GM's excess baggage - Buick, Pontiac, Saab, Hummer

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Walt Kienzle wrote:


I've been to many places in US, people are very friendly, I must say. It's a great country with lots of space, hence large cars as people like to drive around vast distances. I even saw a large mobile home car with a smaller car in tow, presumably for the odd shopping trips. People seem fairly laid back, because they mostly can afford to as petrol (gas) is cheap. They eat huge meals, and it sometimes shows... The Gran Canyon is a phenomenal breathtaking sight, it confirmed the old theory that the earth is flat end ends somewhere :-) They have now build a glass ramp where you can walk right out in the canyon, should be quite spectacular and a bit scary. Naturally, EU and the countries want to set their mark as the origin of philosophy and science. Nobody should take patent on being the best in the world, as it will only be short lived.
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On Sun, 13 May 2007 19:07:27 GMT, johannes
Let us know where, we will get that fixed ASAP!

WHen you park the RV, you spend a lot of time leveling it so that all the plumbing systems work. So, you bring along a car for trips once the RV is parked.

He, he, bigger is better! Seriously, most people here tend to equate quantity with quality at restaurants. They also consume a lot of crap that shouldn't go into their bodies in quantity.

We spent several years scraping out that canyon, I'm glad you like it. It was just flat ground when we started.

Some countries have learned this, some companies, there are many left of both that still need to learn.
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wrote:

There are many good people here.. Especially among the campers.

Yep. Shows sometimes, makes noise, smells.

Are you trying to say, gently, that American women tend to be lardasses???

It ISNT flat??;>)
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.nix wrote:

I know that a lot of stupid people thinks the earth is round ;-)
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I think it makes pretty good sense. I'd make too exceptions. There's no pricing reason to fold Buick into Cadillac, since Cadillac already has cars that are cheaper than a Jag X-type, for instance. The best reason to save Buick would be to sell Buicks in China. They had a really good distributor there a long time ago, and the people still like them. The second thing nobody talks about is GMC. They don't add anything at all to GM. They don't actually have any products (just Chevrolets). Nobody ever talks about that being a waste. Okay by me.
Ultimately, I'm a Sloan man. I think the reason GM got in the shape they're in is price overlap. They should never have badge engineerined a bunch of stuff that sold for the same price across brands. If they hadn't screwed that up they could have had as many brands as they wanted to.
The inital poster said Pontiac should be closed down. I am always surprised that people think there's something wrong with Pontiac's position in the market. I think their performance has been miraculous. The products were dull, out of date and awful looking for a long long time, and with no trucks and no SUV until about a year ago, and no minivan now, it's still a really big division. If GM wanted to sell some products, they'd give Pontiac some. Pontiac dealers can sell stuff.
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There is the medium duty commercial line. I don't know if they are profitable or not. Or are they re-badged Isuzu?
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Edwin,
Nope, those are real GM trucks. The MD/HD line is a lot smaller than it used to be (remember the GMC Astro, not the van but the tractor? Used to drive one of those about 30 years ago and it was a great tractor. Also has the distinction of being the first tractor to have the Allison automatic transmission), and GMC also gives the dealers other than Chevrolet an entrance into the truck market (notice how many Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealers there are around, especially in metro areas?.
One thing everyone keeps overlooking is the costs of shutting down a brand. It cost GM over a billion dollars just in dealer buyout costs to shut down Oldsmobile, and that figure is artifically low because a lot of the dealers were not bought out but shifted to Buick or Pontiac (one example is Avery Greene in Vallejo, CA - this dealer had been with Olds since the 20s {BTW, he and his dealership led the west coast caravan to the 100th Olds anniversary in Lansing in August, 1997 that I was part of} - was shifted to a Buick/GMC franchise.)
If GM kills either Pontiac or Buick, we're probably looking at twice this number (or more). And in this figure I'm not including the internal costs (how much did GM lose on each Olds they sold after the "Olds is going away" announcement?). You can bet the bean counters at the Tubes have got these numbers all calculated out, and if it made economic sense Rick would do it in a heartbeat.
Regards, Bill Bowen Sacramento, CA

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On Mon, 07 May 2007 07:38:30 -0700, William H. Bowen

I can agree it costs a lot to shut down a line if they have existing contracts. One has to ponder what would happen if the "merge" a line, but I'm sure there'd be lawsuits anyway from dealers.
However, I don't agree that GM will do anything that makes economic, business, or managerial sense. They've shown their ability repeatedly since the 70's, over and over again, and again recently, to be unable to make any good decisions.
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Now here's a good thread for this!
Auto exec compensation: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070506/BUSINESS01/705060621/1014
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Someone already posted the txt portion of this, and it's no wonder the UAW doesn't want to take concessions when exec pay is so out of whack with the fortunes (or lack thereof) of the respective companies.
(UAW) Why should I sacrifice when the (insert exec example here) is making millions? F'k that! I'm going to continue to demand fat contracts making way more money than I should be in outdated plants...nevermind the fact that the company is going under at warp 9, I'm taking what I can get for ME!
-GV
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I was basing my post on the US market only. If GM would get off their collective ass and bring out that HOT looking new "China Buick" that we've seen pics of, then maybe, just maybe, Buick could be salvaged. But they won't, and it can't (again, in the US).
GMC for the mid-to-heavy duty market is OK by me.
And I was just using (that model) Jag as an example, it's low-priced luxury in a luxury division (plus I can't stand Ford, sorry). IMO there's no reason for there to be a Buick "low priced luxury" brand (in the US) at all, it can be rolled into Caddy, and Caddy can have their low-priced luxury CARS instead of having to worry about an entire brand which (again, in the US) is not standing well on its own.
Again, unless GM wants to do some major Buick freshening, that brand in the US is about as dead as Harley Earl (who's probably spinning in his grave knowing what sad shape GM's got Buick in right now)

