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Marketing Analysis of Oldsmobile

INTRODUCTION/PRODUCT BACKGROUND

The automobile’s humble beginnings stemmed from a need for a more practical, safer, and economical device than the horse and carriage. The horse and carriage of yesterday were as common as any family car would be today. The horse and carriage were beginning to lose its usefulness.

Another device was required and a “revolution” which affects each one of us ensued. The inventors of the day created many devices including steam and gasoline-powered “horseless carriages.” The oldest American car company was created by one of these visionaries. Ransom Eli Olds created one of the most well known American car companies, Oldsmobile, over a hundred years ago.

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Ransom Eli Olds was born in Ohio on June 3, 1864. Olds is often considered the “Father of the American auto industry” (Rothenberg, 2001). He built and sold his first steam-propelled horseless carriage in 1893 and had constructed his first gas-propelled vehicle in 1896; Ransom Olds sold his first Oldsmobile in 1897.

The Olds Motor Works was built in Lansing Michigan and incorporated in 1899. The facility was home to the first assembly line, producing the Curved Dash and allowing Oldsmobile to become the first mass producer of gasoline cars (http://oldsmobile.com, 2001). “In 1900 Olds built 4 units; by 1905 it had made more than 10, 000 cars (McGuire, 2000).” The Curved Dash model was a landmark design in automotive history. The auto weighed only 700 pounds and was more dependable than any of its high priced competition.

During the early years, Oldsmobile’s only major competitor was the horse and carriage. “Early ads boasted that the $600 Curved Dash ran 40 miles on 1 gallon of gasoline (http://oldsmobile.com, 2001).” Olds sought to convince people that the Curved Dash was thriftier, safer, faster, more comfortable and more modern than a horse.

The Olds Motor Company was a prosperous business; however, Ransom E. Olds resigned from the company in 1904 due to disagreements with his investors. Ransom formed another company named REO (Ransom Eli Olds) which has continued to thrive in modern times as Diamond-REO, building extreme-duty trucks.

In 1908 General Motors purchased the Olds Motor Company. Oldsmobile had been a successful subsidiary of General Motors since its purchase. Oldsmobile’s long success stemmed from their ability to create new enhancements for the automobile. For instance, four-wheel brakes were introduced in 1927, and the new F-28 model sporting a 6 cylinder was also launched in 1927. In 1932, Oldsmobile introduced the first automatic choke and by 1937, developed the Safety Automatic Transmission (4-speed semi-automatic), the forerunner of the fully automatic transmission, available on the 1938 models (Chevron, 2001).

One of the greatest achievements in the over one hundred years history of the automobile may be the Hydra-Matic Drive. Oldsmobile did not invent the automatic transmission, although, they did perfect it. Prior to Oldsmobile producing the product, others had tried but lost interest and abandoned the project. The Hydra-Matic transmission was the first mass-produced fully automatic transmission made by GM and Oldsmobile. “By 1964, an automatic gearbox was installed in 81 percent of the cars built in the United States. The figure was 91 percent in 1970 and 87.5 percent in 1998 (Hydra-Matic…, 2000).

Other creations by Oldsmobile included the introduction of power brakes and air conditioning in 1952. The Oldsmobile Tornado was the first American car to offer driver’s side air bags. During the 1990’s Oldsmobile presented Guidestar, the first on-board navigation system to be offered on a production car. Also, Oldsmobile introduced the Silhouette Premiere, featuring the first on-board entertainment system. In 1998, the Oldsmobile headquarters moved from Lansing Michigan to new GM offices in Detroit. The year 1999 saw the last of the Eighty-Eight models ending its 50 years in existence as well as the last cutlass built 38 years after the name was introduced.

