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Oldsmobile Aurora

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Comments

  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    I beg to differ. As the last great sedan of the oldest car company in America, the name Classic fits. The styling is unmatched by any sedan on the road. When you see the 95-99 Aurora, you know exactly what you are looking at. While I take nothing away from TNG (the next generation) Auroras, they are not as eye catching as the original. Classic is not just a question of age it is also a question of taste and style.

    Speaking of Classic styling, I finally parked my 84 Riviera along side the Aurora. I believe that the Riv is actually longer than the Aurora! I then parked the Riv along side my neighbor's Saden deville and they were the same overall length.

    WOW these cars are long.

    (No wonder I can never find a parking space in NYC.)

    Henri
  • So, what we have so far is:

    2001 V6: keyhole, trunk lid piece, steel pipes
    2001 V8: ?, solid trunk, steel pipes
    2002 V6: ?, trunk lid piece, stainless pipes
    2002 V8: no keyhole, solid trunk, stainless pipes
    2003: no keyhole, trunk lid piece, stainless pipes

    Have I got that right?

    Oh, yeah, on the "New Classic" - I just call it that as a kind of a joke to myself because it reminds me of "New Coke" vs. "Classic Coke". Production of New Coke didn't last very long, either, just like the new Aurora.
  • My 71 Riviera was both wider and longer than the 79-85 Riviera I think. Engine was 455 cubic inches.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    For anyone that gets this done, I highly recommend that all the tires be broken down and placed in their optimal location. When they test it, they often won't make any adjustments if it "passes" - about 15 or 16 lbs of up-force. If it passes but can be made better - make them do it. I think there is a difference in ride between say 8 or 9 lbs and 15 lbs.

    If the tire or rim is 100% - no "high spots" then of course it won't matter where the tire is mounted on the rim. The high spot in one cannot be positioned with a corresponding low spot.
  • Many things attribute to the 1st gen Aurora being called a Classic. The things that Henri stated above and the fact that it was orphaned. Also the term is used in a different way than like a 57 Chevy or something. I think it is more of a moniker or nikname than the true definition of Classic.
  • The first generation Aurora's styling was used on the Intrigue. Something about these cars did not go over with "classic oldsmobile buyers". As a result, Oldsmobile was doomed.
  • reason olds was doomed was horrible GM marketing. The Aurora was pound for pound the best car GM ever produced. So they decide to not tell anyone about it. Makes a lot of sense. Heck nobody even knows who makes the Aurora unless you own one. Most people think it is a Japanese car until I say Olds. Then They ask what year and I say 1995 and they almost fall over. GM should have jumped behind the Aurora and rode it to the promise land, but for some reason they decided to hide it in the closet.

    Personally I think it was a Cadillac conspiracy??? any takers on that theory?
  • Oldsmobile is GM's marketing division for Oldsmobiles. They are the ones who goofed. However, most of the car magazines ran pre_introduction test drives of the Aurora months before it went into production. These articles were all quite complimentary of the car. These were pre_production cars though. After the car went into production, I saw advertisements for it in a number of non_automotive magazines, so I don't think that Oldsmobile failed to advertize. In fact the Aurora was a decent seller in 1995 and early 1996. I think the sales slowed in 1997 after the price tag run up. The car was worth the orginal $32,000. My 1998 had a $37,500 (more or less) price tag. My car was a program car, so I got a fair deal on it, but the car was probably only worth $33-34,000, not the $37-38,000.

