NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Questioning Our Brand Strategy?

68 posts in this topic

June 1, 2007

Questioning Our Brand Strategy?

By Christopher Barger

Director, GM Global Communications Technology

We couldn't help but notice a letter to the editor in yesterday's USA Today questioning our brand strategy and suggesting that GM might be better off with fewer brands.

We respect the author's opinion, and we certainly don't mean to single him out... but we would like to address his concern. We'd actually argue that in today’s highly competitive, highly fragmented car market, a strong portfolio of brands is critical. A typical brand today sells only about 250,000 units a year, and some of the hottest new brands like Mini, HUMMER and Scion sell way less than that. A fast-changing brandscape like this offers lots of challenges — and opportunities.

We think that as GM continues to improve its products and sharpen its brands, our portfolio of eight brands can be a competitive advantage — if we can keep each brand sharply focused and stocked with strong products. GM’s global operations help here. For example, sharing products with Opel will give Saturn new vehicles perfectly suited for import fans, while our new global rear drive program, headquartered in Australia, will soon provide Chevy and Pontiac with exciting new performance cars.

It's also important that we work with our dealers to build strong retail channels. As Buick, Pontiac and GMC come together in the same showroom, we are eliminating overlapping products and sharpening all three brands. The customer gets a showroom full of great products, and the dealer gets enough traffic to maintain a successful, profitable business. This also allows both GM and its dealers to streamline areas like the service department that the customer doesn’t see.

There are lots of signs that improved products and stronger brands are paying off for GM. Our retail sales are up, and new vehicles like the Chevy Silverado, GMC Acadia and Saturn Aura and Outlook are racking up sales and accolades. Yes, GM still faces many challenges here in North America. But we are confident that we are moving in the right direction. And we'd humbly suggest that if the author were to give one of our new Buick, Pontiac or Saturn vehicles a test drive, he might well share some of our confidence.

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I have to agree with almost all of this. The reason analysts argue for fewer brands is two main reasons: 1. Smaller market share and 2. Less personal attention per brand aka weaker brands.

To address the first, smaller market shares, the only thing fewer brands will result in is a resignation that the market share you've lost is gone (ie no expectation of future growth). The why, if you don't expect to grow, are you even in business? So, I personally think it's insipiring that GM has the fortitude to stay the course. Plus, aligning BPG helps to scale the cost basis while leaving future growth options open...brilliant.

And second, weaker brands. The solution to doing bad business is not to do less of it, it's to do better business. Yes, it would be easier to run GM if they only had 4 brands, but from what I've seen lately, I have all the confidence that GM's leadership can and is doing better business across the spectrum with the current range of brands in tact.

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Yes, Chris Barger is right.

How is GM supposed ot maintain share with 4 brands?

Journalists are dumbasses sometimes.

There's a saying, those who can't do, 'teach'. In my business, if you can't hack the pressures of the real world, you become a prof and wax rhetoric with a bunch of young nubies who will believe what you say.

Journalists sometimes don't get what is going on in the real world.

Edited by regfootball
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I don't mind the fact that GM has a lot of brands to care for; I actually believe this could be a good thing if GM could learn to differentiate the brands. If Pontiac is supposed to be the performance division, then why is it that Chevrolet is the one with the Camaro and Corvette, two performance-oriented cars? If GMC and Buick are both in the same showrooms, then why do we need an Acadia and an Enclave? There's still way too much overlap between the brands.

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I don't mind the fact that GM has a lot of brands to care for; I actually believe this could be a good thing if GM could learn to differentiate the brands. If Pontiac is supposed to be the performance division, then why is it that Chevrolet is the one with the Camaro and Corvette, two performance-oriented cars? If GMC and Buick are both in the same showrooms, then why do we need an Acadia and an Enclave? There's still way too much overlap between the brands.

Just because Pontiac <will be> the performance division doesn't mean other brands can't have sporty cars. If you've sat in an Acadia and Enclave....you'd know why both exist. Enclave is there to capture soccer mom's trading out of RXes and a few loyalty sales from the Rendezvous. Acadia is there to catch people trading down from their fuel thirsty Yukons.

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Yes, Chris Barger is right.

How is GM supposed ot maintain share with 4 brands?

Journalists are dumbasses sometimes.

There's a saying, those who can't do, 'teach'. In my business, if you can't hack the pressures of the real world, you become a prof and wax rhetoric with a bunch of young nubies who will believe what you say.

Journalists sometimes don't get what is going on in the real world.

Hey! I think *I* said that before!

