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gmcbob

Interesting post about future RWD Buick/Caddy

42 posts in this topic

And then we hear the following from a familiar voice on the same page ...

Right GM canceled the Zeta Chevrolet Impala, just so it could build a Zeta Buick Lucerne and sell it as a fleet vehicle for police departments and taxi cab companies! LMAO! Tick-Tock, Zeta’s time is running out!

He did have a point there. I can't see a Zeta Buick Park Avenue being a fleet vehicle like it's front-drive forbearer was (taxis), especially with Buick re-establishing itself as a more upmarket brand again.

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So we now have this on Zeta:

Impala dead; who knows why?

Monaro/GTO/Trans Am dead; but it was barely a program to begin with and could be replaced theoretically with a Riviera.

G8 Sportswagon dead; essentially because of production restraints

Future of the G8 up in the air...

And a possible GMC Zeta yet to be developed.

Yep, looks like Zeta's dead to me! (Much sarcasm intended)

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My guess is the Impala got slaughtered because they would sell too many of them and it would throw off their CAFE numbers.

I suppose if the status quo ever needed adamant and fanatic defending, our little Deutchlander is in GM to do it.

Yeah, they were probably afraid of dominating the police car/taxi market with the Impala..

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First off GM had a hold on Zeta not canceled so almost anything is possible accept the GTO at this point.

What most think is the CAFE law is passed but what few understand is the rules are now written yet.

Scott Settlemire made it clear most future platforms are on hold till GM know what the exact rules will be. Why develope a lot of high volume cars when you may have to change them for future use?

Once the people in Washington get around to setting the ground rules some cars may be delayed or cancled later.

Besides with the price of gas more and more police and cab companies will be turning to Impala's and other V6 cars. It is getting hard to justify a large V8 car when $4 gas and liablitity of a chase can be replaced with radios, spike strips and a V6 with no speed limiter.

Most departments will have to make changes somewhere with gas going up and up. Unless you want your taxes to go up too.

Edited by hyperv6
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A couple of thoughts on this:

1. A Buick Lucerne or Park Ave or whatever is a terrible idea. If you need to, make an exact copy of the vehicle, throw a Chevy badge on it, call it whatever you want and only sell it to fleet, but don't screw over Buick like that.

2. To be honest, it's not getting tough to make a case for large V8 cars, it's just getting hard to make a case for large cars in general. While I too was extremely excited about Zeta, the beancounters should have some say here too. GM should really be investing that money into getting Delta here ASAP and as good as possible. Plus, the Thetas need some serious work in order to be competitive, so let's focus on that and then worry about dealing with Zeta later.

3. On the same premise I described above, if we really want RWD, then let's talk about Alpha. GM could do very well to meet both enthusiast desire and fuel economy standards by building a lightweight Alpha G6 with a heavily turbo/super charged 4 or 6 cylinder. Then add a version for Caddilac with a V6 and see where else in the world you could use a car like that.

4. The one thing I will say that troubles me about all of this is GM's volume makeup. I don't think it's an issue of being able to offer these vehicles with decent fuel economy, but is more of an issue of offsetting the trucks and large SUVs that bring in all that money. Don't forget, the standards are supposed to be volume adjusted which is going to make it tougher for GM since they build so many trucks. Essentially they get penalized for building better trucks than Toyota...go figure.

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I left a direct response to Borger's post over there. The way I read the article is, the Buick Zeta will take over from the Lincoln Town Car's livery, or limo, business, not as a police car or taxi.
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I'd like to leave one thought and that thought is this: it will be Chrysler that will prove if large, mainstream rear-drive cars can last through the upcoming decade's rising CAFE regulations. :scratchchin:

Edited by YellowJacket894
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The Lucerne's future will depend partly on how well the Chinese PA sells. If sales are strong enough in China (with only V6 engines), then a rwd Lucerne replacement is almost certain, no matter how limited North American volume. Expect a base 3.6 DI for a little under $40K (about the same as a Mk S, but much less than the Mk T).

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And then we hear . . . from a familiar voice

I thought Pontiac_Custom-S left here because he didn't want to jeopardize his job, so why's he posting there?

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I thought Pontiac_Custom-S left here because he didn't want to jeopardize his job, so why's he posting there?

Hmmmm ... good question indeed.

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Hmmmm ... good question indeed.