MARKETING MIX

Price

Price is all around us. Throughout most of history, prices were set by negotiation between buyers and sellers. Price setting is very important in any segment of business. The firm must decide where to position its product on quality and price. Oldsmobile offers a limited number of products with a standard pricing concept. Current products offered are the Alero at $17,785 to $22,765; Intrigue at $22,995 to $27,115; Aurora at $31,139 to $35,314; Silhouette at $26,920 to 33,620; and Bravada at $32,335 to $36,895. These prices are compatible with other manufacturers such as Ford, Toyota, and Nissan; however; the prices were not competitive with the other product lines offered by GM such as Buick, Chevrolet, and Pontiac.

Price helps to determine the success of the company’s products. Throughout history, Oldsmobile used very little markup from year to year in the various models offered. Pricing was set to attract their target markets, which were families and older people. The prices were more expensive than the other General Motors product lines such as Buick, Chevrolet, and Pontiac; yet, Oldsmobile products were very similar in quality, performance, features, style, and design. Because they were competing with many other GM divisions, Oldsmobile should have used the competitive pricing formula.

During the late eighties and early nineties, the drastic demographic changes forced the company to develop a pricing tag method. The target age group was not buying as many automobiles as prior generations. Oldsmobile tried to reinvent the product line and to associate pricing with product line features and brand. The consumers did not respond to the pricing concept; thus Oldsmobile products faced a decline in the market. Eventually this led to a decrease in sales and dropping the Oldsmobile line by 2005.

Product

When Oldsmobile planned its market offering, the company management had to consider the five levels of the product – core benefit, basic product, expected product, augmented product, and potential product. The Oldsmobile product was a leader during the introductory phase. The Oldsmobile Company joined with the other General Motors product lines in 1908. During the growth stage of the product life cycle, Oldsmobile joined with Cadillac to produce the overhead V8. For the record, Lee Petty won his first Daytona 500 in an Olds. In 1966, Oldsmobile reintroduced the front wheel drive to domestic consumers with the Toronada, and became the first U. S automaker to offer optional air bags in 1974.

Oldsmobile sales peaked when the Cutlass was revived and redesigned in 1985. Approximately 1.2 million cars were sold. This positioned the Oldsmobile line in the product cycle maturity stage. Oldsmobile attempted to modify the product line during the late eighties and nineties. They tried to target a younger market with models such as the Alero, Intrigue, Aurora, Bravada, and Silhouette. The consumers did not accept the product change. This led to Oldsmobile experiencing the product cycle decline phase. The yearly sales and profits for the product line were dropping drastically. “Oldsmobile’s U S sales decreased 17.9 percent in 2000, to 289,172 automobiles sold. Most of the decline stemmed from the departure of the Cutlass and the Eighty Eight. Sales of Oldsmobile’s remaining five products decreased 2.7 percent for the year (Cantell, 2001).”

Place

Most producers or manufacturers do not sell their goods directly to the consumers. Oldsmobile first designed and sold the cars in Michigan. The demand was overwhelming. Oldsmobile had to distribute the products to consumers throughout the United States. Oldsmobile was using the 1-level consumer marketing channel distribution process. Not only is Oldsmobile selling the products here in the United States, it has sold automobiles on a global level. The marketing strategy is non-aggressive. A majority of the products were not good sellers in the foreign market; however; the Bravada is a great seller in the foreign market.

Oldsmobile had to study its intermediaries. This gave them insight on individual firms who should carry their products. Oldsmobile originally had 3,100+ dealers. Currently, there are only 2,801 dealers. The partnership that developed was one of trust and respect. Because the Oldsmobile product will no longer be sold after the next 3 to 4 years, General Motors has offered the Oldsmobile dealers the option of accepting the financial settlement and terminating their dealership now or accepting half the money now and half when the Oldsmobile Company shut down. The Oldsmobile distribution system is a key external resource and Oldsmobile proved this by treating each dealer fairly.

