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The 9 Detroit Auto Brands We’d Miss The Least

Posted in auto industry, Buick, Cadillac, Cars, Chevrolet, Detroit, Dodge, Ford, GM, GMC, Holden, Jeep, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Politics, Pontiac, Saab, Volvo by Vito Rispo | December 3rd, 2008 | 63 Responses |

Don’t you miss Oldsmobile? Yeah, me neither.

One of the main problems GM has is its large number of brands, and the fact that they’ve spread themselves so thin across those brands. They argue that there’s value in those nameplates, since customers want a wide selection. The thing is, they’re half the size they were in their prime, and they have more brands. Here’s a run down of the brands GM owns: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Daewoo, GMC, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, and Vauxhall. They need to lighten up their load if they want to survive.

Remember the story of Aron Ralston? He was the climber who was out in the wilderness when a boulder fell on his arm and pinned him there. He was stuck, couldn’t get loose, so he did what needed to be done, he cut off his own arm. That kind of action takes giant brass balls, but it saved his life in a case where, otherwise, he most likely would have died. It’s tough to knowingly cut off a part of yourself, but in life or death situations, it needs to be done. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 9 Detroit Automotive Brands We’d Miss The Least, to help the execs in Detroit make the tough choices. Yes, these are drastic moves, but the fact is, this is crunch time, life or death time. Now Detroit just needs to grow a set the size of Aron Ralston. Check it out:

1. Opel & 2. Vauxhall

We’re here at the drastic times, and if GM wants to survive the winter, they have to take some drastic measures. Just last month, the German company SolarWorld offered to buy Opel from GM. What did the cash strapped GM say? “No way, we’ll just get more money from US taxpayers.” People are suggesting that GM Europe is the only profitable part of the company, and that may be, but they’re showing signs of decay too, just like their US counterpart. Why not sell off the resource you can get the most money for, and use that money to restructure here on home ground?

Opel is huge, they’re like the Chevrolet of Europe and the rest of the World. And if GM gets rid of Opel, they most likely need to lose Vauxhall as well, since they’re basically just right-hand drive Opel cars for the UK. It’s a bold move, but the money GM gets from a sale of Opel and Vauxhall will give them the breathing room they need to and make their other brands profitable.

3. Buick

GM has a unique opportunity here: Buick is loved in China, sales there are huge and GM would have no problem selling Buick off to a Chinese manufacturer like the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC). Add that money to the $15 or so billion they would collect from an Opel and Vauxhall sale, and things are starting to look less grim for GM.

Buick is dead weight anyway. GM has to look at this as a life or death situation. They don’t have the money to bring Buick back to life or to restart the brand, so sell it off. Can you name a modern Buick model you really liked?

4. Pontiac

This one hurts me. I always held out hope that Pontiac would return with some kick ass new asskicker, and when the G8 was launched, I thought that was it. But when you step back and look at things objectively, you realize, it’s too little too late. Pontiac is screwed, the excitement is gone and it’s never coming back. That’s just how it is. Pontiac offers zero value to GM, they’re not quality, they’re not small and they’re not green; they’re just another pointless brand hanging on to a dying company. Let it go.

5. Hummer

This one should be obvious. No matter what you say about the brand, the fact is that Hummer has been tarnished permanently because of all the enviro-mania. Plus, they don’t sell well; they’re essentially obsolete at this point. GM can wrap Hummer up in a nice package and sell them off to a more dedicated company that can focus entirely on the Hummer line. I’m sure a smaller, more vital company can turn the Hummer brand around by shrinking the size and adding an alt-fuel or eco twist, but GM can’t. They need to unload Hummer as quickly as possible.

6. Saab

Saab has become even more irrelevant than Hummer. I don’t think I’ve seen a Saab on the roads for weeks. They’re just poor sellers. They suffer from a bad combination of high cost/low margins plus one of GM’s smallest sales volumes. Plus the high-end Japanese brands have just outgunned Saab – they’re finished. Although, just like with Hummer, another company could make it work, but not GM, they’re too big and too sickly right now to make Saab profitable.

7. GMC

This one hurts me even more than Pontiac, since GMC trucks are actually good sellers and quality vehicles. The problem is, the market for personal trucks isn’t big enough anymore for both Chevy and GMC. So they need to sell-off or restructure now. GM could sell GMC outright to a commercial truck manufacturer, or they could keep GMC on, and limit manufacturing to the large, business-to-business trucks.

