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GM Puts Its Stamp on Vehicles
Detroit Free Press
April 13, 2005

By Sarah A. Webster

Just in case you weren't sure who makes the Corvette, there soon will be a stamp-size GM logo on the fancy sports car to help set you straight.

General Motors Corp. said on Tuesday it plans to pin a 25-mm silver square, embossed with its corporate logo, on all recently introduced and new 2006-model vehicles in an effort to more closely link the GM name with its eight brands.

The world's largest automaker sells its cars and trucks under a variety of names, including Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Saab, Hummer and Saturn, and consumers may not always know that they fall under the GM umbrella.

So GM said it would immediately begin phasing in the little badge on all of its North American vehicles to better mark its territory.

GM is expected to report a nearly $1-billion loss in the first quarter. But GM spokeswoman Peg Holmes could not say how much the emblem, or affixing it to new vehicles, would cost the automaker.

Its share of the U.S. market slipped to 25.7 percent in the first quarter of the year, from 27 percent a year ago.

Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president for vehicle sales, service and marketing, said in a statement that the new detail will dovetail with important messages to buyers about the availability of OnStar, an increasingly popular wireless safety, security and communication services system, as well as electronic stability control.

Both of those features are slated to gradually become standard on GM cars and trucks.

"Our own studies show that consumers place a tangible value on the General Motors name," he said.

The last vehicle GM put its name on in the United States was the EV1, an electric-powered vehicle, in the mid-1990s.

But in this NASCAR-like fight over the coveted ad space on the nation's vehicles, GM might be thinking too small.

The Auburn Hills-based Chrysler Group recently said it has plans to supersize its Hemi logo, which is affixed to vehicles containing the popular V-8 engine.

While that might also take some of the fun out of the company's popular ad campaign -- "That thing got a Hemi?" -- the new Hemi logo will be about twice the size of the current one.
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