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GM Shifts Strategy for Brands
The Detroit News

By Ed Garsten

May 19, 2005

Only two of General Motors Corp.'s eight brands -- Chevrolet and Cadillac -- will remain full-line marques while the others will offer more limited product lines under a new strategy aimed at building sales, cutting costs and bolstering brand identity.

The move marks a shift away from GM's long-held philosophy that nearly every brand should offer a full array of cars, trucks and minivans, said Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing.

The automaker's goal is to clearly differentiate each of its brands and phase out cars and trucks that don't fit in with a brand or are too similar to other vehicles in GM's lineup.

"People say we have too many brands," LaNeve said in a recent interview. "We have too many brands if we try to do the same things with all the brands."

GM is revamping its sales and marketing strategy in an effort to reverse sliding sales and U.S. market share.

Analyst Jim Sanfilippo of AMCI Inc. in Bloomfield Hills said he believes the changes are necessary and could pay off for GM.

"It's like (GM Chairman and CEO) Rick Wagoner and LaNeve putting bricks and mortar back together while they're under fire," Sanfilippo said.

LaNeve said mass-market Chevrolet and premium Cadillac will be the two bookend brands, with each offering a broad product lineup.

In between, Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Saturn, Hummer and Saab will exist as "focus brands" with more limited portfolios.
 

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Supposedly GMC+Buick+Pontiac is going to be one market brand. That would leave SAAB+Saturn+Hummer as a possible combined 'low volume' market share, with Saturn being the one of that brand moving the most cars. Kinda odd though since SAAB is the Euro inspired brand, but now Saturn is also becoming the Euro inspired brand.
 

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Whoa, wait a minute! GM is ACTUALLY going to do something about it's crazy lineup?

ALRIGHT!!!!
 

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Hey, GM does listen!

Rainier said:
Whoa, wait a minute! GM is ACTUALLY going to do something about it's crazy lineup?
ALRIGHT!!!!
I did send them your ideas... see how fast they can respond? Gosh they must have listened to your ideas... :eek:
 

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Now this makes sense! I agree with providing full vehicle lines for the 2 extreme Divisions - Chevy at the low end for economy/standard cars and trucks while Cadillac offers the premium high-cost vehicles. Then all other divisions can be very specific in what they offer to their loyal market and their target demographics. Hummer offers unique vehicles that only Hummer provides. I'd like to see Buick, Pontiac and Saturn do the same.

I applaud this move by GM. Thanks for the informative post.
 
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