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GM News, New Models and Market Share

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Both the Civic and the Malibu were poor updates to fairly well-regarded previous models

    True, and good point.

    Honda had to discount the Civic, but it did sell well. Problem is transactions prices were lower than for Elantra. Who would have predicted that a decade ago?

    I think the strategy of launching the mild hybrid Malibu first was a major fail. It just doesn't put up the numbers to get any marketing traction, and it was expensive. Now that the mainstream engine and cheaper models are out, it's not as new as the competition.

    Better to launch either the cheapest model first (quick sales interest, get it to be popular) or the sportiest model first (to win magazine comparisons).

    Launch the not-so-green model first and nobody cares, even GoGreenAutoEverythingBlog.com.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    The problem is that they got caught flat-footed by the release of the new Altima, and tried to get something out quick that would look competitive with it, particularly when it comes to MPGs.

    They should have stuck with plan A.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, it's tough to sell a Malibu priced like a full hybrid Camry but one that can't match the regular Altima's mileage.

    $26 grand base ain't cheap. In that price class expectations are higher.

    Personally? I would have looked for a left over previous generation model, there were bargains to be had. I think those held up the numbers artificially at first.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,959
    Personally? I would have looked for a left over previous generation model, there were bargains to be had. I think those held up the numbers artificially at first.

    Heck, I'd STILL look for a previous-gen Malibu, even if I had to go used, before I'd take the 2013. For one thing, the Malibu doesn't even register with me as a midsized car anymore. That, and the lack of a V-6 option puts it on par with large-ish compacts like the Dart, Cruze, and Sentra in my mind. However, it comes in at a higher price point, so for me at least, it's just priced out of its market.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My sedan pick would be a Fusion 1.6l EcoBoost with auto start/stop.

    Unfortunately they're, um, hotter than even Ford intended. :D

    Maybe a 2l EcoBoost AWD Fusion.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    Unfortunately they're, um, hotter than even Ford intended. :D

    That's continuous improvement. It used to be you had to hit a ford for it to catch fire, now they do it automatically;)
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    According to an article in today's US Today, there were 2 fires reported on the model while the cars were being assembled inside the manufacturing plant.

    According to a letter Ford sent to the NHTSA, Ford said "that two of the reported fires actually occurred at the Louisville assembly plant where the Escape is made. "

    Spokesman Said Deep (really, that's the name in the article) "says the plant is continuing to build Escapes with the 1.6 liter EcoBoost even though the cause of the fires has yet to be pinpointed and a fix devised."

    Say, WHAT?!?!?
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,327
    One has to wonder how such an issue made it through the quality control and testing phases before going into production.

    I'd be curious to see what the Big 3 budgeted for quality control and testing yearly, since 1980, and how that compares with better car manufacturers.

    Also, I'd be curious to see the performance evaluations of those who worked in those departments of the Big 3, assuming they even had anyone doing quality control or testing; figured the budget was $0.00 for that at Chrysler.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited December 2012
    When there are 2 incidents of fires on the assembly line, before the product even makes it out the door, and production continues without delay, I can only come to the conclusion that the most important factor (above all others) is to get product out the door, regardless of quality.

    Now, imagine a situation in which the entire plant management staff was given a short time frame (24-48 hours) to resolve the issue, or kicked to the unemployment curb.

    How long does one think it would take to resolve the issue then?
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,796
    Spokesman Said Deep (really, that's the name in the article) "says the plant is continuing to build Escapes with the 1.6 liter EcoBoost even though the cause of the fires has yet to be pinpointed and a fix devised."

    Say, WHAT?!?!?


    They are probably building them and parking them somewhere awaiting resolution.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    8:21AM EST December 4. 2012 - As embarrassments go, Ford Motor couldn't face a worse recall than one that wraps together two critical 2013 vehicles and a technology that it has spent the most time and money trying to burnish: Fusion sedan, Escape crossover and the EcoBoost turbocharged engine.

    Yet on Monday Ford was at a loss to explain why the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine in two big-selling models was overheating and might catch fire — or how it plans to fix the 89,153 vehicles involved. Ford is urging owners to park their vehicles, contact their dealers and arrange for loaners.

    So far, 12 fires were reported in the Escapes and one in the Fusion, which just went on sale, says Ford spokesman Said Deep. No injuries were reported.

    What's more, the latest recall marks the fourth for the Escape since last spring. One involved a swatch of carpet that could block the gas pedal. The others all involved the same 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, including a recent recall because of coolant leaking from a freeze plug.

    That track record now has some asking whether the automaker, which has tried hard to burnish the reputation of the Ford nameplate under CEO Alan Mulally, has gone astray.

    "It does beg the question: 'Does Ford have a serious quality problem?' " says George Cook, executive professor of marketing at the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester and a former Ford marketing executive.

    Consumer Reports recently dropped Ford to second-to-last place in its annual reliability survey. Only two years ago, Ford was in the top 10. Ford has created so many all-new products that the kinks haven't been worked out of many of them, lsays Jake Fisher, head of the non-profit magazine's automotive test division.

    The Ford brand has had 92 recalls since 2009, substantially higher than the next highest brands — Chevrolet, at 70, and Toyota, at 68, a search of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database reveals. Of course, such a search doesn't take into account the severity of individual recalls or that the Ford nameplate is part of the larger Ford Motor. When recalls in its various divisions are added up, General Motors outpaces Ford on recalls overall.

    It hurts even more that the problems involve 73,320 Escapes and 15,833 Fusions. In launching the new Escape this year, Ford said the two models compete in segments that make up 30% of all sales.

    With fuel economy a top consideration, Ford has heavily touted its EcoBoost engines — and is bringing them to 90% of its models. Though the recall is "just isolated to that engine," the 1.6-liter, Ford fears the recall "might tarnish the entire line of engines," says Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain for LMC Automotive.


