Last post on Nov 07, 2013 at 4:56 PM
You are in the Chevrolet Impala
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Chevrolet Impala, Sedan
#401 of 3636 2006 Impala
Jul 25, 2005 (8:00 am)
Selling more cars is important to GM.
Prime example: For those that remember Chevy spent a ton of money advertising the 1994 Impala SS when it came out. Had the detuned Corvette engine 17" wheels, RWD. people rushed to the showrooms to see the car. It only came in BLACK and had the shifter on the steering column, sales were disappointing, and the car was almost cancelled. A couple Chevy salesmen at that time that I know had people complaining that Black was not the color they wanted and it should have a console......1995 changes were made (Chevy listened) a console was added and I believe three more colors.....Sales picked up.....1996 Impala SS now offered a floor console shifter and analog gauges and a few more options.......the car sold extremely well. 1996 is the most desirable Impala SS cars in the collector market, of that group, because it was had a sportier interior and offered more options then the two previous years. The car was cancelled because Chevy decided they could convert the Arlington Texas plant to making trucks which made more profit per vehicle then the SS Impala. After a few years and many unhappy Impala SS fans, the car was reintroduced in 2004, but with FWD. Many of the sales of the 94SS-96SS were to men in there 50s' and 60's who remembered the SS from years before. I wonder how many 2006 Impala SS cars would sell if they were only black.....give the people more choices they will come........the proof is in this story.
#402 of 3636 How is this for retro......
Jul 25, 2005 (9:41 am)
A 6 speed manual on the tree.
#403 of 3636 Wow, didn't realise...
Jul 25, 2005 (10:08 am)
that my and charts wanting a little bit more flash to the SS model would cause such a storm. Sorry about that.
As with charts, one of my "wishes" with the latest SS, besides going back to RWD (another topic that doesn't need to be rehashed) is that I, me, myself, not speaking for anyone else, feel it should have been a little more sportier. As stated in post 401, in regards to the 94 - 96SS, each year it got a little more sportier each year, not with stickers and emblems all over the place, but with touches/changes that made it sportier, like back in the day: more instrumentation, floor shifter, more color options. But the basic core of the car remained the same. It was a little different than the Caprice, had a look that set it apart. For me, when I first saw it at the SEMA show, all I could say was, "Build it". It just had that "look", the "soul" of the original SS. Just as in the beginning, when it was first intro'd in 1958. The Impala took the place of the Bel Air, which was considered the top of the Chevy line. Again, the Bel Air was basically a trim package with a little more pizzazz, that separated it from the rest of the lineup. Wasn't until the tri-5s (55, 56, 57) that they were really differentiated.
Again, these same things worked when the car was introduced back in '61. And remember, the base SS option was a trim package, available on any Impala, 2-dr or 4-dr, I6 up to to the 409. It wasn't until 1964 that the SS became it's own model, only on 2-dr hardtop/convertible. And even then, there were optional trim packages, so if you just wanted exterior scripts, you could just get them; if you wanted interior and exterior scripts, you could get it; different gauge packages, seating configurations, hubcaps. Even if you didn't get extra exterior/interior scripts, you could always tell an Impala from the other full-size Chevys by the taillamps, Impalas ALWAYS had three each side, the rest of the lineup had two. Plus, the Impala had the sportroof, while the others were posts (can't remember if the Caprice was a post when it came out in '66). But again, optional things that grabbed your eye, pulled your collar, made you take a second look. And if you look, some kats and kittens that own '94 - 96 SSs, add the flags, interior/exterior scripts, to there Impalas. Also, you see people "Impala-ize" their Caprices (some good, some horribly bad!), with wheels, emblems.
As on my 66, the only way people know it's an SS is that it has the SuperSport scripts instead of Impala on the fenders. It has the cross flags on the fenders as well. That's pretty much it for the exterior. Interior-wise, has the same dash layout as a regular Impala of the day (which drives me nuts sometimes, but don't have the heart to cut it up or drop in a new cluster), with the only hint of it being an SS is the "Impala SS" emblem on the glovebox door. Is this too much? Do the supersport scripts make it a non-sleeper, causing me to get nailed and hounded by police all the time? No to both counts, again, my opinion.
