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Old 12-15-2006, 10:30 AM   #1
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No future Chevy will get "SS" label lightly. Should include new Camaro

GM tightens up usage of SS label

General Motors Corp. is rethinking the way its uses the SS moniker that has adorned souped-up Chevrolets since 1961.

SS -- for super sport -- has traditionally signaled performance versions of vehicles like the Camaro, Impala and most recently the Cobalt sedan.

The automaker felt it was getting a bit carried away with the label after putting it on the most recent version of the Malibu midsize sedan. So now only cars with the best horsepower, braking power and handling will get the title.

It's part of GM's bid to stoke sales by building exclusivity into some models, a move the automaker hopes will burnish the overall image of a brand and make other vehicles from the same nameplate more attractive to buyers.

"Not every car that has some extra features and fancy racing stripes can be an SS," said Ed Welburn, GM Design global vice president.

GM will start the transition with the introduction next year of a new sport version of the Equinox compact SUV. The vehicle will have 42 percent more horsepower than the basic Equinox and other performance enhancing features, but will be labeled a sport as opposed to an SS. At the same time, GM will no longer offer a SS version of the Malibu.

"That's one that probably shouldn't have gotten the SS label," Chevrolet Marketing Director Cheryl Catton said.

Automakers often use special edition vehicles to give their brands an image boost. Such vehicles rarely deliver high sales numbers, but can help generate buzz around a company's lineup.

"They might want to be more careful with the vehicles they stick that badge on," said Brian Moody, road test editor with Edmunds.com. When used properly, he said, sport labels "may drum up interest in the brand down the line."

The image boost that comes with distinguishable lineups can help improve a vehicle's selling power as well as increase its resale value, another important factor for car buyers.

Each brand gets own identity

GM has struggled to define its vehicles in the eyes of consumers, with a murky brand portfolio and often indistinguishable characteristics between its cars and trucks.

But the company has made it a top priority to turn that around and give each brand a distinct identity. Buick, for example, will aim for an image of luxury and refinement. Pontiac wants to come across as stylish and performance-oriented.

"For this to be a truly great company, we need to deliver on the product side," said GM sales chief Mark LaNeve, speaking Thursday during a media preview of the GM exhibit under construction at the North American International Auto Show.

LaNeve said GM is having success already that has helped stem market losses in the automaker's North American operations. He said GM expects to hold or slightly increase its market share -- about 25 percent at the end of November -- in 2007.

Part of GM's image efforts will go public next month at the auto show, where the automaker is entirely rebuilding its display to showcase each brand separately yet still under the GM umbrella.

"Now, from the beginning, we build a car to match the characteristics of the brand, " LaNeve said.


http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...414/1148/rss25
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:44 AM   #2
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Dude that will be good because that shows they are thinking ahead. They could make more sales w/o a top of the line SS on everything. And since they are cutting that back, there is a good chance the Camaro will be a SS.
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:49 AM   #3
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IMO, the only two cars that should ever have received the SS nameplate are the Camaro and the Chevelle. Thank God they are going to cut their crap out. I was really getting sick of seeing "SS" on Cobalts, Impalas, Malibus, Silverados, etc, etc. Save it for the race cars, damnit! That's just the way I see it. Good call, GM.
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:08 PM   #4
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IMO, GM was using the 'SS' moniker for too many of it's models.

At this point, IMO, it should be reserved for the Camaro and possibly the Corvette.
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:31 PM   #5
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IMO, the only two cars that should ever have received the SS nameplate are the Camaro and the Chevelle. Thank God they are going to cut their crap out. I was really getting sick of seeing "SS" on Cobalts, Impalas, Malibus, Silverados, etc, etc. Save it for the race cars, damnit! That's just the way I see it. Good call, GM.
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Old 12-15-2006, 03:49 PM   #6
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Yep, there was a Chevy rep that mentioned the SS badging has become watered down. I'm glad to read that they are acting on that...
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:34 PM   #7
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I definetly agree with all of you the SS tag has been reduced to substandard cars. I personally think the Impala still deserves the tags though.
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Old 12-15-2006, 06:40 PM   #8
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It's about time they came to their senses. As far as I'm concerned, as long as it has a high horse v8, rumbling exhaust and rear wheel drive, Chevy can call it an SS. None of this front wheel drive, i4, v6 crap. Although at it's inception in the early '60s, the SS package was simply an appearance package. You could have ordered a SS Chevy II wagon with a straight 6! You'd be hard pressed to find one, but they did exist.
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Old 12-15-2006, 09:30 PM   #9
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I definetly agree with all of you the SS tag has been reduced to substandard cars. I personally think the Impala still deserves the tags though.
True Dat!
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:19 AM   #10
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My bad, guys. I'll give ya the Impalas. I seem to have forgotten the recent Impalas w/ the impressive higher end hp #'s. I can't remember the year off hand (95 maybe???), but it looked similar to the Caprice. That was a boat w/ some serious power. The SS nameplate, IMO, should have the meaning that this is the serious high end, shredding tires, high rpm's, screaming down the road cause I'm ripping your doors off and eating your lunch "power". None of this V6 stuff...not cool.
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Old 12-16-2006, 07:58 AM   #11
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OK. After giving it more thought, here's my feelings on the 'SS' badge.

It used to be reserved for a few models in the '60's and 70's if I recall what I've seen and read. But lately Chevrolet assigned it to too many models and "watered down" what a "true" 'SS' is, IMO.

IMO, a "true" 'SS' is V8 powered, RWD, and also handles well.

Here's what I would like to see; (limited to V8/RWD of course)
- SS Camaro
- SS Impala (the Imp. and Monte are supposed to both received a new V8/RWD platform)
- SS Monte Carlo
- SS Silverado
(and maybe an SS Corvette)

Limit the 'SS' badge. Putting it on too many models weakens the image IMO.
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Old 12-16-2006, 05:55 PM   #12
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The Impala mainly because of it's mid to late 60s legacy, but agreed on the V6 stuff.
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:03 PM   #13
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s'about time GM! No more watering down of "SS" that's great news I just hope they stick to it.

Can't wait to see SS Camaro one day soon.
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Old 12-19-2006, 03:50 PM   #14
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Can't wait to see SS Camaro one day soon.
You're not too far from me...you can see a SS Camaro sooner than you expected...mine!
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