..Multiple brands mean multiple expenditures for marketing,
advertising and distribution. Still suffering from negative cash flow,
GM simply has too many mouths to feed.
GM should keep Chevrolet where it is - the volume brand that is the
heartbeat of America. Maintain Cadillac at the top of the market and
expand its product offerings with derivatives of the popular CTS. And
continue to use Saturn, with its dedicated dealer channel and loyal
buyers, as the brand for import intenders.
Plenty of excess baggage remains. Here are my recommendations:
It is past time to perform euthanasia on Buick. Successive waves of new
models haven't moved the needle on sales and it is unlikely that the
new Enclave crossover will make a big difference. For nostalgia buffs,
the Buick brand can soldier on in China, where it is uniquely beloved.
Pontiac should get the same treatment, though without the Asian escape
hatch. Its boy-racer image is dated and GM's one-time excitement
division has deteriorated into a regional blue-collar brand. In a world
that increasingly is going green, there is little upside for its
testosterone-laced pavement rippers.
Whatever noble intentions GM had for Hummer, they have been permanently
damaged by the greenhouse gas debate. Hummer should be sold to whomever
winds up with Jeep after Chrysler is broken up. More Jeeps fall off the
truck on the way to the dealer than Hummer sells in a week.
Turn GMC into a commercial truck brand. As gasoline becomes more
expensive, there won't be enough traffic in personal-use trucks for GMC
to share with Chevy. There are lots of opportunities with huskier
trucks that a player with GM's scale could exploit in the business-to-
Say goodbye to Saab. With its perpetually tiny volume and high-cost
European manufacturing base, Saab has defied GM's efforts for nearly
two decades to make it consistently profitable. The success of Japanese
sport-luxury brands Infiniti and Acura has made Saab irrelevant.