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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just got some information from an insider and wanted to share it.



Mark LaNeve and the GM brass can deny all they want about other brands being killed off, but it seems the Board Of Directors will vote in August on both GMC and Pontiac. Nothing is certain at this point, but the brands are slated to be discussed.

As has been reported previously, if the "volume" portion fo the BPG equation is killed (GMC),then it's possible that GM may seek to further consolidate it's franchiese strategy by combining Saturn with the remaining Buick and Pontiac stores. If Pontiac should also get axed, it is even more likely.

Additionally up for review at the meeting is the status of the STS/DTS's ultimate replacement, what was rumored to be named DTZ or DT7. The project may be under review in light of CAFE standards and costs. As more buyers are choosing mid-sized or smaller vehicles and the price of gasoline rises, there is arguably less of a market for large cars like the DTS. Even though the luxury segment has traditionally been immune from these kinds of pressures, experts expected the bulk of sales to come from an expanded CTS lineup. Could GM be looking to avoid investment in a "dying" segment?

Its very possible that GM is looking to reallocate the funds which could have been used on a DTS/STS replacement on another neededproject. It is thought that GM will send about $8 billion on product development this year, but only about $1.6 billion of the $8 billion is new funds, the rest of the $8 billion is from cancelled proects. Could this be the next one?

What does this mean for the Zeta platform-derived products? No one knows, but it appears that the Zeta platform itself is under review -- or at least for North American applications of that platform. Should the Board decided to kill Zeta, the Camaro will be the last car on that platform for North American consumption.

Again, these are hints at what may be coming, but are not by any means the FINAL word. Let's hope we find out more as the meeting date in August nears.
 

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Re: Decision on GMC and/or Pontiac Coming in August

If they don't kill Zeta, they need to find a way to make it a couple hundred pounds lighter.
 

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Re: Decision on GMC and/or Pontiac Coming in August

GM AT 12PM EASTERN TIME TODAY, HAD A SATELLITE MEETING WITH ALL ITS BPG DEALERS IN WHICH THEY TALKED ABOUT BPG MARKETING AND MOVING FORWARD, THEY ALSO TALKED ABOUT UPCOMING PRODUCT FOR PONTIAC AND BUICK (2010 LACROSSE, 2009 SOLSTICE COUPE, 200? G8 ST, SIERRA HYBRID AND REFRESH CHANGES FOR G6). Looks like BPG is in the plan for the future, well at least the BP part.

Trade papers are more talking about Saturn going GOODBYE along with Saab and Hummer. Seems the heat is off BPG. (Thank GOD GM maybe targeting the sinkhold brands of S, S & H).
 

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This is stupid, as each one is like a artery to pbg, you either kill pbg or not. Neither saturn or chevy can absorb pontiac or gmcs sales as gmc and pontiac are 2&3 on gms sales charts.
The effective thing to do is weed out bad/redundant product and streamline both lines that has been talked about for awhile.

Saturns identity crisis since it went upmarket is worse then pontiacs, and gmc diehards won't opt for a "chevroletized" verson of their truck plain and simple.

Note: I dont want to come off as a pontiac diehard. If the brand was doing so bad I would say kill it, but the top paragraph is the unbiased truth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Re: Decision on GMC and/or Pontiac Coming in August

GM AT 12PM EASTERN TIME TODAY, HAD A SATELLITE MEETING WITH ALL ITS BPG DEALERS IN WHICH THEY TALKED ABOUT BPG MARKETING AND MOVING FORWARD, THEY ALSO TALKED ABOUT UPCOMING PRODUCT FOR PONTIAC AND BUICK (2010 LACROSSE, 2009 SOLSTICE COUPE, 200? G8 ST, SIERRA HYBRID AND REFRESH CHANGES FOR G6). Looks like BPG is in the plan for the future, well at least the BP part.

