GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

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Thread: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

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    News Contributor Premium Member EJD1984's Avatar
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    GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback
    Autoblog
    By Brad Anderson
    November 15, 2019



    General Motors design chief Michael Simcoe has suggested that sedans could make a comeback down the road.

    In recent years, consumer preferences, particularly in the United States, have shifted and buyers are now demanding more crossovers, SUVs, and trucks that ever before. With this change in consumer sentiment, the sedan has started to slowly die out.

    “I think what you’re seeing is a shift to SUV cues or more formal SUV cues being applied to lower seating positions in vehicles…” he said. “The trouble is, the market is mixing both appearance and content so hard these days, it’s very hard to tell what is a true SUV, versus what is a CUV or generally a crossover vehicle. When hatches and sedans stopped selling, CUVs took their place but I think there will be a cycle [back to sedans] in the industry. And again, then we go back to electrification, which will make people think differently,” he said.

    “They want to park something in their driveway that their neighbors admire. So the reason for purchase is the same as it’s always been. I think we’ll cycle back down to lower vehicles and essentially everything will be on the road.”
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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    There is some truth to it, but any move back sedans will be more niche instead of volume. People are still going to choose the path of best utility and value, but there will probably be more crossovers offerings with lower and sleeker profiles as the novelty of sleeker design returns with electrification. But again, people tend to buy the appliance cars far more so moving back to sedans for the sake of style preference is unlikely unless it's a luxury or low volume.
    Last edited by BORG; 11-15-2019 at 10:35 AM.

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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    I think he's right. What goes around, comes around. People are into utility now. Some day there will be a trend towards more expressive styling and less practical vehicles.
    Drives a 2019 Cadillac ATS Coupe and a 1988 Pontiac Trans Am GTA.

    In the past, I've had a 5th gen Camaro, a CTS sedan and coupe, two 3rd gen Firebird Formulas, a convertible 4th gen Trans Am, a Reatta, a couple of Monte Carlos, an Avenger coupe, a couple of Cavalier hatchbacks, a Saturn SC1, and a Cherokee.

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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    It's more like the exit from sedans was overblown, not that sedans are making a comeback

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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Burr View Post
    It's more like the exit from sedans was overblown, not that sedans are making a comeback
    If you look at the sales figures, even of sedans like Accord and Camry over the past 5-8 years, it's not overblown. That's why Ford has quit making them and GM and FCA seem to be heading that way. Even BMW is said to be paring down its product line. It wasn't that long ago, 2014, that sedans still had nearly half the market (47%). That's now dropped to about 28%. That's a massive swing in a short period of time.
    Drives a 2019 Cadillac ATS Coupe and a 1988 Pontiac Trans Am GTA.

    In the past, I've had a 5th gen Camaro, a CTS sedan and coupe, two 3rd gen Firebird Formulas, a convertible 4th gen Trans Am, a Reatta, a couple of Monte Carlos, an Avenger coupe, a couple of Cavalier hatchbacks, a Saturn SC1, and a Cherokee.

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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    Quote Originally Posted by ksr View Post
    I think he's right. What goes around, comes around. People are into utility now. Some day there will be a trend towards more expressive styling and less practical vehicles.
    But what exactly is so practical about a utility? Cost, Fuel Economy?.....

    Cargo is more accessible because of the hatch, and a lot not usable, as it is more height and less floor-space.

    Outward viability is better with the higher seating position, but one thing that I've noticed about GM Sedans:

    - Gen II LaCrosse was more upright seating than the Gen III.
    - Gen I Cruze was more upright seating than the Gen II.

    Both came out in ~2016 in an effort to gain 1/2 MPG, or kill their future?
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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    But what exactly is so practical about a utility? Cost, Fuel Economy?.....

    Cargo is more accessible because of the hatch, and a lot not usable, as it is more height and less floor-space.

    Outward viability is better with the higher seating position, but one thing that I've noticed about GM Sedans:

    - Gen II LaCrosse was more upright seating than the Gen III.
    - Gen I Cruze was more upright seating than the Gen II.

