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GM News, New Models and Market Share

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  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Using that criteria, I have to wonder why the 2013 Ram won out? It's not a new body, as its design came out in 2009. And the 3.6 V-6 is not a new engine, as it came out for 2011, although this is its first use in the Ram.

    It was the only P/U on the long list being considered. I assumed (wrongly) it went head to head with Ford and GM but not so.

    2013 North American Truck/Utility Long List

    Acura RDX
    Audi Allroad
    BMW X1
    Ford Escape
    Ford C-Max
    Hyundai Santa Fe
    Infiniti JX 35
    Mazda CX-5
    Mercedes GL-Class
    Mercedes GLK-Class
    Mercedes G-Class
    Nissan Pathfinder
    Ram 1500
    Subaru SV Crosstrek
    Toyota RAV4 EV

    Regards,
    OW
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,715
    How many of those are actual trucks? GLK? X1? Pathfinder minivan? Electric RAV4? Allroad is just a station wagon :confuse:
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    As a simple contrast, Toyota wins the recall crown year in and year out, settles a humongous class-action lawsuit, and all I hear from you is crickets chirping.

    Silence is approval. :)

    Toyota got GM disease. The "bigger you are", the "more infected you get". Remeber, GM was the former King of Recalls, just like they were the former World Sales Leader. ;)

    Just like no response to your quality reference to VW. Agree their quality was way below GM. They can only improve from there! :lemon:

    Regards,
    OW
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    So, GM had to collaborate with Toyota to bring a decent compact to market. Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic have been benchmark cars for many years that other manufacturers try to emulate. Do not believe that GM has ever had small cars that others have tried to copy and bring to market. Only a long string of failures such as Chevette, Vega, Cavalier, Cobalt. The early years of Saturn were miserable tries at trying to compete with Civic. All of these models have been banished to the GM grave yard probably never to be used again.

    I guess it depends on how one defines failure.

    In Vega's case, the product that rolled out the door failed, but the manufacturing process that was originally designed to make the car didn't. Many aspects of it were adopted by other manufacturers, mostly foreign makes.

    Unfortunately, GM saw small cars as small profits, and completely gutted the manufacturing process by every cost-saving measure possible, which doomed the Vega.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Agreed. They need to categorize much better, afaic!

    Regards,
    OW
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,715
    edited January 2013
    I remember the big Saturn issue was panel gaps. You could drive a Saturn through some of them. The first generation Saturn was pretty decent and had a big following. Second one toned it down, and was bought by by those who don't like cars. The Ion generation - well, I won't say anything. Co-worker's wife received a new Saturn L sedan at college graduation, they held onto it for about 7 years - apparently it was problematic for most of its life. Replaced it with a Kia.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    In Vega's case, the product that rolled out the door failed, but the manufacturing process that was originally designed to make the car didn't. Many aspects of it were adopted by other manufacturers, mostly foreign makes.

    A company uses a good process but makes a lousy product. Not relevant when talking about the merits of the product. Customers buy a product for its features, quality/reliability, value, etc and could care less about the processes used to make the product.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    I remember the big Saturn issue was panel gaps.

    Auto testers from the major U.S. car magazines were in consensus about the Saturn vs the benchmark Civic. Saturn was mediocre, got bad marks for its engine. No where near as refined as that from the Honda.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    In Vega's case, the product that rolled out the door failed, but the manufacturing process that was originally designed to make the car didn't. Many aspects of it were adopted by other manufacturers, mostly foreign makes.

    I'd call that failure, particularly if they didn't make any money licensing the new manufacturing process. And why didn't they use the process to make a GOOD car instead of the Vega?
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,752
    I'm thinking I'll hang out where I'm far less frustrated...probably to many's 'yeas'.

    There's the GM Fans forum....
  • berriberri Posts: 4,189
    I actually had a Saturn as a rental some years back (ironically while my car was in for repairs at a Ford dealership that used Enterprise). I recall it drove like the other smaller GM offerings at the time, but was louder. I wonder if GM learned anything from that manufacturing process with plastic panels that may help them in the future moving over to composites? The biggest thing Saturn showed me was that GM leadership didn't really have control of their company. Managers and workers weren't really following what top GM leadership wanted to do. GM really needs a Mulally, but then Ford is in the unusual position of having that family in firm control. Right now, it seems like Ackerson is getting frustrated trying to change culture and accountability, so all that really happens is leadership musical chairs.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,752
    If I ever saw an honest discussion of other brands like I'm able to give GM products--I post what I like and what I don't like, but I don't see others doing that here about their favorite makes, or if they do, it's extremely rare in comparison, obviously to any regular readers here--that is what is so exhausting and energy-sapping to me about this forum.