Trade papers are more talking about Saturn going GOODBYE along with Saab and Hummer. Seems the heat is off BPG. (Thank GOD GM maybe targeting the sinkhold brands of S, S & H).
This is intresting news. We already know that some slated GMC products are have been pulled back from their debuts, so it may still be up in the air.

But what that says for sure about Buick or Pontiac is anyone's guess.

The car industry is very fickle - what proves true one day may be completely reversed the next day.

As for Saturn, I think that the verdict is still very much out. Saturn has an incredibly loyal fan base and their sales strategy resonates with car buyers who dont like the BS that goes along with purchasing a vehicle. All very good stuff. GM has also spent BILLIONS in updating their product portfolio - would they throw it away now?

Seeing as Saturn store footprint has expanded a great deal over the last few years, I seriously doubt they are on the chopping block yet. However, anything is possible.

Hummer may certainly go bye-bye or simply be shut down. However, Saab is another story. Saab is so incredibly integrated into GM's European development structure, that I'm not sure it can be comfortably separated. Granted, Hummer is the same way, but Hummer is a newer division with shallow roots -- almost anyone can take them over and build their new products on a BOF platform. With Saab, however, all their new stuff and upcoming stuff is based on GM platforms for the forseeable future and may pose a bigger problem.

Nevertheless, perhaps a hint could be based on the fact that Hummer's future products (like the HX/H4) are on hold while GM seems to be moving full steam ahead with the 9-4X, next 9-5 and next 9-3 as we speak.

My two cents.
 

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This is stupid, as each one is like a artery to pbg, you either kill pbg or not. Neither saturn or chevy can absorb pontiac or gmcs sales as gmc and pontiac are 2&3 on gms sales charts.
The effective thing to do is weed out bad/redundant product and streamline both lines that has been talked about for awhile.

Saturns identity crisis since it went upmarket is worse then pontiacs, and gmc diehards won't opt for a "chevroletized" verson of their truck plain and simple.

Note: I dont want to come off as a pontiac diehard. If the brand was doing so bad I would say kill it, but the top paragraph is the unbiased truth.
I think your argument would have been right on in the few years leading up to now. But GM is so cash starved that killing Pontiac and/or GMC at this point makes the most sense. While they've maintained the 2nd and 3rd position in GMNA brand sales, they also suffer from the worst product overlap of all the GMNA brands. That distinction is what makes them so vulnerable in these challenging times.

For example, the G6 is already the oldest EP I product by far, yet probably has the least $ allocated for its (probably delayed and dithered) replacement. We hoped that Alpha would swing in for brand integrity to replace the G6, but that's likely to cash-intensive and CAFE-non-compliant to be realistic anymore. As much as I love the G8 and Solstice, they don't move enough volume to showcase the dynamics that more RWD can bring when GM likely can't afford to fund it.

GMC was a profit machine for the past decade or more... but we are now going into a consumer-lead recession and the bulk of its lineup is 2 of 2 things: essentially rebadges and gas-un-miserly product. If GM were to suffer a 1/3 drop in volume for trucks and SUVs, better that the remaining volume fall under as few brands as possible. Hence the ditch or severely curtail GMC strategy.

I like both brands, but GM can't adequately feed its fleet of brands in this stagnant, and somewhat declining, market. Pontiac and GMC do represent a ton of volume, and assuming GM doesn't have another Oldsmobile dealer clash on its hands, they both have the product that can fit under another brand most easily. Pontiacs to Chevys, GMC to Chevys. This will only help Chevrolet, which needs more attention that most suspect. This will help Saturn, which probably has some of the more profitable stores for GM because there are so few. This will help Cadillac pull in some of the full-size luxo buyers. This will allow Buick to be more China-reliant perhaps...
 

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Re: Decision on GMC and/or Pontiac Coming in August

This is intresting news. We already know that some slated GMC products are have been pulled back from their debuts, so it may still be up in the air.

But what that says for sure about Buick or Pontiac is anyone's guess.

The car industry is very fickle - what proves true one day may be completely reversed the next day.

