Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





GM News, New Models and Market Share

129303234351051

Comments

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Those '64-'67 GM "intermediates" along with their '68-'72 successors were nicely proportioned cars with lots of engine, tranny, and body style variants.

    My brother has a nicely restored and customized '67 Chevelle SS.

    Thanks for the memories!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,524
    Beautiful.

    image
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,398
    When cars were cars...

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,398
    You're Welcome!

    Your brother has a great car there. The feelings he gets from a classic are priceless.

    Regards,
    OW
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,138
    I agree, they were nice cars. My favorite of that generation was the '66. However, I think it's a bit unfair for the 2008 Malibu to compare it to those classics. For one thing, those pics are a bit misleading in that they're 2-door hardtops, which are a sportier looking bodystyle to begin with. And a style that would most likely not be around today. For a more accurate comparison of then versus now, I think one really should look at the 4-door sedan. For instance, peruse this old 1964 Chevelle brochure. Most of the focus seems to be on the convertible and hardtop coupe, the more glamourous styles. But there are sedan and wagon pics in there, as well. Also keep in mind that since this brochure is artwork, rather than photographs, many of the pictures are going to make the cars look longer, lower, and sleeker than they really are.

    I couldn't find a '66 Chevelle brochure, but here's a '67. Again, the hardtops and convertibles get the spotlight, two body styles that you can rest assured no modern Malibu would have. And while the 4-door sedans are still pleasant enough looking cars, they're still sort of just automotive appliances. Just workhorses, family haulers, but nothing really exciting or exotic about them. Oh sure, they might seem exciting today because their un-aerodynamic bodies and relative lack of government intervention in their design allowed the stylists more freedom back then. But basically, update that design to be safer and more aerodynamic, taller so that it's easier to get in and out of, and shorter so that it's not so cumbersome, and I imagine you'd end up with what we already have...the 2008 Malibu.

    FWIW, when the original Chevelle/Malibu was around, they usually were considered good cars, and often the best in their class. Even the final, 1983 Malibu was a pretty good car, for its era. At that point its closest competition would have been the Fairmont based LTD/Marquis, and the Volare-based Gran Fury/Diplomat. The Japanese really didn't make cars in this size class, for US consumption at least, until relatively recently. In 1983 an Accord was slightly smaller than a Cavalier, while a Camry was slightly larger.

    When the Malibu nameplate returned for 1997, I thought of it more along the lines of what would have been a Nova, Dart, or Falcon back in the 60's. More a roomy compact than a "true" intermediate. Even for 2008, it still doesn't seem like a true midsize. Even though it's gotten bigger, it's a bit narrow inside, and with the seat all the way back, the back seat is tight. But still, the Malibu is probably more competitive with its peers than it has been in 25 years or more.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think it still remains to be seen if ethanol can be made cheaply out of cellulose. And if farmers then convert their corn, wheat, soybean ground into cellulose crops the impact on food will continue and the price of ethanol will still be high. Or we will cut down all the forests, rain forests, etc on the planet causing even more environmental damage.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Like sls002, I am very skeptical they can achieve those goals. CO2 is still very important. More and more low emission engines each year.

    Imagine if the Malibu had a hybrid option, they coudl sell more. GM has to figure how they can produce more of these cars.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    And if farmers then convert their corn, wheat, soybean ground into cellulose crops the impact on food will continue and the price of ethanol will still be high.

    To get to 1/3 penetration crops like switch grass will be needed to be grown but there are plenty of other stuffs that could be used to supplement. Kudzu is one for the southerners, tires, garbage, manure, and the list goes on. Even if only 10% of oil was replaced by Ethanol (at $2 /gallon) I think it would be a great short term solution. Perhaps another 30% could be plug in electrical. Another 20% by a smaller fleet/higher mpg.

    What gets me with all the supposed reduced driving and smaller vehicles that our country has only reduced our gas usage by 2.5%. With all the complaining I would have thought it would have been more.

    Anyway there is no one fabulous answer to our fuel problems or CO2 issue.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I was thinking what if we grew switchgrass on the sides and medians of interstates and other freeways? This land isn't used for food production now and has to be mowed periodically anyway. Win-win, except I suppose the energy content will still be lower than that of gasoline, and hence lower miles per gallon.

    Kudzu grows like crazy -- you really have to be careful or it'll smother just about everything else. And it looks absolutely awful in the winter when devoid of foliage.

