Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





The Current State of the US Auto Market

1107108110112113325

Comments

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    edited July 2013
    Remember when a 327/396/427 V-8 were bolted in an Impala?

    Yeah, but buyers could also choose a OHV six bolted to a 2-speed Powerglide.

    The new Impala V6 would easily beat an automatic 327 from back in the day, and would probably give the 396 a good run for the money. A 427 with 4-on-the-floor would eat the 3.6's lunch, however. But, we're only comparing straight-line acceleration here. Those '60s Impalas (and their competitors) had weak brakes, handled poorly, got horrible gas mileage, polluted like crazy, and were death traps.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Those '60s Impalas (and their competitors) had weak brakes, handled poorly, got horrible gas mileage, polluted like crazy, and were death traps.


    That description fits practically every car made in the 1960's, doesn't it?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I'm sure it would make a fine around town car. But I simply would much prefer the extra power and refinement of the v6 for not a whole lot more money and not that much of a FE hit.

    "Not a whole lot more money" is relative I guess...the cheapest V6 Impala I've seen in person or on their website was $31,700...more than $4 grand more than the four I've been talking about.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    Remember when a 327/396/427 V-8 were bolted in an Impala? GM has a ways to go to completely restore the Impala name but it's a great start.

    In some ways, even back then GM was a bit behind the times compared to its peers. For instance, the 2-speed Powerglide that hpmctorque mentioned. Chevy tried playing with 3-speed automatics with the Turboglide, which I think was made from 1957-61. Unfortunately it was unreliable, and didn't give that much of an improvement over the 2-speed. The Powerglide was a good, sturdy transmission. In fact, I think one of the most popular drag race car setups back in the day was a Mopar 426 Hemi with a Powerglide mated up to it.

    But, lacking a third gear definitely hurt performance and economy, especially with the smaller engines. In 1965, you could finally get a 3-speed automatic, the THM400. But, only with the big-blocks. I don't think it was until 1968 or 1969 that you could finally get a 3-speed automatic with a smallblock car.

    In contrast, by 1960, the vast majority of Mopars, even the cheapest Valiants, had the 3-speed Torqueflite. I think the old 2-speed Powerflite was phased out completely for 1961.

    Chrysler was also first to use an alternator. In 1960 the Valiants used it, and for 1961 all cars did. I'm not sure when GM switched to an alternator, but it wasn't too much later. But Ford was still using generators as late as the "1964.5" Mustang!

    It also took GM, or Chevy, at least, awhile to get away from those old fashioned oil filters where you had the big canister with the drop in cartridge. I think Chevy used them until 1967 or 1968. Meanwhile, Mopar started switching to spin-on filters in 1958, when the wedge-head V-8's started replacing the Hemi. Pontiac started using them in 1959 I think. Not sure about the other divisions.

    Where Chevy really shined in those days was the marketing, the variety, and the styling. A '65 Impala is sleek, stylish, and youthful looking. It makes a '65 Fury look about as exciting as a refrigerator. Back in those days, GM also fell into the trap of not being able to make Chevies *too* nice, because you had to have a good reason to move up to a Pontiac, Olds Buick, or Cadillac.

    But, that problem was even worse at Chrysler. Especially with Plymouth, since they were sold in the same dealerships as Chryslers. Because of that, they'd never make a Fury too nice, because they're rather you buy a Newport, New Yorker, or Imperial.

    As for the Impala, the vast majority of them, back in the day, were just 283's and mild 327's, with 2-speed Powerglides. They really weren't that fast. But then again, the typical Fury had a 318, and the typical Galaxie probably just had a 292 in the early years, and a 289 or 302 in later years. They all offered powerful engines though, and a lot of that mystique would rub off on the lesser, everyday models.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    Toyota definitely started with the "Can't make Toyota too nice because of Lexus" with the 2007 Camry redesign. It's a terrible policy, and never works. They should make cars as nice as they can make them, and the people at Lexus will just have to do EVEN better.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    edited July 2013
    A v6 2LT starts at $30,760 vs 27, 535 for a 4 cyl LS. A v6 2LT is only like $1, 000 more than a 4cyl 1LT. A no brainer to me. If you want to save money, buy a malibu.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    My uncle just bought a 2013 Camry last Friday, and even though it's just an LE, it's actually pretty nice inside, IMO. I think it MSRP'ed for around $24,412, with a couple options such as a power driver's seat and floor mats (I HATE that they make floormats an option, but a lot of brands do that), and freight.

