"Report card" on how GM divisions are doing
CEO Richard Wagoner gives this "report card" of GM divisions:
Oldsmobile:"It's moving in a good direction to be resolved, something everyone can live with, but not a lot of people are cheering," he says of the division that's on death row. "It's going as well as something that that's difficult and, frankly, emotional."
s sales were strong for a while after GM announced last December that it was killing off the venerable nameplate. Those sales have since eased off. "In October, everybody else was up a little to a lot, but Oldsmobile was down." He says some Olds dealers are taking buy-out packages, some are transitioning to new franchises. "It will play out over a couple more years."
Cadillac: The luxury division is well into its "art and science" program, aimed at blending high style and high technology into a new product lineup.
"Cadillac is well into its execution mode," says Mr. Wagoner. "We got the CTS coming out. It's just a riot to drive, especially with a manual transmission. It will surprise a lot of consumers and dealers."
Saturn: Also revamping its lineup, "maybe one product behind Cadillac in its rollout." He says Saturn, which has struggled lately, can be turned around with a good execution of new product.
Buick: "We have a clear vision of where we want to go, but we're a little away from those products getting to market. So dealers might be more 'We're-from-Missouri' on that one until the new products get out. But we're crisp on the vision. The question is executing the products to get the volume that Buick dealers are looking for."
Pontiac: "It's in the midst of a transition which the new Vibe (a crossover recreational vehicle) will start out. It will revive the youthful passion for Pontiac in a way that's in keeping with today's youth rather than Wagoner's former youth. "It isn't as radical a transformation for them as the other three."
GMC: "Obviously if you are in the truck business you are strong. Chevrolet: "Very well positioned, very strong on truck side of business, and we know where we want to go on the car side.