: Pontiac, Buick and GMC will be sold at single dealerships to create options.



HotRodSaint
05-19-05, 11:23 AM
Only two of General Motors Corp.'s eight brands -- Chevrolet and Cadillac -- will remain full-line marques while the others will offer more limited product lines under a new strategy aimed at building sales, cutting costs and bolstering brand identity. (http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0505/19/A01-187008.htm)

The move marks a shift away from GM's long-held philosophy that nearly every brand should offer a full array of cars, trucks and minivans, said Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing.

The automaker's goal is to clearly differentiate each of its brands and phase out cars and trucks that don't fit in with a brand or are too similar to other vehicles in GM's lineup.

"People say we have too many brands," LaNeve said in a recent interview. "We have too many brands if we try to do the same things with all the brands."

<snip>

LaNeve said mass-market Chevrolet and premium Cadillac will be the two bookend brands, with each offering a broad product lineup.

In between, Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Saturn, Hummer and Saab will exist as "focus brands" with more limited portfolios.

That means, for example, GM could eliminate either the Buick Terraza or Pontiac Montana SV6 minivan -- which are similar to other GM minivans -- to concentrate on the brands' bread-and-butter vehicles.

Pontiac, GM's performance division, is dropping the Bonneville full-size car at the end of this model year and may see its product line further truncated.

GM is repositioning Saturn as a more upscale brand below Buick, leaving behind its past as a purveyor of plastic-clad compact cars.

"We've made this clear to the dealers," LaNeve said. "Chevy's got to compete heads-up with Ford and Toyota and all the mainstream parts of the market, and Cadillac needs to have everything it can to compete with BMW, Mercedes and Lexus. The other brands need to be tightly focused."

A key part of the strategy has been the ongoing transformation of Pontiac, Buick and GMC into a single sales channel where all three brands are sold at the same dealership. GM says the three brands complement each other and give customers myriad options.

About half of the GM dealers selling the three brands already have reconfigured their stores to sell all three, LaNeve said.

The effect, said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, is downsizing without eliminating brands as some analysts have predicted.

Combining Pontiac, Buick and GMC in the same stores is the right move.

Playdrv4me
05-19-05, 11:38 AM
In alot of markets, Pontiac, Buick and GMC have already been sold in the same stores for years so I dont see that as anything new or groundbreaking.

While MY desire would still be to see Buick go entirely, this is definitely the next best option and still pretty much goes along with some of what I have said. The brands offer the same thing in different flavors and this philosophy has needed to change for some time. There are no less than 5 GMT360 SUV's all vying for the same piece of the market. Makes no sense at all.

Overall I agree with this direction, but I disagree with taking Saturn "upmarket". Saturn was created as a purveyor of low cost, reliable and efficient transportation. Slotting it just under Buick is just going to confuse its target audience and serve to further muddy the waters.

Ill reserve final judgement on that until later, because right now I do like the vehicles that are on the table for Saturn, including the Aura and the Sky alot, they are actually desirable in their class, but cutting real close to being Pontiac competition.

Jesda
05-19-05, 09:38 PM
Looks like GM finally made a smart business decision. They throw the bathwater out this time without the baby.

Vesicant
05-19-05, 10:33 PM
Huzzah!

This is what I had hoped for to say the least. I myself think that if they keep the price right for the Saturn brand it could still stay a competitor against the cheapo imports- but be better quality/luxury.

ben72227
05-20-05, 12:11 AM
Finally!:sneaky:

I knew they would eventually have to trim the fat off of their brands and shrink them down into mean lean car making machines:rolleyes:. It's just like i predicted too: Pontiac will lose the Montana, Bonneville, Sunfire, and probably the Aztek if we are lucky, which will leave them with the roadster Solstice, the SUV Vibe, the muscle car GTO, and the all-purpose:rolleyes: G6.

Buick (IMHO) needs to go now since they no longer make anything worthwhile (i.e. GNx, Park Avenue, etc.). This lets Cadillac become THE luxury brand of GM and then they can have a wide range (just like BMW) from the $30,000 cars to the $100,000 cars. Saturn can replace BUick as the hip, urban, up-scale cars (Sky, Aura, etc.) which will be luxurious but still appeal to the 20 year olds.

Stick Hummer with GMC and you have it made...

Playdrv4me
05-20-05, 12:48 AM
Finally!:sneaky:

I knew they would eventually have to trim the fat off of their brands and shrink them down into mean lean car making machines:rolleyes:. It's just like i predicted too: Pontiac will lose the Montana, Bonneville, Sunfire, and probably the Aztek if we are lucky, which will leave them with the roadster Solstice, the SUV Vibe, the muscle car GTO, and the all-purpose:rolleyes: G6.

Buick (IMHO) needs to go now since they no longer make anything worthwhile (i.e. GNx, Park Avenue, etc.). This lets Cadillac become THE luxury brand of GM and then they can have a wide range (just like BMW) from the $30,000 cars to the $100,000 cars. Saturn can replace BUick as the hip, urban, up-scale cars (Sky, Aura, etc.) which will be luxurious but still appeal to the 20 year olds.

Stick Hummer with GMC and you have it made...

Once again... DUH! This is exactly why I want Buick gone. I want CADILLAC to be the domestic BMW or Mercedes, with something in EVERY range but under ONE brand and multiple price structures. Id much rather drive a Cadillac than a Buick!!! Im willing to bet most Buick drivers would too for petes sake!

