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GM lays off Mr. Goodwrench

By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors has given the tall, hunky Mr. Goodwrench his walking papers, announcing it would drop the Goodwrench name on its dealership auto service and repair programs.

Instead, in more traditional fashion, dealership service customers will be treated to Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac Certified Service.

"This is more than a name change, it is a declaration of our commitment to raise the bar on the ownership experience," said Steve Hill, GM's vice president for North American parts and service, in a statement.

The automaker has been working to put more emphasis on its remaining four automotive brands, and less on their common corporate ownership.

GM will begin phasing out the Goodwrench name in February. Mr. Goodwrench was first introduced back in 1974.

"He was originally a nerdy, '70s kind of guy," GM spokeswoman Pam Flores said.

"Mr." was dropped from Mr. Goodwrench in the 1990s, when the brand name changed Goodwrench Service Plus.

The Mr. Goodwrench character was re-introduced in 2008 with a more-polished, handsome image reflecting the modern nature of auto service, which now involves more technology and less grease, Flores said.

Recently, GM introduced an iPhone application that works with the automaker's OnStar branded remote services system. On the iPhone, the application will carry the badge of the owner's car brand -- Chevrolet or Buick, for instance -- alongside with a smaller OnStar badge.. To top of page

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