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The Reselling of General Motors

Bruce Nunnally

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After years spent sending car-buyers confusing messages, GM aims to find some brand images and stick to them


Typical General Motors. First, the company ditches Buick's new advertising campaign in September after just a couple of months on the airwaves. Then, on Dec. 4, GM promotes Susan Docherty, the former head of Buick who approved the ads, and her replacement leaves after eight days, before the company settles on a new general manager for Buick.

That may be an extreme example, even for GM. But it does show the revolving door of brand general managers and flip-flopping ad campaigns at GM for the past two decades. Consumers are confused by the company's brands because it has changed personnel and direction so many times. "They have got to focus," says Daniel Gorrell, president of AutoStrategem, an automotive marketing consulting firm. "In marketing, it's about bombarding a consumer with a proposition. It's finding a relevant message and staying on that message."


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