Is that guy really a GM employee, or just someone who has an odd sense of humor and likes to mess with the GM rear drive fans? I have this feeling that he's just some crazy guy that likes to jerk people's chains. I dunno, his posts just seem to immature for someone who would hold a job at GM (especially a management style job that would lend itself to knowing future product plans, etc, etc)

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Is that guy really a GM employee, or just someone who has an odd sense of humor and likes to mess with the GM rear drive fans? I have this feeling that he's just some crazy guy that likes to jerk people's chains. I dunno, his posts just seem to immature for someone who would hold a job at GM (especially a management style job that would lend itself to knowing future product plans, etc, etc)

Let's wait and see...

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3. On the same premise I described above, if we really want RWD, then let's talk about Alpha. GM could do very well to meet both enthusiast desire and fuel economy standards by building a lightweight Alpha G6 with a heavily turbo/super charged 4 or 6 cylinder. Then add a version for Caddilac with a V6 and see where else in the world you could use a car like that.

I'd do the opposite: decontent a Cadillac-developed Alpha into an affordable Chevy or Pontiac.

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Is that guy really a GM employee, or just someone who has an odd sense of humor and likes to mess with the GM rear drive fans? I have this feeling that he's just some crazy guy that likes to jerk people's chains. I dunno, his posts just seem to immature for someone who would hold a job at GM (especially a management style job that would lend itself to knowing future product plans, etc, etc)

I always took him as a young guy that may have worked for GM but he was slapping door panels on somewhere.

The GM people I speak to that are in the know don't post on these web sites and if they do they are very careful not to say much if anything at all. If they did they would have the black Tahoe in front of the house by morning.

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I always took him as a young guy that may have worked for GM but he was slapping door panels on somewhere.

The GM people I speak to that are in the know don't post on these web sites and if they do they are very careful not to say much if anything at all. If they did they would have the black Tahoe in front of the house by morning.

Yeah, I have this feeling that if you're in the know at a company like GM, you probably don't have a hell of a lot of time to spend on boards like this. I certainly think it's cool for those who do have some time to drop a line now and then - and it's certainly healthy to have hobbies which include friendly socializing (which is what this is). But at the end of the day, I think those with a little time dropping lines on this board certainly wouldn't be revealing much about the company's internal struggles and future product plans - and definitely not spin it in a way that makes the company sound like they don't know what they're doing (like PCS did in all reality). Someone who did that would really just be asking for a lot of trouble if they were discovered - and would probably be fired I would think.

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Wasn't it reported somewhere that the Buick Lucerne may move to a LWB Epsilon II platform? Is that likely? Do you think that the name "Lucerne" will be retained? ("Invicta"? "Roadmaster"? Do they have to leave "Park Avenue" only for a car that matches the Chinese PA?)

Also, did you guys see that Borger (Pontiac_Custom-S) left a follow-up message on The Car Connection's website at 11:32 this morning:

He wrote, "Well according to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, the vehicles that replace the Taxi and limos of New York city must meet the following standards.

* meets highest safety standards

* superior passenger experience

* superior driver comfort and amenities

* appropriate purchase price and on-going maintenance and repair costs

* smaller environmental footprint (lower emissions and improved fuel economy)

* smaller physical footprint (with more useable interior room)

* universal accessibility for all users with a goal of meeting ADA guidelines, (wheelchair accessible)

* iconic design that will identify the new taxi with New York City

Zeta misses the boat on several of these standards. the short wheel base version of the Zeta is a fat heavy pig, coming in on average at 4200 pounds, I can just imagine what a stretched version of this vehicle will weigh in at, and with cude oil priced over 100 dollars a barrel I would think coach builders and fleet agencies such as police departments and Taxi cab companies would steer clear of this vehicle, as well as the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, since the Zeta platform has a limited life span within GM itself. After all Mr. Bob Lutz himself, stated that Zeta will never meet the new CAFE standards that have been set by the U.S. Congress.

Whether it’s a police car, taxi or limo, those types of vehicles need to get good gas mileage, after all fuel economy is the bread and butter of limos, taxis, and even police agencies when it comes to budgeting money for new police crusiers. Higher fuel cost, means that a limo and taxi company must charge higher rates for transporting customers and police agencies will need more tax payer dollars to fuel these vehicles. What the commission needs to look for is a car that has a V8 that can meet the new CAFE standards without having to drop down to a V6, as I doubt any V6 would be able to take the wear and tear of daily fleet use, without incurring heavy maintenance bills.

In the end Zeta has a limited lifespan, even as we speak the clock is ticking, Tick-TocK."

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As far as NY Taxis, haven't they been moving to Honda Oddeseys and Ford Escapes for a while now?

