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Big Three. Could They Comeback All The Way??

I have this theory on the automotive industry, and no I am not an analyst, nor do I work in the auto industry, but yes, I do study the industry very much so. As everyone who knows anything knows that right now are tough times for the industry; markets are down, war, and the imports. Since about 1985 imports have slowly gotten more and more market share, while the Big Three are quickly losing market share. They managed to do that because they learned from their enemies. When Ford first introduced the Taurus in 1986 all the other companies and the consumers were very astonished by its aero design and great performance. Since everyone was so amazed by that car Toyota decided that they needed some of the attention that the Taurus was getting, so they had an employee in the states go and buy a Taurus. Toyota then had it shipped to Japan and they did a “strip-down” on the whole car. That is basically the start of the “cab-forward” design.
As you know the Big Three are kind of gaining on the market now, with the exception of DCX. But I look for a major comeback to come around 2008-2010. I believe that because no matter how much you deny it, the American’s style of choice for the automobile is changing. Just look at some of the future designs and plans that the Big Three have; RWD V8 sedans, and hard-core performance sport coupes. Here are some examples: GM is planning to redesign a large majority of it’s sedans to RWD V8’s. DCX is also planning such vehicles, the Dodge Magma and Chrysler 300C. The reason I think this will put the Big Three way back at the top is the fact that the Japanese companies do not have any experience in building big RWD V8 sedans and V8 coupes. They have always built 4-cylinders and V6’s in cars and coupes, since Japan is all about economy cars.
I know what you are probably thinking: well the Japanese companies can just do what they did in the 80’s; buy some Big Three cars and strip them. Well, it won’t work this time, because RWD V8’s are Big Three territory. Ever since the 50’s-before the Japanese can to the states, RWD’s were the American choice vehicle, which is going to happen again. As of now I can’t think of any Japanese company every putting a V8 into a sedan.
Hopefully this would be the deal in the future, but there is no guarantee. You have to admit; this is what is in store for the future. I have one more thing to say: I want to see a Japanese company attempt to design and make a RWD V8 sedan without using a Big Three car for a study. You know, that will probably never happen either…

Histoy does repeat itself

And yes, I kno Toyota has Lexus and Honda has Acura
 

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RWD may well be the future for sedans, but forget the V8s. Yes, there will be V8 options, but with fuel economy requirements, the bulk of those RWD sedans will have 4 or 6-cylinder engines. After being virtually ignored for so long, the V6 is starting to become a serious contender in the peformance/fuel economy battle. Modern designs give you the fuel economy of a four-banger with the torque that only a good V-engine can provide.

I agree that the "big three" are going to retake much of their lost ground in the next few years, largely thanks to a shift over to RWD. RWD is fundamentally more enjoyable for most people to drive, even if those people don't really understand the reasons behind it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Originally posted by awalbert88@Nov 6 2003, 04:59 PM
RWD may well be the future for sedans, but forget the V8s. Yes, there will be V8 options, but with fuel economy requirements, the bulk of those RWD sedans will have 4 or 6-cylinder engines. After being virtually ignored for so long, the V6 is starting to become a serious contender in the peformance/fuel economy battle. Modern designs give you the fuel economy of a four-banger with the torque that only a good V-engine can provide.

I agree that the "big three" are going to retake much of their lost ground in the next few years, largely thanks to a shift over to RWD. RWD is fundamentally more enjoyable for most people to drive, even if those people don't really understand the reasons behind it.
You have to consider the fact that the Big Three are working on ways to put V8's in sedans with a low fuel economy.. Like GM's Displacement On Demand...
 

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Originally posted by awalbert88@Nov 6 2003, 05:59 PM
RWD may well be the future for sedans, but forget the V8s.  Yes, there will be V8 options, but with fuel economy requirements, the bulk of those RWD sedans will have 4 or 6-cylinder engines.  After being virtually ignored for so long, the V6 is starting to become a serious contender in the peformance/fuel economy battle.  Modern designs give you the fuel economy of a four-banger with the torque that only a good V-engine can provide.

