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GM News, New Models and Market Share

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  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    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: 21,849
    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: 4,737
    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: 8,353

    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.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,173
    They also resisted hail damage. I wish I were so lucky when we had both my Cobalt and old van in Rochester, NY during a hail storm.

    IIRC, the only the vertical panels like door skins and fenders were plastic. The hood, roof and trunk were either aluminum or steel (can't recall) to meet crash test standards.

    Those plastic panels also had problems with growth and shrinkage which is why panel gaps were something like 1/4" and hardly ever were consistent.

    I also recall the reliability on them was really good for the first couple of years and they were 99.9% "American made" having only something like (2) components that were sourced from outside Countries...
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    edited January 2013
    Was anything back then even close to a 4cyl Honda?

    Absolutely not IMO. In the 80's and 90's I sampled a lot of 4 cylinder cars and Honda was far superior to any domestic 4cyl and better than most others too.

    I think that likely comes from there back ground with small engines. Motorcycles, power equipment, and marine engines etc.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Launch is crucial. I wonder if they should have led with the performance model, maybe even an SS. That way you create a halo for the 'bu name.

    Then roll out the volume models, which is what people actually buy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Domestic brands had good large displacement engines - the 3.8l V6 and the small block Chevy come to mind.

    I think the idea of teaming up with brands from markets that preferred small cars made sense. I'm not yet convinced that Daewoo was the best choice, but hopefully we see quick improvement like we have from Hyundai and Kia.

    One area to focus on is weight - the Sonic would perform a lot better if it were lighter. The 1.4T could be tuned, do an SS and relaunch the pocket rocket.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I'm not sure we're going to see any SS models anymore, not with Chevy making a car called the SS. Which itself might not be wise if it competes with the Camaro and Corvette...but I digress. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nah, SS will be a sedan. It will sell to dads who want one of those but need 4 doors.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    IIRC, the only the vertical panels like door skins and fenders were plastic. The hood, roof and trunk were either aluminum or steel (can't recall) to meet crash test standards.

    Those plastic panels also had problems with growth and shrinkage which is why panel gaps were something like 1/4" and hardly ever were consistent.

    I also recall the reliability on them was really good for the first couple of years and they were 99.9% "American made" having only something like (2) components that were sourced from outside Countries...


    The hood, truck lid, and body shell were definitely aluminum and steel. So were the door frames which would definitely rust.

    My wife, my SIL, my MIL, and a few friends had Saturns and they ranged from being okay to problematic with various issues.

    My wife's '92 SL2 was reliable other than heavy oil use after 60-70k miles. My sister in-law bought a new '95 SC-1 that leaked trans fluid the first week she bought it. My MIL bought a '95 SL-2 which also had trans leak issues and was just a crude car by that time. It rode rough, was loud, and fit-n-finish was non existent. A friend of mine bought his wife an SC-1 the first year with the 3rd door. They ended up returning it under the (return policy) because the dealer couldn't fix water leaks around the 3rd door. The replacement wasn't much better and they didn't keep it long either.

    IMO, Saturn was a failure. It was a good idea which in typical GM fashion was poorly executed due to GM's toxic culture. Like some have mentioned, Saturn was successful in the beginning (though I don't think it was ever financially successful). They had a cult like following with their yearly owner meetings in Spring Hill and consumer focused dealerships and purchase process. RV'ers liked them because they could be towed w/o disconnecting a drive shaft or raising the drive wheels off the ground etc.

    But what started off as something different and successful was quickly killed by the managers of GM's other divisions. They acted like a bunch of bratty spoiled kids that felt like they shouldn't have to share resources and attention. Saturn died the day they started using parts from the GM parts bin and just became another GM brand.

    My MIL looked at Saturn again after her '95 was needing replaced. By that time it was the Ion. Neither my MIL and FIL were remotely impressed and my MIL ended up buying a Camry and now they're even more impressed with Toyota.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Korean cars were always heavy for a long time...Daewoo never got over that. Personally I don't think Hyundai and Kia did either, their cars are lighter now, but also not as structurally stiff as they were.

    I personally think GM should get into WRC. Ford is learning a lot about suspension and chassis tuning by being in WRC in addition to touring car racing and NASCAR. GM participates in NASCAR and WTCC but not WRC.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    Domestic brands had good large displacement engines - the 3.8l V6 and the small block Chevy come to mind.

    I'm only talking 4 cylinder engines. Yeah, GM certainly countered with v6 powered cars.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Nah, SS will be a sedan. It will sell to dads who want one of those but need 4 doors.

    No, it will be sold to men who's wives say "You're not getting that thing, get this so I can use it to get groceries and pick up the kids too!" :shades:
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