Born in 1977, Mr Goodwrench was a marketing brand used to sell GM parts and service at franchised dealers. Now, after 33 years in service to The General, Mr Goodwrench is passing on to join Pontiac, Oldsmobile and HUMMER in GM’s crowded brand graveyard. Automotive News [sub] reports that
GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick wants the vehicle brands, not corporate, to be the stars of GM, and that includes service and repairs
In order to honor the passing of this past-its-prime symbol of GM’s decidedly mediocre service reputation, we’ve assembled a few Mr Goodwrench ads below the fold.
Once upon a time Mr Goodwrench knew that “it’s not your car, it’s your freedom.” More recently, the reality has become something more along the lines of “it’s not your car, it’s a way to inflate dealership profits.”
In the late 80s, Mr Goodwrench delivered some of its most inspirational (or vomit-inducing, depending on your perspective) advertising based on the very same message. But Reagan-campaign-ad-style shots and a strong tagline wasn’t enough to prevent the hollowing out of Mr Goodwrench’s raison d’brand. After all, by ’89, GM was having its lunch eaten on the issue of reliability, and talking about service merely served to remind consumers of GM’s deficits in this regard.
Which helps explain why “Keep That Great GM Feeling” was never going to last as Mr Goodwrench’s slogan…
This ad had it all… the myth of Mr Goodwrench’s omnipresence, his knowledge of GM cars, and his grimy-handed, blue-collar charm (and anonymity). On the other hand, if your 1986 Chevette ever actually had its engine fully stripped by Goodwrench’s “hands that care,” chances are you’d be lining up for a Toyota or Honda the next time round.
This very decent Canadian ad proves why Goodwrench will probably survive in the great white North. Everyone’s scared of independent service shops, and Mr Goodwrench plays on those fears with “hands of skill.” Meanwhile, back in the US of A…
Er… yeah. Rest in peace, brand buddy.