: Killing Buick or Pontiac is a Mistake Because ...



Ralph
05-16-05, 05:04 AM
Here's a good article from last month.

"Given GM's problems, people are starting to say desperate things--such as suggesting that the company kill one or more car lines."

"Buick and Pontiac still are short of product, but they account for 17% of GM's U.S. volume. Kill them and you lose 800,000 annual sales and scare off hundreds of thousands of other buyers, who figure that all of GM will be going out of business soon."

"So kill just one line instead of both? Some pundits think that Buick should be put out of its misery. But those people should go back and look at what happened when GM closed down Oldsmobile a few years ago. GM sales, market share and profits did not improve with the death of Oldsmobile. And as far as being able to put more effort into the surviving nameplates, just how much more effort did GM put into Buick when it killed Oldsmobile?"

http://www.forbes.com/columnists/columnists/2005/04/04/cz_jf_0404flint.html

Personally, I'm VERY against it and you must consider the LONG-TERM effects instead of just focussing on short-term myths of benefit from killing a brand because they could be turned around for future profit!

Ralph
05-16-05, 05:48 AM
From another post of mine....

Killing brands is rarely a good idea, especially the way the automotive market is now. When GM killed Oldsmobile, buyers didn't migrate to Buick or Pontiac, they went elsewhere. Brand loyalty doesn't really exist anymore. So even though Oldsmobile sales had fallen from 1 million in the early 1990s to about 400,000 at the end of the decade, that's still a lot of market share for GM to give up.

Losing Buick would be more than a "symbolic" loss. Those customers might never come back.

The point of brands is what you can potentially do with them. It's what Buick or Pontiac COULD be in the future, based on how people remember them from the past. That's one reason why VW Group resurrected Bugatti or why GM is now selling another GTO. If you build interesting cars that properly exploit a brand's heritage or sense of style, etc, you'll have customers in the showroom. But if you neglect or starve a brand, like Chrysler did to Plymouth, sooner or later you get people saying "who cares?".

Look how much it costs to establish a new brand. The bank vaults of money poured into Saturn are a testament to that.

So quite honestly, GM has more to gain by re-investing in its various brands, as they've done with Cadillac. They could've taken the easy way out a few years ago and simply killed the division, but they didn't. They spent the money (even though it was billions) and are now reaping the benefits. The danger for GM is that they often look for the cheapest way to do something rather than spend the money to do it right.

GM once had a coherent brand strategy, and if they were wise, could have again.

ktills45
05-16-05, 07:32 AM
From another post of mine....

Killing brands is rarely a good idea, especially the way the automotive market is now. When GM killed Oldsmobile, buyers didn't migrate to Buick or Pontiac, they went elsewhere. Brand loyalty doesn't really exist anymore. So even though Oldsmobile sales had fallen from 1 million in the early 1990s to about 400,000 at the end of the decade, that's still a lot of market share for GM to give up.

Losing Buick would be more than a "symbolic" loss. Those customers might never come back.

The point of brands is what you can potentially do with them. It's what Buick or Pontiac COULD be in the future, based on how people remember them from the past. That's one reason why VW Group resurrected Bugatti or why GM is now selling another GTO. If you build interesting cars that properly exploit a brand's heritage or sense of style, etc, you'll have customers in the showroom. But if you neglect or starve a brand, like Chrysler did to Plymouth, sooner or later you get people saying "who cares?".

Look how much it costs to establish a new brand. The bank vaults of money poured into Saturn are a testament to that.

So quite honestly, GM has more to gain by re-investing in its various brands, as they've done with Cadillac. They could've taken the easy way out a few years ago and simply killed the division, but they didn't. They spent the money (even though it was billions) and are now reaping the benefits. The danger for GM is that they often look for the cheapest way to do something rather than spend the money to do it right.

GM once had a coherent brand strategy, and if they were wise, could have again.

It's a stretch to call the GTO interesting. You could put 400hp in a brick, but it's still a brick. :annoyed:

HotRodSaint
05-16-05, 09:54 AM
It's a stretch to call the GTO interesting. You could put 400hp in a brick, but it's still a brick. :annoyed:

It would have been interesting as a stripped down Nova sold at 25k. It's vanilla wrapper reminds me of the '70's Nova's.

Ralph
05-16-05, 03:41 PM
It's a stretch to call the GTO interesting. You could put 400hp in a brick, but it's still a brick. :annoyed:

People have been crying for a new GTO since around 1990 that I can remember, and I recall this mostly from reading "High Performance Pontiac" mags at the time. Now that they have it people still complain that it's boring despite good HP numbers, etc. Not everyone will be pleased, and they can go buy a Mustang if unhappy...you can't please everyone but it is interesting nonetheless. I find Musclecars very interesting despite most of them being a Grandma car grocerygetters with a huge engine. Camaros and Trans Ams were interesting but that didn't save them as people flocked to Mustang for a better bargain, etc.

