Remember the old General Motors? Too many brands, too many models, advertising campaigns that petered out too soon, and multiple products competing for the same buyers. That's changed, officials from the new GM say, promising a leaner lineup of four brands and just 25 models by 2011.
But automotive analysts quoted by Advertising Age say that's a good start, but critics say the automaker's weight loss plan needs more fiber and less frosting. First, the still-huge GM hasn't enough cash to properly market even four divisions, one expert says, citing Honda-Acura, Toyota-Lexus and Nissan-Infiniti as examples to follow. Three analysts recommend GM hold on to just Cadillac as the premium brand and Chevrolet as the mainline marque.
Then there's the company's marketing plan. Dump the GM name from ads, analysts told AdAge, and just sell the cars. "They shouldn't even identify themselves as GM. People don't buy GM cars; they buy Cadillacs and Chevys, and that's what they ought to be talking about," auto consultant Maryann Keller tells AdAge.
AutoPacific's president George Peterson has another issue with GM's marketing strategy. He points out that the company spent more than $100 million to launch the new Chevy Malibu in 2007, but it hasn't advertised the car in nearly a year. "It seems like they are going back to their old ways," Peterson said.
[Source: Advertising Age]