    Both came out in ~2016 in an effort to gain 1/2 MPG, or kill their future?
    I've owned one CUV. It may be the only one ever, as long as I have a choice. And while I don't want another, it did make me understand the appeal of these things. My 2014 Cherokee was a very easy vehicle to live with. It was roomy, very comfortable, really the most comfortable vehicle that I've ever owned for a long highway trip. It was great for my dog. On the rare times that I had a lot of cargo, it handled it very well. I get why people like them. I guess I put more value on fun driving, and it had limits to its handling ability. And I like something that is more attractively styled, which to me no CUV or SUV is.
    Drives a 2019 Cadillac ATS Coupe and a 1988 Pontiac Trans Am GTA.

    In the past, I've had a 5th gen Camaro, a CTS sedan and coupe, two 3rd gen Firebird Formulas, a convertible 4th gen Trans Am, a Reatta, a couple of Monte Carlos, an Avenger coupe, a couple of Cavalier hatchbacks, a Saturn SC1, and a Cherokee.

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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    But what exactly is so practical about a utility? Cost, Fuel Economy?.....

    Cargo is more accessible because of the hatch, and a lot not usable, as it is more height and less floor-space.

    Outward viability is better with the higher seating position, but one thing that I've noticed about GM Sedans:

    - Gen II LaCrosse was more upright seating than the Gen III.
    - Gen I Cruze was more upright seating than the Gen II.

    Both came out in ~2016 in an effort to gain 1/2 MPG, or kill their future?
    Station Wagons people...Station Wagons... Best of both worlds, more cargo space, no Fuel Efficiency penalty. But 'Mericans don't like wagons for whatever reason while driving around in what can only be described as "lifted station wagons". I still to this day, don't see the point of 2 row CUVs.

    Anyway...as long as people have to commute long distances for work, there will always be a market for sedans...CUVs cannot possibly offer the same level of efficiency as a sedan. I have a 40mile hike ahead of me each morning, and there's no way, i'd drive an in-efficient CUV that I'll end up filling up 2x a week. My 2.5T 6 gets about 39mpgs on the Highway where the similarly powered CX5 gets roughly 5-10mpgs less.
    Last edited by sdotjeezy; 11-15-2019 at 12:01 PM.
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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    Mom and dad drive CUV's/SUV's I want a car. Mom and Dad drive a car, I want a SUV/CUV. Things will change, though cars were popularized in the explosive growth of the post WWII era and are symbolic of the boomer generation. We are in an era of lower growth, high costs and greater frugality, so I think it will be awhile until cars come back vs. the greater do-it-all practicality of a CUV.

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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    But what exactly is so practical about a utility? Cost, Fuel Economy?.....

    Cargo is more accessible because of the hatch, and a lot not usable, as it is more height and less floor-space.

    Outward viability is better with the higher seating position, but one thing that I've noticed about GM Sedans:

    - Gen II LaCrosse was more upright seating than the Gen III.
    - Gen I Cruze was more upright seating than the Gen II.

    Both came out in ~2016 in an effort to gain 1/2 MPG, or kill their future?
    Ease of ingress-egress. Big cave of storage space in back. Bigger glass (usually) better visibility. But the "modern" trend of styling restricts that. To make one simple comparison, my wife's '01 PT has a way better view out while backing up than my Soul. Perhaps some of this is thicker pillars to withstand newer roof crush and rollover standards. Some of it, I think, is just some a-whole forgot to put a window back there where one is needed. I'm still working on my X-ray vision glasses, but until they're perfected glass works quite well.

    And IMO as I've stated many times, much of this is trendiness. Just like AWD/4WD, which has been a yooj sales success though not often needed or used by typical drivers (and which often gets them the first-in-the-ditch at first snowstorm award due to undeserved overconfidence) and which took off like a Falcon Heavy while the tire industry snoozed and continues to snooze. I'd rather pay $800-$1600 for a set of OE wheels, TPMS critters, and good quality winter tires than drag around 100+ pounds of extra weight with extra mechanicals and electronics which add complexity and are just another system to go sideways at inconvenient times. Or maybe they never break, I don't know.

