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GM rounding a corner?


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In the recent Yahoo news brief on the Avenir, there was a VERY significant line from the article. It is :


>>"The Avenir is a “concept car” Buick isn’t manufacturing yet, but the concept alone reflects a major shift in the way Buick’s parent General Motors (GM), and other big automakers, are bringing cars to market."<<


You see it??


It's taken years, but I am finally seeing increasing mention of the GM brands as distinct entities again, rather than the media continually defaulting to the 'General Motors' umbrella. Here it is specifically :


"...Buick isn’t manufacturing…" and "...Buick’s parent General Motors…"


​Over much of the last 2 decades, that would have automatically have been:

'General Motors isn't manufacturing…" and "...General Motors…"


I have first seen this trend in Cadillac articles, on the tail of the incredible CTS-V. While it is a small step, it's a major positive move forward image-wise. The 'other shoe' to this turning of opinion should be a PR on the reformation of Cadillac Engineering and Buick Engineering (or however they get titled); hopefully --with Cadillac's recent autonomy quest-- at least that announcement is forthcoming. Image crafting needs to be priority one.


I have been advocating the DE-publicization of "General Motors" for years upon years.

Edited by balthazar
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This is Great. Once people stop thinking GM and only think Chevy, Buick, GMC Cadillac it will be much more positive. 


The lesson to learn here is that GM can make universal parts that can be used across business units but the exterior and interior need to stand apart on their own.

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I will say that I hear more and more positive from people in regards to specific auto's such as the Buick Encore that coworkers have bought and just rave about how great Buick is and is nothing like older people say Buick is. Never hear them mention GM only Buick. Same with Chevy and Cadillac. I have seen a few new Cadillac show up at work in what used to be my Escalade and a ton of BMW / MB Appliances. We now have a couple V editions, an XTS and an ATS

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DD: I'm focusing on the specific here; how the Corp. and the Divisions are referred to in media.


'Back in the day" (I have tens of thousands of vintage articles/ads/publications/etc), that NEVER happened. The media default to 'GM" started to occur in the 1980s. Within GM, this was on the heels of a major internal Divisional reorganization and the discontinuance of Divisional engineering & proprietary power trains, further reducing the perceptional autonomy of the marques. More generally, Corporate-level news was prevalent and the auto industry was in the opening salvo of the Great Homogenization. 


Witness an unexpected backhand from media that had tongues wagging, fingers pointing and the board room buzzing (published in 1983) :



- - - - -

It's only been in the last 5 years or so where I have been reading a return to acknowledging the Divisions as have ANY autonomy into what they do.

It's refreshing, it's a return to a hallmark of Better Days, and it's about time. 


Now about those Engineering Departments….

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Cadillac and Buick are getting a bit more individual attention as of late.  I think GM is trying to make it more about those brands and what they are doing to strengthen them.  Which has to be done, because I think people buy the brand more than anything when they buy a car.  Pickups are a good example, there are Ford guys and Chevy guys, and not many people could care less about the brand and just buy based on appearance or horsepower.


I think a big mistake GM did back in 2005 or 2006 was when they put those Silver GM badges on every car to show how these are all made by GM.  People don't buy a corporation, they buy a brand name.  That is why they don't sell Proctor and Gamble toothpaste.

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Those badges only lasted until about 2008 right?


Buick does seem to be getting more autonomy from GMNA, but that is more a foreign pivot with them orienting more to Opel and, with the Avenier, Holden. 


There was an interesting and sudden shift at the Detroit show in Buick's stance, though extremely minor on the surface. So minor in fact that I don't think any outlet thought to write about it.


It was this line from the Avenier press release which was repeated during the press conference, and it has been in the footer of every Buick press release since.


"Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance."  My italics..


That is an extremely subtle, yet substantial shift for Buick. It perked my ears up when I heard it and I tweeted about it during the presser. It was reenforced again when Reuss pointed out that Buick is GM's second best selling international brand (after Chevrolet one assumes).

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Correct Drew, the Silver Square GM badge was gone for the 2009 model year. I still have them on my 2008 Trailblazer SS but I could not find anything on 2009 models on any line.

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