That about does it for GM. A snip here and a slice there, and GM could well be on the path to prosperity. They just need the balls to carry out a bold plan like that. Grow a set, GM, and stop asking for handouts. As for Ford…

8. Mercury

Ford isn’t in nearly as much financial trouble as GM, but that’s not really saying much, they’re still in financial crisis mode. They need to take some action equally as drastic as GMs. Ford has been showing signs that they want to unload Volvo and maybe even Mazda, but they need to focus a little more close to home: the Mercury brand.

As far as I’m concerned, Mercury is the most pointless auto brand on Earth. It has no identity of it’s own, and just pumps out mirror images of the Ford line with some silly outdated “almost luxury” option added to boost the price up a bit. That’s all Mercury is, and it’s all they have been for the past two decades. Mercury adds no value to Ford, and in fact, it’s a money wasting enterprise. Mercury needs to go, now.

9. Volvo

I like Volvo, maybe not as much as Suzanne does, but I like them. However, Ford is already in talks to sell the company, so it’s probably going to happen no matter what any of us want. If Volvo ends up in the hands of BMW, everyone will be better off. Volvo will be better run, and Ford will get some badly needed capital to rejuvenate it’s business. Ford is the only one of the Detroit Three that really has a fighting chance to make it out of this mess alive, so they need to just go ahead and do what needs to be done.

As for Chrysler, I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen to them. They can’t drop Dodge, and they shouldn’t drop Jeep, so I guess they’re fine the way they are. They just need to do it better, that is, if they don’t get bought out by a super-slim GM that just sold half it’s brands.

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63 Responses

  1. Suzanne Denbow says:

    Ahem. That’s a mighty presumptuous use of “we”, I do not wish to see either HUMMER or Volvo go the way of the Olds…

  2. PiRX says:

    Talking ’bout SAAB – GM will benefit of selling SAAB to some European company, as Europe LOVES SAABs. Here it is one of top brands ranking on same (or almost same) position as BMW

  3. It’s funny, there’s an ad on the right for the Mercury Milan. And my 13-year old daughter wants me to buy a Mercury Milan. Not a Ford Fusion. A Mercury Milan. Go figure.

    Just a nitpick: GM’s problem is not “it’s large number of brands”. It’s its large number of brands. :-)

  4. Why does Buick have three crossovers? Moreover, why is this a marque that Rick Wagoner wanted to keep? Selling it to SAIC sounds like a good idea.

    Poor Mercury once was to Ford what Scion is to Toyota. There were differences in how a Mercury engine was equipped and designed to ensure it was indeed high-performance, from the get-go. Of course, that was about 50 years ago, when a “3/4 cam in a Mercury flathead V8″ meant something – ancient history that is lost in the 21st century.

    And what of Hummer? When it was focused on the H1 it was intriguing because it was about a vehicle with unique capabilities. Now it is like something out of an auto video game. GM should sell it, as soon as it can.

    SAAB and Pontiac are probably doomed to go off to that Sargasso Sea of automotive nameplates such as Studebaker or Packard.

    As for Volvo, it will probably survive, if it can find a buyer soon. Otherwise, it is going to just whither and die. Being tied to Ford and the value of the Euro is just going to kill it otherwise. And none of “us” want to see that happen, now do we?

  5. Ricky says:

    Sorry I don’t agree with any of that

    The world is moving towards a much more distinct separation of niche markets.

    Just watch, traditionally you see more cars during bust cycles because all the designers are doing their shit during boom cycles.

    Although production runs may be scaled back, at least the tooling and the actual costs do get put onto paper and stored “for another time”

    In my opinion, every single company here had vehicles which were never designed completely properly at every stage. Individually they might’ve been nice (maybe S60R, the Denali’s, the H1… for kicks, the rebadged Holden -> Goats, the somewhat RX330 competitor Rendevous, and for the other side of the pond the VX220) but as an overall, something was/is missing

    Combine this with higher than avg wages for all employees means something simple; inefficient producers get driven out of the market
    That could probably be the best thing to happen as the companies will inevitably have to file for bankruptcy and reorganize into slimmer and leaner entities.

    Could you imagine if Chevy scrapped their ‘let’s make everything’ mentality and focused strictly on
    – Corvettes, specifically the ZR-1 and creating an entire performance division out of it, really turn it into an American AMG, but more accessible to the consumer as well (Cobalt SS was a good start… but fwd wtf!)
    – Work / SUVs, something they have experience with, their latest platform was an investment, might as well keep it to reap ROI

    And Ford brought back GT-level sports cars.

