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Has the phase out of Oldsmobile changed your views of GM


Brougham-Holiday

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Personally, I never much cared for Olds' cars. I've never owned one (tho they've been in my family here & there & I've driven Olds's tens of thousands of miles), and I really have no desire to own one.

That said, I want to address a passing comment you made in another post ("last vestige of Olds comes down'??)- IMO General Motors has no intentions whatsoever of trying to make anyone "forget" Olds or pretend Olds never existed.

To answer the above: it primarily saddens me that Olds is gone, from a historical appreciation standpoint.

Any anger over the situation comes from the fact that so much money has been wasted with subaru, fiat, suzuki, saab & izusu... money that could've built brand new leading-edge Olds's instead. But at this point I have accepted it fully (what other course of action is there?) and I watch eagerly to see the -hopefully- resultant rejuvination of Pontiac & Buick- two divisions that mean a lot more to me.

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I am still as disappointed now as I was back in 2000. At the time Olds was my favorite of the GM brands and I hoped to own one down the road. To me olds was the only GM brand that offered cars that were my style, the cars were sleek and attractive. I have always had a thing for the first gen Aurora and would have really liked to see what it and the Oldsmobile brand would become. Even though I like the first gen Aurora much more than the second, to me it stood out in the GM lineup and is probably one of the cars I miss most now that olds is gone. At the time of the announcement of the phase out, in my opinion, Olds had some of the better cars GM was making and it was a shame it had to end. I understand why GM chose to eliminate a division, they just had too many, but I personally would not have chosen olds. I am curious as to what cars people chose to purchase when trading in their olds, do they go to Saturn or just end up with some import? Now that Saturn finally has some competitive, attractive vehicles, I think they will be able to better fill olds spot in the GM lineup and they don't have the image problem olds suffered from. Hopefully some day I will find myself that perfect black on black first gen Aurora that I have always wanted.

Edited by REDO1GPGT
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Killing off Oldsmobile kind of thew GM's product core out of whack. Having to plug the hole with Saturn still feels awkward, regardless of how great the cars are, and it will be a long time before Saturn achieves the kind of entry-level luxury image that Oldsmobile had (although, let's hope Saturn doesn't suffer from the "old person's car" perception like Olds did).

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It would have been interesting to have been a fly on the wall during the executive meetings that spoke about dumping Olds and propping up Saturn. In the great scheme of things, I am not sure dropping Olds made a big difference. Speaking from personal experience at a former Chevrolet-Oldsmobile store (as were all GM stores in Canada), I have lots quite a few customers who have defected to the imports because their Alero/Aurora/Intrigue lease came up and we have nothing to sell them. Some may have considered Buick, but most went to BMW, Toyota. I don't see Saturn ever having a respectable name, but that is my opinion.

If GM had gotten religion with respect to interior materials and fit/finish with the Intrigue in '97 that car could have saved Oldsmobile; however, as was normal at the time, the bean counters saddled the car with crappy fit and finish and only managed to capture die hard GM types, not be the import magnet that it needed to be.

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I'm still disappointed by it. To me it's proof that nice interiors and DOHC engines don't really matter. It's the Kool-Aid that matters. The Intrigue with the 3.5 is still superior to the Lacrosse in my mind. The Aurora v2.0 is a little ahead of the Lucerne. If both of those Olds were still being produced today, I would *still* buy them over their Buick counterparts even if they hadn't really been updated. There are at least 3 gay guys I know all under 30, who are babying their Aleros as long as they can. One has even taken to looking for a low mileage used one for cheap to keep as a spare. Two Aurora owners under 30.... same thing. None of them have any idea what they'll buy next if they can't find a decent used Olds. GM pulled out a bit too early.

The death of olds made me switch to Cadillac. I like Cadillac and I'm sure GM likes the switch.

Cadillac doesn't hold my attention like olds did. I haven't even seen the NG CTS yet, but I'm already second guessing my decision to buy one. Prior to the Olds death, there was no doubt in my mind where I'd be shopping for a car.

Now, I've seriously considered the NG Malibu, G6 Convertible, Aura, 9-3 Sport Combi, and NG CTS as serious contenders to replace my current CTS in a year. While it's great for GM that I'm willing to stick with GM.... isn't it sad that I can't get what I really want?! <2008 Cutlass Convertible FWIW>

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That last lineup was Olds' best in quite some time. They went out on a high product note, imo. Interesting that Saturn started out with Olds styling cues, and now Saturn is fast filling Oldsmobile's niche within the corporation, with the exception of a fullsize stunner like the Aurora. It seemed to me that the wholesale revamping, repositioning and renaming of the Olds lineup, (even though they were fine cars) put off too many traditional Olds buyers and didn't capture the new owners they needed to survive. I also think there is something to be said about the (proud, historic) very name "Oldsmobile" that the public at large just couldn't seem to attach to a desirable car in their modern mind's eye. Heck, Oldsmobile even seemed embarrassed by themselves, with the lack of any mention of the name on their cars for a couple of model years.

