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stasisLAX
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General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:26 am

According to GM's Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson, GM is reducing Pontiac to a couple of models, while Saturn, Hummer, and Saab are all on the chopping block. Therefore, Chevy, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac will be the 4 remaining "core" GM brands under their new corporate strategy.

"One of General Motors’ biggest criticisms is the number of different brands under its roof, which ends up seeing it sell similar models that often compete with one another in the same segments. In its efforts to secure its share of a federal bailout, GM said it now intends to focus its U.S. product and marketing resources on four core brands, namely Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC. These four brands accounted for 83% of GM's total sales volume in the United States last year.

That leaves Hummer, Saab, Saturn and Pontiac in an uneasy state. GM has already confirmed that it is looking for a buyer for its Hummer brand, and that Saturn was also under review. Pontiac, meanwhile, is expected to be reduced to just a few models, while Saab could also be sold-off or axed altogether.

Speaking with Automotive News, GM COO Fritz Henderson said the company is conducting a strategic review of its Saab and Hummer brands and that the "status quo" for the Saturn brand will not work. "We need to do something different with Saturn," he said.

As for Saab, Henderson confirmed that GM was working with the Swedish government to help the brand remain viable, however, he stressed that Saab was “not a U.S. strategy.”

Pontiac, meanwhile, will "shrink substantially," Henderson said. Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show last week, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz also said Pontiac will eventually be reduced to just five models – the G8, G5, Vibe, Solstice and Solstice Coupe.

Part of GM’s downsizing efforts will also see its 6,600 dealer network shrunk to around 4,700 dealers by 2012."

Source: http://www.motorauthority.com/gm-to-...-core-brands-in-north-america.html

Do you think this is correct strategy for GM to follow, motorheads?  scratchchin 
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NIKV69
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:54 am

I think it is a mistake to get rid of Saturn. Saab needs to go and better off selling Hummer but Saturn made a nice little car for that price range. I would axe Pontiac if you are going to keep Chevy and Buick. Whatever they do GM is dire straights. I am surprised the UAW hasn't called Obama to relax all the restrictions and give them more money.
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aa757first
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:15 am

Personally, I think GMC should go. All of their models are also sold as Chevy products. Are GMC products really enhanced for heavy duty or off roading? If they are, GMC could become a trim line. Example, Chevy Colorado is the usual product and the Chevy Colorado GMC is enhanced.

What's Buick's position in the portfolio? I'm assuming near luxury and if that's the case, Saab, if properly marketed, could be way stronger. It will take a lot of marketing to get Buick to compete with Infiniti and Acura and other major near luxury players.

The Saturn brand name was shot when they stopped putting on their dent resistant panels and just started selling rebranded GM products. Hummer is an interesting brand, but I don't think its very flexible and its demand is very elastic.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:23 am



Quoting Aa757first (Reply 2):
What's Buick's position in the portfolio?

Buick's reason for survival can be put into one word: China.  up 

Buick sells more cars in China than they sell in North America.
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johns624
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:26 am

They need to get rid of GMC, since as Aa757first mentioned, they are the same thing as Chevys. Buick needs to go. They need to concentrate on younger buyers and the age of the average Buick owner is about 80.  Smile That may work with them having pensions and SS payments, but ten years from now the average senior citizen won't be able to afford a near-luxury car.
 
Superfly
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:32 am

Glad to see Buick stick around.
Hummer needs to be buried and forgotten about.
Give Saab back to the Swedish all together.
Saturns should be re badged as Chevrolets.

Best of luck to GM in the future.
Bring back the Concorde
 
ltbewr
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:58 am

I would not be surprised at these decisions comming true. There would be tremendous costs and may require federal laws to override state dealership franchise and related laws to be fully done.

GM North America (NA = US & Canada) needs to evolve their Euro based smaller (Corsa, Astra) into Chevrolet models. They already make the Corsa in Mexico and I beleive Brazil as a 'Chevy' brand for all but the NA market and the Astra has been sold under the Saturn brand for the last 2 years. Ford has long made Euro based models in and for the NA market (Escort, Focus most importantly) and will soon make the Fiesta model in Mexico for the NA market as well.

Hummer has to go as it's market is gone. It might be better as part of a specialist vehicle maker. Sabb is such an odd brand with limited sales, better suited to another company like Fiat or Puegoet (PSA) and needing a upscale brand.

The drawdown of Pontaic makes sense as too close to Chevy as to most models, would reduce overall costs to maintain the separate brand, yet not lose too many dealers or future customers. Starting about 5-6 years ago, the GMC brand (mainly for it's SUV models) were often paired with Pontaic dealers, so it may have to be kept.

Keeping Buick is a necessity to cover that middle-luxary market not well served by other carmakers.

The end of Saturn makes sense as it's formula is no longer valid and as I suggested above, intergrate comparative models into Chevrolet and ditch the rest.
 
