GM fires Mr. Goodwrench
Auto repair brand will be sidelined to put more emphasis on four core
Christina Rogers / The Detroit News
General Motors Co. is killing its storied Goodwrench brand in the United
States as it strives to strengthen its marketing focus around its four
core brands, the company said Monday.
Goodwrench, a familiar name used by GM dealers to advertise maintenance
and repairs for more than three decades, will be replaced with more
brand-specific labels, such as Chevrolet Certified Service, Buick
Certified Service, Cadillac Certified Service and GMC Certified Service,
The Goodwrench brand will meet its end Feb. 1, 2011.
"Our No. 1 priority is providing a world-class ownership experience that
creates positive long-lasting relationships with our customers," said
Steve Hill, GM's vice president for customer care and after sales.
The move is the latest in a series of changes being led by GM's new U.S.
marketing vice president Joel Ewanick as he seeks to give each of the
four brands more marketing heft, helping them to better stand out from
the parent company.
Having closed Pontiac, Hummer, Saab and Saturn during bankruptcy, the
automaker also has more money to spend on promoting its four remaining
brands and will use it to boost TV advertising in pricier spots, such as
during the Super Bowl.
Dealers will be notified of the changes in a Web cast scheduled for
Mr. Goodwrench, as it was once known, was born in the mid-1970s to
promote GM parts and service dealerships. The brand name also was a
major sponsor of NASCAR racing. For years, it graced the exterior of
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car.
"I'm sad to see him go," said Rick Alpern, general manager at Keyes
Chevrolet in Van Nuys, Calif., of Mr. Goodwrench"But I think it's a
bright move to separate out the General Motors label and give each brand
This isn't the first time GM has dialed back on the Goodwrench name.
The automaker shelved the smiling Goodwrench character several years
ago, hoping to find new ways to focus on the automaker's dealerships and
But Mr. Goodwrench made a comeback in 2003 in commercials featuring
comedian Stephen Colbert.
"I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my
friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."
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