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Mark LaNeve: How GM Plans to Muddle Through

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I'd like to share an interesting piece from U.S. News & World Report, in which Mark LaNeve responds to some questions about GM's present and future. To read it, click here.

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They should fire LaNeve along with Wagoner.

Buick, Pontiac, GMC is not like one brand, if you have to advertise for all 3. Plus you have the Enclave and Acadia overlap. What they save from cutting brands is design and development costs and marketing costs. If they put Pontiac's whole budget into Chevy (better products, more advertising), they could sell 400,000 Malibus and 400,000 Cobalt/Cruzes per year.

And a Malibu 4 cylinder is $2300 a year (EPA number on 15k miles) to fuel vs $3700 a year for a Silverado 5.3 liter. $1400 a year is a lot to someone making $40k a year or so.

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3-series, 5-series, 7-series is not like one brand, if you have to advertise for all 3.

If honda put acura's money into honda, they could sell 12,000,000 accords and 12,000,000 civics per year.

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3-series, 5-series, 7-series is not like one brand, if you have to advertise for all 3.

If honda put acura's money into honda, they could sell 12,000,000 accords and 12,000,000 civics per year.

Apples & Oranges--and I think you know it.

If GM could make more money selling less brands, why are your panties in such a bunch? It's simply common sense.

8 Divisions and 35% market share would be fine. 8 Divisions and 15% simply makes no sense. When the ship is sinking, you cut weight.

GM's situation is dire--not bad or rough--desperate times call for desperate measures--its simple math. They have nothing left to leverage, little to sell of value and a whole lot of liabilities that either get paid or they go Ch. 11.

(And, BTW, the Civic is currently selling at a rate that is simply constrained by capacity, so perhaps you're right on that point.)

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3-series, 5-series, 7-series is not like one brand, if you have to advertise for all 3.

If honda put acura's money into honda, they could sell 12,000,000 accords and 12,000,000 civics per year.

Um, no. B-P-G all have division managers, marketing budgets, design budgets to figure out how to put a Pontiac grille on a Cobalt, etc.

Honda and Acura don't overlap products: Saturn, Chevy, Buick and Pontiac all operate in the $20-30k range.

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They should fire LaNeve along with Wagoner.

Buick, Pontiac, GMC is not like one brand, if you have to advertise for all 3. Plus you have the Enclave and Acadia overlap. What they save from cutting brands is design and development costs and marketing costs. If they put Pontiac's whole budget into Chevy (better products, more advertising), they could sell 400,000 Malibus and 400,000 Cobalt/Cruzes per year.

And a Malibu 4 cylinder is $2300 a year (EPA number on 15k miles) to fuel vs $3700 a year for a Silverado 5.3 liter. $1400 a year is a lot to someone making $40k a year or so.

------------------------------------------------

Um, no. B-P-G all have division managers, marketing budgets, design budgets to figure out how to put a Pontiac grille on a Cobalt, etc.

Honda and Acura don't overlap products: Saturn, Chevy, Buick and Pontiac all operate in the $20-30k range.

:rolleyes: Buick-Pontiac-GMC in NA are a single division in the way Lincoln-Mercury are a single division. They share everything...

Susan Docherty is currently the Division VP for Buick-Pontiac-GMC Channel.

Russ Clark is the executive director of B-P-G product marketing.

Brian Sweeney is currently the General Sales Manager for B-P-G.

Cheryl Catton is currently the general director of advertising and promotions for B-P-G.

Debbie Frakes is currently the communications Director for B-P-G.

The three brands also use the same Ad agency -

General Motors announces Buick-Pontiac-GMC ad agency consolidation

Notice in the press release that Jim Bunnell was formerly the general manager of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. :scratchchin:

A "brand" could still be phased out of the division though... but there are no longer internal survival struggles between the three brands because they use the same resources.

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I think you'll see Pontiac selling smaller cars that will be sold as Buicks in Chinese markets — the compact and lower-midsize models, and perhaps even subcompacts. The 2 major problems with cutting a brand rather than selling it are: you lose revenue as well as cut marketing costs, so your budget actually falls; and you pay an enormous cost in buying out dealers etc.. All the analysts, journalists and armchair pundits can say what they like, but GM knows exactly what it costs having tried it with Oldsmobile. You have to believe they know it won't save them any money or allow them a bigger advertising budget. Aside from Hummer and Saab North America, each division would still be a major automaker in its own right—if GM can't solve the cost problem and make more money per vehicle there simply won't be enough money to properly market anything, no matter how many divisions and models they cut.

