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Old 01-21-2008, 12:52 AM   #1
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RWD Impala, GTO Shelved

Not too surprising. What is more upsetting is possible delays for Alpha. GM, seriously, stop delaying stuff. Either do it or don't, but stop promising you'll give us cool stuff then keep putting it off blaming CAFE.

http://www.leftlanenews.com/lutz-rwd...o-shelved.html
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:13 AM   #2
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hmm...I still don't see Zeta as being dead. Far from it - they have no 35mpg CAFE to deal with in Oz, and that's where they're using Zeta mostly - so the folks down-under are the remote lifeline of Zeta; it's become a few branches in North America, instead of many...that's all.

But Alpha IS exciting. It's a small-to-midsize RWD platform, that if built, is said will also be sourced from Australia. But suppose the Camaro were to get moved to it next MY - that'd mean a slightly smaller, more nimble and fuel economical Camaro..........
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Old 01-21-2008, 03:28 AM   #3
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This begs the question...if the Impala is going to be FWD, does Chevy really need it anymore? The new Malibu was increased in size to the point where it's pretty much the same size as the current Impala. Maybe a touch smaller on the inside, but looking at the stats on Edmunds.com, the Malibu's now pretty close.

If they continue with the Impala, it's going to have to be even bigger, and why make a bigger FWD car? The only import car larger than the Malibu I can think of that it'd compete with is the Toyota Avalon, and that's more in Buick territory. Its domestic competition would be the Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger and Mercury Grand Marquis, all of them RWD and with potential size and drivetrain liabilities to their respective manufacturers due to the new CAFE regulations.

Since the Malibu's grown, I think there's now an opportunity for a car that slots into the widened gap between the Cobalt and the Malibu. Offer some more engine choices for the Malibu and if they're going to bring out a new FWD car, make it something more economical, but bigger than the Cobalt.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:37 PM   #4
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Here are my thoughts:

Making the Impala FWD is brilliant. Odd as it seems, making cars larger might actually help CAFE. There are going to be more large families who need the passenger space, but don't want a CUV or an SUV. Offering a large sedan might encourage them to get out of the CAFE-fighting CUV or SUV into a large car that is at least a little more economical. Especially if they offer a wagon version of the Impala or Malibu. They're right, a RWD wagon may not sell, but a FWD wagon will, I think. GM already has a large RWD sedan, so a FWD Impala would be the perfect compliment.

Concerning the GTO, that is a bit more disappointing, because Pontiac is supposed to be all RWD performance cars. However, Pontiac, Buick, and GMC are rumored to be limited to about 3 models each to allow for dealership consolidation (9 models total of performance, luxury, and utility vehicles makes for a good lineup). So with a Roadster, a small-midsize RWD sedan and/or coupe (supposedly) and a full-size sedan and sport truck, they have a pretty full lineup.

Alpha is where I get really annoyed. If they want to push people towards smaller cars, then why put smaller RWD vehicles on hold? Does it really matter that much if they get 1 mpg less? Since the Alpha cars will be Pontiac and Cadillac (and the Saturn Sky, probably) it will be lower volume. There will always be people who want RWD cars, and by delaying Alpha, they're just pushing them into the larger RWD cars and SUVs, hurting CAFE. This is just absurd. I'm really disappointed that Alpha is delayed as those cars were right up there with the Camaro on my list. Sad day. Thanks a lot GM. I hope we still get the Camaro on time and it isn't neglected after it comes out "because of CAFE". Seriously, that is the worst excuse ever and GM is milking every ounce of it so that they can settle for mediocrity again. Yay.
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:18 AM   #5
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Thumbs down On Yankee Ingenuity in GM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stovt001 View Post
Here are my thoughts:

Making the Impala FWD is brilliant. Odd as it seems, making cars larger might actually help CAFE. There are going to be more large families who need the passenger space, but don't want a CUV or an SUV. Offering a large sedan might encourage them to get out of the CAFE-fighting CUV or SUV into a large car that is at least a little more economical. Especially if they offer a wagon version of the Impala or Malibu. They're right, a RWD wagon may not sell, but a FWD wagon will, I think. GM already has a large RWD sedan, so a FWD Impala would be the perfect compliment.

Concerning the GTO, that is a bit more disappointing, because Pontiac is supposed to be all RWD performance cars. However, Pontiac, Buick, and GMC are rumored to be limited to about 3 models each to allow for dealership consolidation (9 models total of performance, luxury, and utility vehicles makes for a good lineup). So with a Roadster, a small-midsize RWD sedan and/or coupe (supposedly) and a full-size sedan and sport truck, they have a pretty full lineup.

