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I don't think the fate of the brands should be based on the latest products they offered. If so, Olds might have won out over every other GM brand. Long term brand positioning just didn't favor Olds. It's mission became "import fighter", the brand the Saturn buyers would ascend to. Right. That was a positively stupid assumption on GM's part. Oldsmobile, by name, was the epitome of "old school Americana". Even the "Old" in "Old"smobile stood out and created a stigma noticed by many younger people. Even without Oldsmobile, GM has more brands than they need for long-term success. Chevy is targeting the center of the market, Pontiac is doing the same, in perhaps a more European flavor than Chevy. Buick may go after the American-near-luxury in the ilk of Lincoln or Chrysler, freeing up Cadillac to move further upmarket with a contemporay lineup. Saab then covers near luxury in the Euro slant. That leaves Saturn in limbo, with little value other than appealing to those now loyal to the brand. It's madness. Where, oh where, would Olds have fit into this already-convoluted scheme? The costs of developing, distributing, and marketing products for redundant brands like Olds, Saturn, and even Pontiac take away from funds that could be used to bolster a very strong three-branded portfolio.

So, even if you liked the last Aurora or Intrigue, consider the money that would have been spent on their successors, and where else that money should be used.
 

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Keep Olds as the "step ahead" brand. Buick only appeals to a small segment of the market so give it a small (big-car) product line 
Yeah, it could have been either Olds or Buick that occupied the slot now had by Buick. But one had to go. Which one should have gone? Buick has been more "American" in flavor in recent years, and that's what they wanted the brand directly under Cadillac to project. Also, since the "Old" in the name Oldsmobile was, in fact, a stigma (I never saw it that way, but some did), then retaining the Buick name was probably the smarter choice.

But again, most would agree one of these brands had to go... if we kept Olds, we'd have lost Buick. Some "rocket scientists" might debate this, but Buick was always a stronger brand than Olds under the GM umbrella. Plus, as Olds had become an import-fighter in the last decade, the overlap with Pontiac, Saturn, and Chevy would have been too great. If Buick is done right, it won't overlap the other brands very much.
 

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I never said they were alike, in fact I noted differences. The sales figures in decades past may have favored Olds over Buick, much like Chevy exceeded Pontiac. Buick was higher on Sloan's "food chain" than Olds. More luxury, less volume. My point is, if one brand carried on, its new mission would not be to duplicate what it once was... but would instead be optimized based on GM's current brand positioning requirements. GM's trying to make Buick into a near-luxury marque with an American-statement. If Olds had survived instead of Buick, it would have had the same theme. But when you think back to the 50s and 60s, and recall the brand that best captures the essence of what GM's trying to do today, Buick is the best fit...more true to its heritage.

Look at it this way... considering what Chevy and Pontiac and Cadillac are and will be offering, does GM need something more like Park Ave or more like Aurora? I personally like Aurora more than Park Ave, but Park Ave touches on a segment that other brands are not covering (except DTS, which is essentially a Buick with a Cadillac badge). Buick's traditional American luxury is not in any other brand's portfolio. However, Olds' import-fighter theme is already in the stable. The next Bonneville and G6 will fit the mold of what the future Aurora and Intrigue would have been. At a time when Pontiac was boy-racer foolishness, Olds seemed to fit as a more mature offering. But given Pontiac's new mission, Olds had no purpose.
 

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Originally posted by ab348@Mar 10 2004, 10:44 PM
But I have been sorely disappointed by anything turned out by that division in recent years. In fact, before I bought my Intrigue I was actually wanting a Bonneville - until I got inside one and saw that dashboard, gimmicky controls, and upholstery. The new GP is even more of a disappointment with its boy-racer dash, JC Whitney exhaust tips, hard shiny black plastic inside surfaces, uninhabitable rear seat and Uglycloth (TM Regd.) seat fabric (thankfully since replaced). The G6 looks nice in the photos, but I'll wait for the real thing. Pontiac needs to grow up before I can consider them.
Yeah, I agree Pontiac is not there. I talked about Pontiac boy-racer foolishness as if it's a thing of the past, but in fact the current stuff still has that tackiness. Pulling the garish side moldings off is a single step in a multi-mile journey. But if the G6 reflects the half-way point, eventually Pontiac should be able to deliver the maturity that Olds products had started to embody.
 
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