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NSAP Interivews
The Public's Thoughts On The "New" GM


Lately it seems that things have been looking up for General Motors. Earnings are higher, products are getting better, and reliability is on a rise. GM has rolled out some really pleasing vehicles at the 2004 auto shows. Such as the Solstice. Which came from concept to production, with minimal changes in under two years! Don’t get me wrong, GM’s concepts have always been very exciting, but it use to be that we never saw any of the concepts hit production. Until a year ago it seemed that GM would never understand the wonderful vehicles that import companies were pumping out. GM was slowly loosing momentum in the automotive industry. Finally it is looking like GM has found the missing code in the industry.

Just a few months ago I would have a lot of second thoughts on the topic of GM finally figuring out how to compete highly with such brands as Toyota and Mercedes Benz. Its amazing that GM is breaking the biased society that we live in today. The auto market is so biased that imports are better, that they don’t give GM a chance.
One of the most competitive segments, the full-size truck segment gained a member this year, the Nissan Titan. Which early analysts said would hurt GM and Ford truck sells. Well, it turns out that Nissan is having a hard time with the new truck. If you ask me, it doesn’t even look “full-size”, it looks too little to compete with the Silverado and F-150.
I added a twist to this article! I figured that since GM is getting better at their new products and the fact that mainly all the active members of this site are car crazed people who keep up on the industry, I decided to go around my community and ask several people their thoughts on some new GM products that are not yet on the market. Take in mind that while doing this I bleeped out all of the logos so that people would not judge on the brand. Also note that the people I interviewed no NOTHING about the industry or the cars that I showed them.

Buick Velite


The Velite got nothing but positive reviews! All 13 people I interviewed loved the car! ON the exterior it seemed that the grille was a big hit, as was the shape of the body. About tree-fourths of the people I interviewed wished that car interiors looked like that. They all liked the two-tone colors on the interior, and like the simplicity of the dash. After they said their opinions on the car I told them that it was a Buick concept car. WOW, did that throw people off!!! I got everything from curses to “wow, Buick I would even consider a Buick if they make future cars like that”!


Cadillac STS

The reviews of the STS were mixed, which did not surprise me. Most people knew that it was a Caddy first off. A lot of the people that I interviewed thought that it was too “boxy”. I also got a couple lectures from the elders that I interviewed on how far Cadillac has come in the past few years.



Chevrolet Uplander

I couldn’t help but bring a CSV into this! After close inspection surprisingly most of the people liked it! They mainly liked the fact that it was more “SUV” like. Although there was two people that thought it was just plain ugly. The biggest complaint was the fog lamps being too high on the from fascia.
 

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Uplander: <_<
 

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I sure hope the quality is on the rise as my close friend and now my father are both speaking against GM because of several bad incidents. My buddies' 01 LeSabre dropped it's tranny with only 45k miles and had several other niggling problems like steering that clunked, headlights that flickered randomly, leaky 3800 throttle body gasket and intake gasket, undersized power steering line, etc. My dad had a 2000 Intrigue with the 3.5 Shortstar and it developed quite a knock and had to have the motor rebuilt. Thankfully under warrenty. Add to that brakes that kept warping, squeaky dash that the dealer couldn't fix and several other annoying problems. Under my recommendation he traded it in on an 02 Bonneville. Guess what? Problems started with the leaky intake and throttle body, then migrated over to the steering with it's clunking and noises and finally 2 brake jobs to correct warpage. The dealer on 3 tries put in a new steering pump, new pressure line and then installed new grease in the intermediate drive shaft. Problem still exists. Upon talking with other Bonneville owners, they all had the steering problems and engine recalls and some with the brakes and other electrcal glitches.
To get off a tangent here, my buddy bought a Kia Optima and has logged over 10k with zero problems and couldn't be happier. Another friend bought a Kia Sedona van and has logged over 20k on that with no problems! Others with Hondas and Toyotas can't say enough good things. The point here is that GM had better be improving their quality if they want to continue this upward slide. I just don't see it happening though with many carry over 05 models with the same engines and parts. I hope I am wrong on this!
 

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you should try doing that with the new equinox and the cobalt

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by gopedxr7@Apr 25 2004, 10:03 AM
you should try doing that with the new equinox and the cobalt

Alan
I will try to do a follow up in the next Editorial
 

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And I have an '03 Grand Am GT with 15k and not one hiccup... and my neighbor has a '01 Toyota Avalon that, according ot him, will be blown up if it breaks one more time.

