Call me dated, but I miss the days when next year's models were launched the preceding fall.
I think the simplest way to illustrate it is the Regal; in the US last year, GM sold 19,500 - that is a monthly average of 1,625.
I think the problem with that working (for Buick) is going to be "affordability".
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I'm one of those weirdos that likes wagons. But, the Regal/Insignia are already starting on my bad side because we know that they will be wrong wheel drive. Also, until some kind of info leaks out ahead of an official announcement, this isn't going to tickle my fancy. And by info, I mean slides that were shown or grainy photos of the cars.
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.
Subaru sold 15k miles in April. All over New England NY and NJ Volvo wagons are everywhere. This makes great sense the Regal wagon
So we're sure the hatch, with nearly the same profile as the sedan, isn't the same thing as a 'wagon'?
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Not mainstream brands, you say - Mercedes now sells more than Subaru, and BMW more than Honda as of last month. Holden without RWD is within spitting distance of Mercedes, if they both continue their current trajectory. Take away Commodore and Colorado (for which there is no equivalent Merc at present) and Merc is already there.
Meanwhile, over at Mercedes, while they are selling a lot of Nissan-built front drivers, C-class models are up nearly 40% y-y and probably nearly 100% over two years ago. It's doubling Falcon numbers - think about that - and BMW 3s are up more than 20% year on year. Jaguar - up 250% over last year with XE and new XF. And we have no AWD models of those cars.
Audi is up, as are Volvo and other near-luxury brands, front drive Lexus. But nowhere near as many.
People may not understand the technicalities of the cars, but they can certainly tell the difference in the feel at the wheel. Plus, RWD proportions look better and more purposeful, the cars turn in a smaller circle, they're worth more secondhand and have 50:50 weight distribution and feel through the steering. So they perceive a benefit even if they can't articulate it.
The locals are walking away from RWD, even though both models until they made their announcement were their biggest selling models. For Ford, Ranger RWD-based utes is now it, for Holden it's still Commodores. The market here isn't deserting RWD. Detroit is abandonning the market. The main beneficiaries are BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar, without doubt. Aided by a good exchange rate and cheap interest, their lease deals based on high residuals are unbeatable. I'd say even if conditions in Australia deteriorate, Mercedes has welded itself into the top ten makes here.
Last edited by BBDOS CV8; 05-30-2016 at 10:12 AM.
There is no brand team outside of FCA that is more scatter brained and inconsistent than GMC/Buick. Buick really is a brand that GM doesn't really know what to do with in the US.
Ed753, I agree there is a difference between global platforms and an overseas model brought in and given a new brand name. The Regal for example they're moving even if not quite setting the world on fire. As far as the affordability problem I think that will be an issue they need to deal with. That is my problem with them currently as they are just out of reach for my income level and budget. On an aside to all of this the local dealer got an Envision in and I got the chance to check it out. Build quality was top notch and put together good. It really looks sharp in person. I hope this new way of things goes well for them. I hope this doesn't alienate enough buyers and sales slump to a point that troublemakers within GM say it justifies killing the brand. Then what? Move GMC to Cadillac and let Chevy stand alone? I would hope not, but one never knows the way this company goes sometimes.
That means that Holden did very well for a long time as they built locally. Now that there are no local automakers, I'm not surprised that companies are looking at the kind of lease deals offered by luxury Marques, recognizing for a small increase in cost, they can offer an employee the perk of a Mercedes or BMW.
If I'm correct, little of that has to do with drive wheels -- correlation not being causality and all of that.
And, as far as I know, there isn't a similar dynamic in North America. I don't know anybody outside travelling sales people who get a company car. And they few I've known in the past got an allowance and bought whatever they wanted. Sounds different that what I've heard described in AU/UK.
Last edited by Tone; 05-30-2016 at 01:39 PM.
Looking forward to seeing this at a dealership.
Current: 12 Buick Regal Turbo Premium I Group (Crystal Red/Cashmere with sunroof) and 09 Saturn Outlook XR
Previous: 09 Pontiac G8 GT (09-12), 06 Buick LaCrosse CXS (06-09), 05 Ford Freestyle SEL (05-09) 02 Hyundai Elantra GT (01-06), 00 VW Jetta (00-05), 85 Mercedes 350 SEL (99-01), 84 BMW 316 (98-99), 90 Mitsubishi Mirage(91-98), 79 Chrysler LeBaron (88-90), 73 Dodge Dart Swinger (87-88).
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