General Motors plans to stop putting the corporate ‘GM’ logo on its vehicles in coming model years after the recently reorganised company’s management decided to put more emphasis on individual brands instead of the parent company.

GM spokesman Terry Rhadigan told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) the decision to remove the logo – known as the GM ‘mark of Excellence‘ [also used for decades on overseas-made GM brands such as Opel, Vauxhall and Holden – ed] – was made earlier in the month by GM’s newly formed executive committee. Rhadigan said the logos would be “gradually” phased out, starting in the 2010 model year.

GM is in the process of selling or axing four of its eight North American brands – Hummer, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn – to concentrate on Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC.

According to the WSJ, the strategy to focus marketing efforts on individual vehicle brands, while de-emphasising their connection to GM, was spearheaded by vice chairman Bob Lutz, recently moved from product development to head marketing efforts.

Lutz said recently GM needs to do a better job of focusing the public’s attention on its individual brand names because many Americans don’t immediately associate them with the company.