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Flybrian

Lutz Talks Back IV - The Chevy Triplets

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Lutz Talks Back Part IV
"Hey Bob...what's the big deal about the Triplets"
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In the fourth in what is likely the final installment of GM FastLane Blogs' exclusive one-on-one sitdowns with Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, the public face of General Motors tackles the cognative dissonance many of us have experienced about why Chevrolet unveiled three very progressive minicompacts at the recent New York Intl Auto Show - and even had us vote for out favorite - while dismissing them as products that won't be built either in America or for America a short time later.

Mr. Lutz immediately clarifies that, while the Triplets themselves were not designed with American safety standards in mind, that doesn't mean that GM will not offer vehicles similar to those in the North American market. However, the main intent of the Triplets was to drive home the fact to the American automotive press (and public, for that matter) that General Motors is a global company with cars and trucks sold elsewhere other than this continent and those cars are meant for foreign markets where GM is growing by "leaps and bounds," especially in China, India, Brazil, and Russia.

This shorter interview concludes with Mr. Lutz pointing out that cars very similar to the Triplets could indeed be produced here (or at least for here) with "significant modification," likely to satisy local market and federal demands such as bumper strength, cabin integrity, etc.

Its clear, however, that the market for cars of this general size - perhaps slightly larger to suit American roads and carrying needs - is one that will also be growing by leaps and bounds. Trends in fuel prices, impending fuel economy regulations, and the simple desire for fun, sporty compacts will catalyze the segment. GM already has its feet wet in this market with the well-executed Aveo, which stands as one of the few true subcompacts in the US market, as well as the popular Cobalt and HHR. Saturn will replaced the average but still-loved ION with an immensely-desireable and sporty Astra within months. The stage is set and the time is right for GM to continue forward movement in the segment.

Mr. Lutz remarked in this video that, "If you love General Motors, you'll want us to do well all over the world."

Well, we do love GM, Bob. And we do want it to succeed the world over, and that includes America. Give us these Triplet cars some time soon; we'll buy them. And we'll all share in your success.

Minicar lovers, let Mr. Lutz know what you think of his statements. Respond here...

Bob Talks About... Chevy's Triplets

...and make sure you mention where you're from...Cheers and Gears! :cheers:
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His remark "If you love General Motors, you'll want us to do well all over the world" Couldn't have said it better myself. Go Bob go!

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Why would they not design them for the US market? That's a rather dumb idea unless it's much harder.

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small cars WOULD be more popular in the US if there were any decent looking one's on the market

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small cars WOULD be more popular in the US if there were any decent looking one's on the market

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I agree. The Fit, Yaris, Scion lineup, Versa and small Kias look like crap.

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But again the question is why would GM want Americans to go online and vote for their favorite Triplet? If the car was going to be sold in Europe or Asia shouldn't GM have advertised the voting overseas.

Lutz is not a fan of small cars so he gives every excuse in the world not to produce them for the NA market!!!

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Jah!

If a car that size is all you can afford, no need to make it look like a clown car. Why should style be reserved for more expensive cars?

The point of the post is that typically, cars designed for the American market are larger than most anywhere else in the world and we have a reputation (rather, stereotype) of only being able to drive big big cars in other countries.

BTW: where the hell did you get that Transformers thing? It's absolutely friggin hilarious and I wanna put it on my myspace page! :yes:

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small cars WOULD be more popular in the US if there were any decent looking one's on the market

I disagree. We're talking about cars smaller than the Aveo that are in the range of the Smart fortwo. These cars make sense in Europe where the roads are more narrow and space is rare. They also make sense in large US cities where it's tough to park and the streets are crowded, but the bulk of Americans drive on highways and I dare you to drive a Beat at 80 mph next to an H2. No amount of styling will change that.

And as for why GM would show vehicles in the US that weren't designed for this market...easy, they're testing the waters and gauging reaction, that's half of what they get out of auto shows.

