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How I would structure GM

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This section is meant to kind of segment the vehicles on a size and status basis and breakdown why specific vehicles are on specific platforms.

Chevrolet: is the volume division and as a result needs to remain relatively neutral in its offerings, for the most part. By that I mean, user friendly and value based, not boring and de-contented. The meat of the line up needs to be attractive basic transportation for anyone.

1) Beat & Groove: Basic transportation with no extravagance. No performance models, those belong at Pontiac.

2) Cruze, HHR & Orlando: Cruze and Orlando need to be best quality and value in the class. HHR; same execution, except with heritage inspired sheet metal and character. GM has a niche here that has BIG potential if buyers migrate to small cars like some expect. The HHR can become an image car for Chevy if the market swings that way.

3) Malibu & Camaro: Malibu keeps going strong, while Camaro is downsized to Alpha. SS models could feasibly be V6 equipped while the line topping Z28 features a V8 and lower production.

4) Corvette, Impala & Volt The halo cars. These three represent the very best at Chevy. Corvette keeps going strong, with the top trim continuing to be the fastest production car at GM. Impala is basically what the G8 was except with Chevrolet sheet metal (hopefully the 60s inspired design we heard of) Production is relatively small both because of lower demand and CAFÉ. Volt continues to revolutionize the automobile.

Chevy Trucks: Drastic changes are coming for the truck market. The volume of the market is moving away from BOF vehicles and that gives us a chance to get creative. Since Chevy IS GM’s volume division and GM already has another excellent truck division, Chevy needs to move with the market.

1) Colorado & El Camino: Bring on the Holdens! The Colorado is basically a Chevy Denali XT (Minus some of the bells and whistles) and the El Camino is basically the G8 ST with Chevy cues. (Can even share the same body work as the Colorado or even Impala for the real purists) If people want to buy a true BOF small truck, they can go to GMC. The bulk of the market will probably end up here though.

2) Equinox: With expanded significance in Chevy’s line up, the Equinox is now SUV #1 to go head to head with the Highlander.

3) Traverse: The Traverse is the volume program off of Lambda and should be used to pull in Tahoe and Trailblazer buyers as well as large crossover buyers.

4) Silverado & Silverado HD: Don’t mess with success. Even though BOF SUVs seem to be a thing of the past, trucks will continue to be strong sellers because a lot of people need them. Therefore, both Chevy and GMC can continue to sell trucks. In this iteration, the Silverado absorbs the Avalanche midgate technology to save on marketing, build costs and CAFÉ concerns. I toyed around with keeping the Avalanche name in some form or another, but Silverado Avalanche edition was just too much IMO. :D

5) Suburban Call me sentimental, but I just can’t kill off such a long-standing name. And I also wanted Chevy to keep at least one BOF offering. So, for those that need it, the Suburban will, as always, be there in the background at your local Chevy dealer.

*** FUTURE PRODUCT IDEA: E Flex Silverado line

GMC: Now we can focus our attention on GM’s other truck division. GMC will morph even more into a mid-lux or “professional grade” division. It doesn’t have to sell volume because of high R.O.I. GMC will expand to pick up a few die-hard Chevy people, Hummer clientele and some Escalade buyers.

1) Terrain: This will be one of two Theta SUVs in the B/P/GMC showroom. The way it works is that THIS Theta is what the HX was supposed to be. Lower level Terrains can pick up Wrangler and would be Bronco buyers while the Alpha trim can appeal to would be Hummer HX buyers. The Buick theta will likely pull most of the volume between the two offerings because it will be less extreme and more simplistic in execution. That fits right in with Buick becoming the lead franchise in the channel.

2) Acadia: Keep it simple. The Acadia will be largely unchanged from what it is now. The reason is so that it can continue to draw in buyers looking for a simple crossover or SUV (The people GMC has been appealing very WELL to for quite a while now) The Enclave will be bumped up market as the premium Lambda (Now that the Escalade is on Omega and is a horse of a different color) and as a result will sell at higher prices than the Acadia.