    I have some in my yard, and you have to work hard at keeping it at bay, since it initially hides among other shrubs, then grows rapidly and wraps around its hosts with its tentacles and takes over. Nasty stuff IMO.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    What gets me with all the supposed reduced driving and smaller vehicles that our country has only reduced our gas usage by 2.5%.

    Point taken, but in the absence of these much higher fuel prices, wouldn't gas/diesel usage have continued to grow by 3% or so? Plus, you can't downsize the fleet overnight, trucks still have to roll, and people still need to get to work.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I was thinking what if we grew switchgrass on the sides and medians of interstates and other freeways?

    What a great idea. I think there are plenty of ways to get ethanol to replace a lot of gas w/o too much work. And if it truly works out to half of the cost of gas that well makes up for the lower energy contnet.

    What I would like to see is the percentage blended with gas increased to maybe 25% (from 15% today?). That would allow no infrastructure cost. Issue I think is that then non e85 vehciles would use it and cause mechanical issues.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,524
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,524
    >I have some in my yard

    I brought some back and it wouldn't grow in Ohio. I read that it can grow a foot a day.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,884
    My switchgrass isn't doing so well out here in the high desert either.

    GM's Saab was singled out as the "most improved brand" in today's JD Power Dependability Study.

    Inside Line

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Isn't a lot of gasolene already 10% ethanol for reduction of emissions?

    While a lot of new cars sales are smaller cars, all of the big old cars are still on the road. For a serious reduction in fuel consumption sales of smaller vehicles will need to continue for a few more years.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    That is no lie about it growing a foot a day in the heat of summer -- once kudzu gets rolling, there's no stopping it without aggressive yanking. I grew up in Pittsburgh and never saw it there -- must be too cold north of the Mason-Dixon line.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Isn't a lot of gasolene already 10% ethanol for reduction of emissions?

    I though it was 15% but if we could increase it to 30% or so that would greatly decrease oil importation / CO2 w/o infrastructure. Again though the cars could not take it.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    It is 10% ethanol in most places, partly because of emissions reasons and partly because of the recent federal mandate to produce X million gallons of ethanol by 2016 or so.

    All owner's manuals I've read for recent model cars say not to use more than 10% ethanol (except of course for flex-fuel vehicles). The engines and fuel systems aren't designed for anything more.

    Some claim reduced mpg's with the 10% stuff, but I can't say I've noticed a measurable difference.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,398
    GM's Saab was singled out as the "most improved brand" in today's JD Power Dependability Study.

    Yes, went from Worse to only bad!

    Regards,
    OW
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    thanks imidazol97. I noticed it has "very limited availability" and it only gets 24/32. Isn't this what the normal 4 cylinder gets?
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.aspx?ID=2008115

    Lexus really improved this year. I would say they got worried because they tied with Buick last year, but of course this is on vehicles built 3 years ago.

    Overall pretty much everyone stayed in the same place.

    Interesting how VW and Saab have the same numbers.

    Top 5 issues:

    Excessive wind noise
    Noisy brakes
    Vehicle pulling to the left or right
    Issues with the instrument panel/dashboard
    Excessive window fogging
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I was playing around and found that the 2005 Century has the best dependibility for the midsize market. Sable / Camry came in 2nd/3rd. Interesting that the new for that year LaCrosse looks like it came in 4rth with the Sable. They do not list place below 3rd but the data shows it. Accord came in somewhere below. Below that a ways the G6 and Malibu.

    http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.aspx?ID=2008115

    http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/dependability-ratings-by-category/midsize-c- - - ar

    A little more digging and I found the 2008 Malibu was #1 for initial quality (midsize). This bodes well for its long term dependibility. What is real interesting is that the Camry and Accord are not in top 3.

    http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.aspx?ID=2008063
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Looks like GM ahd Mercedes in a good place?

    Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. has sued Cobasys LLC and its parent companies, claiming the battery maker isn't delivering the battery packs it agreed to build for Mercedes' ML450 Hybrid (right) and as a result the German automaker might have to delay the launch of its planned hybrid SUV.

    In a lawsuit filed last week in a U.S. District Court, Mercedes-Benz said it had scheduled the production launch of its new hybrid vehicle for June 2009, and that it had a contract with Cobasys in which that company agreed to supply 100 percent of the batteries for the ML450 and would do so "in due time."