    No more family sedans
    Time to realize that perhaps these giants aren’t giants after all. I think the same applies to specific German companies as well. It’s coming difficult to compete in the broad mass market because product differentiation really boils down to price and emotion. It’s a situation you can’t really engineer your way out of, so you need to do your best before you get to the selling point.

    Anyways, this is getting really long
    But summary: I wouldn’t miss these companies, nor a few others. Think of the opportunity cost! If GM weren’t trying to save it’s ass from itself, they could be making a Cobolt ZR1.

    If you think I’m living in an alternate universe
    I give you
    The IS-F
    The first time Lexus has made a car that makes noise.

  6. Ricky says:

    Terry, my comment seems like I am talking to you, but I am talking about the article in general

    I can immediately tell you’re from a generation where the American auto industry actually produced something desireable for a lot of people
    That means you’ve seen the demise first hand
    What is the true cause of the entire situation. It must be a common factor because all three companies are suffering (to a further extent than their international competitors)

    Hell, truthaboutcars.com has had a death watch for a while now for GM and Ford.

  7. Of all those you named, you’ll see sales of these in Europe:

    Opel, Vauxhall (limited to the UK), Saab and Volvo. The others only play a very small role, if one at all. I generally only see the other brands when some enthusiast bought such a car. So from a European point of view, these are the profitable ones and the rest is not.

  8. James says:

    Vauxhall and Holden are the same brand (Holden originally being Australian, and Vauxhall just being re-badged Holdens for the UK/European market). Is it that case that Vauxhall and Holden are marketed simultaneously in the US?

  9. Cigar Jack says:

    I’d really hate to see Pontiac go, I’ve owned two Grand Prix and loved them both. Fantastic cars.

  10. Bigpappapunk says:

    Great read bro


  11. Me-Online says:

    Perfect list. I agree 100%.

  12. b says:

    i think gm should bring opel and vauxhall to the us. they make small good handling cars that do well in europe but havent been in the states for forever. that is what they need right now.

    as a side note, i miss the good oldsmobiles, not the later crap ones.
    hummer, pontiac and mercury should go 1-2-3

  13. Wow... says:

    Pretty silly blog. Get rid of the most profitable parts, to bring the company back? Smooth. Just because a line doesn’t appeal to the lower class doesn’t mean they should dump it.

  14. scott says:

    As to your suggestion that GMC only stick with making large trucks, well, they sold that business unit to International Harvester about 2 years ago…You need to do some more research, you are suggesting things be done that have already been done.

  15. Doug says:

    I think SAAB is a GREAT brand.
    (I own one and love it.)

    It’s a super quality car with an even better story.
    It’s history as being developed by aircraft designers is a great marketing angle. I saw a whole documentary on the history of the brand it was quite interesting.

    And the brand actually does compete well with the likes of BMW in many markets.

    But I must admit…
    hearing all the euro / areo design history stories loses some of it’s luster when it’s followed by a GMAC financing talk.

    I think they should give SAAB to a company that will make it the flagship brand instead of an after thought.

  16. emarkay says:

    It’s not the brands…

    GM killed the RWD sedan. First mistake.

    Then as the clueless believed the wrong-wheel drive story, the Fiat platform went global; then the fun went out of driving.

    Then, since all were just Yugo and Taurus clones, some,looking for difference, bought trucks, without a need for payload, “end tawt dey wuz kool bekawz we wanna be macho”.

    What, no station wagons or sedans? Well how about a top-heavy minivan?

    Then the idiots thought that SUV’s were the “in thing” – and the fools (the industry) fed into it…

    Instead of making cars to transport people, they made behemoths to make Osama and his ilk smile.

    Shame on you. Now you pay the price.

    The median buy import wrong wheel drive crap because they are affordable and work. Most just want something they can afford and depend on. Hybrid SUV’s and 40K Volts won’t make a difference…

    Paying the knuickledraggers almost a hundred bucks an hour to put a nut on a wheel – they should have moved assembly to Mexico 25 years ago… $20,000 is the most anyone with a bit of intelligence should have to pay for 10 years worth of transportation.

    The industry needs to get back to its core – basic transportation for the masses, service vehicles for the professionals, and and a few esoteric machines for the driving enthusiasts (and a few boats for the luxury-pampered). This means a few Lincolns, an RWD Camaro or two, a RWD 4 door sedan and station wagon for the families and fleets, and a bunch of variously sized cookie-clutter Camry clones for the remainder of the clueless masses; then, the trucks and vans for the haulers and laborers.

