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It seems the 5 year old Chevy Impala is holding its own against the Camry and Accord. That may cause Chevy to rethink making the Impala a RWD auto. While enthusiasts welcome RWD I am not convinced the average auto buyer, especially females, gives a hoot for RWD. It might be that FWD or AWD is preferable to the average buyer especially anywhere it snows. GM will get to see some results next year. The Ford 500/Merc Montego will be FWD with an AWD option. The Chrysler 300/ Dodge Charger is RWD. GM gets a chance to see where the public mindset will be and that could cause some rethinking of GM strategy. Opinions anyone.
 

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Originally posted by yoblues@Apr 21 2004, 03:37 PM
It seems the 5 year old Chevy Impala is holding its own against the Camry and Accord. That may cause Chevy to rethink making the Impala a RWD auto. While enthusiasts welcome RWD I am not convinced the average auto buyer, especially females, gives a hoot for RWD. It might be that FWD or AWD is preferable to the average buyer especially anywhere it snows. GM will get to see some results next year. The Ford 500/Merc Montego will be FWD with an AWD option. The Chrysler 300/ Dodge Charger is RWD. GM gets a chance to see where the public mindset will be and that could cause some rethinking of GM strategy. Opinions anyone.
s'a good point you make. the malibu isn't universally lauded as an attractive vehicle, but should hold down the fwd sedan fort at GM nicely. impala is a bit bigger, but i imagine there's a bit of cross-shopping between the malibu and impala.

it's a gamble to go RWD on impala (sure, we can all talk here about how much we'd rather have rwd, but how many of us are going to buy a large sedan either way?!?), but i'd say it's less of a gamble than chrysler with the RWD 300C (all they have otherwise are the stratus/cirrus... not competitive at all). not as bad with ford... futura should be comparable to the malibu... chev just has to be sure there are decent FWD and RWD sedans to appeal to everyone (because the mid-size sedan market is about appealing to everyone, not performance enthusiasts).
 

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I think you guys are on the on the right track with your analysis.

Think about it a different way though. GM want's new buyers.

The only way to do that is give the car some extraordinary capabilities. They will be able to do this with RWD and the accompanying easy to install 4wd.

After these attributes the Impala is not just family car, it is a highly balanced fun to drive sports sedan.

New sales will come from people who want more. The sales right now are mostly from bargain hunters (Read incentives). If they build a car people lust after...they don't need incentives...and can charge more. ( Read Fat Profits)

Most women proffessionals that can afford a BMW probably don't know why they like a bimmer...ie they don't understand the technical BS. But they do notice the different feel. If GM delivers the same qualities, they'll buy.

GM-10
 

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Originally posted by yoblues@Apr 21 2004, 03:37 PM
It seems the 5 year old Chevy Impala is holding its own against the Camry and Accord. That may cause Chevy to rethink making the Impala a RWD auto. While enthusiasts welcome RWD I am not convinced the average auto buyer, especially females, gives a hoot for RWD. It might be that FWD or AWD is preferable to the average buyer especially anywhere it snows. GM will get to see some results next year. The Ford 500/Merc Montego will be FWD with an AWD option. The Chrysler 300/ Dodge Charger is RWD. GM gets a chance to see where the public mindset will be and that could cause some rethinking of GM strategy. Opinions anyone.
Yah you make a good ((BUT HORRORIFFIC)) point. That we have strayed SO FAR from reality in the PUSH toward FWD for the last 25+ years that most people are fooled. Its REALLY REVOLTING when you think about it whats been done here. The GREAT name of Impala and all that history could be RUINED for ever if your correct. :( They should have kept Lumina a wile longer or made up another name. I hope Chrysler is a hit with there new RWD cars I have seen several on the road and they were being driven by women.
 

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Ok, this might be a little off the topic, but since you brought it up... I have a question that has bothered me for a week or two.

This may be far into the future, but what is the practicality of having FWD, RWD, 4WD, and AWD on in the same car. Would it make any sense to have it as a "shift on the fly" type of drive? Is it even possible? Would it be too costly?

I'm not really thinking in acouple years, but on something like the Hywire.
 

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Originally posted by AmericanREV@Apr 21 2004, 05:08 PM
This may be far into the future, but what is the practicality of having FWD, RWD, 4WD, and AWD on in the same car. Would it make any sense to have it as a "shift on the fly" type of drive? Is it even possible? Would it be too costly?

