Automotive: May 2009 Archives

gm-logo-3.gifThe big joke of the blogosphere today is that General Motors should now be renamed Government Motors now that the Obama administration seems to be readying itself to make the beleaguered company the property of the taxpayer.

Harvard Business is already anxious to change the name as a result of this move. Here are a few of their suggested naming restrictions:

  • It has to be short enough to fit on the front and rear of the car. BMW is much better than Bavarian Motor Works.
  • ... it should reflect an American theme: rugged, individualistic, inclusive. Our company can't carry some namby-pamby moniker like Xeon or Life Dunk. Nope, has to be something like Let Freedom Ring Motor Co., Stars and Stripes Automobile Manufacturing Co. or Declare Your Independence Motors.
  • No People Names (linguistically referred to as eponyms). Too many automakers and models are named after names: Ford, DeSoto, Edsel, Aston Martin, DeLorean. But maybe a historically important figure would be OK. How does Lady Liberty Autoworks sound to you?
  • Forget American Motors. Tried it - didn't work out so well.
News is also spreading that the new Cadillac SRX and CTS Wagon are expected to be launched as GM disappears below the waves, while bloggers note that the company has far too many brand names in its garage to compete with stalwart car names like Corolla and Civic.

I have to wonder, and I'm being serious now, if the name GM hasn't become loosely associated with failure, which would likely make a company name change a necessity.

GM-Building-ground.gifNaming rights to the GM building are another issue altogether. Although, interestingly, the glass cube otherwise known as the Apple Store at the foot of the building may actually effect the value of that renaming project, which in any event, would not help GM at all - GM does not actually occupy the GM Building, it moved to the Citigroup Center.

This is an important fact because skyscraper naming typically falls to the largest tenant. In the case of the GM Building, however, there may be bidders simply because the building is a landmark.

The price for renaming the building is not expected to be too extreme, however, because zoning laws will prevent the new occupant from putting up too much signage.

Ironically, a bankruptcy law firm currently calls the GM Building home. How much worse can things get?

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