Take a moment to think of all the brands that have at one time or another been part of the GM family. The company was founded by William C. Durant in 1908 and at that time the company’s only brand was Buick. Durant quickly added added more marques, after all the company’s name was General Motors, not Buick. Cadillac and Oakland – which eventually became Pontiac – came a year later, and the Reliance Motor Truck Company a year after that. Chevrolet came into the fold in 1911. At the end of the ’20s, the compant expanded globally, adding Germany’s Opel to the team, and acquiring a controlling stake in Holden in Australia.
Of course there have been a plethora of minor brands acquired or created by GM over the years – Ewing, Elmore, and later Geo and Saturn among them. But the stalwart favored five: Chevy, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac made up the bulk of GM’s holdings for much of the 20th Century. Today however, the company is far leaner.
At present, GM calls among its holdings only Chevy, Buick, Caddy and GMC trucks here in the States. In Europe, they still have Opel under their wing, as well as the British maker of Opel cloneware, Vauxhall to their name, while Holden still holds the GM flag in Australia. Asia has seen a major contracture from the American conglomerate, while the less said about the purchase and divestment in Saab the better. If you consider the brands that GM has left, like children on a Willy Wonka factory tour, which do you think is the best at present? If GM had to Sophie’s Choice a brand, which one would you say is least likely to get the heave ho?