    In some ways, it seems like the Lexuses are getting a bit cheaper inside. I remember at the DC auto show back in January, looking at the Acuras with a friend, and noticing how much hard plastic was starting to show up. But, we reasoned, that was the difference between an Acura and a Lexus. Well, imagine the shock when we saw how much hard plastic is cropping up even in the Lexus cars. The main thing I noticed was stuff like the lower door panels and parts of the dash, that once upon a time would have been soft to the touch, or had carpeting on them, were now just hard plastic.

    But, I guess they have to cost cut where they can here and there to keep prices reasonable. When you consider all the technology, features, safety stuff, etc on cars these days, they're actually pretty cheap IMO. I think my uncle's car was around $22,500 out the door, and that included two years of free oil changes, and an extended warranty. Well, back in 2002 he bought an early 2003 Corolla CE, which was around $16K out the door.

    Adjusting for inflation, that $16K Corolla would be about $20,718 today. And that $22,500 Camry back in 2002 would have come out to around $17,376.

    On the subject of Toyotas, I heard that the 1992-96 Camry was considered "too nice", so they cheapened it for 1997.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    edited July 2013
    Practically, yes, but there were a few exceptions from Europe (e.g., Mercedes and Alfa Romeo sedans, to name two brands) and even the U.S., if you discount safety. For example, the first generation Valiant equipped with the 225 Slant Six, although the styling was controversial; some other mid-size, compacts and pony cars, when equipped with the optional better handling suspensions and disc brakes.

    They weren't up to today's standards, for sure, but the ones mentioned were decent.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,142
    edited July 2013
    I think Buick is kind of an interesting marketing thing right now. It seems to me there are three distinct things driving it's current existence. Foremost, it is a big, profitable seller in China. But Asian culture can be driven by aspiration and status. If the US dumped Buick I think it might rapidly lose it's consumer appeal in China since American's no longer want it. The next Buick driver is GM's desire to move Cadillac upscale, but hold on to the lower priced buyer who still perceives some prestige in buying above a Chevy. Finally, GM still has a lot of dealerships, particularly in rural markets that still prefer D3. Buick and GMC give it additional distribution channels.

    Having said all of that, I see some risk with it all. First, GM has to maintain #2 and #3 with minimal incremental costs. Second, it appears to maybe be putting out too many, and too wide of. a product line. I'm not sure that vehicles like Encore and Verano support an upscale division image. There is also a lot of me too product, with no halo product like a Riviera to prop up the brand image. Personally, I'm having trouble seeing five grand more in an Enclave versus a similarly equipped Traverse, but so far they seem to be moving them out at those higher prices.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    Personally, I'm having trouble seeing five grand more in an Enclave versus a similarly equipped Traverse, but so far they seem to be moving them out at those higher prices.

    I used to think the Enclave looked more upscale enough, compared to the other versions, to command a big price premium. But then GM recently went and massaged the Traverse and Acadia, and in the process made them both look a lot more upscale themselves. To my eye, at least. Maybe the Enclave is still nicer inside?
  • berriberri Posts: 4,142
    I was just recently looking at the Enclave and Traverse. The Buick is plusher, but the Chevy actually had a more supportive and longer seat to me. The Buick maybe rides a bit nicer and quieter, but I'm not seeing two grand difference, let alone more like 5. It seems to me that with the '13 redo GM may have gotten a bit greedy in pricing compared to Explorer, Durango and the Asians. Once the market cools down a bit, I'm expecting bigger GM rebates to offset this, but I suppose that could be awhile. The Traverse badly needed the update, it was kind of ugly outside and cheapo inside, but not any more. I don't think the less competitive earlier Traverse necessarily moved buyers up to Acadia and Enclave. I think it probably helped out the competition more.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,355
    Here is some relevant info regarding why GM is not the leading automotive manufacturer. Like it or not, the bankruptcy loss to the taxpayers might be a success to some but Ford is #1 regarding return on investment.

    GM, who is years behind in consolidating its platforms, had 30 platforms in 2010 and plans to narrow that to 17 by 2018. This is definitely part of the reason that Ford's operating margins in North America were 11% in the first quarter, whereas GM only managed 6.2%. It's also part of the reason GM's net income in North America last quarter was $1.18 billion, trailing Ford's $1.6 billion.