As for Saturn, I think that the verdict is still very much out. Saturn has an incredibly loyal fan base and their sales strategy resonates with car buyers who dont like the BS that goes along with purchasing a vehicle. All very good stuff. GM has also spent BILLIONS in updating their product portfolio - would they throw it away now?

Seeing as Saturn store footprint has expanded a great deal over the last few years, I seriously doubt they are on the chopping block yet. However, anything is possible.

Hummer may certainly go bye-bye or simply be shut down. However, Saab is another story. Saab is so incredibly integrated into GM's European development structure, that I'm not sure it can be comfortably separated. Granted, Hummer is the same way, but Hummer is a newer division with shallow roots -- almost anyone can take them over and build their new products on a BOF platform. With Saab, however, all their new stuff and upcoming stuff is based on GM platforms for the forseeable future and may pose a bigger problem.

Nevertheless, perhaps a hint could be based on the fact that Hummer's future products (like the HX/H4) are on hold while GM seems to be moving full steam ahead with the 9-4X, next 9-5 and next 9-3 as we speak.

My two cents.
If Saturn's strategy of truly tapping into Opel and extending that brand into NA is fulfilled, then Saturn's future is relatively secure. It would suffer from very little to no product overlap/rebadging in this market and would build upon the ~2 million annual volume for Opel product.

I agree that Saab is too integrated and misdirected to be either easy to part with or very valuable on its own. Hummer could be sliced off pretty easily given its low volume and clear branding... sadly its branding is so refined, just undesireable in this market.
 

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Unfortunately, no killing or shutting down of a division guarantees the health of the rest of the corporation. With the mentality and short-sightedness of today's public (especially the media end of it), these people will run right to the foreign manufacturers and be suckered in again.
 

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I really don't see why killing either GMC or Pontiac or even both would be beneficial to GM. Having them increases their market share and also reduces the costs of sharing platforms and other components. As much as I like Saturns, I feel that they are redundent to Chevy. Pontiac has atleast the chance to go RWD and be different than Chevy. I also see Saturn as just exporting Opels so there is no new design or other costs needed, only shipping them across the pond. The same goes for Pontiac, only costs would be a new front/back clip and shipping them to the US. Costs should be relatively low. GMC are just better engineered Chevy's. The costs should be low as well. Does anyone have any reason why costs would be higher for these three brands? I'm just not seeing it.
 

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I think your argument would have been right on in the few years leading up to now. But GM is so cash starved that killing Pontiac and/or GMC at this point makes the most sense. While they've maintained the 2nd and 3rd position in GMNA brand sales, they also suffer from the worst product overlap of all the GMNA brands. That distinction is what makes them so vulnerable in these challenging times.

For example, the G6 is already the oldest EP I product by far, yet probably has the least $ allocated for its (probably delayed and dithered) replacement. We hoped that Alpha would swing in for brand integrity to replace the G6, but that's likely to cash-intensive and CAFE-non-compliant to be realistic anymore. As much as I love the G8 and Solstice, they don't move enough volume to showcase the dynamics that more RWD can bring when GM likely can't afford to fund it.

GMC was a profit machine for the past decade or more... but we are now going into a consumer-lead recession and the bulk of its lineup is 2 of 2 things: essentially rebadges and gas-un-miserly product. If GM were to suffer a 1/3 drop in volume for trucks and SUVs, better that the remaining volume fall under as few brands as possible. Hence the ditch or severely curtail GMC strategy.

I like both brands, but GM can't adequately feed its fleet of brands in this stagnant, and somewhat declining, market. Pontiac and GMC do represent a ton of volume, and assuming GM doesn't have another Oldsmobile dealer clash on its hands, they both have the product that can fit under another brand most easily. Pontiacs to Chevys, GMC to Chevys. This will only help Chevrolet, which needs more attention that most suspect. This will help Saturn, which probably has some of the more profitable stores for GM because there are so few. This will help Cadillac pull in some of the full-size luxo buyers. This will allow Buick to be more China-reliant perhaps...
Olds used to be either a standalone, paired with chevy/cadillac or featured in a gm superstore. Granted olds at the time didnt have the product that pontiac/gmc had and still had a dealer revolt and a massive buyout, it would cost much, much more to buyout pontiac/gmc dealers and effectively alienate 2 or 3 times the people from gm, from that when olds closed.

