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ocnblu

Are you ready for a stark new future?

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Our beloved Bob Lutz looks to be replaced upon his retirement ("assisted", or otherwise) by Carl-Peter Forster, head of GM Europe. What does Mr. Forster know about the GMNA market? Will he attempt to turn GMNA into Opel? Will Pontiac and Buick survive? What has Saturn been able to do with all the money GM has invested in them?
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Anyone want to call PCS and have him pick their lottery numbers?

This will be an absolute nightmare. You said it best in the other thread - the car guys and enthusiasts of the world are being told to shut the hell up and like it. We'll become a society overrun with micro Opels and Daewoos while every trace of the American formula for the automobile (yes, that includes Holden) is wiped off the face of the earth. Could anyone here bring themselves to love a Chevy Beat or Groove like they would a Camaro or right-whee-drive Impala? I know I can't.

This can't work - it just can't, and at this point I'm not even talking from an enthusiast's perspective. What would you, as a salesman, tell the average American Joe DoubleWhopperWithCheese when he tries in vain to fit inside every car in your showroom, yet can't afford or doesn't want the extra costs of owning a truck? Our roads are wider with rougher surfaces. The potholes I see on the way to work would swallow a Beat alive or shatter it to pieces, yet they are no problem for just about every car currently on the road. Any person who thinks they can make such sweeping changes to the types of cars we drive will pretty much be the person that kills GM. The company will only be viable if it's able to keep cars designed for American roads and people and creating innovative powertrains that are designed to further decrease our dependence on fossil fuels.

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At the end of the day, I've got no control over what happens, so I'll accept whatever may come to pass. Should anything stupid/adverse happen, I know I'm going to keep the Impala running as long as possibile, maybe add a 2006-07 MC later on down the line and enjoy what once was...

But I don't think anything too too bad can happen. :AH-HA_wink:

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Anyone want to call PCS and have him pick their lottery numbers?

This will be an absolute nightmare. You said it best in the other thread - the car guys and enthusiasts of the world are being told to shut the hell up and like it. We'll become a society overrun with micro Opels and Daewoos while every trace of the American formula for the automobile (yes, that includes Holden) is wiped off the face of the earth. Could anyone here bring themselves to love a Chevy Beat or Groove like they would a Camaro or right-whee-drive Impala? I know I can't.

This can't work - it just can't, and at this point I'm not even talking from an enthusiast's perspective. What would you, as a salesman, tell the average American Joe DoubleWhopperWithCheese when he tries in vain to fit inside every car in your showroom, yet can't afford or doesn't want the extra costs of owning a truck? Our roads are wider with rougher surfaces. The potholes I see on the way to work would swallow a Beat alive or shatter it to pieces, yet they are no problem for just about every car currently on the road. Any person who thinks they can make such sweeping changes to the types of cars we drive will pretty much be the person that kills GM. The company will only be viable if it's able to keep cars designed for American roads and people and creating innovative powertrains that are designed to further decrease our dependence on fossil fuels.

Perhaps you should remove yourself from your bubble and travel to Europe and LOOK at some of the 'small' cars (I am thinking in particular of Citroens and Peugeots, to name two) that are available there. Better yet, drive some of them. The world does not end at 20 mpg - nor does it end at 6.6 litre/100, which is something else you guys should get used to. I have driven the Aveo (and I am 6' 2") and although it is not a powerful beast, I fit in it just fine, thanks. I have also taken the Mini Cooper S home for a few days and absolutely LUV it. It is only in the United States that we find such blatant gas guzzling, unnecessary vehicles. Even most Canadians 'get it,' although we have a ways to go, too.

I grew up on huge RWD Mopars, but my pocketbook forced me into a '82 Rampage and '87 Shadow ES with the turbo and I survived. I switched to a '91 Caprice wagon, then a '98 Blazer when I was towing my boat all over the place, but now it stays put and I fly on most trips, so an Optra suits me just fine.

$8 a gallon changes everyone's viewpoint and at some point Washington is going to side with the greenies and pay for Iraq with your oil taxes. Plan for that now.

