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Goodbye, Mr. Goodwrench

GM to focus on core brands, abandon its auto repair line.

by on Nov.09, 2010

The Goodwrench name was long associated with GM racing sponsorships, especially NASCAR.

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.

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“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.


Marty’s Marketing Minutia

This week's obituaries, oddities and obfuscations.

by on May.01, 2009

Why is this car here? The answer is hidded in the story. This Pontiac is for sale at

Why here? The answer is hidden in the post. This Pontiac is for sale at

My first new car and first car ad account was Pontiac

I was recruited and came to work in the Hills of Bloomfield for MacManus, John and Adams (MJ&A), not to work on one of the agency’s General Motors accounts — Pontiac, Cadillac, GM Corporate and Mr. Goodwrench — but as the account supervisor for Hush Puppies shoes. I had been the advertising director of a major, multi-brand-gender shoe company.

There’s a back-story of how Hush Puppies with that big, slobbering, ungainly Bassett Hound living logo account morphed into my working on Pontiac, so please allow me a little reflection.

The account, I learned the first day, that was in deep you-know-what.  Hush Puppies parsimonious veep of advertising in Rockford, MI was going justifiably nuts over wastrel profligate budgets, hated the creative, wanted exciting “VW-type” advertising, thought the agency team ineffective and was threatening to fire MJ&A, unless they hired someone with shoe industry experience to supervise the account.

Courtesy of Hush PuppiesThat would be me. 

“Get the damn account in line,” I was admonished by Chuck Adams, the president of the agency.  Lovely first day. And it wasn’t even lunch time.

The second day was worse. I got the client’s side of the story in a very long meeting, and it was not nice. The client told me, “Shape up the agency or it’s fired.” (more…)