    Ford (NYSE: F ) and its crosstown rival General Motors (NYSE: GM ) have been battling for a century to be the best-selling domestic automaker. It's hard to believe after so much time that the automakers are still really neck and neck here in the U.S. market. With the first half of the year in the record books, GM sold 1,420,346 units in the U.S. compared to Ford's 1,289,736. Ford is narrowing the gap and has increased its market share more than any other automaker from the same time period last year. Ford's 13.1% increase over last year's sales was also the second best of all automakers – only because Subaru had such a smaller unit of base sales to increase from. While Ford continues to narrow the sales gap there's more to the story here – Ford is killing GM on the bottom line.
    :)
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    edited July 2013
    OTOH, GM has been rolling out new product. My guess is the main difference is with trucks. I'm sure GM has been spending a bunch to launch the new trucks in addition to big rebates on the '13 model.

    Ford is also developing a new F series, but by not letting the current F series get so out of date, they are still selling very well w/o heavy rebates.

    At least we can compare profits between Ford and GM instead of bragging about who lost less money;)
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,121
    Until they uglified the heck out of the Avalon, I'd say it was nicer than the Lexus ES.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    I saw an Avalon the other day. Honestly, from the back and sides it's not that bad. It's just that front-end they really need to work on.

    I was just thinking...I should have kept my mouth shut about my uncle's Camry. That way I could have borrowed it and driven up one day to meet you and keystonecarfan for one of the car shows and you could be like what the hell has gotten into Andre! But, that wouldn't be until the Fall Carlisle show, since I'm driving the 5th Ave this weekend, and the LeMans out to the car show in Macungie in August.

    It's funny though, how once you're forced to look at something up close enough, what once seemed ugly, you get used to. And I've gotten that way with my uncle's Camry, although in its case, I think it's nice, light blue hue helps immensely, since it's one of those colors I'm kind of a sucker for. :blush:
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 393
    Well to be fair the current Camry isn't really ugly, just really bland. It may or may not look better in a few years than the Sonata but it will still be dull, there is just noting to it that adds to the design ( somehow to me both the Passat and the new Accord both manage to not be flashy but still have detailing that makes them look classy and really classic, but the Camry misses out on that somehow)
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    It's funny though, how once you're forced to look at something up close enough, what once seemed ugly, you get used to.

    I haven't heard of anyone getting used to an Aztek.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    somehow to me both the Passat and the new Accord both manage to not be flashy but still have detailing that makes them look classy and really classic, but the Camry misses out on that somehow

    Yeah, I can see that. In fact, I followed a Passat for a little bit, on the way into work this morning. It was a nice light blue, similar to my uncle's Camry. I thought to myself, that's a really nice looking car. From some angles it does make me think a bit of the '06-13 Impala, but I think the proportioning is a bit better.

    As for the Accord, I think it's definitely more handsome looking than the Camry, less so than the Passat. But to me, it just blends in too much. At a quick glance, I don't even notice it.

    And I agree, I think what messes up the Camry is the details. The overall shape isn't bad...a bit boxy and angular, but proportioned okay. But the front-end just seems too fussy and overdone, in sort of an alien/insectoid look, as I think Lemko once said. And the shape of the taillights seems to me like two different designs got stuck together, but someone saw it an approved it, so it ended up on the final product.

    In a weird sort of way, my uncle's Camry gives me a bit of a flashback. The car is a shade of blue that's pretty close to my Mom's old 1980 Malibu, which she gave to me when I got my license. We lived with my grandparents for about a year, and I lived with them in college. Now my uncle lives with Grandmom, and he parks it in the same spot where we always parked the Malibu. And that Camry is a angular like the Malibu was. So at a quick glance, when I go over there, sometimes I'll get an 80's flashback!
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    edited July 2013
    I saw an Avalon the other day. Honestly, from the back and sides it's not that bad. It's just that front-end they really need to work on.

    Mayabe I'm half blind but I think the Avalon is a good looking car. Sure I'm not particularly fond of the front end, but I like the looks of the rest of the car.

    As for the Accord, I think it's definitely more handsome looking than the Camry, less so than the Passat. But to me, it just blends in too much. At a quick glance, I don't even notice it.

    I really like the new Accord particularly in Sport trim. To my eyes it looks like a more expensive car than say a Camry.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    I agree. Seems Honda got their MOJO back with the new Accord..... it was about time!
This discussion has been closed.