Monday

What is your view of the perfect GM?

Now that the 2009 NADA conference is ready to kick off, I thought it might be fun to imagine how GM will look to rebuild (rebrand?) themselves in 2009. After all, this is one of the hot topics buzzing around the conference. The US is expected to lose thousands of car dealers this year due to the recession. Part of that may come from GM shutting down some of their brands.

I’ll preempt the angry posts reciting dealership protection – I mean franchise – laws that make it inordinately difficult for a car manufacturer to force a dealership to close. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s a pain and it’s expensive. Nor do I want to see thousands of jobs lost on top of what has already occurred. But shutting down some brands has the potential to stop the ENTIRE company from fizzling away.

If ever there was a time to make tough decisions, THIS…..IS……IT.

Without further ado, I present Chris’ vision of GM post 2009.

Saturn: See ya. Now I do like the Sky, and honestly the Aura isn’t bad looking either. The Malibu is more or less an Aura anyway, and the Sky could be put somewhere else. Flush the rest. GM seems to already have done this with as little investment and advertisement that they’ve give to Saturn for the last several years. Sorry Saturn.

Pontiac: The only thing remotely interesting and/or unique in their lineup is the G8 so-called sport sedan. (review here) Now it wasn’t the most horrible thing I’ve ever driven, but it’s not a groundbreaking car that is going to carry Pontiac. It’s selling in limited numbers anyway so give it to someone else. Sorry Pontiac.

Hummer: Do I really need to state in black and white what needs to be done with this brand? It lost its way as soon as GM started rebadging Chevy trucks, hiking the price and trying to sell it as something special. Then on top of everything else, they dropped the one and only TRUE Hummer – the H1. The H2 and H3 should immediately follow their big brother into the graveyard. Bye bye Hummer.

Saab: Oh - they still make cars? Eh……..

GMC: Stop making Chevy trucks and make GMC GM’s dedicated truck line. In fact, give GMC the SUV’s while you’re at it too.

Chevrolet: Yes, keep this one. The brand is a perfect representation for mainstream transportation. Chevy also comes with two bonuses – the new Camaro and the Corvette, just to keep the entire line from being boring. In fact, give the Sky and G8 to Chevy, and they would have a true, full range of cars for everyone to pick from. Give the trucks and SUV’s to GMC only and those two brands are set.

Cadillac: Their resurgence has been strong, and they’re doing far, FAR better than Lincoln in reigniting interest in American luxury. Keep ‘em as the high end, halo car for GM.

Buick – Oh yeah, almost forgot Buick. Easy. Give the Enclave to Cadillac and kill off the rest of the line. Why? Because everyone else forgot about them too.

So, that’s my version of the perfect GM. What say you? There’s a comment area below. Have at it.

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