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· Registered
2,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, I don't even know how large this company is, I can't understand the debt that they have accumulated, or issues that they see and I don't, but my suggestion is as followed.

Chevy needs to cut down on the redundancy. The Malibu and Impala are almost the same size, and thats all well and fine, but GM should really look into a Malibu XL. Come 2010, I expect to see a Cruze for sale, and I hope that it is unbelievably better than the Cobalt, Corolla, Elantra, and Civic. GM needs this, and it can't be procrastinated. The Aveo is going to be a major player and needs to be top notch in the coming years, the Honda Fit was just introduced, and that should at least be the benchmark, better yet, I want GM to surpass that benchmark and run the Fit into the ground. The HHR is an excellent idea, although I would like it to take a more modern direction, or perhaps see another version in a different brand. The Trailblazer needs to be discontinued, as does the Yukon (regular and XL versions). I also believe that the Equinox and Colorado should be SUV-Pickup twins as the S-10 and Blazer of long ago were. This should cut down on cost and a Colorado shouldn't need to be body-on-frame based.
That leaves the:
Malibu (with an extended version)

Next up, Pontiac. I believe that Pontiac is essential to GM because of its strong heritage, and its loyal customer base. While the brand may have been referred to as “damaged” it still continues to sell more vehicles than Buick and Saturn, even excluding fleet sales. Had Pontiac been given the extensive and quality makeover that Saturn had received, it would be top notch. As the new CAFE scores become more and more strict, a fully RWD brand just isn’t going to cut it for Pontiac. Also add in the fact that its development dollars that GM just doesn’t have to spend, and won’t have to spend for several years. Pontiac needs a Cruze variant, but its not going to be as simple as slapping a different grill on the Cobalt, they need to make changes. One of the things that Pontiac should incorporate is the dash covering on the G8, I believe its rubber, and its modern and relatively inexpensive. This would create a lineup of:

Corsa (Opel product)
Astra-(Formerly Saturn Astra and based on Chevy Cruze, with Pontiac styling) - Also replaces the Vibe
Grand Prix (G6) FWD, with Saab XWD offered
Bonneville (Formerly G8) Stays RWD

Buick is another very important brand in the GM stable. The brand is priceless in China, and to close down the American brand in North America would be interesting to say the least. This brand also has a good amount of heritage that should be drawn on, this is GM’s Acura, or Lexus. The Pontiac-Buick dealerships operate out of two arms, Pontiac handles smaller, sporty cars, while Buick handles more traditional, luxurious vehicles. Buick wouldn’t get a sedan on Delta II, it is redundant and isn’t necessary. We aren’t in ’82 anymore and the market share is going to go down a lot faster than it will go up. This leaves Buick with an envisioned lineup of:

Invicta: Similar wheelbase to Malibu XL.
LeSabre: Sedan built on Theta platform, available AWD.
Rendezvous: Pontiac Torrent/GMC Terrain-with Enclave styling cues.
Enclave: The other Lambda Crossover (1 of 2)

And last, but not least, Cadillac. The probability of Cadillac disappearing is about the same as Chevy disappearing, well actually if one goes, they all go. This brand is GM’s flagship, and a few variants of the CTS aren’t going to push GM that far. While the current CTS has turned more than a few heads, Cadillac really doesn’t have much else going for it. The Escalade isn’t the answer, another crossover isn’t the answer, a smaller car and a flagship are. This would predictably give Cadillac a lineup like:

BTS/BTC/BRX: 3-Series Sized for 1 Series money, ok, bad example. This car rides on a shortened Sigma-Zeta hybrid platform and benchmarks the G37 and the 3 Series.
CTS/CTS/CTW/CRX:5 Series car for 3 series money. Regular wheelbase Sigma-zeta platform.
DTS/DTC: 7 Series car for 5 series money. XL Zeta and packed with creature comforts, this is GM’s other flagship car, the original being the Corvette.
ETS(Escalade Touring SUV) On Lambda, all blinged out.

(DTC takes place of XLR, for less money)

The brands that I felt weren’t or weren’t going to cut it in the future consisted of:
Saab (Possibly)

Hummer is nearly worthless, hopefully some fool will buy it, but GM will most likely shut it down. Saturn is simply the money pit that GM doesn’t need. It is rumored that Alfa Romeo is returning to the U.S. in 2010, which means that they will need dealerships. I believe that GM could sell Saturn dealerships, as well as the Saturn brand to Alfa Romeo at a reasonable cost, so that A/R can jumpstart its automobiles in North America, and GM can offload Saturn and its dealerships. GMC could handle commercial trucks, or be sold off as well. And Saab may or may not be worth it to GM. If it were to stay, I would pair it with Cadillac as the FWD side of luxury. It would be a pairing similar to the Nissan-Infiniti relationship.

