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GM News, New Models and Market Share

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Using Impala and Malibu as long lived names is kind of tenuous - both of them were dead for a long time, and of course Camaro was killed off too.

    Using your 'negative equity' argument, would the names have been brought back? Hardly.

    Even taking the missing years into account, I, personally, am hard-pressed to come up with any model names used for more model years than Impala, Malibu, and Camaro--from any manufacturer. Silverado and Suburban and Corvette have been used without any breaks.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    Using your 'negative equity' argument, would the names have been brought back? Hardly.

    That shows how inept GM marketing is.

    Same with Ford. The killed the Taurus, rightfully so, then bring the name back because they believe it has brand equity. Yeah right, only if you're on a Hertz lot.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    You'll dismiss complaints about GM vehicles on CR due to sample error, yet use complaints on Edmunds forums?

    I'm willing to be the cash in my wallet that GM, Ford, and Chrysler owners are less likely to utilize internet resources regarding there vehicles. Thus leading to sample error;)


    It doesn't get less scientific than using the number of postings on a forum to determine the quality of a vehicle.

    Forums fail both the "validity and reliability" tests needed to accurately measure results.

    At best, forum postings are only indicators. Does a single poster making 100's of comments based upon a single personal experience on a single vehicle carry as much weight as a scientifically designed survey (that works both on positive and negative viewpoints)?

    Only to those looking to re-enforce the conclusions they've already made.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    Using your 'negative equity' argument, would the names have been brought back? Hardly.

    That shows how inept GM marketing is.

    Same with Ford. The killed the Taurus, rightfully so, then bring the name back because they believe it has brand equity. Yeah right, only if you're on a Hertz lot.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,413
    IIRC, the first-year, 1993 Altimas were technically "Stanza Altimas".

    Yes. That's exactly what happened. I had a friend who had one of those Stanza Altima.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,413
    IIRC, the first-year, 1993 Altimas were technically "Stanza Altimas".

    Yes. That's exactly what happened. I had a friend who had one of those Stanza Altimas.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    I think the names "Malibu" and "Impala" might have come back because nostalgia and retro were becoming popular in the mid/late 1990's. And, in GM's defense, at least the original Malibu and Impala died with some dignity.

    I have a feeling that Chevy was planning on doing the same thing that Pontiac did with their lineup in 1982, where they took what had been the LeMans and gave it a more expensive looking front-end, and tried to pass it off as a downsized Bonneville, while getting rid of the traditional B-body Bonneville (and Catalina), and hoping that full-sized car buyers would fall for it. Meanwhile, midsized buyers, they hoped, would go for the new 6000.

    I always thought the 1982 Malibu, with its eggcrate grille and quad headlights, looked an awful lot like a baby Caprice. I'm convinced that initially they were planning on getting rid of the "real" Caprice, and transferring the name to the Malibu platform, and possibly getting rid of the Impala nameplate in the process. If that had happened, I wonder if the Celebrity would have been called Malibu, instead?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Good questions, andre (as usual). I think once the G-body Bonneville (former LeMans) didn't sell all that terrifically (and this is just from my memory, nothing to back it up), GM decided to keep the Impala/Caprice going and actually dolled up one for Pontiac to reintroduce in '83, the Parisienne.

    I believe the Celebrity probably would have been called the Malibu had the Malibu sedan and wagon not soldiered on into the '84 model year.

    I didn't like the blunt front end of the '82 Malibu..I liked the sloped-downward looks, at least at the headlights, of the '78-81's. I hated how you could see the seams where the '81-style headlights and grille used to be, on the '82!

    I like the '81 Chevys' model selection and colors. Didn't like the '82's colors as well, and some models, like the Impala coupe and Malibu coupes, went away, as did bucket seats in the Monte Carlo. Guess they were paring down to make room for the Cavalier, Celebrity, S-10 pickup, and new Camaro, or something.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    edited December 2012
    Note: Nothing like "Avoid the 2007 Altima, but the 2006, 2008 and 2009 are fine".

    I believe it can happen. Even though a model may not receive any obvious updates, under the skin changes do happen. Ex. The Ford Expedition is virtually unchanged from '07 to today. But the spark plug issue which plagues the '07-'08 models (same with f150s) was fixed as a running change in late '08. Same engine.

