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I think this goes back to 1996 with the new F-series and Ford contiueing to build the previous model, They couldn't afford to lose the customers that simply hate the look of the all new truck, and some people will NOT buy a new model till all the precieved bugs are worked out.

You will see this more and more from now on.
 

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I've been selling GM for almost nine years, I have no problem with the old cars. when they keep the blazer for fleet sales, and the trilblazer for retail sale, the fact they still built the blazer hurt only the old blazer value not trailblzer. The resale vaule of the trailblazer stayed strong and only now is starting to come down. Just because they are still building the "classic" doesn't mean they are sitting on dealers lots next to the new. I completely agree with the fleet only deal the only resale vaue they are hurting is that of the old model. I'm still amazed how well the Impala has help up at the auctions, due largly to the lunima fleet sales. The new mailbu is selling almost as well as last year without dumping them into the fleets. When you total new malibu sells with classic sales they are 31,784 units ahead of last year. however you look at it thats a market increase of over 30k units. auction values of the new malibu are through the roof and the classic make a great cheap car. where's the harm new models are retailing well and keeping resale values, old one are taking there place in fleets. I'm retaling more new malibu's then we have in years. I would much much rather have the fleet only cars completely different from the retail cars. Because you know they going to have fleets, so feed them the old stuff. And keep the new stuff fresh for retail. I can't see why anyone has a problem with this.

By the way I seem to be seeing a crapload of nissan altima's at the auctions, and toyota has been slowly increasing it's sale of corrolas and camery's at the fleet level. I can by a one year old camery 4cyl auto that sold new for 19-20k for 13-14k every week at the fleet auctions. where's the great resalve vaule in that. Call me I'll get you some. And a 99 Lexus was 4,000 under book and a 2003 65k BMW X5 we traded in with 15k miles best bid we got on it was 44k woo-who that's steller resale.
 

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Maybe it's just me, but from what I can tell, it looks as though GM is offering it's customers more choice. Since when was giving consumers more choice a bad thing? This guy passes himself off as a self-appointed authority because he's been writing about cars for over half a century. All that says to me is he longs for the days when you could get a car in any colour you want, as long as it's black. :rolleyes:

Unlike vegetables, cars don't spoil. Cars are a matter of personal taste. To some, the Grand Am suits them perfectly and they don't really like the replacement. If these people still want to buy these cars and GM is willing to continue to build these cars to sell to these people, who does Jerry Flint think he is to say this is wrong? He utterly fails in making a case for his opinion, citing some minor difficulties GM is having with the launch of the new product and waxing nostalgic; neither of which has anything to do with why GM should stop building older models when releasing new models.
 

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I had a Buick as a rental while my 9-3 was in the shop yesterday. 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!!!

I think that this "quality" thing is a straw man. I think that most people don't look at the IQS but most people do get into a car and in an instant decide "nice interior!" or "cheap interior!." Guess which one is Buick and which is Lexus.

On the other hand, the problem with fleet sales is not the fleet sales themselves. I have had an Neon and Century rentals recently, and both were STRIPPER models. The Buick had cloth seats, front bench, lousy radio, etc. Contrast this to the 300, which I beleive is only sold in fleets in the Limited model.

Rentals are GM's opportunity to show that Toyota guy a GM car because that's what Enterprise has. Don't blow it by putting him in the lowest trim package.
 

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Originally posted by 88montess@Jun 30 2004, 03:28 PM
I've been selling GM for almost nine years, I have no problem with the old cars. when they keep the blazer for fleet sales, and the trilblazer for retail sale, the fact they still built the blazer hurt only the old blazer value not trailblzer. The resale vaule of the trailblazer stayed strong and only now is starting to come down. Just because they are still building the "classic" doesn't mean they are sitting on dealers lots next to the new. I completely agree with the fleet only deal the only resale vaue they are hurting is that of the old model. I'm still amazed how well the Impala has help up at the auctions, due largly to the lunima fleet sales. The new mailbu is selling almost as well as last year without dumping them into the fleets. When you total new malibu sells with classic sales they are 31,784 units ahead of last year. however you look at it thats a market increase of over 30k units. auction values of the new malibu are through the roof and the classic make a great cheap car. where's the harm new models are retailing well and keeping resale values, old one are taking there place in fleets. I'm retaling more new malibu's then we have in years. I would much much rather have the fleet only cars completely different from the retail cars. Because you know they going to have fleets, so feed them the old stuff. And keep the new stuff fresh for retail. I can't see why anyone has a problem with this.

By the way I seem to be seeing a crapload of nissan altima's at the auctions, and toyota has been slowly increasing it's sale of corrolas and camery's at the fleet level. I can by a one year old camery 4cyl auto that sold new for 19-20k for 13-14k every week at the fleet auctions. where's the great resalve vaule in that. Call me I'll get you some. And a 99 Lexus was 4,000 under book and a 2003 65k BMW X5 we traded in with 15k miles best bid we got on it was 44k woo-who that's steller resale.
I completely agree. Letting the fleets have the G6 could definately cheapen it's appearance. I really wish they would pull the Buicks out of the fleets and give them an identity. I don't care if it has to do with any of Buick's past but give it something.
 