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As for marketing, well GM can do all they like, but too many people refuse to believe anything good about GM's products. If you try and inform them, they just put their hands over their ears and go "LALALALALALALALALALALALA." E.g. if you tell them the Cobalt has the best highway mileage they say, no that must be pre-2008 figures. If you show them the 2008 figures they say, no that's not real-world, if you show them real-world reporting, they say "no …". It's not simply that they don't believe, they don't want to. It's become an ideological position that you can't argue with. And they are fierce proselytizers as well, voicing their opinion at every opportunity, and denigrating anyone who points out they're wrong on any point. You may as well tell them the earth is round, or the earth orbits the sun.

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3-series, 5-series, 7-series is not like one brand, if you have to advertise for all 3.

If honda put acura's money into honda, they could sell 12,000,000 accords and 12,000,000 civics per year.

already a used 09 honda TSX at a local dealer here. 200 miles on it. must have sucked. or the owner read the bad reviews and couldn't live with herself.

if honda didnt make TLs and TSXs and RL etc they could easily move 2.2 BILLION accords each year. THERE IS NO DOUBT.

Edited by regfootball

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Um, no. B-P-G all have division managers, marketing budgets, design budgets to figure out how to put a Pontiac grille on a Cobalt, etc.

:rolleyes: Buick-Pontiac-GMC in NA are a single division in the way Lincoln-Mercury are a single division. They share everything...

Susan Docherty is currently the Division VP for Buick-Pontiac-GMC Channel.

Russ Clark is the executive director of B-P-G product marketing.

Brian Sweeney is currently the General Sales Manager for B-P-G.

Cheryl Catton is currently the general director of advertising and promotions for B-P-G.

Debbie Frakes is currently the communications Director for B-P-G.

The three brands also use the same Ad agency...

Damn, smk, when are you going to start to bother to look anything up before posting stream of nonsense comments?

If GM could make more money selling less brands, why are your panties in such a bunch? It's simply common sense. 8 Divisions and 35% market share would be fine. 8 Divisions and 15% simply makes no sense. When the ship is sinking, you cut weight. GM's situation is dire--not bad or rough--desperate times call for desperate measures--its simple math.

Here's what's simple: there ARE no "8" divisions, the 'divisional' thing is a long-dead ghost. Huge difference between a brand name & a division as it USED to be at GM decades ago- each with it's own Styling, Engineering & Administration. I wish it weren't that way, because the differences were what made each strong, but 'my time' WRT GM has past long ago and what it is, it is.

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Damn,

Here's what's simple: there ARE no "8" divisions, the 'divisional' thing is a long-dead ghost. Huge difference between a brand name & a division as it USED to be at GM decades ago- each with it's own Styling, Engineering & Administration. I wish it weren't that way, because the differences were what made each strong, but 'my time' WRT GM has past long ago and what it is, it is.

So, if divisions (as they were) are now a fiction, who cares what the cars are called, as long as they're good and make GM money.

Pouring marketing resources into rebadges thus makes no sense, right?

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As for marketing, well GM can do all they like, but too many people refuse to believe anything good about GM's products. If you try and inform them, they just put their hands over their ears and go "LALALALALALALALALALALALA." E.g. if you tell them the Cobalt has the best highway mileage they say, no that must be pre-2008 figures. If you show them the 2008 figures they say, no that's not real-world, if you show them real-world reporting, they say "no …". It's not simply that they don't believe, they don't want to. It's become an ideological position that you can't argue with. And they are fierce proselytizers as well, voicing their opinion at every opportunity, and denigrating anyone who points out they're wrong on any point. You may as well tell them the earth is round, or the earth orbits the sun.

I sometimes get this impression that GM has absolutely NO idea on how to properly market their cars. They KNOW, or must know at this point, that their products, despite being really good lately, resonate VERY poorly with people. I know so many "non car" people in my circle of friends and family who simply won't step foot on a GM lot because they still think of the old GM that built nothing but junk. GM has to work on undoing this with totally out of the box advertising - but they're so screwed up right now they don't know whether they're coming or going.

You know guys - this all started happening when Olds was killed off - seriously. It can be traced back to that BS I think. Lets kill off the one division that sells cars (hmmmm...like Honda does) at that sweet spot in the price/profitability/volume range. Yeah, that's what we'll do. Nobody wants cars anymore. Lets funnel all that money we'll save towards more marketing for Tahoes. Yeah, that's the ticket. DUMB DUMB DUMB!

I remember when they did it and I remember talking to Pops about it a lot back at that time. We both thought it was the single biggest mistake GM could possibly make, and that it was the start of the company going totally down the $h!ter. And look what happened - all those people are now driving Camry's and Accords. Were they smoking opium??

