Oracle of Delphi

GM ads to focus on cars, small SUVs

26 posts in this topic

Jamie LaReau

Automotive News

January 2, 2008 - 4:42 pm ET

DETROIT -- General Motors will shift its advertising emphasis from full-sized pickups and SUVs to cars and small SUVs in 2008.

The automaker also will highlight its fuel economy and eco-friendliness, says Mark LaNeve, GM’s vice president of North American vehicle sales, service and marketing.

GM also will continue the shift from traditional to digital advertising in 2008, LaNeve says.

GM still believes the full-sized light-truck market is strong and will hold its position in that segment, LaNeve says. But new GM advertising will build upon the momentum of recent launches such as the Chevrolet Malibu sedan, Cadillac CTS sedan, Saturn Vue crossover and Saturn Astra compact car, he says.

“We’re going to defend (full-sized trucks), but at the same time we’re fully cognizant of the fact that we need to grow our passenger car business and our small utility business, and we’ll have a big emphasis on that this year,” LaNeve says.

Growing retail share

GM ended 2007 with little change in its retail share from 2006, LaNeve says. GM’s 2006 retail share was 22.5 percent, according to retail registration data from R.L. Polk & Co., an automotive marketing information firm.

GM hopes to boost its retail share this year, LaNeve says. The plan is to control incentive spending, improve residual values through reduced daily rental fleet sales and boost GM’s car and SUV sales. GM also hopes to claim more of the hybrid market with new hybrid versions of vehicles such as the Vue and Malibu, LaNeve says.

Including fleet sales, GM’s 2006 market share was 24.3 percent. GM ended 2007 with its fleet sales down by about 100,000 units, LaNeve says. For December, GM’s fleet sales were down 15,000 to 20,000 units, he says.

GM brand preview

December turned out to be a strong month for GM’s heavy-duty truck sales after the automaker increased incentives on those vehicles. GM boosted incentives on heavy-duty trucks to $2,500 to $3,500 in December from $1,500 to $3,000 in November. The gain in sales has been primarily in the commercial fleet market, LaNeve says.

Buick likely ended 2007 having sold 500,000 units globally -- mostly in the United States and China, LaNeve says. Buick will build on the success of the Enclave crossover this year along with the “super” series for the 2008 LaCrosse sedan.

GMC will show increased revenue for 2007, with continued demand for the Acadia crossover, LaNeve says.

Saturn’s average transaction price is up by $8,000 and the brand ended the year with an overall boost in retail sales, LaNeve says. He did not provide a retail sale total for Saturn, but says, “Did it increase as much as I would have liked? No. But it’s a strong brand for us, the dealers are great and we have great products.”

Chevrolet will emphasize fuel economy and ways it is working to be better for the environment, LaNeve says. The division is boosting Malibu production, but GM won’t know until sometime in the first quarter how many Malibus it will build. GM has no Malibus in inventory because of the fast turn rate on the new vehicle.

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I thought GM only had brands these days, not divisions in the traditional sense?

I'd have grouped Pontiac, Buick and GMC brands into a single "division" if I were guessing as a GM outsider.

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Hummer and Saab weren't mentioned either...Pontiac was probably mentioned, but PCS edited it out before posting here.. :)

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Hummer and Saab weren't mentioned either...Pontiac was probably mentioned, but PCS edited it out before posting here.. :)

Jeez you call yourself a GM fan, Hummer and Saab are not GM divisions, and I don't edit anything, that's easy enough for anyone to check that gets Automotive News. Besides I am a very ethical person in that regard.

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Jeez you call yourself a GM fan, Hummer and Saab are not GM divisions, and I don't edit anything, that's easy enough for anyone to check that gets Automotive News. Besides I am a very ethical person in that regard.

Whatever...Hummer and Saab are GM brands, just like Chevy, Pontiac, Buick, Opel, etc... whether they are old-time GM 'divisions' or 'subsidiaries' is a trivial distinction in the real world..

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Jeez, every division was mentioned but one, hmmmm?

WHAT?!?!? GM is phasing out CADILLAC?!?!?!

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Jeez you call yourself a GM fan, Hummer and Saab are not GM divisions

I suppose that is why you have them in your sig, then? Right in the middle of the other divisions, no less.

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Whatever...Hummer and Saab are GM brands, just like Chevy, Pontiac, Buick, Opel, etc... whether they are old-time GM 'divisions' or 'subsidiaries' is a trivial distinction in the real world..

Absolutely correct. The concept of branded divisions hasn't been current at GM since the mid 1980s, and was not even that relevant as far back as the mid-1960s where marketing is concerned.

I don't think Pontiac (or Hummer) has anything to worry about.

Saab may be a different story... :scratchchin:

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Besides I am a very ethical person in that regard.

Are you saying there are "regards" where you are not ethical? Say it ain't so.

:AH-HA_wink:

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Absolutely correct. The concept of branded divisions hasn't been current at GM since the mid 1980s, and was not even that relevant as far back as the mid-1960s where marketing is concerned.

I don't think Pontiac (or Hummer) has anything to worry about.

Saab may be a different story... :scratchchin:

Seems that depends on who is running the show. :rolleyes:

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I'm wondering if it's all but certain that Buick will receive a compact sedan now (off Delta II probably) along with a compact CUV. If GM is beginning to focus on smaller cars, that's the direction to go. They could both be sold in the US and China with no problem.

If Pontiac is actually to be phased out, Buick would have to receive a compact line-up to compensate.

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Nothing could compensate.

Yeah, sorry about that. I didn't mean it to come across that way. I hope you know I was just referring to a "compact" entry.

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Yeah, sorry about that. I didn't mean it to come across that way. I hope you know I was just referring to a "compact" entry.

No sweat, Ven.

Besides, it seems that the threat is "equal opportunity" anyway.

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Good idea, I would love too see Equinox/Torrent/Vue ads, Cobalt/G5 ads, HHR/Vibe ads, E85 ads for Impala/Tahoe/Silverado/Sierra/Yukon ads, CTS, Malibu, G8 ads and the new PontiacIsCar ads would be pretty sweet I'd say too. They do have some newer appealing vehicles thankfully.

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