General Motors will begin removing its "Mark of Excellence" logo from vehicles as the company places greater emphasis on its individual brands.
GM spokesman Terry Rhadigan said Tuesday the company would phase out the placement of the little silver GM logo on its cars and trucks, leaving just the GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac or Buick logos on the vehicles.
"We really want to elevate the prominence of our four core brands," he said. "It's really going to be an intense focus."
GM is discontinuing or selling its other four brands, Hummer, Saab, Pontiac and Saturn.
The final decision to remove the silver square logo was made earlier this month, although executives had mentioned the possibility of such a move months ago. The company found that consumers had a greater affinity for GM's individual brands than the corporate name.
"What we're seeing is the GM brand gets dinged big time in terms of considering a GM vehicle," said Mike DiGiovanni, GM's executive director of global market and industry analysis, during a monthly sales conference call in April. "But when you look at Chevrolet, Cadillac and our other brands, they haven't changed."
The company began putting the logos on all its vehicles in North America in 2005.
Rhadigan said removing the logo — which is generally placed on the lower section of the door panel or front fender — from some models will be more difficult than on others. On vehicles where a specific indentation is made in the sheet metal for the logo, phasing it out will take longer. On models such as the Camaro or Equinox, removal is easier, and will begin immediately, Rhadigan said.
Taking the logos off the vehicle will save GM a "nominal" amount of money, Rhadigan said.