    The 1992 Seville was planned for a later introduction on the Aurora platform, but Cadillac realized that the Seville was in trouble and needed redone sooner than the Aurora platform could be finished. This also explains why the northstar V8 was not available till a year later. The entire Cadillac line was upgraded to the 92 Seville body in 94. The Aurora platform was put into production a few months later, but they were not ready for the 94 model year.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    a) the car didn't even have the Oldsmobile name on it, except for the radio.

    b) they contemplated renaming Oldsmobile to Aurora. The stylized "A" logo almost became the Olds division logo. Frankly, I wish they'd done that - would have been a clean break from the past. The "traditional" Oldsmobile buyer wanted a bench seat, and was unhappy with the model lineup in 2000.

    c) they were going after the "import" crowd with the Aurora/Intrigue/Alero. Yet, wasn't Saturn supposed to do that? I still think the styling between the Aurora and the first-generation Saturns was complementary. I would have tried to combine the divisions - Saturn has just recently got an SUV, and will soon get a minivan, revamped mid-size car (the L-series still isn't selling), etc. Think of what they'd have had if they had the Oldsmobile product in 1998/1999.

    d) the dealer network. Frankly, it sucked, especially service. This is another place where "Saturnizing" the brand might have saved it. I know John Rock (ex-Olds head) wanted to go fixed, non-negotiated pricing on the whole Olds line, but the dealer body revolted. Disgusted, Rock eventually walked away from Olds and retired.

    e) the Aurora did have a number of lemons. Likewise, the Intrigue did have a number of build issues. UAW-GM relations were in the pits in the late 90's, and this led to some of those things. Had the Aurora been built somewhere other than Lake Orion, MI or the Intrigue built somewhere other than Fairfax, KS, it would have certainly helped.

    Someday there will be books written (if they aren't being worked on already) about the colossal mistakes GM made with marketing the Oldsmobile brand since 1989 or so (the original date of the "not your father's Oldsmobile" tagline).

    Bottom line is, as someone who buys only GM cars (I'm not pro-union or Buy American, but I have relatives who are autoworkers, and I want to keep them employed/insured), the death of Olds means the demise of the most attractive car lineup (IMHO) that GM offers. Caddy is coming on, but one size ($$$) does not fit all.

    *sigh*

    --Robert
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    I have noticed that any negative comment about the car produces a relatively quick armanda of postings.

    I really dont think there is a more passionate group out there than us Aurorians.

        "Don't Tread on Us"
  • The reviews of the 95-99 Aurora (in various places - like Edmunds) talked about the car not meeting their expectations - interior space seemed small for a big (Park Avenue size) car. I think that is a valid point. My 95 Riviera seemed much bigger inside. I really liked the Aurora's V8 and trip computer. Perhaps the "real" problem was that it was not rear wheel drive.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    While Olds is responsible for their own marketing, they aren't in charge of their own budget. I get the feeling they did not have a large advertising budget. While there were a fair amount of Aurora ads in 1994, and at least a few in 2000, there really weren't a lot in the other years. Plus, what did those ads push? I don't recall any Indy-related ads, or IMSA-related ads. Nor any that compared the luxury/power to other $35,000 cars. I think marketing was a big factor in Old's lack of profitability.
  • larryfllarryfl Posts: 214
    I think Olds' advertising of the car - such as it was - completely missed the mark. Not only was the message totally wrong (I especially remember an ad showing a woman driving the car inside a painting - huh?), I think some GM execs had begun to decide to kill Olds and so didn't fully fund or get behind the marketing.

    Corporate politics can be an ugly thing, and I think the Aurora was a "classic" victim.

    And yes, most of my friends that aren't gear heads like me have no idea what kind of car I drive and are shocked when they learn it's a 9 year old american car.
  • I think at some point after the Saturn division was put in place, GM must have decided they had too many divisions. I don't think the Oldsmobile divisions problems were any one single thing. Marketing may have been badly done, but the classic Oldsmobile buyer must have drifted off for other reasons too.

    At the end of the 50's Buick was in trouble, mainly because they were too successfull in the mid 50's. They had tried to build more cars than the factory capacity could do right, so they had a lot of problem cars. That resulted in sales dropping to 1/3 of what they had been.

