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Auto blogWed, 13 Mar 2013 18:31:00 EST
One of the things that dogs the full comeback of General Motors is the instability of its marketing. That part of the automaker got yet another big shakeup today when GM confirmed what I have been tweeting for a few days - strong rumors that the Chevrolet and Cadillac ad accounts are walking to new ad agencies.
Cadillac, GM's luxury brand, is going into review from Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis and the indications are that Campbell-Ewald, Chevy's old ad shop, will end up with most or all of it. C-E just announced that it was moving from its long-time home in Warren, MI to a new downtown Detroit office next to Ford Field, just blocks from GM.
The other shoe to drop shortly will be the shift of GM's most important brand, Chevy, from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco to McCann-Erickson of Troy, MI. McCann used to be the agency for Buick and GMC, as well as GM's corporate advertising, and has retained some pieces of business over the last few years. Sources have even told us that it was McCann that did a lot of the creative work on Chevy's new ad platform, Find New Roads. (Not to be confused with a former McCann tagline for Saab, "Find Your Own Road.")
General Motors has announced a large investment in its Spring Hill, Tennessee facility. The former home of Saturn production will be getting a $167 million addition to a previously announced $183 million, to cover a pair of new midsize vehicles. The investment is expected to create 1,800 jobs at the factory.
That $350 million is being divvied up for a pair of programs at Spring Hill. The first will take the bulk of the money ($223 million) and create 1,000 of the 1,800 jobs, while the other will take the remaining $127 million and generate the leftover 800 positions. But GM says the investment will cover "midsize vehicle programs." So what could they be?
The leading candidate in our minds is a new crossover for Buick, called the Anthem, that will slot between the Encore and Enclave, but will be slightly smaller than the Equinox and Terrain. As we've explained, the new model will likely be the first product to sport GM's new D2UX platform, which will eventually replace both the Delta and Theta platforms. Spring Hill is already building the Equinox, so there could be some credence to this theory.
Unless you're renting a car or driving through Orlando, Florida (the rental car capital of the US), you'll probably never see a Chevrolet Captiva - the rebadged, fleet-only version of the old Saturn Vue - on our roads, but this crossover is popular in many other parts of the world. As such, Chevrolet announced that the Captiva will be getting an update for 2013, which will be unveiled next week at the Geneva Motor Show.
Coming off a pretty extensive refresh in 2011, the 2013 model year will bring even more changes to the Captiva like LED taillights, new 18-inch wheels and revised fascias with a new grille and fog lights up front and inset chrome exhaust outlets at the rear. New interior features include heated rear seats, dual-zone climate control as well as available options on some of the upper trim levels such as leather seating and keyless entry and start. We have yet to hear back from Chevrolet as to whether or not the updated Captiva will be making its way to a rental lot near you, as the model is only available in the US to fleet buyers.
Alongside the updated Captiva, Chevy is also showing off its new Trax in Europe, where the subcompact crossover will go on sale this spring. GM's press release for these two Geneva-bound models is posted below.