In the wake of settling their fractious strike, GM has made some positive moves toward stopping the bleeding of their market share. First, they announced that they are combining the operations of their service, parts and marketing efforts rather than letting each division maintain separate, duplicated and inefficient operations. In addition to their other duties, VPs Roy Roberts of GMC/Pontiac and John Middlebrook of Chevrolet are in charge of coordinating the Field Sales, Service and Parts, and Vehicle Brand Marketing efforts respectively.
At the same time, efforts were initiated that would result in Delphi becoming a fully-independent, publicly-traded company during 1999 with J.T. Battenberg becoming chairman, chief executive officer and president. Having the corporation wedded to an in-house parts supplier, and having to maintain so many similar operations with overlapping products have been considered major reasons for the poor profitability of GM.
Note that the recent strikes were so effective in crippling the company since the Delphi plants walking out were involved with just about every vehicle GM offers. Each of their competitors has solitary corporate support organizations, and Ford is looking at different sales operations under the leadership of Ross Roberts. (No relation to Roy!) These are bold moves, but the Delphi initiative is going to strain their UAW relationship.
I personally feel that it would be wise for GM to combine brands in some way for sales and marketing, and would suggest aligning Chevrolet and Buick since they are conservative, value brands; Pontiac and Oldsmobile, taking advantage of their muscle car and European performance positions; and GMC and Cadillac to streamline the upscale luxury posture.