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GM News, New Models and Market Share



  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited January 2013
    Ah.....Yes. The big con by American manufacturers. GM, Ford and Chrysler. Big changes in the sheet metal every few years, two years, one year with not much improvement going on with suspension, brakes, engines, transmissions, safety, etc. Chumps would trade in frequently to keep up with the latest trends, styles.

    If you weren't there, you can't be expected to 'get it'. Those chumps probably included your parents or grandparents.

    In the '60's, horsepower grew, safety features were added yearly, things like disc brakes were added, automatics went from two to three speeds, new models and lines were introduced...not unlike now, except that it didn't take five years or more for something to change. Absolutely more exciting than today's auto marketing.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    To lower prices and steal Volt sales, too.

    At least it's not a grant.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    A company with revenue of ($118.95 billion US) worldwide, should be able to support their own leaf battery plant. They only sold 9,000 last year.

    GM's revenue was a lot higher than that when they got bailed out. They should also have been able to support their own operations.

    The difference is that one company is working to develop new manufacturing capabilities in US locations, and the other was failing in a competitive marketplace and the US government saw fit to reward a failing enterprise with loans. I don't guess that's an important difference to you, but it is to me.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    If you weren't there, you can't be expected to 'get it'. Those chumps probably included your parents or grandparents.

    History shows that the European car makers in the 50s and 60's were the innovators in advancing technology in cars. Disc brakes, sophisticated suspensions, radial tires to name a few. American mfrs such as GM were the laggards in introducing these particulars. American mfrs still use archaic designs in suspensions in some of their so-called performance cars.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited January 2013
    The market, and gas prices, dictated things like that then. At 35 cents a gallon--which was never the case in Europe from what I understand--Americans wanted quiet, ride, size, and our roads could handle those things, unlike other countries. Again, if you weren't there, you can't 'get' how exciting a time it was.

    In the '60's, disc brakes, three-speed autos, greater horsepower, collapsible steering columns, side door beams, all became commonly available. The European makers never had even a portion of the model and bodystyle choices offered to the American car buyer at that time.

    In 1965, over one million Chevrolet Impalas were sold. Over one million--of one model. I'm not talking Biscaynes and Bel Airs too (those were different trim levels of the same car)--we're talking over one million Impalas.

    Somebody had the pulse on what the market wanted then.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 393
    And there was little competition, really just the big three, imports were a small s edition of the market. Now there is lots of competition so I doubt you will every see a car sell like that againa, even if it does hit all the wants of the consumer. I missed that time, but have seen other reports about what a big event the new models coming every year was. The Europeans never did change styling as often as the American Manufacturers either and I was attached to them, but with them it was new styling every five + years, some even longer an at.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    I dunno about Omni. My Mom had a 1987 Omni and that homely little car really "could do it all" like the ads read. That car would easily traverse snow and ice covered streets when weather conditions left 4x4s stranded on the side of the road. The car was cheap to buy, easy to repair, and easy to service.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,744
    Juice - did you read the article?

    The base model is a new trim - the Leaf S. Last year's base (SV) is now a mid line model and the price drop is only $3400. Much of the price drop is due to Nissan moving production of both the vehicle and EV packs from Japan to the US. The S model will be a pretty bare bones vehicle I'll bet. It's highly unlikely that Nissan will be losing money at the lower price point.

    The Volt and Leaf also use different technologies which I know you are aware of. Add an IC engine and the technology to integrate it to the Leaf and it's price would be much closer to the Volt.

    You're picking up the spin moves from your wife! :)
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    Maybe that's the reason I would choose a Mercedes-Benz not only over any other German car, but among all foreign cars in general. Still like that E-Class.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    I still see plenty of those old Darts still on the road. There's a guy a few blocks over who has a dark green one that still appears to be in pretty nice condition. My neighbor in my old 'hood had a plain-jane medium blue 1968 Dart. He passed away and his relatives were showing the car to sell to a bunch of strangers when I would've obviously bought this car for a reasonable price.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    The Dart name was out of circulation for so long that an entire generation practically never saw one on the road. Those folks more likely translated compact Mopar with Neon and Omni, which weren't anywhere near the dart in reliability or durability.

    Around here, I'd say in the past 10-12 years, they pretty much got taken off the road, but before that they were a common sight. I used to use white '68 Dodge Dart 270 hardtop to deliver pizzas. I never put a sign on the car, but needless to say, something like that is going to still stick out like a sore thumb, and people will remember it. Unfortunately, at that time, there were THREE other Dart hardtops in the same general area. All of them were white. And one was a '67, one was a '68, and one was a '69. They were all owned by teens/early 20 somethings. So needless to say, the store used to get calls complaining about me all the time. Sometimes, even on nights when I wasn't working and nowhere near that neighborhood!

