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Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Mon., 7/12/10
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Good news, people. General Motors has turned a profit! However, there's bad news, too: GM's top executives are bonkers... loopy... bull-goose crazy.

How else to explain the car maker's recent effort to rebrand 'Chevy'--one of the most iconic brand names ever to come out of America? A June memo floated down from the executive suite of corporate headquarters in Detroit, directing all employees to henceforth stop saying, 'Chevy.' Instead, two vice presidents who signed the astonishing document decreed, "We'd ask that whether you're talking to a dealer, reviewing dealer advertising, or speaking with friends and family, that you communicate our brand as 'Chevrolet' moving forward."

Holy Don McLean! (he's the fine singer and songwriter who penned the classic refrain, "bye-bye, miss American pie/ I drove my Chevy to the levee/ but the levee was dry...").

Well, say the two veeps, it's a matter of marketing consistency. As their memo explains, "The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer." Yoo-hoo, boneheads: a foolish consistency has been defined as the 'hobgoblin of little minds.' You don't get more recognizable than 'Chevy'--so why would you stomp on your own success?

Because, as it turns out, a new advertising agency recently took on GM's Chevrolet division, and-- to rationalize their fat fees --these geniuses produced this silliness. Not only are GM executives going along with it, but they're enforcing the name change internally by fining employees a quarter every time they say 'Chevy' rather than 'Chevrolet.'

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Filed Under: Manufacturing