    I've worked in a parts department. The same model can appear to be the same, but when it comes time to replace parts, they don't ask for a vin or serial number for nothing.

    Plus things happen, machines break, and people are not perfect. No process is 100% repeatable and variation happens (that's why there are tolerances). So I do believe the same model of car can have different results in various years.

    Plus it can be out of the box variables that can have an effect. Sell a car to a 20 year old vs. a 40 year old and see how the reliability is effected. It makes a difference. I treat a vehicle much different than I did 20 years ago. I don't attempt neutral drops, clutch dumps, brake torquing, and hill jumping anymore. Plus I can afford to fix anything that may go wrong, when it goes wrong and I perform all recommended maintenance, which is not something I used to do.

    In your example, the '07 Altima could have been have had heavy incentives to subprime borrowers. That could be a variable that could cause reliability results to be different between years or even a difference between the 'Nox, and Terrain.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I believe running changes happen, but it hasn't been my experience in ownership that one will be good, the next year bad, and the next year good, etc., when it's obvious that the design, mechanicals, and sourcing hasn't changed. As andre said here once, and I believe it, it's comparing the car to other makes, and that may change from year-to-year. CR doesn't present it that way however. Just my opinion.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    Yeah, you're right, the '82 Bonneville wasn't a very hot seller. In 1981, I think Pontiac sold about 100,000 of the full-sized Catalina/Bonneville, and around 85,000 LeManses.

    For 1982, the Bonneville G only sold about 85K, so it only did about as well as the LeMans before it, and a bit worse than the full-sized cars it was meant to replace. That was also the Bonneville G's best year, as sales slowly tapered off, dropping to about 40,000 units for 1986. When it went to the FWD H-body, it had some new life breathed into it, though, and sold well through the rest of the 80's and most of the 90's.

    The Parisienne came out in mid-1983, so it only sold about 17,000 units that year, but I think it did around 50K for 1984, 70-80K for 1985, and 86K for 1986. Kinda curious that Pontiac would kill it off, as it was gaining in sales, but by that time Pontiac was trying to re-brand itself as a youthful, performance oriented division, and cars like the Bonneville G, RWD Grand Prix, and Parisienne really weren't fitting that mold anymore.

    I thought it was a bit curious that the Malibu coupe went away, as well. But, for years, mainstream coupe sales had been declining, instead shifting to personal luxury coupes. So, people who would have otherwise bought a Malibu or LeMans coupe were now buying a Monte Carlo or Grand Prix. Or Cutlass Supreme, which was a very strong seller in those days, and almost recession proof.

    For 1982, didn't they kill the Caprice coupe, as well? I seem to remember the Caprice AND Impala coupes going away. The Caprice coupe would return after a few years, but the Impala never did.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    edited December 2012
    Yes, actually. Those names were killed off because GM didn't have better names for the new models once the old names (Lumina, Corsica) were rendered of zero value. Those names also had enough of a gap for a younger generation to come around who have positive associations due to the American love of nostalgia. When I think "Malibu", I think of a lovely 64 Chevelle (that name should return, too) Malibu SS, not a dull fleet model 1983 car. When I think of "Impala", I think of a cool full sized 60s car, not of an honest but boring 1985 lowline full sized car.

    Mercedes SL has been around for just about as long as the Vette, there's been S-class, E-class, 3er etc equivalents for 40-50+ years, too. MB has also kept a hardtop coupe in continuous production since 1961.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    For 1982, didn't they kill the Caprice coupe, as well? I seem to remember the Caprice AND Impala coupes going away. The Caprice coupe would return after a few years, but the Impala never did.

    Yes, you are correct...I had forgotten about that. I lived in suburban Atlanta at the time my Dad was looking to replace his '80 Monte Carlo. I had heard that the Caprice coupe was resurrected for '84, but hadn't seen one at any dealer around me yet. My Dad called to say that he was looking at a new Caprice Classic coupe at our small little hometown dealer in PA. He said it had a bench seat with fold-down front armrest. I couldn't even picture that as previously there hadn't been anything like that on a Caprice coupe. When I came home at Christmastime he had bought a Monte Carlo but I saw the Caprice he had looked at. I was surprised the little hometown dealer had one when much-larger suburban dealers didn't have one.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    I think for GM, bringing the old names back wasn't a bad idea. But then again, I like heritage based marketing. and GM does have some good heritage.

