By on May 9, 2008

deluca-buick-pontiac-gmc-si.jpgIf GM keeps all its brands and most of its vehicles, there is no road map to longer term success. In the end, there just isn't enough money or market share to justify or support The General's North American operations as they exist today– even in their downsized, strike-afflicted form. At some point, preferably ten years ago, GM needs wholesale consolidation to focus on three brands: Chevy, Caddy, and Saturn. Everything else is superfluous. The problem at the RenCen: they can't figure out how to shed brands/products. Alan Mulally has shown the way Fordward, but he's dismembering recently purchased assets. GM's decades old "damaged" brands can't be sold individually, and can't be terminated. Short of C11, GM's going to have to bite the bullet and tell its BPG (Buick, Pontiac, GMC) AND Saab and Hummer dealers that the corporate mothership will honor existing franchise agreements  until they expire, but they will not be renewed. Sure, it'll be the letter that'll launch a thousand lawsuits. But there's no other way for GM to survive in NA. None. 

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51 Comments on “Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: GM to Shutter BPG?...”


  • avatar
    AKM

    Would starving them of products entirely have a chance of working?
    Not that’s it’s going to happen, but the question stands.

  • avatar

    AKM:

    Starving the dealers does little to reduce GM’s overheads/cash burn. How long would it take? What would be the point?

  • avatar
    thalter

    Is there any basis for these Wild Ass Rumors, or do you guys just make this stuff up?

    In any case, I agree with AKM – staving them of products would be easier (if slower) than outright closing these brands – That seems to be what Ford is doing with Mercury, and it seems to be working so far.

  • avatar

    In any case, I agree with AKM – staving them of products would be easier (if slower) than outright closing these brands – That seems to be what Ford is doing with Mercury, and it seems to be working so far.

    I don’t know about that. I agree with Farago on this, all starving them of products would do is force them to slash prices–meaning that not only would the move probably not work, it would probably just eat into GM’s cash flow and make the company’s financial problems worse.

  • avatar
    geeber

    There is no way GM can afford to shutter Buick/Pontiac/GMC at this point. It can’t afford to lose the volume or buy out the dealers.

    A more likely scenario involves starving Pontiac of product, and allowing it to fade away. Insiders on other boards have said that the G8 will last 2-3 years, if that long. The Torrent will be replaced by a GMC equivalent, while plans for a new G6 are supposedly up in the air.

    Of course, if sales keep falling, the market will make the decision for GM regarding all three divisions.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Anonymous writers have no credibility or connection with the Truth. Way off base for what this blog stands for.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    To quote Chris Matthews: HAH!

    Saturn needs to go first though. Way back in the era of Prodigy forums (yep, I’ve been playing this game that long) I got into heated arguments with Saturn fans by saying that Saturn was a dumb idea from day 1 and that the last thing GM needed was yet another brand, another factory and another dealer network. That was over 15 years ago, and it is still true, but more so.

    The BPG wind-down path is simple. Go the Isuzu route. Give each brand one uncompetitive badge engineered product and let the dealers give up one by one.

    For Hummer just keep building the current products until nobody buys them anymore. For heaven’s sake don’t spend another penny on development for anything other than Chevy and Caddy in the US.

  • avatar
    hwyhobo

    Chevy, Caddy, and Saturn.

    Saturn??? ROFLMAO.

  • avatar
    menno

    I think Saturn needs to die before Buick Pontiac and GMC, to be honest. Has never made dime one for the mother ship, and therefore, has been a continual source of money hemmorhage.

    Here’s a novel idea from the “wadayagoddalose?” department of GM survival ideas.

    Kill Pontiac. And Saturn. Expand the Buick line by moving the Astra into the showrooms, and sell it as an Opel Astra. Honesty! Move the Vibe to Chevrolet showrooms. If the geriatric set don’t buy sufficient numbers of Buicks to retain the manufacturing end of the brand viably in the states, then simply import the few needed from China.

  • avatar

    “Anonymous writers have no credibility or connection with the Truth. Way off base for what this blog stands for.”
    you can’t read everything so darn literal. If you read it like an editorial or random thought bubble its just an expression of what could come about. It brings discussion from we the auto community and that leads to a collective truth. I’m in favor of wild ass rumors so long as they are properly labled!

  • avatar

    hwyhobo :

    Saturn??? ROFLMAO.

