General Motors has sidelined thousands of workers since its bankruptcy, last year, and though it has begun rebuilding its job rolls as sales improve, the maker has decided to make at least one more cut: Mr. Goodwrench.
The long-familiar figure, the symbol of the company’s dealer service operations, is being retired as of February 1, 2011. First hired on three decades ago, the Mr. Goodwrench brand is being set aside to allow for more specific brand-related “Certified Service” operations for each of the four automotive brands, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC, that survived last year’s run through Chapter 11.
“Our No. 1 priority is providing a world-class ownership experience that creates positive long-lasting relationships with our customers,” said Steve Hill, GM’s vice president for customer care and after sales.
The move doesn’t mean General Motors – or its dealers — are cutting back on the service side of their business. Anything but; along with financing and insurance, and used car sales, that’s where most retailers actually make their money. In recent years, selling new cars has often proved a showroom’s loss leader.