers. "It is true that we constantly review our plan for improving volume and profitability for Saturn and all our brands. This happens literally every day throughout the year."

LaNeve also said he's been asked by media as recently as July 1 during the GM's monthly sales call with reporters and analysts, about other GM brands undergoing similar reviews.

"My answer then and now was the same -- no! Similar to the Hummer situation, we would communicate with you, our dealers, very early in the process if this was the case," LaNeve wrote.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
"My answer then and now was the same -- no! Similar to the Hummer situation, we would communicate with you, our dealers, very early in the process if this was the case," LaNeve wrote.
He's lying. I'm not saying that there is a plan in place now or any of that, but GM would be the biggest fool if they were "communicating" with the press over the future of its brands while they were trying to come up with a strategy. That would be plains stupid and incredibly niave to show their hand before they even know if they're going to play those cards.

True they are doing it with Hummer, but that's more of a political statement and one that is solely based on image, not substance. If there is one thing that that fiasco has proven, it's that GM should keep its mouth shut til reviews/strategies/plans are in place.

But for the rest of GM's traditional brands? I seriously doubt that they'd put out anything "official" til after they come to their own conclusions.
 

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So I'm really wondering who put the word out that the exact opposite was the case? I hope GM is looking into that as well because someone is definately out to sabotage GM. That's all that was on any news outlet yesterday!
 

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So I'm really wondering who put the word out that the exact opposite was the case? I hope GM is looking into that as well because someone is definately out to sabotage GM. That's all that was on any news outlet yesterday!
The people that don't filter their speeches through PR managers are the ones telling the public the truth. That is a no-brainer. It doesn't take long to look back at news that broke and compare it to GM's press releases on the same subject....fast forward to the future and see that which one was correct all along.;)

LaNeve is playing the PR game here. That is obvious. Why? Because it isn't up to the executives anyway if another brand gets cut, so even he is not an educated source on the matter. It is up to the GM Board of Directors. They will make the call, not him or Lutz or Wagoner.
 

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He's lying. I'm not saying that there is a plan in place now or any of that, but GM would be the biggest fool if they were "communicating" with the press over the future of its brands while they were trying to come up with a strategy. That would be plains stupid and incredibly niave to show their hand before they even know if they're going to play those cards.

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He was directing the communicating comment to the dealers, not the press.
 

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The people that don't filter their speeches through PR managers are the ones telling the public the truth. That is a no-brainer. It doesn't take long to look back at news that broke and compare it to GM's press releases on the same subject....fast forward to the future and see that which one was correct all along.;)
Agreed, but what I'm saying is I'm tired of GM getting slammed in the press for all it does, or doesn't do. There is a leak somewhere. GM has NO element of surprise anymore, some intentional, Volt, Camaro, some not...
 

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He's lying. I'm not saying that there is a plan in place now or any of that, but GM would be the biggest fool if they were "communicating" with the press over the future of its brands while they were trying to come up with a strategy.
My answer then and now was the same -- no! Similar to the Hummer situation, we would communicate with you, our dealers, very early in the process if this was the case," LaNeve wrote

No, he's not. He's saying that he'd talk to the dealers, not the press.
 

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Well, Laneve has to say this publicly. Inside GM, I'd expect any responsible leadership team to be considering all options, period.
 

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It will be nice when GM executives-if ever-move out of their prolonged crisis mode and can be "distracted" by managing their business. I suspect that executives could save themselves the time and trouble of constantly correcting the record if they were better at their jobs and if GM as a result were in a better position from a variety of standpoints. Since that continues to not be the case, since GM continues to struggle, they continually will have to assuage the fears of dealers, consumers, and Wall Street that the Company is not on the verge of collapse, even if that is actually the case.
 

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GM needs to get past this constant "Brand cutting" talk and think it is time to present a comprehensive "Brand Building" strategy.

Financial markets hate uncertainty and if GM would state it's "Brand Building" plan, most of the critics would make their initial "second guessing editorial" then see if GM's plan works.

GM should state the following "Brand Building" strategy:
Saturn will join Chevrolet (in a GEO/Scion like fashion) and sell nothing but high MPG Hybrids and 4-cylinder models like the Triplets and Opel's great small offerings.

Buick-Pontiac-GMC continue with its great future model line with Buick becoming the U.S. version of Opel getting the G6 replacement (from Saturn) as well as the new Opel Astra lineup (Estate included) and RWD Flagship at the top.

Pontiac will add exciting Alpha derived RWD coupe and sedan models to compliment the Solstice/G8.

GMC will expand it's line with several Denali Concept based models as well as Jeep competitors (pending the HUMMER decision).

Cadillac continues with current planning (looks promising) and SAAB finally becomes GM's Audi brand with the new 9-X, 9-4 and 9-5 joining the new 9-3 with Xwd variants and exciting styling thus solidifiying the Cadillac-SAAB brand as a Global provider of FWD/AWD and RWD luxury vehicles.

Time for some "Leadership" from GM's management and time to talk about the future in a positive way. GM has a lot of good things to build on with exciting products and huge cost savings going forward.

