: GM says it won't phase out a brand



HotRodSaint
03-25-05, 10:49 AM
General Motors Corp.'s top sales executive assured alarmed dealers Thursday that the automaker has no plans to kill one of its U.S. brands a day after Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said GM could "phase out" some struggling nameplates if sales continue to fall. (http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0503/25/A01-128984.htm)

While LaNeve said there are no plans to drop a division, he said GM will slim down a brand's offerings if necessary to focus marketing efforts and other costs on promising products.

"If there has to be four or five (models) ... as opposed to nine or 10, I'll make that trade-off," he said.

LaNeve promised the company would "reignite Pontiac's muscular design and street credibility" and build Buick as a brand with vehicles that are the "quietest and highest-quality."

http://www.detnews.com/pix/2005/03/25/asec/gm_pontiac_buick_gfx_032505.jpg

Katshot
03-25-05, 12:58 PM
Smart guy, sounds just like what I was suggesting in the other two threads covering this subject.

Playdrv4me
03-25-05, 01:18 PM
YES! I was right! Buick is the parasite! Geez... but really 309k is NOT that many units for a mainstream brand. Also, I dont consider that notice to be real solid, since its no different than when companies try to reassure there are "no layoffs coming", you can tell when something is going down.

Mach9k
03-25-05, 01:31 PM
YES! I was right! Buick is the parasite! Geez... but really 309k is NOT that many units for a mainstream brand. Also, I dont consider that notice to be real solid, since its no different than when companies try to reassure there are "no layoffs coming", you can tell when something is going down.

Well, it's pretty simple, their models are pretty outdated and old. Century and Regal were last updated in 98 I believe. With the new products comming, I think they believe they can turn that around, I do too, because the new products are much better and prettty damn good. LaCrosse is also selling quite well so far fromwhat I see around here and what I hear from other people in other parts of the continent.

also... ehh...
Century, Regal, LeSabre, Park-Ave, Rendezvous, Rainier
vs.
Sunfire, Grand-Am, Grand-Prix, Bonneville, Vibe, Montana, Aztek, GTO

Pontiac is also a mainstream brand, yes, Buick I doupt could be classified as a mainstream brand. They're not BMW or anything, no, but they're not Chevy or Ford either.

Hopefully no brand is getting phased out, I hope so too. It still looks like Pontiac would be the one to go unfortunately. That's also what I've heard on other boards (Pontiac or SAAB sre the ones being looked at).

gothicaleigh
03-25-05, 02:10 PM
Saab makes money though. It just deals to a small niche market. Their sales numbers have been slowly and steadily growing.

GM has always been it's own worst enemy with divisions that overlap and compete against each other. So which divisions do I think will see the axe?

Personally, I think they could slide the GTO over to Chevy to be the new Camaro and trim the rest of Pontiac.
Why save Buick instead? They have one of the best reliability scores in the industry and they serve to pacify the older customers who feel GM abandoned them when they moved Cadillac up-market.

Randy_W
03-25-05, 02:17 PM
POntiac sells 100,000 more units a year than Buick, do the math!

gothicaleigh
03-25-05, 02:41 PM
POntiac sells 100,000 more units a year than Buick, do the math!

Yes, that is all it does after redesigning the majority of it's line. How much profit do you think it makes with that overhead? Buick, on the other hand, is running a stable of old designs. Designs that paid for themselves a decade ago. It's entry car starts at $22k, meaning it doesn't have the advantage of an economy car like Pontiac and Buick's high-end models command the same pricing as Cadillacs. Yet it still comes even that close to Pontiac's sales. Which do you think turns a better profit for GM with those numbers?

There really is nothing wrong with Buick's cars. They are among the most reliable in the world, offer much the same powerplants as Pontiac, but fail in design. Buick's fault is that it's uninteresting. However, they have been showing some interesting concepts at shows the last few years. I believe a simple redesign is all that Buick needs to turn itself around.

Playdrv4me
03-25-05, 02:47 PM
I know you cant really Believe Buick's cars are somehow superior in reliability to their Chevy and Pontiac counterparts can you? I dont care what the reports say there, they share almost entire platforms in some instances.

Buick needs alot more than a redesign, it needs a complete ground up overhaul and frame restoration.. :p

gothicaleigh
03-25-05, 03:03 PM
I know you cant really Believe Buick's cars are somehow superior in reliability to their Chevy and Pontiac counterparts can you? I dont care what the reports say there, they share almost entire platforms in some instances.