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So, if divisions (as they were) are now a fiction, who cares what the cars are called, as long as they're good and make GM money.

"If" ??

Well, it's quite apparent that YOU care, because every 3rd post from you harps on (well, in addition to RW and the BOD) the number of 'divisions'. Every point that can be made about GM can be made about many other companies- why does honda need rebadged (other market) hondas called 'acuras' ? Reviews on the latest accord have only been lukewarm to favorable- what if TL money was "poured" into the accord instead??

Pouring marketing resources into rebadges thus makes no sense, right?

Where is money "pouring" into rebadges, exactly ?? Doesn't the very loose & dismissive definition of 'rebadge' preclude 'pouring' amd instead suggest 'trickling'? Granted, it's all relative to the amount of $ GM happens to have, but these loosey-goosey statements paint such a black, horrible picture of madness & waste, when in fact the hard data about what is spent where at GM --as far as all of us here are concerned-- is complete, wild guesswork.

And we still have no definitive proof that -say- having an Acadia alone (NOTE- I in no way consider these 'rebadges'... because they are not) would equal the sales of Acadia + Outlook. In other words, any investment pulled from having 2 or 3 variants of the same program instead of 1 may well fall short of the profit off 2 or 3 variants.... but again- we just don't have hard data on this issue, no matter the level of individual conviction.

But, according to the info Ven posted above, can we get a unilateral consensus/agreement that B-P-GMC is 1 'division'.... leaving GM with -at most- 6 brands in the U.S., not 8? (from a business case standpoint)

And I say '6' because clearly there is a great deal of engineering overlap between Hummer & Chevy Truck / GMC- lessening the distinction there, too. Half a brand?? Someone else posted that Saturn has only 31 employees (don't know if that's verified)- does that draw enough cash to warrant killing Saturn off, when most of the product money was spent in Germany & elsewhere... or again, is the cost relative to the profit still on the good side of the balance sheet?

Edited by balthazar

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"If" ??

Well, it's quite apparent that YOU care, because every 3rd post from you harps on (well, in addition to RW and the BOD) the number of 'divisions'. Every point that can be made about GM can be made about many other companies- why does honda need rebadged (other market) hondas called 'acuras' ? Reviews on the latest accord have only been lukewarm to favorable- what if TL money was "poured" into the accord instead??

Where is money "pouring" into rebadges, exactly ?? Doesn't the very loose & dismissive definition of 'rebadge' preclude 'pouring' amd instead suggest 'trickling'? Granted, it's all relative to the amount of $ GM happens to have, but these loosey-goosey statements paint such a black, horrible picture of madness & waste, when in fact the hard data about what is spent where at GM --as far as all of us here are concerned-- is complete, wild guesswork.

And we still have no definitive proof that -say- having an Acadia alone (NOTE- I in no way consider these 'rebadges'... because they are not) would equal the sales of Acadia + Outlook. In other words, any investment pulled from having 2 or 3 variants of the same program instead of 1 may well fall short of the profit off 2 or 3 variants.... but again- we just don't have hard data on this issue, no matter the level of individual conviction.

But, according to the info Ven posted above, can we get a unilateral consensus/agreement that B-P-GMC is 1 'division'.... leaving GM with -at most- 6 brands in the U.S., not 8? Thank you.

Well, at least I know you're paying attention to my posts, huh?

When Honda's in as bad a shape as GM, I'll be sure to offer them my suggestions. Until then, I think their overall performance in a rotten market speaks volumes for their abilities and product choices. The Civic is currently capacity constrained....as is the Fit and CRV, IIRC. Your feeble attempt to compare a 2 line company with GM's brand morass only highlights your complete ignorance of what dealer support, marketing and advertising truly costs. Get back to me when you educate yourself on this matter--it literally will blow your mind.

Rebadges consume marketing resources, not necessarily development resources...but I'd say a dollar is still a dollar to GM right now.

As for my criticism of RW and the Board...would you have a job if your performance was similar to theirs?

I'm not the enemy, brother. The morons running a proud company into the ground should be the ones earning your ire.

But I guess it's easier to pick on me? I'm just one of the guys on the front line trying to save this disaster from happening--what are you doing?

Edited by enzl

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>>"Well, at least I know you're paying attention to my posts, huh?"<<

I do skip over a LOT of them once I know at a glance the jist isn't deviating from the norm. :wink:

>>"The Civic is currently capacity constrained....as is the Fit and CRV, IIRC."<<

If this is true, wouldn't taking funding "pouring" into rebadges and instead building a few more assembly lines make more sense??

