Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73 Posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3494 times:
Why is General Motors killing off all of its proud nameplates?
Fleetwood, Deville, Seville, Eldorado, Park Avenue, Roadmaster, Park Avenue, LeSabre, Regal, Century, Skylark, Bonneville, Grand Am, Camero, Firebird Trans Am and of course the Oldsmobile division.
Is there heart not in to it anymore?
Does GM want to get out of the car business altogether?
Does GM expect to woo potential German car buyers with silly names such as SRX, CTS, XLR, HHR, G6, SSR BLX, ABC, 123?
It goes in cycles. The Grand Am was always a bastard child looking for its identity anyway. Not the same significance for Pontiac as the Chieftain, Catalina, etc.
I think there'll be a resurgence in the future of classic car names to evoke a "romance of the road" when it works to their advantage. We're seeing that now with Chevy's revival of the Impala in yet another incarnation (but without the triple rear lights, damn them!).
Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3453 times:
Because they are finally waking up to the fact that they can't rest on their laurels thinking that past success assures future success. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with stigma. Just look at Oldsmobile...the name alone says it all. "OLD".
Rightly or wrongly you simply cannot successfully market a name like that in a commercial featuring vehicles screaming down a closed road at 110, being driven by a hot couple in their 20's. It just won't work. They even admitted this in the last Olds ad campaign: "This is not your fathers Olds".
Same thing with Cadillac. That line still can't totally shake its image as an old geezer car, even with the revamped lineup and the revised logo, which is a lot less busy and doesn't feature the ducks.
Now as to why they don't want to market to the older crowd, I don't know. Many of those people certainly have money.
Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3450 times:
AeroWesty hit the nail. They will revive those names when it suits. Not to get too political, but the Detroit Three represent everything that is wrong with American Corporate Values and why they still continue to get their asses handed to them by the Japanese:
They still think that "retro" and "REactive" is the way to do business versis innovative and PROactive like the Japanese and Euro carmakers.
I strongly recommend you watch the old movie "Gung Ho" to see what I mean. watch it twice. Once for humor and entertainment. And again to soak in the very clear, dead-on-the-money message it has.
AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3450 times:
Quoting Superfly (Reply 2): Big deal it gets a V8. It's still on a front drive platform.
It's interesting the Impala is getting a 5.3L V8. My 80's vintage Camaro had the 5.0L V8, and it wasn't weak sauce in any way shape or form, even with CA emissions on it. The late 90's vintage Bonneville I had came with the reworked 3.8L V6, and for a lumbering boat, it didn't lack for strength.
A little car like the current Impala with that size engine should shoot out of the gate like a little cigarette boat.
TriStarEnvy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2265 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3442 times:
GM is trying to re-invent itself to a market place that is passing them by. Too many trucks, too many products that are done better by somebody else.
Remember when Pontiac went "alphanumeric" in 1982? T-1000, A-6000, J-2000? I think GM's name game is to lure in folks who only think of GM as the builder of cars that look the same, run badly, and are screwed together with great indifference. Face it, if you were a kid in the 80's who got lost in the parking lot looking for mom's Buick Century, that looked like that Olds Ciera, or that Pontiac A-6000....you might not have warm feelings in your heart for GM. Same if you got stuck on the way to prom 'cause dad's Olds 98 Diesel went boom. GM went from the dramatic and stylish full size cars of 71-76, and dumbed them down to the look alikes of '86 thru the ealy 1990's. Somewhat farcical examples, I know, but you get the idea.
Olds probably needed to die. Even the name sounds old fashioned. The division had no direction from the early 90's onward. Were it left to me, I'd have made Olds a "boutique' division that did unique, but low volume cars.
And when GM tried to be different, what did we get? Yes, I drive a classic example of GM trying to reinvent itself. Had the Aztek not had Hanna-Barberra styling, it might have made more sense. Same goes for the Avalanche, and Chevy SSR. Good ideas, but done poorly, or just too expensive. Why didn't GM respond to the Chrysler PT Cruiser, sooner?
Now, if they bring back "Grand Am" it will need to be attached to a car w/the "rubber duckie" nose!
[Edited 2005-09-13 20:55:06]
[Edited 2005-09-13 20:56:11]
If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3432 times:
Quoting Matt D (Reply 3): Now as to why they don't want to market to the older crowd, I don't know. Many of those people certainly have money.
..and that's the same question I've been asking.
There are PLENTY of older buyers that want a plush, luxurious car with gathered leather seats, woodgrain & chrome instrument panel and column gear-shift. Not every car buyer is looking for a 'young', 'hip' 'sporty' car.
That is what the Camero & Firebird Trans Ams were for.
Oooops, GM killed that line too.
I remembered that stupid; "This is not your fathers Olds" ad.
Hell I love to have an Oldsmobile 442 convertible as well as a Ninety Eight Regency.
I'd love to buy a new car today with this interior!
WhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3430 times:
GM globally is doing the same.
In Britain, Bedford was a long-established trademark for commercial vehicles. That bit the dust. They have ditched other brands such as Daewoo (although that was well and truly tarnished) in Korea. Their reasoning is that too many brands leads to confusion and lack of a corporate product identity because of it being split over different badges.
Models have also been rationalised with cars now having the same name and design in different countries. SAAB is also not looking too healthy with production gradually being shifted away from Sweden. Holden in Australia are also doing more European designed models. Vauxhall could potentially find itself rebadged as Opel before long.
Funnily enough GM cars are probably some of the best they've ever made at the moment. Certainly in Europe and Mexico.