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Perhaps you should remove yourself from your bubble and travel to Europe and LOOK at some of the 'small' cars (I am thinking in particular of Citroens and Peugeots, to name two) that are available there. Better yet, drive some of them. The world does not end at 20 mpg - nor does it end at 6.6 litre/100, which is something else you guys should get used to. I have driven the Aveo (and I am 6' 2") and although it is not a powerful beast, I fit in it just fine, thanks. I have also taken the Mini Cooper S home for a few days and absolutely LUV it. It is only in the United States that we find such blatant gas guzzling, unnecessary vehicles. Even most Canadians 'get it,' although we have a ways to go, too.

I grew up on huge RWD Mopars, but my pocketbook forced me into a '82 Rampage and '87 Shadow ES with the turbo and I survived. I switched to a '91 Caprice wagon, then a '98 Blazer when I was towing my boat all over the place, but now it stays put and I fly on most trips, so an Optra suits me just fine.

$8 a gallon changes everyone's viewpoint and at some point Washington is going to side with the greenies and pay for Iraq with your oil taxes. Plan for that now.

The problem isn't really whether or not these types of cars will suit is. Sure, we all could "survive" with an Aveo or Mini, but does that mean we should be forced to? We're essentiually being told that we need to change our tastes and preferences and adopt those that are not and never were our own, and may not even be feasible in this market given our road conditions and terrain.

Now, I hope you're not stereotyping me as one of those who live in the past. Sure, I love the sound of a big ol' V8, but I also love the idea of flipping the bird to those we get our oil from. I strongly believe there's a way to satisfy both ideals, that Americans can be given cars they love that are also uber-efficient and environmentally friendly. Sure, it'll take lots of effort and research to bring this to fruition, but it'll be a lot more successful in the American market than trying to force us all into small cars.

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I think the issue is that we as a society are so used to not having to pay for what we use in terms of the environment. Our use of gasoline has been artificially cheap at the pump for years. I hear so much against ethanol as a fuel but none of it makes sense when you look at the big picture. Sure corn based ethanol is one of the worst in terms of production efficiency but it's still cheap compared to gasoline. Don't believe me? Consider these points:

1. The most common argument against ethanol is that it takes government subsidies to make it affordable. How much did Iraq war v. 1.0 and v. 2.0 cost us? What if we had used all of that money to develop a pure ethanol infrastructure not based on corn? Why is it wrong to subsidize our farmers yet perfectly fine to send money to Shieks in Saudi Arabia or dictators in Venezuela? How much did the wars cost us in lives? How much did the wars cost us in global esteem? Osama Bin Laden's original motivating factor for attacking the US was his observations of US soldiers in Saudi Arabia during the original Gulf War; Would 9-11 even have happened? These are all costs that don't get factored into the $3.05 per gallon that people are complaining about today.

2. The second most common argument against ethanol is that it is less efficient per gallon than gasoline. This is true when you're running ethanol through an engine originally designed for gasoline. Why is it such a stretch of the imagination to consider that when you run the engine with a fuel that it was not originally designed for, you're not going to get optimum performance? If you were complaining because your turbo charged Saab wasn't getting great mileage and you were filling up with 87 instead of the manufacturer specified 91, people would call you an idiot. The compression ratio of the Impala Flex Fuel is a relatively lazy 9.8:1. Ethanol is over 100 octane. Brazillian Chevies run at a compression ratio of 12:1 on pure alcohol. The Impala Flex Fuel is literally wasting energy in order to maintain compatibility with the gasoline infrastructure. Dial up the compression on the 3.5 V6 and you'd likely not only get more power out of the engine but would probably also return mileage similar to a gas only version. Worked for the Saab BioPower.

3. The third argument against ethanol is that it stresses the food supply. This is true if you base your ethanol infrastructure on corn. The beauty of ethanol is that it can be made from a wide variety of sources. Brazil based their alcohol infrastructure on sugar. There is no global shortage of sugar. In fact sugar producers in the U.S. are doing everything in their power to keep cheaper Brazilian sugar out of our market. Among many other sources, Ethanol can be made from alge and kelp. We have a LOT of coastline in the US and kelp grows along all of it. That is all fuel out there waiting to go into your V8.

