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Michael Grimaldi, president of GM Canada
By Michael Vaughan
Globeandmail.com

Michael Grimaldi, 51, has been president of General Motors of Canada since Jan. 1, 2002.

Vaughan: I know you have to have compacts and subcompacts because they are nearly 40 per cent of the market in Canada, but I went into the Chevy dealer and the place was full of Daewoos -- Aveos, Epicas and Optras. What's with this? If I wanted Korean cars I'd go to Hyundai or Kia.

Grimaldi: Michael, you and I both know that GM's dealers have more new product offerings than any other automotive manufacturer. I am pleased that you noticed our new Chevrolets -- the Aveo, Epica and Optra in our Chevy showrooms, but don't overlook the all-new Malibu, Colorado pickup and Equinox sport utility. We've got the strongest lineup of new Chevrolets from small cars to trucks in a long time. And unlike our foreign competitors, all our vehicles are backed by the largest, most extensive, highly skilled dealer network across Canada.

Vaughan: How long are you committed to badging Daewoos as Chevrolets? Are you just ragging the puck until the new Cavalier replacement -- the Cobalt -- arrives?

Grimaldi: These new models are part of an extensive product strategy to revitalize the entire Chevrolet lineup. We are focused on growing our sales and market share and each of these models, from the stylish Aveo to the innovative SSR, are necessary to attract new customers to GM. We will continue to leverage our global resources to provide a wide array of exciting vehicles to choose from. The all-new 2005 Cobalt will be another important addition to our small-car portfolio.

Vaughan: And while we're talking about Chevy -- isn't the Silverado pickup getting a little long in the tooth. The new Ford F Series has arrived, there are new Toyota and Nissan pickups, so when are we going to see a new Chevy and what's going to distinguish it from strong, new competition?

Grimaldi: I think you meant to say that the Silverado is getting longer in the cab with the recently released new hot-selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 Series Crew Cab. GM is the industry leader in trucks and the others are playing catch-up. GM will continue to introduce industry firsts, new models and features to keep our full-size truck portfolio fresh. Features like OnStar, Quadrasteer, hybrid powertrains, better performance engines and the unique Avalanche model are a few examples. Beyond that, you will just have to wait and see what we have in store!


Full Article Here

 

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There is no doubt all the Daewoos will take away from the Cobalt and Malibu to some extent. I don't suspect they will take a lot away, but there is a group of people looking for the Korean type value.
 

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"...Grimaldi: I think you meant to say that the Silverado is getting longer in the cab with the recently released new hot-selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 Series Crew Cab."

Good response; I like feisty. I may be alone in thinking that, while the oldest vehicle in its class, the Silverado is still a powerhouse and hardly last place in many respects in the FS pickup market. The new Toyota and Nissan combined are beat in the sales race with the aging Silverado by a margin of 1:4 in the US (I'm unclear of their fortunes in Canada).

Sure, it would be nice to see a Cheyenne-based Silverado sooner than later, but I still think the Silverado is way competitive, and 100's of thousands of North American consumers per year seem to agree.
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Apr 26 2004, 12:49 AM
Vaughan: I know you have to have compacts and subcompacts because they are nearly 40 per cent of the market in Canada, but I went into the Chevy dealer and the place was full of Daewoos -- Aveos, Epicas and Optras. What's with this? If I wanted Korean cars I'd go to Hyundai or Kia.
what a riduculous statement! that's the problem... people who wanted a korean-type vehicle had to go to korea for one before. now GM offers an alternative! this guy is a knob... good on GM for bringing in customers that wouldn't consider GM before. as he states himself it's 40% of the market! ford only has one vehicle in that market. as does chrysler. this guy is a joke.
 

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umm... who was asking for korean cars?
 

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Originally posted by mackingu@Apr 26 2004, 04:50 PM
umm... who was asking for korean cars?
oh come on. you don't have to like them... but look at the number of cars hyundai and kia sell each year in north america. with 50 brands and 1000 models GM should cover every market, but they still have some holes. and they filled some at the low end with these korean cars. not everyone wants a V8, rwd sports car. so if GM can siphon off some low-end korean sales, good for them. brings in cash to build that V8, rwd sports car.
 