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:nono: Sorry all, while the triplets were cute and in Europe and other coutnries where they have tiny small roads, fine if they have the bulk of auto's that are small then you can get away with pop can sub-subcompact auto's. Here in the US, keep them out. They are a Coffin on Wheels.

There is a company here in Kirkland Washington that imports in the SmartCar in both gas and diesel versions. I have seen a few of them crushed by the SUV and full size trucks around here and the cars totally implode.

I know I will not be popular, but Driving is not a Right. It is a privilage that is earned. Mass transit is for those that work in the cities and those that can not afford yet to buy, maintain and drive an auto. This goea along with my own feeling that Washington State needs to dump the 64 versions of languages that one can take the driving test in. Sorry but I do not like my tax dollars spent on an interprutter to allow someone to get a driving license. After all, if they can not read English, how can they be expected to drive around following the laws, speed limits and directional signs.

Again, Driving is a privilage and I am more than happy to let everyone come to our great country, just remember, English is the language of this place, so if you are going to live here, then learn to read and write, then you can try to get a driving license.

Sub Compact auto's, not a safe alternative in my book. I will stay with my Suburban. Yes, I am 6'6" tall and 280lbs, so anything below a full size vehicle I am not comfy in or would I bother trying to drive.

Cute concept practice for other markets.

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Unfortunately, it is this attitude that is greatly contributing to Detroit's downfall in North America. Abandoning the minivan market to Chrysler, Honda and Toyota, while producing mediocre subcompact vehicles is insane. Gas prices are not going down. The Aveo was a decent first attempt - in 2003. Five years have passed since that introduction and a segment buster replacement should be in the wings.

All of this might be forgiveable if GM did not have the resources or the brains to build such vehicles, except that they ARE building such vehicles in Europe.

WHY, OH WHY, DOES GMNA GET TREATED SO SPECIAL? Clearly, the course of action that has been tried is NOT working, so it is time to admit that MAYBE the Europeans are onto something. I understand that Japan Inc. is making a special thrust into North America like no other in the world; however, only in North America is GM's market share in free-fall. Perhaps these cute cars should be more than just teasers?

Or is Detroit just going to wait until Washington hands the entire market over to the Japanese?

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Unfortunately, it is this attitude that is greatly contributing to Detroit's downfall in North America. Abandoning the minivan market to Chrysler, Honda and Toyota, while producing mediocre subcompact vehicles is insane. Gas prices are not going down. The Aveo was a decent first attempt - in 2003. Five years have passed since that introduction and a segment buster replacement should be in the wings.

All of this might be forgiveable if GM did not have the resources or the brains to build such vehicles, except that they ARE building such vehicles in Europe.

WHY, OH WHY, DOES GMNA GET TREATED SO SPECIAL? Clearly, the course of action that has been tried is NOT working, so it is time to admit that MAYBE the Europeans are onto something. I understand that Japan Inc. is making a special thrust into North America like no other in the world; however, only in North America is GM's market share in free-fall. Perhaps these cute cars should be more than just teasers?

Or is Detroit just going to wait until Washington hands the entire market over to the Japanese?

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But again the question is why would GM want Americans to go online and vote for their favorite Triplet? If the car was going to be sold in Europe or Asia shouldn't GM have advertised the voting overseas.

Lutz is not a fan of small cars so he gives every excuse in the world not to produce them for the NA market!!!

Windy is correct—GM is simply gauging the American reaction to vehicles so small. If the response to one or more was positive enough, they may reconsider. Of course, the voting was available to anyone in the world with an internet connection, so the results do not aonly have a bearing on the potential US market, but the existing global market where cars this small are already sold by GM, or will be in the near future (Korea, China, Europe, India, even Japan).
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Does anyone have the dimensions of the triplets? I'd like to compare their wheelbase, weight, and interior dimensions to those of the Aveo, Mini Cooper, and other small cars sold in the US.

IMO, GM should take one of the triplet designs and give it to Deawoo. Have them build it and sell it around the world, including in the US.