    I didn’t actually fall on the floor, but I can see how it’s snigger-worthy. On the other hand, Saturn’s the only GM brand that’s not, dare I say it, product-based. In other words, you could throw just about anything into a Saturn showroom. Ipso facto.

    I’m not saying Saturn’s a non-brand. I’m saying it’s still a tabula rasa. In some death watch or another, I suggested that Saturn should become GM’s green brand. All the hybrids, EVs, whatever. Still works for me.

    Juniper:

    Anonymous writers have no credibility or connection with the Truth. Way off base for what this blog stands for.

    This is why we have a “Wild Ass Rumor of the Day:” it allows us to use our anonymous sources without compromising our editorial integrity.

    For comparison, look at all the mainstream automotive press stories quoting “sources close to the negotiations” and “sources suggest.” We don’t do that here. Except here, where the info is clearly labeled as speculative.

    FYI: we use the old Washington Post “Deep Throat” standard. TTAC will only go to press with an original story if we have two confirmed sources.

  • avatar
    DragDog

    If GM keeps all its brands it goes under. If a dealership loses its brands it goes under. These guys are at an impasse and need to negotiate some kind of compromise. There has to be a middle ground between the status quo and rescinding every BPG franchise out there.

    For example, GM could say that after X date BPG franchises must convert to Chevy, Saturn, or Cadillac, and in return GM gives them some package to ease the changeover. Maybe something like free product training for the sales staff, some cash for remodeling, and a 1 year discount on product to make restocking easier. Something that helps out the dealership but a lot cheaper than a lawsuit.

    I’m not sure that’s the _best_ compromise, but these guys need to talk out something.

  • avatar
    netrun

    Keep Saturn? ROFL

    You want to keep the guys that came out with a brand new V6 engine and then two years later scrapped it for a Honda V6? The same guys that came out with a brand new CVT and two years later scrapped it?

    As far as I can tell, these guys do innovation about as well as Oprah does diets.

    Truth is, whichever brand you choose as your third GM brand to keep will be controversial because there is no good choice for a third brand.

  • avatar
    CarShark

    For example, GM could say that after X date BPG franchises must convert to Chevy, Saturn, or Cadillac, and in return GM gives them some package to ease the changeover.

    @DragDog:

    Haven’t they been doing exactly that to make all the stand-alone Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers BPG dealers in the first place?

  • avatar

    Robert Farago: I suggested that Saturn should become GM’s green brand.

    Now this idea I like. Saturn has never been about the product. In the beginning it was all about the buying experience — no haggling, no pressure. The cars were at best mediocre. Folks were happy with them because they felt that they weren’t being bent over every time they walked in the door. Folks were loyal to the brand even though the product wasn’t much.

    Wouldn’t be too difficult to bring that notion back, but with the green car angle. There’s no historical baggage (really) to get in the way. Make the cars in the Saturn factory, even. Give folks a clean message. I could imagine the Saturn brand being GMs version of (the almost a brand in itself) Prius.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Robert Farago: FYI: we use the old Washington Post “Deep Throat” standard. TTAC will only go to press with an original story if we have two confirmed sources.

    Having worked in a large corporation, I know that rumor and innuendo can be the order of the day in the workplace. Especially when times get tough.

    Was this “wild ass rumor” just the chatter among several people in the central office that inevitably occurs during tough times, or a true reflection of discussions among top management?

    As for revoking the franchise agreements when they expire – I would imagine that GM just can’t unilaterally revoke the agreements without just cause (as these laws were written to favor dealers).

    “We want to phase out this brand and make you go away” probably does not constitute just cause to refuse renewal of a franchise agreement.

  • avatar
    BostonTeaParty

    Why don’t they just bring over the Opels that become saturns as…well errr, Opels. Add some of that johnny foreigner appeal factor to the GM mix that VW has?

    Anyhow its Friday bring on the wild ass rumours to help the day go quicker!!

  • avatar
    truthbetold37

    The other side of this is what do you do with the Finance/Sales&Marketing/etc. employees that support these brands? Lay them off?

  • avatar

    GM doesn’t even need Saturn. The brand doesn’t sell well and hasn’t turned a profit since it was founded.