    As I see it, unless we consolidate and bring the design and engineering home to where the customers are, we are destined for more K and J-car based turds, lithium-toxic hybrids, and plastic SUV’s,

    What a shame.

  17. blagarski says:

    Wow, what a terrible, terrible article.

    Did you do any research at all?

    Buick is GM’s best selling brand!

    You haven’t seen a Saab in weeks?! OH MY GOD! SELL SAAB! ONE GUY HASN’T SEEN ONE IN WEEKS!!! HOLY SHIT!!!!!

  18. bill says:


    niehter holden, opel, or vauxhaul are sold in the USA.

    A very small number of Holdens have been brought into the US and sold under other GM brands, Pontiac comes to mind first off.

  19. rjj says:

    Yes, Solarwind did make an offer to purchase Opel, and yes GM turned them down. You should not however point out that although the offer was around a Billion Euros, one of the of the stipulations was that GM paid each current Opel employee a 40,000 Euro severance package which in fact comes out to around a Billion Euros. So in fact the deal was: “Hey GM give us Opel for free”.

  20. heyshippy says:

    It’s a sad day indeed for both car enthusiasts and the American workers that have poured blood, sweat and tears into these brands, when we realize that we may have to bid them farewell. However, the author is correct. Mismanagement, and a sluggish economy have finally taken their toll.

    This is capitalism at it’s best though. Survival of the fittest. Ford, GM, Chrysler, they produce some decent cars, but now is when we find out who has the best management team at the helm.

    The smart money’s on Ford.

  21. Christopher says:

    In your first line: “Don’t you miss Oldsmobile? Yeah, me either.”

    That would be “me Neither” — either/or, neither/nor

  22. Kate says:

    Great that the story appears with a Volvo ad.

  23. Asten says:

    I’m fine with Ford dumping Mercury, but only under the condition that Jill Wagner transitions to hawking another brand.

  24. George says:

    Cut the fat… I would only retain:

    Ford – Ford cars and trucks – Lincoln

    Chrysler – nothing here worth redeeming

    GM – Should be Chevrolet, Cadillac and GM Trucks.

    Merge Buick and Pontiac – BuiPon for a nice vehicle at a mid price point.
    I would love to order a Charcoal Grey BuiPon

  25. Mike G. says:

    I miss Oldsmobile. Get in a ’79 Cutlass sometime.
    And as for Saab, I see many every day.

  26. B says:

    [quote] James,

    niehter holden, opel, or vauxhaul are sold in the USA.

    A very small number of Holdens have been brought into the US and sold under other GM brands, Pontiac comes to mind first off. [/quote]

    Opels ARE sold in the U.S. They are called Saturn Astras. They are made in Belgium and imported to the U.S. as a Saturn.

  27. Saab says:

    That is really funny that you said you hadn’t seen a saab on the road in weeks…I was just thinking yesterday that I hadn’t seen a saab in forever and was wondering if they were still made, haha.

    Saab was one for the 1st 2 cars I rememeber my parents driving when I was a kid…oh the good old days.

  28. P says:

    Gm & Ford’s biggest money makers are trucks in particular fullsize trucks. With the talk of putting all the money into infrastructure to create jobs, there will be even more demand for trucks than now. Ford should look to just cut it’s domestic car lines & just make trucks for the States.

  29. Brian says:

    Combine all brands into one..

    Let GM keep Cadillac, but thats it
    Chrysler and Dodge combine, they are the same minivan with different badges people. C-mon, plus call it what it is Jeep is a dodge as much as it hurts to talk about it.
    Ford can do whatever, ill never own one so i really dont care what you call it.

  30. Dirk says:

    I aggree with the earlier comenter, Bring Opel to the U.S. they make the kinds of cars this market is waiting and ready for. Quality cars with efficient engines, no I do not mean tiny little city cars, but proper high quality cars with efficient engines. For Ford the same is true, use what Ford Europe is producing, they have good cars in europe, you just do not get them in the U.S.

  31. Jenn says:

    I don’t get why everyone’s immediate reaction to hearing about the automakers’ troubles is to make a list of the brands they don’t personally like that should be sold or retired. It’s not like GM’s primary expense is pumping out cars that people don’t want. If someone didn’t say “I would like to buy a Saab 9-3″ it wouldn’t get made. And before you argue about R&D, realize that all these different sedans are built on only a few distinct platforms, and just have a different body/interior design. Big deal.