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I do have some emotional attachment to Olds, with my father (himself an Olds mechanic for a few years) owning a '00 Intrigue, having two G-body Cutlasses spend time in our driveway (and my continued lust for a 87-88 Cutlass Supreme Classic), and almost sealing the deal on a new '01 Alero for myself a few years back. I was sad as anything to hear they were going away, especially given that 1) The Oldsmobiles of the time were some of the greatest cars in the brand's history, and definitely the best, most sophsticated, nicest looking cars in all of GM at the time and 2) Saturn seemed like such an easy target for the axe, with an aging S-series and an L series that sucked. Perhaps it was the right decision for the GM management at the time, but had GM's current management structure been in place during that time period, Olds would still be here. The bright spot for Olds is: it went down fighting. Compare Olds' death to Plymouth's or Eagle's, and you'll understand what I mean.

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Personally, I never much cared for Olds' cars. I've never owned one (tho they've been in my family here & there & I've driven Olds's tens of thousands of miles), and I really have no desire to own one.

That said, I want to address a passing comment you made in another post ("last vestige of Olds comes down'??)- IMO General Motors has no intentions whatsoever of trying to make anyone "forget" Olds or pretend Olds never existed.

To answer the above: it primarily saddens me that Olds is gone, from a historical appreciation standpoint.

Any anger over the situation comes from the fact that so much money has been wasted with subaru, fiat, suzuki, saab & izusu... money that could've built brand new leading-edge Olds's instead. But at this point I have accepted it fully (what other course of action is there?) and I watch eagerly to see the -hopefully- resultant rejuvination of Pontiac & Buick- two divisions that mean a lot more to me.

"Very sad to see the Oldsmobile building loose its signage. I always thought it was a cool building. "

Where does this say anything about GM trying to forget Olds?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will not buy a GM car in the forseeable future because:

1. They killed Oldsmobile to dump more money into...SATURN???

2. They just don't get it. Get what? Name it: SUVs, electric cars, nostalgia cars (that Camaro is just sad), blaming the unions because they build cars nobody wants...

C.J.

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Olds was my favorite GM division. There's no denying that GM had too many models, but I don't think that they had to do away with Oldsmobile altogether. They just needed four world-class vehicles (compact, mid-size, full-size, and crossover), and the lineup was just one generation away from it. Of course, Saturn and Buick are the beneficiaries of Olds' demise. with resources now given to them to help plug the hole left by Olds.

Olds stood for cutting edge technology. That's been handed off to Saturn. Olds stood for clean, international styling. Saturn's picked up on that. Olds stood for upscale refinement. Again, that's now Saturn. In a way, the real Oldsmobile went away a couple of reorganizations ago back in the '80's, but the division still managed to create some of the most desirable vehicles of the company. If only the quality and perceived quality could match the industry's best, and if only GM didn't let the division wither before the big last gasp push, Olds could have survived. It was a valiant effort, and I still think given a little more time it could have worked.

When I got that Gen2 Aurora a couple of years ago, that pretty much fulfilled my lifelong desire to own an Olds. But I don't intend to buy a used car ever again, and therefore I will not get another Olds (though I seriously considered purchasing my now retired Quad 4-equipped work Achieva, however mediocre that car was). The only things that excite me now are hybrids, electric cars, and things of that sort, and when GM's plug-in hybrid gets to market, that's what I'll probably buy, and I figure more than likely Saturn will be the division that will be the purveyor of that technology (though I prefer not to get the piggish new Vue).

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Olds stood for cutting edge technology. That's been handed off to Saturn. Olds stood for clean, international styling. Saturn's picked up on that. Olds stood for upscale refinement. Again, that's now Saturn.

...I figure more than likely Saturn will be the division that will be the purveyor of that technology (though I prefer not to get the piggish new Vue).

Have you seen/driven any Saturns? Cut-rate, shoddily made 1990s Toyotas. And have you taken a good look at the new Saturn Sky? Even on the showrooom floor, 3 out of 4 have wrinkles in the convertible top.

I'll agree that GM put the Olds division and Olds dealers against the wall in the 80s in preparation for their eventual demise. It was a very deliberate path. Read "Racing to the Past" and "Project 2000" for the real back story. You can even see the handwriting on the wall in the deliberately non-controversial "Setting the Pace".