Alpha is where I get really annoyed. If they want to push people towards smaller cars, then why put smaller RWD vehicles on hold? Does it really matter that much if they get 1 mpg less? Since the Alpha cars will be Pontiac and Cadillac (and the Saturn Sky, probably) it will be lower volume. There will always be people who want RWD cars, and by delaying Alpha, they're just pushing them into the larger RWD cars and SUVs, hurting CAFE. This is just absurd. I'm really disappointed that Alpha is delayed as those cars were right up there with the Camaro on my list. Sad day. Thanks a lot GM. I hope we still get the Camaro on time and it isn't neglected after it comes out "because of CAFE". Seriously, that is the worst excuse ever and GM is milking every ounce of it so that they can settle for mediocrity again. Yay.
There's really no disagreeing with you. GM cannot continue to complain about new regulations as if they didn't see them coming eventually. Lots of companies have the same situation, so GM needs to overcome the regulation and invest heavily in making all upcoming platforms fit these new requirements. Canceling or delaying production is terrible for a company that prides itself on innovation and developing new ways to make old ideas great. If there is a significant delay on the Camaro, I'll buy a classic. That's $30,000 that will go toward a decent '67-'69 that could have gone to GM. I wear my Chevy pride on my belt buckle, but a company that's bitching about laws that affect everyone isn't really a reason for pride, is it? What GM needs to do is say, "These regulations will pose challenges to our companies, but we will still provide the best cars available to beat all of our competition." That is the mentality of the GM that I love, and I want to see more of it. We all understand that some things will have to change, but the competitive spirit should be a constant.
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:35 PM   #6
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I agree, by delaying new products all GM is doing is encouraging people to hold on to their own cars, buy used, or buy somewhere else. Everyone in the industry has to deal with these regulations, but they aren't slowing down. In fact, what they need to do is speed up development of new vehicles that will work towards improving the fleet's average fuel economy. Simply put, the Impala needs an update PRONTO! So if you're gonna make it FWD, make it FWD, make it good, and get her out on the market. If you're going to make Alpha, make it small, light, efficient, and fun, and get it out on the market now.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:26 PM   #7
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I don't get it. It seems to me the first thing American automakers do when they face a challenge is hit the "panic" button. They should take a page out of how the Germans do business; they refuse to neglect the desires of their clientèle by axing certain models just because they're higher consumption and the EU wants those models out. Just for the sake of meeting their demands when the EU in fact knows absolutely nothing about the auto-industry or how to engineer, let alone make cars people will actually want to buy. No, they put their nose to the grind stone to figure out ways to give the customers what they want without compromising and diluting their product range while satisfying government requirements at the same time. It seems like for all we know the 5thgen Camaro could be just that, the 5thgen and no more. With every report I read in regards to how the Big 3 will meet CAFE it seems like the future of our favorite domestic products gets bleaker and bleaker. Not trying to be negative nancy, it's the truth.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:47 PM   #8
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This is all being blown out of proportion. Even the most insignificant bad news travels like wildfire...much to my disappointment.

I think most of it, is that we're so used to being buttered-up by automakers, government, and our "superiors" (rolleyes); being told things that are all sugar-coated. That the minute somebody like Bob Lutz takes charge, who isn't going to sugar coat things, we take it as oh so terrible news. You think there weren't delays in other projects? You think there weren't issues and changed minds about cars before Lutz, and CAFE? huh.....we just weren't told then.

Alpha isn't even off the ground yet. So, Lutz tells it like it is, he says: "There may be delays." Would anybody expect a brand new platform to go off without a hitch from start to finish?? No. And all of a sudden, it means that Alpha has now fallen Victim to CAFE, and is in dire Peril.(to some people) It's like a weatherman saying - "there are storm clouds in the sky...so it might rain."..................Apparently that means that we're all going to drown from a massive global-wide flood.

My favorite lately on other boards is how Zeta is dead. Not dying, not being closely watched, but dead. Gimme a break.....

I guess all I'm saying, is: realize that 90% of the info we're given, is given to us by the media. An institution who's sole perogative is to maintain ratings, and popularity. Such goals require 'spicing up' of facts. And they know how much more effective Bad news is at producing those results. So, believe half of what you read (i.e. the sole facts), and then question/wait to see/ignore the other half - cause that's our beloved media making ratings.

EDIT: I also want to make it very clear that this was not directed at anybody here. We have been VERY good in this dept. It's just that I've just finished the rounds for today - and if I believed everything I've read on other car forums; well, hell - we've entered the Apocolypse. I'm very tired of reading it all.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:49 PM   #9
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One thing with the CAFE regulations that I don't quite understand is that Europe is the home to nearly all the top performaning cars (and yes they are all impractical and/or expensive), and yet they also have higher fuel economy standards than the new 35 mpg CAFE that is comming. So, as long as the bulk of the cars that are sold get good mileage, then what is the problem offering some high performance cars and large trucks that get reasonable mileage (unlike euro supercars that get under 10 mpg)?
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:57 PM   #10
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One thing with the CAFE regulations that I don't quite understand is that Europe is the home to nearly all the top performaning cars (and yes they are all impractical and/or expensive), and yet they also have higher fuel economy standards than the new 35 mpg CAFE that is comming. So, as long as the bulk of the cars that are sold get good mileage, then what is the problem offering some high performance cars and large trucks that get reasonable mileage (unlike euro supercars that get under 10 mpg)?
That's what I was trying to say two posts above. It makes NO sense at all why we should have to give up our affordable performance RWD muscle cars and they get to keep all the expensive AMG's, M's, RS's, Porsche's, Ferrrai's, Koensigg's, etc. etc. etc.....

I invited Soctt into this thread to spread some wisdom, we'll see what he says...
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