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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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Originally posted by me3head@Jun 30 2004, 01:27 PM
I had a Buick as a rental while my 9-3 was in the shop yesterday. 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!!!

I think that this "quality" thing is a straw man. I think that most people don't look at the IQS but most people do get into a car and in an instant decide "nice interior!" or "cheap interior!." Guess which one is Buick and which is Lexus.

On the other hand, the problem with fleet sales is not the fleet sales themselves. I have had an Neon and Century rentals recently, and both were STRIPPER models. The Buick had cloth seats, front bench, lousy radio, etc. Contrast this to the 300, which I beleive is only sold in fleets in the Limited model.

Rentals are GM's opportunity to show that Toyota guy a GM car because that's what Enterprise has. Don't blow it by putting him in the lowest trim package.
I agree with this totally. I have rented many GM models such as the Century, LeSabre, Impala, Classic etc. They were all basic models with almost no options. The Buick's radios looked very cheap and low quality, they had the most basic instrumentation, wheel covers instead of alloys, base seats etc. The first thing I thought was, I would never buy one of these like this. The rental companies should equip the cars a little more desirable.
 

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Originally posted by ponchoman49+Jul 1 2004, 01:28 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (ponchoman49 @ Jul 1 2004, 01:28 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-me3head@Jun 30 2004, 01:27 PM
I had a Buick as a rental while my 9-3 was in the shop yesterday.  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!!! 

I think that this "quality" thing is a straw man.  I think that most people don't look at the IQS but most people do get into a car and in an instant decide "nice interior!" or "cheap interior!."  Guess which one is Buick and which is Lexus.

On the other hand, the problem with fleet sales is not the fleet sales themselves.  I have had an Neon and Century rentals recently, and both were STRIPPER models.  The Buick had cloth seats, front bench, lousy radio, etc.  Contrast this to the 300, which I beleive is only sold in fleets in the Limited model. 

Rentals are GM's opportunity to show that Toyota guy a GM car because that's what Enterprise has.  Don't blow it by putting him in the lowest trim package.
I agree with this totally. I have rented many GM models such as the Century, LeSabre, Impala, Classic etc. They were all basic models with almost no options. The Buick's radios looked very cheap and low quality, they had the most basic instrumentation, wheel covers instead of alloys, base seats etc. The first thing I thought was, I would never buy one of these like this. The rental companies should equip the cars a little more desirable. [/b][/quote]
Rental companies want their cars to have the basic equipment their customers expect, and they will pay for that. But the rental companies don't really care if GM sells more cars. In fact, they probably like it when sales are down because GM will cut them a better deal just to move cars.

So, GM would basically have to give the rental companies the more expensive models for the basic model price. I guess they could chalk it up to advertising expense. Whether or not it's a good use of advertising dollars is up for debate.
 

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Originally posted by MelvinJ@Jul 1 2004, 01:36 PM

Rental companies want their cars to have the basic equipment their customers expect, and they will pay for that.  But the rental companies don't really care if GM sells more cars.  In fact, they probably like it when sales are down because GM will cut them a better deal just to move cars.

So, GM would basically have to give the rental companies the more expensive models for the basic model price.  I guess they could chalk it up to advertising expense.  Whether or not it's a good use of advertising dollars is up for debate.
I believe it's necessary for GM to improve the base level models, even if there's moderate cost involved.

The common perception, right or wrong, is that even a stripped Camry, Altima, or Accord has a more comfortable and ergonomic interior, nicer looking materials, a better sound system, and less road noise than the Malibu or Impala.

I would think that any investment GM made in improving quality in those areas would eventually pay for itself in improved brand image - and thus, sales - over the long term.
 

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Originally posted by laserwizard@Jun 29 2004, 05:23 PM
Considering the tripe that gets passed here in praise of GM, this is surprisingly candid and honest.    I'm still waiting for the design revolution that was said to be coming from GM after Bob Lutz took over.  To date we've seen nothing truly beautiful aside from show cars and the production cars look like melted budda over lima beans.    Cadillac has opted for ugly is better, Pontiac has stripped its cars and melted the old plastic over them, Chevrolet is offering boxes with the ugliest frontends on the planet, and Buick seems content on leaving well enough alone.  Saturn has been killed by poor products and judgment and Oldsmobile has been allowed to die.  I see nothing in any GM dealership window that would make me, like a kid of the 1960's, run to the showroom to say "wow".    Let's face it, GM has been icing dog poopie for years and now even the icing is getting watered down.

Great article.
Ahh...But Ford has a lineup full of exciting cars that people want...At least in your eyes. :rolleyes:

Your hypocrisy is utterly amazing! In other posts, you sing the praises of the old, outdated, ugly decrepit Crown Victoria and jock Ford selling an extremely profitable car. GM is doing the very same with the GA. The tooling is long since paid for, and if they can continue to profitably sell Grand Ams alongside G6s, more power to them! This means more cash to put into the new generation of cars that will ultimately return GM to the pinnacle of automotive leadership.
 