GM must take the "Offensive" and force the public to focus on a bright future full of promise not confusion.

The public will focus on what you "lead" them to if your message is clear, confident and consistent.
 

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Clueless, Idiot, and Braggard are running GM. None of them know what the other is doing. GM is in a heap of trouble right now and it has no time to play their typical games. Everything should be on the table.

Fire the Putz and Ole Wagoneer. It sounds like LaNeve needs to join them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Agreed, but what I'm saying is I'm tired of GM getting slammed in the press for all it does, or doesn't do. There is a leak somewhere. GM has NO element of surprise anymore, some intentional, Volt, Camaro, some not...
Perhaps you are right. But I bet you half of those leaks were engineered by GM to stir up the public and the press. PR firms do this all the time. Car companies (and others as well) leak information like this strategically - sometimes its to get a boost in the market and other times it's to "test the waters" on an idea or concept they have coming. And I'm sure that there other angles as well.

Not only that, but MANY reports and others get an inside glimpse on products and info WAY before they hit the market. The specifics may be embargoed, but much of it can be "hinted" at to the public. I can remember reading articles on Edmunds' Insideline that basically revealed almost everything about the Saturn Aura way before it was unveiled. Peter De Lorenzo at AutoExtremist got to see the Impala inside and out before it was released to the public a few years back, etc. Its pretty common.

But point is that a good PR department - in GM or elsewhere - will utilize the press, reporters, bloggers, etc in such a way as to create the maximum amount of buzz for their business. And in many cases, I bet GM intentionally leaked the info - if not the specifics - just to get a rise out of the car buying public.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The people that don't filter their speeches through PR managers are the ones telling the public the truth. That is a no-brainer. It doesn't take long to look back at news that broke and compare it to GM's press releases on the same subject....fast forward to the future and see that which one was correct all along.;)

LaNeve is playing the PR game here. That is obvious. Why? Because it isn't up to the executives anyway if another brand gets cut, so even he is not an educated source on the matter. It is up to the GM Board of Directors. They will make the call, not him or Lutz or Wagoner.
Agreed. The Board will make those decisions. And with the economy faltering, fuel prices rising, a shrinking domestic automotive market, and CAFE standards a larger factor than they've ever been the Board should be looking at EVERY option out there. They'd be foolish for not considering any option that would right the ship. I'm sure that inside the corporate bureaucracy, GM must have statistics on how this would all play out if they cut brand x or eliminated brand y, etc. The board must carefully consider all of this...
 

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We don't believe you LaNeve! ;) But seriously though, PR people need to be kept in the dark about these things so they can say what they need to say without lying.
 

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*cough* *cough* bull****** *cough*
 

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It doesn't matter what he says today. He doesn't have to tell the truth on stuff like this. He can say they're not consiodering selling any other brands, and then go and sell one next month. There are no consequences for lying about things like that, so we can't believe statements like this either way. They don't owe us fans any information on anything. Shareholders, on the other hand, might be a little more upset...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just more to add to the discussion. It appeared this morning in the Detroit News:

SOURCE: Detroit News

GM denies plans to cut more brands
Automaker says in letter to dealers that Hummer is only line under review.

Eric Morath / The Detroit News

General Motors Corp. is assuring dealers that it has no plans to cut additional brands -- stressing that its Hummer nameplate is the only one being reviewed for a possible sale.

GM's response came after the Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Detroit automaker is reviewing plans to eliminate another brand, possibly Saturn, as part of a larger cost-cutting strategy. In a letter sent to dealers the same day, Mark LaNeve, GM's vice president for North America vehicle sales, said no such plans are in the works.

"Similar to the Hummer situation we would communicate with you, our dealers, very early in the process if this was the case," he wrote. "In this challenging period that our industry is going through, there is bound to be lots of media coverage, speculation and rumors. The best way to combat (that) is through strong sales performance and a focus on our customers."

On June 3, GM announced that it had retained Citibank to conduct a review of the Hummer brand for a possible sale. Sales of the gas-guzzling brand are down 40 percent so far this year, according to Autodata Corp. GM's overall vehicle sales are down 16.3 percent so far this year.

LeNeve's letter is the second memo from a top executive in recent weeks intended to calm concerns in a tumultuous market. Late last month, CEO Rick Wagoner wrote to employees about GM's plans to fight against the headwinds of rising gas prices and slumping auto sales.

"We're responding quickly and aggressively with a steady stream of actions to better position GM for sustainable profitability and growth," he wrote.

Wagoner then outlined plans previously announced June 3 at GM's annual meeting, including the Hummer review, a new global compact car program, funding for the Chevrolet Volt range extended electric vehicle and the closing of four truck plants in response to sagging sales.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said the memos are typical communication between executives, employees and dealers.

Dealers were particularly concerned about the speculation about eliminating another brand, Wilkinson said, and LeNeve wanted to respond quickly.

Many analysts continue to question GM's strategy of maintaining at least seven brands in the United States when many of its competitors operate with just two or three. Multiple brands increase marketing and engineering costs, especially when GM offers several vehicles in the same segment. The automaker said its numerous brands allow it to reach niche customers.
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