Again, sorry for bringing up such a hell-storm about badging and sportifying this latest SS.
#404 of 3636 2006 Impala/ronhextall
Jul 25, 2005 (10:10 am)
Do you think you could handle that?
#405 of 3636 2008 2007 Re: 2006 Impala [charts2]
Jul 25, 2005 (10:23 am)
“1996 Impala SS now offered a floor console shifter and analog gauges and a few more options”
This is one of several cases where GM did attempt to rectify errors / address concerns by changing a model’s equipment and / or options over time, and finally ‘got it right’ – often with substantial increase in sales - only to kill it. The Caddy Allante comes immediately to mind.
And not only GM. Ford / L-M’s Mercury Marauder had potential, but needed development. (More power, manumatic control for the auto. trans., and a few other things.) A half hearted attempt to address this ensued – and then it was killed. A mid-15 sec quarter mile was not enough ‘guts’ to back up the looks. And initially the only exterior color available was: black. Repeating one of GM’s earlier mistakes. Etc.
Sometimes I wonder if the thinking is: “We tried that and it failed.” When the reality is something closer to: “We didn’t get it exactly right, out of the starting gate, but if we had done this or that slightly differently and / or done some other things better, it could have been a real sales success.”
It will be interesting to see what the Impala SS (and my GP GXP) ‘morph’ into over the next couple of years. Or if they morph at all . .
Happy with the ‘out of the starting gate’ GXP . .
#406 of 3636 Re: 2006 Impala/9xpgtodanman [charts2]
Jul 25, 2005 (11:53 am)
I personally see very little in the Charger which resembles the old one. Looks like a melted old-style Durango/Dakota front end, with a 300C body.
Retro sells, but only for awhile. The New Beetle and PT Cruiser were hot, but sales cooled after the gimmick wore off. And, it sure didn't work for the Ford Thunderbird. I expect Mustang sales will cool in a year or so - as supply catches up with demand - but I don't think sales will drop off as dramatically as they did for the New Beetle and the PT. Incidentally, I don't expect the HHR to sell that well - initial reviews aren't very good, and many people who wanted a vehicle like that, bought the PT. Only way they'll move them is to keep the prices low. Heck, that worked for the Aztek
Some people may like the retro interior of the 'stang but to me it's the weakest part of the car. I spend more time on the inside of the car than the outside, so having a clean, modern, well-designed interior (no cheap plastics) is high on my list of requirements. The Impala LTZ or SS would fit that bill should I be in the market (moreso than the Grand Prix GXP).
Too much retro is a design dead end. Where does Ford go with the next gen? Do they copy the Mustang II? The early '80's Fox-body? Having said that, what could it have hurt Chevy to put the proper 3 round taillamps on the Impala, like in the 60's? I originally hated the 2 big lamps on the 2000-2005 Impala, but it grew on me. Interesting the Cobalt coupe carries this styling touch, but not the new Impala. I think that was a mistake...
#407 of 3636 Re: 2006 Impala GTO/Hammen2 [charts2]
Jul 25, 2005 (12:09 pm)
Boy, I could write a book about why the 2004 GTO didn't sell. It was one of the worst product launches in GM history. Let's review the facts:
1) Pontiac/GM/dealers expected the car to sell itself. Very little advertising (though how much is appropriate for a model that can only sell 12-18k per year?). What advertising there was, was pretty ineffective (still is). Dealerships refused to discount the cars at all - in fact, many applied $5k-$10k of price markup - and refused test drives without a purchase agreement - just diluting demand further.
2) Distribution was based on sales volume. Dealerships in the upper Midwest, which sell a lot more Pontiacs than those on the east and especially West coasts, got the majority of the first cars... in December/January. Hello Pontiac!?!? RWD cars do not sell in January in the middle of winter!
3) People who ordered their cars waited, and waited, and waited. Many gave up and bought something else. STS-V, 350Z, Cobra, you name it.