Jesda
05-20-05, 12:59 AM
Theres still a big market out there for people spurned by Art and Science flocking to Lexus and Lincoln. Buick needs to step up and grab those customers.

HotRodSaint
05-20-05, 11:39 AM
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

Jesda
05-20-05, 12:29 PM
Interesting choice. The Doctor's Car will become... what exactly? Im trying to ponder what kind of niche Buick would be. Pontiac could be specialty sport. Buick... specialty geriatrics?

Playdrv4me
05-20-05, 12:48 PM
"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."

Amen Brother... Your finally starting to figure it out... It just took you 20 years.

Elvis
05-20-05, 03:05 PM
This sounds like the right move to me.

But I don't understand why the Ranier won the J.D. Power award. Isn't the Envoy/Trailblazer the same thing? I haven't been able to find any differences except dash, front cap, and taillights.

Katshot
05-20-05, 03:52 PM
Sounds almost exactly like the plan I layed out in other threads on this subject. The exception would be that I think Cadillac should also be more focused. I'll bet the only reason he backed down on Cadillac is because of the Escalade. As for Chevrolet, as I pointed out in other threads, I think that's the only brand that can't be fit into the more focused brand theory. Too much loyalty to the Chevy name in motorsports etc. to make it a price-driven brand ONLY.

El Dobro
05-20-05, 05:46 PM
Ah, the good old days when Saturn was totally disassociated from the rest of the GM brands. Oh, well.

Playdrv4me
05-20-05, 06:04 PM
This sounds like the right move to me.

But I don't understand why the Ranier won the J.D. Power award. Isn't the Envoy/Trailblazer the same thing? I haven't been able to find any differences except dash, front cap, and taillights.

Dude... Dont you know?!

It has QuietTuning! :histeric:

Vesicant
05-20-05, 06:07 PM
Heres what went down a long time ago..




Start of the meeting...

GM execs: OK heres our new plan to take more market share: We can make the same car... to compete at different price ranges and levels of luxury to completely dominate every area of competition! And save money too! Its win win right?!

Brand manager: Our research is showing that its no-...
*GM Interrupts*

GM execs: Right! Lets get building those cars with different trim types!

SilverCTS
05-21-05, 10:39 AM
I think it is a stretch to say that Buick and Pontiac can be successful niche market brands like MINI & Porsche.

Hummer and Saab, yes.

Buick and Pontiac, no way!

Also, making Saturn a more up-scale brand (but less up-scale than Buick) seems like a bad idea to me. Doens't that describe Pontiac???? More confusion!

ben72227
05-21-05, 02:17 PM
Also, making Saturn a more up-scale brand (but less up-scale than Buick) seems like a bad idea to me. Doens't that describe Pontiac???? More confusion!

No because Pontiac would be the "sporty" division, wheras Saturn would be more for college grads and people who don't need V8 power and are content with a Inline 4...

davesdeville
05-21-05, 05:32 PM
BOO, I like the Bonneville. Where else in GM are you going to go for a fast full size.

And if Pontiac is supposed to be the "sporty" division and Saturn below it in price and performance - why is the Sky more expensive than the Solstice?

ben72227
05-21-05, 08:32 PM
And if Pontiac is supposed to be the "sporty" division and Saturn below it in price and performance - why is the Sky more expensive than the Solstice?

Saturn is below it in perfomance, but above Pontiac in luxuriousness. See, while the Pontiac will have a V6 with sport-cloth seats, while the Saturn will have a I4 with Leather and Navigation. I mean, look at Cadillac in the 80s - the performance sucked but the luxury was there and they were more expensive than say a Chevy Camaro, which was a performance sports car.

So the pontiac may have leather, but the Saturn would have leather AND wood grain trim. Along with an IPOD attachment for the stereo (you see what kind of crowd they're going for....):sneaky:

See, the Pontiac has that sporty black leather:
http://www.pontiac.com/g6/images/bg_image34.jpg
while the Saturn has chrome and tan leather:
http://www.saturn.com/saturn/images/gallery/aura7_800x600.jpg

Playdrv4me
05-21-05, 08:57 PM
Saturn is below it in perfomance, but above Pontiac in luxuriousness. See, while the Pontiac will have a V6 with sport-cloth seats, while the Saturn will have a I4 with Leather and Navigation. I mean, look at Cadillac in the 80s - the performance sucked but the luxury was there and they were more expensive than say a Chevy Camaro, which was a performance sports car.

So the pontiac may have leather, but the Saturn would have leather AND wood grain trim. Along with an IPOD attachment for the stereo (you see what kind of crowd they're going for....):sneaky:

See, the Pontiac has that sporty black leather:
http://www.pontiac.com/g6/images/bg_image34.jpg
while the Saturn has chrome and tan leather:
http://www.saturn.com/saturn/images/gallery/aura7_800x600.jpg

If thats the Saturn Sky interior it is nothing short of astounding for a domestic product... its absolutely gorgeous.

However, the Pontiac Solstice has an interior not far off from the Sky. The car interior you pictured above is the G6.

EDIT: OMG, I dont believe it... theres already a "SkyRoadster.com" forum... :suspense: I found this interior shot of the Sky there :hmm:

http://www.skyroadster.com/photopost/data/3032/158SKY_cockpit_1024.jpg

davesdeville
05-21-05, 09:59 PM
Good lord that's an ugly steering wheel in the Sky ben posted.