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Old 04-17-2024, 12:09 PM   #57
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And no, I don't need to be schooled on turbo 4-cylinders. I've got one of those too. Putting these into Jeeps and full-size trucks, midsize trucks, and SUV's is a sign of the times: ICV's are reaching peak efficiency and output.
Agreed Toyotas aren't appealing. It is an embarrassing situation when they can be highlighted.

But this point is a non sequitur. The closer to diminishing returns --> the greater the reason to build to buyer appeal.

I put more on the B.o. Directors (but I'm ready for new CEO and president to bring hope). A f*cking mutual fund or big institution isn't going to care if GM goes down, and may want it, as they could hope to pick up the market slack elsewhere. And then, the 401k's just look like bribes to get normal fellas to give up their shareholder votes.
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Old 04-18-2024, 09:00 AM   #58
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GM is actually in a pivotal position because their standard size truck and SUVs are excellent. In fact, I would go on a limb and say that their pickup truck and suv's are in the best shape aesthetically and functionally. This was due to steady improvement in the genre without interruption. The truck and SUV genres feature outstanding power, technology and functionality that were once desired features in their automobiles. Its a little less than an accident that the full sized trucks and SUVs are now the focus of their line-up in the absence of their regular automobiles. Thirty years ago or more the pickups were considered farm and rural staples, good but unseen to the regular automobiles.

GM is also in a precarious spot because, IMO, with the absence of a dominant car line the company is no longer a dominant player in the automotive field. Their once docile japanese competitors have now taken their spot as the pre-eminent car manufacturer.
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Old 04-18-2024, 11:36 AM   #59
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GM is actually in a pivotal position because their standard size truck and SUVs are excellent. In fact, I would go on a limb and say that their pickup truck and suv's are in the best shape aesthetically and functionally. This was due to steady improvement in the genre without interruption. The truck and SUV genres feature outstanding power, technology and functionality that were once desired features in their automobiles. Its a little less than an accident that the full sized trucks and SUVs are now the focus of their line-up in the absence of their regular automobiles. Thirty years ago or more the pickups were considered farm and rural staples, good but unseen to the regular automobiles.

GM is also in a precarious spot because, IMO, with the absence of a dominant car line the company is no longer a dominant player in the automotive field. Their once docile japanese competitors have now taken their spot as the pre-eminent car manufacturer.
Very good analysis. GM is in a precarious position. But they do have a couple pretty decent off-ramps should things shift downward wrt their T2XX platform.

If cars make a comeback, there is still capability in China, Sout Korea, and South America that can be leveraged to revive a car portfolio in the US. It wouldn’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it wouldn’t be starting over.

If they maintain their current trajectory towards high volume EVs, a sedan or coupe is simply(?) another top hat on the BEV3 skateboard architecture that builds everything from next gen Bolt to Blazer EV / Lyriq.
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Old 04-18-2024, 12:24 PM   #60
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Very good analysis. GM is in a precarious position. But they do have a couple pretty decent off-ramps should things shift downward wrt their T2XX platform.

If cars make a comeback, there is still capability in China, Sout Korea, and South America that can be leveraged to revive a car portfolio in the US. It wouldn’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it wouldn’t be starting over.

If they maintain their current trajectory towards high volume EVs, a sedan or coupe is simply(?) another top hat on the BEV3 skateboard architecture that builds everything from next gen Bolt to Blazer EV / Lyriq.
I feel like GM's current missing links with regards to competition are an enthusiast's SUV and something to occupy the space formerly held by Camaro--but maybe a muscle car wasn't the answer there for sustainable sales volume. Is there any credibility to that, or am I smoking the good stuff?
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Old 04-18-2024, 01:01 PM   #61
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If they maintain their current trajectory towards high volume EVs, a sedan or coupe is simply(?) another top hat on the BEV3 skateboard architecture that builds everything from next gen Bolt to Blazer EV / Lyriq.
They've hinted at low roof for a while now. Even showed one that looked like a Camaro.
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Old 04-18-2024, 02:28 PM   #62
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I feel like GM's current missing links with regards to competition are an enthusiast's SUV and something to occupy the space formerly held by Camaro--but maybe a muscle car wasn't the answer there for sustainable sales volume. Is there any credibility to that, or am I smoking the good stuff?
Muscle Cars, Coupes, Sedans, all dying breeds before EV became the center of the universe. There was never a question of whether GM would exit those segments. Just when and how. Malibu is set to be last man standing until GM decides to do low roof product on BEV3. I think GM is so far staying out of performance utilities because the platforms they would build them on are not hurting for sales. The profit margins on T2XX based trucks and utilities is so high it’s truly an “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” scenario. It would be easy for GM to have installed LT4 in Tahoe and call it Tahoe SS. I think that may have already been in a police package. I actually had LT4 Tahoe in our forecast when I was doing Powertrain forecasts. But at the end of the day it would have at best diverted sales from another Tahoe trim at little if any additional profit margin. So what problem is it fixing? That’s why we took it out of the forecast. If plant utilization at T2XX plants dropped below 80-90% for an extended amount of time then you might see an effort to put together a “spring special”.
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They've hinted at low roof for a while now. Even showed one that looked like a Camaro.
True. But, GM also told us we were getting a $30k Equinox EV and a $65k Blazer EV SS. We’ll get ‘em, but bump those prices up $5-10k and delay them a year. Wouldn’t surprise me to see any car-based applications delayed, too.
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Old 04-18-2024, 02:33 PM   #63
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When you strip away all the BS, corporations are built, and sustained, by the one-on-one personal relationships with each customer. Even internal customers. It all boils down to that. The cumulative effect of all the customers adds up, and this gives you the report card, if you will, of the company's overall performance. Back in the 80s when GM had a huge market share, they could be world leaders in sales and pretty much dictate the market. No longer. Still doesn't mean you should lose innovation.

