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Yes, but like you pointed out, the D-segment in Europe is moving to a sort of premium class of car. Family-value-oriented products like Camry, Altima, and Malibu are sort of misfits in Europe: too big to be mainstream, too cheaply finished and equipped to be premium products. Not that nobody would buy them, but a Malibu would face an almost Sisyphus-like battle against Mondeo-Passat-Laguna...
It would, not because of "class" differences - the Accord also makes the Malibu outclassed on arrival, not only because of size difference. The Camroid or Malibu are not "too big" anymore compared to e.g. the new Mondeo, which is HUGE. Also, let's not overdramatize - the base Mondeo, 407 or even Passat are rather bang-for-you-buck family cars, there might be a push to shed the repwagen image, but it's not like they've become BMWs overnight (BMWs, Audis etc have also moved along btw). If GM put some real effort in the Malibu, G6 or Aura, they could just as well do fine outside of NA. I believe we will be seeing convergence in the global midsize market.

I didn't include it because they are all rebadged Opels,
One Saturn is a rebadged Opel, and one Opel is a rebadged Saturn. That's it.

t-rex of a cglobal-sized pickup said:
True, but wouldn't these be just as well served by Chevrolet?
Nope, read my post above to see why. Just in case this isn't clear - owning a pickup is not only something you do out of necessity here (I guess about 3 people in Northern and Western Europe would own them then), but about a lifestyle statement. And Chevrolet is where it should be in Europe - offering a slightly more acceptable alternative to Hyundai and Kia, not trying to devour other division's markets.

So you think the Pontiac brand would be welcomed in Europe?
Much more than any other American GM brand perhaps. A sporty car from a brand with legendary, if unclear credentials? You bet! PS. SEAT went sidetracked, so this is not a good example, but I guess the Alfa Romeo as it used to be (affordable and acceptable for daily use) is a good example.

—Eastern Europe (poorer nations) & Russia; mostly small cheap cars
Russia's best-selling cars include the Toyota Camry and Ford Focus (C1, not the strange thing haunting children in the USA), lo and behold, manufactured locally.

Anyhoo, I'll start posting what I believe should go to which brand below, based on the notion that in every market, the relative sales of individual models would be different, up to the point when a model is not on offer in a given market:
 

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CHEVROLET

Spark
Small city car in the mold of Toyota Aygo, Renault Twingo and Fiat Panda - a bit of everything, affordable, simple, using as much old tech one can recycle but in a reasonable package, roomy enough to serve as a four/five-seat "faimly car" in markets such as India.

Celta
Alternative to Spark - a car like the Fiat 178 Palio project, and close to where Dacia is heading. Use old componentry, but build a large-enough car for a family and keep things simple to make affordable in developing countries but up-to-date enough to allow sales in developed ones.

Vega, Viva, Nova
Supermini triplets (5-door, sedan, wagon) to replace the Aveo. The Aveo is dreadful enough to can the name once it goes belly up.

Vibe
Basically, the Vibe - a nicely packaged supermini-based minivan (based on the Vega, Viva, Nova), moved from Pontiac to where it belongs.

Cavalier
A decent affordable compact in a variety of bodystyles (sedan, hatch, wagon) in the mold of Kia Cee'd - good quality, astonishingly affordable, class-leading space (you can't do that with a 2600mm wheelbase, GM!)

Suburban
Suburban reborn as HHR replacement, after GM finally decides to let go off the mobilehome market. Looks like the HHR, is a compact minivan with unique styling, hitting the sweet spot as the halo car that actually can sell in volume, just bears the name it should.

Malibu
Midsize sedan and wagon big enough to rival both European and American competition, with focus on room and practicality rather than gimmicks and technology. More of a Mondeo than Passat or C5.

Impala
To be considered - a full-size FWD or RWD sedan for markets like North America and the Middle East. With the dwindling market for large cars and the push for premium, I am not sure if the market wouldn't be better served by Buick and Pontiac alone...

Montana
Supermini-based pickup, as-is mostly (see GM do Brasil)

Combo
Supermini-based LCV

Astro
A mid-sized LCV that can also double as a minivan in more passenger-oriented versions. Basically, a reenactment of the old Astro, but more like current Vivaro. Reliable business partner and an affordable people mover for larger families.