    Funny too that Opels are sold as Chevrolets in other parts of the world, there’s no reason that couldn’t happen here. Same with Holdens, they are Chevrolets virtually everywhere else and actually look better as Chevrolets, especially the Ute. Selling Holdens via Pontiac is a waste.

  • avatar
    DragDog

    @CarShark: ya, I guess you’re right, GM already gave the B,P,G dealers an ultimatum to become BPG dealers. That doesn’t help with excess brands at all, but does set a precedent for strong-arming those dealers into rebranding.

    Really the onus is on GM and the B,P,G dealers to figure out some arrangement they can both stomach with the end result of having only 2 or 3 brands.

    @BostonTeaParty: actually for a while Opels were sold in the US as straight-up Opels at Buick dealerships.

    The argument could be made that Chevy, Buick-Opel, Cadillac could work as the three brands. Buick-Opel is firmly midmarket and would have product that appeals to varying age demographics. A little out there, but really as netrun said any third brand is going to be controversial and hard to justify rationally.

  • avatar
    gawdodirt

    W.A.R. = B.S.

    Admit it there are no sources.

    Just stirring the pot. Keep people hitting the banners…

  • avatar
    Jonathon

    I’m curious—people often talk about how killing Oldsmobile cost GM a billion dollars, but what did it cost Chrysler to close down Eagle and Plymouth? And what happened to Chrysler Groups overall sales after those closures?

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    I have got to believe that somebody in RenCen has a notion on what to do. This BPG death rumour may be just that but it is a close approximation to what GM needs to do to survive. The only problem as the Oldsmobile debacle shows is that it’s too expensive and GM cannot afford it. I have read hundreds of comments on TTAC on how GM should re-organise itself, which divisions should die and which should be the green division, the luxury division yada yada yada! Usually good ideas and most do make sense but the problem is that GM cannot afford to do it, I mean at all! Allowing the divisions to die by slow starvation is not a runner either because GM will die from it’s cash bleed long before that happens. What to do, what to do! I would really hate to be in RW’s shoes right now, he has an unenvyable job. Given that gas is going up (when has it ever gone down) and the economy is soft and that GM’s vital signs are deteriorating and most if not all the family silver has been hocked, what option(s) are left?
    There is only one if you don’t include Divine Intervention. So all you believers out there (believers in God, not GM) had better get on your knees double quick because otherwise GM’s legal department will shortly be working overtime and weekends.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    I still think that Pontiac and Buick could still exist as packages for other cars.

    A Cadillac CTS with a Pontiac sports upgrade
    or
    A Chevrolet Malibu with a Buick luxury package.

    Sounds good to me! You could do away with the “V -Series”.

  • avatar
    menno

    Jonathan, Oldsmobile had their own dealer network, which was as often as not, “dualled” with another GM brand, especially in smaller towns. Our local dealer was once an Oldsmobile-Cadillac-Renault and Kaiser Jeep dealer. When AMC bought Jeep off of Kaiser Industries in 1970, he fought tooth & nail to keep Jeep, so for 20 years, our town of 12,000 actually had TWO Jeep dealers – one was the AMC store, one was his.

    Eagle was co-branded at dealers with Jeep, because the Eagle brand replaced AMC and AMC badged Renaults. Kind of like Lincoln and Mercury are always co-branded at dealers now. So, it was easy for Chrysler to say “buh-buy” to the Eagle brand. Likewise, Chrysler-Plymouth dealers were always co-branded, therefore it was easy to dump Plymouth.

    Eagle was a dead brand walking since Chrysler only wanted Jeep, but Renault would only sell their 50% share of both, would not split it up.

    The little remembered Eagle Premier was brand new for 1988 when Chrysler took over, and in fact, a few got out of the brand new Bramalea (Brampton Ontario) factory with AMC Renault badges. This factory was ultra modern and set up the way the later Spring Hill Saturn factory was – with supplier plants surrounding it – and beat Saturn to the punch. It is also the jewel of the Chrysler production facilities to this day, and turns out the Chrysler 300 and related vehicles.

    Had the Eagle Premier had a Chevrolet or Oldsmobile or Toyota or Ford badge and grill, it would have been a world beater. Being a new brand in a portfolio “just bought out” and not marketed with any force, it flew under the radar and was largely ignored. Chrysler WAS PO’d that part of the purchase deal meant they had to buy the all alloy, overhead cam V6′s from Renault for this car instead of using a cheap-ass lump of overhead valve iron, but AMC engineers were ahead of the game and given a bit of money, they truly could (and did) develop a nice car.