    The Taurus thing was dumb (so was the "Five Hundred" name). Taurus has value to people who moved into a cave at the end of 1989 and cut off contact with civilization. Call it a Fairlane or something, and make a higher model a Galaxie.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Benz's naming isn't exactly like domestic manufacturers, with the combo of letters and numbers. Still, it's not like they're still making 230SL's, or 450SL's (or do they?). With new iterations, they change the number portion, at least sometimes, don't they? I really don't follow Benzes very much although have driven my friend's big, big, '05 one (says '4Automatic' on the trunklid).
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    edited December 2012
    The name changes because the engines change. For the Germans, it is not name, but relative position in the lineup. There's no 300SL (the name of the first production car in 1954, racing car in 1952) being made in 2013 because that specific engine ceased production in 1963. But a 2013 SL is still an SL, it occupies the same place in the lineup and even wears the same letters. The letters usually mean something.

    That 05 boat would be an S430 or S500 4Matic. It exists here today as an S550. It existed in 1973 as a 450SEL and in 1965 as a 300SEL, and so on.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    I remember lusting after the new '92 Maxima with its 190 HP V6 as I was nearing my driving age at the time (but still a couple years off).

    Back in the day I was still on a "buy American" kick when it came to cars, but I'll admit that when that new Maxima came out for 1989, I liked it. A lot! I was 18 at the time, so there was no way I could ever afford one. I still remember some of them had a sticker in the rear door quarter window that said "4DSC", short for "4 Door Sports Car"!

    It was one of the first of the rounded off aerodynamic styles that I really liked.

    I also liked the 2002 Altima when it first came out, enough that I briefly considered trading my 2000 Intrepid in on one. Fortunately (or not), I was seriously upside-down on the Trep at the time. It had about 58,000 miles on it, and I owed about $11,300. Initially they were going to give me $6500 in trade and let me roll over the negative equity.

    Thankfully I didn't go for it, as that would have resulted in a car payment of about $470 per month!

    I guess though, if I had done that, I might still be driving that Altima. My Intrepid got totaled in a hit-and-run with about 150,000 miles on it, at 10 years of age. But if I had traded it, the victim instead would have been an 8 year old Altima with about 92,000 miles. It might have still had enough book value to not get totaled out like the Intrepid did, so it might have gotten repaired instead, so I never would have bought my Park Ave.

    The ~32K miles I've put on the Park Ave would instead have gone on this hypothetical Altima, so it would be up to around 124-125K miles by now.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    edited December 2012
    Back in the day I was still on a "buy American" kick when it came to cars, but I'll admit that when that new Maxima came out for 1989, I liked it. A lot! I was 18 at the time, so there was no way I could ever afford one. I still remember some of them had a sticker in the rear door quarter window that said "4DSC", short for "4 Door Sports Car"!

    You're not much older than I. A good looking mom that lived down the road from me while I was in HS had a black '89 Maxima SE with a manual trans. I lusted over both;)

    Those Maximas were great cars back then. Nothing like it with the domestics until Ford ponied up the Taurus SHO. Which was cool in it's own way, but certainly not nearly as good of a car overall. Well I know which car would likely last much longer anyway.

    Dodge had the Spirit Turbo, while interesting, I don't think they were that good either.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    That 05 boat would be an S430 or S500 4Matic. It exists here today as an S550. It existed in 1973 as a 450SEL and in 1965 as a 300SEL, and so on.

    OK, that's not exactly keeping a model name the same. ;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    edited December 2012
    But it is still pretty much the same. MB changed the letter/number position on all models in 1994, for unknown reasons. So see a S550 as a 550SEL, in old terms. And the letters "SL" have been around for ~60 years, which is worth something ;)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    Back when I delivered pizzas, one of the kids who worked on the inside (and they made him an assistant manager after awhile) got his parents' old Maxima, which was of the '89-94 generation. Didn't take long before he wrapped it around a light pole on a sharp turn at the end of his street.

