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GM hopes new Cobalt ignites sales
 
By JOSEPH SZCZESNY , Of The Daily Oakland Press  12/30/2003
 
December 30, 2003
General Motors Corp. unveiled the new small car that it hopes will help push the Chevrolet Division's sales past the 3-million-unit mark for the first time in years.

GM used the Los Angeles Auto Show, which now serves as a warm-up act for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, to show off the new Chevrolet Cobalt, which is now scheduled to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Gary Cowger, president of GM, said the new Cobalt is certain to become a feared competitor in the small or compact car segment, which has long been ruled by Japan's Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic models.

For more than a decade now, GM has relied on the Chevrolet Cavalier, a car originally designed in the 1980s, and heavy discounts, to help maintain a foothold in the compact market, which automakers consider critical in shaping the buying habits of young consumers.

"We think it will be better than anything in this class from power to the ride and handling, to fit and finish," Cowger said recently. "We are really, really pleased with this car and we think it's going to make a big statement and it will come out in four different levels, including the highest level, which is to be a tuner."

Cowger predicted the tuner version of the Cobalt will help attract a whole new generation of automotive enthusiasts to GM and the Chevy brand. "It's an important image thing. There are lot of young folks out there that love their cars today just like we did," added Cowger. "It's important to get those folks back in a Chevrolet showroom.

"General Motors is a full-line producer and Chevrolet exemplifies that on a brand level and GM has to cover all the needs of our customers from the low end of the market right up to commercial vehicles," Cowger added.

The Cobalt is only one element of GM's effort to overhaul the Chevrolet line. Even before the Cobalt reaches the market next fall, GM will have introduced the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx wagon, the South Korean-built Chevrolet Aveo, which will cover the low end of the market and the Chevrolet Equinox, an SUV-like crossover vehicle.

Lori Queen, GM vehicle line executive for small cars, said that GM also has been setting the stage for the coming of the new Cobalt in other ways. In the past couple of years, GM has supported efforts to race Cavaliers and the effort is paying off and will help with launch of the Cobalt, she said.

The new Cobalt also will come in both and sedan and coupe version with very distinctive appearances, Queen said.

"But to appreciate Cobalt you've got to get beneath the sheet metal," she added.

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The Cavalier is already a strong seller, fueled by hefty rebates. It'll be interesting to see if GM is able to hold the pricing line on the Cobalt.

My commuter car is an '01 Cavy Z24. It was affordable, stylish, and spunky. Of course, a $2500 rebate (huge at the time) greatly helped the "affordable" part.

I expect the Cobalt to get a $500 rebate almost immediately, possibly going to $750 or even $1000 at certain times. The new Malibu has been kept at solid $1000, which I think is a sign of things to come. I think the new Cobalt is more than good enough to sell without massive rebates, but it'd be really nice to see GM get aggressive with the sticker pricing. Selling a car for $18,000 with no rebate seems to be a lot better than stickering it at $20,000 with a "built-in" $2,000 rebate.

I doubt the SS Supercharged will be eligible for anything beyond a GM Card rebate, but until they offer it in an automatic, I'm ok with that. ;)
 

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Originally posted by PaleGreen@Jan 2 2004, 03:05 PM
I doubt the SS Supercharged will be eligible for anything beyond a GM Card rebate, but until they offer it in an automatic, I'm ok with that. ;)
Anything with the SS name should not be offered with an automatic option!!!
 

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Originally posted by simmonsmb+Jan 2 2004, 03:52 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (simmonsmb @ Jan 2 2004, 03:52 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-PaleGreen@Jan 2 2004, 03:05 PM
I doubt the SS Supercharged will be eligible for anything beyond a GM Card rebate, but until they offer it in an automatic, I'm ok with that.  ;)
Anything with the SS name should not be offered with an automatic option!!! [/b][/quote]
most people buy automatics regardless of what kind of car it is

look at the corvette, camaro, firebird and mustang. Most people buy automatics because they either can't drive a stick or don't want it if they use it everyday to drive to school/work or whatever else.
 

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After seeing the front, 3/4 view of the Cobalt (on GMi) I began to really look at the Civics & RSXs around town. From what i've seen, the Cobalt is dead-on as far styling and size...I cant imagine Chevy going to offer a rebate on it, but I know I'll be in the dealership when they off-load later this year... :drevil:
 

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Originally posted by LegendNH+Jan 2 2004, 04:53 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (LegendNH @ Jan 2 2004, 04:53 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 2 2004, 03:52 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-PaleGreen
@Jan 2 2004, 03:05 PM
I doubt the SS Supercharged will be eligible for anything beyond a GM Card rebate, but until they offer it in an automatic, I'm ok with that.  ;)

Anything with the SS name should not be offered with an automatic option!!!
most people buy automatics regardless of what kind of car it is

look at the corvette, camaro, firebird and mustang. Most people buy automatics because they either can't drive a stick or don't want it if they use it everyday to drive to school/work or whatever else. [/b][/quote]
I know the reasoning for offering automatics because there are far too many people in this country that can not/do not/will not drive standard transmission vehicles. It just makes me sigh and shake my head whenever people start talking about wanting a high performance version of a vehicle and then throw in the automatic. We currently have one of each (only because my mom is one of the people who will not drive a stick and she ordered the '79 camaro I inherited from her as an automatic) and I know the pains of driving a stick in stop-and-go city driving, but for the amount of time that I am in situations like that compared to normal driving conditions, the stick is still well worth the little extra effort. Eventually, it isn't even an effort at all. Oh well, for all of my pride in being an American, it's things like this that make me kind of ashamed as to how lazy our nation has become (not to mention other things like the whole stupid Ricer craze, not laziness but makes me ashamed none-the-less).
 
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