I still think saturn would of been so great if they would of got geo like economy and had a european upsale feel to it, the astra is a start. Then gm got greedy and had to give it a v6 epsilon (more specifically the xr v6), the vue and the outlook. They turned saturn into a overweight expensive pig when it should of been a scion/small vw competitor.
 

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This is why I drink on weekends.... Thanks GM!

The more I think about this mess the more I realize it will take someone a lot smarter then me to figure out a good plan. Thats OK since my opinion means nothing, but I think its going to take people smarter then the folks currently steering the ship.
 

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How is shutting down GMC, Pontiac, or Saturn going to fix anything?

How is shutting down Hummer (or selling the brand name...since the trucks are all GM anyways) or selling Saab going to help?

Saab isn't worth that much, and the Hummer brand name is even less since it it's products are 100% integrated into General Motors.



So, how does killing GMC, Pontiac, or Saturn going to help? Most of their products are re-badges which are very cheap to design...and their success directly depends on their dealership's reach and quality of product.

GM manages brands that have very little control of what they sell....so, killing anything off is just plain stupid. Stop selling individual products that don't sell or individual products that lose money, but don't shut down entire brands.
Cars like the Saturn Outlook, Saturn Aura, Buick Lucerne, Pontiac G6 should either be canceled or the factory should slow down to meet demand.

Stop making so many Pontiac G6s, Saturn Auras, and Outlooks. The reason they make brands is to still make money off of selling 30,000 Saturns since it shares parts with a Chevrolet that will sell well over 150,000. Why flood the dealerships with so many products with little to no marketing support?


Am I the only one here that sees the problem with cutting brands?
 

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I think your argument would have been right on in the few years leading up to now. But GM is so cash starved that killing Pontiac and/or GMC at this point makes the most sense. While they've maintained the 2nd and 3rd position in GMNA brand sales, they also suffer from the worst product overlap of all the GMNA brands. That distinction is what makes them so vulnerable in these challenging times.

For example, the G6 is already the oldest EP I product by far, yet probably has the least $ allocated for its (probably delayed and dithered) replacement. We hoped that Alpha would swing in for brand integrity to replace the G6, but that's likely to cash-intensive and CAFE-non-compliant to be realistic anymore. As much as I love the G8 and Solstice, they don't move enough volume to showcase the dynamics that more RWD can bring when GM likely can't afford to fund it.

GMC was a profit machine for the past decade or more... but we are now going into a consumer-lead recession and the bulk of its lineup is 2 of 2 things: essentially rebadges and gas-un-miserly product. If GM were to suffer a 1/3 drop in volume for trucks and SUVs, better that the remaining volume fall under as few brands as possible. Hence the ditch or severely curtail GMC strategy.

I like both brands, but GM can't adequately feed its fleet of brands in this stagnant, and somewhat declining, market. Pontiac and GMC do represent a ton of volume, and assuming GM doesn't have another Oldsmobile dealer clash on its hands, they both have the product that can fit under another brand most easily. Pontiacs to Chevys, GMC to Chevys. This will only help Chevrolet, which needs more attention that most suspect. This will help Saturn, which probably has some of the more profitable stores for GM because there are so few. This will help Cadillac pull in some of the full-size luxo buyers. This will allow Buick to be more China-reliant perhaps...
I would have to 100% disagree with this post. Product overlap is not a problem for GM - it's gives GM more market share and the consumer more choices, as long as it is done right. And killing either GMC or Pontiac off will not give GM any more cash - look at the Oldsmobile fiasco. Didn't it cost GM Billions of dollars to close Olds? And Olds wasn't nearly as big in the end as Pontiac or GMC. Think of how much cash GM would lose closing GMC or Pontiac. And from what I hear, Saturn is not very profitable, if at all, and it has a very small market share. It would be the brand I would axe.
 