I'm not really thinking in acouple years, but on something like the Hywire.
Why bother if a car has part time awd then switching to either fwd or rwd, controlled by the driver, would be pointless. Computers do a superior job or sensing any loss of grip.
The Hywire is different in that it is a fuel cell car that has each wheel sensing whether power should be delivered.
The drive by wire and shift by wire are technologies of how steering and shifting are inputted from the driver to the car.
 

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I would prefer to the Impala and most GM cars return to being RWD. Traction control and other technologies allow for driving in icy or snowy conditions.
AWD should be an option for higher end cars. For example BMW offers awd for the three series, but not for the five or seven.
 

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I say to keep the Impala FWD. This may not be a popular decision, but it is one that works. You could say "make it RWD with an AWD option." However, most people that would buy the car will not be willing to pay more for AWD. AWD will add a couple thousand dollars onto the price, not including probably only being available on the upper level packages. If you look around, most large sedans now are base sedans, not because people don't want the features, but because they are not affordable.

FWD or AWD is needed in snowy climates, even with the advances in RWD traction technologies. This is simply the laws of physics. Pushing weight through snow/slippery conditions is not as efficient as pulling weight.

The buyers you would gain by making the Impala RWD would be offset by the greater number that would not even consider the new Impala, but have/considered the FWD version.

My two cents.
 

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I guess one other point to consider in making a RWD sedan for Chevy. I would prefer this sedan to be named Impala is as taxi cabs and police cars. Ford has a lock on this market with the Crown Vic. If the next Impala was RWD and the Malibu stayed FWD Chevy would have a better set-up for the sedan market.
 

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Originally posted by Canuck@Apr 21 2004, 06:18 PM
I would prefer to the Impala and most GM cars return to being RWD. Traction control and other technologies allow for driving in icy or snowy conditions.
AWD should be an option for higher end cars. For example BMW offers awd for the three series, but not for the five or seven.
((((AMEN)))) To that!! But to AmericanREV's idea I like the idea of the choice you bring up for the distant future. I would go further and imagion all ark's in that future be engineared to be eather way FWD/RWD/AWD for differing markets. Just imagine if I in Florida could go buy a new 2015 Chevy Bu with RWD. Wile someone in say North Carolina could get theres in FWD for the same $$$. Maby thats the future and if it is I for one will (((STAY))) exactly were I am! BRING BACK THE CHOICE IN ALL MODEL RANGES and GIVE ME RWD!
 

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I guess one other point to consider in making a RWD sedan for Chevy. I would prefer this sedan to be named Impala is as taxi cabs and police cars. Ford has a lock on this market with the Crown Vic. If the next Impala was RWD and the Malibu stayed FWD Chevy would have a better set-up for the sedan market.


This is not 100% correct, while Ford does sell alot of Crown Victorias as Police Interceptors and Taxis, it does not have a "lock" on the market. I have seen more and more police depts buying 9C1 Impalas, (which are police version Impalas), there also is a Dodge Intrepid police package available. The NYPD fleet is now almost exclusively Impala.

Remember that police and taxi sales are fleet sales, which are not really that profitable, I doubt that Chevrolet is contemplating a RWD Impala just because it wants to sell it to police depts and taxi services, since after all, they are already selling FWD Impalas to police depts and taxi services companies in growing numbers.
 

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So you do not think RWD would not add sales to Impala?
Even if fleet sales, to the police and taxi companies, are not as profitable. They do add volumes to sales. Economies of scale improve which does increase profits. Why not have the Malibu as the FWD sedan for Chevy and the Impala as the RWD sedan?
IMO one reason why Crown Vic sales have suffered is the age of the current model. It is old. Safety is another consideration, as is the cost to run. I don't have the answers but I am sure someone on this board could provide an explanation.
 

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I would rather see the Impy stay FWD, and let a Caprice become a large sedan that will have many luxury features that the Impy and Malibu wont have. Zeta can go AWD also, so dont forget that. The Caprice could be Chevy's flagship sedan that would also get most of its sales from fleet cars to Police and taxi. The Impy would still be #1 in sales for Chevy cars, but the Caprice sedan would add a little luxury flavor to Chevy's line up.
 

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Ford just recently announced the 500 and Futura (or whatever the final name will be). The Futura is replacing the Taurus with the 500 set to replace the Crown Vic. What I haven't heard much about until recently is that the 500 will have a V-6 and FWD. If thats the case, Ford will no longer have a V-8 RWD car.

Looks like cop cars will have to change to FWD or Chryslers.
 

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Originally posted by jfnz24@Apr 22 2004, 02:28 PM
Ford just recently announced the 500 and Futura (or whatever the final name will be). The Futura is replacing the Taurus with the 500 set to replace the Crown Vic. What I haven't heard much about until recently is that the 500 will have a V-6 and FWD. If thats the case, Ford will no longer have a V-8 RWD car.