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There's still as much compelling reason to have GM's full portfolio as there was back in the 1950s and 1960s...

* Chevrolet - the volume brand, with something for everyone in cars or trucks.

* Saturn - the international brand, aiming at import intenders.

* Pontiac - the sporty brand, for the young and young-at-heart.

* Buick - the people's luxury brand, with smooth rides and as much comfort as you can pay for.

* Cadillac - the world standard, challenging the best vehicles on the planet.

* GMC - the only premium American truck brand, a notch higher in class than those other guys.

* Hummer - the most capable off-road vehicles available anywhere.

Compare that to, say, Ford...

* Ford - the volume brand, etc.

* Mercury - the, um, style brand?

* Lincoln - the brand you choose when you don't want a Cadillac.

Or, worse, Chrysler...

* Dodge - sporty, but cheap, too!

* Chrysler - plush, but cheap, too!

* Jeep - Chrysler's only brand left with an image - SUVs of all types and abilities.

For a different take, let's see how Toyota fares...

* Scion - how to make the cheapest Toyotas cool again, via hyper-hip marketing.

* Toyota - well, this is the reason Scion exists.

* Lexus - Japan's standard of the world and their attempt to out-gadget everybody else.

See? GM's broad strategy still has relevance, regardless of so-called "marketing analysts" and their opinions.

Now, don't take this the wrong way - I love all cars, and I especially wish Chrysler the best of luck these days (see the compelling reason to have Plymouth back in the line?) - but GM still has some of the best brands in the car business, bar none.

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It is all about less models and much better defined models than less brands.

Those who can lead Auto Companies and those who can't write about it.

Edited by hyperv6
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To the post above: Fewer vehicles in the short term, BPG into one with Buick and Pontiac smaller and focused to rebuild the brands, but those lines could certainly expand in the long term after people start viewing the brands as they're intended.

Compare that to, say, Ford...

* Ford - the volume brand, etc.

* Mercury - the, um, style brand?

* Lincoln - the brand you choose when you don't want a Cadillac.

Yeah, Ford has 2 of the worst brands on the market. The Ford brand is still seen as "All-American", but I don't know anybody that can really tell me what the hell Mercury is. (I know the peeps at Ford will spout some crap about demographic differences, but demos don't make brands.) And Lincoln is just sad. It used to be the only true competitor to Cadillac and now is lucky to garner favorable comparisons with Buick.

Edited by Windy-57
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People do not realize all the GM divisions back in the day had fewer cars. They created variations off of them. They also have fewer platforms. GM is getting back to what it once did. They took a lesson from Toyota and Honda( quality and globalization) and are playing the style hand. They have something the imports do not have a history and heritage. It is all about putting the plan in action and standing behind the plan.

Back in the 1960's Oldsmobile had three cars: 98, 88, and Cutlass. They created variation on variation off these cars.

Buick in the 1980's only had:

Riviera, Regal, Park Avenue, LeSabre, Century, Skylark and Skyhawk and wagons. They created variations off these. They covered the market...

8 cars... If you did the Buick Line up today:

Riviera would still be there. Regal and Century would be one car. Park Avenue and LeSabre would be one car. Skylark and Skyhawk would be one car. And your wagon.

That is : 5 cars.

It was in the late 1980's and the 1990's that it got out of hand with all the GM divisions have this car and that car. Then it was all these different platforms too.

The C body

The H Body

The B Body

The W Body

The A Body

The G body ....and on and on

Back in the day The Ninety Eight and The Eighty Eight and Toronado shared parts inside and out and underneath. Looking at them you would not know it. Then it was the Aurora and the Ninety Eight and Eighty Eight.

I think all the divisions can exist together. They just need to get back to few cars and more focused brands like they were.

That is why I will still say, they realize now getting rid of Oldsmobile was not a good idea now. Oldsmobile could be a smaller focused brand today( once everything else is cleared up).

It is the basic concept of doing more with less... They now are doing it on a global scale. If things go well.. the advantages the imports have will erode with time. Then it becomes a matter of style, quality and preference and perception.

Edited by NINETY EIGHT REGENCY
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To the post above: Fewer vehicles in the short term, BPG into one with Buick and Pontiac smaller and focused to rebuild the brands, but those lines could certainly expand in the long term after people start viewing the brands as they're intended.

Yeah, Ford has 2 of the worst brands on the market. The Ford brand is still seen as "All-American", but I don't know anybody that can really tell me what the hell Mercury is. (I know the peeps at Ford will spout some crap about demographic differences, but demos don't make brands.) And Lincoln is just sad. It used to be the only true competitor to Cadillac and now is lucky to garner favorable comparisons with Buick.