    Anyway, it’s a lot more complicated than you make it out to be. These brands make lots and lots of money over time. Selling off a brand represents a huge loss of earning potential. And again, it wouldn’t cut as many costs as you seem to think, it would just be a one-time chunk of cash for the automakers to throw at their real problems, which IMO revolve around labor and benefits, not how many brand names they create vehicles under.

  32. JayJ says:

    I agree about Mercury, Hummer, and Pontiac. But you left out the sorest thumb of them all: Saturn! The Saturn brand has been a failure for years (don’t get me wrong they were decent cars, but made little money for GM) and it’s finally just time to take it out to pasture. If GM had stuck with the original S-series cars the brand started with, evolving them to keep up with the market naturally, then Saturn would have been just what the doctor ordered; sadly by the time fuel went to $4/gallon and small and economical became trendy Saturn was selling SUVs and clones of other GM cars. In my view, these days if a car isn’t good enough to export to Europe or Asia it isn’t worth building. Also, Buick will probably yield more income for GM from sales in China than it would garner for sale to a Chinese buyer.

  33. Vito Rispo says:

    To blagarski

    Buick is not GMs best selling brand, in fact, it’s one of it’s worst selling brands.

    GM’s three biggest brands are Chevrolet, which accounted for 59% of 2007 sales, followed by GMC at 13% and Pontiac at 9.4%. The five other GM brands lag far behind: Cadillac, with 5.6% of sales; and Saturn, 6.3%; Buick, 4.9%; and Hummer, 1.5%, then Saab, less than 1%.

    And the fact that I haven’t seen a Saab in weeks is just an anecdotal remark reinforcing the fact that Saab is GM worst selling brand, AND has the worst price/profit ratio.

  34. jamEs says:

    Getting rid of the most profitable divisions? They may have been profitable previously, but going forward demand for SUVs and trucks is going to dry up. The problem the NA manufacturers ran into was they fell for the lure of high margin, big vehicles and totally ceded the compact and sub-compact market to foreign automakers. Many of the lines the big three made were to grab baby boomer disposable income, yet Generation X and Y wanted cheap, reliable cars that didn’t look like junk on wheels.

  35. dip says:

    I agree with the Europeans which already expressed their concerns about the list. While axing Opel, Vauxhaull, Holden, Saab and Volvo might make sense from a US-American point of view, it’ll be absolutely stupid to sell the profitable ones. First cut those nonprofitable, as well as stop selling the American cars in Europe, cause frankly hardly anyone buys an American brand car.

    To add a little to the confusion, Vauxhaul, Saturn and Holden are in fact re badged Opel cars. The first being sold in the UK and Holden in Australia and Saturn being sold in the US, while Opel is sold in all the remaining countries in the EU. And Opel only does bad now, because GM is leeching money off of them.

    Put it just simple which economist would cut off his profitable business and rather keep the remains of it what USED to be their poster child??? While the European division made money and innovation, the US counterpart was a sitting duck, waiting to see what happens.

    • Brenton says:

      How can you axe Volvo? Not only would Europe be upset, but in the US Volvo doesn’t just make great cars, they make semi’s, trackers, excavators and small machinery. I hope they will continue these products.

  36. Armando says:

    Great post. I agree, the big 3 need to amputate their testicles in order to save their own lives.

  37. David says:

    If brands are highly successful in one sales region (Europe, Asia) then maybe GM Operations in North America and EMEA should be separated, legally and financially. Buick is big in China, so focus the brand there. Saab, Volvo and Opel are big in Europe, so focus there. Chevy and Cadillac are popular here in the States so put the focus here. GM is trying too hard to be the biggest company on Earth and instead should slim down and focus on being the BEST auto company they can be. People will always need cars, and people don’t buy cars from a company just because the company is huge. People are loyal to cars that suit them and run the way they expect them to. You’ll get a deeper loyalty to the brand if you expand the cars within a brand rather than creating a new division and giving it a new name (Scion?) just to raise interest.

  38. […] There is an article making its way around the internet entitled , ” The 9 Detroit Auto Brands We’d Miss The Least”. Click here to read the original article. […]

  39. novicebb says:

    The writer of this article mentioned that some of the brands owned by the American car manufacturers should be sold off “because other companies could run it better”.

    That is the key issue there- GM, Ford and Chrysler needs to run their companies better and more efficiently.

    I definitely think that GM should drop Pontiac and Buick here in the states but I don’t think they should drop it in China. China is a market that will continue to grow and with China’s growth, I am sure that it will spew over into other asians markets and GM will want to be a part of that.