    I think Oldsmobile could have been brought back, but all of GM needs help. Cadillac is really developing some good products (CTS, SRX, XLR and soon to be STS), the rest of GM's product line is not real good (its not real bad either - just not great).
  • In Reply To:

    a) the car didn't even have the Oldsmobile name on it, except for the radio.

    b) they contemplated renaming Oldsmobile to Aurora. The stylized "A" logo almost became the Olds division logo. Frankly, I wish they'd done that - would have been a clean break from the past. The "traditional" Oldsmobile buyer wanted a bench seat, and was unhappy with the model lineup in 2000.

    __________________________________________________

    You are so right on that, I still cannot get over how they tried to use the thing about attracting younger buyers versus old timers for Oldsmobile.

    So their plan did not work out well (because of the bad marketing division) they could of moved on and not kill the Olds brand, Also anyone noticed how they introduced the Classic Aurora, "Aurora by Oldsmobile", not "Oldsmobile Aurora", hm.

    I don't know why they gave up easily.

    Peace.

    J.M.
  • that Oldsmobile dealers had to pay for a franchise to sell the Aurora. I don't know if this is true or not - but this is what an Oldsmobile/Aurora salesman told me and others.
  • sdasda Posts: 308
    I think there was some consideration about changing Oldsmobile to Aurora, but GM ran into copyright problems with Hankook tire which already had claim to the Aurora name. In some literature you will see the disclaimer, Aurora name used with permission from Hankook. oops.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    I think all you guys are making good points. Olds did have the best line-up. The advertising was flat out stupid, and there was very little if any capitalization on the Indy and other racing heritage of the Aurora - stupid.

    Sometimes I think that "protect Caddy" thing does come into play.

    FJK - hey, I really think the Impala is the greatest. I love that car. With kids on the way, I truly believe the Impala will keep us away from the dreaded minivan. The car has been very solid with room everywhere. No other car in that price range could save me from a minivan. For that, I'm very grateful to Chevy for the Impala.

    Sorry - had to add that.
  • I have not looked at Chevys recently. The Impala looks like a good car - except for style. The big tail lights don't seem to fit. One thing Chevy should have is some kind of midsize wagon. Or one of the divisions should have some wagons (besides Saturn).

    I think that Oldsmobile/GM tried to sell the Aurora as a "sports sedan" that could/should be comparable to the 5-series BMW. The Aurora is really too big for that, it was really a low priced Lexus 400 LS kind of car. Or really a European luxury sedan with front wheel drive kind of car. The 95 Riviera I had did not have a driver information display which was one place that Buick was way behind on.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    All in all, when you step back and look at the big picture, Olds did have the best line of cars offered by GM and they're now dead. There is no single reason/screw up. There were lots of them and I bet we hit a lot of them right here.

    I still think many of us here could probably teach some high priced stuffed suits at GM a bit about advertising and promotion on the cars we love. We know what the competition is, but we got what we got and can give lots of reasons. Not enough of these 6-figure goofs are passionate about the product either in development or promotion. There is a lot of corporate politics and good products go to waste.

    Another reason - from 95 to 99 they sure should have made some outwardly noticeable changes and or improvements. I know there were continued mechanical refinements, but the general public isn't aware/doesn't care about the suspension improvements too much. Things like different wheels or at least some wheel options go a long way. For 5 years it was the same wheel which was a bit boring to start with. Or how about some minor improvement that boosted power just a little? As for bigger improvements, I thing GM waited too darn long to get VVT.

    They are still doing the stupid stuff with the high performance Bonneville. The 4.4 Northstar still wont have VVT and they went out of their way to make it 4.4 liters. Oh boy, somebody might think the Bonneville and Caddy both have a 4.6 - and they won't buy the Caddy. Yeah right - more stupidity. They should at least just drop the out-going 4.6 without VVT into the Pontiac. The performance would be a tad better and it's easy. The Caddy will have the much higher performance version of the 4.6 - fine.

    Look at Nissan - they offer that same 3.5 in just about everything and tune it differently/accordingly. It's simple - it works. But GM seems to be afraid of a 4.6 in a Pontiac. Stupid. When will they learn they have to offer as much as they can because there are imports out there too? They have to stop worrying about protecting one line against another and lowering the bar.
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