General Motors Co. plans to cease putting its corporate “GM” logo on the side of its vehicles in the coming model years following decision by the company’s management team to put more emphasis on individual brands instead of the parent company.
GM spokesman Terry Rhadigan said the decision to remove the logo – known as the GM “Mark of Excellence” – was made earlier in the month by GM’s newly-formed executive committee. Mr. Rhadigan said the logos will be “gradually” phased out starting in the 2010 model year.
The auto maker earlier in the year filed bankruptcy protection and emerged quickly thanks to a $50 billion funding commitment from the U.S. government. GM has in the past year decided to sell or kill four of the eight brands, including Hummer, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn. The remaining brands are Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC.
The strategy to more acutely focus marketing efforts on individual vehicle brands, while deemphasizing their connection to GM, is being spearheaded by Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, who recently was moved from a product development role in order to head marketing efforts.
Mr. Lutz said in recent weeks that the company needs to do a better job of focusing the public’s attention on brand names because many Americans do not immediately associate those brand names with the company that went bankrupt.