    Continuing to build a product that catches fire at will, without having any idea why that product explodes in flames, seems like a poor business decision, especially as the manufacturer tells existing owners to park their vehicles and stop driving them.

    And, seeing as how 2 cars bursts into flames while still at the assembly plant, it must not take much to create the condition that causes the fire...
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,451
    edited December 2012
    If ICE cars were introduced today, the regulators probably wouldn't let them on the highway. Imagine carrying around an incendiary device in your trunk.

    Naturally GM has a better idea. :-)

    General Motors Looking to the Future with Natural Gas (Motley Fool)

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  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Actually, cars were the first big examples of a "green" product. For fuel they used a to-that-point useless by-product of the production of kerosene. :shades:
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,451
    edited December 2012
    Horse hockey!

    (and mule hockey and ox hockey and all the other hockey filling up the streets ;))

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  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,796
    Continuing to build a product that catches fire at will, without having any idea why that product explodes in flames, seems like a poor business decision, especially as the manufacturer tells existing owners to park their vehicles and stop driving them.

    Explodes into flames might be a bit incendiary - don't you think? :D

    Automakers do this all the time. They continue to build even with problems and then go back and fix them.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Automakers do this all the time. They continue to build even with problems and then go back and fix them.

    Didn't GM invent that strategy? Or was it Ford or Chrysler???? :sick:

    Regards,
    OW
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,959
    Didn't GM invent that strategy? Or was it Ford or Chrysler????

    Well, in 1958, Chrysler designed some little crimps into the exhaust ports of the DeSotos, so that if one refused to start as it left the assembly line, it could be pushed by the one behind it, without fear of damage to the bumpers!

    So, the cars not only had the "Forward Look", but also had "Forward Thinking" :P
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,345
    Explodes into flames might be a bit incendiary - don't you think?

    New marketing strategy - "Now, with the first external combustion engine.".....
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    "Instantly Escape From All Your Worldly Problems!" KABOOM!!!
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    edited December 2012
    http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtests/2012/12/2013-cadillac-ats-and-so-it-begins- - .html

    My suspicion: The 2013 Cadillac ATS's ambitious CUE infotainment system was fast-tracked into production and side-stepped usability engineering. It makes MyFordTouch look comparatively excellent.

    My prediction: CUE will be deservedly skewered here and elsewhere for its slow response to touch, poor indexing (correspondence to where it is touched), intermittent outright crashing (pictured), illogical menus, pagination and interface, and so on. Just one night in the car and I experienced all of these. Sorry to start the blog like this for such a highly anticipated and needed vehicle, but boy, this feels so beta that it should never have made it to market in this state.


    Why am I not surprised?

    This is not the first time I've read about such complaints.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,451
    edited December 2012
    Hm, lost the link but the review I read liked CUE better than My Touch.

    But that reviewer thought Chrysler's "simpler" interface that included dials and buttons was the best implementation of telematics so far.

    And the reviewer took a shot at BMW and their early iDrive stuff.

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  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    If they keep going like this they may as well just provide iPhone and Android docks, and write apps for both platforms.

    They may be better off doing that anyway....
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited December 2012
    I think myself and others might be a lot more forgiving if this was the first significant issue Ford had with the vehicle. Clearly, it's been a problem-filled launch on the product.

    And, I take no issue with the continued building of said product, as long as the product being constructed doesn't contain the specific engine prone to catch fire. After all, there are other engine options than don't seem to burst into flames.

    As for the comment being a bit incendiary (great pun!), ask the guy it happened to on the highway.

    One buyer complained to NHTSA that he had already gone through three recall repairs on his 2013 Escape and was driving on the freeway near Charlottesville, Va., when a pop came from the engine. The engine temperature light came on, steam, then oily smoke poured from the engine and it burst into flames.

    From a PR perspective, this is turning into a nightmare for Ford. If they keep it up, they may get a Vega on their hands, publicity-wise.

    And, I ask once more. When the problem manifests itself inside the assembly plant, just how difficult could it be (or should it be) to isolate the cause(s), seeing as how you can't get any closer to the "expertise" that designed and built the product?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,687
    I don't like touchscreens, even if they work well (and most don't seem to come close). Fingerprints.

    I can deal with less than intuitive mouse/wheel style controllers.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    I'd rather they use old school switches, buttons, knobs, and levers.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    How about we replace your steering wheel with a tiller, too?
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    edited December 2012
    Didn't GM use a CRT based touch screen in the late 80's Riviera? IIRC, Motortrend or C&D had one for a long term test and it was full of gremlins. And that was the car, the CRT was problematic too;)
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    How about we replace your steering wheel with a tiller, too?
    LOL
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    Yeah, there was a weird guy in my old neighbohood who had one of those Rivieras with the GCC, (Graphic Control Center). I don't recall if the one in his car was burnt-out or not. GM soon replaced it with conventional controls.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,959
    I dunno how I'd feel about a touch screen, as I've never used one other than limited fumbling around on an iPad or iPhone. But I'd worry about scratches, fingerprints, reliability, etc.

    As for buttons, knobs, levers, etc, I don't mind, just as long as they make the setup simple, intuitive, and so that you don't have to take your eyes off the road for any longer than necessary. I'm not so crazy about the controls of my 2000 Park Ave, because it has a bunch of look-alike buttons, and is mounted low enough that I have to take my eyes off the road to see what I'm doing. My old Intrepid, and the current Ram, have the fairly simple, generic 3-dial setup where one dial controls the temp, one controls the fan, and the other controls the various functions.

    I actually liked the old 1970's and 80's GM setup where you just got one lever for fan speed, one for temperature, and other for the various functions. That one, I can easily control just by feel.
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