3) Canyon GM’s coverage for those that want a true small truck. It can be had from the basics all the way up to the Alpha trim that essentially makes it GMC’s version of the H3T (Not bigger, just better off road)

4) Sierra, Sierra HD & Savanna Sierra and Sierra HD will continue, just like the Silverado. However, they will continue to carve out a more premium image than the Silverado through the Denali and Alpha trim levels. The Savanna was left at GMC for a number of reasons. 1) It can be a good volume booster 2) GMC is GM’s truck/commercial division 3) Chevrolet already has a big people mover in the form of Suburban 4) Conversion vans seem to come across better with the premium GMC image.

5) Yukon: This Yukon is supposed to be a bit smaller than the current Yukon, for CAFÉ purposes. This is the SUV for those left in the market who just MUST have a BOF SUV. The Denali version will bring in ex-Cadillac Escalade buyers who are turned off by the new Escalade. I made this decision because the average Denali buyer has a higher income than the average Escalade buyer. So while the Escalade sells image, Denali sells product. The image buyers are likely going to fade because of the economy. So the Denali is the more stable choice. The Alpha trim will reel in H2/H3 buyers as it will be the more efficient, better-executed ‘tough truck’ offering from GM.

*** FUTURE PRODUCT IDEA: E-Flex Terrain and Yukon

Buick: Buick is becoming the lead franchise in the B/P/GMC channel. My idea here is to have Buick positioned IN COMPARISON TO; not AT, Audi. It needs to sell premium cars that convey conservative luxury with a hint of technology. And by that I mean, the technology is there, but style and amenities are the main sellers.

1) Delta Buick (Insert name here): This needs to be a well-rounded, nice luxury car. It needs to be an easy sell to people who want to try the division, or GM, out. Not many options, not many variations, just a solid car to introduce luxury into the segment.

2) Lacrosse, Invicta & Riviera: This will become the meat of the Buick line up. They can share the same basic styling and mechanicals to minimize investment. But the marketing and promotion need to be top notch to get ‘butts in the seats’ This trio should be Epsilon at it’s best on the luxury front.

3) Lucerne: A big, traditional luxury car for those that still want one. AWD might be nice to have but emphasis is on luxury and comfort. If the buyer wants performance or better performance dynamics he can go for the more capable Impala at the Chevrolet dealer.

4) Theta Buick (Rendezvous?): The volume Theta in this channel should mirror the Delta Buick in its simplistic nature. A good all around package for those interested in trying Buick. These ‘entry cars’ need to convey the new image of Buick instead of trying to be what they’re not; old, floaty and tacky (to some).

5) Enclave: The top of the line on the Lambda platform and at the Buick dealer. The Enclave should continue to be a status symbol for big, plush beautiful design. This is the ‘traditional’ Buick to aspire to own. Idealistically it will sell near the top of the B/P/GMC channel in pricing.

*** FUTURE PRODUCT IDEA: E Flex Epsilon luxury sedan “Electra”

Pontiac: You all know that Pontiac is my favorite GM division. Now, before you traditionalists look at this and write it off as :bs:, think about what I’m doing for a second… Consider the following: 1) Pontiac, like it or not IS the entry point to the P/B/GMC division. 2) Like it or not, GM cannot get the margins that cars like the G8 are going to need to keep selling them through Pontiac (a.k.a. Pontiac transaction prices aren’t good at all and can’t justify the investment the division needs) 3) Like it or not, Pontiac is going to have to rebuild it’s image or die. (Either totally or in spirit as it becomes cloned Chevies) 4) The market is resizing and Pontiac MUST cash in on that to survive and be relevant in the eyes of buyers. Now consider these points: 1) Pontiac has a TREMENDOUS history of building SMALL performance cars. The original GTO is a great example, they took a relatively small car and mounted a huge engine in it. The Firebird and Trans Am were both small cars for their time. The Fierro is another excellent example of how well Pontiac builds small cars. 2) Pontiac also has a history of finding ways to make big power out of smaller engines. The turbo Trans Ams are just one example of this. Now fast forward to 2008 when the flagship Pontiac to MOST of the public is THAT EXACT FORMULA, a small car with a turbocharged engine. Pontiac has accomplished SO MUCH with the Solstice, both from a performance standpoint and an image standpoint. Everyone I talk to loves the car and wants to see more like it, even if they hate Pontiac.