Mary's made mistakes. Everyone makes them. I'm sure she didn't WANT to pull the plug on Camaro. But sales are sales. Can you point to the marketing department and say things like, "WTF? We gave you ???? dollars for Camaro advertising and what did you do with it?"

Like it or not, in ONE year I saw more advertising for Dodge than I did for Camaro in the last 10 years combined. So whether its parts-bin specials, lackluster styling, no updates to correct past issues, etc., GM has never seemed to address exactly why they thought sales figures were in the toilet, and what, if anything, was the game plan to turn it around. It wasn't like it snuck up on them. A good sales team knows what it takes to understand what the public wants.

Maybe they didn't want to? Did they think it's for a small sect of buyers anyway, let's not get too involved with it and let it just die on the vine?

I don't advocate for Mary to be fired. At least not yet. Everyone's going through a major upheaval to their business plans because it wasn't a ground roots program to accelerate things. Outside influence plays a major role. How each of these companies come out on the other side is yet to be seen. This ain't gm's first rodeo. They've been in tough times before.

On a personal level, if they continue with their plans on BEV'ing everything, I'm pretty much done with them. I believe in choices, and one shouldn't be penalized (paying a premium for) one propulsion method over another if they're made available just to get you to buy the one they want you to buy. Free markets should be, well, free.
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Old 04-18-2024, 03:00 PM   #64
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Muscle Cars, Coupes, Sedans, all dying breeds before EV became the center of the universe. There was never a question of whether GM would exit those segments. Just when and how. Malibu is set to be last man standing until GM decides to do low roof product on BEV3. I think GM is so far staying out of performance utilities because the platforms they would build them on are not hurting for sales. The profit margins on T2XX based trucks and utilities is so high it’s truly an “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” scenario. It would be easy for GM to have installed LT4 in Tahoe and call it Tahoe SS. I think that may have already been in a police package. I actually had LT4 Tahoe in our forecast when I was doing Powertrain forecasts. But at the end of the day it would have at best diverted sales from another Tahoe trim at little if any additional profit margin. So what problem is it fixing? That’s why we took it out of the forecast. If plant utilization at T2XX plants dropped below 80-90% for an extended amount of time then you might see an effort to put together a “spring special”.

True. But, GM also told us we were getting a $30k Equinox EV and a $65k Blazer EV SS. We’ll get ‘em, but bump those prices up $5-10k and delay them a year. Wouldn’t surprise me to see any car-based applications delayed, too.
More specifically, I was thinking like an enthusiast SUV to compete with the new 4Runner/Land Cruiser, Bronco, and even Wrangler, for the past 12+ years. GM is weirdly absent in that market except for its midsize ZR2 pickup offerings, but they're trucks.

As far as a performance car goes...we've been told to "keep the faith" (yet again). That leads me to nervously believe there will be something intended to replace the Camaro.
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Old 04-18-2024, 03:21 PM   #65
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Very good analysis. GM is in a precarious position. But they do have a couple pretty decent off-ramps should things shift downward wrt their T2XX platform.

If cars make a comeback, there is still capability in China, Sout Korea, and South America that can be leveraged to revive a car portfolio in the US. It wouldn’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it wouldn’t be starting over.

If they maintain their current trajectory towards high volume EVs, a sedan or coupe is simply(?) another top hat on the BEV3 skateboard architecture that builds everything from next gen Bolt to Blazer EV / Lyriq.
I believe this because GM has more than enough experience to recover. If and when they decide to produce cars again, let's hope that they have learned good lessons in their hiatus, and the company once again produces interesting and attractive styling to their regular car lines.
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Old 04-18-2024, 03:22 PM   #66
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Mary's made mistakes. Everyone makes them. I'm sure she didn't WANT to pull the plug on Camaro. But sales are sales. Can you point to the marketing department and say things like, "WTF? We gave you ???? dollars for Camaro advertising and what did you do with it?"