    As a result, Cobasys said it would not sign a purchase order Mercedes-Benz had presented for the battery packs months after Cobasys representatives signed the initial contract with the automaker.

    Cobasys builds batteries for General Motors' mild hybrid sedans and, in June, GM officials said the American automaker was nearing a deal to buy Cobasys.

    In a letter attached to the suit, Mercedes-Benz Secretary W. Lee Thurston said "there is no viable or commercially reasonable alternative source for supply which will allow MBUSI [Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc.] to meet its launch dates."

    In a reply dated July 9 to Thurston's letter, Cobasys CEO Thomas Neslage wrote that Cobasys had stopped working because Mercedes-Benz had not paid invoices. Cobasys also denies that it agreed to produce the batteries for Mercedes, a unit of Daimler AG.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Looks like supply and demand is working

    The Environmental Protection Agency rejected on Thursday a request to cut the quota for the use of ethanol in cars, concluding, for the time being, that the goal of reducing the nation’s reliance on oil trumps any effect on food prices from making fuel from corn.

    The E.P.A. administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, said that the mandate was “strengthening our nation’s energy security and supporting American farming communities,” and that it was not causing “severe harm to the economy or the environment.”

    The effect of the decision on fuel and food markets is hard to determine. Recently, high energy prices have led to even more ethanol production than the quota required. On the other hand, rising corn prices made some ethanol operations unprofitable, especially as oil prices started to fall.

    Companies that use corn to fatten livestock and poultry, along with others in the food business, had called for lifting the requirements, saying that their costs were rising as millions of pounds of corn were diverted from feeding livestock to fueling cars. Farmers argued that the jump in corn prices was driven not so much by the demand for ethanol as by growing demand for grain-fed meat around the world, and their own higher costs for diesel fuel.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    As I would have thought 62vetteefp would know, much more than 10% ethanol does require a flex fuel vehicle. Where I live we have a mid-grade fuel which is also the lowest price that is 10% ethanol. A few stations have E85. My SRX is supposed to use premium. My salesperson filled it with either regular or mid-grade when I picked it up. He said I could use regular and that it would make no difference. That first tankfull was worse MPG than the second and I could tell almost immeadiately after filling with premium that the mileage was somewhat better (based on the average computer MPG readout).

    I think in larger metro areas where emissions are a concern ethanol has been added to most of the fuel to reduce emissions. This should reduce the amount of petroleum used by 5 to 10%.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,138
    I noticed it has "very limited availability" and it only gets 24/32. Isn't this what the normal 4 cylinder gets?

    Close. The base Malibu, with the 4-speed automatic, gets 22/30. With the 4-cyl/6-speed automatic, it's 22/32. The Malibu/Aura hybrid looked more impressive using the older rating system, which put a 2007 Aura (Malibu hybrid wasn't out yet) at 28/35. Still, even then there wasn't a huge difference. The 4-cyl/4-speed auto 2007 Malibu was rated 24/34. In the G6 it was a bit less, 23/33. And the Aura's smallest engine that year was a 3.5 V-6 rated at 20/30.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    So you pay the extra premium for a lousy theoretical 2 mpg bump. Hardly seems worth it....
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    As I would have thought 62vetteefp would know, much more than 10% ethanol does require a flex fuel vehicle

    Yea, I think I know :) but my premise still is there that perhaps we can make the ethanol penetration higher and not change the distribution infrastructure. Easy enought to require all new vehicles to be able to take E30. Most have it now and jsut need to put it on all models. Perhaps the mid range on the pumps becomes E30?

    Issue with E85 is that the ethanol takes on water while in the distribution infrastructure. Not sure if E30 would have that same issue.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    GM is beginning sales of its 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid this month.
    The luxury full size two-mode SUV carries an MSRP of $71,685—a $3,600
    premium over a comparably-equipped conventional Escalade.

    Escalade Hybrid features GM’s Two-Mode Hybrid technology, enabling EPA
    fuel economy ratings of 20/21/20 miles per gallon US
    (city/highway/combined). The conventional 2WD Escalade carries an EPA
    city fuel economy rating of 12 mpg US, and a combined city/highway
    rating of 15 mpg US.

    The hybrid system can operate the vehicle entirely on battery-electric
    power during idling or low-speed driving situations.


    I would think that a 6 mpg jump would be worth $3600 investment?

    At 15,000 miles /year and $4 gas that would be a savings of $1000/year.
Sign In or Register to comment.