  • avatar
    menno

    Geesh, I just realized why I like my wife’s 2007 Hyundai Sonata so much. It’s virtually a clone of a 1988 Eagle Premier (never managed to buy one, but have driven several). Only Hyundai managed to keep the price down, build in better reliability, add about 30% MPG, air bags, ABS, and can get virtually identical performance out of 2.4 litres (four cylinder) compared to the 3.0 litre (V6) Renault motor. But then again, this IS 20 years later.

    If only the GM cars of today were that much better than GM cars of 20 years ago!

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “..purchase deal meant they had to buy the all alloy, overhead cam V6’s from Renault for this car instead of using a cheap-ass lump of overhead valve iron”

    That and the fact that the “PRV” Peugot-Renault-Volvo joint venture V-6 was a reliability nightmare. Volvo lost a lot of customers over that fiasco. More trivia … the same engine powered the Delorean.

  • avatar
    HalfMast

    Okay, I think you’re dead wrong in placing the future of GM in the hands of Saturn. But there’s some truth to be had here:
    Both Pontiac and GMC steal sales from Chevy. But so does Saturn, and at a larger scale. Though they’ve been mismanaged, Pontiac and GMC both have their own identities that could be resurected through less badge-engineering and more consistant products.
    What’s Saturn’s identity? The discount Chevy? The American Opel? Not exactly demanding markets for either. And last I checked, Saturn’s dealer network was smaller and had less history. Gotta think that would be easier to ditch than BPG.

    On the other hand: Buick IS dead as a doornail in the US, without some serious redefinition.

  • avatar
    Skooter

    Hard to believe this site would float a rumor detrimental to GM!

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    They should kill Saturn, not BPG. Shut down costs for Saturn would be much lower than for BPG (fewer dealers), and the drop of sales would be less (much fewer sales). Timing would be easier, too-since all their product is new (and it all bombed in the marketplace), just wait three or four years when it would all be due to be replaced and shut it down all at once-no need for a draw-out shut down like happened with Oldsmobile. Saturn doesn’t make a profit and never will; BPG probably does, or it did at least until recently (GMC was a cash cow before sales of SUVs and pickups collapsed).

    I would also kill Saab (in North America; keep it in Europe probably) and Hummer (both have minimal and falling sales, with Saab being more minimal and Hummer being more falling). But killing BPG would be too much, and would spell the death of GM, because fixed costs can be spread over more sales if they continue to exist.

  • avatar

    Let me jump in here to clarify a few things…

    1. Deep Throat is a real person.

    2. TTAC has MANY sources within the industry who feed us tips anonymously, or point us in a certain direction.

    3. This particular entry could also be labeled “informed speculation.” We were given a scenario by an expert. I checked its plausibility with some of our other “friends,” two of whom work for GM.

    4. I understand if some of our readers find it unacceptable to call this a “rumor.” As in we’re starting one as opposed to reporting one. But I felt the information was important; and it fit somewhere between an editorial and complete left field-ism. (Certainly not a news item.)

  • avatar
    davey49

    Remember, not Saturn- Opel
    Saturn no longer exists
    Just keep saying Opel, Chevrolet, Cadillac

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Without anonymous sources, investigative journalism is impossible. Insiders won’t put their names on information that could cause them to lose their contacts or get fired.

  • avatar
    TomAnderson

    netrun:
    “Truth is, whichever brand you choose as your third GM brand to keep will be controversial because there is no good choice for a third brand.”

    Olds was in the middle of Sloan’s division hierarchy, so sould it be a huge stretch (especially in the context of the scenario our anonymous contributor has presented as a very real possibility) to axe BPG, Saturn, Saab and Hummer and revive Olds with a mix of Opel and Holden products? For example:
    -Opel/Saturn Astra -> Omega
    -Opel Insignia/Saturn Aura -> Cutlass
    -Holden Commodore/Pontiac G8 -> Eighty-Eight
    -Holden Statesman -> Ninety-Eight

    As long as the Cutlass and Omega didn’t step on Chevy’s toes and the Eighty-Eight and Ninety-Eight didn’t encroach on Caddy’s stuff, it could definitely work.
    Will it ever happen? Doubtful, but a certain Japanese juggernaut appears (mostly) able to make the whole “cheap brand, midrange brand, and luxury brand” thing work…

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    I’m in doubt about this rumor. GMC sells half a million trucks -high profit per unit- and I’m not at all convinced they steal sales from Chevy. I mean, there’s a Chevy dealer within a stones throw of every GMC dealer, so if people wanted a Chevy they’d be driving one wouldn’t they? Should GM really fool around with the number 2 division?

