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Here it is: I predict that the Maxx will tank because there is no reason to select it over things that are out there already.
There is no reason to waste development money on a middling car, with middling looks, and middling performance. They should have learned that from the first generation Malibu. It started out as a good idea and then they just let it die. Until GM learns they have to enter the market with something better and then keep improving it they will keep losing market share. One of my favorite comments from my old thesis advisor was: Different is not better. Only better is better. The Maxx is different. Its not better than other stuff thats already out there so there is no reason to go and buy one.
"The Maxx rear seats are designed to either fold flat, roll up, or possibly to be removed all together. Racks are always options in cars like the Maxx."
Yes, this is a good idea but it cannot be the only draw. Most minivans so this and have lots more room. Most wagons have folding seats too that will give you about the same amount of room. Racks should be standard but its not a deal killer for me.
"The idea is to have a car with a roomy rear seat for two adults that can then be reconfigured to near cargo van interior."
Once again, a good idea but its a VERY small niche that would buy a car just for that reason. People who really want room will get a minivan, SUV, truck, and so on. How much room? None of this has been released. The Buick Regal has lots of rear leg room and so does the Camry. How much more does one need? Unless one is over 6'4" most passenger cars are fine in the back seat and SUV and minivans have even more room. I doubt the seats will be removable but if you really need that kind of room why not an SUV or minvan or wagon? Still, once again its interesting but as a major selling point? Perhaps for a low volume banner car but I dont think thats what they want for the Maxx.
"Nematode, most of the vehicles you discuss in #41 are going to compete with the Cadillac SRX. I just do not even follow the argument at all. "
Then let me be more clear. You are confusing 2 separate points. GM can go two ways with the Maxx. Either sell it cheaply (less than $20k well equipped) as a larger Vibe but then it should have stayed in Pontiac for better visibility. OR go after the higher end stuff in which case it better come with AWD, ABS, and everything else standard. In this case it should not have been put under Chevy. Also the 3800 V6 will not fly in that company. Its got lots of grunt and I like it overall but its simply too unrefined to even come close to the Honda and Toyota (and some other GM) offerings.
"Maxx should be less expensive. Now you are saying it should be more deluxe."
Its not confused at all. The Maxx needs to offer more for less. Thats the only way it will sell. If they dont put something out there that has a fighting chance to expand sales. Its gonna tank. If GM wants to carve out a new segment then it needs a impact maker. A little extra leg room is just not enough. I'm saying that the Maxx needs to cost less and offer more to have a chance no matter what price target they set. Its that simple. GM is the under dog here. Not the dominant make.
So I think the new Malibu is a good idea. The Maxx was a waste of development money that could have gone into making the Malibu better. GM is losing market share because they are not putting out products that compete well. I dont think the Maxx, going after a niche market that may not even exist, is a step in the right direction.
I would have rather seen GM put its development money and Subaru owner ship to good use into making the Malibu an AWD full content vehicle on a modified Episilon platform. Then take direct aim at the Camry and Accord. AFTER the Malibu name started to mean "better than the Asian makes" then I would have tried something like the Maxx (but much higher performance).
I dont really research things before I post them. I do it from memory or post my opnion. When I'm wrong I admit it. I'll tell you where I stopped about 1 month ago in this case:
Opel Signum:19.4 cubic foot (seats up) approx 550L49.4 cubic foot (seats down) approx 1400L
Pontiac Vibe19.3 cu. ft. (seats up)54.1 cu. ft. (seats down)
Unless my conversions are way off its smaller than the Vibe. The Maxx is not a simple cut and past issue. Which is why I kept bringing up the Vibe. The Maxx appears to be a larger Pontiac Vibe (which even looks like the Signum). If you make it wider and longer you get the Epsison platform that Saab uses now for the 9-3. If its the size that I think it is then it has to be on that platform. If you further stretch the wheel base another 4-6in you get the Maxx. Its like comparing the Corolla to the Camry. Similar but not at all the same thing.
If its based on the Signum then its going to be tiny. If its based on the Epsilon platform (like I think it will be) it will be about the size of the last generation Camry. Dont kid youself. Developing a larger vehicle, even based on an existing platform, costs a ton.
"GM is not losing market share."Really??? Please see the link below. You do know that GM is down to about 27% (including fleet sales) right? They have had years where they have gained slightly using low finance rates or huge rebates only to fall fruther than they started. Its been going on since the mid-70s. They used to sell about 75% of the cars in this country. Soon it will be 25% because they dont produce mass market products that compete well. Thats not only my opnion.....its public opnion. Its fact. http://www.edmunds.com/news/column/carmudgeon/48483/article.html
This one is also interesting:http://www.autofieldguide.com/columns/upham/0600ind.html
"Your statement that wagons are a hit is a gross exageration"Really? How about the Subaru Legacy / Outback line. I bet they sold at least 20k of those. I think Subaru sold about 90k cars (Legacy based cars) last year and since the OB is their best seller I bet its a good chunk of that number. What about the Vibe and Matrix? Impreza and WRX wagons? If you dont consider them wagons then I see your point. I think they are all wagons.
"The Maxx should sell for around the same price as the Malibu. You have never once made a cognizable argument why it should not. "
I never even tried to make that arguement. I said that GM would overprice the Maxx and kill it before it got a chance. Where did I say that the Maxx would not sell for the same price as the Malibu? IF the Maxx came in at $18-20k fully loaded it would sell. I think I even posted that the range should be $15-18k to get good sales. So, I'm really not sure what you are getting at. The current Malibu FULLY loaded with everything GM offers sells here for about $18.5k (or less). I dont know what the MSRP actually is but the price is pretty good for what you get. I have a feeling that GM will bring in the Maxx at more like $25k or more. It simply will not sell there without being a full content vehicle. You can get a lower end Malibu brand new for about $15k. I know that for a fact because I looked at it before I got my Protege. If the Maxx were to come in at $15-18k it will sell. I think I said that already. If it goes over $20k then its going to have problems because there are plenty of other / better options. If it gets near $30....it has no
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