Lutz: Brands Are Back on Track

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

"We are undoing the mess we had in the 1980s when every brand had everything, they all looked the same and they were all priced the same." So says GM's Product Jeffe Bob Lutz, quoted in The Wall Street Journal. The winner of TTAC's first annual Bob Lutz award went on to say their brands are emerging with their own identity, with "Buick standing for American luxury, Cadillac for total luxury and Pontiac getting back to its quality built roots." So let's run down the GM lineup and see where they stand: Pontiac is selling Cobalts and Holdens. Saturn is selling Opels. Saab is selling TrailBlazers (with the ignition key between the seats). Buick, Saturn, GMC and Chevrolet are all selling the same CUV with overlapping prices. Saturn, Chevy and Pontiac are all selling the same mid-sized car at about the same price. Cadillac is selling squared-off Corvettes and blinged-out Avalanches and Tahoes. Everything GMC sells is duplicated in the Chevy lineup. They're talking about introducing a Chevy-priced "entry level" Cadillac. Yep. Looks to me like GM has a firm grip on their brand identities. Too bad they don't have a firm grip on reality.

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  • Hltguy Hltguy on Mar 20, 2008

    "Pontiac getting back to its quality built roots" That statement must make the people who purchased Pontiacs the past many years feel warm and fuzzy about GM, they were sold cars built in an era of not "quality built roots". And when exactly was the "quality built roots" I still remember my sister in law having a small import called the Pontiac LeMans, what a joke.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Mar 20, 2008
    Is this man serious? What planet did he just arrive in from? GM still is operating this very same way. Badge engineering is VERY much alive and well at GM! Actually, his Lutzness has been spending a lot of time on Venus, Mars, and Jupiter, and will be visiting all the others in the next two years because GM has sponsored a new program at NASA to make all the planets just like earth so that GM can sell cars on all of them. Even Pluto will be getting an infusion of tropical beaches, courtesy of the General, using sand from Saudi Arabia. Lutz has said that they can use all that gas on the four outer gasbag planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) to run the cars, but it's not clear that ExxonMobil is down with the program.
  • Bancho Bancho on Mar 20, 2008

    Redbarchetta : "They sold this in the states? How come I never heard of, did it only sell for 1993?" Look up "Geo Storm". That was the version we had in the US. It was a neat little car.

  • Jeff Puthuff Jeff Puthuff on Mar 20, 2008

    Bring back the Chevy Sprint, and put the Aveo out to pasture.