Promotion

Marketing requires more than developing a good product, pricing it attractively, and making it accessible. Oldsmobile had to communicate with many internal and external sources. Therefore, they had to adopt a promotion concept to encompass advertising, promotion, public relations, selling, and direct marketing. Oldsmobile was very successful during the introduction and growth stages of the product life cycle. Sales and profits were at their peaks. The target market was mostly families with children and older people. The Cutlass and Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight were identified as the best product for your money and the buyers accepted this marketing concept. The changes in demographics and cultures during the late 1980’s and 1990’s forced Oldsmobile to target the younger market. Oldsmobile did not change with the times. They allowed other automotive manufacturers to capture the import market and truck lines. Later, Olds tried to regain these markets in the maturity and decline phase of the product life cycle. They introduced the Aurora, Alero, and Intrigue, and the Bravada sports utility vehicle to compete with the competitive import models, but as the saying goes it was “too little, too late.” It was a risky repositioning move to cancel the Cutlass and Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight because it takes skilled marketers to promote a new product with no identity alongside the other more established products in the line.

The Oldsmobile Division has used the same advertising agency since 1937. Leo Burnett USA Adverting Agency persuaded management that Oldsmobile and Buick had the same customers during the late 1980’s and 1990’s. General Motors decided to let Buick handle the traditional customers. Oldsmobile was given the task to appeal to the younger buyers. The campaign slogan to attract the younger market was “this is not your father’s olds,” driving home the point that the consumer wasn’t sure what Oldsmobile represented. The promotions and advertising concepts led to confusion and a decline in sales of Oldsmobile. It caused a disaster and contributed to the death of Oldsmobile.

ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS

Economic Environment

With most any sales operation, the major influencing environmental factor is the economic outlook of the nation. When the economy is doing well and forecasted to continue, companies hope and expect to see an increase in their sales. Consumers tend to increase overall spending as announcements are made about the increasingly favorable outlook for our economy. Some consumers not only take the economic outlook of our nation into account; they may also make judgements based on what is going on in foreign markets.

Companies must keep in mind the economic standing of their target market. Their income, savings, debt and credit availability are all deciding factors in whether they will be able to make a purchase or not. Credit availability is especially important for more expensive purchases where a loan will be necessary. If the consumers in their target markets cannot secure the loans needed to make the purchases then companies cannot expect to see an increase in sales.

The rise and fall of the interest rate also greatly effect sales. When making a major purchase, consumers will most likely secure a loan to pay for their merchandise. This can include purchases such as homes, cars, electronics, etc. The lower interest rates will often stimulate consumers to move forward with their purchase plans sooner.

Competitive Environment

All companies use significant marketing resources in an effort to keep their company name on top. In recent years the product market has been overwhelmed with more and more products, but the number of consumers hasn’t increased with it. In order to stay competitive, companies must keep their prices affordable and attractive to consumers while continuing to make a quality product. In a perfect world, these efforts should keep the company successful and profitable.

One thing more and more companies are doing is attempting to target younger consumers. By attracting younger consumers that are new to the market, companies hope to establish a bond with these consumers. Hopefully, the experience the younger consumer has with the company and the product will create a feeling of satisfaction, making the consumer choose their particular brand or company name over others when the time comes to make another purchase.

Another thing that is important to stay competitive is to offer a quality product. While price is an extremely important factor, the product must be worth it to the consumer. Consumers are looking for a competitive price not a cheaply made product. If a consumer chooses a product based on the fact it has the lowest price, but the product doesn’t do what it says it will or wears out in an untimely manner, chances are that consumer won’t make a repeat purchase. Instead, most consumers will spend a little more money in order to get the quality they expect.

Technological Environment

Over the past few years the technology available in the market place has changed dramatically. These changes have been faster than many manufacturers anticipated. Companies must work harder than ever to keep up with the pace of competitors by staying aware of technological developments.

Production efficiency has to be the area where technological changes have made the most difference. With the use of automated equipment, such as a robotic line, companies are able to replace one or more workers with just one machine. These machines are costly and each company must decide if the technology will be the most cost-effective move for their industry.

Computers have also proved to create changes in the way we run our businesses today versus the businesses of yesterday. Just about every company, whether large or small, uses computers to keep up with their day to day operations. Computers and their continued development allow companies to make sales via the Internet or by using e-mail. This process, when streamlined, can cut down on the cost per unit sold for the company.