    I'm astonished at your statement. This is a GM forum. That's the primary topic. We wouldn't generally start a new topic with "I love the Camry" or "I love the Fusion". We might mention those brands to compare and contrast, but the primary topic is GM so we need to stay primarily on that topic.

    I can tell you that I don't particularly like Toyota and although I admire their consistent reliability over the years, I think they dropped the ball and deserve all their negative press. I really like Mazda in many ways, and also Honda although I also think they've lost their way. I really love the driving of cars like Audi and I love the looks of many Mercedes, but I'm not going to start those topics here, right? I mean, really. I'm coming here to talk about GM, so I don't see why it is so surprising that there is not a "balanced" discussion of all the different things we like and don't like.

    Perhaps you should start a topic thats something like "a comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of various car makes" so that you can see a more balanced picture.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,971
    I don't know if they were inspired by GM, but for a few years, Chrysler used plastic front fenders on the Intrepid, Concorde, and New Yorker/LHS. Unfortunately, they tended to warp. They'd also shatter in an accident, but I don't know if that's really that much of a disadvantage, as a metal fender will still get smashed.

    GM also used plastic front fenders on some of their full-sized FWD cars in the 90's, and I think they had better success than Chrysler.

    One other problem with Saturn, in doing the whole body in plastic like that, was that they had to build them with some monstrous panel gaps, to allow for the swelling and contraction with temperature changes. People didn't gripe quite as much about fit and finish 20 years ago, but nowadays, whenever I see an old S-series on the road, those huge gaps really draw attention to themselves.

    Admittedly though, one thing that makes them look bad is that newer cars have tighter, more even gaps than your typical car of 20 or so years ago.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    A company uses a good process but makes a lousy product. Not relevant when talking about the merits of the product. Customers buy a product for its features, quality/reliability, value, etc and could care less about the processes used to make the product.

    I think you missed my point....

    The manufacturing processed GM designed for making the Vega was never used... The cost cutters gutted it before production ever started, which is why the Vega was a car that held so much promise, yet ended up as one of history's worst made vehicles.

    The original process would have ensured a quality product, and many of its components were adapted by foreign makes, which resulted in the quality, reliability and value you mentioned in your comment. So, in the end, the manufacturing process matters quite a bit...
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,715
    Was anything back then even close to a 4cyl Honda? Those engines were whisper quiet, yet revvy and powerful enough to make them good performers for the era. I don't think any maker could have approached the Civic, especially by 1992.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,715
    I think when the Ion was released, with weird design and middling build quality, GM was already ready to start abandoning the brand. They certainly put in a half baked effort there.

    I do believe there is still some toxic personnel in the GM leadership hierarchy.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490


    I don't know if they were inspired by GM, but for a few years, Chrysler used plastic front fenders on the Intrepid, Concorde, and New Yorker/LHS. Unfortunately, they tended to warp. They'd also shatter in an accident, but I don't know if that's really that much of a disadvantage, as a metal fender will still get smashed.


    BMW uses some form of composite/plastic fenders on many models. My 2010 328i has non-metallic front fenders. I don't know what, if any others use non-metallic parts.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited January 2013
    I'd call that failure, particularly if they didn't make any money licensing the new manufacturing process. And why didn't they use the process to make a GOOD car instead of the Vega?

    I'm not sure exactly what can or can't be licensed in a manufacturing process when it comes down to how a line is laid out, but its pretty clear the implementation was an absolute failure as far as the Vega was concerned.

    It demonstrated that GM at least had some folks that understood the importance of quality at the time, but were simply outnumbered/overshadowed by those that didn't.

    Edit: go here for a good background on the Vega and its manufacturing process:

    http://www.carlustblog.com/2010/12/the-chevrolet-vega-what-went-wrong.html
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I think when the Ion was released, with weird design and middling build quality, GM was already ready to start abandoning the brand. They certainly put in a half baked effort there.


    I agree with your design comment, especially the dash layout...
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Not so much abandoning the brand, as abandoning the concept of Saturn in particular. GM "abandons" brands only under threat of bankruptcy it seems. What they did do is turn Saturn into "just another GM nameplate." Which might actually have been worse, since they damaged said brand in doing so.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Don't take it personal. It is what it is. GM being Old GM. The usual. Now, let's see if they hit a single or extra-bases...