    I definitely think that GM should sell the Opel and Vauxhall brand and bring some of those employees stateside to help make GM a better company.

    Mercury should have been dropped years ago and I also think that Lincoln should as well. If Ford wants a luxury brand then make Volvo its luxury brand.

  40. Chris says:

    I haven’t really read all of the comments, so don’t ream me if I’m repeating here, but I had to say something about Ricky’s post. While I agree with a lot of what’s being said, I believe this statement is incredibly short-sighted and flat out ignorant (not an attack at you Ricky, just don’t agree with the opinion)…

    “Combine this with higher than avg wages for all employees means something simple; inefficient producers get driven out of the market/ That could probably be the best thing to happen as the companies will inevitably have to file for bankruptcy and reorganize into slimmer and leaner entities.”

    Now, take this with a grain of salt, because just like your comment, this is an opinion. And something to keep in mind is that I work for one of the biggest auto suppliers in the world, so I have maybe some more insight into that aspect of this situation.

    If ANY one of the Big 3 were to go under (bankruptcy) it would be catastrophic for the US economy as well as the world’s economy. Catastrophic. No auto company has ever come back from bankruptcy (I can’t remember where I heard this, so it may not be fact, but it sounds about right to me). Who is going to want to buy a car from a bankrupt company? How can they possibly guarentee the quality of the product or the validity of the warrenty? There’s just too much rick involved in that investment.

    Another thing to think about is the supplier side of things. If any one of the Big 3 go under, there will be a huuuge ripple effect tearing through the supplier chain. Many smaller, tier 2 and 3 suppliers whose main source of income is that auto company would go down. Looking at larger tier 1 and 2 suppliers, couple the smaller suppliers going under with them losing huge chunks of revenue from whatever Big 3 company (or companies) go down, and that spells disaster for mutli-million and multi-billion dollar suppliers. These same suppliers also work for foreign companies as well, so they would also be greatly affected.

    Now I agree that something needs to be done, but letting GM, Ford, or Chrysler file for bankruptcy is not that something. Millions of jobs here in America would be lost, as I’m sure many more around the world would be as well. A lot of restructuring has to be done, and having Congress breathing down their necks might be the motivation these companies need.

    But at least we can all sleep easy! The CEO’s of the Big 3 have decided to take a $1 a year salary! Wait…what’s that you say? They still get a bonus?! Oh man!

    Yay! economy…

  41. Michael says:

    I would hate to see Saab, disappear. GM could have done so much with the brand, but they just put it on the back burner. I really don’t think selling off brands is going to save the big three, they just need to sell better products.

    I have a Saab 97x that we love, however it would have been much more competitive in its class with an 6 speed auto and direct injected turbo v6.

  42. Michael says:

    You cannot blame the big three for selling trucks and suvs, that what people wanted to buy.

    Initially the big three had a leg up in the suv game because they had truck chassis to build off of, however as SUV became popular the Japs and Germans got involved and built better trucks and suvs.

    The big three instead of innovating and improving production, sat on the buts and watched there handsome profit margins diminish as competition grew.

  43. Mike says:

    You are way off about Buick. I have a 2006 Buick Lucerne that is absolutely the best car I have ever owned. It is extremely quiet, smooth riding and gets between 28 and 30 MPH on the highway. I’d put it up against any foriegn luxury car (Lexus, etc). You people need to give America cars a chance. They are just as good, maybe better, and probably cost less!

  44. Matt says:

    I think GM was wrong in dropping Oldsmobile in favor of Hummer. Why? Name recognition. Oldsmobile was about 110 years old when GM killed it in favor of a brand new marque. Thats marketing suicide. What GM really needs to do is what DeLorean did to the Pontiac marque in the 60’s with the GTO. They need to let the designers and engineers run the company. Not the accountants.

  45. John K says:

    It would be foolish to sell Buick. Buick is set to capitalize on the Chinese market and reap huge financial rewards for GM. They worship Buick in China.
    The big 3 can thank the Detroit mentality, and the Union that gave Unions a bad name, the UAW, for their demise. The Detroit mentality has always been “why sell a small car, if Americans don’t want them.” This, despite the fact that when a GOOD small car is put on the market, they are snapped up. How can you guage demand for a product that doesn’t exist? If you base all of your management decisions on demand for existing products, you will NEVER be an innovator. This is exactly why Toyota was able to brand themselves the efficient, and super innovative company with the Prius. They realized American consumers aren’t as stupid as Detroit thinks they are. And don’t even get me started on the UAW. Somebody please explain to me why somebody should receive retirement when they are under 65 years of age. Saturn could have been a great brand. The 90’s 4 cylinder models developed a reputation for great reliability, efficiency, and even sportiness(for the 5 speed SC2 models), but then GM ruined that too, by making Saturns the way they do the small and midsize Chevys.