Which they stole (mostly) from Ferrari. Probably not one GTO owner or one General Motors employee in a hundred knew what it stood for. By the way, the Pontiac might have been called GT if you set really low standards, but it was not O.
SlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 66
Reply 14, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3415 times:
I've been thinking the past couple of years how strange it is that Cadillac is into racing in a big way, but they still don't have a car that cashes in on that appeal. Why roadrace when you are just selling to grandpa?
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
MrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 985 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3406 times:
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 6):
A little car like the current Impala with that size engine should shoot out of the gate like a little cigarette boat
If you can overcome the massive torque steer, that is.
As for what GM's problem is, well, let's just say that GM could use a complete tear-down and restoration.
To start with, they have way too many models overall...so many, in fact, that many of them compete against each other. For example, the Chevy Cobalt and the Saturn Ion...and these are just the North American based models. Unfortunately for the sentimental types in the crowd, part of the solution to this problem is to kill off marques and nameplates.
Second problem is that GM tries to have options for everyone, and all kinds of trim levels for their cars. Dare I say this, but they need to adapt a business model like that of Honda - there are three or four distinct option packages ranging from bare-bones to fully trimmed out, and anything else after that is a dealer option.
Another problem that GM seems to have is the horribly bland cars that they turn out. Apart from those fantastic Australian cars, a couple Cadillacs and the Corvette, most GM cars are entirely forgettable. The other two manufacturers in the Big Three each have one reasonably priced car that seems to be a "must have" (the new Mustang and the Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger/Magnum), whereas GM does not have anything of the sort. Of course, GM now has a world-beating supercar in the Corvette Z06 (and according to a friend at GM, that's just the start), but that car is out of the realm of the average person.
Finally, GM needs to spend some serious money on powertrain...their V8s are just fine, but they seem to have multitudes of problems with anything smaller. Fortunately, it seems as though they are starting to realise that - the Ecotec inline-4 "world engine" is a huge improvement over the previous generation, but they still have a long ways to go in that department. Also, the new 3.6 L V6 in the G6 (yet another world engine) is apperantly a very good powerplant as well.
PHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7634 posts, RR: 21
Reply 18, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3406 times:
Quoting Superfly (Thread starter): Fleetwood, Deville, Seville, Eldorado, Park Avenue, Roadmaster, Park Avenue, LeSabre, Regal, Century, Skylark, Bonneville, Grand Am, Camero, Firebird Trans Am
Bonneville? While I knew that H-body platform was on its way out, I would have thought that the name would have transferred to the platform to whatever platform Buick is using for its new Lucerne. It wouldn't be the first time that the Bonneville name was transferred from one platform to another.
Bonnevilles through '76 utilized the luxury-standard-sized C-body platform that was shared w/DeVille/Fleetwood/Electra 225/Olds 98.
'77-'81: the Bonneville name moved to the downsized (116" wb) B-body platform shared w/Impala/Caprice/Catalina/Delta 88/LeSabre.
'82-'86: the Bonneville name moved to the RWD mid-size G-body (formerly A-body) platform (shared w/Malibu/Monte Carlo/Grand Prix/Cutlass/Century/Regal.
'87-'05: Following the demise of both the B-body Parisienne and the G-body Bonneville, the name moves to the FWD H-body (Delta 88/LeSabre) where it's been since.
Personally, I didn't care for the looks of the '92-current Bonnevilles because they looked like poorly-done BMW clones.
Not to nitpick, but you forgot about the Caprice and Electra (although you mentioned Park Avenue twice).
As far as the issue of GM retiring their veteran nameplates is concerned, mind you that I'm in agreement with you on this one: the reasoning could very well be that most (not all) of today's buyers don't identify with the older names at all unless their talking about their grandparents' cars. Most younger buyers along with their parents have only owned or grown up with either trucks/SUVs and/or import models.
So most of the veteran GM car names mean nothing to them except maybe "Oh, that's the old gas hog my [insert choice older relative here] drives or used to drive."
It's sad but unfortunately true... at least in the minds of GM's marketing department. so it seems.
At least Chevy has kept the Impala, Monte Carlo, & Corvette nameplates although the first two vehicles (restyled for 2006) are shadows of their RWD predecessors.
To my knowledge, Pontiac has kept the Grand Prix & GTO labels alive for 2006; although the current GTO to me is an insult to its '60s & '70s predecessors.
To sum it all up, nameplate loyalty let alone brand loyalty isn't what it once was.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
Andz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8590 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3385 times:
Quoting Superfly (Thread starter): Fleetwood, Deville, Seville, Eldorado, Park Avenue, Roadmaster, Park Avenue, LeSabre, Regal, Century, Skylark, Bonneville, Grand Am, Camero, Firebird Trans Am and of course the Oldsmobile division.
There isn't one name there I'd be seen dead in.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14): I've been thinking the past couple of years how strange it is that Cadillac is into racing in a big way, but they still don't have a car that cashes in on that appeal. Why roadrace when you are just selling to grandpa?
The curret fleet of Cadillacs are decent cars but those should have been in the Oldsmobile line up instead of killing the brand. Cadillac should have an answer to the Town Car, S-Class, Vanden Plas, LS-series and 7-series.
It's as if Cadillac no longer wants to be a luxury brand. They rather market Suburbans with Cadillac emblems to gangsters with gold teeth.
Look at when Chrysler is doing with the 300C and Magnum. They are having lots of success with there tradition American style sedan & wagon.
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 18): To sum it all up, nameplate loyalty let alone brand loyalty isn't what it once was.
You may be right but I don't think GM is that smart of a company to realize that.
The Skylark name lasted for several generations and it's the one from the late 1960s (already over 35 year old name) that that is the most desirable.