Colorado
Global-sized pickup, possibly gravitating towards unibody

Tracker
Small SUV, 5-door

Blazer
Larger SUV, 5-door, with actual 7-seating capability

Camaro
Halo car
 

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Also, let's not overdramatize - the base Mondeo, 407 or even Passat are rather bang-for-you-buck family cars, there might be a push to shed the repwagen image, but it's not like they've become BMWs overnight (BMWs, Audis etc have also moved along btw).
Hmmm. So much has changed since I last lived in Europe, and having no contacts there, I reckon I've relied too much on the motoring press! From what I've read, the Mondeo-Passat class in Europe is now perceived as sort of a "junior executive" class of car. So Laguna & Co. haven't shaken the "rep" image as much as the manufacturers would like eh? I'm glad you've shed light on this. It helps me see it from a proper perspective. Makes sense why Opel's shaking the "Vectra" tag...

Bravada said:
Much more than any other American GM brand perhaps. A sporty car from a brand with legendary, if unclear credentials? You bet! PS. SEAT went sidetracked, so this is not a good example, but I guess the Alfa Romeo as it used to be (affordable and acceptable for daily use) is a good example.
Alfa. SEAT. P'shaw! I envisioned "SEAT" for the low-end Pontiacs, sort of GM's Ibiza-Cordoba-Altea, graduating to RWD Alfaesque models. Maybe the Ibiza TDI impressed me too much! :D

Bravada said:
Russia's best-selling cars include the Toyota Camry and Ford Focus (C1, not the strange thing haunting children in the USA), lo and behold, manufactured locally.
The Toyota plant's up and running? I haven't been following progress, but last I read, and this was probably a year ago, was that the project was delayed. So the St. Petersburg plant opened on schedule last December? I must alert my trusty (well not lately) news source as to this! And add it to my database...

Also, I haven't been able to dig up any Russian sales figs since about 2005. Horrid Russian products were still dominating the market at that time, and the Koreans were making a good fist of it...

How are the Japanese doing overall in Eastern Europe?

Very interesting, and logical, Chevy lineup, btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I think the Malibu could do really well if GM made the interior a bit more upscaled. I believe, with this weak dollar, that they could even make a good profit if they maketed as a entry level executive car in Europe as has been mentioned. Maybe this doesn't work both ways, but when we used to have the Lumina, the premium trim on it was called something like "Euro" and I have seen the word "Euro" used for other premium trims on cars because Americans get this idea of leather, racetracks, and high reving engines. So maybe even with the name Malibu, it can give Europeans that idea of luxury since it's named after an affluent communitiy in Los Angeles County.

Seriously, they should have gave it a more premium interior like the Accord, I think it is possible to market it as a entry level executive car in other markets.
 

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I sincerely hope this is a joke. The non-premium executive car market is long dead in Europe, in many ways replaced by the ever-growing large family cars. The Malibu has neither the refinement, technology, quality or looks to compete with the likes of even the Pug 607. If it at least had a rear armrest, we could talk Hyundai Sonata...
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
I sincerely hope this is a joke. The non-premium executive car market is long dead in Europe, in many ways replaced by the ever-growing large family cars. The Malibu has neither the refinement, technology, quality or looks to compete with the likes of even the Pug 607. If it at least had a rear armrest, we could talk Hyundai Sonata...









Observe these cars, the Peugeot 607, the Opel Vectra, the Honda Accord Euro, the Ford Mondeo, and the Chevrolet Malibu. That Malibu looks quite good. If you added rear projection beam headlamps, a little more pizazz to the dash, and your armrest to the rear, I think it would be a good contender.
 

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Against midsizers - yes. Against executive cars - not so much. I don't see Audi A6 running away screaming seeing a Malibu...

Also, the Malibu nose, as posted, is a viable competitor. The hunchbacked, fatso silhouette with slab sides, and the strange rear end - not so much. And, as mentioned, the interior needs lotsa work... I am not saying the car is not good - it is, but it wouldn't do much more than the Epica currently can.



PS. If they sold the Malibu here, I'd buy one. But I don't think that many people would - remember the "Chevrolet Alero"?
 

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Vega, Viva, Nova
Supermini triplets (5-door, sedan, wagon) to replace the Aveo. The Aveo is dreadful enough to can the name once it goes belly up.
The Vega was dreadful enough to never have that name rise from the grave. Chevy Viva is alright, and reviving the Nova name may be alright, but the name "Vega" is the kiss of death.
 

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The Vega was dreadful enough to never have that name rise from the grave. Chevy Viva is alright, and reviving the Nova name may be alright, but the name "Vega" is the kiss of death.
The Vega wasn't exported (thankfully) so GM could sell something called Vega globally with no bad image to overcome.