So, for the future, we’re going to focus on delivering actual sport tuned Pontiacs in the segments in which Pontiac can make GM money. I choose to keep the “G” names because even though they’re dumb, we need to take a page from Cadillac’s playbook and emphasize the PONTIAC name to rebuild the image of the division and increase it’s equity.

To kick things off; ALL G4, G5 and Vibes will be AWD and offer best in class performance. Even if GMPD has to tune the cars, they will deliver a driving experience matched by few other competitors. These cars are focused, pre-packaged sales in that they come in limited body styles and feature limited power train options. (Partially to reduce investment) Chevrolet can offer their Cruze and HHR performance models to try and match these cars. However, Pontiac gets exclusive rights to certain body styles and AWD and maybe a few higher-grade performance bits. The bottom of the Saturn line up will focus on efficiency as opposed to performance. So the ONLY ‘friendly’ competition the low level Pontiacs will have is the much more expensive and much different Saab 9-1. I doubt the two will ever be cross-shopped.

1) G4 (you name it): Performance with a lot of attitude and style.

2) G5 & Vibe (Rev & Vibe): Same thing here, think Mini, except cheaper.

3) G6 & GTO (Grand Prix & GTO): This model could either be used to push volume OR build Pontiacs credentials as a performance division. Most G6’s will be V6 or 4 cylinder equipped and feature excellent driving dynamics (except not tuned by GMPD. They can only tune the GXP. I don’t want to encroach on Cadillac turf) The GXP and limited production GTO coupe will feature a V8. Or we could even make the V8 an option on the G6 GXP in favor of a blown V6.

4) Solstice: The Solstice will basically be a de-contented Corvette that has been designed for the track. It could have a base power plant of a turbo 4 or 6 cylinder depending on how light and small it is. The GXP would be a full-blown, track ready V8 or blown 6 or 4-cylinder car. Idealistically, the Solstice GXP should AT LEAST be able to out perform the BASE Corvette on the track, if not in all aspects. Then, of course, it could be built by its owner to perform even better. Because, lets face it, most people buy base Corvettes for boulevard cruising. The Z06 and ZR1 are where it’s at in Corvette land. If the Supercar architecture needs volume, this car should help things out. It will differ from the Saturn Sky in that it will be a true sports car as opposed to a more tame traditional performance coupe (Think: fourth gen Camaro verses previous GTO –or- Ford Mustang verses Nissan 350Z… Different demeanors and different flavors)

*** FUTURE PRODUCT IDEA: E Flex sports car

Cadillac: The number one priority for Cadillac right now should be the BTS line and development of Alpha to roll out across the globe. Other than that, the mission is simple: become the best again.

1) BTS: Priority one. This will help establish Cadillac as a global brand and is the most appropriate business move for the times. Volume will come with excellent execution, so volume should not be the primary motivation.

2) CTS: Keep this line up fresh. It has the most equity of any Cadillac line now and is vital to Cadillac’s success.

3) DTS Priority number two. You can’t claim to be the standard of the world with a 15-year-old, FWD V6 flagship. In the new scheme of things, the CTS can compete with the 5 series and this car will compete with the 7 series.

4) SRX The perfect place for hybrid and plug in technology to make a MAJOR appearance in the Cadillac line. Not only is this the right vehicle, it’s also the right segment as Cadillac can now directly counter the Lexus RX hybrid.