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asuflyer05
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:03 am

I imagine GMC is staying around because of their heavy-duty grade vehicles more so than their Sierras and Yukons.
 
PPVRA
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:47 am



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 6):
GM North America (NA = US & Canada) needs to evolve their Euro based smaller (Corsa, Astra) into Chevrolet models.

With the new FIAT deal, that's in the works it seems:

Quote:
Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne grabs a chunk of Chrysler--and the U.S. market--for free.

Fiat Group Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has proved himself to be a shrewd negotiator. In 2004, he forced General Motors to pay $2 billion to extricate itself from a failed alliance with the Italian carmaker--money he used as the foundation to begin Fiat's remarkable turnaround.

Now he has managed to obtain free access to the highly competitive U.S. market without laying out a dime. Fiat (nyse: FIA - news - people ) will acquire a 35% stake in ailing Chrysler from Cerberus Capital Management, but will not pay anything for it and will not commit to funding Chrysler in the future.

http://www.forbes.com/business/2009/...t-chrysler-biz-cz_jm_0120fiat.html

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 6):
They already make the Corsa in Mexico and I beleive Brazil as a 'Chevy' brand

 checkmark 
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
Charles79
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:20 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Thread starter):
Do you think this is correct strategy for GM to follow, motorheads?

Uhmmm, in essence most car gurus have agreed that GM had too many brands. You need advertising funds for each brand, engineering resources, a dealer support network, not to mention in-house fighting and bickering over who gets the next new model/engine/feature and when. From that point of view this is the correct step. As for the "core" brands the biggest redundancy I see is GMC. GMC does sell commercial trucks above and beyond that of Chevrolet so perhaps that's the reason for keeping it, though I'd strongly recommend to GM to simply re-badge GMC as Chevy trucks (and as others have suggested offer GMC as a trim level). Chevrolet is well positioned to target Toyota, Ford, and Honda. Buick is the defacto near luxury car doing battle with the likes of VW Passat, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon, Lexus ES, and Chrysler 300. Cadillac can target Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, and Lincoln. I'd personally get rid of Pontiac (the few niche cars probably won't sell enough to warrant the costs of keeping the brand alive) and Hummer (bad experiment all along). Saturn can be integrated into Chevrolet. Better yet, the Saturn ideals of superior customer service and no hassle buying experience should become the standard across the board.

As for their global brands like Saab, Opel, Holden, and Daewoo, they stand to gain if they can merge them with their US operations where it makes sense. GM should stop the experiment of selling Cadillac in Europe and make Saab their true luxury brand in Europe selling versions of the CTS and SRX models, along with the odd Opel with enough "Saabness" to make it special. Daewoo is already badged as Chevy in Europe and in the US and it seems to be a good source of cars for GM to sell in low end markets where it cannot compete with US or EU built vehicles. Holden seems to understand the Australian market really well, and the Holden badged Pontiacs could live on as Chevys.

This brings me to the number of dealers. I understand that there are legal impediments in place that vary by state which makes it very difficult (if not impossible) to close a dealership but "4700 dealers by the end of 2012" is still a bit too much capacity IMO. Maybe the economy will turn around faster than everyone thinks (hopefully) and all 4700 dealers will be profitable but if the predictions are right then 4700 might be 500-1000 still too much.

Whatever happens will be interesting to watch.
 
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:21 am

Chevrolet - Keep
Cadillac - Keep
Pontiac - Dump. They are basically rebadged Chevys anyway.
GMC - Keep the commercial vehicle part but dump the private vehicle part. They are rebadged Chevy trucks.
Hummer - Dump. They're useless.
Saab - Hopefully GM will find a buyer for them.
Saturn - Dump. They used to be unique cars but now they are just redranded Opels.
Buick - This is GM's biggest challenge. Buick has a reputation in the U.S. as being a luxury car wannabe for old people. No amount of Tiger Woods endorsements would convince people otherwise. GM needs to re-brand Buick as a mid-line car (between Chevy and Cadillac) that is appealing to younger buyers. GM was able to make Cadillac competitive with European and Asian automakers and now they need to do the same with Buick.
 
bok269
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:41 am

Here's what GM should look like:

Chevy-broad range of Cars, trucks, and SUVs. Trims go from stripped-downed to the Sub-luxury models sold by Pontiac, Buick, and GMC. SS performance division picks up where Pontiac left off.

Saturn-more compact, sporty, efficient cars, mainly sourced from Opel (as they are doing now). Eliminate models that distract from the core product such as the Outlook and the Relay. This strategy has been working well for them, and it would be a shame to see them give up that progress.

Cadillac-luxury/performancce division. Make world-class cars to compete with BMW, Audi, Lexus, Acura, etc.

Buick-keep the brand around for China. Maybe sell a few models (such as the new Lacrosse) with the Buick badge out of Chevy dealers.