Let Chevy be all things to every one at a value price.

Let BPG be more refined in fewer quality cars addressed to a more discriminating crowd that is willing to pay more for something that everyone won't have. In other words let them sell the kind of cars Chevy does not already address or cant address at a value price. BPG needs to aim a little more at Acura and Lexus.

With BPG less is more. Porsche figured this out after flooding the market with a lot of cheap 924's and 944's. It really hurt their image.

In the old days not everyone could afford or own a Buick or Pontiac just as today not everyone can afford a Lexus. The price of admission and higher quality and refinement is the alure.

There is not a lot of hey look at me I am a secsess in a G5 or G6.

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Let Chevy be all things to every one at a value price.

Let BPG be more refined in fewer quality cars addressed to a more discriminating crowd that is willing to pay more for something that everyone won't have. In other words let them sell the kind of cars Chevy does not already address or cant address at a value price. BPG needs to aim a little more at Acura and Lexus.

With BPG less is more. Porsche figured this out after flooding the market with a lot of cheap 924's and 944's. It really hurt their image.

In the old days not everyone could afford or own a Buick or Pontiac just as today not everyone can afford a Lexus. The price of admission and higher quality and refinement is the alure.

There is not a lot of hey look at me I am a secsess in a G5 or G6.

I don't see Pontiac as and "allure" product. You can't have 2 brands chasing this angle. Pontiac did ok as the excitement division and needs to pursue this without trying to have something for everyone. Grampa doesn't want excitement when he buys a vehicle.

I don't see BPG touching Lexus - This is Cadillac territory and even here it's catch up mode for them.

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To address the first, smaller market shares, the only thing fewer brands will result in is a resignation that the market share you've lost is gone (ie no expectation of future growth). The why, if you don't expect to grow, are you even in business? So, I personally think it's insipiring that GM has the fortitude to stay the course. Plus, aligning BPG helps to scale the cost basis while leaving future growth options open...brilliant.

OMG!!! You made my day by saying that!!! I agree 100% an that is why I'm also so against ANY Detroit automaker cutting brands. It's just the analysts and import humpers way of convincing Detroit to "give up" and accept that the competition will eventually eat them up IMO. What better way to end the fight than to talk the other side into surrendering.

Fact is; the market is fragmenting, and it has been for a while now. So why in god's name would GM (or Ford, or Chrysler) want to eliminate their main advantage against the competition? The problem is not that GM has too many brands, it's that GM has not used it's resources adequately to leverage the potential of EVERY SINGLE brand.

Think about how much equity each of the 80-100 year old brands has and then ask yourself what posessed them to phase out the divisions which have been phased out. Like it or not EVERY Detroit brand has equity; good or bad, the brands are ESTABLISHED as household names. That is immensly important in today's schizophrenic and generally 'tuned out' market. Sure, Toyota was successful in establishing Scion, but pretty much no other company has the resources to pull something like that off. Just look at Smart and DCX for an example, yet to turn a profit and yet to be established in the largest market on the planet despite how many years and delays?

Yeah, Ford has 2 of the worst brands on the market. The Ford brand is still seen as "All-American", but I don't know anybody that can really tell me what the hell Mercury is.

I think that is both a curse and a gift... Because Mercury has just kinda "been there" for so long I think it would be EXTREMELY easy to redefine the brand into something that appeals to females or youth buyers. The brand already has loyal female buyers

Give Mercury a more distinctive and sporty Milan, a Cougar that is like the recent concept (Not a blatat Mustang rip off), a sporty RSX sized car, a more distinct and high tech (hybrid etc.) Mariner and a brother to the CX-7. Build the marketing around a high tech, razor sharp image that highlights individuality and youth, then watch the division grow.

And Lincoln is just sad. It used to be the only true competitor to Cadillac and now is lucky to garner favorable comparisons with Buick.

I agree.... Funny thing is; I remember when Lincoln was viewed by the press as BETTER than Cadillac, with potential to contend with the big dogs.

