GM joins Ford in jettisoning the minivan market

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hls wrote:


SEems like ford is STILL having transmission failures... buddy of mine has a 5spd 3.0L ranger, tranny went at 12,000, took them 42 days to fix it, and he just got it back yesterday. another buddy just bought an escape to head out west, brand new, 7000k, tranny went, doesn't know if he'll make it out west by new years...
at work, one ranger 3.0L auto, two tranny failures, one a complete rebuild, truck had less than 80k on it both times. now the other one was an 02, with 220k (talking kilometers here) and it failed, it was also automatic. Thats not real good out of 5 rangers. (3 are 05's, 2 02's). The other 02 only has 120k kms on it, and it hasn't failed yet however.
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About as excited as Walmart gets when a corner grocery store closes.
There weren't that many GM and Ford minivan sales to begin with.
Jeff
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I was selling these for a while and we could never get enough Astro vans for the trade. Not only did GM stop making them, they closed the plant in Baltimore to boot. From what I understand the Astro was doing well on the coasts but not elsewhere. I'm sure they could have kept it going somewhere. Boneheads.

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It's kind of amazing, really, that GM is the world's largest company and there are so many markets that they don't even sell to. They don't even care. For instance, they had unreliable junky diesel trucks that nobody would buy. They let that drag on forever. They didn't field a 4-door small (now considered mid-sized) SUV for a long time. They made a half-hearted effort with the stretched S-10, but that was just a pile of junk. They just watched while Jeep and Ford ran away with a huge market. How about this - no extended cab pickup until 1988. 15 years later to the market than the 2nd slowest. How about a competitor to the Mustang? Nope. Police car? Nope. How about something you could use for a Taxi? Nope. How about a low-slung 12,000 lb GVWR truck for rollback service, like an F-450? Nope. Minivan? Nope. V-8-powered rear drive car? Well, yes, at a price much higher than a 300C.
To be fair, though, I do see some markets coming back to them, and Ford doing some of the same kind of ball-dropping that GM used to do. In the 1980's, GM squandered Cadillac's leadership position through a superhuman effort to embrace every kind of mistake possible. It appears that market is coming back around, or at least you could say Lincoln isn't leading any more.
I also think the gas mileage of the 5.3 gas-powered trucks may be a class leader. I'm pretty sure it is.
I think the HHR might be a hit. It may actually be outselling the other entry-level crossovers.
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Actually, the Chevy Impala is used both as a taxi and cop car.
For that matter, Corvettes, Camaros and Tahoes are used as polices vehicles, too.
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The Impala is a horrible police car. The transmission doesn't last and where I live it didn't make it as a taxi either.
I don't know where you live but a Corvette used by police enforcement? Palm Beach or Malibu?

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I am in Ontario, and we have Impala's as Police cars, as well as taxi's. Crown Vic's are also used. So are Tahoe's too.
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Here in Vancouver the Impala is currently popular as an airport cab, but the Toyota Corolla is increasingly becoming very common for in town taxis and even airport use. A few months ago 4 of us each with a checked bag and a carry on, were brought home from the airport in a Corolla. It's large space for a smaller car surprised me; fortunately the three smaller people took the rear seat and I got the very spacious front seat.
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wrote:

Pearson International (Toronto's airport) is the nearest to me, but is still around an hour away, so we don't see many airport cab's. I do recall seeing a PT cruiser used a couple of times though. Like I said above, as for taxi's, the Impala's are the thing here. There are even a few local companies who use Lumina's.

Good stuff. I prefer large cars myself. Bonneville's are the way to go, IMHO.
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In BC, Canada a variety of vehicles are used as police cars, even some 4WD vehicles where snow conditions are difficult. It seems that large Ford car is most common and it even keeps it's hub caps which that obsolete GM car didn't do. <:)
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The is a difference between vehicles 'used' by police and 'police' vehicles. Naturally a police department car use whatever they choose for bicycles to Hummers, and the do. but that does not mean they are certified for patrol/pursuit work. There are one three vehicle sold in the US that are 'certified police vehicles.' The Ford Interceptor is by for the number one choice, by around 80%. Followed by Impala and the newly certified Dodge vehicle. There are a whole group of vehicles, mostly 4X4 that are sold for 'security' service, some of which have been mentioned. The explorer and the Jeep are the most often used. Of the departments we serviced, in six eastern states, many that bought FWD certified police cars, because they were a few thousand dollars less expensive and more fuel efficient, eventually when back to the Interceptor. Some like the Pa State Police, ban the use of FWD cars for pursuit work.
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

I can certainly understand that. I am certain that the police Impalas have uprated suspension, etc. but the basic dynamics of the chassis is not so good for high speed handling. I've been told it's basically a stretched Lumina and it shows. Now my comments are based on the '05 and earlier, I have not driven the '06 yet.
If I were expecting to be involved in pursuit driving, I would certainly want a purpose-built vehicle, not an uprated economy sedan.
nate
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The problem is not how well it is executed, it is the fact it is FWD.
mike

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They actually do quite extensive upgrades to the Impala before using it as a Police cruiser, at least down here. For starters, the 3800 is standard (no 3400's). The brakes, suspension, tires, and charging system's are all beefed up as well. We still have the old style Impala's here, but there are a couple of the new '06 models being used.

I was actually talking with an Officer in a near-by town who had Dodge Charger interceptor's. I asked him what him and his officers preferred, the Charger, the Crown Vic, or the Impala. He said the Impala is the most popular, followed by the Crown Vic, and then the Charger. I guess it is a matter of preference.
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When it comes to actual use the CV Interceptor has nearly 80% of the certified police car market, the Impala is second with the Dodge a distant third..
minivan market is loosing to crossovers
mike

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The police are using minivans, and switching to crossovers? I sometimes see minivans as transport vehicles, but rarely. I doubt that they can even be replaced by crossovers.
One reason why the Charger is so rarely used by police is that it just came out as cruiser within the last year.
Jeff - please stop topposting.
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The Charger is by far the coolest looking. Not that that matters as much to the cops in the cars.
I saw a couple in NYC. Way cool. The NYPD was testing them. They had V6 for city patrols and a V8 got highway patrols.
Jeff
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I think the Charger in-of-itself is a nice looking car, but I don't think that body style deserved the name Charger. No offence intended to you though. Just my humble opinion.

True.
I am not sure which engine the two CHargers I saw in a near by town had. I was too suprised at seeing them to think about that question.
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80 Knight wrote:

Regardless of any badging: dual exhausts indicates a Hemi v8, single exhaust indicates a 3.5L v6. The 2.7L v6 is not available in a Charger police package car (actually I don't think its available in the Charger AT ALL.)
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