Chevrolet SSR Sparks Mainstream Sales

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Thread: Chevrolet SSR Sparks Mainstream Sales

  1. #1
    GMI Staff Member Premium Member Ming's Avatar
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    Specialty vehicles spark mainstream sales
    Eric Mayne
    The Detroit News

    TRAVERSE CITY — Specialty vehicles such as the Chevrolet SSR sport truck do more than generate buzz, they drive sales of mainstream products, new research shows.

    Among pickup truck buyers surveyed by Rochester-based Foresight Research, a significant percentage said their purchase decisions were influenced by an automaker’s specialty vehicle offerings. Some said they weren’t even shopping for pickups — they only visited their dealers to ogle specialty vehicles.

    “Clearly, such cars and trucks have a big impact on generating new sales and pushing profits,” said Steven Bruyn, Foresight’s chief executive officer.

    The survey results provide a measure of vindication for automakers. Industry critics and some Wall Street analysts have dismissed specialty vehicles because they waste financial resources but are sold in low volumes.

    Paul Wilbur, president and CEO of specialty vehicle builder ASC Inc., told attendees of the 2004 Management Briefing Seminars here that specialty vehicles are fueling industry expansion.

    In the last 10 years, the number of car and light truck models has grown by 100 to about 350, Wilbur said.

    “What people want is change,” Wilbur said.

    Foresight surveyed 2,200 pickup buyers and asked what motivated their purchase decisions. Of those who bought Chevrolet Silverados and Avalanches, 15 percent were “somewhat” influenced by the halo effect created by SSR.

    But 8 percent indicated their purchases were a direct result of initial interest in the SSR.


    Similarly, Foresight found that 6 percent of Ford F-150 buyers were influenced by the SVT F-150 Lightning high-performance pickup. And Dodge Ram buyers were influenced — five percent indirectly and two percent directly — by the Dodge Viper sports car.

    Even though the Ram and Viper bear no resemblance, Ram buyers were intrigued by the notion that Dodge was associated with both vehicles.

    “The Viper demonstrates capabilities and design far beyond what the brand is typically known for,” Bruyn said.

    Automakers aren’t surprised that specialty vehicles influence sales of high-volume products, even though the degree of influence had never before been measured.

    Article Here


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    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC 88montess's Avatar
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    Hmmm I remember someone else not long ago said the same thing....
    My Current rides:
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    1989 Suburban 6inch lift painted with sray-on bedliner go ANYWHERE!
    1993 Chev Caprice SS Clone with 350 V-8
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    HMMM I See a pattern Here

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    4.6 Liter Northstar V8 Randle2I's Avatar
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    This should shut up anyone that says halo vehicles dont make a differance. In a world of global competition 5% can make or brake a car & its reputation.
    Watch The 4400 or suffer the fate of a terrible future.

    I'm a new VW Whore and owner of a 71 VW Super Beetle .

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 New_Mexico_Sunset_on_Rt66's Avatar
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    *****, the SSR does stand out in the showroom.
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    "Sometimes you gotta say, 'What the *********'. "What the ********* gives you freedom, freedom creates opportunity, ... opportunity - makes your future." - 'Risky Business' 1983

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    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC
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    to bad it's a half assed GM effort that only the rich sheep would buy becuase they have the disposable income for a slow car that looks decent...

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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 casket_demon's Avatar
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    So U mean 2 tell me that most people that become "inspired" by these halo vehicles run out 2 the dealer and buy whatever they can afford??? ...So since I love the SSR (soon with LS2 power),but can't afford it. Logic and bank roll says I should run out and buy a brand new Aveo???...




    ..............Am I missing something here???
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    And further down the road: 2k4 Cadillac CTS V.

    Those gone but not forgotten:
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    4.6 Liter Northstar V8 PontiacJ8's Avatar
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    Originally posted by barcodedorganic@Aug 11 2004, 08:32 PM
    to bad it's a half assed GM effort that only the rich sheep would buy becuase they have the disposable income for a slow car that looks decent...
    Well, for 2005 the SSR is getting the LS2.