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Originally posted by Butta@Jun 29 2004, 08:47 PM
Don't Build The Old With The New
Jerry Flint, 06.29.04, 6:00 AM ET

NEW YORK - Imagine if your favorite department store put last year's clothes in its big showcase window, or if your supermarket started pushing week-old vegetables. Yeah, it's a turn-off, but that's just what General Motors does.

General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) thinks it's smart to keep building old cars and trucks--models already replaced. I've been griping about this for years.

The most recent example is the Pontiac Grand Am, which will be replaced this fall by the Pontiac G6. (That's some name, G6. Sounds like a civil service rank for someone who types 45 words a minute.) But GM will keep building the old Grand Am. The idea is that it will be sold only to fleets, but who really knows?

While they can't stop building the old stuff, GM also has trouble building the new stuff. The Pontiac G6 four-door sedan will be on sale this fall, but the G6 coupe won't be ready until next year, maybe spring, and the G6 convertible will be ready later that fall, I hear.

I hate to tell you guys in Detroit this, but when I was a boy they didn't keep building the outdated cars when the new ones came out. And they managed to bring out all the new models--sedans, coupes, hardtops, station wagons and convertibles--on the same introduction day in the fall.

That Pontiac Grand Am stunt isn't unusual. Right now GM is selling a new Chevrolet Malibu while continuing to build the old one, which has been renamed the "Classic."

Maybe I shouldn't be that hard on GM. Ford Motor (nyse: F - news - people ) has done the same thing. A few years ago it introduced the Focus as Ford's new small car, but it kept building the old Escort for years. At least the Escort has finally passed away. And Ford has been building its old F-150 pickups along with the new ones. It calls the old ones "Heritage." Through mid-June, Ford built 52,000 of the old pickups and 260,000 new models.

With the big pickups, Ford has a better excuse for selling both new and old models at the same time: lots of plants to convert (GM did the same thing a few years earlier). With five plants building the F-150, there was some logic to shutting them down in sequence for retooling rather than trying an across-the-board conversion. You should know that years ago the industry had million-car runs and did the changeover at several plants all at the same time. To be fair, however, the vehicles back then were nowhere near as complex as they are today.

I think here are several reasons why companies simultaneously build the old and the new. But the major reason at GM is to keep a plant open, building the old vehicle rather than shuttering the plant and laying off workers. Either way, the workers get paid. This strategy has some logic, but I think it's come to the end of the line.

GM's $5,000 incentives are a symptom of this policy. So is the overdependence on fleet sales: 25% of GM's sales go to fleets (rental cars and the commercial/government market). The figure is lower for trucks and higher for cars. One-third of the Pontiac Grand Am's sales, for example, are to fleet buyers. Rental cars are dumped back onto the used car market en masse. So while those fleet sales keep the factories running, they destroy resale values and brand equity.

Many years ago, when Chrysler (nyse: DCX - news - people ) began building its then-new Grand Cherokee at a new Detroit plant, it kept the old Jeep Cherokee in production. Former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca said he did that because he feared the new Jeep Grand Cherokee might flop. So he kept the old Cherokee going just in case. It turned out that the new Jeep was a success, but other consumers kept buying the old, lower-priced Cherokees.

Full Article Here

these guys are scared to build any thing . that is the reason we don't have a new camaro to admire . they fear change and relish on ordinary . take the astro van . how many years can you have the same engine , horsepower , and fuel milege numbers , before they can say " i think its time to replace this one :rolleyes:
 

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Originally posted by caprice 511@Jul 2 2004, 03:12 AM
these guys are scared to build any thing . that is the reason we don't have a new camaro to admire . they fear change and relish on ordinary . take the astro van . how many years can you have the same engine , horsepower , and fuel milege numbers , before they can say " i think its time to replace this one :rolleyes:
The Astro is a special case - it really has no competition since the Aerostar died. Are you going to take money away from updating a car in a much more competitive segment to update the Astro so that it remains the number 1 selling mid-size van (in a segment of 1)?
 

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Originally posted by caprice 511@Jul 1 2004, 10:12 PM
these guys are scared to build any thing . that is the reason we don't have a new camaro to admire...
Perhaps the reason why the Camaro's not around is that people were "admiring" it and not BUYING it.
 

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Originally posted by Hudson+Jul 2 2004, 05:52 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Hudson @ Jul 2 2004, 05:52 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-caprice 511@Jul 1 2004, 10:12 PM
these guys are scared to build any thing . that is the reason we don't have a new camaro to admire...
Perhaps the reason why the Camaro's not around is that people were "admiring" it and not BUYING it. [/b][/quote]
Something to be said about that, the last T\A our dealership had for stock had 2 birthdays out in the lot before it went to a good home. Alot of lookers but not to many buyers.
 
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