Mark of Excellence
The Mark of Excellence is the original name of the logo of the General Motors Corporation. First introduced at GM's pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair, the logo originally included the phrase "Mark of Excellence" at the bottom, and as a decal, it was installed on the doorjambs of General Motors' vehicles beginning in 1966. This logo also was stamped on the release buttons of seat belt buckles on GM vehicles from 1967 until the mid-1990s, as well as being stamped onto the ignition and door keys from the late 1960s up until the early 2000s. Originally turquoise, the color was changed to a royal blue in 1968.
The phrase "Mark of Excellence" and its appearance on the logo was phased out by the late 1970s.
This practice is similar to that of Chrysler Corporation, which included small emblems of its corporate Pentastar logo on the passenger-side fender of Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge automobiles in the 1960s through 1990s.
In 2005, It was announced that small silver emblems of the logo would be applied to the exterior of every 2006 GM vehicle. This was continued into 2007. A decision was made in August 2009 to stop using the GM "Mark of Excellence" badge on GM vehicles. It was agreed that with GM's post-bankruptcy focus on four core brands—and less of a focus on the GM brand—the relevance of the badge has diminished.
The phrase was sometimes used in a derogatorily ironic fashion, to highlight common failures on GM vehicles. For example, a large crack that would routinely appear in the dashboard of 1971-76 Chevrolet Impalas and Caprices would be referred to as the "Mark of Excellence".
The "Mark of Excellence" is also an award given by Chevrolet/GM to dealerships for superior sales volume and customer satisfaction.
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