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New Line of GM Small RWDs

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
edited April 1 in Cadillac
The new GM/UAW contract calls for building a new RWD Cadillac in Lordstown, smaller than the CTS or Pontiac G8, to compete directly with the BMW 3-Series. Hopefully, GM will also build a variant of this car to compete with the BMW 1-Series. The 1-Series competitor is my hope, and wasn't mentioned in the press leak, but I'm thinking that since the 1-Series and 3-Series share many components, why couldn't GM also build a 1-Series competitor to be sold world wide? This new vehicle plan, which appeared in Automotive News yesterday, but has not yet been officially announced by GM, also calls for building a Pontiac, Saturn, or Buick variant of this new 3-Series competitor.

This is exciting news! It makes sense that GM wants to exploit this premium car niche, since the 3-Series is BMW's biggest seller around the world, by a wide margin.

The soon-to-be introduced '08 Cadillac CTS is getting excellent reviews in the automotive press. While the CTS competes with the 3-Series in price, its dimensions are very close to those of the 5-Series.

I'm thinking that since it will be positioned as a premium car, the margins on a RWD small car are wider than for a similar size FWDer, so a business case for this type of car makes sense too.

Comments

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    The Automotive News release mentioned BMW, but not the 3-Series specifically. The 3-Series references in my prior message, above, were from an earlier article in another publication. Also, while I had previously read that the new RWD small car would be a Cadillac, the Automotive News article didn't state which GM brand(s) would add this new model, but said that Pontiac had previously been mentioned as a logical choice by GM executives.

    The new small RWD platform is code named Alpha, and is scheduled to go into production in 2011 at the Lordsburg, OH assembly plant.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    GM's not going to build both a 1er and a 3er. What they'll do is build a 3er-size Cadillac and sell it for a 1er price. I'm thinking Cadillac gets the premium version here, Pontiac gets a plainer version to replace the G6, Holden gets one as a Torana, and Opel gets some version which may also be sold here as a Saturn.

    Whatever it is, it's not going to be "small" by any reasonable standard. Probably a bit bigger than the Lexus IS and 200 pounds heavier.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    You may be right, but wouldn't the CTS already qualify as the RWD car that's a bit bigger than the Lexus IS? I'm hoping that, for this car, at least, GM abandons the notion that bigger is automatically better, since the "Alpha" will also be sold in Europe and Asia.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    It seems to me that Ford could add two doors and independent rear suspension to the Mustang platform, and badge it as a Lincoln. This could serve as a replacement for the discontinued LS, which, from what I read, was rather expensive to produce.

    As for Chrysler, given the mediocre reception of the new Sebring and Stratus, these midsizers could also be converted to a RWD configuration in the next redesign, with AWD optional. This would leave FWD for the compacts and subcompacts, where that configuration works best.

    My thinking here is that the domestic manufacturers have been batting their heads against the wall trying to build midsize FWD cars that are better than the Camry and Accord. That's a really difficult challenge, since those cars are so good. I'm not saying they should abandon these efforts, since the '08 Malibu and Fusion are credible competitors, but maybe striking out in a different direction would be more rewarding. The Lexus IS and GS have been great successes, and Acura remains FWD/AWD, so these aren't formidable competitors, or at least not yet. I think Nissan is on the right track, with its FWD Nissans (except for the RWD Z) and RWD Infinitis. While the Infinitis have been reasonably successful, they're not in the same blockbuster league as the Camry and Accord, so there's room for more entries.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The CTS is a lot bigger than the IS: 191.6" long on a 113.4" wheelbase versus 180.1" long on a 107.5" wheelbase. The CTS is an inch or two shorter than the Holden Commodore, while the IS is an inch or two longer than the current 3er.

    Ford didn't design the Mustang platform to accomodate a stretch to a sedan, so it would have to be redone pretty much from scratch in order to produce one. Instead, we're supposed to be getting some version of the Australian Falcon in five years or so.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    Per Automotive News of 10/08, "Cadillac will get a small rear-wheel-drive car positioned below the CTS sedan...A less costly Alpha variant may go to Pontiac, a brand that GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz wants to revitalize with a new lineup of affordable rwd cars...According to a knowledgeable source, it will be aimed at the near-luxury segment once occupied by the BMW 3 series and Mercedes C class, when those nameplates were smaller and cheaper."
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    From this week's Automotive News/Autoweek...

    "Cadillac will introduce a small sedan with a four-cylinder engine in the United States --a prospect unthinkable just 12 months ago.

    The rear-drive sedan will debut in late 2010 as a 2011 model. Cadillac executives are arguing over whether to offer a V-6 option..."

    Cynics will compare this car with the Cimarron. I'm in the camp of those who believe that the current team at GM has learned from the company's past mistakes. This Cadillac will likely be an excellent addition to that brand's lineup, in this fuel economy conscious era. Introducing this luxury small car is a gutsy move, and demonstrates that GM understands the current market.
This discussion has been closed.