    What it is: The refreshed version of the Chevy Malibu, which is coming a year-and-a-half ahead of its originally scheduled arrival, and just 18 months after the car first launched. Under the mask hides a new fascia, which we believe will be brought in line with the wide-mouth look recently introduced on the Traverse. It’s possible we’ll also see a light upgrade for the interior, which would add higher-quality materials.

    Why it matters: Because to shoppers, the Malibu doesn’t matter. Chevrolet botched the launch of the car, introducing the unimpressive hybrid version, the Eco, before models with conventional gasoline engines. All Malibu variants have bland, mediocre-quality interiors—according to Automotive News, the rear-seat setup will receive particular attention. Exterior styling is as thrilling as vanilla pudding, leaving the Malibu an anonymous entry in a mid-size segment where the Hyundai Sonata and the Ford Fusion, among others, offer real couture. Chevy needs the Malibu to be a success, not a wallflower.


    2014 Chevrolet Malibu Spy Photos

    Regards,
    OW
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,971
    I wonder what they're going to change to remedy the rear seat legroom issue? I guess they could hollow out the front seatbacks, like they did on the 2008-2012 version. If they do, I hope they make the hollowed-out section taller, so that my knees can fit in it!

    IIRC, the seats on the Malibu are fairly thick. I guess they could always make them a bit thinner to free up some room. However, in doing so they run the risk of making the seats TOO thin, and uncomfortable.

    Personally, I don't have a problem with the Malibu's style. While being a wallflower is not a goal they should be shooting for, there's still something to be said for a car that's attractive, without being in-your-face-edgy and spur-of-the-moment in styling. I'm not a fan of the Sonata's styling. Or the Camry, or Altima. However, people don't buy Camrys because of the styling. They buy them because they're predicable. For the most part. I have a feeling that none of them are going to wear very well. The Fusion, I have mixed feelings about. The Accord isn't exactly cutting edge, but it at least has a comfortable sort of familiarity about it, and wears its look well.

    Similarly, I think the styling of the Malibu is okay. I think they just need to do something about that back seat, and get the MPG up a bit on their engines. The 22/34 rating of the standard 2.5 is nothing to rave about, although it equals the rating of the 2.5/auto in the Fusion that will probably power most examples. And it beats out the 200C, which is rated 21/29 with the 2.4/4-speed auto, and 20/31 with the 6-speed. It's still a bit below the Accord, Camry, and Altima though.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's not the old GM at all.

    You and I both know the old GM would have slapped on big rebates and let it go stale for the next 7 years. Maybe 10.

    The fact that they are working to make it better so soon is a radical departure.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,752
    The fact that they are working to make it better so soon is a radical departure.

    Very good point; have to give GM credit for at least reacting quickly in this case and doing what is practical in a short time period.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    True. But Old GM is also the one that would put out a car worse than its predecessor in the first place.

    We'll see if the radical redesign is a radical improvement. It may just be, if it addresses the problem areas.
  • keystonecarfankeystonecarfan Posts: 181
    edited January 2013
    xrunner2:According to Wiki, the early Corvair line "competed with imported cars such as the original Volkswagen Beetle, as well as the Ford Falcon and the Plymouth Valiant, new entries in a market segment that was established in the U.S. by the Nash[1] and Rambler American."

    I'd suggest reading Mustang Genesis, the relevant chapters in The Reckoning, or articles in Special Interest Autos and Collectible Automobile, as all of them give far more detailed and accurate accounts regarding the Mustang's conception and development than Wikipedia.

    The "early Corvair line" means the first sedans and coupes that debuted in the fall of 1959. Thes cars failed to make the hoped-for impression on buyers compared to the Ford Falcon. But GM saved the car with the sporty Monza variant, which debuted in the spring of 1960.

    The first Monzas were revolutionary for the domestic industry in that they were well-trimmed, sporty coupes aimed at people who wanted more than economy transportation (a role that was filled by the sedans and base coupes).

    xrunner2: By no stretch of the imagination can anybody consider that the Beetle, Falcon, Valiant, Nash or Rambler were sports or sporty cars. Corvair offerings were 4-door, 2-door, station wagon, van and a convertible.