Besides the changes technology can have on a companies process of doing business and the manner in which they create their product, companies must stay aware the technological progress in their market. Companies must also stay aware of changes made in their products as far as materials used, features added and services offered so that they will be able to offer the same or even better product.

Socio-Cultural Environment

Companies must work hard to identify with consumers and what types of consumers make up their target market. They have to be aware of the sub-cultures and social classes included in their target market. Not in a sense of who they are, that would have already been designated, but more in a sense of what kind of person they are. Companies must be familiar with the views, beliefs, values and morals of the consumers in their market.

One thing companies can do to keep in touch with and informed by their consumer base is to be involved in and sponsor different social activities. By sponsoring events, companies are given a chance to interact with their consumers to obtain feedback on their use of the product and gain insight as to the level of satisfaction that they have experienced. This can also be an opportunity to spend time with potential consumers and learn what services or products they would like to see offered.

Political-Legal Environment

Companies must stay abreast of developments in the political arena as they can have great influence on the markets. The political and legal environment is the one environment businesses are able to influence. However, this area encompasses so much, it can be a struggle to keep up with it all.

A huge political factor can be the party that is in control. The outlook for the markets can change when the White House changes from a democratic president to a republican president, as we just have. Consumers may begin to slow their spending in order to give the new president and his staff time to get settled in and see what type of changes they may be implementing that could effect them. White House scandals can also have an effect on consumer purchasing. A scandalous administration can cause consumers to become weary of what may be coming.

New laws that come into effect can also change the way a company operates. For example, new pollution laws that have come into effect over the past years have made some manufacturers change the way their product is produced and how excess materials are stored and disposed. One thing some companies have chosen to do is solicit the use of a lobbyist to ensure the demands placed on their companies aren’t overly extreme.

Another thing companies can do to take advantage of the legal environment is become active with special interest groups that their target consumers are involved in. This could include groups that support the rights of women, minorities or the elderly. Special interest groups are an excellent way of identifying with consumers and letting them know your company shares in their concern.

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths and Weaknesses

Although General Motors has made the decision to discontinue the Oldsmobile product line, there are many strengths that enabled this division to remain in operation for over 103 years. Oldsmobile was the first American carmaker to advertise (Halliday, 2001). Oldsmobile was the first mass-producer of gasoline cars back in 1901. The initiation of mass-production is often incorrectly credited to Ford. Also, Olds was the first to use chrome around the radiator, the first production line car with a fully automatic transmission, and produced the first mass-produced U.S. car with front-wheel drive – the 1966 Toronado (Chevron, 2001). As a matter of record, the Olds line had to be the one out with many firsts in order to remain a viable business for over 100 years.

At a time when the lack of a broader product mix was needed, the new Bravada was added to the product line. It will make its debut in 2002. This new SUV will update outdated models and give this division a competitive chance in the automobile industry’s hottest segment. Although this can be seen as a strength, it was an untimely late move. It will be challenging for Oldsmobile to promote this new vehicle at a time when an announcement has been made that this line will cease to exist. The Olds division is using an area of promotion for this new SUV that has been successful in the past. The pace car for the next Indy 500 will not be a car, but a SUV – the new Olds Bravada. This year will mark the eleventh time an Oldsmobile has paced the Indy 500 (Fitzgerald, 2001).

Oldsmobile, in the recent past, introduced the Alero, Aurora, and Intrigue. These were excellent examples of what could be produced when the goal of the developers was to design sharp cars. These models elicited praise from the automotive press for their distinctive styling and carried the kind of mystique that lends itself to innovative marketing programs such as appearances in the hit sci-fi show, The X-files. Again, this was too little, too late (Welch, 2001).