They must be put together better. I do know that Buick's materials feel a bit more solid than the others.
I do agree that there is much that is shared between Chevy, Buick, and Pontiac. And that is the heart of the problem. Buick separates it's demographic from Chevrolet through pricing and target audiences better than Pontiac, who seems more like a Chevy competitor. We don't need two Chevrolets.


Buick needs alot more than a redesign, it needs a complete ground up overhaul and frame restoration.. :p

The difference is that Pontiac had it's redesign and it didn't take. It had it's chance, now show it the door.

Playdrv4me
03-25-05, 03:08 PM
I hear you, and most of the time im with you AND this is supposedly a moot point now that they are claiming they arent going to axe ANYTHING, but I just have a real hard time letting go of Pontiac. I mean when I think back over the years, I can think of little monuments in Pontiacs history that MEANT something. Like the last Fiero, the GTO, even the plastic fantastic Grand Prix GTP... That was an AWESOME and cheap car! And you cant tell me you dont have a little bit of a thing for the Bonneville GXP. Even the regular Bonneville's have always been like halfway Cadillacs with alot of technological advancements. The Sunbird was always a little nicer than the cavalier, as was the Sunfire, and of course no one can dispute the Trans Am when it was in its HeyDay...

Do you see what Im getting at here... I cant remember so many vehicles in Buick's history, if ANY that even made me raise an eyebrow, once.

EDIT: Ok there was ONE BUICK that I loved, I just remembered the short-lived Regatta, which shared its tooling with the Allante. THAT was a BEAUTIFUL car. If Buick can come up with some of that kind of magic on A REPEAT BASIS, then more power to em.

davesdeville
03-25-05, 05:16 PM
Saab makes money though. It just deals to a small niche market.

Saab has become a hole in the ground where GM throws money lately.

"After General Motors acquired a stake in Saab Automobile in 1990, the automaker has posted a profit just twice... and has been in the red since 2000."

Why do you think they're using Saab's unused resources to make the BLS? It's not cause they make money.

illumina
03-26-05, 12:36 AM
Pontiac should keep the GTO and the GXP series V8's that they're coming out with. And for Christ's sake, bring back the Trans-Am. The G6 needs to go away as well as the Ateck and Vibe. The Sunfire is no more than a Cobolt/Cavilier and should be phased out or moved.

Let Saturn take on the G6 and Sunfire models and leave it at that. Saturn doesn't need to be a high performance division, but I like the idea of "upper scale" for younger buyers and their supercharged Ion...Compete but don't go overkill...

Chevrolet should keep the mainstream cars they have now, but should bolster the SS lineup. They're doing this with new V8 FWD Monte Carlos and Impalas. but some things have got to go away...Aveo...Aveo...Aveo...And the like. Their trucks are top of the line but pricey. See Silverado SS...

GMC = Chevy after being merged.

If Buick weren't so plain and back-dated, I would say keep them. But guess what? They're going away eventually. If this new lineup doesn't work out for them, then they might just get it (axe)...Old people beware: Saturn is calling for you...

Hummer and Cadillac are just fine. Hummer is coming out with the more affordable H3 for the younger and/or fuel conscinsious buyer and Cadillac doesn't need to appeal to the price conscinsious crowd just to make sales. They have the CTS and that should be the cheapest they get to. If you notice too, Hummer doesn't have a wealth of models in their lineup: they have just what they need to compete.

Although I don't normally agree with the site goth, I'll admit that Saab does have that little niche and will not likely go away.

So does anyone find a pattern here? Buick is very shakey right now and has no real personality and Pontiac doesn't have their "excitement" identity down pat. I still think Buick is the first on GM's short list though...

On another note, I find those sales figures in the first post interesting. In 1980, sales averaged to about 650K between Buick and Pontiac. I could be wrong here, but in 1980, the Japanese and German car makers were not as prevalent here in the United States as they are now...I wonder if the decline in sales have something to do with that? And I wonder why that is so? Could it be that if both GM divisions had more personality (Buick) and identity (Pontiac), would they fare better in the market? Just a thought...

Jesda
03-26-05, 12:46 AM
Sunfire's goose is cooked. I wonder of the Cobalt-based Pursuit is coming to the US?

illumina
03-26-05, 12:52 AM
Sunfire's goose is cooked. I wonder of the Cobalt-based Pursuit is coming to the US?

The Pursuit (really really small G6?) should go to Saturn too. Pontiac should stay in the affordable high performance market.

