GM repositioning

There’s been a lot of news floating around this morning about GM’s plans to reposition their various brands. Thanks to AudiSAABfans over at Saabcentral, we have this diagram, that’ll save me a thousand words (still cooped up with the flu, so can’t be bothered typing).

GM brands.jpg

A few thoughts:

1) The actual model repositioning doesn’t look like much at all. Buick or Pontiac will drop a minivan? Big deal. I would have thought a few more model cuts might have produced a better defined lineup of vehicles, and this may well just be the tip of the iceberg.

2) The big news here is dealer repositioning. The number that sticks out the most to me is the number of Saab dealerships (250). They’re going to need to dramatically increase the exposure of the marque and give people greater access to the cars, and much better service when they finally get there.

Testimony to this is John’s experience with a 1997 900S – his story is here. He really ties together the quality story of the last few days and the need for better service that’s highlighted by today’s announcements.

3) The positioning of Cadillac directly against BMW and MB leaves Saab somewhat out in the cold. I don’t think it will be, but it does look a little like the thin end of a wedge.

Coda: Another nice thread from SaabKen over at SC too, which has led to the Photoshop creation of a 9-3 Coupe. Bob, Jay, check it out!!

New9-3hatchstyleforweb.jpg

Job interview in 5 hours. Grrrrrr.

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4 Comments

  1. What’s really interesting here is the ratio of units sold to outlets.

    Chevy 666

    Saturn 485

    GMS 259

    Hummer 176

    Pontiac 169

    Cadillac 157

    Saab 153

    Buick 112

    Natually, having just come from a year long statistics course, I ran some math on those numbers.

    I’ll spare you the details, but if I’m doing the math right it’s completely reasonable to assume, from a mathematical standpoint, that if Saab had as many dealers as, say, GMC, than they would be selling roughly as many models as GMC.

  2. This list was updated to eliminate more models from the Pontiac, Buick and Saturn lines. I would expect (my guess) that it would spell the end of the 9-2x experiment, and possibly the 9-7 model as well.

    About the number of dealers, again, that’s why the 9-7 exists. They need to keep Saab dealers in the system and grow that brand to keep pace with the competition.

    The comparison of units sold per dealership among the ‘real’ Saab competition (in my view) to the number of Saabs sold per dealership would be more interesting. Anyone have sales figures for VW, Audi or Volvo?

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