The key here is to sell the most vehicles out of the fewest divisions and dealers. Rebadging (and the multiple brands needed to support it) has made GM inefficient. Why have a Pontiac, Buick, and GMC dealer selling a set of models nearly identical to the Chevy dealer down the road? It isn't such a big deal that the two are competing, since GM will get the sale either way. However, think about all the marketing, training, and infrastructure costs needed to sell a particular model. Now multiply it by the number of times the car is rebadged. Now you are selling x number of cars with 2x, 3x, or 4x the cost as you would selling that same vehicle with one badge (and probably rake in similar sales).
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:21 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Thread starter):
As for Saab, Henderson confirmed that GM was working with the Swedish government to help the brand remain viable, however, he stressed that Saab was “not a U.S. strategy.”

Saab would be a great brand for Fiat to pick up, of all the markets they are in in Europe that sell bugger all in Scandinavia, with Saab as there Northern Europe brand I think they would great some great synergies.

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 3):
Buick's reason for survival can be put into one word: China.

They only problem with that is most of the Buick products sold in China come from Korea or Australia, I don't believe there are any GM US products sold under the Buick brand in China.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:42 am



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 12):
I don't believe there are any GM US products sold under the Buick brand in China.

The Buick Enclave CUV and the brand new LaCrosse sedan are both sold in China and North America - and the brand new Opel Insignia sedan platform is to be sold in China as a Buick Regal.  thumbsup 
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JJJ
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:07 am

GM still could find a buyer for Saab. Saab is a strong brand in Europe and some Chinese/Indian/whatever producer could benefit from that. They surely can use the cash. I don't think Saab would be of any use to Fiat, their image and product line largely fits right where Lancia and Alfa are trying to regain market share in: the premium but not-so-luxury yet niche between, say, Opel and BMW/Audi/Mercedes. Kind of a Volvo or VW-Europe.

GMC should go as well and keep Saturn instead as the brand for Holden/Opel/maybe Fiat models. Chevy would be enough for the truck business.

Now, if Fiat plans to sell IVECO in the US maybe there's the reason GMC could stick around.
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:34 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 13):
and the brand new Opel Insignia sedan platform is to be sold in China as a Buick Regal.

Buts that's German GM product not a US GM products. When I was in China early last year all the Buick products in the dealer I visited weren't US made so I guess things have changed, I'll have to have another look in August.

I have always wondered why Buick is popular in China, in the US the brand is known to be a favourite of the elderly, I would have thought Pontiac would have been a better brand to use.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:58 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Thread starter):
Pontiac, meanwhile, will "shrink substantially," Henderson said. Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show last week, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz also said Pontiac will eventually be reduced to just five models – the G8, G5, Vibe, Solstice and Solstice Coupe.

 confused  Is that a typo in the article? Am I missing something here? The only model I see not present from the above-listing is the G6 (which is still one of Pontiac's stronger sellers IIRC); so Pontiac's shrinking from 6 models to 5 (or more accurately, 5 to 4 if the Solstice and Solstice Coupe are counted as one model). How is this a substantial change or downsize?

IMHO, the one Pontiac model that should get the axe is the Cobalt-based G5, which is sold solely as a coupe and doesn't sell that well (I see more G6s than I do G5s).

Have sales of the now-similar Chevy Malibu surpassed that of the G6?

If they really want to phase out the Pontiac brand, just move the G8, Vibe & Solstice (trust me, nobody will view the Solstice as a Corvette competitor/rival) over to the Chevy line and kill off the corporate-cloned G5 & G6.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 6):
Starting about 5-6 years ago, the GMC brand (mainly for it's SUV models) were often paired with Pontaic dealers, so it may have to be kept.

Actually, GMCs were sold at Pontiac dealerships way longer than that in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 15):
I have always wondered why Buick is popular in China, in the US the brand is known to be a favourite of the elderly, I would have thought Pontiac would have been a better brand to use.

Is it possible that the Buick is popular over there because they can't get a Cadillac and/or a Caddie would be too expensive? Just a guess on my part.
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MAH4546
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:43 pm

People saying "dump GMC," please do yourself a favor and look at sales figures. GMC moves significant volume which would be impossible to replace by simply moving everybody to a Chevrolet dealership. Keeping GMC has nothing to do with their heavy-duty vehicle business which has significantly dwindled in the past two decades - it has do with the volume it generates. It's the second best-selling GM brand after Chevrolet! In 2007, GMC moved over a half a million trucks. In Canada, the GMC Sierra has typically outsold the Chevrolet Silverado.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 6):
They already make the Corsa in Mexico and I beleive Brazil as a 'Chevy' brand for all but the NA market

The Corsa built for Latin America is an older generation model. It is not the Corsa from Europe.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 16):

IMHO, the one Pontiac model that should get the axe is the Cobalt-based G5, which is sold solely as a coupe and doesn't sell that well (I see more G6s than I do G5s).

