|Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 19):|
In the end, GM will be Chevrolet, Buick (with an intense focus on Asian markets) and Cadillac. GM has already stated that the Pontiac will be a niche brand selling a few sporty models, and not a full line of cars. Saturn, Saab, Hummer brands are all up for sale to the highest bidder, if there are any bidders at all. GMC will continue to be marketed with a focus on selling light, medium, and heavy duty trucks.
I agree that this is a likely scenario, and would certainly be a major improvement over the current GM
lineup. However, I would still argue that GM
could be even healthier with Buick gone as well. Just like Nissan sells mainstream cars under its own name, and luxury cars under the Infinity banner, so could GM
have Chevy and Cadillac. The only real losers in that scenario would be the dealers that sell anything other than Chevy and Caddy - but those are the breaks. The fact of the matter is that, while I am really pleased to see the way Cadillac is headed with the CTS
, and hope some of that momentum will end up pushing the rest of the Cadillac line upmarket (and away from their current pathetic front wheel drive models and Gangsta fabulous SUVs), they still don't make any product that comes close to the true top of the line foreign cars (think A8, S Class and 7 Series) in amenities or fit and finish. That being the case, Cadillac is, at best, still a "near luxury" brand and that makes Buick (which is certainly marketed as a "near luxury" brand) as useless as Mercury. Just as Ford should take the redundant nag of a mark, Mercury, out behind the barn and put a bullet between its eyes, so should GM
do with Buick. Hell, keep selling them in China - I don't think their Buick line in Asia is going to be too dependant on US offerings anyway given the new Riviera, etc. Finally, I would also say they should make GMC walk the plank as well. Perhaps back in the "gool ole days" GMC's existence was necessary so that Buick dealers could offer a pick-up truck to its loyal customers, but with the extensive Chevy dealership network (which needs serious reduction, by the way) it is just useless. That said, if they do sh!tcan GMC, they really need to stick the bowtie on the GMC Sierra and ditch that butt-ugly face on the Silverado.
|Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 20):|
Reference DucatiRacer's fear that this platform will be in three different flavors, let's hope so! That's what good platforms are all about! Car companies (none of them) could survive with bringing different affordable vehicles to market with all unique platforms
Hey, we totally agree. I am all for getting the best use out of a platform. Hell, I think Ford has done wonders with this. Unless I am mistaken, they have made the Mazda 3, Euro Focus, and Volvo C30 from the same platform despite all three cars having very different personalities and price points, and the Volvo S80 donated its bits to create the Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Lincoln MKwhatever, and even the Land Rover LR2 (I think). Pretty impressive. I even like that BMW sliced and diced the 3 Series to create the 1 (which although being WAY to heavy to be a true resurrection of the 2002, is at least a worthy "spiritual" successor). My complaint about GM
is that the Lacrosse/Malibu/Aura will be essentially identical underneath the skin. While this is not as egregious as examples from years gone by considering that the doors, roofline, and most bodypanels will be bespoke for each variation - as opposed to GM
corporate siblings sharing almost everything right down to door handles and side mirrors in years gone by - it is still making the same girl in three different dresses. If the ultimate deciding factor for someone shopping each of the Malibu, Lacrosse and Aura is which one has the prettier dashboard, then GM
has really wasted 10s of millions of dollars on developing the 3 cars, and have once again created a situation where their dealers are competing against each other for the same customer.
As a last point, I wonder what the rest of you folks think about whether GM
should ultimately require Cadillac dealers to all be stand alone dealership facilities, seperate from other GM
properties, with particular standards of decor and service??? As much as it may be elitist, I bet there are plenty of folks that get turned off at the thought of spending time in a service area of a dealership waiting on their STS
-V to be serviced, while some 20 year old mom with 2 screaming kids running around is arguing over the $20 charge for changing the oil in her Pontiac Vibe. I know when the German brands started requiring this in the early 90s a lot of smaller towns lost their dealerships (my hometown saw its BMW dealer - who also sold Buick - have to give up its franchise since it could not justify building a stand alone facility). However, as has been noted many times in this very thread, image is perhaps more important to many buyers than true quality, and there is a reason Lexus dealers don't park ES
's on the same lot with the Camrys that they were born from (in Dallas I think you would be hard pressed to find a Lexus dealer in the same zipcode as a Toyota dealer).