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Drew Dowdell

Platform ideas

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In the past I have made the suggestion that each of the original divisions, except Chevy, have one single division exlusive platform. For example, all cadillac cars be built on the sigma, all buicks be built on zeta, etc. Saab and saturn could share with over seas divisionsb and therefor have exclusive plateforms here in the states. this would affod GM similar economies of scale while promoting brand uniqueness. Rather than 8 versions of W-body over 4 divisions like the had back in the day, they could have 5 versions of W-body at one division. (sm, md, lg sedan and sm, lg coupe) for example.

The second advantage is that when the platform is updated the entire division's mode line up would be updated.

If GM updated one division each year (not counting hummer/gmc) they would fall naturally into a comfortable 5 year product cycle.

what do you think?

I apolgize for typing errors, I'm on a treo.

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The problem comes when two divisions need the same type of car. Who do you want to give a fullsize sedan to - Buick or Chevy? Think about it. Do you really want the restriction of choosing just one?

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Too costly. Too unnecessary. It would lead to platform overlapping...and then you'd get situations where, say, Zeta gets tuned and updated and honed to be virtually as good as Sigma...then the logic is "well Zeta costs less but performs as well as Sigma...but we have to have Cadillac on Sigma because of division-exclusive platforms." And that makes no financial sense.

It's edicts like that, and the whole "nothing faster than the Corvette" that will hold GM back. Remember Lutz came to GM and for every edict asked "why?" Why did all the vehicles designed have to fit specific proportions? Why did the tire-wheel ratio have to be set in stone? Tire-fender ratio? All of it held back GM creatively and financially, and something like this likely would too.

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The problem comes when two divisions need the same type of car. Who do you want to give a fullsize sedan to - Buick or Chevy? Think about it. Do you really want the restriction of choosing just one?

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Well, chevy is a bit of an exception as they would probably need two or 3 platforms to cover their entire lineup. I'm thinking in terms of a more modern GM where Pontiac, Buick, Saturn and Saab aren't full line manufacturers

The Buick full size sedan would be substantially different then a Chevy full sized sedan... and that's as it should be.

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An increasing degree of divisional exclusivity MUST be so & prominently, esp from an engineering standpoint. Budget undoubtedly will not allow each division unique hardware, but the overlap & interchangability must continue to decline. Cadillac is in good standing, but Buick needs to pull out of the pack, and yesterday.

One can trace the general historical Corporate decline clearly back to the elimination of divisional engineering- it's high time that short-sighted decision was reversed (again: as much as the budget will allow).

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Too costly.  Too unnecessary.  It would lead to platform overlapping...and then you'd get situations where, say, Zeta gets tuned and updated and honed to be virtually as good as Sigma...then the logic is "well Zeta costs less but performs as well as Sigma...but we have to have Cadillac on Sigma because of division-exclusive platforms."  And that makes no financial sense.

It's edicts like that, and the whole "nothing faster than the Corvette" that will hold GM back.  Remember Lutz came to GM and for every edict asked "why?"  Why did all the vehicles designed have to fit specific proportions?  Why did the tire-wheel ratio have to be set in stone?  Tire-fender ratio?  All of it held back GM creatively and financially, and something like this likely would too.

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We already have platform overlapping...across divisions even. Why buy an Intrigue, Grand Prix, Lacross, Impala when you could buy an Intrigue, Grand Prix Lacross or Impala for the about the same money? G6, Malibu, 9-3, Aura, NG Lacrosse, BTS.. Face it, the Epsilon has become the next W-body, whored out to whoever wants it.

What I'm proposing, keeping the smaller B-P in mind, is one platform for the division. Still make 5 cars off of it like you do now, just brand them all Pontiac.. or all Buick.. or all Cadillac.

What you're saying about the Zeta v. Sigma thing is happening now. Why buy a DTS when you can get the Lucerne for less? At least with unique platforms for the divisions you would get unique product in the segment. This would give the divisions a reason to continue

But face it each version of the Epsilon has been better than the previous. So nothing would change except that Pontiac could be Pontiac... and not just a badge engineered Chevy.

I completely disagree with any self imposed design/performance restrictions like those you mentioned.

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An increasing degree of divisional exclusivity MUST be so & prominently, esp from an engineering standpoint. Budget undoubtedly will not allow each division unique hardware, but the overlap & interchangability must continue to decline. Cadillac is in good standing, but Buick needs to pull out of the pack, and yesterday.

One can trace the general historical Corporate decline clearly back to the elimination of divisional engineering- it's high time that short-sighted decision was reversed (again: as much as the budget will allow).

214366[/snapback]

what he said.

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