DETROIT -- One day after General Motors Vice Chairman Robert Lutz mused about the automaker possibly killing a brand, another GM executive asserted that the automaker has no intention of eliminating any of its brands.
Mark LaNeve, vice president of sales and marketing for GM, told Automotive News the automaker is investing heavily in all eight brands. Phasing out a particular division is not under consideration.
"We have no plans, or even discussions, of killing any brands," LaNeve said, "We're investing more heavily than ever in product and marketing programs."
On Wednesday, Lutz told a Morgan Stanley Automotive conference in New York if one of GM's "troubled brands" fails to turn around, "then we'd have to take a look at a phase-out."
Published reports linked Pontiac and Buick to Lutz's comments.
LaNeve reemphasized in a message to dealers Thursday that both brands are safe.
LaNeve also said GM is managing Buick, Pontiac and GMC as one channel and providing those divisions with a product portfolio "to service that channel and to focus " the lineup.
That represents a key difference from Oldsmobile, which GM killed last year, he said.
"These portfolios we're going to deliver we don't have to deliver an A to Z portfolio for those three brands," he said. "We can tighten and focus them. I'd rather have four or five great Pontiacs or Buicks than eight undistinguishable products. That business model makes a lot of sense."
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