Posts Tagged ‘Penske’

Another brand bites the dust.

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

brand

News that Penske has backed out of the deal to purchase Saturn will ripple through the industry in a myriad of ways.  Detroit’s economy will be effected, thousands will lose their jobs, dealers and their employees are left scrambling.  These are the serious consequences of the deal blowing up.

Less serious, but no less real, is the fact that another automotive brand will disappear.  There was time when Saturn stood for something: “A different kind of car company.”  The promise of no haggle pricing and a dealer experience that was customer focussed and positive.  These attributes were foundation stones of a remarkable branding campaign:

These ideas and brilliant marketing created the essential ingredient of an automotive brand…brand advocates…..lots of them:

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I wish I had a Saturn dealership

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

brand

This week it was announced that Roger Penske had cut a deal to buy the Saturn brand from General Motors.  What a terrific development for Saturn and the Saturn brand.

A few weeks ago I was with a GM marketing guy and he made the observation that “you can tell that finance guys made all the decisions about the future of GM, because marketing folks would have kept Saturn and Hummer.”

The point he was making is that a marketing person would have recognized the inherent value in the Saturn and Hummer brands.  It looks like Hummer is going to get a second chance with a new Chinese owner and it remains to be seen if Hummer can successfully navigate changing consumer sensibilities to build a solid and profitable business in the US.

Saturn on the other hand grabbed the brass ring.

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