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Oldsmobile dealers ready to bury nation's oldest auto brand
By John Porretto / AP Auto Writer

LAS VEGAS -- No one’s wearing a sandwich board with an ominous message, but for hundreds of Oldsmobile dealers attending their industry’s annual convention, there’s no denying reality: The end is near.

“It’s time to get on with the burial,” said Gary Wight, who has sold Oldsmobiles, the oldest automotive brand name in U.S. history, for 30 years. “It’s sad and it’s done and it’s not going to change. Oldsmobile is a wonderful memory, but there’s nothing in the windshield. It’s all in the rearview mirror.”

General Motors Corp. announced in December 2000 it would end production of the struggling Oldsmobile line with the 2004 model year. The company already has stopped making the Intrigue, Aurora and, in the past week, the Bravada sport utility vehicle. That leaves only two models -- the Alero passenger car and Silhouette minivan.

Darwin Clark, GM’s vice president of industry-dealer affairs, said a final date to end production has not been set, but business likely will continue through part of 2005.

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It's a sad, sad day indeed. I'll miss the Aurora, one of my favourite GM cars. :angry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Darwin Clark, GM’s vice president of industry-dealer affairs, said a final date to end production has not been set, but business likely will continue through part of 2005.
:huh: Huh? Does that mean there will be '05 Oldsmobiles? I thought '04 was the end of the line.

Some commentary...

When it comes to the end of Oldsmobile, there are those in the "Well, finally!" column and those in the "Say it isn't so!" column. I officially fall into the latter, (which means that I am very unhappy with demise of Oldsmobile, not that I fall into ladders).

Oldsmobile was just--just--hitting its stride when GM announced that it was getting the axe. The line of Oldsmobiles that included the Alero, Intrigue, Aurora, Bravada, and Silhoette was, IMO, one of the most promising and certainly the most consistent line GM had to offer in its day. The V8 Aurora is one of my favorite modern GM cars, period.

I think Wagoner and Co. might have jumped the gun. Had GM not announced the end of Oldsmobile and allowed the new product line to realize its potential, Oldsmobile would likely have been able to not only sustain itself and turn a nice profit, but would have also had the potential of becoming a real import fighter among mid-range imports. Something that Buick doesn't look poised to accomplish.

Most importantly--although perhaps least practically--the end of this great marque wouldn't have come so tragically and pathetically.

There is no "blaze of glory" exit for Oldsmobile. Rather, we are constantly reminded that GM is killing America's oldest auto brand because it's such a loser. This is further exacerbated by indignities like being reduced to basically a fleet brand, dismal sales, and lawsuits by Olds dealers.

Now, it's too late. The wad was shot when the announcement to kill Oldsmobile was made. Even if GM was interested in keeping or reviving the name to take advantage of its huge name recognition, they have infused it forever with the image of a loser.

Oldsmobile, meet Studebaker. <_<
 

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Oldsmobile builds high-quality, attractive autos (e.g., Aurora, Intrigue); it's sad to see America's oldest car company put to rest. Then again, maybe now GM can focus its finite resources on its remaining eight(!) divisions.
 

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Take the time and read this:

http://www.musclecarclub.com/musclecars/ol...2-history.shtml

Ok, aurora and intrigue were VERY nice cars, probably the best large sedans offered by GM, but look what they used to make in the past!

aurora is now replaced by the bonneville gxp!
the shilouette minivan is now replaced by a buick minivan! Please, the olds cars did better the job than those two!
Why do they have to invest $$ in rebadging one car all over the (wrong) place and can't justify keeping a great brand alive. What car replaces the intrigue????
Is GM going to create a new brand (like it did with saturn), a south-corean fighter maybe??
 

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Yeah...sad.

Seems that GM lost focus (or wanted to re-direct focus elsewhere) in Olds. The Aurora was just beginning to come around though. With alittle more styling re-touches, it really could've been a contender among the near-lux class. I've started to see more Olds Aurora styling/concepts being used in other GM cars.
 

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How will GM compensate the dealers who have franchises for this line? Will they exchange them for one of the existing brands? What will happen to the dealerships that only sold Oldmobile; are they out of business?
 

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Originally posted by jaywestfall@Feb 2 2004, 05:25 PM
How will GM compensate the dealers who have franchises for this line?  Will they exchange them for one of the existing brands?  What will happen to the dealerships that only sold Oldmobile; are they out of business?
Good question. I know the former Caddy-Olds dealership in my hometown is now a Caddy-KIA-Subaru dealership... So sad that KIA slipped in there :(

Crabtree dealership
 

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Originally posted by johnd89@Feb 2 2004, 06:28 PM
so the same dealer sells kia and caddy!!!
that is beyond sick :blink:
not only that, but they put Caddys and Kias in the SAME SHOWROOM! and then they give Subaru their own showroom! Very sad...
 

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I'm sure that nearly all of the Olds dealers have already signed their deals to get out of their franchises. A local Olds dealer picked up the nearby Subaru franchise (from one of the first Subaru dealers in the country)...and a Hummer dealership (not sure which one was part of the deal in losing Oldsmobile).

The final Oldsmobiles are in (or will be shortly) production. The last 500 of each remaining model (Alero, Bravada, and Silhouette) will be the same commemerative color. And there won't be any 2005 models.
 