Go figure.
 

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There are always going to be lemons, no matter what brand you buy. A very close friend owns a 2001 V6 Accord coupe that has had one problem after another. The last issue involved a set of transmission solenoids. The whole tranny had to be replaced at 53,000 miles. Since it was out of warranty, the dealer said it would be $4500 for the new tranny and labor. He got the factory involved, who took some pity on him, and he only had to pay $1800(!) On the flip side, I had a 2000 Z28 that had all the bolt-on mods, ran high 12's in the quarter mile, and never went back to the dealer for a problem...And, I put 73,000 HARD miles on it which included roughly 150 quarter mile passes. I've had similar luck with current my 1999 Camaro SS, although I did break my T-56, which isn't he car's fault (see sig!)

nsap,

Interesting article. I agree with our comments regarding GM's turnaround, however it's going to be tough to reeducate the general public about the new General. With the press quick to make a production out of GM's recalls, I can see how people can think that nothing has changed. The thing that really frosts my a$$, is that recalls are going to happen on new vehicles, and with the large number of new GM releases in the last few years, this had to be expected. Unfortunately, when Hondas get recalled, it just gets swept under a rug.

Mike D.
 

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Review of GM by a non-GM enthusiast

What has changed?

Really?

Instead of improving Oldsmobile, you killed it.

You are killing your best division, Saturn, by loading it with mediocre cars normally reserved for Chevrolet. You now insist on building Saturns at the same old tired union bloated factories as the other GM products. Owning a Saturn used to be special. Now it isn't.

Chevrolet used to be known for cars that kicked butt and made no excuses. Now you have impersonators of cars known as Impalas and Monte Carlos. You have a Malibu that looks like the prior one even if it is different. You used to have a Camaro. You couldn't stand the heat from Ford so you gave up. You have the Corvette and wisely continue to keep the Chevrolet nameplate off it. Your Cobalt is a sad little vehicle that is uglier than the car it replaces and will most likely be given the cold shoulder from people who remember the mediocre car it replaced. You have trucks that continue to age decades as each year passes.

Pontiac used to be something. Now it has removed its plastic cladding it has removed its soul. Oh, sure you can find an engine in one of the expensive models, but the bottom of the product line continues to suck wind.

Buick. Forever the chariot of those who in the next years will be measured for a casket.

Cadillac. Once proud, now looking for an identity. Instead of developing a style, it gave up and is using the same template for each product. This divison proves that awful styling isn't confined to the archives of AMC. It is alive and well at Cadillac. Lucky for them that they have decided to put handling and engines in their products. They certainly don't sell because they look good.

It isn't that I dislike GM....I just think that there is no evidence to suggest anything has changed. It is the same clunky company that manufacturers more promises than it does great cars.
 

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Originally posted by mrfunji@Apr 25 2004, 10:44 AM
And I have an '03 Grand Am GT with 15k and not one hiccup... and my neighbor has a '01 Toyota Avalon that, according ot him, will be blown up if it breaks one more time.

Go figure.
Considering that his Avalon most likely has more miles than your Grand Am with 15K, I could expect some problems. Your car is obviously still new so no problems would arise.
 

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laserwizard, answer these questions:

why did GM get $5 billion in the 1Q and Ford didn't?
why is Chevy outselling Ford, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda?
why is Pontiac getting rave reviews & sales?
why is Impala one of the best selling midsize sedans in this country?
why are more GM cars seen on the road then before?
why did Cadillac's sales increase by 10.5% in March?
why did Uplander, Velite, and STS get good reviews from the people watching them?
----------------------------
why did you say this if all of this is true?
why? Answer all these questions and then I will understand.........
 

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Originally posted by gmwsag@Apr 25 2004, 02:44 PM
why is Pontiac getting rave reviews & sales?
why is Impala one of the best selling midsize sedans in this country?
why did Uplander, Velite, and STS get good reviews from the people watching them?
Don't wanna get into this, but gmwsag - you seem to be overly praising some vehicles...

The only Pontiac I can think of getting rave reviews is the GTO. The G6 is getting good reviews too and the GP is getting some good/some bad reviews (mostly because of the interior which is it's downfall).