The G5 was designed for the Canadian market, where Pontiac enjoys larger market share, small cars are important and weird franchise rules essentially mandate it. In Canada it is also available as a sedan. Since the car must be sold in Canada, it is of little effort and cost to also sell it in the U.S.
a.
 
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Tugger
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:17 pm



Quoting Johns624 (Reply 4):
They need to get rid of GMC, since as Aa757first mentioned, they are the same thing as Chevys.

 no 

Quoting Asuflyer05 (Reply 7):
I imagine GMC is staying around because of their heavy-duty grade vehicles more so than their Sierras and Yukons.



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 17):
Keeping GMC has nothing to do with their heavy-duty vehicle business which has significantly dwindled in the past two decades - it has do with the volume it generates. It's the second best-selling GM brand after Chevrolet! In 2007, GMC moved over a half a million trucks.

Its BOTH! GM isn't so stupid as to get rid of such a sales volume leader AND they can and want to further develop the brand to reconnect back to its commercial duty roots. They need and want both markets.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 16):
confused Is that a typo in the article? Am I missing something here? The only model I see not present from the above-listing is the G6 (which is still one of Pontiac's stronger sellers IIRC); so Pontiac's shrinking from 6 models to 5 (or more accurately, 5 to 4 if the Solstice and Solstice Coupe are counted as one model). How is this a substantial change or downsize?

IMHO, the one Pontiac model that should get the axe is the Cobalt-based G5, which is sold solely as a coupe and doesn't sell that well (I see more G6s than I do G5s).

Have sales of the now-similar Chevy Malibu surpassed that of the G6?

If they really want to phase out the Pontiac brand, just move the G8, Vibe & Solstice (trust me, nobody will view the Solstice as a Corvette competitor/rival) over to the Chevy line and kill off the corporate-cloned G5 & G6.

From what I read, it looks like GM will let Pontiac "life-cycle" out of relevance and just quietly die off, not renewing any models. There was some discussion of maybe using the name as a "special edition" of certain Chevy and other brand models. I saw an article a few weeks ago that I think explains well what GM will likely do:

Quote:
Even though it's a relatively small part of GM's sales, the division's G6 midsize car still sold 140,000 units last year. GM would have to quickly find a way to steer buyers into midsize cars sold by Chevrolet or even Saturn. So GM could just let the life cycle of the G6 run out and decide on a strategy later. In fact, most Pontiac dealers are now paired with Buick, which will sell a midsize car in a few years that essentially replaces the G6. Says Clarke: "Why not just let the remaining Pontiacs sell out and then make a decision?"

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/...tent/jan2009/db20090112_575534.htm

Tugg
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Superfly
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:46 pm



Quoting Bohica (Reply 9):
Buick - This is GM's biggest challenge. Buick has a reputation in the U.S. as being a luxury car wannabe for old people.



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 15):
in the US the brand is known to be a favourite of the elderly,

....and GM sells a lot of these Buicks to old buyers. There are a lot of old people that buy cars. An old persons money is just as good as a young person's money.
Buick has always been a near-luxury brand, not a "wannabe" as you mentioned Bohica.
Buick isn't the only near-luxury brand on the market.
Bring back the Concorde
 
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mayor
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:56 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 16):
Is that a typo in the article? Am I missing something here? The only model I see not present from the above-listing is the G6 (which is still one of Pontiac's stronger sellers IIRC); so Pontiac's shrinking from 6 models to 5 (or more accurately, 5 to 4 if the Solstice and Solstice Coupe are counted as one model). How is this a substantial change or downsize?

There's also the Torrent, essentially the same as the Chevy Equinox and one coming this spring, the G3, a subcompact, it seems.
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WildcatYXU
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:28 pm

My emotions are mixed on this. I'm sorry to see another car brand(s) to go. OTOH GM really needs to stop building cars that compete with each other instead of the real competition. Why on earth they need 3 midsize cars on the same platform and in same class (G6, Aura, Malibu)? Not to mention the "me too" badge engineered vehicles...

I have a hard time to understand this:



Quoting StasisLAX (Thread starter):
Pontiac, meanwhile, will "shrink substantially," Henderson said. Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show last week, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz also said Pontiac will eventually be reduced to just five models %u2013 the G8, G5, Vibe, Solstice and Solstice Coupe.

This lineup is IMO absolutely inconsistent. We have here a very nice performance sedan (G8) and quite nice small roadster (Solstice) accompanied with a rather mediocre compact car (G5) and an odball (but otherwise nice) tall station wagon/small MPV (Vibe). It doesn't make any sense to me. It would make much more sense to cancel the G5, move the Vibe to Chevy and replace the G6 with a smaller RWD car, thus creating a "sporty" brand, sort of a "GMW". But, as somebody mentioned it in a different topic, te smaller RWD platform was cancelled.