I haven't seen anything in GM that actually means upscale styling, innovation or refinement in a long time. We waited on a new car for months to drive the Buick Lucerne. Just another rental car. That's why we bought a Dodge Charger. And I'll keep my 71 Cutlass Convertible until they pry the drivers seat from my cold, dead ass.

C.J.

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'll agree that GM put the Olds division and Olds dealers against the wall in the 80s in preparation for their eventual demise. It was a very deliberate path. Read "Racing to the Past" and "Project 2000" for the real back story. You can even see the handwriting on the wall in the deliberately non-controversial "Setting the Pace".

Where can I find these items? I have the book "Setting The Pace".

I have many opinions on this subject.. I am not going there today..

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I miss Olds. They were my favorite GM brand for a long time. I was very sad to see GM's innovator sent to the guillotine, and I still am. I told myself back in 1999 that a metallic red/green 2-door V6 Alero would be my first new car. Well...needless to say, that won't ever happen. And what hurt me a lot was seeing how GM put ads up on the Olds site that pushed the (then, 2004) new Malibu on me instead of my Alero coupe. To this day, I wonder how quickly the decision to axe the brand was made by management, and how easy it was for them to do.

But, it makes no sense to dwell on the past. Like Z said, it made me feel better knowing that Olds went down fighting with what was arguably its best line-up to-date. Plymouth died with a rebadged Neon, Caravan, and Stratus.

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I owned an Olds and side it was easy for me to say goodbye to a maroon on red velvet Delta 88 with 14inch wire wheel locking discs. (Even tho that Series I 3800 was a sweetheart in the tq. department.) I miss the good Olds like the Aurora and twin cam 3.5L and 4.0L motors and the up to snuff 2nd generation Aurora interior. Olds was always the test dumby first production navigation system? Olds guidestar system in the LSS (always like those newer design tho) and Aurora.) Given the current line-up I would have killed Buick and kept Olds. Look at what Buick had... Centry (ugly & underpowered) Regal (decent car much better looking than the Centry *at least you could get a GS supercharged*) Park Avenue even then it was getting outdated, LeSabre (good car even considering the time) and Rendvous (ugly and was on its way...). Olds had the Aurora (great car and two sweet motors) Intirgue (great motor *okay styling on outside pretty good on inside*) Alero (wonderful midsize car) Barvada (nice SUV for the time) and the minivan (who cares?) I guess it was sharp... They should have killed Buick... Then when I saw the LaCrosse I knew they should have killed Buick! Along came the Lucerne and I was glad Buick stayed alive, and the Enclave enforced that decesion! (The Velite or whatever also was helpful...) Olds will be missed... Vista Cruiser to Hoilday 88's it has been sad to see an excellent name die! GM has taken their website and designed it as a tribute to Olds and there inovations clearly they do not want Olds to be forgotten. Thank God for that. :AH-HA_wink:

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I was very upset when I heard the first heard the news. I think that it changed my outlook of GM and the auto industry in general. as my optimism turned to pessimism. I still don't think I'd ever buy a non-GM car, as my grandfather is a retired GM employee and I grew up almost exclusivly around GM cars. It will, however, change my willingness to buy new, and make me keep my used cars longer. My grandfather was always a Pontiac man (though he currently has a Buick Century), and Pontiacs never did much for me with the rare exception of a few years of Grand Prixs COUPES and Bonneville. My other grandfather primarily drove Chevys (though he did have a 77 Cutlass when I was little). My parents owned whatever they got a good deal on (three Chevys, three Pontiacs, two Oldsmobiles, a Buick and a GMC). I always considered my dad a Chevy guy as that's what he seemed to default to on his own, and he was a big fan of the Chevelle (owning one in the early 70s before I was born) and Corvettes (though he never owned one). My mom bought a Buick on her own, and is most interested in replacing it with another. Oldsmobile was my thing, more distinctive than any Chevy could ever be, lacking the overly firm suspension, seats and red guages of Pontiac, and not as stodgy as Buick. I have always been a Cadillac guy to a lesser extent, but there is too much status associated with owning one. I could go out and buy a brand new Impala for $25,000 and nobody would blink, but spend the same amount on a used Caddy and even though it's used and didn't cost me any more, it will change the way people view me and my money situation. People would be asking themselves "where did he get that kind of money?". I think it would make it harder to convince my boss that I need a raise, or to get people to extend themselves with free or reduced offers because I'm young and "just starting out". I pretend to be way too poor for that.