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:nono: Sorry all, while the triplets were cute and in Europe and other coutnries where they have tiny small roads, fine if they have the bulk of auto's that are small then you can get away with pop can sub-subcompact auto's. Here in the US, keep them out. They are a Coffin on Wheels.

There is a company here in Kirkland Washington that imports in the SmartCar in both gas and diesel versions. I have seen a few of them crushed by the SUV and full size trucks around here and the cars totally implode.

I know I will not be popular, but Driving is not a Right. It is a privilage that is earned. Mass transit is for those that work in the cities and those that can not afford yet to buy, maintain and drive an auto. This goea along with my own feeling that Washington State needs to dump the 64 versions of languages that one can take the driving test in. Sorry but I do not like my tax dollars spent on an interprutter to allow someone to get a driving license. After all, if they can not read English, how can they be expected to drive around following the laws, speed limits and directional signs.

Again, Driving is a privilage and I am more than happy to let everyone come to our great country, just remember, English is the language of this place, so if you are going to live here, then learn to read and write, then you can try to get a driving license.

Sub Compact auto's, not a safe alternative in my book. I will stay with my Suburban. Yes, I am 6'6" tall and 280lbs, so anything below a full size vehicle I am not comfy in or would I bother trying to drive.

Cute concept practice for other markets.

Generally, I agree with your statement that driving is a privilage. I take Amtrak to work (70.3 miles one way) to save on gas because my 93 Trans Am is not as efficient as mass transit in my case. It also takes one vehicle off the congested highways and I can get some work done on the train which is part of my paid work week. So, in my case I take the train not because I can not afford to maintain and drive a car but rather it does not make sence to do so in light of ecological reasons, foriegn oil dependense, etc. I strongly agree about your statement about taking the driving test in all manners of foreign languages. I have never understood how one can take a test in their native language and then be able to drive and understand road signs. At a minimum foriegners coming to the US should at least have a basic understanding of English before they can get in. This from a perspective of a foreigner who was French Canadien and became a citizen. Spending tax dollars on all these forign language tests is not my idea of well spent tax payer dollars.

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At a minimum foriegners coming to the US should at least have a basic understanding of English before they can get in.

No. They MUST be GOOD at it if they are going to stay here. If they want rights of having the test taken in their languages, go back to their country and take one in their own driver licenses offices.

I am foreigner and English is NOT my first language.

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Does anyone have the dimensions of the triplets? I'd like to compare their wheelbase, weight, and interior dimensions to those of the Aveo, Mini Cooper, and other small cars sold in the US.

IMO, GM should take one of the triplet designs and give it to Deawoo. Have them build it and sell it around the world, including in the US.

Ummm, they came from Daewoo. Daewoo will design and build at least one (the Beat) and sell it around the world, probably, but not definitely, in the US as well.

GM has given only a rough guideline as to size. They are, roughly, just under 3.5 m long (as per Korean regulations) and probably under 1.7 m wide (but then these are concepts so they may be wider than a production model). Height will vary by the concept, probably around 1.4-1.5 m tall for the Beat, around 1.6 m for the Groove and over 1.6 m for the Trax. The smallest 4-seat car on sale in the US is the mini at a bit under 3.7 m long and 1.68 m wide. B/C-segment hatches in the US market are between 3.9 and just over 4 m long (the A/B-segment Yaris hatch is a smaller vehicle under or over 3.8 m long, give or take the extra exterior padding needed for US compliance).

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small cars WOULD be more popular in the US if there were any decent looking one's on the market

The Mini comes to mind...looks great, drives great..doesn't have the negative image that the Aveo and other tiny cars have..

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The Mini comes to mind...looks great, drives great..doesn't have the negative image that the Aveo and other tiny cars have..

I actually like the Mini, but starting at $17,000, I wouldn't buy one. Sadly, that's where all small cars will be headed, and larger cars will become more expensive as well.

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No. They MUST be GOOD at it if they are going to stay here. If they want rights of having the test taken in their languages, go back to their country and take one in their own driver licenses offices.

I am foreigner and English is NOT my first language.

Me too! :smilewide:

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