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General Motors makes big gains in the Canadian small-car market with four new models

Chris Vander Doelen
CanWest News Service


Friday, June 11, 2004

General Motors has come storming back into the small-car market in Canada. GM kicked butt in the small-car sales sector last month after consumers discovered it now has four new attractive and affordable compact cars on the market -- the Cobalt, Aveo, Optra and Malibu. The new GM compacts appear to be stealing sales from Honda, Kia, Hyundai and Mitsubishi, says Dennis DesRosiers, an automotive analyst.


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
don't know how much the cobalt helped sales last month (!)... but the increase in small-car market share is positive. most people won't stay in an aveo forever... and it's fantastic that GM can snatch away buyers now. i just hope these smaller (is malibu a compact?!?) vehicles prove to be reliable... it'd be great if these people stepped up to a malibu or impala in the future.
 

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Another score for modern styling, standard features, competitive equipment, and low MSRP pricing. That's opposed to the old method of tossing something out there with a dated platform and trying to sell it with massive rebates (cough, cough, Cavalier). I knew that if GM could produce such surprising sales with old product that it would do incredibly well with truly fresh product.



Vs. the old:

 
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I'm excited to see the Cobalt abd G6 here in the States. Hopefully we'll also see the Pursuit.

And since today is the day for Reagans burial in California, let me just say, "Thanks Ron". I was there, I remember Reagan and the 80's. I was a sphomore in high school when he was elected. He has changed my life. I will never view things the same.

It's up to my generation, those of us in our 30's and 40's, to continue Reagan's Revolution...
 

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Originally posted by New_Mexico_Sunset_on_Rt66@Jun 11 2004, 02:44 PM
...And since today is the day for Reagans burial in California...
Not to sound too callous about Reagan's passing (and not to sound too off-topic), but I kept remarking on how elegant Reagan's Cadillac Deville-derived hearse and Nancy's Cadillac Deville-derived limousine looked. The last great ride for Reagan?!
 

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I see Aveos (especially) and Optras almost every day now up here. They seem to be selling well with the help of giant GM marketing. Cobalt isn't out yet, but it should be a BIG seller here where smaller cars are popular.

I think the Optra and Optra 5 would work in the U.S. also. With gas prices moving higher, it doesn't hurt to have a solid small car line up and I'm sure the Korean plant can churn out another 50-100K of them for you guys.

I think Hyundia dealers are feeling the pinch of these Korean GM entries, sales have been slipping as of late in Canada.
 

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Its long been my opinion that people buy Hyundai and KIA because they have to from a logical standpoint, not because they want to emotionally.

If Chevy can offer the same thing - same styling, same price - with a Chevy badge, many of those Hyundai-intenders will buy a Chevy instead.

With apologies to the Mexican factory that is going to churn out 2005 Cavaliers and Sunfires, I'd love to see the Optra come over here as either a Chevy or a Pontiac entry one notch above the Aveo. And kill the 25 year old J-body for good, may it rest in peace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally posted by Ming@Jun 11 2004, 03:43 PM
I'd love to see the Optra come over here as either a Chevy or a Pontiac entry one notch above the Aveo. And kill the 25 year old J-body for good, may it rest in peace.
i'd have no problem with the optra5 if they could slide the cavaliers 140hp ecotec in there.
 

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The Koreans for a long time had the same kind of engines and engine power - the new Kia Spectra that would be on the same level as the Optra has a new more powerful engine with VVT that approximates the base Ecotec - wonder if Daewoo will "develop" their own version?
 

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i guess that thing at the top of the page is an Optra? forgive me, as i know little about them, but what is it based upon, and how big is it? i'm curious why they can't style more of their cars like that. it looks very nice, somewhat conservative, but nice indeed. that's what GM needs, not that horrible looking Malibu. the inside of that thing may be nicer than the old one, but the outside is a total turn off.
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Jun 11 2004, 09:12 AM
Another score for modern styling, standard features, competitive equipment, and low MSRP pricing. That's opposed to the old method of tossing something out there with a dated platform and trying to sell it with massive rebates (cough, cough, Cavalier). I knew that if GM could produce such surprising sales with old product that it would do incredibly well with truly fresh product.



Vs. the old:

Ok... Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the new interior shown have the same gauge cluster as the 04 Grand Prix?
I really like the multiple shades used on that dashboard....very nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Originally posted by SUPERBADD75@Jun 11 2004, 04:56 PM
i guess that thing at the top of the page is an Optra?
yup. optra sedan. the pic a few posts after that is the optra5 (hatchback version). check out gmcanada.com, under chevrolet, if you wanna see some more pics of the canadian versions. the optra5 has different, sleeker front-end styling (nicer than the sedan, in my opinion). there's even a wagon coming! i think they're very fine competition for the elantra and spectra, though the cobalt will be much better able to truly challenge the civic and corolla.
 

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Originally posted by Hudson@Jun 11 2004, 12:11 PM
I guess you folks NEED that badge. You like the Optra, but only if it's a Chevrolet or Pontiac? The Optra is available in the US right now...it's sold as a Suzuki. Same exact car...better warranty....no bowtie.
Yeah, but can you use a GM Card, GM Loyalty bonus, GM discounts, or GM Supplier / Employee discounts?

;)

Actually, Suzuki is doing well with these cars, too - sales are up 40% or something.
 

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These numbers are sure to increase once the cobalt hits the showrooms. That is one very nice looking car! I just wish they would have built a 3 or 5 door version a la Mazda 3/6. Will we see a small sedan/coupe from Chevy based on the Kappa platform? I sure hope so. Maybe put a s/c I6 in it? 250 HP, RWD coupe under 25K?? I'm in.
 

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I was amazed to see some 05 Cavaliers in my local Chevy dealer. This car just won't die. The Cobalt can't arrive soon enough for me. I just hope it will be good right out of the box and not have a bunch of teething problems. When questioning various people in the market for a new compact I hear a very common thread. They are looking to pay about $13-15K and want a good warrenty, nice interior furnishings, good gas mileage and it has to be recommended by Consumer Reports. The most common choices they pick: Hyundai's, Kias and the new Izusu models. Those warrenties are hard to beet, the interior quality is better than our cars and the price is right! And with all the noise about Hyundai quality lately I can see why they sell so well. I really hope the big 3 can take America by storm and give us a "kick but" product with a better warrenty, good quality and attractive styling. Time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yeah, the cavalier's got a fine drivetrain, and is an incredible value (they're advertised at $10,995 with 5-speed here in canada!), but this late in its life i don't think many people WANT to own a new cavalier. it makes sense to, but sometimes a vehicle purchase isn't just about value, but instead getting exactly what you want. i really think (and hope) that the cobalt will impress, but i think it was a fine decision to offer the optra (at least north of the border) as another option for now. i bet it's grabbing customers that aren't interested in the cavalier, and would otherwise leave GM for their small car purchase.
 

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I guess you folks NEED that badge. You like the Optra, but only if it's a Chevrolet or Pontiac? The Optra is available in the US right now...it's sold as a Suzuki. Same exact car...better warranty....no bowtie.
the chevy looks better. that Suzuki isn't nearly as clean looking to me.
 

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