Oldsmobile is now engaged in some cleaver marketing ploys. If these had been tried earlier, could it have saved the product line? Well, we will never know. However, after the plan to kill the line was announced, some of the ploys proved to be successful. For comparison, Saturn posted a 3.7 percent sales increase in the first quarter of 2001, compared to last year, but Oldsmobile was General Motors’ second most successful make. Olds sales were down 0.3 percent in the first quarter, compared with dips of 4.6 percent for Chevrolet, 8.6 percent for GMC, 1.4 percent for Pontiac, 16.4 percent for Buick and 25.8 percent for Cadillac (Teahen, 2001). So what was it that Oldsmobile is doing that is so different? They are offering a $1500 loyalty bonus to owners who stick with the Oldsmobile, higher rebates are offered than on corresponding GM vehicles and longer warranty periods are offered.

What actually went wrong with the Oldsmobile product line? Obviously their weaknesses outweighed their strengths, but what were the weak points? The decline of the Oldsmobile is more likely tied to a product line that’s been devoid of innovation coupled with poor management. In addition, the parent company, GM, has a sliding market share as a whole. The multitude of me-too products offered under all of GM’s brands is one reason for this decrease. According to David Davis Jr., founder of Automobile Magazine and a former creative director at Campbell Ewald where he worked on GM and Chevrolet, “GM convinced itself that if we build cars that are simply good enough, we will be able to return some real shareholder value. Sure, but what does that do for constantly sliding market share?” “They’re sized for a market of 35 or 40%,” said Mike Davis, managing director of investment banking at First of Michigan “and their market share is only 28% (Sharfman, 2001).” With a sliding market share, GM had become to unfocused and all divisions are suffering. So how many brands does an automaker GM’s size need? Right now, with not much more that a quarter of the market, GM is juggling twelve different brands (Chevrolet, Saturn, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Saab, Isuzu, Suzuki and soon, Alfa-Romeo), each having several different models. GM needs to reconsider it entire product mix. Perhaps realignment is in order at this time.

Another problem with Oldsmobile was that by the time trendy new Olds cars were introduced, it was already too late. Oldsmobile did not have clear positioning on its target market. The Aurora was introduced without any Oldsmobile identification, which made it clear that the powers that be could already see a problem with the prior promotional campaigns of Oldsmobile. GM has brand managed so much, that they have lost sight of their target market. This can be seen by the way that Oldsmobile has tried to distance its own product from the divisional brand ads.

The slogan, “not your father’s Oldsmobile” was a marketing signature that disenfranchised both younger and older buyers alike over time (Sharfman, 2001). The younger buyers were more familiar with the Oldsmobile being an automobile for mature individuals. When the newer, trendier Olds were introduced, they were promoted not with the Olds brand name on it, but rather as stand-alone models. The mature customers rejected the Olds because prior to the introduction of the newer models, Olds were touted as the brand for “old folks.” Even mature customers do not like to be marketed to as “old.”

Others in the industry feel that the GM executives are the reason for the insight loss of their target market. Columnist Jerry Flint explained his beliefs as, “You have a management team that doesn’t know much about the American car business.” He singled out Chairman Jack Smith as “the former treasurer who had no American car experience.” Rick Wagoner as someone (who) “lost market share every year running North American automotive operations and “was promoted to CEO.” Flint also included Ron Zarrella, president of GM North America, as someone who “was selling eye wash five years ago (Buss, 2001).” Personally, we feel that management can either come into an organization without a focus or lose focus in their position over time, if they forget to evaluate or re-evaluate their target market and abide by the mission statement of the organization. Olds abandoned its goal of being innovative; innovation was one of its values. Abandoning a value will alter the brand forever.

Opportunities and Threats

Although few opportunities exist with a soon to be defunct product line, dealerships and consumers may be able to reap some rewards. Dealerships have been promised $3100 for each unit sold in a year for the strongest year over the next three. Consumers will benefit with extended warranties of 5 years, 60,000 miles. These extended warranties are also coupled with rebate incentives of $2000 to $4500 on various models in the Olds product line.

