"A car for every purse and purpose". This was the reason that GM was once the world's most successful company. Alfred Sloan succintly details how he directed the company to take not only financial considerations, but also product planning into account. His hierachy of models, ie Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac, in that order, was stroke of genius, virutally guaranteeing that the entry level buyer who started out with an economical Chevy would continue to buy more expensive GM brands as his income increased. Only now is GM moving back to that mantra, albeit with unfortunate hesitation. Had GM kept each of brands as a distinct marque, there is no doubt the company would still command at least a 50% share of the North American market share.