Anyway, back on subject... I lost interest in the auto industry in general for a few years after the announcement. I turned my interests more to classic cars instead of future cars, and began collecting die-cast cars and license plates. I now know more about why GM did what they did... they were in worse financial trouble than I could have imagined at the time. I still feel like a homeless consumer though. The funny thing is that I'm such a bench seat guy, and Olds wasn't even building any cars I would buy when they were shuttered. I had hope that GM had realized they had made an error changing so quickly, and the next gen Intrigue would remedy that if only temporary. The Alero was certianally on the right track for the future, attracting lots of younger, more educated and upscale buyers than the Achieva or Calais could ever dream of(plus it was beginning to gain a decent aftermarket following). Oldsmobile needed more time for those Alero owners to mature into owning Intrigues or Auroras. Olds would have been wiser spending the money they wasted on the Malibu-Cutlass on an Intrigue based Cutlass that would have had different front and rear fascias, standard 3100 V6, bench seats and 15" hubcaps with aluminum wheels optional. Even if they pushed the Intrigue, the Cutlass would have sold well to just the Olds loyalists looking to trade thier Supremes or Cieras and even some Eighty-Eights, and without advertising. I remember asking an Olds dealer if the Intrigue came with bench seats yet (knowing the answer, but curious to what he'd say). He responded with a no, but said he wished it did and that he could sell alot more of them that way.

When I bought my Impala, I had the money to buy a new car that I didn't when I bought my Cutlass. I defaulted to used, because there was no new cars I felt were worthy of spending double on. After just over a year, I am BORED stiff with my Impala. Even after seven years, I still thought my Cutlass was beautiful (especially after washing), and still looked back on it in a parking lot just to see it. I am thinking about buying a new Impala, this time higher optioned, but even at that I'm afraid I will grow bored with it quickly. The Lacrosse and Lucerne are decent cars on paper, but I also fear I will grow bored with them quickly (My Impala seemed perfect on paper too). My dream would be a new DTS, but see above as to why that won't happen anytime soon.

If Saturn would build an appropriate car, Saturn would probably become my brand of choice, but time will tell. I'm willing to forgive the fact that Saturn got alot of the money that would have sustained Olds to get a car that matched my personality. They just haven't created one yet. Olds will always hold a special place in my heart, and as soon as I get things in order around the house, and the garage cleaned out (my dumping place during remodel), I will be looking for a Toronado or older Cutlass to add to my stable.

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I have always been a Cadillac guy to a lesser extent, but there is too much status associated with owning one. I could go out and buy a brand new Impala for $25,000 and nobody would blink, but spend the same amount on a used Caddy and even though it's used and didn't cost me any more, it will change the way people view me and my money situation. People would be asking themselves "where did he get that kind of money?". I think it would make it harder to convince my boss that I need a raise, or to get people to extend themselves with free or reduced offers because I'm young and "just starting out". I pretend to be way too poor for that.

^I totally agree and you wonder my why wonderful Cadillac SDV is gone? I would love a used DTS but won't get one as I am a teacher and they would wonder where they got that kind of money!.

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You guys (AM6 Cutlass and GM4 Life) hit it right on the head!

Getting rid of Oldsmobile was not smart. They are still paying for it. I was hurt and it still hurts. I have accepted it eventhough I do not like it. Oldsmobile gave you the best of both sides of GM:

Chevy/Pontiac= price and sport

Buick/Cadillac= luxury,sophistication and distinction.

Let me be honest here.. When I was a child I liked all the GM divisions. I still do. When I was younger I wanted a Pontiac Bonneville or Parsisienne or Grand Prix. I always liked all those luxury features on Cadillacs. I also liked the Oldsmobiles because they were the best compromise. I liked Buick, but they just never sat well with me and rubbed me the wrong way(especially in the 1970's). I liked Chevrolet Caprice, but it lacked that something. Again.. Oldsmobile had that something... I learned the GM history, the cars and divisions. I learned about Holden years ago before everyone knew Holden here. I liked them because they looked like Oldsmobiles.

Fast forward...

When I bought my first car, I was looking at a 1993-1996 Cadillac Fleetwood or the 1989-1992 Fleeetwood and Deville. I could not do it because of where I work, I knew they would think they were paying me too much or that where was I getting that kind of money. I also knew the faculty(professors) who make more than me would feel threatened by me driving a Cadillac. I wanted to be a good steward with my money. The Oldsmobile Ninety Eight allows me to have Cadillac features and luxury at a comfortable price. It allows me drive a luxury car that is distinctive, but not in your face. It is not pretentious or flashy.

I laugh when I think how close my car is to a Deville/DTS or Fleetwood. I just do not have the V8.

On the Oldsmobile Ninety Eight video I have here in the house, they say the Ninety Eight is for the successful person who has arrived, but chooses to not display their wealth.