Looks like cop cars will have to change to FWD or Chryslers.
I thought they were having the Taurus and Crown Vic. stay in production for a few more year, weren't they?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ford is playing it smart. The Crown Vic/Marquis stay in production for now. The 500/Montego is released as a FWD with AWD option. In about a year the 3.5 Duratec is the standard engine in the car with ( I bet ) a V-8 option. If this works the VIC/Mar is phased out. The Futura is the Taurus replacement with a 4 banger standard and the 3.5 Duratec option. Focus vs Cobalt - Futura vs Malibu - 500 vs Impala. I think Ford believes that the RWD experiment in the Impala/Malibu Futura/500 Camry/Accord class does not matter. Most people will go for FWD in this class with the AWD option available. Face facts, people have been taught that FWD = fuel effecentcy and safety for the last 25 years. Trying to say we can all go back to RWD flies in the face of logic. Ford will simply use commercials to stress FWD/AWD = FUEL EFFICENTCY SAFTEY. As enthusiasts we love RWD but most people do not care. They want reliability and safety. This winter after a storm I am in a gas station at the foot of a hill. A BMW starts up the hill and about 3/4 of the way up the wheels are spinning and it does not make it. This pissy little Honda Civic with a chick driver just goes by the bimmer and over the hill. That makes an impression on people like it or not.
 

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The real surprise has been Chevrolet's strong comeback. Chevy car sales totals of nearly 211,000 surpassed both Ford and Toyota cars in the first quarter.

Leading the pack was the Impala, which has continued to gain sales even after five years with scarcely a change. The Impala's 72,600 sales (up 13,800) passed the Taurus's 68,700, closing the gap on the Accord's 83,200 and the Camry at 96,180. It's widely known that Ford ceased pumping Tauruses into rental fleets in order to improve profitability at the expense of market share, but the Impala's secret is unclear.

Chevrolet's new entry-level Aveo and the combination of new Malibu and old Malibu (renamed Classic for reporting purposes) added some 27,000 units to the Chevy brand between January and March. Altogether, Chevy car sales were 40,000 ahead of 2003.



With news like this...I'm tempted to say leave the Impala FWD, with a possible available AWD, and then, if Chevrolet really wants to, introduce a separate RWD sedan.
 

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This is my opinion. Keep the Impala FWD and create a new zeta-based(RWD) sedan to complete chevy's line up. It could be called the Lumina or Caprice or what ever they come up with. That would give the consumer a choice if the want FWD or RWD. Also AWD could be an option on both.

Another thing I have to ask about, why was the old malibu renamed classic?
 

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Another thing I have to ask about, why was the old malibu renamed classic?
The old Malibu soldiers on as the Chevrolet Classic for rental car companies, its not available through Chevrolet dealerships, it's a fleet only car. Not a bad idea really, it allows Chevrolet to build brand equity in the Malibu while still being able to pump up the bottom line and sales numbers through fleet sales.

What I wonder is, who will buy the Chevrolet Classic once its rental car days are over, most rental cars are sold through auctions to car dealerships who put them on their lots as used cars, most people are never aware that their used car may have been a rental car, but the Classic, which is only sold to rental car companies is a dead giveaway that it was used as a rental car, and you know how most people treat rental cars! :rolleyes:
 

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Originally posted by MCGARRETT@Apr 22 2004, 08:41 PM
The real surprise has been Chevrolet's strong comeback. Chevy car sales totals of nearly 211,000 surpassed both Ford and Toyota cars in the first quarter.

Leading the pack was the Impala, which has continued to gain sales even after five years with scarcely a change. The Impala's 72,600 sales (up 13,800) passed the Taurus's 68,700, closing the gap on the Accord's 83,200 and the Camry at 96,180. It's widely known that Ford ceased pumping Tauruses into rental fleets in order to improve profitability at the expense of market share, but the Impala's secret is unclear.

Chevrolet's new entry-level Aveo and the combination of new Malibu and old Malibu (renamed Classic for reporting purposes) added some 27,000 units to the Chevy brand between January and March. Altogether, Chevy car sales were 40,000 ahead of 2003.



With news like this...I'm tempted to say leave the Impala FWD, with a possible available AWD, and then, if Chevrolet really wants to, introduce a separate RWD sedan.
I say, the more options, the better. That way, more customers would be interested in GM products. However, they have to be careful towards the business side, because having 8 Chevy models and 0 profit doesn't work very good.
 
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