GM reports that it wants to keep strong and loyal dealerships in the family when the brand line is killed. However, few franchises are available in an already saturated market. Olds dealers that sell the brand alone amount to 61and 271 dealerships rely on the product line for over 50% of sales. Overall there are 2801 Oldsmobile stores. Complicating the issue are agreements that were signed by one third of Olds dealers to carry GM product lines exclusively. Consideration is now underway to allow for leeway in the agreement. Some of GM’s overseas affiliates such as Saab and Subaru are being passed along information about worthy dealerships. But, these overseas affiliates indicate that they have no plans to expand their current dealer base (Child, 2001). GM can offer little but a cash buyout that is currently on the table. Although most dealerships want to stay in business, there is little doubt that some will fail after Oldsmobile fades into the past.

Many commentators consider the Alero, Aurora and Intrigue as being some of the best cars offered by GM. Consider Saturn, $20 billion has been spent on the division, and it has never generated a profit. Some consider that Saturn was starved due the efforts to revitalize Oldsmobile. Whether or not this was the case, Saturn will see funds earmarked for its cause as a result of the disappearance of its primary competitor within GM. It has been suggested that incorporation of the Aurora and Intrigue models into the Saturn division would be a smart move to push up dealer volume of what is considered an incomplete model line. Also, scrapping the ill conceived Saturn SUV and replacing it with the Bravada would make sense.

The threats to Olds were a lack of forward thinking as to how the automotive market was changing. The response was sluggish allowing for the decline that was experienced. As GM begins consolidation, other problems internal to the “Big General” will continue to loom on the horizon. One would have to view the giant as being it’s own worst enemy. Poor management, underestimation of consumer sophistication, labor relations and a spiraling market share for US manufacturers will plague the company until those at all levels realize that their culture will continue to drive sales and profitability through the floor.

Oldsmobile sales were approximately 300,000 units per year. We are unsure as to the number of consumers that were loyal to the brand. How many of those that exhibited brand loyalty and now have a feeling of alienation toward GM should be considered a threat to future loss of market share. At an average of $20,000 per unit, 6 billion dollars of sales could be diverted to other manufacturers. Maintaining consumer loyalty needs to be considered. As discussed previously, consideration of consolidating the Olds line with Saturn is a viable alternative.

General Motor’s marketing effort seems to be unfocused. This year the Bravada will pace the Indy 500. Millions have been spent supporting the Aurora engine as the primary powerplant for the Indy Racing League. Oldsmobile logos are sported on most all entries. The whole episode is bizarre when viewed from a consumer/enthusiast standpoint. Extolling the virtues of a rich heritage, at this juncture, makes little sense and indicates a total lack of identification with a discriminating market that was once the primary focus.

One should realize that it was only 3 years ago that strikes at 2 UAW locals in Detroit cost the company 2.5 billion in net profits. Did this strike weaken GM and help bring about the demise of Oldsmobile? The actions of isolated parties can create devastating effects that ripple throughout the economies of those seemingly unrelated to the action. For example consider the loss of an Olds dealership in a Florida community of 8000 inhabitants. 40 jobs will be lost, $500,000 in advertising revenue won’t be spent, $500,000 in tax revenues are gone, and $2,000,000 million in wages won’t be paid (Truett, 2001). Partially due to the pending loss of the $300 million loss of Oldsmobile business, Burnett Worldwide, a Chicago based ad agency, announced the layoff of 200 employees.

GM’s future will be that of trying to maintain market share more so than making advances. Divisions such as Buick (sales 400,000 units yearly), Saab (150,000 units yearly, internationally), and Saturn may be on the chopping block next. The threat faced by overseas competition is real and will continue. No clear strategy seems to be in place to increase market share by direct competition with those that have eroded GM’s markets. An economy that is somewhat in the doldrums along with high-energy prices may also have a negative effect on GM’s stalwart truck and SUV market.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Olds Motor Company was founded on a sound business plan and created a suitable replacement for the horse and carriage. Ransom Olds understood the need in the market and made an item that was well received. General Motors kept Oldsmobile alive in the market place for over 100 years. This longevity was not an accident, but an understanding of the target market.

