Last post on Dec 05, 2013 at 8:47 PM
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Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Car Comparisons, Automotive News
#2221 of 4764 Re: GM observations--warning! [tlong]
Jul 09, 2013 (4:54 pm)
I think Buick is kind of an interesting marketing thing right now. It seems to me there are three distinct things driving it's current existence. Foremost, it is a big, profitable seller in China. But Asian culture can be driven by aspiration and status. If the US dumped Buick I think it might rapidly lose it's consumer appeal in China since American's no longer want it. The next Buick driver is GM's desire to move Cadillac upscale, but hold on to the lower priced buyer who still perceives some prestige in buying above a Chevy. Finally, GM still has a lot of dealerships, particularly in rural markets that still prefer D3. Buick and GMC give it additional distribution channels.
Having said all of that, I see some risk with it all. First, GM has to maintain #2 and #3 with minimal incremental costs. Second, it appears to maybe be putting out too many, and too wide of. a product line. I'm not sure that vehicles like Encore and Verano support an upscale division image. There is also a lot of me too product, with no halo product like a Riviera to prop up the brand image. Personally, I'm having trouble seeing five grand more in an Enclave versus a similarly equipped Traverse, but so far they seem to be moving them out at those higher prices.
#2222 of 4764 Re: GM observations--warning! [berri]
Jul 09, 2013 (5:09 pm)
Personally, I'm having trouble seeing five grand more in an Enclave versus a similarly equipped Traverse, but so far they seem to be moving them out at those higher prices.
I used to think the Enclave looked more upscale enough, compared to the other versions, to command a big price premium. But then GM recently went and massaged the Traverse and Acadia, and in the process made them both look a lot more upscale themselves. To my eye, at least. Maybe the Enclave is still nicer inside?
#2223 of 4764 Re: GM observations--warning! [andre1969]
Jul 09, 2013 (5:36 pm)
I was just recently looking at the Enclave and Traverse. The Buick is plusher, but the Chevy actually had a more supportive and longer seat to me. The Buick maybe rides a bit nicer and quieter, but I'm not seeing two grand difference, let alone more like 5. It seems to me that with the '13 redo GM may have gotten a bit greedy in pricing compared to Explorer, Durango and the Asians. Once the market cools down a bit, I'm expecting bigger GM rebates to offset this, but I suppose that could be awhile. The Traverse badly needed the update, it was kind of ugly outside and cheapo inside, but not any more. I don't think the less competitive earlier Traverse necessarily moved buyers up to Acadia and Enclave. I think it probably helped out the competition more.
Jul 10, 2013 (3:03 am)
Here is some relevant info regarding why GM is not the leading automotive manufacturer. Like it or not, the bankruptcy loss to the taxpayers might be a success to some but Ford is #1 regarding return on investment.
GM, who is years behind in consolidating its platforms, had 30 platforms in 2010 and plans to narrow that to 17 by 2018. This is definitely part of the reason that Ford's operating margins in North America were 11% in the first quarter, whereas GM only managed 6.2%. It's also part of the reason GM's net income in North America last quarter was $1.18 billion, trailing Ford's $1.6 billion.
Ford (NYSE: F ) and its crosstown rival General Motors (NYSE: GM ) have been battling for a century to be the best-selling domestic automaker. It's hard to believe after so much time that the automakers are still really neck and neck here in the U.S. market. With the first half of the year in the record books, GM sold 1,420,346 units in the U.S. compared to Ford's 1,289,736. Ford is narrowing the gap and has increased its market share more than any other automaker from the same time period last year. Ford's 13.1% increase over last year's sales was also the second best of all automakers – only because Subaru had such a smaller unit of base sales to increase from. While Ford continues to narrow the sales gap there's more to the story here – Ford is killing GM on the bottom line.
#2225 of 4764 Re: Ford v. GM [circlew]
Jul 10, 2013 (4:02 am)
OTOH, GM has been rolling out new product. My guess is the main difference is with trucks. I'm sure GM has been spending a bunch to launch the new trucks in addition to big rebates on the '13 model.
Ford is also developing a new F series, but by not letting the current F series get so out of date, they are still selling very well w/o heavy rebates.
At least we can compare profits between Ford and GM instead of bragging about who lost less money;)
#2226 of 4764 Re: GM observations--warning! [andres3]
Jul 10, 2013 (7:05 am)
Until they uglified the heck out of the Avalon, I'd say it was nicer than the Lexus ES.
#2227 of 4764 Re: GM observations--warning! [lemko]
Jul 10, 2013 (5:01 pm)
I saw an Avalon the other day. Honestly, from the back and sides it's not that bad. It's just that front-end they really need to work on.
I was just thinking...I should have kept my mouth shut about my uncle's Camry. That way I could have borrowed it and driven up one day to meet you and keystonecarfan for one of the car shows and you could be like what the hell has gotten into Andre! But, that wouldn't be until the Fall Carlisle show, since I'm driving the 5th Ave this weekend, and the LeMans out to the car show in Macungie in August.
It's funny though, how once you're forced to look at something up close enough, what once seemed ugly, you get used to. And I've gotten that way with my uncle's Camry, although in its case, I think it's nice, light blue hue helps immensely, since it's one of those colors I'm kind of a sucker for.
#2228 of 4764 Re: GM observations--warning! [andre1969]
Jul 10, 2013 (5:55 pm)
Well to be fair the current Camry isn't really ugly, just really bland. It may or may not look better in a few years than the Sonata but it will still be dull, there is just noting to it that adds to the design ( somehow to me both the Passat and the new Accord both manage to not be flashy but still have detailing that makes them look classy and really classic, but the Camry misses out on that somehow)
#2229 of 4764 Re: GM observations--warning! [andre1969]
Jul 10, 2013 (6:31 pm)
It's funny though, how once you're forced to look at something up close enough, what once seemed ugly, you get used to.
I haven't heard of anyone getting used to an Aztek.
#2230 of 4764 Re: GM observations--warning! [scwmcan]
Jul 11, 2013 (4:14 am)
somehow to me both the Passat and the new Accord both manage to not be flashy but still have detailing that makes them look classy and really classic, but the Camry misses out on that somehow
Yeah, I can see that. In fact, I followed a Passat for a little bit, on the way into work this morning. It was a nice light blue, similar to my uncle's Camry. I thought to myself, that's a really nice looking car. From some angles it does make me think a bit of the '06-13 Impala, but I think the proportioning is a bit better.
As for the Accord, I think it's definitely more handsome looking than the Camry, less so than the Passat. But to me, it just blends in too much. At a quick glance, I don't even notice it.
And I agree, I think what messes up the Camry is the details. The overall shape isn't bad...a bit boxy and angular, but proportioned okay. But the front-end just seems too fussy and overdone, in sort of an alien/insectoid look, as I think Lemko once said. And the shape of the taillights seems to me like two different designs got stuck together, but someone saw it an approved it, so it ended up on the final product.
In a weird sort of way, my uncle's Camry gives me a bit of a flashback. The car is a shade of blue that's pretty close to my Mom's old 1980 Malibu, which she gave to me when I got my license. We lived with my grandparents for about a year, and I lived with them in college. Now my uncle lives with Grandmom, and he parks it in the same spot where we always parked the Malibu. And that Camry is a angular like the Malibu was. So at a quick glance, when I go over there, sometimes I'll get an 80's flashback!