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Is the GM Name Toxic?

As branding moves go it's one most people won't even notice. General Motors will slowly start phasing out GM logos from its cars and trucks. If you are scratching your head and thinking, "I can't even think of where the GM logo is on a Chevy Suburban or any other GM model," you aren't alone. The 1 inch by 1 inch silver GM badge (on the door next to the name Silverado) is an innocuous reminder it's a GM model. But the company feels stripping out any GM references and making any badging references strictly tied into the core brands of Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC.

It brings up the question about whether the name and image of GM are toxic? Within the auto industry opinion on this is split. I've talked with many who say the public see GM as a symbol of a company that had to be bailed out in order to prevent a complete collapse. Others disagree. They believe the public could care less about the GM name, that the real interest is in the brands Chevy, Buick, etc.

Personally, I fall into the second group. Seeing the tiny GM badge on a Chevy makes no difference to me.

But there is a broader question that first came up when General Motors went into bankruptcy. Is the company name toxic? Does the average person have a negative image of the company, even now that it's out bankruptcy?

This is the reason GM is touting the Chevy Volt as heavily as it has been. It's fresh hope the troubled auto maker can re-invent itself with new models and new technology that could dramatically change the world. I know, there are numerous hurdles that the Volt still needs to clear, including the fact it's a GM project.

Funny, when we ultimately see the car, it will have a big Chevy badge, but if you look closely, you won't see a GM logo.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

Autos