I think Pontiac is one division they're actually running fairly well, IMO.
-GV
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I couldn't agree more. I'm a car buff and when I look at the GM products with similar vehicles of different names, but mainly trim differences, it confuses me and actually turns me off. Look at Toyota. A lovely line up of vehicles covering a wide section of the vehicle market. You just decide your vehicle type, then select the trim level.
The very long time GM dealer near me must agree. He suddenly shut down his Chev dealership and it is now being remodeled for something? Since the owner has opened a variety of other dealerships over the last few years, I'm wondering what he will place here? His Auto group has dealerships for: Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Toyota and Volvo. He certainly isn't getting out of the car business!
I'm guessing Hyundai because there isn't one of them in this area. He has four Hyundai dealerships in other areas. This owner is an extremely successful businessman, who got his start with a GM dealership, eventually had several GM dealerships, but he just shut down his last one.
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Last time I looked, Buick did not have them either (unless you consider OnStar as GPS). And you have to go to the top model to get Stability Control. That was standard on my Hyundai.
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wrote in message

Look again, particularly at the Lucerne.
Willy
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I did look, particularly at the Lucerne. The only model that has the Stability Control is the CXS and starts at $35440. That is $10,100 more than the sticker price of my Sonata Limited. As for GPS, you need the OnStar that costs $200 a year for the base program plus $100 for navigation. For the cost of one year, I can get a Garmin or Tom Tom that fits into any car I own. Over a five year period, I'd spend $11,600 more to get the same features in the Lucerne.
My LeSabre has OnStar. After the free year ran out, I never re-newed and never missed it.
I was pretty serious about buying a Lucerne, but the Sonata is just a much better value, IMO. After 8 months and 15,000 miles, I'm still liking the Sonata as much as the day I bought it. Performance and handling are outstanding. It has not needed any warranty service either, only oil changes so far.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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wrote in message

It's nice that you're happy with your Sonata, but comparing it to a Lucerne is like apples and oranges. The two vehicles are clearly in a different class. If you've never compared a built in nav system to a portable such as a Garmin (I've used both, and also have a gps phone)... there's no comparison in convenience, visuals, not to mention that it mutes the stereo when it's about to speak directions, and has wonderful visuals. And I believe On Star is a serious consideration when purchasing a car. I've used it, I have it on both vehicles, and to me (driving over 50K a year personally, and around 75K a year between the two cars) it's a valuable service.
While you'd spend 11,600 more to get the same features, you'd also get a luxury car as compared to a nicely appointed econocar.
Willy
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I see you haven't driven a Sonata lately. It is out of the econocar class. No, not luxury, but far from the crap boxes of years ago.
What exactly do I get for the additional $11,600? Yes, there are some differences in trim. The dash covering of the Lucerne is a bit nicer. The climate control on the Sonata works better. The Sonata only has one temperature on the heated seats as opposed to two. The Sonata has a better gas gauge, both have the same brand of electrochromatic mirror. The Lucerne has rain sensing wipers and turns the headlights on when you turn the wipers on. The floor mats on the Sonata lock in place too, not slide like my Buick.
The Sonata has stability control across the model line as opposed to the Lucerne that only has it on the most expensive model. Given the true cost of the equipment, it is not fathomable that it would not be offered on an upscale car today.
The Sonata will out accelerate, out corner, out stop, out handle the Lucerne in any test you can devise. It is rock solid at speeds in excess of 100 mph (yes, I've tested that) And - - - - get this- - - -has more shoulder room!
As for OnStar, I've never been able to justify the high price. In the year of free service, I used it twice. One time they gave me directions that were helpful but not completely accurate, the other time they could not help me at all. The new system for directions is probably better, I'll concede, but not worth the money to me. If I was back in sales driving to many different places every day, maybe. I don't have or need a Garmin either so it is not a feature I care about.
The Buick is not a bad car, but it certainly is not the value that I got in my Sonata. I'd rather put the difference into taking a couple of nice vacations. We like to take two or three a year.
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wrote in message

Well Ed, I'm truly glad you're happy with the Sonata. It seems to me from the frequency I see them on the road these days that a lot of folks are happy with them, and I'm confident Honda is truly concerned over the recent success. To me comparing a Sonata to an Accord is a true apples to apples comparison.
I suppose my only point, and I think you'll agree, that if one is seeking a plush riding Lexus quiet superbly comfortable car, the Lucerne is a great choice - one that I'll give serious consideration within a few months.
On the other hand, if one is seeking an outstanding daily driver that offers a degree of sportiness, solid tight handling, lots of features at a great price (and warranty)... then the Sonata is an outstanding choice. (as would be the Accord, Mazda, Altima, Camry).
Have a great day.
Willy
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You'd think that, but I was in an Accord last Wednestday. It was OK, but not impressive. Based on my short experience, I'd not go any further to check them out to buy.

Check out the Azera. Really, a very close match to the Lucerne. ).

Thanks, it has been so far.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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GM could actually keep all the brands if they knew how to make cars the peeples wanted. There problem is styling. Most GM cars are now styless, gm thinks they can compete by making all there cars look like every other bland silver metalic car on the road. When they learn that they need to begin building a car with nice contoured eye catching lines that makes the customer step back and say "that be one nice looking car". But GM doesnt get it, so hasta la vista.
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