Mr. Goodwrench, we hardly knew ye

December 6, 2010

Brought to life in 1977, GM’s Goodwrench Service program will be no more as of February 2011. I sure am gonna miss that Goodwrench guy. He was good people.

It turns out, though, there hasn’t been an actual living, breathing Mr. Goodwrench since 1996 when GM marketing moved away from any human representation of the brand. The man was no more, but everything he believed in — high levels of factory training, parts on hand and service department amenities — lived on in the name. I think it’s what he would have wanted.

I was taken aback when I first heard the news about the name going away too, but it actually makes sense to me from a brand strategy perspective. GM is replacing Goodwrench with brand-specific repair and maintenance services: If you drive a Buick, you’ll rely on Buick Certified Service; if you drive a Caddy, it’s Cadillac Certified Service for you.

After weathering bankruptcy, bailout and media scorn, it can’t hurt for GM to give their four remaining brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC) some reasonable distance from the parent company where they can. Making each brand responsible for its own maintenance also makes the service feel more specialized and gives customers more face time with the brands over the life of the car. With only four brands, it’s not a headache to manage. I get it.

But it does make me want to see how the Maytag repairman is getting on. Before it’s too late.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Brandlogic and CoreBrand have become Tenet Partners — Where brand meets innovation®. More