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 New_Mexico_Sunset_on_Rt66's Avatar
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    folks... folks, .....please............what we are seeing in the SSR is just a "glimpse" of what GM has to offer. GM has not yet reached it's potential. It's styling and selection of interior/exterior materials is setting a new course for this ship we call "the blue bow tie". Once the tooling and supply chains are set up, we "should" be seeing more along these lines

    The sole intention of the SSR is to get people into showroms. And also to start a "buzz" out there on the highways and biways. "Whoa...what is that?!!" We are seeing the SSR in parades and in commercials, oh yea, ... and... on the street.

    What we are beginnig to witness from Detroit, is the creation of instant classics. The creation of "classic" cars BEFORE they are 25 years old. The PT Cruiser, the SSR, the 300C, the Magnum are all testimony to that. The Plymouth Prowler and VW Beetle started it.

    We need to give these kids today coming up, something more fondly to remember than their '93 Honda.

    I'm optimistic. Detroit needs to continue to tap into their "rich heritage", instead of continuing to produce "egg shaped" copycats of Japan.

    The 300C and Magnum are literally getting consumers of imports to consider an American automobile. That my friend is thrilling! But does the 300C and Magnum look like something from Japan or Europe? No. *****, it looks like something which drove right off of a 1930's movie screen. It "looks" American.

    That is what the American consumer is hungry for. Something which harkens to our past, but firmly looks to the future.

    God damn it. Vote for me for President!!!

    :lol:
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    "Sometimes you gotta say, 'What the *********'. "What the ********* gives you freedom, freedom creates opportunity, ... opportunity - makes your future." - 'Risky Business' 1983

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 ByTheLake's Avatar
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    Interesting post. I would have never considered that specialty vehicles would contribute to mainstream vehicle sales.

    Maybe we should install one Maserati in every Buick showroom just to create additional foot traffic.

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    7.0 Liter LS7 V8 AMcA's Avatar
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    Ah, this confirms my thoughts exactly: that is, the SSR should have been an even more available machine. Then they wouldn't be sitting on a 200-some day inventory of them.

    They should have dispensed with the expensive, space-eating drop top and the sleek but utility-killing bed cover. They they should have offered the whole package with a 6 for 26,500, say, and upped it to 39,000 for the V8 with loads of goodies (suspension mods, a targa roof, cool upholstery and trim, hot paint schemes).

    It could have functioned both as a halo vehicle, and a genuinely salable truck that would have been out there in greater (but not too great) numbers enhancing the brand. As it is, they're losing money, and SSRs are rare as hen's teeth on the street.

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    Originally posted by New_Mexico_Sunset_on_Rt66@Aug 12 2004, 01:57 AM
    folks... folks, .....please............what we are seeing in the SSR is just a "glimpse" of what GM has to offer. GM has not yet reached it's potential. It's styling and selection of interior/exterior materials is setting a new course for this ship we call "the blue bow tie".
    It disturbs me that a company that's been building cars for nearly 100 years has still not realized its "potential."


    Anyway, I'm a fan of the retro look too, but I think if you are making a car look like a modern version of a specific old one, you're gonna run into problems. The PT Cruiser isn't designed after any specific vehicle, just inspired by the shapes of the cars of the late 1930s. Something like the Ford Thunderbird is a whole different story. How do you restyle it at the end of its product cycle? It's supposed to be like the 1955-1957 'Birds. What are they going to do, make it a modern version of the 1958 "square" 'Bird? The PT has more freedom in this area.

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    Funny, you know what is really killer and really sells mid-size cars, pickup trucks and minivans? It's a big industry secret: great mid-size cars, pickup trucks and minivans. If you pour your resources into them, they actually sell on their own, and you don't need halo vehicles. No, no, it's true. Really. As much as everyone is tired of hearing this, Toyota, maker of probably the blandest vehicles on the planet, is considered the leader on many fronts - and they haven't a single halo vehicle in their lineup. You can drone on and on about how you would never find yourself in one of their cars, but apparently they appeal to a gigantic audience.

    I find this halo vehicle crap annoying. Get the basic stuff right, then you get to have fun making specialty cars.

