A dip in its stock price is not a good enough reason to put GM on a death watch, but a brain-dead move from the exec team might be.
Starting in 2006 GM plans to affix chrome "GM" badges across its diverse product line. The idea is that GM suffers because so many people do not know GM builds both Caddies and Saturns, Saabs and Hummers. Color me nuts, but I doubt your basic Hummer driver wants to be reminded that a Chevy Cobalt is corporate kin. GM seems to be trying to scrape some prestige off its popular models and affix it to the slow-selling disappointments like the Pontiac G6. Both sounds bad and has a bad track record.
This stunt has been tried before by corporate big thinkers. Shortly after a down-on-its-luck Harley-Davidson was merged in 1969 with American Machine and Foundry (AMF), noted maker of bowling balls and sports gear, AMF logos turned up on Harleys. The bike maker's reputation tanked and build-quality slipped and didn't start to recover until Harley's eagle logo "flew alone" after the company severed its ties to AMF in 1981.
British Leyland also tried something similar in the 1970s in an attempt to unite its polyglot Austin, Morris, MG, Rover, Triumph, Jaguar, and LandRover stable. It did not work then either.
There is just no getting around the fact that GM needs to trim its product line, lose or merge several divisions, and actually build vehicles people want to drive. If it still can.
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