General Motors will be moving away from its sales strategy to offer big rebates on aging vehicles and will instead be offering styling revisions and product improvements, according to the automaker’s current managers. They think that this is a better way to maintain sales. This strategy really isn’t new to GM.
From the 1930s to the 1970s, GM practiced “planned obsolescence," which changes the car’s styles annually so that customers will be enticed to buy the latest Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick or Cadillac. According to Dave Lyon, executive director of GM global design, almost all of GM's vehicles will get styling enhancements about every three years.
These include restyled hoods and fenders, grilles, taillights, front and rear fascias, and interior trim. Lyon said that Rick Wagoner, the former CEO of GM, didn’t think that there was a significant value in midcycle enhancements, “and so we never did them."
He said instead of offering big incentives for dated models, GM will “take some of that money, put it back into the vehicle and get the appeal higher.” Furthermore, Lyon said that GM will add new technology and safety features at a quicker pace than it had under pre-bankruptcy management. [source: Autonews]