So what does a GM dealer that used to have a Saturn or Saab franchise do now that these brands are gone? Some are going solo, as used car and repair dealerships. Many Chrysler dealers are affiliating with NAPA, or going it alone as used car dealers, too.
My solution would be to offer any dealers that had lost a brand the opportunity to offer to affiliate under the banner of OK Used Cars.
OK Used Cars is the “Mad Men” brand of used cars; see the fellow in the ad at right.
This affiliation could be done for a small fee, and a small percentage of the take. GM would then keep these dealers within the GM fold, if you will, and as sales volume builds back up, they might even begin as dealers in a few years.
These dealers could sell used cars of any maker, but offer service with GM associations. The old slogan was “Buy with warranted confidence where you see the OK trade-mark.”
The OK Used Car brand was once associated with Chevy dealers. It still has some goodwill, and is even quite hip as you see it at right on an old ad from Life.
GM could have a new avenue, namely franchising used cars and repairs. It would not compete with Goodwrench, as that is something separate for all dealers.
Perhaps many Chevy dealers still have the OK signs up, which is fine. But the sign imagery could be used again. The only thing GM would have to do is to bring a set of standards to used cars, much like CarMax.