I personally see no reason why Lincoln and Jaguar cannot co-exist. (As Ford seems to think is the case) Build Jag as a euro style car like the CX-F, then build Lincoln as premium, all american cars (glitzy styling, more "hot rod Lincoln" attitude, etc.) Or, if it is an issue, why not continue to move Jaguar up market and slot Lincoln below it.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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CHEVY (and some Daewoo)

PONTIAC (Holden) BUICK GMC

SAAB HUMMER CADILLAC

SATURN (Opel)

this is where GM is going

the dealer i bought my aztek from has all GM brands but Saab and Hummer

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Let BPG be more refined in fewer quality cars addressed to a more discriminating crowd that is willing to pay more for something that everyone won't have. In other words let them sell the kind of cars Chevy does not already address or cant address at a value price. BPG needs to aim a little more at Acura and Lexus.

I agree and it's going to happen. My info isn't 100% and plans change, but Pontiac will end up being something like G5, G6, G8, GTO, and Solstice sometime in the not-too-distant future. And, if they do a good job with those, they will be successful. But, that's not to say they couldn't add more vehicles in the future and slowly expand into new segments. Lesson learned is to just be very careful and prudent about it.

The brand already has loyal female buyers...

Give Mercury a more distinctive and sporty Milan, a Cougar...

Can you see the irony of Mercury becoming a female-focused brand and having a model named Cougar? :rotflmao:

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Just because Pontiac <will be> the performance division doesn't mean other brands can't have sporty cars. If you've sat in an Acadia and Enclave....you'd know why both exist. Enclave is there to capture soccer mom's trading out of RXes and a few loyalty sales from the Rendezvous. Acadia is there to catch people trading down from their fuel thirsty Yukons.

Problem is....people aren't going to be going in and comparing an Enclave to an RX....or an Acadia to an Edge (or whatever).....they will walk into the same showroom....and compare Enclave to Acadia.

AND, the problem with Pontiac being the "performance" division.....is that there's nothing remotely "sporting" about any of their vehicles that isn't duplicated in another GM division's products. Take G6 and AURA. Really nothing significant to differentiate them in powertrain, suspension tuning, etc to make the G6 the "performance" version.

Also, look at Impala SS and Grand Prix GXP. Different styling....mostly same driving experience. I know, I know....GXP has different tires and shocks.....but I bet you wouldn't really notice unless you drove them side-by-side.

DTS and Lucerne CXS. Other than a bit more soft-trim plastic on the dash, what makes the DTS inherently classier, more expensive, more luxurious, or more premium than it's cheaper Buick sister?

That's my bitch with GM. They claim advantages to their overlapping divisions.....and claim there is significant differentiation to warrant all the makes and models....when in reality, there's very LITTLE differentiation.

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>>"Problem is....people aren't going to be going in and comparing an Enclave to an RX....or an Acadia to an Edge (or whatever).....they will walk into the same showroom....and compare Enclave to Acadia."<<

So when people walk into an acura dealer, they never compare acura's SUV to anything else ?? That makes no sense whatsoever.

>>"Take G6 and AURA. Really nothing significant to differentiate them in powertrain, suspension tuning, etc to make the G6 the "performance" version."<<

Except for the fact that everything the shopper sees is completely different, inside & out; one will appeal to one buyer, the other to another REGARDLESS if the driving experience is indistinguishable. Why does BMW hang all that tumescent junk all over the m3 when they could have a simple badge and the powertrain?- because it appeals to different buyers.

The G6 and Aura also are not in the same showrooms, so according to your theory- no one will ever compare them anyway.

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>>"Problem is....people aren't going to be going in and comparing an Enclave to an RX....or an Acadia to an Edge (or whatever).....they will walk into the same showroom....and compare Enclave to Acadia."<<

So when people walk into an acura dealer, they never compare acura's SUV to anything else ?? That makes no sense whatsoever.

Right on. Plus, some overlap is good. Isn't it better for a GMC dealer to take a customer looking for a more luxurious CUV than the Acadia across the showroom to an Enclave rather than send them back out the door to land where they may, sometimes at Buick, sometimes at Lexus, sometimes at Acura, etc. In fact, I think GM could do more showroom sharing and reap the benefits of being able to satisfy any customer in one dealer visit.

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I agree and it's going to happen. My info isn't 100% and plans change, but Pontiac will end up being something like G5, G6, G8, GTO, and Solstice sometime in the not-too-distant future. And, if they do a good job with those, they will be successful. But, that's not to say they couldn't add more vehicles in the future and slowly expand into new segments. Lesson learned is to just be very careful and prudent about it.

Can you see the irony of Mercury becoming a female-focused brand and having a model named Cougar? :rotflmao:

rumor is a 'hello kitty' version is in the works.

