Maybe it was a little damage control over "damaged brands" Pontiac and Buick.
Last week, General Motors disputed a wire service report that suggested Pontiac or Buick might someday be eliminated. The report had quoted GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz, who referred to Buick and Pontiac as "damaged brands."
GM spokeswoman Geri Lama offered to provide Automotive News with a transcript of Lutz's comments during a Wednesday, March 23, automotive conference in New York. The transcript was provided by Thomson StreetEvents.
"Below is the Q&A that prompted the stories," Lama wrote in an e-mail.
The transcript included these Lutz comments: "Over time, if one of the troubled brands - or one of the brands that's been undernourished for many years - if it fails to turn around, then we'd have to take a look (at a) phaseout."
In this portion of the transcript, Lutz didn't refer to Buick or Pontiac by name, or as "damaged."
Oops. It seems that GM's version omitted Lutz's answer to a previous question. Morgan Stanley analyst Stephen Girsky had asked Lutz which GM brands were undervalued. Lutz explained GM's plan to consolidate the Buick, Pontiac and GMC brands into dealerships that house all three franchises.
Then Lutz added: "Buick and Pontiac are both damaged brands that have suffered from years of harvesting with very little reinvestment. And that's what we're trying to correct with an exciting array of new products."
Contacted Friday, March 25, Lama said the omission was inadvertent.