It feels like not a day goes by without reading about some new form of cost-cutting by the Detroit Three. Today’s casualty is Tiger Woods, or more specifically his endorsement deal with GM which ends prematurely this December 31, a year earlier than scheduled.
Tiger Woods has endorsed GM for the past 9 years and drives Buick vehicles such as the Buick Enclave as part of the deal. The deal is valued at US$40 million for 5 years, a contract which was renewed in 2005.
Woods was involved extensively in the launch of the Buick Rendezvous SUV in 2002 and apparently more than 130,000 of the SUV were sold in 2002 and 2003, which far exceeded forecasts. That sales success was attributed to Tiger Woods.
GM also grounded 2 more of their original 7 leased corporate jets, which were already down to 5 in September. This must be a big blow for big GM’s pride, having only 3 corporate jets in its fleet now.
GM, Ford and Chrysler attracted criticism when their company heads flew down to Washington D.C. in their luxury private jets to lobby the U.S. Congress for bailout money. Such irony. Democrat Gary Ackerman likened it to seeing a man in a high hat and a tuxedo working in a soup kitchen. I guess they’ll never learn.