In the last 5 years Oldsmobile has struggled to keep market share. The company has not kept up with the needs and wants of its customer base, nor has it focused on its original target market. Throughout Oldsmobile’s history, they have marketed to a mature age group. This target market was very loyal; however, the management of Oldsmobile wanted to expand the target to younger aged people. The ad campaign offended its original target market and sales declined.

The market decline is almost entirely blamed on the new and virtually inexperienced Oldsmobile’s management team in the automobile industry. The poor management team did not see or respond to the warning signs that the target market was beginning to follow other automakers. If the senior leadership acted faster in identifying the fact that the company was going into the declining phase, they might have reversed the downward sales trend and remained a viable company for another 100 years.

With the company entering into decline General Motors decided to refocus the company assets and close the Oldsmobile division. Oldsmobile certainly has introduced some innovative products in the last few years, however this effort comes too late for it to be successful.

Based on the information gathered during research, General Motors is substantiated in deciding to close the Oldsmobile division. It is recommended that General Motors focus on two key areas as they begin the process of closing. Make sure loyal customers receive good service from divisions that stay open and take the good traits of Oldsmobile to other divisions. The first point is targeted at keeping Oldsmobile customers loyal to General Motors. If General Motors focuses on long-term relationships then it will make up the market share they are losing in other key divisions. If General Motors does not treat the Oldsmobile customers as though they care about their future, then GM will certainly lose more market share. The second point is targeted at evaluating what has worked at Oldsmobile. Some of the new cars introduced by Oldsmobile have been successful. General Motors should consider moving any star products to other key divisions for future sales potential and assisting in fostering customer loyalty within the General Motors Company.

Oldsmobile is a perfect example of how a good company can turn bad if it is not constantly monitoring market trends. One final thought, know your target audience and keep your company focused on the target. Oldsmobile lost sight of this one key goal.

 

REFERENCES

Buss, Dale; A Critic Looms Large; Automotive News; March 26, 2001, Vol. 75 Issue 5922, p20.

Cantwell, Julie; Olds Model May Get New Life; Automotive News; January 15, 2001, Vol. 75, Issue 5912, p3.

Chevron, Jacques; Oldsmobile Brand Just Fades Away; Brandweek; February 5, 2001, Vol. 42 Issue 6, p28.

Child, Charles; Where Can Olds Dealers Go?; Automotive News; February 26, 2001, Vol. 75, Issue 5918, p3.

Fitzgerald, Kate; GM’s Olds Takes Write Turn in Support of Bravada SUV; Advertising Age; April 9, 2001, Vol. 72 Issue 15, p34.

Halliday, Jean; Curtain Call for Oldsmobile; Advertising Age; March 19, 2001, Vol. 72 Issue 12, p48.

http://www.oldsmobile.com/history/1900-1910; Referenced May 15, 2001.

Hydra-Matic Drive is Highlight of Oldsmobile Line for 1940; Automotive News (Anniversary Supplement); August 28, 2000, Vol. 74, Issue 5890, p18.

McGuire, Bill; Oversville for Oldsmobile; Auto Week; February 25, 2000; Vol. 50, Issue 54, p26.

Rothenberg, Al; No More Merry Oldsmobile; Wards Auto World; 2001, Vol. 37, Issue 3, p86.

Sharfman, Bill; One Last Look at Oldsmobile; Brandweek; January 8, 2001, Vol. 42 Issue 2, p28.

Teahen Jr., John K.; Could Well-Timed Deals Have Saved Oldsmobile?; Automotive News; April 16, 2001, Issue 5925, p10.

Truett, Richard; Dealer in Florida Struggles to Retain Employees and Craft a Future Under GM”S Death Sentence Automotive News; Automotive News; January 29, 2001, Vol. 75, Issue 5913, p3.

Welch, David; GM Warms up Its Branding Iron; Business Week; April 16, 2001, Issue 3728, p56.

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