G.M. and Ford Stuck in Neutral ---NY Times

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http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/15/automobiles/15auto.html?eiP65&en 494a9159223da1&ex14228800&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print&position

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final product. I first saw a picture in print then decided to go to a dealer to see if it looked that plain in real life, when I saw them parked on the lot I didnt even bother to get out. As I drove up the dealer was walking towards my car I just drove off, I felt kind of bad for dissing him, but felt a little pissed off as if I had been fed the old bait and switch routine by GM.
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I think that one of the cars that GM should have built exactly like the concept is the Buick Velite. That is the ONLY Buick out there that I would consider buying IF they made it exactly like the concept. But they'd probably water it down alot.
http://www.fast-autos.net/buick/buickvelite.html
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Is the Zeta chassis the one that got canceled? or is it the one that the pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky is coming out on?
GM's problem is they make 5 different cars with the same platform. They need to cut it down to Chevy, and Cadillac, get rid of pontiac buick and the GMC nameplate, maybe keep GMC for medium to heavy duty trucks, but thats it.
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Development of the Zeta chassis has been canceled for North America but will continue in Europe and Oz(Austraila)

No, GM needs to go back to the way they were before "Corporate Bullsh*t 1982" Give each division their own engineers so when you buy a Chebbie you get a Chebbie, when you buy a Pontiac you get a Pontiac, and when you buy a Buick you get a Buick. When GM had competition between its divisions it was pushing 50% of the market. Right now its just the same old crap with a different name on the front. Cadillac has FINALLY got back its own development and engineer staff and look at the nice cars they're coming out with now!
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Dennis Smith
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Good point.
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Unfortunately it is too late for that solution. Had the mistakes of the 80s not been made then GM might not be where it is today, but there is no way GM will ever regain 50% of the market.
There are many more viable competitors in the game now and nothing GM does is going to force the Japanese, Koreans or even the upcoming Chinese out of owning big pieces of the US market.
Some mistakes cannot ever be corrected.
John
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No manufacture will ever control 50% of the market. When GM was near 50% there were less than 20 models on the market and 7,000,000 vehicle sold in the US. Today it is more like 120, with more on the way, from three times as many manufactures selling nearly 17,000,000 vehicles annually. Percentages are not the criteria in any event, total numbers is more important and GM is selling far more vehicles today than any time in its history. LOL
mike hunt
John Horner wrote:

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Then why are they in such horrible financial condition?
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Ask Honda, their numbers are down LOL
mike hunt
John Horner wrote:

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Zeta was cancelled for N/A, but apparently it was taking the Aussies version and playing around with it. Doesn't really make much sense to me to have 2 independent developments of the same platform, but that could just be me. Solstice and Sky are coming out on Kappa.
I think that GMs problem is that they use the exact same everything on every car of theirs across the brands. If they want people to buy the more expensive ones that are the same as the cheaper ones they have to throw in some different things, not just add in more options as standard equipment. The differences have to stand out.
GMC trucks buyers I've found don't generally like the Silverado styling so they end up going with GMC. I'll bet that if they killed those trucks half the buyers would go to Chevy and the other half to Ford.
BTW, I'm not sure if you heard or not:
First Thousand Pontiac Solstices Ordered in Minutes Friday April 15, 6:20 pm ET - Exclusive First Orders Received from Customers in 47 States
DETROIT, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- One thousand lucky driving enthusiasts are looking forward to receiving an exclusive version of the new Pontiac Solstice roadster after being first in line to participate in a special promotion announced on Thursday night's episode of NBC's The Apprentice. Only 41 minutes were required to sell out of the specially-badged "First 1,000" Solstices.
"With the great response we've seen to the design and performance features being offered in our new Pontiacs, we were expecting many customers to jump at the chance to order one of the first Solstices," said John Larson, general manager of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. "But we were thrilled that we achieved such amazing results so quickly."
Orders were received from more than 650 dealers in 47 states. Additionally, more than 4,000 customers have asked to be placed on the wait list for one of the exclusive vehicles.
The Solstice early order program will continue through Sunday, April 24. Although the exclusive "First 1,000" cars have been ordered, Pontiac dealers have an additional allotment of Solstices available for pre-order during this period.
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The solstice is going to sell really well because now everyone is looking for an economical vehicle with good gas mileage. If the Solstice/Sky really come out at around $20K, then people might rather buy one then a generic looking compact Cobalt (the 4 doors look like Kia Rios, and the 2 doors look like Cougers?). Plus chicks dig roadsters.