I agree that the "big three" are going to retake much of their lost ground in the next few years, largely thanks to a shift over to RWD.  RWD is fundamentally more enjoyable for most people to drive, even if those people don't really understand the reasons behind it.
I disagree with everything you said


With Displacement on Demand and "hybrid" vehicles on the way, there will be substantial gains in fuel economy. For example, DoD will increase fuel economy 8-12% and what will the hybrid system in the new generation Silverado offer? Another 8-10%? So right there you already have a 20ish% gain. Then as we all know, time and technology also improve fuel economy while giving us more power..

Say for example the Silverado 1500 gets 25mpg right now. With displacement on demand and the hybrid technology it will gain about 5mpg. Then add in a lighter vehicle, more aerodynamic and various other technologies and you can push a Silverado 1500 to over 30mpg. Now apply that to a more aerodynamic vehicle, a lighter vehicle and actually add a hybrid system that creates useable power instead of just powering accessories. You are talking a possibility of having a 40+mpg V8 sedan.

Lutz said that the Cadillac 16 would have gotten 20mpg. Now take that and subtract half an engine, 1/3 to 1/2 the weight, and a more aerodynamic car and you start seeing that gas mileage isn't too far off from that 40mpg mark.

Now taking overdrive for example in corvette. It is used to get great gas mileage (30+mpg) and apply that to a sedan. It all may increase in minor improvements but when you look at all these technologies combined, you can really see a HUGE difference in mpg from 1995 to say 2005.

Technology improves exponentially, not incrementally
In the end, I will have my cake, and I will damn well eat it too.


edit: I think that imports will peak at a 50% market-share. The big three are either going to make it or break it in the next 5 years. If they aren't as successful as they have to be, I feel that we may see an end to one of the big three.
 

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I really hope you're right about a comeback. First let me intorduce myself. I'm new to the site and go by 93GTP indicating my current ride. I work for DCX in the actual plant that is going to produce the 300C and Dodge Magnum Wagon in 2004 to be quickly followed by the Dodge Charger in 2005 as the Intrepid replacement.

The only way that the Big Three will be sucessful in a product assualt against the Japanese is to at least get in line with thier quality. Not just build quality but quality parts, components and materials along with greater reliability and durability.

Agreed that no one can come close to building an American V8 but we must focus energies on the full model line up from entry to high end to win our customers back.

Chrysler is definately the worst when it comes to quality, reliability and durability. I know I work there. However we are addressing these issues with the LX platformby sharing drivetrain components with Mercedes products such as transmissions (we all know how good Chrysler trannies are right?)

First Ask why the American customer in general is turning towards foriegn product then use that information to your advantage by building products with not only those attributes but adding true American styling flare to the mix. It may come at higher cost and less profit in the short term but in the long term customers will return to the Big Three. That's My Dream As Well.
 

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Originally posted by 93GTP@Nov 6 2003, 08:32 PM
I really hope you're right about a comeback. First let me intorduce myself. I'm new to the site and go by 93GTP indicating my current ride. I work for DCX in the actual plant that is going to produce the 300C and Dodge Magnum Wagon in 2004 to be quickly followed by the Dodge Charger in 2005 as the Intrepid replacement.

The only way that the Big Three will be sucessful in a product assualt against the Japanese is to at least get in line with thier quality. Not just build quality but quality parts, components and materials along with greater reliability and durability.

Agreed that no one can come close to building an American V8 but we must focus energies on the full model line up from entry to high end to win our customers back.

Chrysler is definately the worst when it comes to quality, reliability and durability. I know I work there. However we are addressing these issues with the LX platformby sharing drivetrain components with Mercedes products such as transmissions (we all know how good Chrysler trannies are right?)

First Ask why the American customer in general is turning towards foriegn product then use that information to your advantage by building products with not only those attributes but adding true American styling flare to the mix. It may come at higher cost and less profit in the short term but in the long term customers will return to the Big Three. That's My Dream As Well.
You said you work for DC... do you have any idea how much a hemi powered magnum will approximately cost? I'm really hoping it’s not some insane price where the majority of potential buyers won't be able to afford it.


