Impala was saddled by it's name...prior to the 2014(?) Impala, it symbolized full size mediocrity since 1999...One good generation in 15 years can't immediately spark sales. Maybe it would've done better had it been named something else. or maybe the 2000-2014 Impala should've been named something else.The Impala was a terrific car. Anyone who wanted a full-size family hauling car really couldn't make a better choice. But people just don't want them. I really don't know what GM could have done here.
The SS was a tremendous performance sedan. And no one knew about it. GM really just didn't seem to care. Maybe it was like the GTO and G8, where I think it's is said that the exchange rate between US and Australian dollars doomed the car to lose money. It's a shame. The SS could have been more visually interesting, but some sort of advertising at just how good that car was might have helped. A better name (Chevelle?) might have helped too.
In the automotive world reputation = perception, and it also didn't help that it was a fleet darling despite GMs attempts to keep it from being one. Most Impalas seen on the road look like this:
and before that, you had 10 years of looking at this:
and before that 5 years of looking at this:
Next time you're out and about, pay attention to the Impalas you see, they're almost always, silver white or black and fleet spec. Something that when spotted on the road never conveys the feeling "Damn I need to get one of those"...we always talk about advertising, but the best advertisement is seeing it on the street, does it generate that "I want one" feeling?