4) Rumors of the LS2 and hood scoops for '05 dried up interest from a lot of the old Pontiac guys. Many of them didn't NEED a new car, so they decided to wait.
5) Pontiac held off on incentives way too long, hoping they'd turn around. They were then forced to fire-sale the '04 cars at the end of the year because the '05's were built and on the boat. They came up with the idea of a Sport Appearance Package ('05 hood, autocross grilles and spoiler) for the '04's, but, by the time those kits arrived in February, the glut of '04 GTO's had been sold. They were then forced to dump these kits basically at cost (many dealers never read their bulletins/didn't know they were coming).
The LS2 was coming with the C6 'Vette. The hood scoops (the '04 is the only GTO model to not have hood scoops) and revised rear fascia (the '04 has a true dual exhaust, it's just that both pipes exit on the left side) couldn't be done in time for '04 (remember, it was less than two years from the GTO announcement until the first cars went on sale - and there were over 400 changes that had to be made to federalize the GTO, including fitting the LS1/revising the exhaust, moving the gas tank, coming up with a revised interior that would meet U.S., not Australian, climate extremes). In retrospect maybe they should have waited 6-12 more months and shipped the '05, but then I wouldn't have had my car for 6+ months. BTW, the 2004 has the retro-inspired "GTO" badges, they just say 5.7 instead of 6.0 like the '05's have
The next GTO will be more retro styled (think 1999 GTO concept - hopefully not typical Pontiac excess). I still believe the car is thematically just like the '64 GTO - it looks like any generic Pontiac of its day, but it has a big (350hp) motor in it. Unlike the '64, the car can do more than go fast in a straight line, and the interior is unarguably one of the best, if not GM's best, sold in North America...
Here lies another problem... who is the target market for the 2004-2005 GTO?
Is it the guy who bought a '64-'74 new? He'd be in his late 40's to late 50's by now.
Is it the '90s'-'02 Camaro/Firebird/Trans Am owner? Typically younger than above.
Is it the former import (Honda, Subaru, Infiniti) driver?
Is it the ex-BMW owner?
Interestingly enough, on the other GTO discussion board I participate in, there are members of all 4 groups. I don't fit into any of those particular pigeonholes, though
This isn't the GTO discussion here on Edmunds - I strongly suggest we follow this discussion up there. Just wanted to reply to your post with some facts and insight, form my perspective.
#408 of 3636 Re: Impala 2006/vanman 1 johnclineii [charts2]
Jul 25, 2005 (12:18 pm)
BTW, John's complaint about missing underhood/interior/glove box lights/visor extensions/coin holders, etc. is a valid one. This is "decontenting" - a way to take a few $$ of cost out of a vehicle by removing standard features. GM used to make ABS standard on all of their vehicles, but Toyota and Honda kept it optional, so this was Lutz's reasoning why it was necessary to remove it - to be more "apples to apples" on price comparisons. The other interior deletions (i.e. no passenger-side lock mechanisms, etc.) were a way of getting cheaper. This annoyed loyal GM customers to no end - myself included. Throw in the cheapness of the interiors (my wife's former 2001 GTP/my sister's plastic 2003 Trailblazer LTZ interior), not-so-great exterior styling, and it's no wonder GM sales are down (I believe these are all contributing factors). It remains to be seen if they have enough religion to put more cost into the interiors and conveniences, not less. And, if I'm not mistaken, they will have stability control and ABS systems standard in all vehicles by some future date...
#409 of 3636 Re: Impala 2006/vanman 1 johnclineii [hammen2]
Jul 25, 2005 (1:00 pm)
That was back in 2001. The interior on the GP has since been improved for it's 2004 redo. The 2005 GXP interior is pretty decent. I have to agree with interior on some such as the Trailblazer or even the new Avalanche, avg at best.
#410 of 3636 Re: Impala 2006/vanman 1 johnclineii [hammen2]
Jul 25, 2005 (1:02 pm)
I keep looking into cars next to me at the quick market where I get coffee each morning. I don't see any cars with better plastic interior than the GMs I see parked next to me. What's the difference...