    I'm sure those Darts are all run into the ground by now, though. In fact, I know one of them took on some battle damage when some other teen/20-something got into an argument, and backed his car into the front of one of them. And, wanna guess what that guy was driving? Another Dart! :surprise: This one was a '73 or '74 sedan though, sort of pimped out with neon lights underneath, and it was a light blue color I think. I only saw it at night, and sometimes that can play tricks on the color. I do remember the kid who owned it looked a bit like Weird Al. Oh, and there was also a midnight blue '67 Dart GT convertible in the neighborhood, driven by a MILF.

    Most of today's younger set, if they're into cars and go to shows, will probably get the most exposure to one particular Dart. The '68-69 GTS, hardtop or convertible, with either a 340 smallblock, 440 big-block, or 426 Hemi. There are probably more Hemi and big-block Darts running around now than there were, new, thanks to transplants and cloning. FWIW, they only built something like 50 or 75 Dart Hemis in 1968. They were about $4,000 new, and came majorly stripped down. They also came with racing slicks, rear wheel openings that were cut out extra wide, and a warning label that said not for street use.

    So today's younger set has probably forgotten all the grandpa Darts and Valiants that were sold in the 70's. And, even if they know some aging relative who has once, they're probably fantasizing about how good it would look painted Hemi Orange or Gang Green, and with a big block stuffed under the hood. Alas, they're also probably fantasizing about putting dubs on it...
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I'm with lemko on the Omni/Horizon. I far-preferred them as rental cars than K-cars. I remember them being fairly peppy and an excellent use of space. I do know a buddy of mine who worked as a Chrysler Zone District Service Manager then said the body dies were starting to wear out near the end, resulting in more air and water leaks in the later ones. He also said, incidentally, that AMC built Fifth Avenues better than Chrysler did!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    That's right. The M-bodies were produced at the old Kenosha plant from about the mid-80s on to the end of production.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    I do know a buddy of mine who worked as a Chrysler Zone District Service Manager then said the body dies were starting to wear out near the end, resulting in more air and water leaks in the later ones.

    I wonder if a similar thing happened to the Olds Delta 88 for 1985? My Consumer Guide auto issue tested one, and they tore it apart when it came to fit and finish, and paint, although I think they said interior quality was pretty good. They mentioned that they were really disappointed in it, and that while theirs may have just been a bad example, that it still shouldn't happen since Olds had been building the car for eight years.

    They also tested a Caprice, Parisienne, LeSabre, and Fleetwood Brougham, and none of those cars had the same issues. IIRC, the Caddy actually got high marks for fit and finish.

    One thing that could have also happened, is that the Delta 88 was a very popular car that year. With the RWD 98 going away, and news of the Delta going FWD for 1986, plus cheap gasoline and a recovering economy, demand was very high for the Delta 88. So maybe they had to rush the assembly lines to keep up with demand? And, maybe the body dies were just starting to wear?

    In comparison, I think the Caprice was actually down slightly compared to 1984. The Parisienne was up, but not a whole lot, and it wasn't a huge seller. And the LeSabre had a good year, for many of the same reasons the Delta 88 did (RWD Electra gone, and the LeSabre itself going FWD for 1986), but it wasn't a huge seller like the Delta was.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We shopped used Omnis for my then girlfriend (now wife). I found surface rust on even 2 year old ones. They didn't hold up around here, though to be fair MD salts the roads big time.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yup, but that still brings the entry price point way, way down. $20,150 is an economy car price, some $4 grand less than a base hybrid Prius or Civic.

    The SV drops $3400 but also gains a rapid charger, so it's a much better deal now.

    Limited range still limits its use, so it makes a good 2nd vehicle, but can't really replace a primary vehicle, IMHO.

    I still think with those prices the Volt's gonna feel some pain.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    I hate responding to one of my own posts, but I guess I have Oldsmobiles on the brain. Last night, I saw a movie called "Bridesmaids", where a really nice looking early 80's Olds 98 got sacrificed. :sick:

    However, to add embarrassment to injury, this is how it got hurt!

    It rear-ended one of those RWD Corolla coupes that the main character was driving, who slammed on her brakes when a porcupine waddled out into the road.

    I was surprised that the 98 took that much damage. However, I have heard that for 1984, they cheapened the bumpers. And, the impact did buckle the rear of the Corolla...

    Kinda sad to see such a nice car get creamed though. It looks like it was in pretty good shape.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I agree, those Ninety-Eights were nice cars. I guess one had to be sacrificed for the good of those watching years later (inside joke; andre gets it ;))
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    Atlas concept. Looks like they kinda rushed it to market to rob headlines from GM.

    I like the step and the built-in ramps.

    The styling is totally overdone, inside and out.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    My Mom had a 1987 Omni and that homely little car really "could do it all" like the ads read. That car would easily traverse snow and ice covered streets when weather conditions left 4x4s stranded on the side of the road.

    Chrysler did a good thing by copying an excellent auto design from Britain and the Europeans that went back to the 1960's. FWD, small efficient 4-cyl engine, compact design. Gas crises finally woke up American manufacturers to make better small cars that the Europeans had already mastered rather than failures such as Chevy Corvair, Vega, Ford Maverick and Pinto.

    Omni probably copied the VW design of the mid 1970's - Rabbit and Scirroco.
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