• Jun 20, 2008
This has been a big year for GM's organization alignment, with President Fritz Henderson opening up about the brand issue snafu and the appointment of four brand czars. HUMMER was meant to join forces with Cadillac and Saab in a premium channel, but while HUMMER is still in the family, it's apparently been put out on the lawn. GM Inside News (GMI) reports that GM is treating HUMMER as a goner, saying that the H4 program is on life support for handover to the next buyer, and the H3 GMT-700 program is kaput.
The bigger hearsay is that GM's board is considering euthanizing GMC or Pontiac. Those two brands were to be aligned in a brand channel with Buick (PBG). Getting rid of GMC could make some kind of sense, since it's entirely brand-engineered vehicles with some of the worst mileage numbers in the fleet. Shunning Pontiac would be a surprise to us since the Solstice and G8 have given it a nice brand awareness boost and it's got some products in the pipeline. If GMC or Pontiac did go, the GM board would consider folding Saturn into the PBG channel to maintain sales volume. In corporate-speak, we believe this is called GM's "gloves off" phase. Thanks for the tip, Dan!

[Source: GM Inside News]


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  • 62 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Some of your logic is sound, but if anything GM should dump Saab and reposition GMC.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can totally see GM just being "Chevy and Cadillac" only, that's it, emulating Toyota and Lexus. All other brands gone by 2010.

      That would actually be a smart thing to do. Eliminate all unionized labor too, while your at it Maximum Bob.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree that would be the ideal situation, especially from a branding and distribution standpoint.

        But if you lose all the other brands, would these traditional GM customers (Buick - Pontiac - GMC) migrate to Chevy or Cadillac? I'm not sure. The BPG channel represents 1 million units--so any major realignment would put the entire company at risk if it failed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      close up shop.

      is there really a need for all the overlap?

      sell the brands, realign the plants in the US to build small chevys.



      one possible scenario
      GMC builds all the trucks.
      Chevy builds the cars
      Caddy. keeps doing what their doing.
      Pontiac becomes more a performance line of chevys
      Tata builds the H4, and keeps em on that side of the world
      Saturn gets a lethal injection
      Buick passes away with its demographic.


      • 6 Years Ago
      I never understood the reason GMC existed in the first place. Was it created so Pontiac and/or Buick dealers would have a line of trucks to sell?
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's unlikely either brand will get the axe.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The only thing that is 80 years old are the walls. Ford under Nasser could have spent money on making plants Flex but instead he bought Aston Martin, Volvo and Land Rover. Same with the other Detroit 2.

        As for GMC dump it. And it should cost less than Oldsmobile because all GMC plants are chevy plants. Back then a couple plants like the Aurora and intrigue were Olds only plants. Same with their V8 4.0 engines used only in Olds.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If GM was ever going to make some serious structural alignments, now would be the time.

        I'm not sure if they would ever cut Pontiac and GMC, because they would have to cut Buick, too. Buick dealers can't survive on the three vehicle line-up and would need to be dualed with another GM brand . . . at least that was the rationale for the B-P-G channel.

        Ultimately I don't think that GM will cut B-P-G because they account for over 1 million units in 2007. It is not entirely clear that these customers would migrate to another GM product and the General can't afford to lose any more customers right now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        LS2/LS7

        you remember you said it costs billions and billions to turn a Ridgeline to Civic? You said how domestic plants are 80 years old so its impossible to be flex and its all ok that they are not flex?

        Well Detroit Free Press just did a writeup about Honda. Its a good read. A ridgeline and a civic and an Odyssey can be back to back to back! All I said before was it takes 2 days to go from Odyssey to Civic and you said months. I guess it takes minutes.

        http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080620/BUSINESS01/806200349/1014/BUSINESS01
        • 6 Years Ago
        I Agree.

        I'll file this story under slow news day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Too many similar vehicles with only cosmetic changes - what was ever the difference between a Chevy Cavalier and a Pontiac Sunbird/Sunfire ? Not much ! In the old days.....
      PONTIAC= PERFORMANCE, CHEVY= EVERYDAY TRANSPORT, OLDS=LUXURY, BUICK=LUXURY PERFORMANCE, SATURN=ATTEMPT AT JAPANESE QUALITY AND STYLE. In the past, you started buying Chevy's cause thats what you could afford, then moved to Pontiac if you were into performance, or Olds if you were into luxury; Buick if you were into a little of both. Somewhere along the way GM lost that way of thinking; GM's problem has been trying to keep brand loyalty alive, with each brand trying to be everything to every buyer. But doing that cuts sales from all the differen't brands.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why wouldn't they kill GMC? What conceivable purpose does it serve? Hummer makes more sense than GMC, and that's not saying much.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hummer makes more sense than GMC? Do some research, please.