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Originally posted by paul8488+Apr 26 2004, 05:49 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (paul8488 @ Apr 26 2004, 05:49 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-mackingu@Apr 26 2004, 04:50 PM
umm... who was asking for korean cars?
oh come on. you don't have to like them... but look at the number of cars hyundai and kia sell each year in north america. with 50 brands and 1000 models GM should cover every market, but they still have some holes. and they filled some at the low end with these korean cars. not everyone wants a V8, rwd sports car. so if GM can siphon off some low-end korean sales, good for them. brings in cash to build that V8, rwd sports car. [/b][/quote]
fact is, whether or not these cars were/are needed to fill gaps in GM's lineup, no one said, "use korean cars." right now, i can buy a sunfire for less than a new aveo. this isn't about liking korean cars, my questions was simple: who knowingly wants to buy a korean car? hyundai/kia sell well because they're cheap - and what do 'ya know, GM has plenty of cheap cars already without having to import anything. not trying to argue, just stating a fact.
 

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As for the Silverado it is a very nice truck but has a nineties interior and skimpy torque on it's 1500 models with the 5.3, which is the top of the line engine. I think those are the drawbacks people are reffereing to.Would love to see Chevy offer the 6 liter as an option on the lower 1500 models.
 

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I have one of those Korean Chev's, an Optra5. Fact is its the only hatch GM has in that price range. My optra has power everything and a sunroof a vibe of the same price would have been a base with little or no options. As for rebadgeing cars GM has done is this for years with Tracker etc, how this this any different?
 

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Originally posted by Optra bob@Apr 28 2004, 11:19 PM
I have one of those Korean Chev's, an Optra5. Fact is its the only hatch GM has in that price range. My optra has power everything and a sunroof a vibe of the same price would have been a base with little or no options. As for rebadgeing cars GM has done is this for years with Tracker etc, how this this any different?
It shouldn't be, and with Hyundai beating Toyota quality in yesterday's survey, people have to tone down the "Korean crud" argument. It's out of date.

I think GM made a good choice by making the Optra 5 available in Canada.

Now I think they need to give it to Pontiac in the US as a replacement for the Sunfire - one slot above the Aveo, so Pontiac will still be "above" Chevy, and GM won't have 3 Delta clones (ION, Cobalt, Pursuit).
 

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Originally posted by Ming+Apr 29 2004, 01:52 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Ming @ Apr 29 2004, 01:52 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Optra bob@Apr 28 2004, 11:19 PM
I have one of those Korean Chev's, an Optra5.  Fact is its the only hatch GM has in that price range.  My optra has power everything and a sunroof a vibe of the same price would have been a base with little or no options.  As for rebadgeing cars GM has done is this for years with Tracker etc, how this this any different?
It shouldn't be, and with Hyundai beating Toyota quality in yesterday's survey, people have to tone down the "Korean crud" argument. It's out of date.

I think GM made a good choice by making the Optra 5 available in Canada.

Now I think they need to give it to Pontiac in the US as a replacement for the Sunfire - one slot above the Aveo, so Pontiac will still be "above" Chevy, and GM won't have 3 Delta clones (ION, Cobalt, Pursuit). [/b][/quote]
but the powertrain options are a steaming pile of monkey poop. if the optra wants to compete with the big boys, but at a lower pricepoint, give the consumer the luxury of opting for a better engine, a.k.a. the 2.2L ECOTEC. it's readily available, and they already produce a gazillion of them, and the dimmensions of the 2.0L in the optra are similar to the ECOTEC, so i say, shove in an ECOTEC
 

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As someone who works in corporate communications, it pains me to see such obvious GM marketing copy posing as an article! In all likelyhood, the writer emailed his questions and a GM communications person wrote the answers, with final approval from Grimaldi.

It doesn't make the points any less accurate, but perhaps they should have been a little more subtle than:

"I think you meant to say that the Silverado is getting longer in the cab with the recently released new hot-selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 Series Crew Cab."

If not, I suspect GM Canada's president may have a lot of plaid jackets in his wardrobe!

I think I might have been more impresses if Grimaldi had offered a bit more insight into GM's global strategy -- the fact that it managed to gain Daewoo for a song, and that, combined with GM's partnership with Suzuki, it is building a fairly strong strategy for competing in the low-cost, small car market -- a key one in Canada.

Instead, he (or his PR people) simply offered brochure copy, missing the opportunity to tell the world the GM is thinking a lot more like a smaller, leaner company these days -- a far more interesting story in my view.
 

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I don't see any need for a 2.2l option in the Optra. The 2.0 should beable it be turned up to similar HP and footpounds. I like the optra's auto way better then the sunfires/cav's. One thing I really like about the 2.0l you can change the oil without feeding oilfilter back over the exhaust or pulling the front wheel off.
 
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