GMAC brand may survive for GM financing

DETROIT -- General Motors Co. is talking with GMAC Financial Services about keeping the GMAC brand for GM financing when the lender changes its name Monday to Ally Financial Inc.

“The brand is owned between us,” Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said Tuesday in an interview. “If the brand equity is something that we want to go after there and keep intact, then we will.”

GMAC has a license from its former parent to use the name for its automotive operations until 2016. GMAC told dealers yesterday that its automotive operations would continue to do business under the GMAC name for the foreseeable future.

Reuss said the relationship between GM and GMAC definitely has changed since GM gave up complete ownership in 2006, primarily because GMAC does not buy as many financing deals as it used to. But he said that's in large part because of the effects of the global financial crisis on GMAC, which has received more than $17 billion in U.S. bailout money since December 2008.

“If we ask GMAC to help us with different points of being competitive where we want to compete, then they go help us do that,” Reuss said.

For instance, GM today introduced 24-month leases for some products, spokesman Tom Henderson said. The lease offer runs through June 30 and applies to the Chevrolet Malibu and Traverse, GMC Acadia, Buick LaCrosse and Enclave and Cadillac CTS and SRX.

GMAC slowly has returned to leasing since August after dropping out of that market for almost a year. GM executives have said they are aiming for a 7 to 10 percent lease penetration, compared with 20 to 22 percent before the auto market crash.

Reuss said GMAC is also re-establishing floorplan financing for nearly all of the dealers that have accepted GM's offer to be reinstated.

Peter Brown contributed to this report