Joel Ewanick
split, and many suspected he was forced out the door of the Renaissance Center by General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. We may never know if the move was a result of anger in the boardroom, but Akerson took the time during GM's quarterly earnings conference call to point out that GM Marketing is more than one man.

"The fundamental approach is, no change" said Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann, making earlier statements about Ewanick's conduct not meeting the expectations of General Motors seem all the more personal. On a strictly professional basis, a deal with two English soccer teams and unfavorable advertising metrics, not to mention market share loss, have been cited as reasons for Ewanick's ouster.

Curiously, though, in the face of what seem to be plenty of examples of missed expectations and the need for a revamp, Akerson defends the automaker's strategy, which was presumably presided over by Ewanick. "I know a lot of public views this as a personality-driven industry," clarified Akerson, "It's a team effort. What you saw in the marketplace was a thought-out strategy that was agreed upon as a team." Firing the coach is a common move for teams that don't win, for sure, but taking a business-as-usual approach doesn't tend to clinch victories, and advertising decided upon by a committee tends to only excite said committee.


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  • 16 Comments
      Cursethedawn
      • 2 Years Ago
      I dunno why but when I hear the phrase "Chevy runs deep" the first thing that pops in my head is diarrhea.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      ducman6969
      • 2 Years Ago
      Chevy runs deep, so deep, put your bumper to sleep... ughnnnn! *bites lower lip*
      Car Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      A team effort? Sure it takes a good team, however, Lt. Dan is a control freak and doesn't understand you need strong, capable, people leading these departments with a certain degree of autonomy to get things done. Look at GM's "team effort" design by committee approach of the late 90's and early 2000's. It left GM with a disaster on their hands. I'm convinced Lt. Dan will be the downfall of GM back into the old, dumb, way of doing things if left unchecked.
      vrmchris
      • 2 Years Ago
      hello to all. something is not right about this article. i get the feeling that mr. ackerson does not understand that marketing cars is totally different from anything else. there are more inportant things that you need to do mr. ackerson. (1) stabilize your top management/leadership. (2) aim to be the best. (3) each brand within gm needs to be its own company. (4) speak with the u.s. treasury department about buying back shares where the treasury (u.s. taxpayers) at least get their money back plus 10 percent (for example). (5) whoever becomes head of global marketing for gm knows what he/she can/cannot do clearly. while giving them the designated authority to lead the marketing effort for gm and its brands. (6) do not engage in personal battles. especially when you yourself do not know anything about automobiles. it cannot be emphasized enough that stability at the top is needed most at this time. shake-ups are ok in the short term. but this has been going on since mr. whitacre was the chairman. and you are continuing this. it is not good for the morale of the company, it is not good for your stock price, because it will have investors questioning gm. and it is not good for the consumer. for he/she will wonder if any car/truck from gm is good enough. mr. ackerson, from this point forward every move that you and the board initiates must be seriously scrutinized by those involved, fans of gm, car enthusiasts, present and potential investors, and most importantly the u.s. taxpayer. the lack of stability at the top is seriously hurting gm. and that responsibility is at your doorstep. i wish gm well. regards, vrmchris
        Brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @vrmchris
        Very well said- I cannot agree more! I get so frustrated with GM because I see such great potential for the company but it seems that they are disinterested in reaching it. I will say though, they have done a remarkable job with Cadillac- if they could do the same with the other divisions and as you said create some stability within the company itself, I think that they will do great.
      GMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      If "chevy runs deep" is the best of your "group effort," you need a new group. What does that even mean?
      Master Austin
      • 2 Years Ago
      I never cared for this round of GM marketing, "Chevy runs Deep"...well I've heard many comment about "Deep in the Red from bail out money" or "Deep in BS"..."Deep in Mud"..it can be taken many different ways.
      Worx2749
      • 2 Years Ago
      Perfect example of the 'design-by-committee' approach at GM was the Aztec. Emphasize engineering like the Germans do instead of condescending to the lowest common denominator in GM advertising.
        BG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Worx2749
        That is always the danger when you market to the lowest common denominator customer. You end up compromising by de-contenting and mushing-down everything. For example, power steering is too soft in case some customer complains it is too stiff. Seats are too bland in case some customer says he does not want a sculpted seat. It's really sad to market to the low end.
      Brian
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think that advertising is only part of GM's problem. The big problem is a lack of focus with the exception of Cadillac. When you look at Cadillac's lineup- the designs seem very cohesive and the entire product line seems to belong together. The same can probably be said for GMC since the entire product line consists of trucks and SUVs. Chevrolet and Buick on the other hand could use a lot of work. For Chevrolet, many of their new products seemed to have been designed by many different groups of people that did not know what the others were doing. Many of their newer cars' design elements do not seem like they belong together. This is especially true with the new Impala and Colorado. Buick shares in this problem to a lesser extent- mainly with the Verano however they also have the problem of a very disjointed product line-up. There is no focus of brand. The target customer for the Verano will not likely be interested in the other cars in Buick's line-up because they target such a vastly different audience. I think that the same could be said for all Buicks. The Verano targets let's say plain vanilla professional, whereas the Regal targets someone who is interested in a sporty car. The LaCrosse is more "old Buick" targeting the AARP crowd. Buick in my opinion should find one common set of traits (look, feel, driving experience) for their vehicles and work them into the entire line-up. This will allow customers to move up within the brand- starting with a Verano, then moving up to the Regal as their income improves, then to the LaCrosse. The way that things are now, there is nothing to keep customers within the brand as each vehicle is very different from the others making customers have to either keep buying the same Buick vehicle that they like or look to other brands for a step-up vehicle that is similar to what they like in Buick's lineup. While GM is taking steps in the right direction, they are moving WAY too slow at doing so. The automotive industry is moving really fast these days and GM seems to have their cruise control set at 35. When and if they do get their product line and quality of vehicles in order they will require much less advertising fluff and begin to sell themselves.
      nightlifelife
      • 2 Years Ago
      Corruption RUNS DEEP you mean! This Joel guy is just the tip of the Hyundai mafia iceberg get a car guy back Lutz..Iacocca. God help GM
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Isn't it kind of obvious why they are saying what they are saying now? There have been enough executives leaving or getting switched around and rumblings about Opel, that saying its "a team effort" and "no change" is a way to show at least a little bit of stability within the company. Basically to show the public and media that GM is one big happy organization (or at least pretends to be) instead of a dysfunctional family that is always in upheaval. Give it 6 months, and I fully expect for whoever is the new Marketing Exec to undo many of the things that the old one screwed up.
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