    Pontiac is number 3 in sales, so once again we have the question – where do these customers go? And if they go to Chevy, why aren’t they already in a Chevy? Why don’t they go to the transplants?

    I’ll have to repeat what I said yesterday in response to the Titanic editorial – I just don’t get keeping Chevy and Caddy. Caddy isn’t doing much better than Buick, unless you can tell me why the magic number at which noise turns into signal is somewhere between 185K and 214K. Saturn, Pontiac, and GMC each sell more than Caddy.

    IMO, Caddy is often chosen for keeping because it fits popular branding concepts – something at the low end, something at the high end, stretch both to meet in the middle and the market is covered.
    I think the end result is two brands which are indistinct from one another -at least in the middle of the market. If you don’t want the high end and low end product meeting each other, there’s a need for a “tweener” brand.

    Again repeating from yesterday, Caddy is a microcosm of GM. Caddy makes luxury barges, sporty luxury cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and has it’s V series to appeal to performance minded buyers. Caddy is also pricing it’s CTS too low.
    So why keep this poor performing muddied confused brand, along with Chevy? I mean, if the goal is to focus, why keep the exteremely unfocused Caddy divison?

    If I were taking the slash and burn approach to fixing GM I’d slash and burn all of it, except Chevy.

    Slash and burn isn’t the way to go, imo. As someone said above, killing off divisions at least has to be done one at a time to avoid the sudden revenue loss. But I think GM only needs to kill a few brands. I’d keep Chevy, keep the BPG dealers -making GMCs a bit more luxurious than their Chevy cousins (noticeably), making Pontiac the performance division, and keeping Buick as near luxury. Saturn I’d kill. Caddy I’d keep as a direct competitor of Lexus. That’s the brand they need to emulate, and not the silly “F” cars. Saab and Hummer I’d kill. That would leave five divisons, but only 3 sales channels.

  • avatar
    powerglide

    Robert Farago:

    The Day After…

    Would send this in as email, but seems more relevant here:

    Can you assemble and sythesize for us all that is known about the collateral put up by Ford and GM for its various lines of credit obtained in recent years ?

    The big question is what the world looks like the day AFTER a ‘big 2.8′ bankruptcy or implosion.

    If Citibank, say, ends up with a whole plant in Mexico, can they, would they keep making the products ?

    Can they sell them in the US ?

    How would all this go down ?

    Possible to ‘reconstruct’ the crash site, do a damage report before the crash, spin a few scenarios for us as a Death Watch ?

    ‘Hal Holbrook’ can help !

  • avatar
    Jonathon

    Dynamic88: I think the idea of a tweener brand works in theory, but how often does it work in practice? Mercury has been reduced to rebadged Fords with slightly nicer trim. GM’s middle brands are a mess, and none of them are in particularly great shape. What else is there?

    But I’ve suggested essentially the same thing TomAnderson said: fold all the middle brands together into one. I don’t think I’d revive the Oldsmobile name, because it has too much baggage. My suggestion was to call the new tweener division simply GM, but maybe the Saturn name could work. As Robert Farago and others have pointed out, it’s still somewhat of a blank slate, so it’s got some potential. And if GM could focus all the advertising money from four or more brands on one, then maybe they could really build it up to something meaningful.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Jonathon

    That’s not a bad idea. And you’re right, the “tweeners” don’t have their own identity now, but if GM is reduced to Chevy/Caddy then those two will become indistinct.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Juniper,

    Check yourself. Is your name Juniper? If not, why should we believe you when you say that anonymous authors are not to be trusted? If you are indeed named Juniper, you might want to make fun of Madonna for having to fake having only one name.

    At any rate, I don’t put any more credibility in anyone in journalisms name anymore. That ship sailed years ago. The words speak for themselves.

