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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
can anyone make a case for GM's myriad of models? hanging on to models and divisions just because they're old and storied aside, anyone here truly feel that having so many competing models, with slightly different flavour (for the family, we have the value conscious impala and malibu, sport minded grand prix and grand am, semi-lux regal and century, and ummm... well the L series) makes GM a better GM.

do these similar choices bring in fringe customers that would otherwise shop elsewhere? is GM losing oldsmobile buyers to the competition, or did they migrate over to other GM products?

i know this has been touched on before, and i'm not just asking if buick or saturn or pontiac should be canned. i really am curious to know who thinks GM can forge ahead on the current track and who thinks they have to shed weight before they move along.

personally, i think choice is a good thing. i wouldn't outright say that certain models or divisions should go. but when chevrolet offers a complete lineup on it's own, how does that not crowd all the other divisions. if chev is the everyday mans division, where does the cobalt SS fit in? what i mean is how is pontiac going to be the performance division with a rocket like that in chevs stable?

and yes, i KNOW that it's easy to be a an armchair critic, and that steering GM is a daunting task. but since none of us will likely ever get to be in control, i like hearing what some of you would do.
 

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I think GM can hold onto its brands if it starts using them differently. The "Sloan Ladder" -- where a buyers starts with Chevrolet and then moves through Pontiac and Buick on the way to Cadillac -- doesn't really make sense any more.

But, GM has many pairs of divisions that would work well together is the same fashion as Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infinity or Honda/Acura. The goal would be to identify and attract a specific (and different) segment of the buying public with a mass-market brand, paired with a natural near-luxury/luxury brand.

I propose the following pairs:

Chevrolet and Buick - for the value-oriented traditional buyer

Pontiac and Cadillac - for buyers who want a more performance-oriented vehicle with edgy styling

Subaru and Saab - for people looking for all-weather performance, off-beat styling and advanced engineering and technology

Saturn and Suzuki - well crafted, reliable cars with a painless buying/owning experience (no ****er price, etc.)

I'm probably missing some things here, but you get the idea. A buyer is attracted to the Chevolet line-up, gets a bit older and more successful and finds the same qualities they enjoyed in their Chevy in the more expensive and luxurious Buick.

This way GM could use its divisions to cover tighter sections of the market and build brand loyalty, while having a better understanding of what division they are aiming to move customers up into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Originally posted by Tone@Jul 5 2004, 03:40 PM
This way GM could use its divisions to cover tighter sections of the market and build brand loyalty, while having a better understanding of what division they are aiming to move customers up into.
ah, excellent point. where's a malibu driver to go when it's time to move up? bonneville? CTS? lesabre? while of course it can never be dictated, a more natural, obvious progression might help. it's a little muddled now. the supercharged regal GS is a pretty damn classy sedan, but in black it has the same character as the impala SS. which is a side-step from a grand prix GX/P. and just south of a CTS.

as much as it sounds silly that GM is playing puppet master and steering current customers into their future vehicle, in effect that's what they should be trying. i wonder if many camry buyers really consider BMWs and cadillacs when it's time to biggie size, or if they automatically head to lexus.
 

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I would try a radical approach. Chevy, covering cars and truck/suv's from 12000 to about 30000 max. Practicle familly oriented cars/trucks (Like Toyota) and affordable performence. Caddy covering cars and truck/suv's from 30000 up to whatever. Luxury to hyper performence. Opel - Euopean style cars. Subaru - Asian style cars. Get rid of everything else. Later on infuse Chevy and Caddy into Europe/Asia and then eventually dump Opel/Subaru. You will end up like Toyota/Honda Chevy is your world wide everyman vehicles and Caddy your worldwide Luxury vehicles. All engineering design focused on two lines. A leaner more efficient management. Of course it's not going to happen and Toyota will eventually take over the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Originally posted by yoblues@Jul 5 2004, 04:26 PM
I would try a radical approach. Chevy, covering cars and truck/suv's from 12000 to about 30000 max. Practicle familly oriented cars/trucks (Like Toyota) and affordable performence. Caddy covering cars and truck/suv's from 30000 up to whatever. Luxury to hyper performence. Opel - Euopean style cars. Subaru - Asian style cars. Get rid of everything else. Later on infuse Chevy and Caddy into Europe/Asia and then eventually dump Opel/Subaru. You will end up like Toyota/Honda Chevy is your world wide everyman vehicles and Caddy your worldwide Luxury vehicles. All engineering design focused on two lines. A leaner more efficient management. Of course it's not going to happen and Toyota will eventually take over the world.
oh, can't wait for the rebuttals! who knows, maybe it would take something that radical to get GM firmly in gear. i already see chevrolet and cadillac as a pretty all-encompasing pair. add a few large RWD sedans to chev to cover off buick, use SS or Z-series chev derivatives to satisfy the pontiac people, let cadillac take care of the snazzy buick and GMC SUV's. it's an interesting idea for sure. and not one without potential. did you run it by the UAW yet, though, yoblues? :lol:

but i'll miss saab. saab and lotus should go team up. just because i like them both!
 

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Opps, I will make that exception. Saab/Lotus will cover the esoteric funky side of GM. The experimental offbeat cars. I don't see a problem with the UAW. When the new GM begins to roll all those Japaneese plants in the U.S. will be closing down and taken over by GM to meet demand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally posted by Hudson@Jul 6 2004, 03:32 AM
Lotus? GM hasn't had a part of Lotus in more than a decade. And that's just the beginning of your argument.
i don't know about yoblues, but i just threw that in there 'cause i like it, not because GM owned it, or even because it makes sense! for me the two companies just have that same 'outsider' sorta flair... not quite mainstream, but not really caring at the same time.
 

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I don't think there is a problem with the number of brands. Though it was a good idea to end Oldsmobile, aka, the most generic brand on the planet. The problem is with all the twin models. Silverado/Sierra, Colorado/Canyon, Cavalier/Sunfire, 4 minivans, Trailblazer/Envoy/Rainier, Tahoe/Yukon, Suburban/Yukon XL.

Why? Why have two or three or even four of virtually unchanged models?

GMC especially is such a clone of Chevy. The only unique element it has is the Denali line (though I must admit that GMC has done things to move beyond the generic truck brand they used to be). GMC should have a radical, bold style that is definitely different from Chevy's when they both get redesigned. GMC only sales a limited number of vehicles anyway, why not design them to a specific demographic that the rest of the truck industry is too conservative to tap. Chevy already has most of mainstream truck buyers anyway.

GM having four minivans is also a joke. The Chevy model is fine and Saturn's can stay too. But a Pontiac minivan. Go buy a Pontiac "performance" minivan!!! Catch the excitement!! And Buick?? Soccer moms buy vans and grandparents drive Buicks. Is this vehicle for soccer grandmothers?? How much money did GM spend simply to design these two vans and do they really think they will sell?
 
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