The Official Denial: No More Brand Cuts at GM

July 8, 2008
Armchair quarterbacking about GM shutting down another brand is just rumor, says GM's Mark LaNeve, who told dealers in a letter that Saturn, Buick, Pontiac, and Saab are only being studied, not yanked from the GM corral.

In the letter to dealers--obtained by Dow Jones reporters--LaNeve says to dealers that GM is merely trying to improve its business--"that is the extent of the 'examination' that is going on at this time for Saturn or any other GM brand," he writes.

LaNeve explains that the company's trying to find way to make the brands profitable--in rough agreement with the Wall Street Journal's assertion earlier this week that Saturn never has turned a profit.

GM shares have fallen to 50-year lows and sales dropped dramatically in June, though less than analysts expected--and less than Japanese automaker Toyota's sales fell. In recent weeks, GM has confirmed it's put its HUMMER brand under "strategic review," which has been understood in Detroit to mean either a range of small new HUMMERs has to be developed, or the brand will be sold or joint-ventured with a foreign automaker.

READ MORE: GM Sales Chief Says No Plans to Ax More Brands - WSJ.com

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