Last post on Mar 10, 2013 at 12:24 PM
You are in the Chevrolet Impala
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Chevrolet Impala, Sedan
#406 of 3634 Re: 2006 Impala/9xpgtodanman [charts2]
Jul 25, 2005 (12:53 pm)
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 3634 Re: 2006 Impala GTO/Hammen2 [charts2]
Jul 25, 2005 (1:09 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 3634 Re: Impala 2006/vanman 1 johnclineii [charts2]
Jul 25, 2005 (1:18 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 3634 Re: Impala 2006/vanman 1 johnclineii [hammen2]
Jul 25, 2005 (2:00 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 3634 Re: Impala 2006/vanman 1 johnclineii [hammen2]
Jul 25, 2005 (2:02 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...
#411 of 3634 2006 Impala
Jul 25, 2005 (2:09 pm)
It didn't make any sense in removing the coin holder, PRNL markings, glove box light trunk net, etc....a negative marketing strategy, to save what $12.00 off the cost of a $28,000 car.
#412 of 3634 well, I've said it before...
Jul 25, 2005 (4:01 pm)
and I'll say it again. It wasn't so much the things they removed that I COULD see...I just figured if they were shortcutting interior features like that, they may well be doing the same to the powertrain...a little cheaper part here, a little less durability there.
And largely for that reason and that reason alone, I have now driven a Ford lately...in fact, it just brought me home!
#413 of 3634 stick to the Impala
by kirstie_h HOST
Jul 25, 2005 (7:12 pm)
Please. There are plenty of News & Views topics dedicated to GM, GM's future, and GM styling.
Jul 25, 2005 (7:19 pm)
I personally don't care for retro styling on most cars, I'm sick of the PT, Beetle and the 300s. Works ok on the Mustang for now though. What would I change, not much. Maybe a 5 or 6 speed auto, a slightly more aggressive nose and your suggestion of SS stitched into the leather optioned seats might be cool.
GM has made this car accessible to a lot of people by keeping the base price low and not loading it up with leather and such. I like that.. and I think that's what Chevy is all about. Performance for everyone, value and fun.
Jul 25, 2005 (7:22 pm)
I popped into another Chevy dealer on the way home and saw a black LTZ. It was fairly loaded up listed at C$33800. Had leather and a power roof. Great compromise between the LT and SS. I wonder how the sales breakdown will go, I think most people will either go base (ls/lt) or go all the way with the SS.