• Aug 31, 2009
From a bird's eye view, bad old bankrupt General Motors' transition into the new, solvent "good GM" looks pretty much okay. From a marketing point of view, Chevrolet matches up well with Ford, Buick is akin to Mercury and Cadillac is the brand Lincoln would love to be. Or maybe Chevy matches up with Toyota, Buick with Lexus and Cadillac... er... point being, in some justifiable, mostly non-abstract way, those three brands make sense. But GMC? Every truck GMC sells (and all they sell is trucks) is already available as a Chevrolet. In fact, counting the Colorado and the Avalanche, Chevy sells more types of trucks than truck-only GMC. Someone then might raise the question, "Why is new GM keeping GMC around?" Ask a Buick dealer.

Automotive News is reporting that by October 2010 there will be no stand-alone Buick or GMC dealerships. They will all be consolidated into Buick-GMC "duals." This decision will affect around 3,000 dealerships that peddle/peddled Buick, GMC and/or Pontiac – they will be consolidated into 2,000 Buick-GMC dealers. Said Susan Docherty, general manager of Buick and GMC, "All our franchise agreements will be renewed then, and we'll only offer one contract: a dual Buick-GMC." When asked how many stand alone stores will be left selling just Buicks or GMCs, Docherty said, "none."

Small side note: if you want to buy a Pontiac, you'd better hurry up. The prices have been slashed, they're selling like hot cakes and Docherty is saying by tomorrow there will only be 16,000 to 17,000 left – and that's it.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd | Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty]


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  • 43 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      pedal/pedaled ... that's why they can't sell Buicks and GMC's! I though they all had engines and transmissions, etc. Pedal cars are yesterday's technology, aren't they?

      The word is peddle, and the past tense is peddled, as in pedlar (someone who travels about selling his wares).
      • 5 Years Ago
      "...Cadillac is the brand Lincoln would love to be."

      Why is this, exactly? Lincoln outsold Cadillac last month.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yep. Also worth noting, the brand Lincoln is chasing (Lexus) outsold the brand Cadillac is chasing (BMW) last month.
        • 5 Years Ago
        YTD sales are pretty close as well. With the nod going to Cadillac, by about 2500 units.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I assumed this was in terms of what GM wanted the brand to be, rather than necessarily matching up with reality...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think you meant "peddle/peddled". I don't think pedal GMCs would be terribly popular
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm available, if need be.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seriously, Autoblog: hire a copy editor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ya see guys, it's like this....in Canada (super huge market that we are, I know) GM sells at about a 1:1 rate along with the Chevy trucks. Unlike you guys (south of the 49th for some odd reason) we take a liking to the looks of the GM as compared to the Chevy on a fairly equal percentage. If there were no GM trucks, my father in law would have to switch to Ford...and believe me, aint no way he's switching to Ford, and he doesn't like the looks of the Chevy (plus like every Chevy guy I've ever known, he's owned a GM since 1960whatever and won't be convinced otherwise now). So there you have it...the biggest reason GM is being kept around is for Canadians like my father in law. Otherwise they'd be out that many more trucks. Simple aritmetic.

      Now...where can I get my G8 GXP too!? Dealer across the street says he can't get any G8's or he could sell as many as he could get...I keep reading they can't sell them down south. Go figure.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It doesn't make sense to me to combine Buick and GMC dealers, the customers for those vehicles don't overlap. GMC makes burly work trucks and people haulers, and Buick makes soft wimpy grandpa-mobiles. Even if they succeed in making Buick appeal to younger buyers, there's still no overlap with GMC trucks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        GEEZ, ur not too bright.... they were already together with Pontiac years ago. GM started this years ago. It's not that big of a deal. Plus, GMC is suppose to be a more upscale version of Chevy trucks. If GMC is fat workers and people haulers, then Chevy trucks must be for skinny workers and single drivers. GEEZ the stupidity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Good. There shouldn't be overlap.

