After being in place for three years, General Motors has announced that it will remove its “Mark of Excellence” corporate badges from all its vehicles.
The little chrome badges first appeared on 2006 Pontiac G6 models and eventually were added to the entire vehicle line-up. The program, announced in 2005 and implemented for the 2006 model-year, was an effort to increase the perception and awareness of the GM brand and to be a symbol of quality from General Motors. Interestingly enough, the logos sparked quite a controversy: some liked the idea of increasing the cachet of the GM brand, while others looked for ways to remove these badges from their vehicles.
Bob Lutz first hinted at the idea in an interview a few months back. The reason for removing the badges is twofold:
- GM wants to increase market awareness and brand stature of each separate brand within the GM stable. Each brand needs to carry a certain opinion pattern with it. For example, when someone says “Cadillac,” the goal is to make the consumer think of luxury cars that perform well and that are a blast to drive. From a marketing standpoint, this is a very good move.
- Given the recent loan and bankruptcy proceedings, GM as an entity has lost considerable market respect from consumers. Separating each brand from the overall GM stigma is a good move given present conditions.
The goal is to make each brand worth more alone than each brand combined under the central GM nameplate.
Maximum Bob said that certain new vehicles will be manufactured without the badge (2010 Chevrolet Equinox): every one of these Chevy CUVs built after August 19th will not carry the badge. Older vehicles that have a placeholder/indentation in the sheet metal for the badge will soldier on until the body is revised for the next model cycle.