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>>"Take G6 and AURA. Really nothing significant to differentiate them in powertrain, suspension tuning, etc to make the G6 the "performance" version."<<

Except for the fact that everything the shopper sees is completely different, inside & out; one will appeal to one buyer, the other to another REGARDLESS if the driving experience is indistinguishable. Why does BMW hang all that tumescent junk all over the m3 when they could have a simple badge and the powertrain?- because it appeals to different buyers.

The G6 and Aura also are not in the same showrooms, so according to your theory- no one will ever compare them anyway.

this is differentiation of style, which sure it means the cars appeal to different people......but not necessarily a different buyer group. all midsize buyers are chasing after one thing: reliable transport that is safe economical and affordable. Reputation, design, quality are all ways of enticing the buyer and helping a car to stand out amongst the crowd.

I have championed design because it is one of the strongest emotional buttons people have. It's a knee jerk reaction people with the power to purchase have when they see that car that looks perfectly suited for them pull right up to them. It's a non-reaction people have when there is no appeal/passion in the design, like the Lacrosse CX, for example.

SO, in theory Aura and G6 appeal to different people based on the looks and supposed quality differentiations, but really they are not appealing to a different group of buyers. It's the same group that could opt for the Accord but thought the Aura was more handsome, or the G6 more rakish and aggressive.

However, what Toyota does with say the ES and Camry is much more like what GM needs to do with its brands. What VW does with the A4 and the Passat is what GM needs to with its brands. What Audi does with its R8 that is shared with a Lambo, is more like what GM needs to do with its brands.

Let's call the XLR and the C6 true successes in differentiation and establishing the credos of their respective brands. The XLR-V and ZO6 are even more defined and make the case for their brands more. Here you have the ZO6 riding on its alluminum chassis with incredible 500 hp; and here you have the XLR-V with leather hide dashboard, beautiful wood trim finish; once you get past the surface differences though, the car underneath is a dramatically different beast; the resultant drive thanks to different engine choices, dramatically different tuning, and the option of a convertible on one, result in two very different cars, aimed at totally different buyers.

This is where GM needs to do thier homework, and why I have debated long for RWD platforms to be thrown in the mix. With GM's 7 or 8 mainstream brands, it'd be impossible to do even 6 different cars off the same magical platform, unless you were doing totally different bodystyles, which would be limiting. That would mean EP II could spawn two sedans, one for Chevy one for Saturn, a hatch for Saab, a coupe and wagon for Buick, a racy coupe for Pontiac, etc etc. It could be done, but you can see how exhausting it would be for GM engineers to try to get these cars so differently engineered to make them appeal to different people. And we have all seen GM engineers in the past be so successful at making truly different cars off the same platform.....right. The great thing is with Alpha, Zeta, EP II, and probably Zeta II coming along soon enough, the possiblities are a lot stronger to make cars that truly attract different crowds.

The XLR and C6 were products of the old GM. They need to take that formula and multiply times ten. The differentiation was pretty spot on, but the quality of each, and distinctiveness/appeal of the design leaves something to be desired, for thier price range.

OC definitely has a point with his beef with GM. GM talks the talk about product differentiation, but the true test will come in the latter part of this decade when we see how focused the cars really are. Impala and Park Ave [Lucerne II] better be whole different beasts from their G8/Commodore brethren, and it better not be just a simple two inches wheelbase increase, and kablamo we've got really unique cars for each brand guys.

Edited by turbo200
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Problem is....people aren't going to be going in and comparing an Enclave to an RX....or an Acadia to an Edge (or whatever).....they will walk into the same showroom....and compare Enclave to Acadia.

AND, the problem with Pontiac being the "performance" division.....is that there's nothing remotely "sporting" about any of their vehicles that isn't duplicated in another GM division's products. Take G6 and AURA. Really nothing significant to differentiate them in powertrain, suspension tuning, etc to make the G6 the "performance" version.

Also, look at Impala SS and Grand Prix GXP. Different styling....mostly same driving experience. I know, I know....GXP has different tires and shocks.....but I bet you wouldn't really notice unless you drove them side-by-side.

DTS and Lucerne CXS. Other than a bit more soft-trim plastic on the dash, what makes the DTS inherently classier, more expensive, more luxurious, or more premium than it's cheaper Buick sister?

That's my bitch with GM. They claim advantages to their overlapping divisions.....and claim there is significant differentiation to warrant all the makes and models....when in reality, there's very LITTLE differentiation.

The Enclave is bigger, looks nicer and is cheaper than the RX, duh, folks might choose the Enclave over the RX. Want cushy? Go enclave. Sporty and rugged? Acadia. You want ranch on your salad or balsamic vinagrette? Both are on the salad bar.