4. The fourth argument against ethanol is that it takes oil to produce ethanol. I'm not quite sure what kind of logical defect is at work with this one but it's a duesy. Sure it might take oil to get the ethanol infrastructure in place, but once up and operating, the infrastructure is self sustaining. Why can't the farm tractors, tanker trucks, in fact the entire network be powered by some sort of bio-fuel? Some might argue that it would take more energy input than you'd get with output. While this might be true with corn <the worst source>, it is not true with other ethanol sources, especially those derived from waste products.

In short, if you want to keep your V8 and not drive an Aveo, support ethanol and don't by into the hype against it.... because all it is, is hype.

Raise your hand if you don't want a big American car with a big American V8 with a 13:1 compression ratio that burns 100 octane fuel grown by Americans that costs around $2.35 a gallon and at the same time not have the U.S. participate in more mid-east wars?

*crickets chirping*

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Agreed 100% Drew. Ethanol is probably the best way to keep the V8 alive in its currrent form. We were able to design engines with that kind of compression in the 1960s, so it shouldn't be a big deal to do it today.

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simply put, mpg is mostly a function of vehicle WEIGHT.

the assault on our cars is to get cars down in size and weight, not so much engines per se.

We could be more responsible to repackage the cars we sell into better engineered lighter versions, although durability, economy, and safety might suffer.

Think of this. GM has spent the Lutz era pumping out CTSv's, Turbo X's, HHR SS, Camaro's, Impala SS, Escalades, Hummers, Lambdas, a whole buttload of fuel hungry or performance vehicles that not a lot of mainstream buyers can afford. (although curiously, you still cannot buy a MT 6 cyl front or rear drive reasonably priced GM sedan, or even a 4 cylinder MT one for that matter).

Yet, Toyota has booming sales, and offers a wide range of smaller 4 cylinder cars like the Xd, Xb, TC, Yaris, Corolla, Camlee, Rav4, etc. All these vehicles sell decently.

What does GM have? Cobalt and G5, Aveo. Count the G6 4 cyl if you want to be nice. New malibu is a credible 4 cylinder effort. The Vue/HHR/Vibe. Now Astra.

My point is GM hasn't exactly represented themselves the best in the less expensive more fuel efficient segments. For all the resources they have diverted to the fuel thirsty and expensive vehicles, they really should catch up and be better represented in the fuel efficient segments.

In the global era, a maker like GM needs to be represented in all platforms and sizes of engines continuously so as to not be like Chrylser and get caught pants down investing only in RWD fuel suckers. Or not get caught pants down only investing in tiny cars.

I think you may always find v8's it's just the options may be scarce.

Hybrids hold promise as does diesel. But hybrids need to become less pricey and diesel needs to not be .60 / gal more than gas.

I will be interested to see what the twin turbo ford 4 cylinder puts out for mpg and power. It's like a 1.8 that gets 30/40 in the fusion and still has like over 200 hp. Even blu may buy a Ford like that.

Saab holds promise as GM's mpg tech advancement division. 9-3 already gets great mpg. Saab place in GM should be for advancing our tech in alternative fuels and reducing consumption.

Edited by regfootball
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Change the fuel not the cars.

Everything else is unsupportable bull&#036;h&#33; that flies in the face of human nature.

We will never accept microcars, and microcars will never solve the problem.

Oil is the flaw in the system, and the only solution lies in supplanting it with a renewable, domestic variety of sources.

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I agree with Carbiz adn drew...which is why I sold my 71 Chevelle and my 55 Chevy. Climate change could terminate the human race's tenure on the planet if we're not careful. I don't look down on anyone for owning a big v-8 powered car, and have been tempted seriously by the new Mustang and upcoming Camaro.

