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General Motors Sheds Brands--Buying Brands From Chrysler Is Unlikely.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on July 7, 2008

Well, I’ve have better ideas than that of GM buying the one or two Chrysler brands that might survive this downturn. Turns out that GM is looking to sell several brands of its own—from Hummer to Saturn and maybe Buick and Saab too.

So what we are seeing is a brand reshuffle—and recognition that customers relate to brands of cars, not car corporations. You are your brand, as Yves Behar says. Nothing more. Nothing less.

GM didn’t quite understand that, until recently. It bought a wonderful brand, Saab, and undermined it. It built a great new brand, Saturn, then starved it. It brought one old brand back from the dead—Cadillac—but couldn’t take the design lessons learned and apply them to all its other brands. And it didn’t invest in the leading brand today—hybrids—fast enough to have them out in force when oil skyrockdeted and consumers dove for higher mileage autos.

The innovative Volt plug-in electric car could still pull GM back from the brink but it’s getting very late for Detroit.



Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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