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cafe, whatever, there is still no excuse that a manufacturer the size of GM that already has designed and built this car and sells it in volume in several countries, cannot, with all its brands and sales channels here, sell a few of those cars here (statesman, etc.) is seriously f@#king pathetic.

we have diesel, v6's, you can have autos and manuals at your disposal.

cafe isn't till 2020. GM not being able to sell some caprices here or park avenues etc. or whatever is simple incompetence. Plain and simple. WHAT IF IT TURNS OUT THE COPS AND CABBIES AND PUBLIC loves the car?

the decisions GM makes on $h! like this pisses me off to the point where who f@#king cares if they go under. You pull $h! like this then G0ddamn yes I may take my business to Japan inc. and not give a rats ass about your incompetence and hoier than thou attitude towards the customer.

if you can sell 5000 pound enclaves you have no excuse to not offer a 4000 pound zeta.

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I'd do the opposite: decontent a Cadillac-developed Alpha into an affordable Chevy or Pontiac.

Good point, but I think that's a better RWD platform to focus on.

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if you can sell 5000 pound enclaves you have no excuse to not offer a 4000 pound zeta.

True, in a world of 5000-6000lb SUVs, crossovers, and pickups, a 4000 lb car is not a big deal...

Edited by moltar
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I still see the move to smaller Mini Vans and other higher milage vehicles as a given for the Taxi market. WIth gas going up it just removes more of their profits. Few will want to pay higher fairs.

Same with Police departments. Sales of FWD V6 police cars is at an all time high as higher gas prices have put a strain on department budgets. They locals here have found the Impala to do the job very well and have not had any complaints. If anything they are buying more as they have been happy with them.

There could be a market for GM to make a Minivan that is taylored to cab duity and used a hybrid small engine for around town use. What better way to test out and prove new hybrid technology.

Edited by hyperv6
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the more I hear about fuel costs and fuel standards, the more interested I am in Alpha then I am in Zeta

It's quite a different story for myself. The more that I hear about fuel standards and the like, and GM's lost hope in Zeta, my interest particularly in Zeta as a viable platform for a slew of great rear-drive performance cars with exceptional performance and handling dwindles little by little.

It's quite frustrating really. I want to see this platform happen and come around full circle. I want to see it's basic concept and premises stay at GM for a very long while. I want to buy one, drive it, then trade it in and replace with a brand new one like what I had when that time comes.

See, what I can't quite wrap my head around is that GM just simply cannot make a platform with Zeta dimensions acceptable in weight and fuel economy. There are ways to do it (like using lightweight materials for the hood, or the roof panel, for example). Yes, I'm aware of the reality that a large, rear-drive car won't get the mileage as say a small European compact with a diesel. But there are ways to achieve respectable numbers with such a car of the Zeta's magnitude. (And it would also help if the U.S didn't use such inferior standards for MPG ratings, but that's different $h! to jaw about for a different day and time.)

I don't think GM's answer to every rear-drive enthusiast lies with Alpha. I can sit here and tell you that it just doesn't seem to ... click with me like Zeta did when I was first reading the news about it. I'll admit, it does sound like a nice platform and all: rear-drive, high zoot engines, plenty of pep, superb handling, good gas mileage ... but what about practicality? The Alpha's smaller size means a lessened degree of practicality compared to Zeta. I like Zeta because it offers me everything Alpha does and more (although, yeah, it's not as fuel efficient, I know). It had traits I wanted in the near future and distant future in a new car. It would have very well made me a GM customer for, literally, my entire lifetime. Chances are, I'll have kids in my thirties and, c'mon, thinking sensibly here an Alpha III sedan debuting in that particular time frame in my life probably won't allow me to have my cake and eat it too.

And that opens up another particular can of worms. It's starting to make me think that GM doesn't try to diversify it's product portfolio as much as it possibly could (i.e. meaning offering alternatives in house in order to make sure potential GM customers buy a GM product; ok, you didn't like the new Impala because of it's front-drive layout or this Alpha sedan here because of it's size, but can we interest you in maybe this rear-drive Pontiac sedan that's the same size as the Impala, and offers just as much content and comparable fuel economy, and has the rear-drive layout you favored so much with the Alpha sedan?). In a lot of ways, the old, dumbassed GM is still a part of the show, letting "customer surveys" and "market research" and internal politics and a moronic doomsday mentality in light of new government regulations dictate what cars it makes and not doing anything particularly new or particularly better than anyone else.

Edited by YellowJacket894
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