5) Cien & Sixteen These cars might be pie in the sky right now, but plans need to be made now about entering these segments. If Cadillac is to be what it should be, someday it must take on the top players in the luxury market (RR, Bentley, Lambo, Maserati) The Sixteen should be very true to the concept and the Cien could become the mid-engined ‘vette project we’ve heard rumors about. Instead of basically being a derivative of the Corvette (a la XLR) the Cien should be a more direct competitor to cars outside of the prestige and price category of the Corvette. Even though the top trim Corvette might be a bit faster, it will be geared more toward the track than the custom tailored luxury of the Cien. Power for these cars will likel come from a V8 or V12 powerplant.

6) Escalade: The Escalade can do battle for luxury crossover sales with MB and BMW. People who want 'soft' luxury can opt for the Enclave and those who have to have a BOF truck can go to GMC. Going forward, the Escalade needs to be more pure in driving dynamics than the current truck.

*** FUTURE PRODUCT IDEA: Escalade EXT from Omega?

Saab: Saab must first establish itself as a serious competitor before it can expand further. To do that will require fresh products and a technological image. Saab is essentially the new Oldsmobile on the technology front with a lot of Swedish character thrown in.

1) 9-1: 3 door (as a throwback to classic Saabs) that introduces luxury and performance to the small car segment. In the small end of the market, this IS GM’s only luxury offering and provides a door into the Saab/Cadillac channel for ‘junior execs’

2) 9-3 Saab’s bread and butter model with the traditional offerings as well as the throw back 3-door design. If one car represents what Saab is, this should be it.

3) 9-5 This is where Saab and Cadillac merge in the channel. The 9-5 is the option for those that value an image of technology and European style over that of the more extravagant and performance biased Cadillac BTS.

4) 9-4X: Saab’s first REAL foray into the crossover market has to be executed absolutely correctly. This should be another volume seller for Saab. (Along with the 9-3)

*** FUTURE PRODUCT IDEA: Saab 9-2X, a Delta based crossover.

Saturn: GM’s style conscious, anti-GM division that caters to people who otherwise wouldn’t buy GM. The goal here is to establish a definite identity at this division and then expand as fast as possible. Then someday, Saturn will be complementary to Chevrolet as a GM volume division. The target demographic is anyone from VW to Acura, the ‘techies’ as some like to call them or ‘Gen Xers’ that maybe haven’t even had a lot of exposure to GM cars.

1) Corsa: Focuses on technology, efficiency and style. Not sporty like a Pontiac and not plebian like a Chevrolet. Think: Saab-lite with an Opel edge.

2) Astra & Van: Again, the focus is on technology and efficiency here. The van is exclusive to Saturn now and should be smaller and a better sale than average minivans. Saturn should work hard to flesh out this niche in both commercial (Give it a nicer, quaint euro image instead of an American ‘stripped down’ image) and retail sales.

3) Aura & Sky: The Aura is the halo volume car here and should be set up as such to do battle with anything from a top option Accord to an Acura TL. Execution and marketing is key here. The Sky will be a more traditional alternative to the Aura than the current model. It’ll still sell on style and performance but will be pitted against the onslaught of asian coupes instead of strictly the Solstice and Miata. It’ll be more refined and tame than the heritage inspired and rather brash Camaro it shares mechanicals with.

4) Vue & Ridgeline Competitor: The Vue will soldier on as is with plug in technology. Direct competitor: Honda CR-V. The Ridgeline Competitor should come in handy as it is a smaller, (than the Ridgeline AND Colorado – the two closest things to it) FWD biased truck that should do well in the urban jungle. Saturn could parlay it into the first green "truck" by offering plug in technology.

*** FUTURE PRODUCT IDEA: An E Flex commercial version of the Delta van… Relay? :P

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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GM could get by with 3 sales channels. Pontiac/GMC would join Chevrolet to form the Chevrolet/Pontiac/GMC mainstream volume channel. Saturn would be combined with Buick to form the Buick/Saturn midmarket premium channel. Saab/Cadillac would continue as the corporation's luxury channel.