The Impala is selling well because of huge incentives. IMO, it's more of a car you have to buy, not choose to buy.

From my view, everyone I know who went to the auto show with me hated the Uplander. Plus, it's getting dissed even by our fellow GM friends for not having the best-in-class features. But, you're right about the Velite (awesome SC killer) and STS.

Everything else you asked him to answer is right BTW! :D
 

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Originally posted by gmwsag@Apr 25 2004, 08:44 PM
laserwizard, answer these questions:

why did GM get $5 billion in the 1Q and Ford didn't?
why is Chevy outselling Ford, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda?
why is Pontiac getting rave reviews & sales?
why is Impala one of the best selling midsize sedans in this country?
why are more GM cars seen on the road then before?
why did Cadillac's sales increase by 10.5% in March?
why did Uplander, Velite, and STS get good reviews from the people watching them?
----------------------------
why did you say this if all of this is true?
why? Answer all these questions and then I will understand.........
OK - even though the questions are for laserwizrd - I'd like to opine:

As to question 1 - point well taken - keep in mind that a few years ago Ford's profits were the best in the industry. Things change - we'll see if Ford can catch up and if GM will fall. If you look at market cap - Toyota's market cap is 127 Billion - GM's is a paltry 27 Billion and Ford's is even lower. Even Honda and Nissan are worth more than GM!

As to question 2 - Are you limiting yourself to the North American Market and to just Chevrolet? GM, Ford and Chrysler have year in and year out been losing market share to the Japanese. Chevrolet has had a resurgance - but this is mostly due to heavy incentives and not because of a good product. If their products are so good - why don't they drop the incentives?

As to question 3 - Rave reviews? From whom? People on this board? The GTO is a fine auto but it is a limited sales vehicle. The g6 has yet to actually ship and like the Nissan Altima, I would wager that after it's out a year the honeymoon will be over and the auto press will call it "nice but not as good as the Accord."

As to question 4 - INCENTIVES! This car has an interior fit for a cop car! Oh, wait a minute, it is a cop car! (Hey GM - drop the incentives - I dare you!!!)

As to question 5 - more cars are on the road today than 5 years ago - The North American car market has expanded so everyone can practically claim this one. This is one of those statistics that people cite when they don't want to talk about maret share.

As to question 6 - These cars have yet to ship. I hope they are succesful. But as stated in the answer to question 3 - the auto press can be fickle and once the honeymoon is over - its over.

Now, I want everyone to know that I'm not trying to pick a fight. GM and Ford have their work still cut out for them. In the past, we've all been led to belive that both GM and Ford were going to "turn it around" - but the reality is thus far they have been losing more and more market share.
 

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...ouch...
 

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AS for the Grand Am with 15k... give it time! These cars are so plagued with problems like the brakes for instants that Pontiac has chosen to re-name the 05 version to distance its self from that name. I really like Pontiacs too, heck I own 3, but they are older models. The 2003 and up models seem to be getting a bit better in some areas but they are only a year old too. My point again is that GM charges very premium sums for there cars, example a 04 Bonneville starts at almost 28 large with wheel covers, no side air bags, no spoiler, the same 205hp 3800 from 1995 with it's leaky plastic upper manifold and throttle body problems, terrible front seats and very poor interior room compared to almost any other full size competitor! I just do not see GM changing much in the next few years.
The G6 in pretty neat but from what I understand will start at 22k!
The new CSV's are already getting lackluster reviews.
The LaCrosse looks just like a Hyundai Sanota that is a bit bigger.
The Soltice is nice but it's going to have a 2.4 yawn 4 banger.
The Buick convertible is ok too but will surely be overpriced too.
The STS is dissapointing. It looks like a CTS with it's door moldings removed and a few slight exterior changes.
Where is this big change in GM?
 

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GM made so much profit because of GMAC, not from the cars. and they sold so many units because of the heavily discounted product they're shoveling.
 

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Originally posted by laserwizard@Apr 25 2004, 12:45 PM
Review of GM by a non-GM enthusiast

What has changed?

Really?

Instead of improving Oldsmobile, you killed it.

You are killing your best division, Saturn, by loading it with mediocre cars normally reserved for Chevrolet.  You now insist on building Saturns at the same old tired union bloated factories as the other GM products.  Owning a Saturn used to be special.  Now it isn't.