Like it or not, in ONE year I saw more advertising for Dodge than I did for Camaro in the last 10 years combined. So whether its parts-bin specials, lackluster styling, no updates to correct past issues, etc., GM has never seemed to address exactly why they thought sales figures were in the toilet, and what, if anything, was the game plan to turn it around. It wasn't like it snuck up on them. A good sales team knows what it takes to understand what the public wants.

Maybe they didn't want to? Did they think it's for a small sect of buyers anyway, let's not get too involved with it and let it just die on the vine?
I was one of those believers that also thought a lack of marketing was why the Camaro failed and while I do believe a little bit more commercials would have helped, I don’t think marketing/advertisements is why it failed. I’m currently trying to sell my Camaro and get a 13/14 GT500. After sitting in multiple GT500’s and GT350’s I immediately understood why the Camaro failed. We Camaro owners always make excuses for the Camaro’s short comings which are visibility and storage. Yes we get used to it and we make compromises living with it but most people don’t want to do that. First impressions matter. After sitting in a Mustang I thought I was sitting in a fish bowl. It’s truly THAT much better seeing out of it. Like I get people wanting to be able to see out of their car. The Camaro is bad at being a regular car but great at performance. That isn’t what most sports car buyers want. They want to be able to use the car everyday. While you and I might prioritize performance we are in the minority.
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Old 04-18-2024, 03:29 PM   #67
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More specifically, I was thinking like an enthusiast SUV to compete with the new 4Runner/Land Cruiser, Bronco, and even Wrangler, for the past 12+ years. GM is weirdly absent in that market except for its midsize ZR2 pickup offerings, but they're trucks.

As far as a performance car goes...we've been told to "keep the faith" (yet again). That leads me to nervously believe there will be something intended to replace the Camaro.
Ok, got it. When I was still there, there were multiple attempts at a”Wrangler fighter”. Some may have even heard the name Granite floated around. Many iterations, many business cases. None passed the muster. I actually thought we were going to market with a property that made it to the NAIAS display floor as a concept. It still didn’t make it to production. There were other Granite iterations that were more Wrangler-like and sorta “Baby Hummer” in appearance. In fact, there was a Hummer H4 on the edge of the product plan for a while. Same thing though…death by business case. That and a RWD Granite utility were ideas that bounced around a lot.

Ideally, to compete with Wrangler / Bronco, you’d want a utility off the Colorado / Canyon RWD platform. But at the time that was an aging platform struggling to justify the expense to replace it. So the Granite concept that made it to the show was done off the VSS-F platform. In other words…another FWD compact utility. So might have cannabalized Equinox / Terrain sales or maybe at best it could be the top end trim of Terrain. Not enough volume in that scenario. And probably not real world competitive with Wrangler / Bronco. Then the whole VSS-F / VSS-R strategy sorta decomposed. I’m sure there’s a lot more to the story that happened after I left, but not having something in that segment wasn’t for lack of trying.
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Old 04-19-2024, 10:24 AM   #68
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That's interesting about the Granite. It looks like it might compete with a GTI! lol. Talk about an idea that looked different in concept. Granite is also a model made by Mack, wonder how that would have played out.

I'm hallucinating that someday we might see something like an S10 ZR2 2-door again. Hindsight is myopic...the interiors were junk, door panels bulged when you raised and lowered the windows in the doors, and 190hp out of a wheezing 4.3 was nothing to write home about. But somehow, they were perfect. Proportions, versatility. In a world of trucks starting to wear mom jeans and dad shoes, bloating, and going crossover, the S10 was still a cool truck. I think GM almost has the feel with the new Colorado, but we need a ute!
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Old 04-19-2024, 10:39 AM   #69
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In stead of Granite, maybe GM brass could use the nameplate Marble, since that's what they have rolling around inside their heads.
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Old 04-19-2024, 01:09 PM   #70
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That's interesting about the Granite. It looks like it might compete with a GTI! lol. Talk about an idea that looked different in concept. Granite is also a model made by Mack, wonder how that would have played out.

I'm hallucinating that someday we might see something like an S10 ZR2 2-door again. Hindsight is myopic...the interiors were junk, door panels bulged when you raised and lowered the windows in the doors, and 190hp out of a wheezing 4.3 was nothing to write home about. But somehow, they were perfect. Proportions, versatility. In a world of trucks starting to wear mom jeans and dad shoes, bloating, and going crossover, the S10 was still a cool truck. I think GM almost has the feel with the new Colorado, but we need a ute!
The name Granite as a GTI instead of a 4x4 is weird.

I have S10's, and they've all gotten sloppier than when fresh. I think GM must have used some cheap ABS plastic in the wrong spots rather than a nylon that's multiple times stronger. Anyone onto S10's isn't going for luxury, even with Bravadas. Colorados just seemed intended for someone else.

I've test driven the newer 4.3 in the last gen full size truck WT, and liked it a lot, but not the full-size. I would've loved to see variants made with more cubes, odd-fire.
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