When forming these future lineups, I tried to stick to the following concepts as much as possible:

1) GM possesses limited "ground up" development funds.

2) The products must reinforce the respective brand's identity.

3) Eliminating a division (other than Hummer) is not an option.

4) No rebadged clones sold in the same market is acceptable.

I did allow myself the luxury of assigning the model names I would prefer to see instead of the ones that GM insists on applying to the vehicles. Keeping in mind that the economy is rough and GM is in a precarious financial state, I tried to keep things as basic as possible. If the state of the economy or GM's financial state improves, more models could be added.


Chevrolet: Mainstream affordable volume division

* Volt: FWD compact hybrid 5-door (E-flex)

* Nova: FWD subcompact sedan (SWB Gamma)

* Monza: FWD compact sedan (SWB Delta: upcoming Cruze sedan)

* Malibu: FWD midsize sedan (LWB Epsilon)

* Groove: FWD subcompact crossover (SWB Gamma: styling inspired by Groove Concept)

* Captiva: FWD/AWD compact crossover (SWB Theta)

* Equinox: FWD/AWD midsize crossover (LWB Theta)

* Traverse: FWD/AWD large crossover (Lambda)

Pontiac: RWD affordable performance sub-brand

* LeMans: RWD compact 5-door sedan (Alpha: resurrected Holden Torana with styling inspired by the Torana TT 36 Concept)

* Grand Prix: RWD midsize sedan (Sigma-Zeta: downsized next gen Holden Commodore)

* Trans Am: RWD compact sports coupe/convertible (Alpha: next gen replacement for Chevy Camaro)

* GTO: RWD midsize sports coupe (Sigma-Zeta; resurrected Holden Monaro with styling inspired by the Coupe 60 Concept)

* Corvette: RWD flagship 2-seat sports coupe/convertible (Y-body)

GMC: Truck/SUV sub-brand

* Sierra: RWD/AWD fullsize truck

* Safari: RWD/AWD fullsize SUT (Reassigned/rebadged Chevy Avalanche)

* Denali: RWD/AWD fullsize SUV


Just a couple of notes about this sales channel:

1) Buick will take the lead as the volume member since it has the most premium image between the 2 brands as well as the best quality/reliability scores. Saturn will serve as an entry sub-brand to complement Buick in the sales channel. Buick will carry FWD sedans, wagons, coupe-cabrios, and crossovers to support its position as the volume division in the channel. Saturn will focus on small FWD hatchbacks and MPVs. This setup could be duplicated in China between Buick and Opel since Buick is more popular than Opel in that market.

2) To cut down on "ground up" development costs, Opel products will be used to form or augment the lineups for Buick and Saturn. The Opel based products will be assigned to the divisions based on body style and differentiated by grille design, badging and detailing. The Opel products would be built in North America to eliminate unfavorable exchange rate issues. The only products that would require "ground up" development costs would be the LeSabre, Rainier, and Enclave; all the rest of the products are based on Euro Opel products. This would serve as an economical way to give GM a strong midmarket premium sales channel.

Buick: Midmarket premium division

* Cielo: FWD subcompact hardtop roadster (SWB Gamma: next gen Opel Tigra "TwinTop")

* Skylark: FWD compact coupe-cabrio (SWB Delta: next gen Opel Astra "TwinTop")

* Regal: FWD compact sedan/wagon (SWB Delta: next gen Opel Astra sedan/wagon)

* Invicta: FWD midsize sedan/wagon (SWB Epsilon: Opel Insignia sedan/wagon)

* LeSabre: FWD midsize flagship sedan (LWB Epsilon: upcoming Eps II based LaCrosse replacement)

* Rendezvous: FWD/AWD compact crossover (SWB Theta: next gen Opel Antara crossover)

* Rainier: FWD/AWD midsize crossover (LWB Theta: reassigned/restyled GMC Terrain)

* Enclave: FWD/AWD large crossover (Lambda)