They should do some tweaks in powertrain offerings too. Many of the competitors only offer 2 engine choices for their midsize cars. A rougly 2.5 litre IL4 and a 3.5 litre V6. Why on Earth GM needs to offer a choice of 4 engines for the G6? Not to mention that many of them are still pushrod engines. While I personally love the sound of a pushrod V6 and V8, these beasts are considered obsolete by many, so it's time to move on. Same is valid for the transmissions too. The 4 speed Hydra Matic should be forgotten, since many competitors offer now 5 and 6 speed tranny's as standard.
A personal wish, please, don't force me (and anyone who likes to drive, not only steer his car) to buy japanese... Please make a midsize with a manual transmission too...
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rojo
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:10 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 1):
I think it is a mistake to get rid of Saturn. Saab needs to go and better off selling Hummer but Saturn made a nice little car for that price range.

Saturn is already gone. Take a look at the cars they sell today:

Saturn Vue = Chevrolet Captiva
Saturn Astra = Opel Astra and Chevrolet Astra
Saturn Aura = Chevrolet Malibu (slightly different)
Saturn Sky = Pontiac Solstice
Saturn Outlook = GMC Acadia

They are no longer Satrun designs... therefore, it is logical to merge Saturn with Chevrolet and GMC and get rid of the brand. Saturn was a good idea that prove to be very expensive...

I own a Saturn Vue and I love it, but I know that my SUV will not be axed if Saturn is closed, since manufacturing is done in Mexico and it is the same as the Chevrolet Captiva which is sold in many other markets.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:43 pm



Quoting Mayor (Reply 20):
There's also the Torrent, essentially the same as the Chevy Equinox and one coming this spring, the G3, a subcompact, it seems.

You're right, I forgot about the Torrent. That's why I asked earlier if I was missing something; you answered it, thank you very much. Big grin

With GM's recent decision to phase out the Pontiac brand, will the G3 subcompact move over to Chevy? It would make logical sense; if one recalls, Chrysler's soon-to-be-discontinued PT Cruiser was originally planned (in its early stages) to be a Plymouth model.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 18):
From what I read, it looks like GM will let Pontiac "life-cycle" out of relevance and just quietly die off, not renewing any models.

That's probably more accurate, but that still doesn't change the fact that Henderson stated that the Pontiac brand will shrink substancially (his words) but then listed all but 2 models (G6 & Torrent) immediately continuing. IMHO, it would've been more accurate to state that the brand will substancially shrink over the course of a few years.

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 17):
The G5 was designed for the Canadian market, where Pontiac enjoys larger market share, small cars are important and weird franchise rules essentially mandate it. In Canada it is also available as a sedan.

I've often wondered why Pontiac seems to have either a slightly different vehicle line-up (remember the Corsica-based Tempest) or offer similar vehicles w/different names (Lurencean (sp) for Catalina and Parisienne for the '81 & earlier Bonnevilles) for the Canadian market? I wasn't aware of Pontiac offering a G5 sedan in Canada.

How does GM's decision to phase out the Pontiac brand play into the fore-mentioned franchise rules that you speak of? Out of curiousity, what exactly are those rules?

Quoting Superfly (Reply 19):
GM sells a lot of these Buicks to old buyers. There are a lot of old people that buy cars. An old persons money is just as good as a young person's money.

Very true. It should be also noted that there are a higher percentage of older drivers out there now than in previous decades.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 19):
Buick has always been a near-luxury brand, not a "wannabe" as you mentioned Bohica.
Buick isn't the only near-luxury brand on the market.

True, but it's main competitor, the Mercury, seems to be gradually heading towards extinction; although Ford hasn't fully admitted to it yet. IMHO, slapping Mercury badges on a bunch of imports won't save the brand. That was tried before with the Merkur models.
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WildcatYXU
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:51 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 23):
With GM's recent decision to phase out the Pontiac brand, will the G3 subcompact move over to Chevy?

It's already there. It's called Chevy Aveo. Same situation as the Cobalt/G5.
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:52 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 23):
That was tried before with the Merkur models.

I saw one of those a few days ago down in Santa Cruz.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 23):
Very true. It should be also noted that there are a higher percentage of older drivers out there now than in previous decades.

...and people are living longer too.
Buick has an excellent reputation for reliability as well.
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A332
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:02 pm

It's too bad it sounds like Pontiac's days are numbered. Although their vehicles are just re-branded Chevrolet models with slight differences, Pontiac styling is far better and far more appealing than it's bland Chevrolet counterparts.

Examples: The Grand Prix always looked better & had more performance options than the Impala... the Grand Am was much nicer than the Malibu... the Sunfire was nicer looking than the Cavalier... and so on.

Hopefully GM will keep it's most popular Pontiac brands around for a long time to come!
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:14 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 26):
the Grand Am was much nicer than the Malibu...

Well, you know, the Grand Am was an entirely different car (at least the last one) compared to the Malibu. It had it's counterpart though - but no in the Chevy lineup. It was the Oldsmobile Alero.

