When stars attending the Sundance Film Festival last month in Park City, Utah, needed a ride, they stepped into a Cadillac Escalade. Or a Hummer H2. Or perhaps a GMC Yukon Denali.
Much in the same manner, General Motors had Cadillacs taxiing VIPs through the streets of San Diego during Super Bowl weekend. And it will hold an exclusive Hollywood fashion show on March 18, just prior to the Academy Awards, at which GM vehicles will be displayed with work from 10 top designers.
It might sound like GM is star-struck. But high-profile events are part of a new effort to address an old problem: GM's dismal market share in the West.
Michael Jackson, general manager for GM's Western Region, says that strong truck sales, coupled with new car launches on tap, give the automaker an opening.
The automaker's Western Region encompasses Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming, as well as portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico.
GM's share in the West is 19 percent, compared with its 28.6 percent national light vehicle share for 2002.
"We've underperformed almost across the board," Jackson says.