So there you have it, if I was handed the keys to the Ren-Cen and given permission to do what I believed would set this company on the right track, this is what I would do. What say you?

· Registered
1,988 Posts
It's gone beyond a survival plan IMO. The bleeding is about to get alot worse as the US economy is in a tailspin. Eventually, divisions will have to be sold off or boarded up. The company will have to stick with what is profitable if they want to make it another 10 years. Though there is alot of hope riding on models like the Volt etc, but GM isn't reinventing the wheel here. One model won't upright this sinking ship.

· Registered
17,551 Posts
GM is in "extreme survival mode". Make no mistake - the G3 came about not because GM wanted to spite us, but because they are in the state of extreme panic. They can't afford any radical moves, such as cutting and reshuffling brands.

As concerns the US (which is only one of GM's markets and GM should not be viewed as an American automaker alone), there are a few moves they could do:

1) Introduce new conditions for dealers as outlined in another thread

2) Let BPG dealers carry selected Chevrolets, and Chevrolet dealers carry selected BPGs

3) Make Saturn dealers carry selected models from other GM brands

4) Create a model for Cadillac-Hummer-Saab stores and make sure all locations implement it and carry all three brands, while having separate showroom and service area from CHS from any other brands they might carry.

They should also can the small Cadillac development project (it will flop - remember, you read it here first!) and, if the Alpha survives at all, give and Alpha to Pontiac.

If GM had started that before, they could have:

1) introduced the small Pontiac ("Wave" sounds better than "G3" and would fit in with "Vibe") as the hatchback, and Aveo as only the sedan version of the T250, both sold in almost all GM outlets.

2) Spared us to two of four Lambdas

3) Have up to two Epsilons less to develop

· Registered
6,238 Posts
GM is in "extreme survival mode".
Unfortunately, yes.

It looks increasing like anything new beyond the Volt/Eflex and the Cadillac Alpha is simply not going to happen. Pragmatically, everything is going to be evolved versions of existing models and rebadges.

2) Let BPG dealers carry selected Chevrolets, and Chevrolet dealers carry selected BPGs

3) Make Saturn dealers carry selected models from other GM brands
The most logical thing to do would be to completely eliminate these differences and just merge all their brands into a single channel:

Chevy Beat
Chevy Aveo
Chevy Cobolt
Saturn Vibe
Saturn Cruze

Chevy Volt

Chevy Malibu
Pontiac G6 (coupe/convertible only)
Buick LaCrosse

Chevy Impala (fleet)
Pontiac G8
Buick Lucerne (existing)

Pontiac Sky
Chevy Camaro
Chevy Corvette

Chevy Trax
Chevy HHR/Orlando
Saturn Vue
Chevy Traverse
Buick Enclave
Chevy Tahoe
GMC Yukon Denali

Chevy Avalanche
Chevy Silverado
GMC Sierra Denali

W'alla - all brands survive without much duplication.

· Registered
6,238 Posts
Cannot disagree, though I would give Chevrolet the Cruze, and Pontiac the Astra. The Volt could go to some other brand, or just be "GM Volt".
My thinking was that Saturn should go back to premium small cars (Astra, Vibe, Vue only, maybe an eFlex later). While Pontiac should have nothing but sporty cars (Solstice, G6 Coupe, G8).

A FWD G6 Coupe isn't exactly what the enthusiasts want, but could be a good competitor for the Accord and Altima coupes, and wouldn't cost much to develop.

· Registered
2,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't see the reasoning behind getting rid of the Impala which so far this year has sold in pretty large numbers! Do you have any stats for the number of Impalas sold?
I am with you, in the line of thinking that cutting high volume vehicles is absolutely ridiculous. Unless GM was loosing money on the vehicle, it shouldn't be cut. The Solstice and Sky, while are nice vehicles, I believe they should go on hiatus until GM can build them better, and build them profitably. But lets face the facts, a big reason that I think the Impala should be cut is because of its aged platform. It debuted in '82, while the actual name W-Body was created in '88-or so I've heard. If thats the case, GM has a vehicle riding on a 26 year old platform and its sucking up money. Not because they have to pay extra to keep it around, but because Epsilon II is coming and is almost the same size, so it would be pointless to have two similar sized vehicles being sold size by size - Altima vs. Maxima (at least until recently).
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