Pontiac is working on the sporting focus to their lineup. G8 will kick arse. G6 would sell if it had sharper edge style and a nice interior.

The Grand Prix GXP is a much better handler than the Impala SS and the cockpit in the GXP is much more sporting than the plain interior in the Impala. The seats in the GXP alone are reason to choose it over the flopper Impala.

The Lucerne is awash in cheap plastic and a low roof that the DTS lacks. DTS has better plastic and higher roof. Who knows about the dynamics of the car. They could be more different. DTS has been far too long in its cycle.

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Right on. Plus, some overlap is good. Isn't it better for a GMC dealer to take a customer looking for a more luxurious CUV than the Acadia across the showroom to an Enclave rather than send them back out the door to land where they may, sometimes at Buick, sometimes at Lexus, sometimes at Acura, etc. In fact, I think GM could do more showroom sharing and reap the benefits of being able to satisfy any customer in one dealer visit.

I agree with this. As long as the execution continues to improve. The Lambdas are good examples of where GM is going with truly creating unique environments to be in, in thier cars. I like that the Enclave is the only Lambda to offer extreme amounts of wood and a luxury feeling. However, it needs to keep improving. They cannot stop until the Enclave has so much luxurious quality, that a base price of 44k is not all that far fetched. Lexus has a base price of ~36k with the RX, but if you've looked at the option packages you know the most popular models are much closer to 50k. That way each product can be very uniquely priced and uniquely marketed. If GM had invested a little more in a little less parts bins for the Lambdas, and not shared materials across the board like they did, we'd be looking at possibly even more fantastically differentiated cars. By and by the Lambdas are successful designs, but just imagine if they could have been even more cosmopolitan and desirable and rich-feeling like the promise that was shown in the Graphyte concept [remember that interior] and the Centieme [remember that interior?]. Ooofa.......those cars would have marked significant, HUGE departures for thier brands. Hell I would argue they should just release them anyways and try to market them as the more upscale minivan brothers to thier more truck-ish [by design] brothers.
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The Enclave is bigger, looks nicer and is cheaper than the RX, duh, folks might choose the Enclave over the RX. Want cushy? Go enclave. Sporty and rugged? Acadia. You want ranch on your salad or balsamic vinagrette? Both are on the salad bar.

Pontiac is working on the sporting focus to their lineup. G8 will kick arse. G6 would sell if it had sharper edge style and a nice interior.

The Grand Prix GXP is a much better handler than the Impala SS and the cockpit in the GXP is much more sporting than the plain interior in the Impala. The seats in the GXP alone are reason to choose it over the flopper Impala.

The Lucerne is awash in cheap plastic and a low roof that the DTS lacks. DTS has better plastic and higher roof. Who knows about the dynamics of the car. They could be more different. DTS has been far too long in its cycle.

yes, you're right. but all these things need to be taken further. GM needs to work on this being the norm, especially the GP GXP/Impala example you give. the problem is I would rather not think of those crappy GM products. let's keep it to the class-leading variety.
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sorry for the picture overload, and for appearing to steer this conversation in a different direction, but i think this is relevant to the discussion. if differentiation is key, we need look no further than these cars right here. the risk involved with imaging these very bodacious and different trucks for Buick and GMC [!] is amazing. the more i look at the graphyte the more it becomes my first choice for truck design anywhere. better than any suv look for me.

why is it that GM is still skimping on everything from concept to production. the risk, the extreme nature of this product, the affluent approach, the internation appeal, the strong European references......it's all there. these cars would truly appeal to import buyers, especially Land Rover buyers with the Graphyte, and I can see all Lexus lovers coming to the Centieme. These are truly different looking products that would appeal, on style alone, to different groups of people, like the Lambdas have set out to do and are doing at varying levels of succes.

The production Lambdas represent great change from what has come before them for many reasons. differentiation level is incredible. design is strong, distinctive and good. quality is mostly there. that's the problem, they could have gone further. That Buick Centieme interior is exactly what a Buick interior should be and it's fabulous and I don't really like using that word because it has such an extreme conotation/it usually doesn't fit, but it does in this case. When I look at the Centieme I think long low and sleek, exactly what a Buick should be in my mind. The exterior look of these cars is so progressive and modern, I can only believe these were early prototypes for the minivans. In which case, they need to rethink not selling them, and just release these as expensive minivans. Who cares. Let em compete with the big 7 passenger sporty carlike luxury SUVs out there.

Edited by turbo200
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