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The Solstice comes at...just a hair under 20k. But it has absolutely nothing for standard equipment. I could see it selling well too, don't get me wrong with that. I'm actually kind of worried that they'll be able to eat my Mustang (Not quite that good at stick yet, but I'm getting better. I haven't stalled out in a week or so.)
Chicks apparently like the new Mustang too :P
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Phillip Schmid wrote:

GM: The magic formula for a car? - Looks good, coupes and roadsters hatches/mini wagons are IN. - V6 engine.(the 180HP 3.3 V6 will suffice, though a turbo-4 will also work.) - RWD. - Stickshift. - Suspension that's more modern than 1960.
They would never be able to sell enough of these little racers in sheep's clothing. The IS300's sales went way up when they introduced stickshift.
Btw, I just described a Volvo 240 Turbo, which was a fantastic seller at the time. And half a dozen cars from the 60s and 70s. Cheap, fun, fast, and no computers trying to learn how to shift for you.
I talked to the local Mini dealer and he said that most of their California sales are for stickshift on the base model. Not automatic.
Also, it's odd - I can get an econobox, but if I want the fancier features like Stability control and leather, why can't I get it? Mercedes and VW offer this on all of their cars if you want to "lux" out your econobox or make it feel a little less like a personal bus ride.
$25-26K will get me a basic stripped down C230 or Audi A4, which even with nothing added, are more loaded than a typical Accord, Camry, or Regal.
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You just described my 1987 Turbo 5-speed T-top Nissan 300ZX
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Paradox wrote:

It's a shame that they stopped making the series, actually. Very nice little sportscars.
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You got a point there. That car was canceled, and really, wasn't a good seller. They let it stay dead for a long time, too. There's more to it than that, isn't there.
GM and Ford both make a lot of snappy rear-drive sedans overseas. So Ford imported the Sierra from Europe, a really good car, and popular over there. It was marketed badly and a total flop. The car probably would have been a hit here, more Ford's fault. Now GM has imported an Opel as the Catera (did okay) and now recently the GTO. The GTO is also a flop, but again, the car is a tour de force of engineering. It just shows that there's a lot more to it than good suspension and drivetrain.
Trouble is, I really don't want the products they make here, but when the import something, I don't want that either. But when they build a new factory to make a rear drive sedan in the US, (like the CTS) then I like them. Generally, everything they have that actually looks like something is WAAAAAY the heck too expensive. Not the CTS, though, it's cheap. I haven't bought one or anything, but that's one product where I can't find an obvious flaw.
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I think you have that rights. Incremental development costs for the GMC front end are likely minimal and the additional sales make sense.
One thing GM could and should do right now is to honor GM warranty work at any brand GM dealership. As it stands today, you can only get GMC warranty work done at a GMC dealer and must go to a Chevy dealer for Chevy warranty work. Not at all customer friendly!
John
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That is not true. We provide warranty service for every brand of GM vehicles. Our fleet service centers are an authorized warranty provider for every brand sold in the US. Read your warranty booklet. It says return to the selling dealer, if within 50 miles if possible, but you can receive warranty work at any GM dealership if needed. What you may have run into was a dealer that does not care to do warranty work on other brands at the expense of his own customers which is not unusual
mike hunt
John Horner wrote:

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Hmmm, that certainly was not the experience we had with our 2002 Oldsmobile when it was under regular warranty. Several Chevrolet dealers told us that we had to go to one of the few remaining Olds dealers for warranty work. I haven't tried in the past year.
John
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