    The original Monza was a success because none of the cars you listed competed directly with it. This is why Ford rushed the Falcon Futura coupe into production in 1961, and Chrysler offered the uplevel Valiant Signet hardtop coupe the same year. Both were attempts to compete with the new market uncovered by the Corvair Monza for low-cost compact coupes with bucket seats, uplevel trim and consoles.

    xrunner2: In contrast, the roots of the production 1964.5 Ford Mustang was the mid-engine, 2-seat roadster. A sports car. Thus, Mustang genealogy as a sports car, the Corvair an economy car.

    Ford executives considered the Mustang I sports car to be a dead end. It showed them what NOT to do. The Corvair Monza showed them the more lucrative path. There is no debate about this; the late Don Frey (considered by those within Ford to be the REAL father of the Mustang), as well as Sperlich and Iacocca, are all on the record regarding this.

    xurnner2: Ford executives no doubt realized a new untapped market segment of sports or sporty cars and thus the development of the prototype Mustang I in 1961 and a working model driven at the U.S. Grand Prix in 1962. They discarded the mid-engine two seater as a production idea due to probable very limited buyer interest in this configuration.

    Yes, because the Corvair Monza showed them the more lucrative path.

    xrunner2: The front engine, rear drive, 4 passenger configuration was chosen for production due to parts availability and simplicity of engineering and likely broad appeal. Not a rear engine, rear drive as on Corvair. Ford's design decision was a home run.

    You have to stop focusing on the rear-engine layout of the Corvair. That is ultimately irrelevant. What influenced Ford was the first Monza's package of bucket seats, sporty trim and console in a low-cost coupe. Just because the Monza had a rear-engine configuration and the Mustang didn't does not mean that Ford wasn't influenced by the Monza.

    Ford tried to counter the Monza with the 1961 Futura, and then the 1963 1/2 Sprint, but these failed to make the desired impression among buyers. The relatively tall and narrow Falcon didn't translate as well into a sporty car, even with special trim, unlike the Corvair. Hence, the 1964 1/2 Mustang, with unique sheetmetal and a new name covering Falcon/Fairlane mechanicals.

    xrunner2: This The Corvair design, in the long history of GM, has to be considered a flop. It was never repeated again by GM till this day in 2013.

    The Corvair was selling 250-300,000 units per year until 1966. That hardly makes it a flop.

    xrunner2: The first Mustang design is completely different from the Corvair design. Corvair did not influence the Mustang. Not in design, nor marketting.

    The Monza's success influenced Ford's decision to move forward with what became the Mustang, and showed Ford what it needed to offer. There is no debate about this. Those involved with the development of the car have said this.
  • andres3: I'm going to have to 100% agree with Xrunner2 here, and categorically state all you others are 100% wrong.

    In which case you are wrong, too. Read the sources I cited to gain a better understanding of this issue.

    andres3: First, quoting or relying on former Big 3 Auto Execs is like quoting or relying upon data from nitwits, retards, and other mentally challenged individuals. The Big 3 auto execs are about as incompetent a group as has ever been in place in corporate America. Wait, no, I take that back, they are the most incompetent.

    You have no clue as to what you are talking about. Iacocca and Sperlich were responsible for some of the biggest successes in the history of the American automobile industry. To say that every American executive is stupid or incompetent is ridiculous, at best.

    andres3: Big 3 auto executives don't know or understand the auto industry, and they certainly don't know or understand what they say, what they have said, or what they will say in the future.

    Which, of course, is why the car conceived by Sperlich and Iacocca set a record for first-year sales and was one of the biggest successes in automotive history, and why, 20 years later, they hit upon a new category of vehicles for the domestic market with the Chrysler minivan, a segment in which Chrysler still leads.

    andres3: Frankly, a bunch of monkeys could have done a better job making decisions by throwing darts at a board.

    You appear to be confused - we aren't talking about the executives running BMC, Fiat and Renault in the 1970s and 1980s, Daimler-Benz and VW in the 1990s, or Peugoet-Citroen today.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372

    That's not the old GM at all.


    You and I both know the old GM would have slapped on big rebates and let it go stale for the next 7 years. Maybe 10.

    The fact that they are working to make it better so soon is a radical departure.


    The jury is out until they prove it to me. I don't know about you.

    There's a lot of old GM in the Malibu launch.

    Regards,
    OW
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Primarily their mistake was to lead with the Eco model, an uncompetitive mild hybrid.

    The conventional model is better and cheaper.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    True, but that's how they botched the launch. Frankly, they'd be better off discontinuing the Eco completely, instead they led with it, and for a while it was the only model available.

    Launch is extremely important, you know what they say about first impressions? Vehicle launch is the first impression on the entire industry. And they screwed it up.
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