GM: Buick-Pontiac-GMC Channel Working

General Motors Corp. says its six-year-old strategy of grouping its Buick, Pontiac and GMC brands into one distribution channel is working. The 1,600 dealers currently aligned with the three-brand channel account for approximately 80% of the sales from the trio of GM nameplates. This is a great channel, with three strong differentiating brands and a strong dealer body, says Susan Docherty, a GM vice

General Motors Corp. says its six-year-old strategy of grouping its Buick, Pontiac and GMC brands into one distribution channel is working.

The 1,600 dealers currently aligned with the three-brand channel account for approximately 80% of the sales from the trio of GM nameplates.

“This is a great channel, with three strong differentiating brands and a strong dealer body,” says Susan Docherty, a GM vice president. “The B-P-G channel has some good momentum, and we plan to build on that.”

Getting the dealers aligned into one channel has been one of GM's top priorities for the last three or four years. It is continuing “because this makes good business sense,” she says at the opening of a “green” dealership. (See story on page 24.)

Although a significant consumer shift from trucks to cars and crossovers is a new reality, “General Motors and Buick-Pontiac-GMC have performed well in several growing segments,” she says.

With consumers migrating from fullsize trucks and SUVs to cars and cross/utility vehicles, GM is shifting production capacity to meet demand.

“We've increased our (GMC) Acadia production by over 3,400 units and (Buick) Enclave by over 7,000 units for the remainder of the calendar year,” Docherty says of two CUV models.

Buick products are much more purposeful in design and “needs fulfillment,” she says. “Our portfolio strategy for Buick will be fewer models that achieve higher sales per model.”

With the help of the Pontiac and GMC brands, the B-P-G channel allows the auto maker to optimize each brand by developing distinct and complementary vehicles that reduce overlap.

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