When the president tells you to sharpen your pencil and improve your last-ditch survival effort, it's time to grab the big eraser. According to reports, General Motors may ditch its GMC and Pontiac brands to demonstrate just how serious it is. If the auto lines go, GM would be pared back to Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac, a mere shadow of its former self, but the nameplates might become more clearly defined with the added breathing room. Ford's got its trifecta of Ford, Mercury and Lincoln, so GM
When it comes to Saturn, General Motors is a little stuck. The plucky brand that promised something different and then turned into much the same hasn't seen critical acclaim or profitability for more than ten years. GM has halted funding for new Saturn products, and its plan to Congress indicated that a sharp focus on Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. That would appear to leave Saturn something pretty close to dead.
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
Henderson and CFO Rick Young also admitted that sales projections could be described as "rosy," the word "Delphi" is beginning to rhyme with "albatross," and that the intergalactic rise in gas prices has changed consumer buying habits "faster than we thought."