I don't think the Big Three can just match the japanese in quality. In order to get over their stereotype from the 70s, 80's and early 90s, the Big Three not only have to match everything the imports have to offer, but they MUST beat them in every category or almost every category and they must do it for less. This is the only way I feel they can fully rebuild themselves and come back to a quality of what they once were. The asians are doing that right now. They are building an image and getting over their stereotype.

I often fear that once the baby boomers get too old to drive, the imports will catch a large chunk of the market :(

If all goes well, the imports will get a market share of about 50% before they peak off. The next 5 years will tell us whether or not the big three will survive. GM needs to see about a .5% market share increase every year from on and Ford needs to see about the same. It's very hard to call right now because most of my peers (college students) view imports as higher quality vehicles.

Only time will tell.

I'm the type of person who will most likely never drive an import until the day I die. If I can afford it, I will drive corvettes until the day I die.
 

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If I can afford it, I will drive corvettes until the day I die.
You read my mind.

Agreed that no one can come close to building an American V8 but we must focus energies on the full model line up from entry to high end to win our customers back.
Correct, which is why I frowned upon the Saturn Red Line series of cars. Saturn needs to become the American Honda, and it won't get there with faster cars.

Welcome to the site 93GTP :beer:
 

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I want to see a Japanese company attempt to design and make a RWD V8 sedan without using a Big Three car for a study. You know, that will probably never happen either…

Histoy does repeat itself

And yes, I kno Toyota has Lexus and Honda has Acura

NSAP,

I don't really know what you mean by the above. You say you want to see a Japanese company attempt to design a RWD V8 sedan then go on to say you know about Lexus and Acura.

What about the Lexus LS400 (LS430)? It has a V8 and RWD.

What about the Infiniti by Nissan. Doesn't the Q45 and M45 also have a V8 and RWD?

Acura hasn't gotten there yet, but from what I've been reading it's not too far off. Sales of the RL sedan have really plummetted lately and Acura is looking to also build a V8 sedan. Acura being part of Honda also has a deal with GM for exchanging Honda V6's (which will be put in the SATURN VUE REDLINE) in exchange for good old Amreican V8's. Could this be the powerplant that Acura has in mind for it's future RL, or maybe the new Honda Fullsize truck I hear rumors of. Are they thinking of sharing the DoD too? I'd like to know!

GM is making leaps and bounds recently. They have new products rolling out every few months and the preliminary reviews are refreshingly positive. Just look at what they've been saying about the Malibu in Autoweek and The Car Connection.

Maybe it's all a mute point with all the acquisitions and mergers going on. Then too you have technology sharing going on. Who knows where it will all lead - except to better overall products for the consumer. With all the push coming from Toyota for Hybrids, the fledgling technology for Hydrogen power
(see: http://www.genesisworldenergy.org/genesis_...rld_energy.htm)
and all the automakers scrambling to survive and increase quality it can only get better.

DCX is another story. I don't think they're long for this world....but I never liked Chrysler anyway.

Just my two cents.

Cheers
 

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I disagree with the comments that no one can make a V8 like America. Nissan has a fine, large V8. Toyota has a refined V8. The Lexus V8s are powerful and competive to anyone. Mercedes, Audi, etc. make fine V8s. I fail to see what's special about Detroit's V8s that hasn't been matched or can't be matched. Where are the VVT, 4V V8s in a Ford or Chevy?

I hope the big 3 (actually I only care about the Ford and GM - DC is a German company now) stabilize. However, with so many other choices out there, it's hard to imagine they can gain much share back. The only way to do that is the make cars that are superior in quality, features, look and feel, performance, economy, etc. For every new vehicle they come out with, they are matched by three new vehicles from all the other brands.

Shifting to RWD will not solve the problem. For most people, they want a cheap car with good gas milage. Just about everyone here, including me, like RWD with V8s, but we are a minority. FWD cars with 4 cylinders engines are cheap, space efficient, and don't need fancy ESP systems to make them usable in the snow.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Originally posted by usa1@Nov 6 2003, 09:08 PM
I disagree with the comments that no one can make a V8 like America. Nissan has a fine, large V8. Toyota has a refined V8. The Lexus V8s are powerful and competive to anyone. Mercedes, Audi, etc. make fine V8s. I fail to see what's special about Detroit's V8s that hasn't been matched or can't be matched. Where are the VVT, 4V V8s in a Ford or Chevy?