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Originally posted by markform@Feb 2 2004, 03:07 PM
What happened?  I think new customers stopped coming into the brand because Olds dropped the ball with the Cutlass.  Back in the 70's the Cutlass was the #1 car for 30 somethings.  The reason was simple - it's a stylish, powerful car that was reasonably affordable.  Olds grew, because these buyers either bought another Cutlass, or moved up to 88/98/Toronado.  For several years, Cutlass was THE #1 most popular car - sold more than any Ford or Chevy.
My dad had an '83 Cutlass when I was growing up (and later, an '88 Ninety-Eight Regency that was the one of the nicest cars I'd ever ridden in up to that time).

He let me use his Cutlass on a date one time, and I still remember thinking I was all that. It was such a nice car.

That '83 Cutlass was a far, FAR, cry from the Malibu-based atrocity that passed for a Cutlass after '97. Very sad.

You talk about dropping the ball, they threw it down. In fact, this particular ball was thrown down with such great force that it penetrated six feet under. (<= That's supposed to be a clever analogy of the death of Oldsmobile. I think I deserve a prize.) :rolleyes:
 

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why didnt they kill buick, oldsmobile had a much more relevent future at least in my mind. buick will remain at least for teh forseeable future a boring crappy company, the olds styling was so nice espcially teh aurora it was very relevant , its sad there will never be another 442 one of my favorite cars.
 

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humm, please live buick alone-hehe-
jus because they dragged it in the mud lately (like almost everything) dosen't mean it's boring...
before the '70's, having a roadmaster meant you were on the top of the world;
the muscle car era was marked by the gsx, and in the crappy eighties, the modern musclecar, the outragious GN. You can safely say that after '87 it went only downhill, both brands.
pointing fingers at other brands wich deserved the axe is just as bad.

any olds fan, please go to the nearest saturn dealer and buy something there, anything :p
 

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yeah, I see that transition working.

Hmm, no more Aurora? Well, yeah, that Ion looks about as nice.........

Olds represented history and a future for GM. The line of the models was more contemporary looking as a whole, than any other GM line, IMO. Not gaudy, nor too boring. Elegant and stylish with a clean purposeful design. I think all them models would have had great potential with GM Performance versions.

Olds, by many, you will be missed.
 

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what gm needs to do though, is bring back the olds name wiht cars like plymouth prowlers and the such from time to time. this would restore its legacy, excite olds diehards, and boost sales. i have a hunch that it was GM will do.
 

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This actually hurt more than Plymouth, and that one smarted. It did seem like Olds was killed just as its demographics were improving and its identity was beginning to gel. To be honest, I think the brand died because it couldn't overcome the 1-2 punch of being an older person's car that happened to have the word "old" in the name. Nobody mentions that, but I think it played an important psychological role in discouraging GM.


Oh well, Olds gave us some classics...


Runabout- the FIRST mass-produced American car

Jetfire- The first turbo-charged mass produced car in America

Toronado- Revolutionized traction and handling with front wheel drive

442- Classiest musclecar of its era

Aurora- An important early step toward building today's import-fighting GM

The "Nailhead" and aluminum "Fireball V8." Oddly, variants of the latter went on to power an F1 world champion, Land Rovers, TVRs, Morgans, and assorted others.
 

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Originally posted by bradlemp@Feb 2 2004, 09:31 PM
what gm needs to do though, is bring back the olds name wiht cars like plymouth prowlers and the such from time to time. this would restore its legacy, excite olds diehards, and boost sales. i have a hunch that it was GM will do.
Wasn't the Prowler rebadged as a Chrysler though after Plymouth disappeared?
 

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Originally posted by coolcaddy+Feb 2 2004, 08:17 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (coolcaddy @ Feb 2 2004, 08:17 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-markform@Feb 2 2004, 03:07 PM
What happened?  I think new customers stopped coming into the brand because Olds dropped the ball with the Cutlass.  Back in the 70's the Cutlass was the #1 car for 30 somethings.  The reason was simple - it's a stylish, powerful car that was reasonably affordable.  Olds grew, because these buyers either bought another Cutlass, or moved up to 88/98/Toronado.  For several years, Cutlass was THE #1 most popular car - sold more than any Ford or Chevy.
My dad had an '83 Cutlass when I was growing up (and later, an '88 Ninety-Eight Regency that was the one of the nicest cars I'd ever ridden in up to that time).

He let me use his Cutlass on a date one time, and I still remember thinking I was all that. It was such a nice car.

That '83 Cutlass was a far, FAR, cry from the Malibu-based atrocity that passed for a Cutlass after '97. Very sad.

You talk about dropping the ball, they threw it down. In fact, this particular ball was thrown down with such great force that it penetrated six feet under. (<= That's supposed to be a clever analogy of the death of Oldsmobile. I think I deserve a prize.) :rolleyes: [/b][/quote]
"You talk about dropping the ball, they threw it down. In fact, this particular ball was thrown down with such great force that it penetrated six feet under. (<= That's supposed to be a clever analogy of the death of Oldsmobile. I think I deserve a prize.) "

That's excellent, and you do deserve a prize. How 'bout a brandy new Kia Optima from cyboexpo2002's nearby Kia (nee Oldsmobile) dealership. Come on, it's got a 7 year/100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty! :p
 
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