General Motors filed for bankruptcy. Too bad for my hometown of Detroit, but maybe it needed to happen. The GM name has come to represent an overgrown, overly complex conglomerate that expanded into everything from home mortgages to aerospace to computer programming. It’s hard to run a great company when you’re tangled up in too many businesses. But there is still great potential for the company’s strongest brands.
At the heart of this company you’ll find nameplates like Cadillac and Chevy. Chevrolet alone accounted for half of all GM sales last year. It sold 10 times as many cars as the company’s other brands. (100 times Hummer.) All by itself, Chevy would be among the world’s largest car companies and one of the best loved.
Here’s a thought for my friends working at GM and their ad agencies: Why not change the company name to Chevrolet? Most other car companies are named for their primary car line. This includes Ford, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, VW and many others. Most of these brands have high-end lines, like Lincoln, Lexus, Infinity and Audi – Chevrolet can do the same with Cadillac. The change would signal that the company was serious about focusing on its core brands and products. And that’s the right move for the company and for its customers.
Note: For more about GM’s brand, check out my interview on Fox Business here: GM Brand