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I'm just as frustrated as anyone else with GM's relatively high fleet sales and its dependency on older versions of its vehicles while introducing newer versions. It metacommunicates a lot to a lot of people, not least of which may be that it can't compete directly in the retail side of the car business or that it does not have faith in the newer versions of its vehicles.

That being said, I can understand why GM doesn't completely embrace the retirement of older vehicles when newer versions are introduced. And I can imagine why it's so difficult for GM to curb its dependency on slowly switching to newer vehicles. Gerry only pays small tribute to the financial and logistical difficulty of doing so.

Fleet sales and the simultaneous marketing of older and newer versions of vehicles(like incentives) seem to be GM's bad crack habit. And it will be an awfully difficult habit to kick.
 

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Originally posted by me3head@Jun 30 2004, 06:27 PM
It was a 2005 Century. This car has about the worst perceived quality of any car I've recently been in. The materials and fit/finish screamed CHEAP!!!
Your comment about the Century possessing the worst interior of any car is well taken. But have you driven in a $40,000 Park Avenue? It's horrifying! At least the Century doesn't charge a premium for such a dated interior. Buicks don't break down, for sure, but their interiors certainly don't inspire a lot of confidence, either.

I'm impressed by the reliability numbers for Buick (and think that they can only help the Division in the longterm). However, I agree with comments in this and other threads regarding perceived quality. GM North America seems to be struggling to match its competitors in this regard, and with a few exceptions, I'm not terribly optimistic about the future, either. I think if Buick could produce interiors like it does in Europe (the new Astra's interior selections are quite stellar) and exteriors like its latest concepts, Buick's perils would evaporate.Those are lots of ifs, though.

It's frustrating to know that the General possesses the capabilities needed to clearly re-establish itself as the best: LGR is a model of manufacturing excellence, Welburn et al. have designed a few very sweet vehicles (inside and out), GM's small block achieves higher levels of greatness, Buick and Cadillac have proven themselves in terms of shortterm and longterm reliability, to name a few achievements. GMers just cannot seem to pull the whole package together consistently with every interior, exterior, division, plant, and marketing campaign.

How frustrating!
 
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