        The DEALERS benefit from this because they get both cars AND trucks to sell under one roof. That way, Buick-GMC dealers can have product regardless of which way the market/economy/fuel prices turn.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't understand why it is so hard for people to accept that "badge engineering" isn't always a bad thing. Who at this site hasn't done something to make their ride different be it different wheels, electronics, exhausts, etc....Are there worthless "aftermarket engineering" details that add nothing to the ownership experience. Why is it so hard to accept that GM offering variations of the same basic vehicle might actually sell more vehicles. It's not like they are spending tons of money to make the Sierra different from the Silverado. Certainly some (most) would probably buy a Chevy if they couldn't get the GMC. But there are also a good number who would get a Ford or Dodge. There might even be one or two that would buy a Tundra. For a really limited investment, they get to have more variety.
      Secondly, Buick, like MOST other makes, doesn't have a large enough part of the market to exist as a stand alone operation. How many stand alone Mitsubishi, Subaru, or Suzuki dealerships are there. Some dealers do, but many of these dealers have to sell multiple brands to exist. If these brands don't sell enough to stand alone, should they be shut down as well. If you give Buick dealers another sales venue, and one that is a completely different demographic, they can remain solvent, and not have to resort to selling a competitor of GM. GM, and any manufacturer, needs profitable dealers to be succesful. So GMC costs GM next to nothing design, but it has definite appeal to a number of buyers and provides support to its dealer group.
      • 5 Years Ago
      OMG! I wanna strangle those who DARE compare Lexus & Buick. Lexus competes with Mercedes, BMW, Jag, Audi, Caddy, Infiniti, and Acura BARELY clings. Buick is akin to Mercury & Chrysler. In last month's Motor Trend, Frank Marcus droned on and on about Lexus vs Buick. GIMME A BREAK! NEVER will the two be in the same field, NEVER.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, and a lot of people in the late '70s would have said the same about BMW or Audi competing with Mercedes one day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I never understood why GM got rid of Pontiac and kept GMC. It should've been the other way around IMO.
        • 5 Years Ago
        From what I've heard, GMC was more profitable (or closer to profitability, perhaps, I'm not a financial expert) while Pontiac was definitely losing money... Which is a real shame, Pontiac is definitely the more interesting of the two brands to me...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Pontiac competed in price and model-for-model against Chevy.

        It cost a lot of money to differentiate Pontiac products from Chevys so they'd get ANY street cred at all...money GM didn't have to continue investing in a brand that ultimately competed with the company's core brand...especially considering Chevy's line of SS models.

        Dealers kept clamoring for more fuel-efficient small cars, too, and GM definitely didn't have the money to turn its least profitable vehicles into unique Pontiacs.

        GM doesn't have to spend a ton of money to differentiate GMCs from Chevys. They sell great (and at higher prices) as it is. In fact, GMC has outsold Pontiac for more than a decade now.

        So yeah...GM could either, 1) spend tons of money differentiating Pontiacs from Chevys which would squeeze their profits to do it, or 2) invest minimally by offering mild rebadges of Chevy models, but risk their cars getting no attention or respect in the market, and further ruin the brand. GM tried both. At the same time, actually.

        And with as damaged a brand as Pontiac already is/was, they'd need to try #1 for the long term in order to bring back any of the lustre needed to gain people's trust and for the vehicles to start going at prices and profit margins high enough to justify all the different tooling it'd take to make a Pontiac a Pontiac.

        GM didn't have that kind of money or time. So they kept the well-selling, profitable, less-damaged brand that didn't need all the investment that Pontiac would. Plus, the vehicles that GMC sells are naturally more profitable anyway than the vehicles Pontiac did.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nightcrawler,

        You're right...GMC does, too. Thing is, GMC makes money for the company under this scheme. Pontiac didn't.

        It's also worth noting that the truck market has FAR fewer entries and competitors than the passenger car market. So GMC can get away with less differentiated models in the truck sector, since there's less choice. Pontiac couldn't and mean anything as a brand at the same time. GMCs have always been lightly retrimmed Chevys. Truck buyers don't care.

        Pontiac wasn't making volume on the retrimmed Chevys (G3, G5, Torrent) and they weren't making money on the differentiated models (Vibe, G6, Solstice, G8). However, GMC does make money, whether the vehicles are lightly retrimmed Chevys (Canyon, Savana), moderately differentiated (Sierra, Yukon), or well-differentiated (Acadia).
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Pontiac competed in price and model-for-model against Chevy."

        And GMC doesn't?
      • 5 Years Ago
      GMC should starts making cars and make GMC like somewhat of a performance edition of GM vehicles. Rather than seeing GMC solely making "nicer" trucks and Potinacs making "flashy" cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GMC makes GM a profit with minimal investment. Killing GMC would cost GM tons of sales. Some people (for whatever reason) have to have a GMC and would not buy a Chevy. GMC sells trucks at Buick dealers because Chevy isn't sold alongside Buick.

      Why don't people understand this, it's so simple.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Time to go get my G8 GXP before they're all gone!
        • 5 Years Ago
        idk, if a vibe has a 20K buy it now price, idk that a g8 is going to be a bargain.
        but here you go
        25,500 for a G8 GT.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Stop posting about how much you want to buy the awesome GXP. Th dealers ain't gonna lower the price if they know!

        Instead, say "G8 sucks, GXP sucks even more. Slash price please."
        • 5 Years Ago
        A few quick searches in north Texas show GXP's still asking over $40k. Not much of a "price slash".
        • 5 Years Ago
        That GXP is probably already gone.

        There are about 50 to 60 left nationwide, mostly in the East, and only in certain colors (red, black, white). Most dealers are now asking a markup on them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe GMC should be more of a commercial company that makes trucks and commercial vehicles. The could specialize in dealing with companies to get the trucks specially configured etc. But what do i know.
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