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Chevy Uplander/Pontiac Montana SV6/Saturn Relay/Buick Terraza



  • spartanmannspartanmann Posts: 197
    You're forgetting that the Aztec sold so poorly that it was immediately redesigned (unprecedented in this day and age) to make it slightly less ugly. The expense involved in just cosmetic changes is enormous. As for their brand manager, he was not the guy who approved putting it into production. He was the guy stuck trying to explain what the hell happened. The Vice Presidents who actually approved putting it into production are the ones responsible for it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Brand Manager for Aztek, OK. I think I read about someone above him in Automotive News getting a promotion, might have been in Autoweek also. Wish I could remember the name...

  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Aztek was ahead of it's time is all. Not to say I like it but there is tons of ugly crap out now and nobody makes the big deal about it that they did when Aztek came. Look at the Element, Scion X something. Same stupidity.

    It's too bad GM is so far in the whole. It's nice they take care of their retirees but it's killing the company.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Pontiac went out of control with gills, scoops, soilers, etc. The original concept wasn't that bad, actually.

    Scion xB is boxy but a very clean design, with none of the goofy "accessories" on the Pontiac. It's selling well, well beyond demand, they actually had to adjust production to make more xB models and fewer xAs.

    Element is also selling way beyond expectations.

    Price may have something to do with it - both are well below market prices for competitors. Aztek gave people sticker shock.

  • spartanmannspartanmann Posts: 197
    You are correct about the sales for the Scion and Element. It's all about understanding your market. The Scion and Element are intentionally ugly and unconventional. They are also cheap and functional and marketed directly to the gen X crowd that has a limited budget and thinks driving something funky looking is actually cool, sort of like their tattoos and eyebrow piercings.

    The Aztec on the other hand was priced only slightly less than the GM minivans. GM somehow expected older and more mature types to go for that styling and spend 25K or more on it - totally unrealistic. That explains why the more normal looking Rendevous sold much better despite costing more.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bingo, exactly.

    Element costs less than the similar CR-V it's based on, even though it has 16" rims.

    Scion xB carries a dirt cheap MSRP, it's reverse-sticker-shock.

  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Scion and Element are both marginal products though. Quality and crash tests on thr Element has been sub-Honda. Aztek did drop it's price substantially and I have seen them at year end with C$9-10K off sticker.

    I don't even notice Azteks when I see them anymore. Nothing very shocking.

    Aztek type vehicle based on a cheaper platform would sell better. I actually do know a few younger folk that would have bought had the price been less.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    None of those factors have affected sales.

    What's impressive is that Element is selling at twice the projected rate, yet it has not cannibalized CR-V sales, which are also strong. From a marketing stand point, it's a smashing success. So is the xB.

    Aztek was a dud from the beginning.

    It's not alone, the Baja was a dud as well. Again, higher than expected prices.

    Avalanche was successful, though.

    I guess if you're going to build an out-there styled vehicle, it had better be priced right. It seems the same people that are willing to go out on a limb in terms of styling are NOT willing to bet the bank on it.

    Just an observation.

  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Yup, priced right anything will sell. I don't consider beating a company produced low projection to neccesarily mean a vehicle is a success though. The local dealer has lots of Elements sitting on the lot week after week and I don't see almost any on the road. It's not that big a deal really, its a niche car.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    is company quality. Scion (Toyota) and Element (Honda) sells quality, while Aztek is "just" a Pontiac.

    IMO, the Lexus RX-330 looks similar to the Aztek. Many people out there just hate the looks of the RX-330, while the looks of the older RX-300 was very nice. And look how good it sells! And for what price! That's Lexus quality people go for, and of course excellent driving dynamics with so many features adds to the excitement. In such case, who cares about looks?
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    Estimated Element sales per Honda were 50,000 for 2003. They sold 67,000, or 34% more. 2004 Sales thru June are down 13% from last year, or about 30,000. And Honda has been somewhat disappointed in the age of the buyers, high percentage 40+.
  • apriloliapriloli Posts: 1
    I am so disappointed. I am a huge Saturn Fan and haven't owned anything but a Saturn since the early days - my first car was a brand new Saturn (a what? a Saturn ---- the good ole' days). And I now have 2 small children and was so excited to hear they were making a minivan. I can GUARANTEE I will not buy this one.

    Why you ask??

    No dent resistant doors. The #1 reason to buy a Saturn --- NO RUST. #2 reason, no haggle. But I personally will not buy one after this. I'll probably get another VUE when the time comes.

    Big disappointment Saturn. For the first time with this company, I feel let down!

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    and I dont think that rust is any longer an issue. I see plenty of Gen 3 Camrys from 1992 that are in great condition, no rust. I think that right around that time, thats when things started to change for all makes. Can anyone think of a particluar model (besides Ford/Mazda's 6 issue) that has a pronounced rust problem?

    apriloli, if GM can keep you in any Saturn, be it the Rebate or the VUE, trust me, they'll take it. So while you may be disappointed, and understandbily so because this new mini wont meet your specs, GM wont, because you're still buying their product.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    67k sales is very high, IMO, for a company's secondary small SUV. Think about it. It's their #2 priority on that platform.

