AdAge Sheds More Light on GM's Marketing Realignment

An article in this week's issue of Advertising Age takes an in-depth look at the changes announced earlier this month by General Motors to strengthen its car brands. The "moves are designed to empower" the "four newly created brand czars" at the company with a "voice in incentives, vehicle development."

Importantly, the new VPs will have a seat at GM's product-development councils, which Peter Ternes, a GM spokesman, said was "the biggest change." Under the current system, a centralized global panel headed by product czar Bob Lutz decides which models will be made. Three of the four new channel chiefs "will have a voice" on new products, the spokesman said. That fourth channel chief, Ms. Lajdziak, was the only one not promoted to North American VP; she remains Saturn's general manager and will "have input" in what models GM's European Opel brand develops.

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Lajdziak Teases with Astra Tidbits

Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak posted a story on the GM Fastlane blog today teasing us with a few new details about the brand's replacement for the compact Ion sedan and quad coupe: the 2008 Saturn Astra. The Astra will make its formal debut at the Chicago Auto Show next month.