I did not want Buicks because there is something still to this day that does not sit right with me about owning one. It is not flashy like Cadillac, but Buicks are missing something I cannot put my finger on. I wonder too what the Ninety Eight would have looked like with a redesign in 1997 when Park Avenue got one.

GM messed up with the new Oldsmobile. It failed because of execution, marketing, wiping out the old Oldsmobile and that whole name changing business and trying to "woo" import owners who they knew did not want their cars.

My issue was never with the looks of the new Oldsmobile. It was the naming scheme(They are still screwing that up on other divisions now), the lack of a clear mission, and lack of a fullsized car.

When I went to buy a second car to have with my Ninety Eight, I looked at:

Lincoln Mark VIII, Buick Riviera, Cadillac SLS, Lincoln Town Car and 1997-1999 Deville and a host of Oldsmobiles..

I went with Oldsmobile Toronado. It like the Ninety Eight gave me what I needed and how I needed it. Riviera fell short and I was not driving an Eldorado because of the status of the vehicle. Yes, I almost bought a Lincoln because it was close to what I wanted and what I have with Oldsmobile and it does not carry the flash and status Cadillac has. That is how GM lost those buyers and they have not recovered them.

I have owned two Ninety Eight's :

1994 was totaled in August 2003. I have the 1995.

I have owned two Toronados.

1991 was totaled August 2006. I have the 1992 now.

The reason why I bought the same cars twice is because when I was in an accident, those cars were very crash worthy.

I still support GM, and like them but I am orphaned and they do not have anything for me either.

Here is a video:

End Of Oldsmobile:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFlBqRYpbZc

Edited by NINETY EIGHT REGENCY
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It showed me that GM is getting smart. They were stretched thin, too many brands. So you take the necessary brands out(Chevy and Cadillac) of the equation and put the rest (Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Oldsmobile, Saturn) on the table. B-P-G were going to be consolidated, to basically make a three-headed monster leaving Olds and Saturn. Most Saturn dealerships were stand alone, which would have made closing them a bit more difficult than closing Olds dealerships which were often shared with other brands, and Saturn didn't register negatively in the minds of most people, for most people it didn't register at all, so the brand could still be molded into whatever GM wanted, were seeing the fruits of that now. There you have it, Olds go squeezed out by GM having too many brands. Before you use the Saturn argument, its likely that Olds would have been in a similar situation if Saturn had never existed anyways.

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Ninety Eight - it's greta having you posting again. I remember the accident claiming the '94 and your search that led you to the '95, but when did you get the '92 Toronado? Two Oldsmobiles now, huh! Lucky you. Is the '92 a Trofeo? A friend of mine neighbor had a dark blue '92 Toronado Trofeo and I lusted after that car. He got into a car accident in '94 and drove it a little while longer, than replaced it with something else. Later on he said he regretted getting rid of it - no other car was like his Trofeo.

My only link to Oldsmobile was with my aunt, who purcahsed in early 1990 a leftover "dealer demo" 1989 98 Regency. This was special ordered for the G.M. at the dealership, and he didn't put a whole lot of miles on it (4 or 5 K). It had many more options than most Regency's of the time, and was similarly equipped to the Touring edition. She babied that car, only putting 27,000 miles on it at the time of her death in 2004. She always said that she'd give me the car in her will; unfortunately, she died of cancer and never made a will in time. Apparently though she wrote out her wishes and gave it to my cousin to follow through with; my cousin - to whom I got along with all my life - turned against the rest of the family and claimed all my aunt's stuff as hers, including the Oldsmobile. God only knows what my wacky cousin has done to that wonderful '89 98 Regency :(

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GMC Truck Guy:

Nice talking to you. I have been back for a little bit. So far good. I hope it stays that way.

I got the Toronado in December 2006. It is not a Trofeo. I did not want the Trofeo. The Trofeo had too many mechanical/electrical issues. The analog gauges on them go out a lot. You see alot of the gauges on Ebay for sale. The analog gauges were standard in 1990-1992. Plus, I did not want analog gauges either. I cannot stand them. The Toronados are well built. You have Cadilac Eldorado like touches on the inside.

It is equipped like a 1985 Toronado Brougham. It has everything.

The gauges look like this on the inside:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y07KF6W9AmU

There are certain options you had to get in order to get those.

It is a color you rarely saw. The last few years of Toronado were rare.

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Phasing Oldsmobile makes me fear that another brand might be phased as well! GM should of never phased Oldsmobile! They've lost a lot of sales because of it, and we lost a great american company!

I'm still disapointed and wish if it never happened..

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