Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
There I said it!
Despite the new edict from General Motors, I, a life-long Chevy owner, will continue to call my car and all others bearing the Bowtie logo, Chevies.
In case you missed it, the new ad agency for General Motors says the company needs to present a consistent brand message by referring to the automobile make as Chevrolet, not Chevy.
Big fat chance of that happening.
As the story in today's New York Times notes, Chevy is ingrained in the American automotive consciousness, in part by previous acts (and ads) by the automaker itself.
Then there's the music (Don McLean's pop ballad American Pie is the one that springs immediately to mind, but there are plenty of others) and, of course, the NASCAR Chevy drivers who always make sure to mention the auto amid the other other sponsors. The Chevy references could go on and on.
So get over it, GM! Or more likely, get over it new ad agency which is trying to justify its hiring and fees. (And apparently they are backtracking a bit after the immediate adverse reaction to the name plan.)
I'll keep driving a Chevy and calling my car that!
The Black #3 Chevy: Speaking of Chevy and racing, my latest motorsports column -- Views from the Grandstands for Truckers News and Crazy Woman Driver for Changing Lanes -- talks about why the iconic Black #3 Chevy needs to be back on NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks next season.
I suspect Dale Earnhardt, Sr., who wasn't much of a sentimentalist, would agree that a decade without that vehicle in the sport's top racing tier is plenty long enough.
And I know Dale, from whatever vantage point he's watching, is still calling his car a Chevy!
Turning back to taxes: OK, thanks for letting me detour from taxes a bit in my Chevy (Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy) rant. But to keep us at least partially on course, let's talk a bit about autos and taxes.
First, of course, we must look at GM's financial situation, since we taxpayers are essentially owners of the car manufacturer.
"GM is in far better shape than bailout skeptics predicted," notes a recent USA Today editorial, thanks to the company's bankruptcy filing that let it slash debts, payroll, benefits, unprofitable product lines and excess dealerships (some of which just got a reprieve).
But, notes the newspaper (and many other auto pundits and economists), taxpayers are a long way from breaking even on the GM bailout.
The ad in which GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre boasts that the company had "repaid our government
loan in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule," is a model of corporate advertising spin.
Government, I mean General Motors did pay back $6.7 billion in government loans, but most of the loans made to the automaker were converted to equity during the bankruptcy restructuring process. This means we taxpayers still have a big -- around $43 billion-- stake in the car maker.
So I'm all for GM selling as many Chevies and its remaining nameplates as possible. But I don't think tweaking a name is going to do that much to increase sales.
Automotive sales tax note: Remember, too, that when Congress finally gets around to approving the tax extenders, one of the components is the itemized deduction of state and local sales taxes.
While most folks who claim this tax break use the tables that the IRS creates for each state, if you buy a car, you can add the vehicle's sales tax amount to the figure allowed via the tables.
- Senate makes changes to tax extenders
- Car sales tax break for no-tax states
- No highway tax dollars at work
- Trucker taxes (and racing) news
- Are charities Cash for Clunkers victims?
- Chrysler exec owes $1M+ in taxes, loans
- Crazy Woman Driver takes a Sunday drive
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