Is A Name Change Coming For One Of America's Biggest Automakers?

Industry News

One analyst seems to think so.

Late in 2008 and early 2009, the US spent billions of dollars to bail out General Motors and Chrysler. While Chrysler was later bought out by Fiat, GM has managed to remain on its own, though some would still like to see GM pay back the $11.2 billion it was given. Even with a surge of new crossover models, GM failed to hit its sales targets in 2018 and the company's stock price has suffered as a result.

It may be time for a big change according to a Bloomberg report. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas even said: "several investors have asked us about the potential for a name change to accompany a radical strategic shift for the company.”

"We have no knowledge or strong opinion on a potential name change, but do not exclude the possibility of such an action being considered by GM’s leadership to help foster perception and cultural change,” Jonas said.

A GM spokesperson confirmed the company is not considering a name change, though the idea is not unheard of in today's market.

Many household-name companies have rebranded in recent years, including Dunkin Donuts to just Dunkin and Michael Kors to Capri Holdings Ltd. Back in 2005, you may remember GM placing small, "mark of excellence” badges on its cars to improve familiarity with all of its brands. Those GM badges were removed after 2009 to avoid the stigma of being government-backed.

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Jonas didn't mention what he believes would be a good name, though investors may be looking for something geared towards electric cars. Electric Motors could be an interesting name, though it would likely preclude the company from building cars with internal combustion engines. Do you think GM should consider a name change and if so, what do you think the name should be?

Frankly, we think Fiat-Chrysler should be the one to change its name. The Chrysler brand is important only in name as the Jeep brand is basically carrying the rest of FCA. Chrysler itself only sells two models, the 300 and Pacifica, and we think it is time for the brand to die off to let Jeep stand in the spotlight.

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