Where is the Bob Lutz Magic We Have Been Told to Expect?

Cadillac is on the mend, but with the Art&Science edgy design theme established pre-Lutz and which he is said to hate.
The GTO was a pet project of his and has fizzled on the vine.
New Malibu ---- ugly.
New Impala ---- yawn.
Chevy HHR ---- 100% PT Cruiser knock off, including hiring the designer away from Chrysler to do it!
New Pontiacs and Buicks ..... not selling any better than what they replaced.
Where is the beef?
John
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He also said that the problem was you needed a dollop of 'classic' (I think that was his term) and that one project (CTS) was too far along when he got there, but he sent the designers back to work on the upcoming projects.
If your arguement is that products under his watch are ugly and slow sellers, then you certainly shouldn't have started with the Caddy brand. It's hot.

amen.
overall good design and quality.

So. There are lots and lots of knockoffs. Do you buy only Chrysler minivans? Everyone else is just making knockoffs of their original works! Do you buy only a RAV4 because it was the first cute-ute introduced in America?
In person the HHR is very pretty, with a great interior. I question the timing, but they had to wait for the Cobalt platform to work with.

True, but their design and interior materials quality is light-years ahead of where they were 2 or 3 years ago.

And you conspiciously left off the Cobalt. I don't know how it's selling specifically, but that is a really, really good car that's a bit boring to look at but 'clean'.
I think if you focus only on sales you miss the point. The changes Lutz is making to the function of GM - the higher quality interiors, dashes, etc - will pay off huge in the coming years. The achilles heel is their chevy designs are a bit boring... while the best looking are stuck at Buick (with low sales) or somehow just a bit anonymous looking while being very attractive in person (the G6).
J
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wrote:

When I first saw the HHR photos, I too thought "PT Cruiser knock off"
Then I went and took a close look at one. To me (and the wife) the HHR is much better.
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I agree with you and your wife. Overall, the HHR is superior to the PT Cruiser which I have never really been a fan of.
Yesterday, I drove a 2005 Cobalt LT sedan. GM did a very, VERY good job with the Cobalt. It seemed much nicer than my wife's 2001 Civic LX which is basically the same as the 2005 Civic LX sedan. In fact, I was so impressed with it that I am strongly considering selling my current sedan and replacing it with a new Chevy Cobalt LT sedan. Here are some of the things that impressed me about the Cobalt sedan that I test drove:
-Extremely quiet cabin for a car in its class. I was shocked at how quiet it was inside. -Interior quality far superior to a Cavalier's. In fact, it was nicer than many larger sedans' interiors that are in higher class segments. I thought it was just as nice or nicer than my 2002 Lexus IS300 sport sedan's interior--and the car seemed a bit roomier than mine as well. Not that mine is actually 'roomy'. :-) -Smooth ride for a smaller sedan. -Good steering and handling. -Decent trunk space for a vehicle in its class. -Peppy enough for a 4-cylinder engine. -Phenomenal XM Satellite radio sound from a 7-speaker Pioneer sound system. Crystal clear reception. BIG SOUND for a sedan this size. -Clean, simple body lines and overall decent looks depending on which trim package and options you go with.
Negatives: -Fuel economy could be better for a sedan in the Cobalt's league. -Smallish backseat with limited leg/foot space. -Parking brake handle is located underneath the center armrest that pivots. Screwed up engineering here. -Resale value may be lower than some of the other cars' in this segment.
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If you read what the MOPAR guys are saying about the new Charger you would think they would jump at a chance to get a 2 door, Hi-Po V8, six speed rear wheel drive car. And us GM guys are watching it die??? Wonder how we'll feel when it's released as a 4 door with no manual transmission?
Al
2002 Z28, 6 speed. I got mine:)
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Big Al wrote:

I think there are two problems with the GTO, first it is too expensive for the average musclecar enthusiast, second the styling does not excite. If it were 10K less expensive and had a little more panache instead of looking like a warmed over Grand Am I think it would likely sell like hotcakes.
nate
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Why did Chrysler blow this one, they should of had a 2 door Charger.

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GM blew it with the GTO, and Daimler-Chrysler DEFINITELY blew it with the latest Charger as well!!! Two huge mistakes with a couple of vehicles that COULD have been major winners for these two companies. Regardless of what we may think about the retro Mustang from Ford, it has been a smash success from a sales standpoint.
Ron M.
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Ron M. wrote:

Yep, they managed to get that one right. I think that agressive pricing has much to do with the latest Mustang success. They have also proved that there is plenty of demand for two door cars if you hit the right emotional buttons.
Hopefully Solstice will do well.
John
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