I hope the big 3 (actually I only care about the Ford and GM - DC is a German company now) stabilize. However, with so many other choices out there, it's hard to imagine they can gain much share back. The only way to do that is the make cars that are superior in quality, features, look and feel, performance, economy, etc. For every new vehicle they come out with, they are matched by three new vehicles from all the other brands.

Shifting to RWD will not solve the problem. For most people, they want a cheap car with good gas milage. Just about everyone here, including me, like RWD with V8s, but we are a minority. FWD cars with 4 cylinders engines are cheap, space efficient, and don't need fancy ESP systems to make them usable in the snow.

Mark
Yes, I can agree with you, BUT all of the import V8 RWD's, none of them are NOT a cab-forward design, which is a biggythat is changing--ending cab-forward!!!!!!!!
 

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Originally posted by killerrd2@Nov 7 2003, 03:04 AM
Acura hasn't gotten there yet, but from what I've been reading it's not too far off. Sales of the RL sedan have really plummetted lately and Acura is looking to also build a V8 sedan. Acura being part of Honda also has a deal with GM for exchanging Honda V6's (which will be put in the SATURN VUE REDLINE) in exchange for good old Amreican V8's. Could this be the powerplant that Acura has in mind for it's future RL, or maybe the new Honda Fullsize truck I hear rumors of. Are they thinking of sharing the DoD too? I'd like to know!
i'm pretty sure that the engines in question are isuzu DIESEL V8s in exchange for honda V6s. good, yes, american and traditional V8 [in terms of it being diesel and not gasoline] no.
 

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Originally posted by LegendNH+Nov 6 2003, 08:32 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (LegendNH @ Nov 6 2003, 08:32 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-awalbert88@Nov 6 2003, 05:59 PM
RWD may well be the future for sedans, but forget the V8s.  Yes, there will be V8 options, but with fuel economy requirements, the bulk of those RWD sedans will have 4 or 6-cylinder engines.  After being virtually ignored for so long, the V6 is starting to become a serious contender in the peformance/fuel economy battle.  Modern designs give you the fuel economy of a four-banger with the torque that only a good V-engine can provide.

I agree that the "big three" are going to retake much of their lost ground in the next few years, largely thanks to a shift over to RWD.  RWD is fundamentally more enjoyable for most people to drive, even if those people don't really understand the reasons behind it.
I disagree with everything you said


With Displacement on Demand and "hybrid" vehicles on the way, there will be substantial gains in fuel economy. For example, DoD will increase fuel economy 8-12% and what will the hybrid system in the new generation Silverado offer? Another 8-10%? So right there you already have a 20ish% gain. Then as we all know, time and technology also improve fuel economy while giving us more power..

Say for example the Silverado 1500 gets 25mpg right now. With displacement on demand and the hybrid technology it will gain about 5mpg. Then add in a lighter vehicle, more aerodynamic and various other technologies and you can push a Silverado 1500 to over 30mpg. Now apply that to a more aerodynamic vehicle, a lighter vehicle and actually add a hybrid system that creates useable power instead of just powering accessories. You are talking a possibility of having a 40+mpg V8 sedan.

Lutz said that the Cadillac 16 would have gotten 20mpg. Now take that and subtract half an engine, 1/3 to 1/2 the weight, and a more aerodynamic car and you start seeing that gas mileage isn't too far off from that 40mpg mark.

Now taking overdrive for example in corvette. It is used to get great gas mileage (30+mpg) and apply that to a sedan. It all may increase in minor improvements but when you look at all these technologies combined, you can really see a HUGE difference in mpg from 1995 to say 2005.