    Combine it with CR-V sales and they probably beat the Escape/Tribute.

    I'm sure the steel is galvanized, maybe even double-galvanize (both sides). But you'll still get dings.

  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Rust is not a big issue for most cars (except maybe Korean ones) these days. My dad has a 10 year old Lesabre and it's only got one tiny spot of rust on it and he never washes or waxes the thing.

    Element sales are indeed falling off. The Honda die hards bought in but the thing is weird looking and there are lots of better small SUV choices including CRV.

    Saturn van is kind of strange. GM has never giving the division a badge engineered product. Probably was not a good idea for a different kind of company..
  • spartanmannspartanmann Posts: 197
    The Element and Scion are made to snag new customers. Once they get older, get a good job and a real haircut they'll tire of driving an ugly box and move up to - most likely a Honda or Toyota car or SUV. These products show how serious Toyota and Honda are about competing for customers for the long term. GM was trying to do the same thing with the Aztek - but it attracted a low percentage of new GM buyers.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I'd agree with you if young people were buying Elements but they aren't. It missed the average target by about 10+ years. The 4 or 5 of them I have seen were all driven by 40 or 50 something year olds much like the Aztek.
  • lynnwlynnw Posts: 119
    I currently own a Buick Regal GS and am very happy with the ride and quality of the vehicle (well, for the most part) I was really excited to hear that Buick will introduce the Terraza soon and was even happier to be able to see "real" pictures of it. Seems to me they are really making an effort to capture serious luxury and quality along with convenience. I need to move on to a minivan since I now have 2 children to transport with me and I noticed that the RES seems to be controlled from the actual roof mount. Someone tell me that I am wrong, because it seems silly to me that one would not be able to operate this system from the dash. I cant wait to see this in person and check everything out, but I am beginning to think I may be disappointed especially with the new Odyssey coming out at the same time. I think I may be leaning toward Honda since the Buick may not live up to all the expected features and I dont even know what the mileage will be like. With my current Regal I only get 17 mpg which is not good, but it is supercharged so that is probably why. I just think I would expect at least 18 mpg on a van, but they have not release that info yet. Anyone want to throw this subject around with me and help me sort some stuff out?!
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    The Buick seems to be the best looking of the bunch. I saw it at the auto show last winter and it was really upscale looking in a deep red colour.

    Mileage should be similar to the current van's 19/27 rating. I don't see that as bad for a van.
  • spartanmannspartanmann Posts: 197
    Check out any recent Old Silhouette. The Buick will be a slight improvement but basically the same vehicle.
  • lynnwlynnw Posts: 119
    Thanks for the info. I was never crazy about the silhouette's looks but the photos of the Terraza look hot. My hopes are that I am impressed by it. The interior sure looks classy and refined, and I love the exterior SUV style. I have seen some spy shots of the new Odyssey and from what I have heard they will offer I am just afraid that there wont be any competition from Buick. The 19 mpg sounds good though.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    "GM was the first manufacturer to offer an integrated, factory-installed video entertainment system in vans and one of the first to offer a DVD system. With the new CSVs, leadership in in-vehicle entertainment - a very important area of customer consideration in vans - increases with a standard DVD player with flip-down, 7-inch (178-mm) screen and integrated controls on all models. The system accommodates CD, MP3 and DVD formats, has a parental mute override function and is equipped with inputs to allow items such as video games and video recorders to be played on the screen."

    This should help sales. I guess GM has watched the Freestar and figured out that these four vans may be in trouble.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Wow, impressive.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    side airbags and curtain over the DVD any day. IMO it'd make more sense for GM to spend the money to make all the safety features standard. Yesterday I saw on the news that Alaska is prosecuting a driver who presumably caused a fatal accident while fiddling with the DVD player. I've never had a DVD in my cars so don't know how useful it is. But seems to me it'll just give my daughter another opportunity to nag for more TV.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    "Optional side-impact air bags (head and thorax)"

  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Posts: 1,031
    That's not side-curtains...they only protect the front passengers and not everyone else.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    "it is angled somewhat toward the window to help provide protection for front- and rear-seat outboard passengers".

    Not curtains, but better than nothing.

    Standard DVD systems, 4 wheel discs with ABS and available remote start. Some good stuff on these vans. Still happy with our 04 Montana though.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think the DVD player is a big seller. You usually only see them on $30k plus models of competitors.

    If GM can get vans out with street prices under $25k, that'll help sales.

    Mileage will be another selling point. The 3500 in the Malibu is very fuel efficient. It might even improve from the 19/27 ratings of the current vans.

    So there are your two sellings points - DVD and gas mileage.

  • cwebcweb Posts: 1
    what is the msrp on the terraza
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