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Does America Even Need Its Own Automakers?

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Comments

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    Popular cars weren't boring at one time. The 1960s Chevrolet Impalas are an excellent example of a non-boring popular car. Heck, even a plain-jane Biscayne had interesting styling.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    Funny thing is, both the new style and old style Oldsmobiles appealed to me. I thought the Aurora and Intrigue were beautiful cars though a Ninety-Eight Regency was more my style.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    My goodness - I agree with three consecutive lemko posts!

    I grew up in the hills in NW Jersey and learned to drive on old, traditional RWD American cars - like a 67 Pontiac Tempest and 66 Biscayne (both nice looking cars BTW). We lived on the middle part of an s curve heading downhill and I was fine. Never had a mishap. The only people who ever did have a problem on that hill were cases of opps rather than weather - like the mailman who forgot to set his brake and ended up with a Jeep in the woods.

    I liked both the new and old Oldsmobiles as well. I still think if they'd given them a bit more time and kept at the concept they were developing teh new ones would have worked. Yes, GM has too many brands but sometimes I think they cut the wrong one there and aren't sure now which is why they are hedging their bets - on our nickle of course...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Didn't Buick make Oldsmobile 100% redundant at the time? I am sure they just flipped a coin and Oldsmobile called 'tails'. Would htey have been better off planning in the late 90s to kill off Buick and keep Olds? Buick sure isn't setting the world on fire, would Oldsmobile have done so?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Yeah, it was probably a coin flip and they thought Buick could make a better go of it.

    Heck, I would have thought that Buick had more staying power ti it than has actually been the case.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,536
    I drove an MGA with snow tires in New York City for YEARS! Some good luck, some skill, some common sense---I got by just fine. (it was cold inside though).

    MODERATOR

  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    Wasn't it a combo of bad quality from Olds, declining sales and a lack of investement by GM to have up-to-date Olds models? Another part of the problem was the name, Oldsmobile. In new-age 90's, 2000, that name was a loser. No potential for getting youth to buy an old man's car that even told you it was old - Olds.

    Buick is somewhat beter in not sounding old fashioned, but still sounds strange when uttered, kind of like a burp.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,536
    Of course these cars were named after their creators, before there was even the concept of "marketing". Car ads when Mr. Buick and Mr. Olds were in their prime were very straightforward. They said things like "It'll get you there" and "easy to drive, even for women"----things like that. We are talking WW I era.

    Buick and Olds were created in a different world. It's amazing they lasted as long as they did. Some say "Benz" is the oldest survivor, but actually Mercedes-Benz only dates from 1927.

    Contrary to Mr. Obama, America did not "invent" the car, but we certainly invented how to make a lot of them efficiently.

    An art we have apparently lost :cry:

    MODERATOR

  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Contrary to Mr. Obama, America did not "invent" the car, but we certainly invented how to make a lot of them efficiently.

    An art we have apparently lost


    Oh, we can still make them more efficiently than anyone else. We just can't sell them at a profit. :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    We make them so efficiently now that there are millions of unsold ones sitting around all the time, that have to be rebated to the hilt or gifted to the rental fleets just so we don't burst at the seams!

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,536
    Well you have a point there. Making them and making them profitably and making them well are all different things.

    Best car in world but priced too high = bankrupt

    Just ask Pierce Arrow, Packard, Duesenberg, Auburn, Cord, Horch, Maybach, et al.

    MODERATOR

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I grew up in the hills in NW Jersey and learned to drive on old, traditional RWD American cars - like a 67 Pontiac Tempest and 66 Biscayne (both nice looking cars BTW). We lived on the middle part of an s curve heading downhill and I was fine. Never had a mishap. The only people who ever did have a problem on that hill were cases of opps rather than weather - like the mailman who forgot to set his brake and ended up with a Jeep in the woods

    When I lived in the hills of NW Jersey for 20 yrs I'd shock people by saying that between my house and Cleveland the only things there were bears, golf courses and ski runs. ;)
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    That's about right!

    Where were you?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Pompton Lakes and Wayne
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Oh, you're kidding me. I spent the first 15 years of my life in Pompton Lakes. My youngest brother still lives in the house.

    When I was 15 we inherited my grandfather's house and moved 5 miles up the road to Butler.

    You one of those Pompton Lakes High School grads?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    it was between Buick and Olds. I believe Buick sales were higher then. The funny part is Olds had their best sales the year they announced they were shutting it down. (Best sales for the time period).

    The problem with Saturn is they had no plans beyond the first model. When that was successful, I think everyone in GM was shocked.

    Americans want to buy American cars. But the domestics gave up the car market in the mid 90's. The year the Taurus lost the sales title, the second time, the Camry and Accord never looked back.

    With GM's $9.6B loss in the 4th quarter and many analysts are saying to expect the same for the 1st quarter, the writing is on the wall. The accountants are assigning a "going concern" label to GM which is not good. Most of the talking heads are now saying enough is enough.

    It should be a fun March. When does vette62 get back?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    No I moved there from NYC when I got married in '81...a transplant. 5 yrs later we moved up the road a piece to Wayne. We we directly in the sights of the PL dam during the flood of 83 or 84. If it gave way the lake would have washed over the top of our house.
  • bmgpebmgpe Posts: 62
    I was born in Oakland, and now live in Sparta. You missed the 2001 once-in-a-thousand-years storm which stalled over Sparta Mountain. 14.5 inches of rain in 5 hours. Dams collapsed, lakes drained, Glen Road washed out leaving the Sparta Glen 25 feet deeper. Millions of cubic feet of soil washed down on to rt 517.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,159
    I think Olds died when GM cheapened the hell out of the Cutlass in the 80's and lost the younger (and older youth oriented) buyers. That was Old's bread and butter car in the later 60's and 70's and they ruined it and its following. The Ciera was a piece of crap so Olds became focused on the 88 which competed head on with the more popular and desired LeSabre. The Aurora came too late to make a difference and the party was over despite John Rock giving it a valiant last hurrah.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Oh, I know that area. My SIL grew up down there.

    They really wrecked the PL dam. Used to look like a waterfall. Now it looks pretty industrial. The good news is it controls the flow so that Oakland doesn't get flooded. The bad news is in case of rain everyone downstream still does.

    The house I grew up in is a block and a half from the lake. Used to swim in it. At the time we didn't know what kind of junk was in it.

    I'm in the south part of the state these days. Maybe 8 years ago or so they had a big rain and the dam that made Medford Lake broke. There's still no lake last I heard. People with docks going into nothing.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    Seems like the 60-70 Cutlass was Olds last hurrah. Previously, the 88 and 98 with the rocket engines were very successful in their era. The Olds marekting people got hung up with "a" for some reason. Cierra, Aurora, Acheiva, Intriuga, Bravada.

    With just a little vision back in early 80's, GM could have parlayed Olds into a performance/entry lux division such as Acura, Infiniti. They realized this maybe 2 decades too late with their Aurora.

    MBA courses will be studying the GM disaster for the next 100 years.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I think it's what you hinted at - a lack of vision. Infinities and Acura's weren't around back then (in the early 80's), so there was nothing driving GM; noting forcing them to change. When that market did appear, it took GM 20 years to catch up, and even then, it's debatable whether they have caught up or are still trying (despite some glowing review for cars like the Cadillac CTS).
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