In the current lineup they have only 3 re-branded models, the G3, G5 and the Pursuit. In my opinion all useless. And their Chevy counterparts aren't much better.
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A332
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:21 pm



Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 27):
Well, you know, the Grand Am was an entirely different car (at least the last one) compared to the Malibu. It had it's counterpart though - but no in the Chevy lineup. It was the Oldsmobile Alero.

Right, but the Grand Am was Pontiac's main compact model, sold alongside the compact Malibu. In terms of styling and appeal, the Grand Am (and to a lesser extent, the Alero) was a far more attractive car.

Pontiac models are styled to appeal to young buyers and have a sporty flavor. As a big GM fan, I would be sorely disappointed if I had to settle for blandly styled Chevrolet models instead...  Sad
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WildcatYXU
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:39 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 28):
Right, but the Grand Am was Pontiac's main compact model, sold alongside the compact Malibu. In terms of styling and appeal, the Grand Am (and to a lesser extent, the Alero) was a far more attractive car.

True. They were incomparable. I somehow ended up with the less attractive choice - the Alero. But it was still waaaay better that the Chev alternative and I was really sorry when GM canceled the brand.

Quoting A332 (Reply 28):
Pontiac models are styled to appeal to young buyers and have a sporty flavor.

Well, I can't call myself young anymore but some Pontiac models still appeal to me...so count in some middle aged buyers too. Big grin

Quoting A332 (Reply 28):
As a big GM fan, I would be sorely disappointed if I had to settle for blandly styled Chevrolet models instead...

Me too.
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Superfly
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:42 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 26):
It's too bad it sounds like Pontiac's days are numbered. Although their vehicles are just re-branded Chevrolet models with slight differences, Pontiac styling is far better and far more appealing than it's bland Chevrolet counterparts.

Examples: The Grand Prix always looked better & had more performance options than the Impala... the Grand Am was much nicer than the Malibu... the Sunfire was nicer looking than the Cavalier... and so on.

Hopefully GM will keep it's most popular Pontiac brands around for a long time to come!

 checkmark 
Pontiac does a great job separating itself from Chevrolet styling wise.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 29):
Well, I can't call myself young anymore.....

Oh yes you can!
Being a brewery support specialist keeps you young. Big grin
Bring back the Concorde
 
Alessandro
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:43 pm

SAAB is a lossmaker, I read an interesting article in Swedish claiming SAAB cars has been lossmaker since it was founded, first it was SAAB company whom made crazy money from
aviation whom took up the bill, then Scania-Vabis the truck maker, then Wallenbergs whom sold it to GM.
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
Alessandro
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:47 pm



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 12):
Saab would be a great brand for Fiat to pick up, of all the markets they are in in Europe that sell bugger all in Scandinavia, with Saab as there Northern Europe brand I think they would great some great synergies.

Fiat been the fish swimming against the stream here in Sweden, last year the increased their sales contrary to almost all brands, mainly
the 500 is selling well in Sweden.
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
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Tugger
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:55 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 19):
Buick isn't the only near-luxury brand on the market.

The are a few "near" brands, Acura being the easiest to show. They are near-sport and near-luxury, they lean more to sport than luxury but have elements of both. They certainly do just fine, if not extremely well, for their parent company.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 21):
My emotions are mixed on this. I'm sorry to see another car brand(s) to go. OTOH GM really needs to stop building cars that compete with each other instead of the real competition. Why on earth they need 3 midsize cars on the same platform and in same class (G6, Aura, Malibu)? Not to mention the "me too" badge engineered vehicles...

Well the idea was the models we to be just different enough to cover more peoples styling and options tastes. But in the end they all just competed for the same customers because they just weren't that different from each other.

Quoting A332 (Reply 26):
It's too bad it sounds like Pontiac's days are numbered. Although their vehicles are just re-branded Chevrolet models with slight differences, Pontiac styling is far better and far more appealing than it's bland Chevrolet counterparts.

Examples: The Grand Prix always looked better & had more performance options than the Impala... the Grand Am was much nicer than the Malibu... the Sunfire was nicer looking than the Cavalier... and so on.

Hopefully GM will keep it's most popular Pontiac brands around for a long time to come!

Hopefully without the need to "be different" they'll be able to pull some of the styling cues into the Chevy and other brands. Since you won't have to have the Chevy looking different from the Pontiac you can just make it (the "pontiac design") the Chevy styling.

Just make it look good.

Tugg
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A332
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:55 pm



Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 29):
Well, I can't call myself young anymore but some Pontiac models still appeal to me...so count in some middle aged buyers too

I'm not exactly 'young' any more either, but I drive a 2001 Grand Am GT coupe as a daily driver and I absolutely love it... great car!  Smile

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
Pontiac does a great job separating itself from Chevrolet styling wise.

No question!
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Superfly
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:08 pm



Quoting Tugger (Reply 34):
The are a few "near" brands, Acura being the easiest to show. They are near-sport and near-luxury, they lean more to sport than luxury but have elements of both. They certainly do just fine, if not extremely well, for their parent company.