Technology improves exponentially, not incrementally
In the end, I will have my cake, and I will damn well eat it too.


edit: I think that imports will peak at a 50% market-share. The big three are either going to make it or break it in the next 5 years. If they aren't as successful as they have to be, I feel that we may see an end to one of the big three. [/b][/quote]
You amuse me if you think for a second that we will see a V8 in a sedan getting 40mpg anytime soon. With DoD and VVT, you might see 25-30mpg average. V8+electric is not a V8 - it's a hybrid - lets not confuse the two terms. Even with a hybrid V8, I don't expect to see 40mpg in practice. There is absolutely no reason that the average person needs a V8 sedan. It's not cost effective to the customer, and most customers would rather have a hybrid 4cyl getting 60+mpg in their car than a hybrid V8 getting 35-40mpg. As I said, V8s will be an option in a lot of these cars, but to expect them as standard equipment is foolish. Hybrid 4cyl and V6 engines are the most popular sellers right now anyway in the passenger car market, and there is no reason to think that will change just because a V8 gets more efficient.

Most of us on the forum here would love to have a big 400hp V8 in a RWD sedan again. But unlike the muscle car era, that won't be a commonplace thing. Sure, we'll probably be able to order a car like that, but the vast majority of the RWD sedans will be powered by much smaller engines.

Until I see reports from users and mags about a V8 that gets 40mpg, I won't believe it. What a car company claims their V8 can do and what it does in practice can be two very different things.

As for your overdrive comment... do you even understand what overdrive is? It's a very tiny gear ratio (usually around .5 or less) and is designed only for fuel economy. That's what 5th and 6th gear in the T56 are used for. That's what the 4th gear in virtually all 4-speed automatics is. Even with the switch to 5- and 6-speed autos, fuel economy is not going to grow by more than 3-4mpg at the most.

The Sixteen might have been able to get 20mpg, but I would have to have seen it to believe it. DoD does not scale perfectly. A V8 can only deactivate so many cylinders to gain fuel economy before it becomes useless. On the other hand, a V16 can deactivate a lot more cylinders to conserve fuel (probably running on as few as six at times). So you could cut the engine in half, but that doesn't mean you get double the fuel economy.

Oh, and to usa1: we may not have VVT 4V DOHC V8s yet, but Ford at least has a VVT 3V SOHC V8. I suspect the Ford GT engine may have VVT, and it's likely that the other mod OHC motors will get VVT soon as well. GM, on the other hand, is still doing pushrod V8s... no word on VVT getting incorporated on those yet (despite the V6 getting it).


EDIT: Wanted to add that I expect Chrysler to be gone by the end of the decade, though Dodge and Jeep will survive as parts of Daimler (which I would assume will completely drop the Chrysler name). Ford and GM are in far too strong a position to go under any time soon, and in a worst case scenario, I think the US government might bail one of them out, simply because of the horrendous damage that failure of either company would cause to the economy.
 

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Hey all, dont forget about the northstar engine. 32 valve DOHC. I'm not sure if i remember correctly, but i believe i heard it's possible to set it up for VVT as well. It wouldn't be too hard for GM to build a "high-tech" V8 cause of a good platform they have to start off of. The Northstar gets good gas milage, still producing a stout amount of hp. It doesnt feel like a pushrod V8, cause all of DOHC's torque is at high rpm, but the hp numbers will be there to please to crowds.
 

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Thanks For the Welcome Guys!!! I didn't expect to be bombarded with comments so soon but i"m glad that this is such a hot topic.
First of all the HEMI powered products pricing is supposed to stay in line with previous premium LH pricing (ie 300M Special) So a HEMI magnum should run you about $32 000 US or $40 000 CAD so I'm told. Pricing has not yet been released.

Next, My comments about American V8's was taken out of context. Sure the Germans and the **** have them but they are only found in higher, premium or even niche vehicles and since they are not as commonly used thier costs are higher. The American V8 is a not only staple of the business but a cornerstone of engine engineering in the US industry. Take for example GM's smallblock family of engines 5.7 and 5.0 etc... These two V8's spun off the most reliable V6's in the industry : 4.3L and all the iterations of the bulletproof 3.8L

So I still stand by the fact that the Americans (Big Three) still not only build the best V8 on the planet but the best V8 bang for the buck as well.

