NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

GM Sheds Mark Of Excellence…Again

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GM Sheds Mark Of Excellence…Again

By Bengt Halvorson

It seems that GM might be a little ashamed of being GM right now…or the automaker just wants to keep things on the low down. General Motorsnow has confirmed that it plans to stop using its corporate logo on its vehicles, so that it can promote its four core brands—Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC.

According to the Detroit News, the decision was made earlier this month to remove the badges, likely because of the company's recent bankruptcy less-than-stellar image right now.

A GM spokesman told the News that outside of the Midwest, shoppers don't typically link the individual brands with GM. Whether he means that as a positive or a negative, we can't tell.

The logo-badge, which at one time had been called "The Mark of Excellence" in long-running ad campaigns running through the 1970s and well into the '80s, was removed from GM's cars in the 1980s. So that it could what? Focus on individual brands—like Oldsmobile—in the 1990s.

During the '90s, the Oldsmobile Aurora rather famously at launch had no GM badging. Saturn and Oldsmobile saw big marketing pushes, now Olds is gone and Saturn is mostly just up in the sky for now.

Incidentally, the leading-edge EV1 is the only model this editor can think of that was ever sold (leased) under the GM badge alone.

Then General Motors brought its badge back to the range of vehicles in full force this decade—beginning in 2005, with the Pontiac G6—to rebuild its corporate image and emphasize the automaker's focus on quality.

Some things haven't changed.

See below for one of those '80s-vintage ads, and let us know what you think about this strategy redux.

link:

http://www.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1034589_gm-sheds-mark-of-excellenceagain

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I think this makes perfect sense. How often do you see joint Lexus-Toyota ads? VW-Audi? How many people even know that VW owns Audi?

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Well, all of the Audi dealers around here are paired with VW.. (though not always vice versa)..... is like that elsewhere?

I thought GM was dropping the mark of excellence a while ago, but it was on the SRX Turbo I just had.

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Now that they're down to four brands it's not as important. Each will be much selling much more volume than before, so you don't need to be reassured that there is a large company backing up the product. Also, more people should be aware of where the brands are coming from since there are less to keep track of. Makes sense to me.

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Clarification is necessary here.

The 'GM" badge NEVER was on the exterior of cars until 2005. Seat belt buckles & door jambs, yes, but that's it. When the door jamb decals stopped, it was never in concert with any sort of 'product refocusing'- no doubt it was just done to save a nickel. The span of these decals were '68 thru the late '70s, I believe; I am nearly positive our family's '77 Safari did not have them. Some may have run far later, tho (I've never owned a 1980's car)... but to try & link it with the late '90s Olds refocus is laughable.

Advertising is another, convoluted mess. The GM logo in the corners was not a hinderance in Divisional ads in the least. And altho there were regular Corp ads all along (Harrison, Delco, Fisher, etc)- they usually kept the Divisions segregated. Starting in the '80s tho, Corp ads increased, and the published listings or image groupings of all the divisions became more prevailant- and that started to break down each's image autonomy. THAT should never have occurred.

But what's happening here "again" is that the first-time ever exterior badges are being removed- that's all.

I don't know if a press release was issued on this or not, but one should NOT have been... because inevitably what you get as a result is off-kilter junk-science 'analysis' like this.

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My 2005 does not have a GM badge anywhere visible in the interior or exterior. Those seat belt logos are a relic. The sticker inside my door may have one, that's probably it.

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Yes- the seat belt logos went away sometime closely before Federally mandate orange release buttons were required/ the current style of buckle was instituted. When this was, IDK. They were still there in '77, gone by '93, but again- this likely varies according to make/model.

The GM logo is still in the door jamb 'data plate' decals, but it's TINY; less than a 1/4" on an '03. The original "GM Mark of Excellence" blue badges were an inch square or more, and they weren't mounted sideways, either.

All this is incidental- these are Corp badges invisible to anyone other than the owners ('03 still has 'GM' on the key, too). The blue squares were only minutely more noticeable in the few seconds a door was open- still immaterial. I just wanted to go over the specifics for the record.

The fender/door mounted 'chicklets' everyone could see- huge difference.

The link between the 2 in the OP is ridiculous & unrelated.

Edited by balthazar
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My 1992 Oldsmobile Toronado and my 1995 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight have "GM" logos on the seat belts. I know the 1996 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight has different seat belt buckles.

Cadillacs used to have Cadillac emblems on the seat belt buckles.

I remember when the door sill plates used to say "Body By Fisher"

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It'd be real nice to nail these ID changes down- esp since most of them occurred during the Dark Ages of the Smith Era -- something I studiously avoided.

I believe Cadillac always had the Crest belt buckles- I seem to remember them in my grandfather's '78. That prolly was killed off under Smith, too.

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The 1997 Deville has different seatbelt buckles. I know because when they killed the Ninety Eight after 1996, I looked at the Deville because it was the closest thing to the Ninety Eight at the time. Due to the Northstar engine, price, the Cadillac status held at that time and long term ownership I did not go for Deville. GM even doctored photos of cars and reused them in catalogs. The seat design in my Ninety Eight was used on the 1997-1998 Regency. The seat belt buckles are different in the photos.

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If GM wants the divisions to grow and be intependent they need to stop roping them all together. The GM name means little to most people any more and for many what meaning it has is not a positive one. This is something that is lost on many here that have always been close to GM.

With only a few division they need to build strong brand image with each and not try to lump them all together. The stronger divisions the stronger GM will become and recover it's image.

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Yes- the seat belt logos went away sometime closely before Federally mandate orange release buttons were required/ the current style of buckle was instituted. When this was, IDK. They were still there in '77, gone by '93, but again- this likely varies according to make/model.

The GM logo is still in the door jamb 'data plate' decals, but it's TINY; less than a 1/4" on an '03. The original "GM Mark of Excellence" blue badges were an inch square or more, and they weren't mounted sideways, either.

All this is incidental- these are Corp badges invisible to anyone other than the owners ('03 still has 'GM' on the key, too). The blue squares were only minutely more noticeable in the few seconds a door was open- still immaterial. I just wanted to go over the specifics for the record.

The fender/door mounted 'chicklets' everyone could see- huge difference.

The link between the 2 in the OP is ridiculous & unrelated.

The first vehicle we had with the Chiclets was the 2006 Malibu, our 05 Venture didn't have them. As for the seatbelt release buttons, my friend's 1997 Olds 88 has them. Our 05 Venture had keys with the corporate logo on them too.

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I remember when the door sill plates used to say "Body By Fisher"

*grins*

So do I ... course, having 6 cars that have that "Body By Fisher" on them reminds me ;). lol

And, all of those have the "GM" in the seat belt buckle, too.

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Well, all of the Audi dealers around here are paired with VW.. (though not always vice versa)..... is like that elsewhere?

In Fort Wayne, the Audi dealership is partnered with Porsche and VW is stand alone.

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