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    Alex Villani: Staff Writer Premium Member BigAls87Z28's Avatar
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    Originally posted by barcodedorganic@Aug 12 2004, 12:32 AM
    to bad it's a half assed GM effort that only the rich sheep would buy becuase they have the disposable income for a slow car that looks decent...
    yes, because the L and the SRT10 are so cheap...way to go GM.
    Offering a 400hp, 6spd hot rod truck is stupid. Stupid GM.

    Im sure that some cars have some halo effect. I didnt go into the Chevy dealership to look at a Vette, only to find myself behind the wheel of a Maxx. I liked the Maxx for what it was and what it offerd. If there was a C6 in the dealership, would I still have bought it? Yeah. Would it be because of the C6? Doubt it.
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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 New_Mexico_Sunset_on_Rt66's Avatar
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    Buick61 - agreed, they have been making cars for 100 years. But I think they "tripped" abit in the 1980's when Japan changed the game on 'em. For the past 20 yaers or so they have been trying to figure out "what do people want?" Trying to figure out what your customer wants is never an easy task. In some industries you can have an answer for your customer before they even know the question. Some aspects for the aerospace industry can be like that. For instance, on a couple projects I worked on with Lockheed/Martin, our customer, we already had answers before they even knew the question.

    What the auto consumer wants is obviously, not necessarily quality. If that were the case, Buicks would be selling like hot cakes. Buick always ranks near the top of most quality rakings.

    GM, and the rest of Detroit then went to "focus groups". Could it be these focus groups were lying to 'em. I dunno know.

    Detroit tried to go "small" to compete with the Japanese. Remember the Nova of the 1980's?

    Quality has gotten the auto consumer into Japanese cars and style will get 'em out.

    In the 1970's it was "mpg". Every TV ad for a car always closed with the mpg ranking, I think even lawn mowers came with an mpg. In the 1980's the mantra was "quality". Quality this, quality that. How to make a quality turd. (Japan knows that best).

    Detroit has been struggling to figure out, "what the hell do people want?". Hmmm, the answer is simple, "something different". People have gotten so used to "egg shaped" cars, that the early success of the 300C and Magnum is proving that people will buy an American car.

    I only hope GM and Ford will learn from Chrysler, but not copy the "look" of the 300C or Magnum, but offer there own derivation which harkens to each companies individual past.

    You know, paying homage and respect to the ghosts of the past with modern steel.
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    "Sometimes you gotta say, 'What the *********'. "What the ********* gives you freedom, freedom creates opportunity, ... opportunity - makes your future." - 'Risky Business' 1983

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    7.0 Liter LS7 V8 VivienM's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tgagneguam@Aug 12 2004, 03:16 AM
    I find this halo vehicle crap annoying. Get the basic stuff right, then you get to have fun making specialty cars.
    Or rather, make sure the press loves everything you produce and everything your competitors make so that the naive "I have to buy a car by the end of the day because I have a really busy schedule" people only check out the Toyota and Honda dealers because that's what the "experts" recommend.

    You want to talk basic stuff? Open the trunk on a Camry, Accord, or Altima (2003 models, at least). Look at how the hinges cut into the cargo room. Pitifully unpractical design, but it's cheap to build, probably. Now do the same thing with any of the midsize W-body GM models (or the Ford Taurus, or the old Dodge/Chrysler Intrepid, etc, or lots of other domestic models), and you will note that they use hydraulic things OUTSIDE the cargo area to hold the trunk up. MUCH better design, and one you'll be glad to have the day you fill up your trunk with stuff.

    However, the journalists are too busy criticizing the domestic cars for their lack of "refinement" to notice such pesky little details. Maybe Toyota/Honda engines are "refined", but their trunks aren't (if you want another example of poor Japanese trunking design, look at the Accord fold down seats). And don't get me started about the Honda Accord's ridiculously firm suspension, either (and Honda wonders why sales are down... dude, it's not a sports car, it's supposed to be a family sedan)...

    ... but guess what? Those things aren't mentioned in ANY review. The ONLY way you'll see those things is if you visit every single brand's dealership and start test driving and looking at the cars in detail yourself rather than relying on some biased Japanese lover's reviews.

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