  • avatar
    hal

    GM should be broken up so that the various companies inside it can be allowed to compete and realise their potential. “BPG” doesn’t need to be shut down – it could be spun off to shareholders as a separate firm and look for investment from private equity or foreign groups who want to enter the US and Chinese markets. (Buick in China is GM’s crown jewel so they wouldn’t let it go but I can hope).
    Opel/Saturn/Holden could be broken out too and Corvette left independent (an American Porsche!)
    A rump GM would be Chevrolet/Cadillac/Daewoo.
    Hummer and Saab can be sold to a Russian.
    So maybe you would slice and dice differently but there are at least three viable global automakers trapped within GM. Wagoner wouldn’t put himself out of a job though, captaining the sinking ship is lucrative.

  • avatar

    Dynamic88, it’s not that simple.

    People often buy GMCs and Pontiacs instead of Chevrolets (or other GM brands) because the dealers cut them a better deal on the same product (with a different grille/badge) or similar product than a Chevrolet dealer did.

    These dealers practically eat each others lunch by discounting their products against one another, especially if they are within close proximity of each other.

  • avatar
    menno

    I also have to say that a certain portion of the buying public would not walk into a Chevrolet dealer, but might frequent a Pontiac, Buick and GMC dealer – which essentially are similar vehicles, we all know. The buying experience at Chevrolet stealerships is abysmal.

    My father and I were both in the category of those who would cringe at the very thought of buying a Chevrolet. My father literally bought a GMC Suburban but would not consider a Chevrolet Suburban. I bought a Pontiac new in 1984, even knowing it was a badge engineered Chevette (hey, I was just out of college and had no money, give me a break!) The one Chevrolet I did buy had such terrible after-sale service at the Chevy dealer, that I swore of GM for ever. And I wrote them, and told them I was, and why. The same bums are still the Chevrolet dealer, as well as Honda and Kia, and that’s why I am kind of two minds about moving to Honda. I love the idea of going to Honda cars – but this dealership? errrr. NO.

  • avatar
    menno

    Hi jthorner, yep, you are right, those PRV V6′s had some issues. I’ve heard they were junk, in Volvos. Strangely enough, they seemed to be way more problematical in Volvos than they were in Eagles, Renaults and Peugeots. I suppose despite being a joint venture engine plant, the critical components specifications could have been different, according to end-user. Yep, same engine the Delorean used, all right (albeit it was an earlier smaller displacement version of the same engine that was used in the Eagle).

    And actually, the standard four cylinder engine in the Eagle Premier (and I’ve never seen a single one) was the iron overhead valve lump four cylinder cut-down AMC six also used the the Jeep Wrangler.

    I wonder what my local BPG dealer will do if they pull the plug? He also has the Saturn store, as well as Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep and Hyundai. I actually wrote to the owner and said – yeah, I’m a happy customer you must be aware that GM and Chrysler are on the ropes – what about bringing in a Mitsubishi franchise to fly wing to wing with Hyundai? (That may all he ends up with).

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    hal,

    I don’t think the swedes would want to work for a russian. Just say’n.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    ” GM should be broken up so that the various companies inside it can be allowed to compete and realise their potential. ”

    IMO that would have been a brilliant move in the late 1960s before the various divisions were neutered. Now it is just about impossible as there aren’t really even divisions any more, just some marketing managers with fancy titles. Back in the day each division had it’s own factories, it’s own engines and a fiercely independent spirit. In the 1970s and 80s that all got “rationalized” away.

    Of all the questionable divisions today the one which I think make the most sense to keep is GMC because it costs bupkiss to keep alive. It is to Chevy trucks as Mercurys are to Fords. Maybe Pontiac could be kept on life support with a similar nose-jobs-only engineering mantra. No way keeping Buick, Pontiac and Saturn makes sense. They are all after the same customers. WTF is up with making both the Sky and the Solstice?

  • avatar
    jolo

    menno wrote:

    The same bums are still the Chevrolet dealer, as well as Honda and Kia, and that’s why I am kind of two minds about moving to Honda. I love the idea of going to Honda cars – but this dealership? errrr. NO.

    I had the same problem with my Honda Civic that I took to the dealership for a scheduled oil change. The dealership is a Toyota, Honda and Ford franchise. They did not clean up the oil that came out of the oil filter and when I got it home, there was an oil spot on my garage floor. I took it back and complained and they cleaned it up. There is a diverter that is used to divert the oil away from the car and they did not use it, instead letting it run onto the engine. It happened two other times and they eventually fixed the problem by not allowing a Ford mechanic to work on the oil changes.