  46. shotz says:

    i agree with some.
    mercury needed to go the way of the edsel back when the edsel did. its somewhere between lincoln and ford. and nobody knows where.

    for the last 30 years, gmc has just been a label on chevy trucks (or the other way around). the things are so close thats the only way you can tell them apart. theres almost no distinctive styling differences or anything.

    buick would be a terrible thing to lose in the US. kids dont like them, but the old folks are still buying them up. the recently discontinued buick lesabre was one of the company’s stongest marques. some years outselling the impala.

    selling opal or vauxhall in their respective countries would be like selling chevrolet in the US. a total shot in the foot.

    volvo should go back to the germans. BMW has the money and expertise to turn it into what its trying to be.

    as for saab and pontiac, they need to pick one to axe/sell. preferably sell saab. losing pontiac in the us would be sad. but saab has been a backwater nameplate for years.

    and losing hummer i dont think would do much good. they arent bringing much, but they arent leeching much either. and if gas stays low, we might see a surge in their popularity.

    right now GM actually has some reputable products out there. and ford is catching up. they just have to shake off their 80s reputations still.
    the biggest thing they need to do is break the auto unions and cut wages. along the whole line. the execs can afford it and no foreign plants in the US pay their workers as much.

  47. Hoontastic says:

    Back off Pontiac…

    The rest can go. Drive an 05/06 GTO or shut up.

  48. Stud says:

    They’re all shitboxes. Toyota and Honda are the only ones who know how to build quality vehicles…

  49. heywood says:

    Saying that GM could “sell” Buick, Pontiac, or GMC is silly. Most of the models produced under these nameplates are built using the same chassis and drivetrain as other GM vehicles (*cough*, Chevy), often times built alongside each other in the same plant, the difference being the body, interior, and available options. The only thing GM could sell concerning these divisions would be the name, which may have some value, but not much. Consumers would see through something like that pretty easily.

  50. paynomind says:

    I’m not clear why people think that eliminating marketing brands would save any of these companies money.

    The thing that is sucking the money out of the company is because they are selling multitudes of models that cannibalize their own sales. I dont mean re-branding, because thats just getting the same car with a different set of power features and a different grill and tail-lights. I’m talking about having 5 crossovers. 4 midsize cars. Many suvs.

    GM could have a separate brand for every vehicle. But they need less vehicles. A car company needs 7-12 models. Fill every niche.

    The companies need to restructure business-wise, and have more efficient product lines, across the board.

    THATS the real solution.

    It just doesnt make as tasty or inflammatory blog postings.

  51. […] The 9 Detroit Auto Brands We’d Miss The Least One of the main problems GM has is its large number of brands, and the fact that they’ve spread themselves so thin across those brands. They argue that there’s value in those nameplates, since customers want a wide selection. The thing is, they’re half the size they were in their prime, and they have more brands. Here’s a run down of the brands GM owns: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Daewoo, GMC, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, and Vauxhall. They need to lighten up their load if they want to survive. […]

  52. Frank says:

    First, loved the tone of the article: Serious humor. GM is just another “we know what Americans want” pusher. I won’t miss it, but definitely feel bad for the employees that believed GM management. By the way, I like how that Opel looks.

  53. […] Auto Brands Wed Miss The Least Dont you miss Oldsmobile? Yeah, me either.The full story is here:http://www.ridelust.com/the-9-detroit-auto-brands-wed-miss-the-least/ Publicado por Becky en […]

  54. Robert says:

    Talking ’bout SAAB – GM will benefit of selling SAAB to some European company, as Europe LOVES SAABs. Here it is one of top brands ranking on same (or almost same) position as BMW
    Rubbish, let me guess you live in Europe and drive a Saab, they are nowhere near BMW in europe or anywhere.

  55. Rob says:

    i think i would miss the SAAB and the VOLVO …….. they have been very productive the last 5 years with all their new models.

    However, i will never miss this HUMMER, BUICK, or the OPEL , they were never cars to think about even when GM was in its top positions in the auto industry.

  56. alexx says:

    All shitboxes. Toyota and Honda are the only ones who know how to build quality vehicles…

  57. kenny says:

    all brands into one..