Saturn: Entry premium sub-brand

* Mantra: FWD compact hybrid 5-door (E-flex: styling inspired by Flextreme Concept)

* Corsa: FWD subcompact 5-door/3-door (SWB Gamma: Next gen Opel Corsa hatchbacks)

* Astra: FWD compact 5-door/3-door (SWB Delta: Next gen Opel Astra hatchbacks)

* Meriva: FWD subcompact MPV (LWB Gamma: Next gen Opel Meriva MPV)

* Zafira: FWD compact MPV (LWB Delta: Next gen Opel Zafira MPV)


Saab: Euro luxury division

* 9-1: AWD subcompact 3-door 2-seat coupe (SWB Gamma)

* 9-3: AWD compact sedan/wagon/3-door coupe (SWB Delta)

* 9-5: AWD midsize sedan/wagon (SWB Epsilon)

* 9-2X: AWD compact crossover (SWB Theta)

* 9-4X: AWD midsize crossover (LWB Theta)

Cadillac: American luxury division

* Calais: RWD/AWD compact sedan/wagon (Alpha)

* Seville: RWD/AWD midsize sedan/wagon (Sigma-Zeta)

* Allante': RWD/AWD compact coupe-cabrio (Alpha)

* Biarritz: RWD/AWD midsize coupe-cabrio (Sigma-Zeta)

* Eldorado: RWD flagship hardtop roadster (Y-body)

* Escalade: AWD large crossover (Lambda)

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since another org-plan has been posted,

here's another 3 channel approach

Imho, in North America, GM needs to really merge their mid-brands, all those between Chevy & Caddy,

into a unified "GMconnection" over-Brand (whatever they call it)...

to forge a stronger Single-Message for a re-invented Sensible-Luxury and just-attainable Premium segment.

(one omission: Saab -- I have no idea how to position Saab in North America, in the near future.)




there's some more semi-organized reasoning and thoughts at my webpage version of this

and a link to the when/where it originated

Edited by 2b2
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I'd like to ask/add

if GM does offer both the Invicta and Insignia in the U.S., under whatever name or brand


the Insignia was named CUTLASS?

I admit I'd love to see some kind of return of Oldsmobile & can think of 2 ways ^this could work

-- if a unified mid-level/premium over-brand was formed as I outlined^^, then using Cutlass could work as well as any name imho AND would mean that the Insignia's distinctive and "distinctly-Not really fitting any U.S. brand's existing style-DNA" appearance would sort of Make Sense - again-imho

(note: not necessarily saying "Oldsmobile" anywhere - then again...)

-- without any brand-merging, perhaps Any dealer who carries either B or P or S could add the Cutlass to their portfolio?

In Place Of having Auras & G6's & maybe Regals too - just Cutlass

weird idea?


time for a new Cutlass?


Edited by 2b2
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  • 1 month later...

In one sentence... keep it simple, trim the excess divisions and tightly focus the rest. The benefits of selling three or four different cars in the same segment is far outweighed by the burdens of the additional R&D, supply chain hassles, marketing funds, etc. GM itself will be a full spectrum manufacturer, but each "brand" need not be a full spectrum vendor, they should only service a specific segment.

Chevrolet -- FWD mainstream Sedans and Coupes only. No more SUVs, trucks, crossovers, Muscle cars, etc.

Pontiac -- RWD performance Sedans, Coupes and roadsters only. No more SUVs, crossovers, FWD models, economy cars, etc.

GMC -- Trucks, SUVs, Crossovers, Vans, Commercial Vehicles only.

Hummer -- sell it or merge it with GMC.

Saturn -- terminated

Buick -- FWD Luxury Comfort division

Cadillac -- RWD Luxury Performance division

Saab -- terminated; dealerships can sell Pontiacs if they want.

Opel -- terminated; dealerships converted to Chevy dealerships.

Corvette -- New Division dedicated to the Corvette; no longer Chevy Corvette -- just Corvette.

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