GM Releases Tiger, Lowers Expenses

Nov.25.08 | About: General Motors (GM)

The cash-strapped General Motors (GM) ended Monday, after five years, its nine-year endorsement deal with golf superstar Tiger Woods as the struggling automaker tries to cut expenses while waiting for federal action on loans which the company considers key to its survival.

The press release from GM however, stressed the point that any link to what’s happening in Washington, D.C with GM’s quest for $25 billion in federal loans for the auto industry, and the timing of this agreement, “is purely coincidental.” But that’s somewhat contradictory based on the automaker’s own statement which said the decision was made “as part of the search for budget efficiencies during a difficult economy for General Motors.”

GM, whether it likes admitting it or not, is deeply concerned about its operational and advertising costs. The co. earlier this month posted a $2.5 billion third-quarter loss and stated clearly that it could run out of money before the end of the current fiscal year - a scenario that would force it into bankruptcy protection. GM spent $7 billion more than it took in for the quarter.

According to the AP - TNS Media Intelligence, ranked #2 worldwide in marketing information, said that U.S. automakers, the single largest category of advertisers, cut their ad spending 18% to $1.37 billion in the second quarter compared with the same period in fiscal ‘07.

Mark LaNeve, GM’s vice president for North American marketing, said GM and Woods separation was amicable.

In a statement, Woods commented:

I am very proud of the long standing partnership I’ve had with GM and have enjoyed being a part of the company’s dramatic product evolution….We’ve enjoyed a tremendous partnership over the years and we will maintain strong ties with the many people at GM we call friends.

It is uncertain how Woods’ ending role as Buick’s chief salesman will affect the annual Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc Township.