        GMC has about as much brand equity as Chevy among the buying US public, while Hummer's image has been negative from the START.

        You can turn GMC into something else without killing the truck background, making it the source for utility vehicles for instance (I'm talking about giving them vehicles in the likes of the Fit, Vibe, along with the ol' SUVs and so forth).
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree, keeping Hummer does make more sense.

        Why? It has more appeal to future buyers (read: children) than the staid GMC moniker does. A Denali might be a fine vehicle, but why can't they just limit it to an upgrade package on the Suburban? Why must there be all these slightly different versions of the same vehicle?

        What I dont understand is how a brand named after an Indian Chief that was resented by other Native Americans makes for a viable contender in a post-globalization society. Its an archaic moniker best associated with Goats, Screaming Chickens and the Mullet rather than a purveyor of relevant automobiles in a rapidly evolving vehicle landscape. If the product had been consistent and unique over the past couple decades I could see an argument for its existence. Staunchly holding onto the past for sentimental reasons is bad business.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree with you at least in terms of brand Image, from serious military vehicle to official D-bag transport Hummer at least has an image. To me at the very least GMC offers nothing that you can't get at chevy with a slightly different front end. The company seems like just more lame GM badge engineering.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've only ever bought GMC or Pontiac from GM. I guess they don't like me.
      The way I heard it back in the day (from the dealer where I bought my S15 Jimmy) that GMC is the truck division of GM and Chevy is for cars. Basically Chevy trucks are rebranded GMCs not the other way around. I don't know if he was right, this is just what he said.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I still think that GM should sell Saab and Hummer. There should be some foreign companies that would be very interested in buying these divisions. Both brands started out as independent units before GM obtained the rights to them, so there is no reason that they couldn't be an asset under another company's guidance.

      With Saab and Hummer gone, GM could do some serious restructuring with their remaining core brands. Buick could be combined with Cadillac to form an upper tier luxury channel; Buick would focus on FWD luxury cars and FWD/AWD luxury crossovers while Cadillac would focus on RWD luxury cars. Saturn would be converted to Opel (I don't think the "Saturn" name is salvageable; it will always be synonymous with dorky "cheap and cheerful" transportation; Opel would give GM a chance to really build and market a premium Euro chic division in the U.S.). Opel should be combined with Pontiac/GMC to form a midmarket, import focused premium network. Opel would carry premium FWD cars and MPVs, Pontiac would carry affordable RWD cars, and GMC would carry premium FWD/AWD crossovers (Chevy should be able to handle the shrinking truck/SUV market on its own). Chevrolet would carry on as the affordable, volume channel with a wide array of products including FWD cars, FWD/AWD crossovers, trucks/SUVs, and the RWD Camaro/Corvette sports cars.

      This plan would eliminate much of the internal competition and redundancy within GM as well as the overuse of vehicle platforms. The lineups in the premium and luxury channels would be smaller, focused niche lineups that would give each division a distinctive image and purpose in the market and GM's hierarchy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It is entirely possible, especially for GMC. What does GMC sell exclusively? Trucks and SUVs (and one large CUV). What segments are suffering the worst because of the gas prices? Trucks and SUVs. What are people buying now? Cars. What does Pontiac sell? Cars. There's your answer on which brand should go.

      ...but make the Sierra a Silverado, because it looks so much better.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Trouble has always been that the bosses in the ivory tower,were not aware of the working person's pain onthe streets of life.GMC should have been axed a decade ago,long overdue . BUICK should be next ,not PONTIAC,they don't know how to recognize what branding is good for the younger generations ,which are the ones ,that do the most buying of new cars. They need younger executives who can make more accurate market assessments. The only Buick that was selling well was the Rendevous,and one of their sedans,now that gasoline is high,BUICK is a dead brand,let us put BUICK on the lawn now,stop the bleeding .
      • 6 Years Ago
      i think pontiac has potential, but GMC is too similar to chevy

      they should keep GMC for commercial truck sales
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