Agreed.
Just not sure why Bohica called it a "wannabe" luxury brand.
If that's the case, then I guess Acura and Audi are also "wannabe" luxury brands.

Quoting A332 (Reply 33):
I'm not exactly 'young' any more either, but I drive a 2001 Grand Am GT coupe as a daily driver and I absolutely love it... great car!

I wouldn't mind owning a 1975 Pontiac Grandville convertible.  Cool
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:26 pm

I'm pleased GM are keeping the the Pontiac line, but I believe the G6 should be part of the line up. Sounds like you American's will be enjoying the G8 model still, as its based on the Holden Commodore, which is New Zealands and Australia's favourite large car.

Don't see why GMC is staying as its just a Chevy, but with a cheaper price tag. If the GMC are more tough, then why not re-brand them as Chevys, but have the GMC as part of the name, like Chevrolet Silverardo GMC.
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:33 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 16):
Is it possible that the Buick is popular over there because they can't get a Cadillac and/or a Caddie would be too expensive? Just a guess on my part.

Cadillac is marketed in China - in fact, Cadillac sells a stretched-wheelbase version of the STS in China that is unique to the Chinese market.

The reason that Buick is so popular is historical and cultural. Starting back in the 1950's, the Chinese Communist Party political elites began to import big Buicks for their personal use. Therefore, Buick is seen as very prestigious maker, without being as over-the-top as the flashy chrome-laden Cadillacs of the times.
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cptkrell
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:26 pm

And I still think (as several posters previously have discussed) the GMC brand should be left to medium and HD offerings. Only.

Even when sales were good, I never understood the dual efforts (Silverado vs Sierra) expended by the corporation, each division fighting each other rather than concentrating their efforts against Ford and Dodge. Hmmm...the GM car divisions were/are responsible of the same cannibalism, no? regards...jack
all best; jack
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:43 am

OK, what the heck is going on at GM? According to GM's North American sales honcho, Pontiac is now going to be a SINGLE MODEL!?!?!?!

The company said Thursday it may shrink the Pontiac division to a single model from six following a drop in sales every year since 1999. The surviving model sounds a lot like the Pontiac Solstice, but also could be the Pontiac G8 sedan, introduced just this year in the U.S.

Mark LaNeve, GM's North American sales chief, wouldn't name the remaining Pontiac, but described it as "a very high-appeal, performance-oriented model as opposed to a mainstream high-volume model." It would be less expensive than the Corvette, which starts at about $50,000, LaNeve said."

Source: http://m.delawareonline.com/news.jsp?key=155287&rc=ne

If Pontiac is just one model, it had better be a new generation GTO super-coupe or Pontiac might just be finished for good.  irked 
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MAH4546
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:49 am



Quoting 777ER (Reply 36):

Don't see why GMC is staying as its just a Chevy, but with a cheaper price tag.

GMC's are typically more expensive than the equivalent Chevrolet. They also offer more premium trim levels and features that aren't offered on Chevrolet equivalents.

Quoting 777ER (Reply 36):
If the GMC are more tough, then why not re-brand them as Chevys, but have the GMC as part of the name, like Chevrolet Silverardo GMC.

Because you don't make-up 500,000+ in sales volume (2007 sales) by simply moving it to another brand. It doesn't work that way.
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:01 am



Quoting Superfly (Reply 35):
I wouldn't mind owning a 1975 Pontiac Grandville convertible.

I would happily take a '75 Grandville ragtop in sky-blue with a white interior with medium blue contrasting trim and dash! Oh yeah, a white convertible top too.  wink 
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ThePRGuy
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:52 am

Saturn is quite an interesting one.

While i understand that they are now mainly rebadged Opels - what is wrong with that? The Astra is a great car, and shouldn't be too unpopular in the USA given the state of the economy. it gets decent mileage and its not too pricy to buy. Maybe some Americans could shed some light on this? They are extremely popular and reliable cars in Europe.

I did notice they are rebadging the Vectra too called "Aura"

One question - why don't they sell the Insiginia - that is a genuinely very good car from reviews i have read.

Alex
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cptkrell
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:23 am

MAH4546; you allude to GMC brand selling 500,000+ units (your Rep # 40), a figure that is WAY off base. Last year Chevrolet Silverado line sold 663,609 units whilst GMC Sierra sold only 168,554 vehicles.

As I have mentioned before, even with unique sheetmetal to distinguish the GMC version of the GMT 900 series, the comparable vehicles are really the same with practically the same pricing (although some GMC units have a few more options and trim uplevels squeezed into certain models/packages to raise sticker prices in a few cases).

The GMC Sierra is really a duplicitous effort and the perception that GMC is substantially upscale is just that - perception - and is currently not worth the effort IMO. regards...jack
all best; jack
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:58 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 33):
I'm not exactly 'young' any more either, but I drive a 2001 Grand Am GT coupe as a daily driver and I absolutely love it... great car!