    As punishment, the next car he got was his parents' old 1984 or so Celebrity station wagon. :P
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited December 2012
    I've worked in a parts department. The same model can appear to be the same, but when it comes time to replace parts, they don't ask for a vin or serial number for nothing.

    That's absolutely true.

    I don't know about nowadays, but in the 1960-70's, VW was really good (or bad, depending on your viewpoint) about doing that stuff.

    Example: I had a 1973 VW camper that had 1972 model year rear suspension/brake parts. VW simply just used up its excess 1972 inventory of parts and then converted to the newer model run.

    Less important, but still another example, was my 2002 S-10 pickup, which had a 2001 model year radio and associated mounting hardware. I found this out when I was replacing the radio with one I obtained from Crutchfield's, and the 2002 mounting hardware didn't fit. When I called their support, they knew almost immediately what the solution was, and the new mounting hardware fit perfectly.

    When I bought my 2007 Z-4 Coupe (March 2007), I just missed out on getting the HD radio that was introduced in the late March 2007 Z-4's. so, in theory, its possible that the Pre-HD radio cars could have, either real or imagined, different satisfaction rates than the Post-HD radio cars (although personally, my 328 has HD radio and I never use it.

    My 2009 Tacoma model year is known for faulty radios, and when my dealer replaced mine, he told me that Toyota re-sourced the radios during the middle of the model year. The radios look identical in every way.

    Lastly, BMW was infamously known for its high failure rate of fuel pumps in its direct injected turbo cars from around 2006-2011. After several iterations BMW finally appeared to get the problem resolved, and they didn't wait until the next model year to switch over. So, if you compared a later 2011 335i to a 2009 335i, you would probably find many more fuel pump issues in the virtually exact same model 2009 than a 2011-12 model.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    As punishment, the next car he got was his parents' old 1984 or so Celebrity station wagon. :P

    That's borderline cruel and unusual punishment;)
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I think for GM, bringing the old names back wasn't a bad idea. But then again, I like heritage based marketing. and GM does have some good heritage.

    I'm not sure about the timing, but didn't the re-use of model names somewhat coincide with the introduction of retro-looking models such as the HHR and PT Cruiser?

    Cars designs are like fashion, in that they wax and wane over the years, going from softer curved edges to more defined shapes and eventually back to the curvy looks again...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,106
    I'm not sure about the timing, but didn't the re-use of model names somewhat coincide with the introduction of retro-looking models such as the HHR and PT Cruiser?

    The Malibu came out for 1997 and the Impala came out as a 2000, but I think it was a fairly early launch, like April or May of 1999? They did pre-date the PT Cruiser a bit, which came out fairly early in 2000 as a 2001.

    However, retro was starting to get popular in general, as evidenced by the return of the VW Beetle, which I think was also a 1997 model. I also remember a lot of radio stations started doing "retro saturday night", apparently because people were getting nostalgic for disco. And, "That 70's Show" was a big hit.

    I think the HHR was a bit late to the game....didn't it come out for 2006?

    I wonder if there's any single event that triggered the sudden yearning for nostalgia and retro?
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I wonder if there's any single event that triggered the sudden yearning for nostalgia and retro?

    Probably could be traced back to a late-nite TV commercial for the Hula-hoop, yo-yo or slinky.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Trivia tidbit of the day...

    Most folks know the code names for the Normandy invasion in WW II... Gold, Sword, Juno, Omaha and Utah.

    In 1945, Offensive planning was creating the plans for the invasion of Japan, in the expectation a land invasion would be necessary. There were 5 beachhead locations:

    Cadillac, Chrysler, Buick, Pontiac and Chevrolet were the names selected. If the plans had been necessary to execute, I can only imagine what effects using those names might have had on the brands in the market today, but it does demonstrate the power and sway the domestic auto industry had back then in 1945 in the USA...
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    Maybe they should go further back like Bel Air.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    "I wonder if there's any single event that triggered the sudden yearning for nostalgia and retro? "

    The boring banality of mid-90s mainstream pop culture? I remember that era well as I was in high school - and it made the 80s look like epitome of style and cool.

    And yeah, the Impala was an early 99 release. I remember seeing one by May of 99.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,774
    I, personally, am hard-pressed to come up with any model names used for more model years than Impala, Malibu, and Camaro--from any manufacturer.

    VW Beetle. :blush:
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