Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: GM to Shutter BPG?
If 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.
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 www.tallmanblog.com
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
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?
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.