• Jordan Reynolds

    Hey there! I just wanted to mention a typo in the article on the first (Oldsmobile History) you wrote that Ransom had founded the company in 1987 instead of 1897! Otherwise a great read!

  • Hello Jordan! Thanks for catching that–we’ve fixed it. Oldsmobile was certainly ahead of it time but not THAT much!

    It’s always great to know readers enjoy our posts. Check out the rest of our studies on brand emblems here–many more are on their way!

  • jeff

    Wow – the author really needs to do some more research. So many facts wrong its hard to know where to start. Last generation Oldsmobiles were actually selling pretty well until GM announced they were pulling the plug. Sales tanked after that. I’ve had three of them and they all had the new Rocket logo on them. The new logo had little to do with their demise. The dealers were the real problem, there were too many of them and they were really terrible. They only wanted to sell delta 88s and cutlass supremes to old folks for sticker price. Anyone under the age of 40 who visited a dealer was sure to never return.

  • Hello Jeff! Thanks for commenting on our post. While our discussion concerning the last generation Oldsmobile’s logo is partly hypothesizing, the ideas for Oldsmobile’s rebranding and impact on public image are based on multiple news reports at the time and retrospective studies on the brand’s loss of identity. We’re also sorry to hear about your bad experiences with Oldmsobile dealerships.

  • cigarboxguitarguy

    Not only did they lose their identity, they lost control over the products they were given my GM. In a rush to maximize sales volume, GM re-badged anything that sold decently to all of the GM brands. For example, the Chevy Trailblazer. When it was introduced there was a 5-passenger version in Chevy and GMC. The following year, a longer 7-passenger version was offered and it sold well, too. Rather than focus customers on the 2 brands best able to support them, they created versions for every division. Overnight, the Trailblazer platform could be bought as an Olds, Saturn, Saab, or even an Isuzu. The poor Oldsmobile dealers got the biggest shafting. By the end, nothing they sold was unique or special to the Olds brand. Nothing about it couldn’t be had in a Pontiac, Buick or Chevy. It was all some other design that got an Oldsmobile emblem. It’s no wonder their logo changed many times towards the end. It really didn’t matter who’s logo was on the car, not to GM, at least. The Aurora was the last attempt at an Oldsmobile, just for Oldsmobile. It did pretty well, relatively, but wasn’t a good car or the fix for Olds.

    • jh443

      I agree about the rebranding.

      What didn’t help matters was the loss of trust that happened when Olds started putting Chevy engines under the hood without telling anyone. I remember many people getting upset when they found out they didn’t have a Rocket engine.

  • Great point, cigarboxguitarguy. And while the Aurora did pretty well, as you said, it had its own unique emblem on it, not Oldsmobile’s. Unless a model is popular enough to warrant its own logo (like the Mustang), such a move isn’t going to build brand recognition or loyalty in consumers–only weaken it. Thanks for your contribution!