And if a couple cars appear "boring" it certainly does NOT mean an entire line should go the way of the dinosaur! That CAN be fixed, like Cadillac did! Think of LONG-TERM goals and not short-term for the divisions.

Stoneage_Caddy
05-16-05, 03:49 PM
10,000 posts ...jeez

Ralph
05-16-05, 03:51 PM
10,000 posts ...jeez

Your point? :sneaky: Your less than half that behind me. :shhh: :p I was hoping it would reset to "0"

Look! you made Natty hang her head in shame! :crying: :crybaby:

Spock
05-16-05, 04:17 PM
That's some foxy shame! rawwr

They shouldn't axe a line though. When olds went I thought that GM must be desperate trying to cut their losses. As mentioned, cutting two more lines would create distrust.
I'm already disappointed at the purchase of my moms sunfire a few years back....should have gone import.

Ralph
05-16-05, 04:19 PM
I'm already disappointed at the purchase of my moms sunfire a few years back....should have gone import.

Reasons???

Playdrv4me
05-16-05, 04:57 PM
If a substantial plan for the fiscal re-establishment of Buick is not laid out within a years time it needs to get the axe. I was never adamant about Pontiac going, its an easy division to reshape and there are positive directions for it.

Spock
05-16-05, 05:00 PM
Oh sunfire how do I loathe thee, let me count the ways...


The interior is not as spacious as the Japanese counterparts of the same size. I'm 5'11" and with the drivers seat all the way back, driving is uncomfortable.
Radio and other instrumentation is childish and has overall poor design.
Weather stripping is exposed at the wheel housing! The door is acting as part of the housing. Could have had a complete fender.
Where the back doors meet the roof there is a plastic strip that is between them...like they took the wrong measurements and just improvised.
It has a sewing machine for an engine...we should have upgraded to the surger model at least...http://cadillacforums.com/forums/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif
I do like it's excellent traction though. It's a good car for one person to commute. Two people is pushing the limits of the engine!

I didn't add this as a reason, but it is now giving us troubles, misfiring TERRIBLY after only 70k. Bought an OBDII code reader and lo and behold...it says the car is misfiring...best 250 bucks I ever spent! The more they complicate the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain!

davesdeville
05-16-05, 05:19 PM
You can't base your view of a brand on the lowliest piece of shit they sell. Any Grand Am, Grand Prix, GTO, G6, hell even a Vibe is better than a Sunfire. It's like saying Jag sucks because the S Type is a piece (relative to other Jags.) I find it interesting that you bitch about all these issues that you had to have known about before you bought the car..

Ralph
05-16-05, 05:29 PM
it needs to get the axe.

I don't think you are appreciating all of the consequences of this action Ian, there are many as stated above and in my other recent threads, etc. It would cause panic, for one thing and that would scare away many potential buyers and do even MORE damage, just like with Olds. Dealerships suing GM because they left them in the dust for abandoning the division! People will not buy a car from a company they think is going out of business or bankrupt.

Jerry Flint has to be the most amazing, logical and critical automotive thinkers/journalist (except Stoney of course :) ) that I've read. He has been writing for decades and knows his stuff in the automotive world and he repeatedly acknowledges that most people do not realize the damage that will be caused by this (as evidenced in the billions lost with Oldsmobile), and only look for short-term fixes. We do not need to see the break-up of GM for it to be successful, and I believe he is correct in that being a "myth."

Bottom line, 17% is much too huge a volume of cars sold to just say "kill it off."

Playdrv4me
05-16-05, 05:50 PM
For a minute I got that confused with LARRY FLINT... I was like wtf... :eek:

Ralph
05-16-05, 07:26 PM
For a minute I got that confused with LARRY FLINT... I was like wtf... :eek:

LOL!!!

Ralph
05-17-05, 02:30 AM
So many companies feed off GM, and Delphi is having trouble because of GM cuts....

http://www.thecarconnection.com/Industry/Industry_News/Delphi_Battered_by_GM_Cuts.S175.A8619.html

Spock
05-17-05, 03:19 AM
You can't base your view of a brand on the lowliest piece of shit they sell. Any Grand Am, Grand Prix, GTO, G6, hell even a Vibe is better than a Sunfire. It's like saying Jag sucks because the S Type is a piece (relative to other Jags.) I find it interesting that you bitch about all these issues that you had to have known about before you bought the car..

What is your problem? Do not assume to judge me, and I don't need you to blow steam off on me.