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It's not about the product. It's about the marketing marketing marketing. GM cannot afford to spend the kind of marketing dollars necessary to support all of these brands. You can sell great products, (Saturn) but if you can't afford to market them (Saturn) no one will buy them (Saturn).
 

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I really don't see why killing either GMC or Pontiac or even both would be beneficial to GM. Having them increases their market share and also reduces the costs of sharing platforms and other components. As much as I like Saturns, I feel that they are redundent to Chevy. Pontiac has atleast the chance to go RWD and be different than Chevy. I also see Saturn as just exporting Opels so there is no new design or other costs needed, only shipping them across the pond. The same goes for Pontiac, only costs would be a new front/back clip and shipping them to the US. Costs should be relatively low. GMC are just better engineered Chevy's. The costs should be low as well. Does anyone have any reason why costs would be higher for these three brands? I'm just not seeing it.
I'm don't see it either. GMC and Pontiac are the #2 and 3 sellers for GM with the little marketing and development dollars they currently get. They can probably engineer several model years of cars for both brands for what it would cost to shut them down except they wouldn't immediately lose the marketshare.

I also don't understand the whole CAFE argument with Pontiac. The G8 V6 isn't THAT much worse than the V6 Malibu in the MPG departement. Surely a smaller Alpha G6 ( or whatever they want to call it) would do better than the G8, especially if they applied a BAS system to it. The G8 seems large enough to a version of the 2mode system.

Further more, what would GM's friends the CAW and UAW have to say about closing plants after brands are closed? They don't just go away. I just see money needing to be spent that they don't have, moreso then it costs them to develop a Pontiac/GMC version of existing cars/trucks.
 

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I'm don't see it either. GMC and Pontiac are the #2 and 3 sellers for GM with the little marketing and development dollars they currently get. They can probably engineer several model years of cars for both brands for what it would cost to shut them down except they wouldn't immediately lose the marketshare.

I also don't understand the whole CAFE argument with Pontiac. The G8 V6 isn't THAT much worse than the V6 Malibu. Surely a smaller Alpha G6 ( or whatever they want to call it) would do better than the G8, especially if they applied a BAS system to it. The G8 seems large enough to a version of the 2mode system.
I totally agree. Also, do the foreign brands, ie BMW, Audi, Mercedes have to go by CAFE too or is this just for domestics? If they can get better mpg with RWD, why can't Pontiac?
 

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This is stupid, as each one is like a artery to pbg, you either kill pbg or not. Neither saturn or chevy can absorb pontiac or gmcs sales as gmc and pontiac are 2&3 on gms sales charts. ...
I could not agree more. People here carry-on as though GM is forced to give away Pontiacs with an oil change when the exact opposite is true. Pontiac is second only to Chevrolet among GM passenger cars. In 2007, it outsold Buick and Cadillac combined or better yet, Saturn and Cadillac combined. GMC moved even more metal.

If you want to kill something, you don't go after your No. 2 and No. 3 brands. If GM were a horse race, then GMC and Pontiac both finished in the money. You would not send your moneymakers to the glue factory to make room for those that pulled up the rear.
 

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Unless bankruptcy is an option on the table that would allow them to bypass the state franchise laws, I just don't see how they'd be able to kill off a division. They simply don't have the cash to buyout the franchises.

I do think, however, that you'll see quite a bit fewer models in each brand. Pontiac may only have 2-3 cars (Solstice variants, G6 replacement and probably something smaller thanks to CAFE, though I'd rather have a lighter G8 replacement in lieu of a sub-G6 offering). I honestly don't know how to continue with GMC since they're all available down the road with a Chevy badge, but they'll have to do something to avoid killing it altogether and suffering the lawsuits from dealers.
 
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