A Name Change for General Motors?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
a name change for general motors

The automaker says it isn’t in the cards, but an analyst at Morgan Stanley says he’s hearing investor support for the idea. After all, what better way to signal your company’s shift towards forward-thinking electric and autonomous mobility than a fancy rebranding?

General … Mobility?

As reported by Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note yesterday that “several investors have asked us about the potential for a name change to accompany a radical strategic shift for the company.”

“We have no knowledge or strong opinion on a potential name change, but do not exclude the possibility of such an action being considered by GM’s leadership to help foster perception and cultural change,” he added.

In response, GM says it has no intention of changing its name. Certainly, other corporations have chosen to put a sleek new face on their business by revamping a tired old name. Usually it involves fewer letters and acronyms. Dunkin’ Donuts to Dunkin’, for example. Weight Watchers to WW, Kentucky Fried Chicken to the slimming KFC, or IHOP to IHOb … wait, maybe that last one isn’t a good example. Still, people reportedly bought more burgers after that publicity stunt.

But General Motors, usually referred to as GM, can’t really shed extraneous letters. “GM” is pretty svelte. It’s also instantly recognizable. People know what they’re dealing with; the only concern on GM’s part is telegraphing where it wants the company to go.

And if Mary Barra feels her company’s stock will really hit the big time by inserting more mobility-speak into its orbit, well, look at Ford.

[Image: General Motors]
Join the conversation
4 of 60 comments
  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Jan 10, 2019

    General Tso's Motors!!!

    • See 1 previous
    • Vulpine Vulpine on Jan 10, 2019

      Ahhh... So you're really wanting to call it, "Imaginary Motors", right DW? (Before you respond, look up the history of "General Tso's Chicken.")

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jan 13, 2019

    I"d go with PBM, since all the cars come from one parts bin. It was with great pleasure I drove away from my CTS and the never ending cheap-@ZZ parts that made the design and good engineering a total waste of time. Parts Bin Motors. Like Lego, but more expensive. and I too are in a moderation queue

  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
  • AMcA The '70 Continentals and Town Cars may have been cousins to the standard body Fords and Mercurys, they didn't have to be disguised, because they had unique, unbelievably huge bodies of their own. Looking at the new 1970 interior, I'd say it was also a cost savings in sewing the seat. Button tufted panels like the 1969 interior had require a lot of sewing and tufting work. The 1970 interior is mostly surface sewing on a single sheet of upholstery instead of laboriously assembled smaller pieces. FINALLY: do I remember correctly that the shag carpet shown under these cars was a Photoshop? They didn't really go so peak '70s as to photograph cars on shag carpets, did they?
  • Inside Looking Out Toyota makes mass market cars. Their statement means that EVs are not mass market yet. But then Tesla managed to make mass market car - Mode; 3. Where I live in CA there are more Tesla Model 3s on streets than Corollas.
  • Ltcmgm78 A lot of dirt must turn before there's an EV in every driveway. There must be a national infrastructure plan written by other than politicians chasing votes. There must be reliable batteries that hopefully aren't sourced from strategic rivals. There must be a way to charge a lot of EVs. Toyota is wisely holding their water. There is a danger in urging unplanned and hasty moves away from ICE vehicles. Do we want to listen to unending speeches every election cycle that we are closer than we have ever been to 100% electrification and that voting for certain folks will make it happen faster? Picture every car in your town suddenly becoming all electric and a third of them need a charge or the driver will be late for work. This will take a lot of time and money.
  • Kendahl One thing I've learned is that cars I buy for local errands tend to be taken on 1,000 mile trips, too. We have a 5-speed Focus SE that has gone on longer trips than I ever expected. It has served us well although, if I had it to do over again, I would have bought an ST. At the time of purchase, we didn't plan to move from 1,000 feet elevation to 6,500. The SE is still adequate but the ST's turbo and extra power would have been welcome.