    Others I have talked to had the same experience, while those that took their cars to a dealership that was not contaminated with a dom2.8 service department did not have this problem.

  • avatar
    6G74

    Olds is dead. Let it go…

  • avatar

    GM lost over $600 million on their North American car business in the 1st Quarter 2008 while paying their Senior Executives handsomely.

    It should not be news to anyone watching the auto industry that GM has too many brands, models and dealers chasing too few customers.

    GM is organizing 8 Brands in 4 Divisions. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/general-motors-death-watch-173-eight-into-four-does-not-go/comment-page-3/

    thetruthaboutcars.com above does a great job explaining the reorganization.

    Divisions 4/08 Sales * Models CR **
    Recommended

    Cadillac, Hummer, Saab 18k 11 4
    Buick, Pontiac, GMC 68k 14 1
    Chevy 157k 14 4
    Saturn 17k 5 2
    Total 260k 44 11

    Toyota, Lexus, Scion 217k 27 17

    *http://www.autoblog.com/2008/05/01/by-the-numbers-april-2008/

    **2008 Consumer Reports, Annual Auto Issue, April 2008

    Like I said, too many divisions, brands and models chasing too many customers. Toyota sells about the same vehicles as GM with 3 divisions and about 1,700 dealers compared to about 6,500 GM dealers.

    WARD’S 10 Best Selling U.S. Cars and Trucks
    4 Months 2008
    Cars Trucks
    1 Camry 147,018 F Series 192,951
    2 Accord 122,430 Silverado 160,010
    3 Civic 111,695 Ram Pickup 93,068
    4 Corolla/Matrix 99,482 CR-V 69,058
    5 Altima 99,037 Escape 59,299
    6 Impala 98,478 Sierra 57,403
    7 Focus 72,920 Tacoma 55,363
    8 Cobalt 66,660 Tundra 54,134
    9 Prius 64,664 Econoline 49,196
    10 Malibu 59,133 Caravan 47,936
    Source: Ward’s AutoInfoBank
    ©Copyright 2008, Ward’s Automotive Group,
    a division of Penton Media Inc.
    Redistribution prohibited.
    http://wardsauto.com/keydata/USSalesSummary0804/

    When you look at top Ten best selling model through April 2008, Chevy and GMC are winners, but all GMC models are clones except Acadia.

    Summary:

    GM should consider going to 3 Divisions, Chevy, Cadillac and Pontiac. Fold GMC into Chevy and eliminate the clones. This the perfect time to eliminate GMC because their entire line of trucks are not desired by buyers . All Buick clones go bye bye. Pontiac is kept because of its sporty reputation. Saturn goes away. Cars that are recommended by Consumer Reports should be keep and folded into one of the three divisions. All clones should be consolidated into one world class car or truck, i.e. Malibu, Impala are the winners and Lucerne etc. is a loser.

    Focus on the best sellers and the best quality cars and trucks and eliminate the rest in a hurry. Brutally get all dealers below 2,000 and support the hell out of them.

    Tall Man
    http://www.tallmanblog.com

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    the Eagle premier?!?!?

    looks like the mutant offspring of a Olds 88 and a Lincoln town car.

    BPG needs to go; Buick has one foot in the grave. Saturn sold cars to people who don’t like cars and making it the Kermit brand of GM won’t work as merely sticking a hybrid engine in an existing body shell isn’t green enough.

    Hummer could become GMs Jeep and sells Saab, just the one model called the 900 has a hatch, 4wd and a turbo, goes after the STi and the lancer

  • avatar
    50merc

    Any discussion about cutting dealerships would greatly benefit from having an essential fact: what the contracts say about termination. Any insiders who can tell us whether there are specific renewal or expiration dates, provisions for involuntary termination, and such?

  • avatar
    DearS

    Pontiac, GMC and Saturn, Who cares about them? Except dropping them is easier said than done. Downsizing (ie. focusing) looks like a good idea from from my perspective. Again easier said than done. Good luck GM but who cares. I’ll enjoy the ride while it lasts, just like the UAW and the Executives and even Americans.


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