    Let GM keep Cadillac, but thats it
    Chrysler and Dodge combine, they are the same minivan with different badges people. C-mon, plus call it what it is Jeep is a dodge as much as it hurts to talk about it.
    Ford can do whatever, ill never own one so i really dont care what you call it….

  58. […] GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz made it clear in an interview last week that, if the company does actually survive its current crisis, it will need to cut a few brands, and spend more marketing the remaining brands. Sounds like he read our recent post, 9 Detroit Auto Brands We’d Miss The Least. […]

  59. erik says:

    think i would miss the SAAB and the VOLVO …….. they have been very productive the last 5 years with all their new models.

    However, i will never miss this HUMMER, BUICK, or the OPEL , they were never cars to think about even when GM was in its top positions in the auto industry..

  60. Alizee says:

    off Pontiac…

    The rest can go. Drive an 05/06 GTO or shut up..

  61. Jazz says:

    I think that ALL of the U.S. automakers really need to pull in their CEOs, CFOs, COOs and direct investors out of their personal comfort zones and castles, have them put their money where their mouths are, and do the American public a favor for a change. In grand and small ways, they have been bailed out time and again. They have lived richly off the backs of their employees, U.S. citizens, and NOW need to take THEIR accumulated wealth and rebuild the piece-of-shit companies into profit vehicles by DOING the economic, ecological, and environmentally responsible things they need to do…for US! Their profit is already omni-present in the lifestyles their families have lived at our behest for centuries. It’s time to get off their ivory towers, and put their own “skin in the game”, if they want their personal dynasties to prevail…as well as the personal investment of sweat equity that this nation has invested in them. Too much lip, not enough active participation. Royalty has to divest of their kingdoms for the greater good now…so, okay, who is gonna move ass first?


  62. Jazz says:

    Make green vehicles; divest their archives of the patents that would quickly benefit mankind if allowed to be used in their products. They have bought out the inventions that create a monopoly on utility and improvement of their products. Screw the oil companies…use the carburetion systems that give us mileage in the 90 mpg range! Reduce the consumption of unleaded and leaded gases by employing the use of fuel cells far less consumptive of oil products – even using less oil for lubricating engine parts! Take the photo-electric properties to the next level; pull NASA’s experts into the fold. Hold a compendium of U.S. experts – DoD, Department of Labor, and privately held corporations; make them a best “offer”…to improve or die! There are innovations that we know would improve ALL transportation markets, that BIG AUTO PRODUCERS have held out of the sight of U.S. consumers for decades that would out-perform even the greening aspects of their productions. They think on a personal production, and personal profit marketability stratagem, when they COULD be thinking on a national/international cooperative strategy wherein the entire world-wide industry benefits. In the final analysis, it really doesn’t matter whether or not the oil industry cooperates, since right now EVERYBODY is suffering the pain of selling and marketing their automotive products. The American Public has already invested the most “skin in the game” for the success of THEIR industry…(which is now OUR collective investment venue). We need to get the most out of every dollar we’ve invested; which means that those being bailed out need to FIRST divest themselves of the “Pride of Ownership” dogma that’s been practiced, almost uni-laterally across their wealth formulas. What they need to do now is break whatever is broken, keep the pieces that can be used to reduce or eliminate loss; re-design and re-invent their products while opting out on all the inefficiencies of previous products, and building in the improvements that will survive well into future markets. The “skin in the game” we need from them is really impinging upon their ability to cooperate globally with information and implementation of advances throughout the world. Pay the costs as a downpayment of the future, as much as the expectation of the American People; and GET THE JOB DONE!! Now, you can say what you want about stock prices, fee and rates schedules, union impact and influence – all that! But if everyone is sitting on their asses doing nothing, waiting to be a dollar up at the end of the day on a “now dollar” stratagem – it ain’t happnin’ Cap’n! Suck it up, pull out the Black Cards, and just get this shit done! The saddest thing is that the people who have the money to fix the problem are more worried about the $$BILLIONS$$ they could potentially lose than the $$TRILLIONS$$ they have already cost US because they’ve tried to wring every last dime out of selling us the old technology before they move into the futuristic features we could be benefitting from. They’ve been selling us on the “teaser” ideas for decades, and denying us the innovations that right-thinking individuals have come up with, only to be bought out by automotive bigwigs – in order to prevent the competition from pulling ahead, or based upon the fear of reprisal from the energy and oil magnates who keep their nuts in a sling (not to offend women in leadership). You want this problem fixed? Then, retrofit, innovate, and prosper — we can do it — Yes, We Can!