If you forget the crappy rustbucket that bore the name, it's actually quite a good name for a car. Fits well with "Nova" (another fave of mine!). If GM produced a global "Chevy Vega" they would simply give it a new name for North America. I mean if you look at the European Daewoovolets, the Captiva is the only GMDAT product that has the same name in every market. There's either Spark or Matiz, Rezzo or Tacuma, and Aveo or Kalos (and in some cases, both). The Lacetti name is universal in Europe, but in some markets the sedan (and in a handful of cases, just the wagon) are Nubira. The Epica is Epica everywhere in Europe except Iceland, where it's the Tosca. Hopefully as the GMDAT products are replaced, a uniform naming scheme will be introduced.
:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Against midsizers - yes. Against executive cars - not so much. I don't see Audi A6 running away screaming seeing a Malibu...

Also, the Malibu nose, as posted, is a viable competitor. The hunchbacked, fatso silhouette with slab sides, and the strange rear end - not so much. And, as mentioned, the interior needs lotsa work... I am not saying the car is not good - it is, but it wouldn't do much more than the Epica currently can.



PS. If they sold the Malibu here, I'd buy one. But I don't think that many people would - remember the "Chevrolet Alero"?
I actually like the rear of the Malibu. Well the Chevrolet Alero might not be a five star auto, U.S. has had its fair share of not-so-good autos too. We too had the Alero, of course, and a horrid Buick line up of 4 lame look-alike sedans. GM is managing to make the Enclave hott and the Malibu a worthy contender, I see plenty of both on the road. (But I see more 2008 Honda Accords.)

Also I mean for the Malibu to be more of a family sedan with a little more icing on the cake in Europe. A poor man's Audi A6 or BMW 5-Series, something with leather seats, a navigation system, and a direct injection V6 borrowed from the CTS. If it could do as well as the Epica, then great!

The reason I would want a global line-up with brands is to cut down on costs, wouldn't it be cheaper to just design one car? Also you wouldn't have, "Why do they get that?!" Prime examples of that right now is the Ford Mondeo, Ford Focus Europe, Chevrolet Captiva, Buick LaCrosse, Buick Park Avenue, and Ford Falcon. I don't know of any Europeans complaining about the states getting a car they don't have though.

Another car I think GM should consider is a Chevrolet Express replacement. Do something like the Mercedes/Dodge Sprinter perhaps since gas will only go up.
 

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Another car I think GM should consider is a Chevrolet Express replacement. Do something like the Mercedes/Dodge Sprinter perhaps since gas will only go up.


Just a bit of Carlos Ghosn schmoozing is required... Renault not only owns the design, but also has been using the "Express" name to denote the delivery versions of their vans for some time...

A poor man's Audi A6 or BMW 5-Series
The Malibu is a poor man's Mondeo now, so still a lot of work to do :/ I believe the Malibu should be everyman's better choice than the Sonata, Magentis and perhaps Mondeo and Passat. Leave the BMW/Audi area to other brands.

The Epica is Epica everywhere in Europe except Iceland, where it's the Tosca.
Lucky Icelanders! Their Chevrolet marketing department has brains...

The Vega wasn't exported (thankfully) so GM could sell something called Vega globally with no bad image to overcome.
Actually, the Vega gets a worse rap than it deserves. And it certainly WAS exported, though nobody wanted it, like most American cars of that period, especially the non-luxury ones. It was still a very popular car in its time (in North America), and it got rather positive reviews (before reliability concerns surfaced, but then again which American car of that time was even remotely close to reliable and rustproof?), not to mention it was a good-looking car.

Chrysler revived the Aspen name (though not as a Dodge), despite the less-than-perfect reputation of the car (a looker too, all other things aside), so I think GM can now resurrect the Vega.
 

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And the Camaro will succeed as the premium coupe that Chevy is propping it up to be? Any Chevrolet purist would say what Chevrolet is doing to that nameplate, what was originally a working man's car is turning into young urban professional's next car that he cross-shops with a BMW 3-Series, is not the greatest thing since sliced bread..
I dont think that Chevy ever said that the Camaro will be a premium coupe. I am a Chevy purist, and Im not saying that. Why would anyone say that? I dont see where you are getting that idea at all. Clearly the Camaro will be priced along with its "working class" competition, and if takes a few BMW guys or gals away from a 3 series coupe, then so be it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I dont think that Chevy ever said that the Camaro will be a premium coupe. I am a Chevy purist, and Im not saying that. Why would anyone say that? I dont see where you are getting that idea at all. Clearly the Camaro will be priced along with its "working class" competition, and if takes a few BMW guys or gals away from a 3 series coupe, then so be it.
So you haven't heard of the talk of it being a premium coupe from GM?

And for the other discussion of the name "Vega," I don't particularly care for it. Just the name its self. And Chevrolet could name the European van something else I guess in Europe since it has already been taken, perhaps Expressvan, lol.
 
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