Next, those that think that are only the Big Two (Ford and GM) you're right and wrong. Yes DCX is based out of Stuttgart and Auburn Hills but it's parent company is Daimler AG only because German law dictates it so because of the high stakeholders within the Deutsche Bank that have controlling interests.
So yes that where the money is.
But the people are mostly here in North America and I don't think that the UAW or CAW boys of GM and Ford would ever say that thier the big two and leave the CHRYSLER boys out of the picture.
But hey if that makes you happy that cool with me. As some of you indicated the imports keep gaining and don't think the domestics will ever regain lost ground then by all means refer to DCX as an import.

Again thanks for the warm welcome, Looking forward to more stimulating chats

93 GTP :bounce: :bounce:
 

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Very interesting topic.

I am in the automotive industry. I do have experience in automotive history and automotive forecasting.

GM's "market share gain" is not what it appears. The slight improvements over the past few years is basically holding their own...not a true gain. Statistically speaking, they're running in place. This is better than their consistent market share losses over the past couple of decades, but it's not sure signs that they're gaining market share. Ford and DaimlerChrysler have lost significantly more market share than the fractional points that GM has gained. Import brands continue to gain on the Big 3.

The push for rear-wheel drive cars is being praised by the buff books and enthusiasts, but the average buyer doesn't care. The average buyer, who makes up most of the buying public, wants (as is pointed out before) economy, quality, room, reliability, safety, etc...rear-wheel drive doesn't hit their radar. Actually, for the average driver, front-wheel drive is better, especially in the northern States and Canada. Don't believe the hype about traction control and stability control systems, front-wheel drive cars handle questionable weather conditions better.

Japanese car companies have plenty of experience with V8 engines and rear-wheel drive. They've been building rear-wheel drive cars far longer than they've built front-wheel drive cars. And V8 engine have been in Toyota's (and Nissan's) lineup for over 30 years. Just because they haven't sold them in the US that long doesn't mean they don't have the experience in building the engines.

I think the term "cab-forward" is being misused. NONE of the Japanese branded (front-engined) rear-wheel drive cars are cab-forward designs. Especially the V8-powered models. Actually, the only Big 3 cars with this design are front-wheel drive...it's made possible by moving the engine forward as found in a front-drive car (or placing the engine in the back) which allows the windshield and passenger compartment to move forward. The Taurus wasn't "cab-forward."

All car companies disect the products of their competition. The Big 3 spent much of the 1980s learning from the Japanese, since they had better manufacturing methods and higher quality mainstream products. If the Japanese were just following the Big 3, buyers would take a Taurus or Impala over an Accord or Camry. The Big 3 have become the followers.

As for the Dodge Magnum (and "Charger"), Chrysler 300, and Chrysler 300C, they're not going to break the market wide open. Versions powered by V6 engines will be the most-popular (by a wide margin) of the lineups, but the year that Dodge doesn't have a large sedan will hurt. Magnum sales will not come close to expectations.

Chrysler going away? I don't think so. Chrysler volume is too large for it to disappear in the next 4-6 years. I expect DaimlerChrysler to spin-off the American side (Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep) in the not-too-distant future.

I would hope that the Big 3 make a comeback, but I don't see it. Competition is very strong and it's coming from all sides. There are many players, it's no longer GM, Ford, Chrysler...and the others. It's now the Big 6 with GM/Ford/DCX just becoming members of the group. I would hope that GM's market share would hold in the 25-28% range...Ford's in the 20% range...Chrysler in the 15% range. It's a hope...but it's far from guarranteed. Toyota's already the top-selling brand of cars in the US. Lexus is the top-selling luxury brand in the US. Not good signs for a Big 3 comeback.
 

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I'd like to preface my comments by saying that my first memories of cars were American cars - GM cars, in fact. The first car I remember was my parents '62 Pontiac convertible. I still have vivid memories of the first GTO I saw. I was around 4 and my Mom and I were at a Pontiac dealership getting servicing done on the family's new Pontiac LeMans Sport. I bright orange car with a wing and a rumbling exaust pulled in the lot - a 1970 GTO Judge. I asked my Mom how old one needed to be to drive ....

My Dad traded that LeMans in on a Camaro Type LT - the car I dreamed would be mine when I turned 16. Too bad he traded it in long before that.

Yet, by the 1980's, my family - like many - had started buying foreign cars. They were screwed together better than what the domestics were offering at the time and they were better value.