    If the tire industry got together and created some good clear black-and-white ads comparing FWD with winter setup vs. AWD with all-seasons, that's graphic proof and could help sell tires. What are you going to believe, your lying eyes or the AWD fad?

    So, ease, utility, and the absolute faddiness of utes to me explain a lot about the trend. I never thought I'd have a ute, I was a dedicated sedan guy. Then I drove some Souls, Sportages, and Sorentos. I wasn't crazy about the bigger cars, but the zippy maneuverable Soul appealed to me. A Forte, Rio, Elantra, or Accent will get 5-10 MPG better, but I like the chair height and general cave-like interior of the Souls. And of course, having starred in the Blues Brothers movies give me Soul attitude too.

    Quote Originally Posted by ksr View Post
    I've owned one CUV. It may be the only one ever, as long as I have a choice. And while I don't want another, it did make me understand the appeal of these things. My 2014 Cherokee was a very easy vehicle to live with. It was roomy, very comfortable, really the most comfortable vehicle that I've ever owned for a long highway trip. It was great for my dog. On the rare times that I had a lot of cargo, it handled it very well. I get why people like them. I guess I put more value on fun driving, and it had limits to its handling ability. And I like something that is more attractively styled, which to me no CUV or SUV is.
    My Soul is a fun to drive ride. But then I'm a fun driver. I put wider, stickier tires on and while I can't drop the CG (around 25" I think) vs. a typical sedan of 21-22" (data don't exactly pop up all over the internet) to up my lateral G-forces, I really don't need to. I don't push my cars to their traction limits as I did when a dadblamed whippersnapper. And I have to say, though this is a simple two-car comparison, my Souls have been far better travelers than my Impala was. That thing had less than perfect seats. It did get 33 MPG on a few tanks while running in 80-90 degree weather at 80+ MPH cruise. I thought that was pretty cool. Talk about a sweet spot.

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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    I wouldn't mind affordable sports cars coming back in style. I'd really like to buy the upcoming Audi wagon though. But, sadly, she said 'no way'.
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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    America is older, taller, and fatter than it was 20 years ago, and now people are used to sitting up higher. Unless they start making >60" tall sedans, I don't see them coming back. Perhaps Ford could revive the tall Taurus/500 as an experiment.

    The CT5 has LESS rear headroom and trunkspace than the CTS (or ATS, IIRC). The new rear door opening is more convenient, but it's so awkward looking it's a net loss.

    If you look at photos of most 70-80's sedans, the glass area is freakishly huge and upright.

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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    My 2013 Acadia Denali has been perfect for most of my driving, both local and with long distance with trips to and from airports. We drive both relatives and neighbors in this senior community. It's just part of being a good neighbor. Besides our "across the street" neighbor is 86 and it's just like having a grandma all over again.

    However, my wife's Buick Regal Sport is perfect for her trips to and from women's places. Trips to and from nail parlors, hair dressers, line dancing and samba canasta with her friends and neighbors.She will always want a sedan in any future purchase.

    I've ordered a 2020 Acadia Denali for delivery sometime in January or February, when the heads up display will again be available on Acadia's. They should also be free of possible bugs from the strike by then. In the mean time I will be picking up 20 bags of mulch for the front lawn on Saturday. I can't do that with the wife's sedan! I will be getting the step under the side, with is my wife's biggest complaint about our Acadia.

    All of the above words just help to explain why both SUV's, CUV's and sedans can be good.
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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    I think GM's hoping for a great trade deal with China. Since they have sedans still being made there, they hope a shift back to sedans will allow them to import sedans and double their profit margin. SUV's and pickup's are the only thing keeping American plants open.

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    Re: GM Design Boss Says Sedans Could Make A Comeback

    GM caught with its pants down again? The reports of sedans' death are greatly exaggerated
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