DETROIT (Nov. 9, 2010) — General Motors Co. is dropping its iconic GM Goodwrench car mechanic brand in the U.S. as it moves to redirect the marketing emphasis around the car maker's four core vehicle brands.
GM will replace the 36-year-old Goodwrench brand—used by GM dealers to promote vehicle repair and maintenance services—with Chevrolet Certified Service, Cadillac Certified Service, Buick Certified Service and GMC Certified Service, GM said.
The auto maker wants the vehicle brands, not corporate, to be the stars of GM, and that includes service and repairs, said one source familiar with the new campaign.
“This is another part of the effort to clear out brand clutter,” the source said.
The phase-out is effective Feb. 1 in the U.S., GM's statement said. The brand will remain in Canada where it still holds some cachet, the source said.
“Certified Service supports GM's strategy to focus on the four brands—Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac—and is a natural extension of the customer's vehicle purchase experience at the dealership,” Steve Hill, vice president and general manager, GM Customer Care and Aftersales, said.
The brand, launched as Mr. Goodwrench in 1974, was once a household name when GM was a much bigger auto maker. The name, which GM changed to Goodwrench Service Plus in the 1990s, also was a major sponsor of NASCAR racing—including Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s car—for several years until it dropped its involvement in 2007.
Goodwrench was promoted to customers as the assurance that trained technicians would service and repair any GM vehicle brought to a GM dealership using GM factory-made replacement parts.
In recent years, though, many of GM's 4,500 dealers failed to use the Goodwrench signs at their stores or put the logo in advertising, the source said.
Leo Burnett, of Chicago, is the agency of record for the Goodwrench brand and also GMC and Buick.