However, my next purchase will probably be a Cooper S. Although to be fair a decent used C-5 vette would probably return similar fuel economy and be available at a similar cost...and be much more environmentally friendly than my two oldies...

But this gets away from the point I would LOVE to own a GM small car that had the same majic as the Cooper S, Mazda 3, Mazdaspped 3, FIT, Civic SI, Volvo C-30, VW GTI, etc.

The Sky, Astra, and Cobalt SS are a damaned good, damned good start but we need more good small cars in the pipeline from the general NOW.

..and having had friends killed in Iraq I say hell yes to the ethanol thing. What the hell is the point in buying an American car and then sending $1500 per vehicle overseas every year to fuel it?

Just my two cents.

Chris

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...and ditto on cool European cars like Alfas and such. I am on an rant, but I really want to see the GM majic on a small, cool car...

Not just a "tuner" car either. Whatever Gm builds should cross demographic and age lines like the original Mustang. The sad thing is I know that they are capable of building this car.

Chris

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...and ditto on cool European cars like Alfas and such. I am on an rant, but I really want to see the GM majic on a small, cool car...

Not just a "tuner" car either. Whatever Gm builds should cross demographic and age lines like the original Mustang. The sad thing is I know that they are capable of building this car.

Chris

Alpha platform

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Alpha platform

Which cars are built on tha Alpha platform?

Chris

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Which cars are built on tha Alpha platform?

Chris

That remains to be seen.

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?? Forster is a manufacturing guy from BMW. The demise of the muscle car has nothing to do with him and everything to do with congress, rising fuel prices, and changing consumer buying habits. Large sedans such as the Impala are dying out. Look at the sales charts—it's all downhill. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean everyone else buying cars is going to stop downsizing. GM has to adapt like everyone else. A more extensive lineup of small cars as offered by GM Europe is just what they need. As long as you can afford to fork out for the fuel-saving technology and fuel bills you can still buy a V6 or V8 performance car (hey European Epsilon sedans have higher-output V6s than US models), there just won't be anything "affordable".

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?? Forster is a manufacturing guy from BMW. The demise of the muscle car has nothing to do with him and everything to do with congress, rising fuel prices, and changing consumer buying habits. Large sedans such as the Impala are dying out. Look at the sales charts—it's all downhill. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean everyone else buying cars is going to stop downsizing. GM has to adapt like everyone else. A more extensive lineup of small cars as offered by GM Europe is just what they need. As long as you can afford to fork out for the fuel-saving technology and fuel bills you can still buy a V6 or V8 performance car (hey European Epsilon sedans have higher-output V6s than US models), there just won't be anything "affordable".

bleak

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Doesn't this CAFE development put GM way ahead of the curve?

After the Volt comes out, who's to say they couldn't expand the technology into other vehicles?

Do you really have to have the rumble of a V8 under the hood?

300ft/lbs of torque at 0 rpm from an electric motor sound mighty nice to me.....

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I've testified here about my dichotomy when it comes to vehicles... a small, fun car or minitruck sounds appealing to me now as ever... but all of these events occurring... Lutz' lessening influence, head of GME, Mr. Forster possibly in place to replace him, and the elephant in the room... CAFE, all come together in a perfect storm of uncertainty and concern that lead me to believe our vehicle CHOICES will be severely limited. I bought and love my GMC Sierra, and I support the right of every American to drive what they want and can afford.

I agree with everyone here who says a "moonlanding" national effort needs to be brought forth to bring to market a renewable source of internal combustion engine fuel... like ethanol in its many forms... instead of these communist, 35 mpg CAFE standards, which will only make people hold onto their more affordable, less fuel-efficient, more comfortable, and reasonably-sized current vehicles.

Less dependence on foreign oil does not HAVE to mean driving a tiny, cramped car if we put our minds to it and defeat these new fuel economy standards.

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I've testified here about my dichotomy when it comes to vehicles... a small, fun car or minitruck sounds appealing to me now as ever... but all of these events occurring... Lutz' lessening influence, head of GME, Mr. Forster possibly in place to replace him, and the elephant in the room... CAFE, all come together in a perfect storm of uncertainty and concern that lead me to believe our vehicle CHOICES will be severely limited. I bought and love my GMC Sierra, and I support the right of every American to drive what they want and can afford.