My daily driver is a bit bigger and newer - a '06 G6. However, we still have an Alero in the family - a '02 GL2 Coupe, which is quite similar to your Grand Am and has the same powertrain.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
Oh yes you can!
Being a brewery support specialist keeps you young.

OK, so I better hold on to this job, eh? Big grin

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 39):
The company said Thursday it may shrink the Pontiac division to a single model from six following a drop in sales every year since 1999. The surviving model sounds a lot like the Pontiac Solstice, but also could be the Pontiac G8 sedan, introduced just this year in the U.S.

So, I guess I won't have my manual G8...better start looking outside GM's lineup. Wildcat driving a Passat or a Camry...ouch

Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 42):
I did notice they are rebadging the Vectra too called "Aura"

They are not. It's a similar car, built on the same platform, but it ends here. It's the same stretched Epsilon platform as is used in the G6 and Malibu. The Aura's wheelbase is 18 cm longer than the Vectra sedan's. The powertrain configuration is entirely different too.
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MAH4546
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:42 pm



Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 43):
MAH4546; you allude to GMC brand selling 500,000+ units (your Rep # 40), a figure that is WAY off base. Last year Chevrolet Silverado line sold 663,609 units whilst GMC Sierra sold only 168,554 vehicles.

No, it not way off base. GMC is more than the Sierra.

In 2007, GMC sold 505,736 trucks.

In 2008, with the collapse of the industry, they sold 376,996.

In either case, it is GM's second best-selling brand.
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flight152
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:44 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 33):
I drive a 2001 Grand Am GT coupe as a daily driver and I absolutely love it... great car!

Sorry, am I missing something? The Grand Am was a pretty lame car: overwrought styling, (body cladding, seriously?) crappy brakes, steering and engine choices, cheap interior parts and below average mileage. What is there to like?
 
cptkrell
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:40 am

MAH4546; thank you, however you are incorrect:

You said "GMC is more than Sierra". Uhh, GMC IS Sierra. Chevrolet IS Silverado. They are basically the same GMT 900s. (When you get a chance, re-read my reply #43).

You sez; "GMC sold 506,000 trucks" No, they did NOT.

"...collapse of the industry...they sold (approx) 380,000..." No, they did NOT

Abbreviated figures for digestion; ('07) GMC/NA sold 142,567 units, up slightly from the '06 year of 133,296 units. GLOBALLY in '07 the figure was 152,172 units. Cut your cake the way you want to, but this ain't near a half-million units even if you add them all up together.

Failure to identify the vehicles in question can verily lead to mistatements, which I have no problem with as I am often proved incorrect myself, but here, you sir, are incorrect. Many regards...jack
all best; jack
 
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:19 am



Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 47):
Uhh, GMC IS Sierra. Chevrolet IS Silverado.

Uh, GMC is also Yukon, Acadia, Yukon Denali, Canyon, Savana, Envoy.....Chevy is Suburban, Trailblazer, Traverse, Avalanche, Colorado, Tahoe, Express. So, indeed, each nameplate is more than Sierra or Silverado.
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RE: General Motors To Downsize To 4 Car Brands

Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:35 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 16):
IMHO, the one Pontiac model that should get the axe is the Cobalt-based G5, which is sold solely as a coupe and doesn't sell that well (I see more G6s than I do G5s).

I see a lot more G6s in my area and the G5s tend to sit on the lots for a much longer time. I test drove the G5 (good car), but the G6 seemed like twice the car so I'm saving for a while longer to get a G6.

Quoting A332 (Reply 26):
It's too bad it sounds like Pontiac's days are numbered. Although their vehicles are just re-branded Chevrolet models with slight differences, Pontiac styling is far better and far more appealing than it's bland Chevrolet counterparts.

Examples: The Grand Prix always looked better & had more performance options than the Impala... the Grand Am was much nicer than the Malibu... the Sunfire was nicer looking than the Cavalier... and so on.

Hopefully GM will keep it's most popular Pontiac brands around for a long time to come!

I agree, I've owned 3 Grand Ams (and hopefully a G6 soon) and they never let me down.

Quoting A332 (Reply 28):
Pontiac models are styled to appeal to young buyers and have a
sporty flavor. As a big GM fan, I would be sorely disappointed if I had to settle for blandly styled Chevrolet models instead...

Amen! The Chevys just dont have the looks for me.

Quoting A332 (Reply 33):
I'm not exactly 'young' any more either, but I drive a 2001 Grand Am GT coupe as a daily driver and I absolutely love it... great car!

I've got an '05 same thing just the right balance between performance and economy.

I hope that Pontiac and the G6 both stay around forever. I was hoping to stick with Pontiac forever. And finally if Pontiac does go away, I hope Chevy will incorporate the Pontiac body styling/engineering on their products.
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