Chevrolet used to be known for cars that kicked butt and made no excuses.  Now you have impersonators of cars known as Impalas and Monte Carlos.  You have a Malibu that looks like the prior one even if it is different.  You used to have a Camaro.  You couldn't stand the heat from Ford so you gave up.  You have the Corvette and wisely continue to keep the Chevrolet nameplate off it.  Your Cobalt is a sad little vehicle that is uglier than the car it replaces and will most likely be given the cold shoulder from people who remember the mediocre car it replaced. You have trucks that continue to age decades as each year passes.

Pontiac used to be something.  Now it has removed its plastic cladding it has removed its soul.    Oh, sure you can find an engine in one of the expensive models, but the bottom of the product line continues to suck wind.

Buick.  Forever the chariot of those who in the next years will be measured for a casket.

Cadillac.  Once proud, now looking for an identity.  Instead of developing a style, it gave up and is using the same template for each product.  This divison proves that awful styling isn't confined to the archives of AMC.  It is alive and well at Cadillac.  Lucky for them that they have decided to put handling and engines in their products.  They certainly don't sell because they look good.

It isn't that I dislike GM....I just think that there is no evidence to suggest anything has changed.  It is the same clunky company that manufacturers more promises than it does great cars.
Hahahaha...Your Cadillac comments are laughable! Apparently, the luxury car-buying public doesn't feel the same way as you about the current and upcoming crop of Cadillacs. With sales increasing by the month, Cadillac is GM's bright spot.

I didn't know that YOU are the last word in terms of styling, laserwizard!

On that note, laserwizard, you smack Pontiac for removing the cladding because it removed it's soul? You have to be the ONLY person that liked Pontiac's overwrought cladding, because nobody here or in the auto press was sad to see it go. Cladding=Soul? How about we all chip in and buy you an Aztek!

Just to show that I'm not blind, I will agree with you on your Saturn takes because they are taking away the division's uniqueness. Saturn is basically becoming Oldsmobile. Hopefully they'll be able to focus on a mission...ANY mission!

The rest of Chevrolet is on the rebound...Have you been inside a new Malibu or Equinox, laserwizard? I have. and I can tell you the quality has improved dramatically. The Malibu's styling may not excite, but I can tell you that the snoringly boring Camry and big-butt Accord won't get anyone thrown out of a church parking lot. The Equinox, IMHO, is the best looking mid-sized SUV PERIOD.

Buick: The jury is out. LaCrosse looks nice, but I want to see more of their vision of the future.

My question to laserwizard is this: What brand do you like? What do you drive? You smack GM down on a GM forum, and that's YOUR right. But I want to know what brand you think hits homeruns each time at the plate!
 

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Originally posted by vanshmack@Apr 25 2004, 07:13 PM
The rest of Chevrolet is on the rebound...Have you been inside a new Malibu or Equinox, laserwizard? I have. and I can tell you the quality has improved dramatically. The Malibu's styling may not excite, but I can tell you that the snoringly boring Camry and big-butt Accord won't get anyone thrown out of a church parking lot. The Equinox, IMHO, is the best looking mid-sized SUV PERIOD.
What do you mean by the Camry and Accord won't get thrown out of a church parking lot? Are you referring to the Malibu's sensuous exterior and interior styling? C'mon...it's not that good. The LaCrosse would've been a better comparison to those two. I mean have you seen the Accord's interior!?! And isn't the Equinox a COMPACT SUV?
 

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Either you can't read or just ignoring what I wrote. So, for the SECOND time, no the Malibu is not an exciting car to look at, but neither is the Camry or Accord. Also, I never COMPARED the interior of the Malibu to Accord or Camry. If you'd LOOK closely, I said that the Equinox and Malibu interior quality is a dramatic improvement over what we've seen from GM in the past.

I don't know why I bother with this because the haters will continue hating no matter what anybody says. This is not clubsi.com. The import takes are not going to be predominant or popular here. Just don't act like we're ignorant because we back GM. It is a GM board.

Oh, and if you'd actually looked at an Equinox up close, you'll see that fits the description of mid-sized more than it does compact SUV.
 

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I have a '96 Corsica with 116K miles. It's all stock, doesn't have problems, never had anything replaced. Keeps the miles off my Corvette :D
 
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