Katshot
03-26-05, 08:23 AM
I think Chevrolet is the one line that is going to be hardest to restructure.
Here's how I see it:
1. Cadillac is moving towards the upper eschelon such as BMW, M-B, Audi, etc and will be looking to attract the high-end buyers that would be looking at mostly European luxury & performance cars.
2. Buick is already positioning itself as the "traditional" luxury brand, and will be trying to attract buyers that would be cross-shopping Lincoln, Lexus, Infiniti, and even upper end Honda, Toyota, and Nissan cars.
3. Pontiac would be the mainly performance brand and would try to attract both "traditional" and "international" performance buyers. Basically, everything from "ricers" to hard-core American muscle.
4. GMC should remain just as it is, the truck brand of GM.
5. Chevrolet is the only hard brand to classify. It "should be all entry-level cars, minivans, etc. but, there is a very loyal group that would FREAK if GM took Corvette and pick-ups away from Chevy. I just don't think that Chevy is a very well defined brand. They try to cover ALL bases rather than actually do anything real well. GM could almost set Chevy adrift as a stand-alone company, merging it with Saturn maybe?
I didn't mention Saab because I really don't see it as an "American" car brand. It fill a niche but to be honest, Cadillac is over-running the Saab market and the two will continue to fight each other. To be honest, I'd dump Saab if anything, at least in this country.

Jesda
03-26-05, 11:03 AM
Chevy to me is "All miscellaneous vehicles that arent luxurious."

davesdeville
03-26-05, 05:56 PM
Although I don't normally agree with the site goth, I'll admit that Saab does have that little niche and will not likely go away.

There are a few instances where making a car at a loss is beneficial, like if it's a low volume car that attracts attention to your other cars. Saab is essentially making all their vehicles at an overall loss, and it does nothing for GM - most people don't know GM owns Saab in the first place. Saab has to get profitable by raising prices a bit and cutting costs pretty drastically, or they must die.

ben72227
03-26-05, 06:19 PM
Cadillac should go for the upper level brands like BMW BUT they don't need to go over $70,000. I mean, the XLR IS NOT selling that many models and it's a $70,000 car. They should be like BMW in the sense that they range in price from $30,000 to about $70,000. So eliminate Buick and let Cadillac be the luxury brand.

Saturn can be the $20,000-$30,000 market by building nice, refined cars with really nice interiors that both recent college grads and old people can appreciate.

Pontiac can be the sports car edition - get rid of the Aztek, Montana, Sunfire, G6. Bring back the Firebird and the Judge. Pontiac cars can be in the $20,000-$35,000 market range and they can go for people who want a sports car but don't want to shell out money for a Vette. They're going to need to redesign their entire line too to look more sporty like that new solstice thing. The Grand Am and Grand Prix ESPECIALLY need a redesign.

Chevy is the only one that could sorta be its own stand-alone company, like the imports are - have a vast array of vehicles from budget cars to family sedans to Trucks/SUVs and have the Vette of course. MAYBE bring back the Camaro but make sure it doesn't compete TOO much with Pontiac.

Saab could make GM cars for Europe like they are with the Cadillac BLS. IMO, they shouldn't sell them in the states.

Hummer has a good niche and they should be left alone too. Good marketing campaign as well;) with those cool commercials of theirs.

So i say axe Buick, GMC (or make it just commercial trucks only), and let their vehicles be either discontinued or absorbed into the other brands.

Vesicant
03-26-05, 07:15 PM
GM must get real about its future
http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/invest/extra/P113050.asp

Playdrv4me
03-26-05, 07:32 PM
GM must get real about its future
http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/invest/extra/P113050.asp

AMEN to that article. Heres some interesting talking points...

..."Right now, GM is flailing around trying to adequately promote countless nameplates, while still hammering home the latest GM sales event message -- and that just isn't going to cut it in this market."...

..."But GM forgets that out in the real world, the customer doesn't care about GM's latest interpretation of the Sloan model (in which one moves up from a Chevy to a Pontiac to a Buick, etc.). They don't care about segment differentiation or GM's "ladder" view of their product portfolio. The customer just cares about being able to buy good cars and trucks with bulletproof quality and reliability, excellent value and a modicum of style."...

..."The problem is that Detroit overall is running out of comebacks. With mounting competitive pressures emanating from the Far East and consumers refusing to give Detroit products the time of day (except for the obvious "hits"), the domestic car industry based here in the Motor City is facing the most serious crisis in its history."...

davesdeville
03-27-05, 05:04 AM
Sounds like all the import biased people are churning out articles trying to piss on Detroits "we're back" parade to me.

Jesda
03-27-05, 08:59 AM
Detroit isn't back, not if the top dog is crapping itself and #3 is owned by smarmy Germans. This is make or break time for GM. I hope Rick Wagoner has a strong, coherent plan.