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GM’s Reuss: New Chevrolet marketing plan on the way

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GM’s Reuss: New Chevrolet marketing plan on the way

03/10/2010, 5:37 PMBY ANDREW GANZ

Chevrolet will look to showcase its Corvette and Camaro flagship performance coupes as it plans a thorough refresh of its future marketing efforts, according to General Motors’ North American president, Mark Reuss.

“When have you ever seen ’Vettes and Camaros in ads for Equinox and Malibu?” Reuss wrote during an online chat with reporters. “This will change.”

Chevrolet will be marketed under a new phrase: “Excellence for everyone,” according to Reuss. Those three letters won’t be the automaker’s new tagline, but they will help define its future marketing efforts.

Chevrolet will put a marketing emphasis on its Malibu midsize sedan, which has sold well since its 2008 launch but has faced significant recent competition. The Malibu is due for an aggressive refresh of its own for 2011 – likely set to debut next month at the New York International Auto Show – which means a heavy marketing push will follow.

“We need to re-energize the car,” Reuss said.

With the focus now on just four brands – with Saab sold to Spyker, Pontiac and Saturn closed and Hummer facing an increasingly uncertain future – General Motors has made it clear that it plans to market each brand individually rather than as a unit of General Motors. The automaker has said that it plans to distance the public’s perception of Cadillac from its GM parent, and while Chevrolet will still clearly be marketed under the GM umbrella, the automaker will likely get its own wholly unique look and feel.



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Chevy getting a marketing reboot



A Chevrolet marketing revamp is well under way, a top executive at the automaker indicated Wednesday.

The new advertising campaign will include the cars and use the phrase "excellence for everyone," Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said during a Web chat. He was unclear about how that saying would be used, but indicated it would not be Chevrolet'snew tagline.

"You will really like it," he said of the campaign.

The new advertisement spots are to come out within the next two months. Just last week, Reuss announced a shakeup in the North American operation's sales and marketing divisions. Susan Docherty, a vice president, lost her oversight of sales in order to free her up to focus on marketing.

Reuss also indicated that GM will be turning more to Corvette and Camaro muscle cars in marketing efforts to improve Chevrolet's image.

The Detroit automaker doesn't do a good enough job leveraging those iconic names to help the Chevrolet brand, according to Reuss.

"When have you ever seen 'Vettes and Camaros in ads for Equinox and Malibu?" he wrote. "This will change."

The Equinox crossover has been a highly successful product for GM, and dealers have been clamoring for more, saying it's the right-priced package of space, fuel economy and technology. The current Equinox ads feature sportscaster Howie Long.

Reuss also suggested GM needs to step up its efforts on the Malibu. "We need to re-energize the car," he said.

There's a feeling expressed within GM that the company did a good job launching the vehicle in 2007 but didn't follow up afterward, particularly during the company's bankruptcy reorganization.



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