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GM News, New Models and Market Share

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  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,354
    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: 33,509
    How many of those are actual trucks? GLK? X1? Pathfinder minivan? Electric RAV4? Allroad is just a station wagon :confuse:
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,354
    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: 8,354
    Agreed. They need to categorize much better, afaic!

    Regards,
    OW
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    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: 4,737
    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: 4,141
    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: 4,737
    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: 21,849
    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: 33,509
    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: 33,509
    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.
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