I agree with everyone here who says a "moonlanding" national effort needs to be brought forth to bring to market a renewable source of internal combustion engine fuel... like ethanol in its many forms... instead of these communist, 35 mpg CAFE standards, which will only make people hold onto their more affordable, less fuel-efficient, more comfortable, and reasonably-sized current vehicles.

Less dependence on foreign oil does not HAVE to mean driving a tiny, cramped car if we put our minds to it and defeat these new fuel economy standards.

:yes:

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Do you really have to have the rumble of a V8 under the hood?

Yes, yes I do.

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The demise of the muscle car has nothing to do with him and everything to do with congress, rising fuel prices, and changing consumer buying habits

you mean intervention changing the market? we're taxed to subsidize oil, and subsidizing the ethanol push and subsidizing farmers to make corn(right now) and the more corn produced is taking extra fertilizer, that ends up in rivers and is causing the dead zone in the gulf to expand.

I support switching to cellulosic ethanol. but there aren't many plants doing that yet, and legislation is evidently needed to make it economically viable. pphhhhhhtttttttttt!!!!!!!

Doesn't this CAFE development put GM way ahead of the curve?

After the Volt comes out, who's to say they couldn't expand the technology into other vehicles?

Do you really have to have the rumble of a V8 under the hood?

300ft/lbs of torque at 0 rpm from an electric motor sound mighty nice to me.....

I think we all cried a little when this Cafe bill was in the making. nothing like this has been done before. I hate it.

some people will demand the rumble.

instant power from ~0 rpm is what every person with a "fast" (think VW commercials) in them loves.

-Oldsmoboi- about the price of the war... yeah, but we also base ~75,000 military personale in germany alone. how much has been spent doing that there, and all the other countries we "occupy" in this time of peace with them. we don't sit there for free.

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I agree: scrap the CAFE laws and raise oil taxes up to 'European' levels. At $8 a gallon, everyone can buy and drive what they want. Congress can use the tax bonanza to plow into alternate fuel technology. :rolleyes:

Ha, what am I saying? They would just plow the money into porkbarrel programs like the corn lobby.

Look, we will adapt. I ranted and raved against the mandatory seatbelt laws 20 years ago. Now, I wouldn't dream of driving a car without a 3 point belt. People do change. Change is good.

Every time I watch a program about the growing colossus, called China, my skin begins to crawl. We are like the Titanic, careening toward the inevitable iceberg, yet we are whining about our 'right to do this' and our 'right to do that.' China will need another Saudi Arabia to fuel its economy within 15 years. Where, exactly, is that going to come from? Kiss good bye the ozone layer by the time that happens. As the 'richest' economies on the planet, our countries (Canada and the U.S.) need to start leading by example, or our children (well, YOUR children) will be scrounging for roots and bark.

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I agree: scrap the CAFE laws and raise oil taxes up to 'European' levels. At $8 a gallon, everyone can buy and drive what they want. Congress can use the tax bonanza to plow into alternate fuel technology. :rolleyes:

Ha, what am I saying? They would just plow the money into porkbarrel programs like the corn lobby.

Look, we will adapt. I ranted and raved against the mandatory seatbelt laws 20 years ago. Now, I wouldn't dream of driving a car without a 3 point belt. People do change. Change is good.

Every time I watch a program about the growing colossus, called China, my skin begins to crawl. We are like the Titanic, careening toward the inevitable iceberg, yet we are whining about our 'right to do this' and our 'right to do that.' China will need another Saudi Arabia to fuel its economy within 15 years. Where, exactly, is that going to come from? Kiss good bye the ozone layer by the time that happens. As the 'richest' economies on the planet, our countries (Canada and the U.S.) need to start leading by example, or our children (well, YOUR children) will be scrounging for roots and bark.

Unless we become the source for alternative energy worldwide, which we can and should do.

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