GM to Launch Metro Megastores

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

GM wants to consolidate its eight automotive brands into urban megastores. According to Automotive News [AN, sub], Marketing Maven Mark LaNeve even has a name for these Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, GMC, Cadillac, Hummer, Saab and Chevrolet megastores: "GM Collections." Apparently, the concept would help GM to "maintain a high profile in cities where real estate is costly." To that end, dealers would be encouraged to move service and parts operations to "satellite centers." Ya think? To represent, a GM megadealer would need at least 49 demo vehicles. And then there's all the pickup truck variants. Even without considering exterior colors or option packages, that's a lot of choice. Too much? Not according to AN writer Jamie Larau. "The superstore approach likely would make GM brands more attractive to big dealer groups such as AutoNation Inc. and Sonic Automotive Inc." (Maybe he should have asked them.) And what of GM's divisions' brand weaknesses, and the obvious product overlap? [crickets chirping] Folks, arguments can (and will) be made for this idea, but there's a compound word for the concept, and the first part of it is "cluster."

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Jan 21, 2008

    This is a great way to get rid of brand overlap. If "GM" dealers sell the GMC Acadia, there's no need for a Chevy counterpart. I hope it works...I think GM's dealer structure is its biggest stumbling block to getting the right products to the people .

  • Dynamic88 Dynamic88 on Jan 21, 2008

    The main reason GM makes so many clonemobiles is the stand alone dealers won't have vehicles to sell in every segment. This is also the reason for combined brand dealers. With this kind of showroom, they can make the divisions truely different from one another and the dealer can sell big cars, small cars, luxury cars, sporty cars... Something for every market segment while maintaining separate brand identities.

  • Johnster Johnster on Jan 21, 2008

    I like the part about dealers being encouraged to move service and parts operations to "satellite centers." It doesn't help sales when potential customers see the angry mob being held hostage in the "waiting room" outside the service center, or to see the parking lot full of late-model cars all waiting for warranty work.

  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Jan 21, 2008

    GM spends hundreds of millions advertising to lure potential customers into showrooms. It's just plain nuts to blow away a captive audience. Would a movie house situate the candy counter across town?