Web-heavy campaign will emphasize issues restructuring auto giant faces in next century.
GM's newly created Web site, GMnext.com, will be the centerpiece
of its massive celebration marking 100 years. (GM)
General Motors Corp. will launch a massive, year-long blitz of marketing and special events to mark 100 years in existence.
But the fete won't include a commemorative book or even much nostalgia on the popular cars of yesterday.
Instead GM, in the midst of a wrenching transformation, intends to leverage the milestone as a way to promote the company and focus more on future goals than times past. The largest U.S. automaker officially turns 100 on Sept. 16.
The centerpiece of GM's celebration will be a massive cyber effort, called GMnext. The automaker's top executives kicked off the celebration Thursday with an online chat.
"We're starting our second century at a time of fundamental change in the auto industry," said GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner in a statement.
"We'll use GMnext to introduce some of our ideas for addressing critical issues concerning energy, the environment and globalization. In the process, we also hope to spark a broader, global discussion on these important topics."
Among the plans for the year: a Wikipedia-like Web site where employees and the public can trace GM's history and regular Web chats between the public and up-and-coming executives.
All can be found at the automaker's newly created Web site, GMnext.com