I've owned three Mazdas and a Honda - two RWD and two FWD. All were good cars. I've grown used to the way they drive - the great handling, the smooth powertrains, the decent build quality. To get me to buy a domestic now means they have to offer something more. Something I can't get by buying another Mazda or Honda.

As much as my own past is full of fond memories of GM cars, appealing to nostolgia isn't going to be enough to win me over.

So far, some domestics have come close. But, there's always some kind of glitch - a quality issue or the inability to get a manual transmission - something that stops me from buying domestic. I get a chance to rent cars to travel for work, and I'm always amazed how the domestic makers can drop the ball on the simple things. The Impala I drove was a decent car, but it didn't have any gotta-have to convince me to buy it over, say an Altima. The Taurus was ok, but let down by a rough base engine. The best driving was probably the Intrepid, but it has a history of transmission problems.

Point being that even if GM comes out with a V8 RWD car, that alone won't bring me back. They need to build the best cars in each class. Even their base models need to drive well - the optional motor shouldn't be manditory to get a decent car. They need to develop a bulletproof reputation for reliability. They need to be better and still hold the line on pricing. If they can't do that, they won't win me as a customer. And since I won't be always buying a "performance" car, it's not good enough to build great Corvettes and GTOs. They need to build better the best sedans and wagon in the world as well.
 

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I personally can't wait for 2007/2008 when there are more RWD choices from the Big Three. I hope and I believe that this will help to grow the market share for Detroit. But they must me mind full that not everyone will want these cars. (I will be first in line however). Cars like the Malibu must still be around to compete with the Accords and Camry's. This will give people the choice. For those who want fuel economy and those who want an exciting car.

The General is starting to show that it can compete and even win buyer's. Perfect example is the Impala they build right here in Oshawa, Canada. That is one of GM's best selling cars, it has great quality and value. Look at what Cadillac is doing, some great stuff there, especially with the shift to RWD.

I think the problem is that the buyers have changed. I don't think that most buyers are emotionally attached to their cars as the were in the past. In the 60's and 70's, when your neighbor brought home a new Chevy, you just had to go and get one yourself because of how that car made you feel. That doesn't happen today because think too sensibly, they want fuel economy, or room for the kids for soccer practice.

I wish I was around in those days, since I can't be, lets bring some of that excitement back.
 

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You summed it up very well Tone

I agree that the domestics have to get thier collective assses in gear across the board to convince the car buying public that thier offerings are worthy of purchasing.

I know exactly where you're coming from. My family as well has been driving GM in particular cars since the late 1950's when not only Detroit was king but the only worthy players in town. I loved the 1966 2+2 with the four on the floor we had and even the big brown 72 Lauretian wagon because it had a monster 455. Soon enough though my father had bought two Volkwagens. In 1987 we had a Jetta turbodiesel with a manual tranny, manual steering and a sunroof. That car logged on over 300 000 miles on its original clutch before it was [stolen] for pete's sakes.
Even I bought a GTI in 1994 with a VR6 as a companion car to the 1993 GTP my wife was driving. I loved the driving connection I had in that car.
After being hired at Chrysler I swore as a matter of principle that I could not own another foreign car no matter how much better I thought they were. Even now I would rather buy another VW or Acura RSX than any American iteration within the same price level. But, I will eventually settle on a PT Cruiser Turbo.
Again the imports got us beat with the amount of customization and personalization that they offer with thier models. For example it's still possible to get a manual transmission in most imports even the bigger V6's and V8's.and still have the choice of cloth seats in a higher trim level with more individual options than packages.
Name one American V6 car that comes with a manual transmission?
Yeah The Dodge Stratus RT but only with a Mitsubishi 3.0L engine right?
I rest my case.
Excellent points Tone!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Originally posted by balthazar+Nov 7 2003, 07:04 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (balthazar @ Nov 7 2003, 07:04 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-93GTP@Nov 8 2003, 12:38 AM
Name one American V6 car that comes with a manual transmission?
Cadillac CTS and Lincoln LS V6. Whoops- that's 2. [/b][/quote]
Manual was dropped from the LS V6 in 2003...
 
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