Did I judge the entire brand? NO. Did I say Pontiac should be axed? NO. I'm unhappy with the sunfire.

That I had to have known before purchasing the car? I didn't know the engine would give me trouble first off and as for the designing qualms I had I knew what we were getting into. The vehicle was for my mom to drive back and forth to work, she didn't need a Vibe or a GTO. We test drove the Grand Am and Grand Prix at the time, for the price and the space we gained it didn't justify the purchase.

Dash it all I don't need to explain myself to you.

HotRodSaint
05-17-05, 11:15 AM
You can't base your view of a brand on the lowliest piece of shit they sell.

Honda and Toyota have largely been built on the reputation of it's Civic and Corolla, repectively.

So I would use the Sunfire/Cavalier as a very good example of why GM is in such a mess now.

Car's like this, is why everyone is talking about dropping Pontiac or Buick.

And while GM struggles, they continue to make costly decisions, like dropping the Grand Am name and introducing the new G6.

I can't wait for the new TA8, instead of a Trans Am. :bonkers:

davesdeville
05-17-05, 01:12 PM
On your list, 1-5 are all obvious in the test drive or before. So if you want to complain about the engine problems, fine you have every right to... but if I were to complain about my Cadillac being too big, handling poorly, and not getting 40mpg - that would be pretty dumb.

HRS, it's a differant story with Pontiac. The Sunfire is a POS, but just because the Sunfire is I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Bonneville or G6.

HotRodSaint
05-18-05, 12:47 AM
I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Bonneville or G6.

I'd buy a used G6.

powerglide
05-18-05, 01:49 AM
bah.....down with Pontiac.....just roll the few cars worthy to be saved into the chevy line (if there are any...)

Buick on the other hand fills a spot between chevy and caddy.....the one to keep.

davesdeville
05-19-05, 03:19 AM
Lets see, Pontiac has Solstice, GTO, G6, Grand Prix, and Bonneville. Chevy Bonneville just doesn't sound right.

powerglide
05-19-05, 03:45 AM
Lets see, Pontiac has Solstice, GTO, G6, Grand Prix, and Bonneville. Chevy Bonneville just doesn't sound right.

Just keep the solstice......maybe the G6.....drop the rest or change the name and design slighlty and roll em into chevy or buick.

How's the Buick Bonneville sound!?

Rauf
05-19-05, 09:31 AM
Killing Buick or Pontiac is a HUGE mistake! And let's stop this theme! The only one who must be killed is Saturn! :want:

Playdrv4me
05-19-05, 10:05 AM
Normally I'd agree with you, but Saturn has alot of exciting stuff coming down the pike. Not to mention someone had posted that Saturn should be GM's Hybrid division which I think is a terrific idea.

HotRodSaint
05-19-05, 10:19 AM
Chevy Bonneville just doesn't sound right.

Nor will Pontiacs replacement for it, the Pontiac B8.

I'd rather have a fully loaded Chevy Caprice, than a Pontiac B8.

Ralph
05-21-05, 08:34 PM
LaNeve: GM Wants MINI Marketing

"GM's sales and marketing chief Mark LaNeve said Thursday he is trying to make the struggling Pontiac and Buick brands more like MINI and Porsche.

What's that?

LaNeve doesn't want dealers to get nervous thinking he is going to take Buick and Pontiac down to one model like MINI. But what he does aim to do is focus the two brands like MINI and Porsche by limiting them in the future to maybe four models apiece. "In a few years, MINI will have three or four models and that's where Porsche is now. Nobody doesn't understand what those brands are about," says LaNeve. Dealers shouldn't be too worried, he says, because over 80 percent of GMC and Pontiac dealers are dualed now, and 50 percent of Buick dealerships are teamed with GMC-Pontiac stores. That will go above 90 percent over the next few years.

"We aren't going to grow market share with Buick and Pontiac, but we can increase profitability by focusing each on a smaller number of models that truly reflect the brand images we are creating, and that frees us up to channel engineering resources to Cadillac and Chevrolet where we think we can grow share. GMC, Buick, and Pontiac will be treated as one product portfolio going forward without the costly overlaps the brands have now.

"We'd never approve the Buick Rainier going now," said LaNeve, addressing the International Motor Press Association in New York. He added that Cadillac and Chevrolet need to be able to better compete against Toyota and Lexus. "If we have $900 million to spend on four barely differentiated models or on two segment breaking models we will choose the two models - that's where we are going."

"We think our eight brands are an asset we can leverage, but we have to manage it better," said LaNeve. "What I am talking about is Marketing 101, but we have to keep learning it over and over again." -Jim Burt

http://www.thecarconnection.com/Industry/Daily_Edition/Daily_Edition_May_20_2005.S173.A8635.html