>>"But I guess it's easier to pick on me? I'm just one of the guys on the front line trying to save this disaster from happening--what are you doing? "<<

Dude- I'm not picking on you- never once addressed you personally. The ONLY issue you might feel is direct : the issue of where & how much is spent vs. what I called "loosey-goosey" statements... I, and no doubt many others, would WELCOME hard data instead of subjective adjectives. Do you have any hard data to share?

It's relatively easy, IMO, to damn an entities' performance and extrapolate that to all levels of operation. I guarantee you I would be right there with you if I saw facts that supported such accusations.... but I've not seen any... and thus, I do not make assumptions to the negative.

I do not deny your voice in our arena as neccesary and righteous, even tho it automatically makes me defensive (and I don't love the GM of today- it's a shell from what I fell in love with) but I still need facts before I assume the worst.

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I'll find the Inventory levels for all cars in question, and quote you one astonishing fact:

Buick sold less than 4 new vehicles per dealership last month. How much should that dealer be spending to advertise those Buicks? How much ad spending should GM co-op in order to sell those 4 vehicles? Or keeping parts available to service those 4 vehicles? Or printing sales broshures for each of Buick's 3 models? Or creating Ad Copy?

It's simply Common Sense.

As soon as I come across some neutral material, I'll get it to you...

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If Buick-Pontiac-GMC was one brand, then they should all have the same logo. GMC Solstice, GMC Lucerne, GMC G8, GMC Acadia, etc. But that isn't the case, they have 3 badges, thus 3 brands. A Jaguar-Land Rover-BMW dealership doesn't mean all 3 are acting as one brand, with BMW covering performance, Jag covering luxury and Land Rover covering trucks.

In the 1970s they had rebadged cars, in the 80s they had Chevy-Buick-Olds (celebrity/century/cierra) rebadges, Pontiac Bonneville, Olds 88, Buick Lesabre rebadges, in the 90s they did the same thing, and added Blazer/Jimmy/Bravada and Silloutte/Lumina APV/Transport rebadges to the rebadged sedans. In the 2000s, we have the G6/Malibu/Aura or Grand Prix/Impala/LaCrosse w-body platform share, and Trailblazer/Envoy/Bravada/Ascender/9-7x/Rainer 6-way rebadge, etc. They want to go into the 2010s with 4 Lambdas, Epsilon is about to be Malibu/G6/Aura/9-5/LaCrosse.

They have used the same strategy for 4 decades in a row, each decade was worse than the one before it, and they are about to implement the same strategy for a 5th decade. It didn't work in the 70s or 80s, or 90s, or 2000s, it won't work in the 2010s.

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G6/ Malibu/ Aura certainly are not "rebadges".

Grand Prix/ Impala/ LaCrosse certainly are not "rebadges".

Bonneville/ 88/ LeSabre certainly are not "rebadges".

Lambdas certainly are not "rebadges".

My wife had an Intrique a few years ago, and once I studied it and a GP parked next to it. Not a single major interior component was identical, not a single exterior component was identical or even similar, with the possible exception of the windshield. Side & rear glass was unique- something GM seldom did even in the '50s or '60s. From the curb, these 2 cars are as different as a GP and a Maxima. Sure- they shared platforms & powertrains (just like -say- nissan), but who would know apart from auto junkies?

Try bolting a GP door or hood or bumper onto an Intrique. Make a little inventive game about it and remember- have fun!

Swap out taillights & grilles and have the same interiors/ powertrains/ chassis's, then yes; you have a rebadge. Early '70s X-Bodies may fit here. As soon as you have completely different interiors and sheetmetal- they no longer fit the common sense definition of 'rebadge', which is to change a strict minority of insigificant details, resulting in clear, inarguable 'twins'. Sorry- you don't have that with the G6 / Aura / Malibu, you just don't.

Trucks are on another level since their primary directive is utility, which dictates most parameters of size/shape. Yet, the Lambdas are as different from each other as they are from other competitors in the segment.

It takes a certain level of willful ignorance to look past these facts and focus solely on platform as the primary determination of a rebadge or not.... because by process of elimination, that seems to be what you are consistantly doing. How did you happen to come to a definition of 'rebadge' that requires reading specification charts about 2 vehicles to know if they're similar or not?

BTW- regardless of the specific level of 'rebadging' done by GM in the '70s, exactly how did that "not work" ??

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Same platform, same engines, same transmissions, same price range. If the Malibu was 20-27k and the Buick Epsilon was 27-34k I wouldn't have a problem with it. That would make sense, because they wouldn't overlap. But the G6, Aura, Malibu, Lacrosse, Impala are all around the $22-25k range when similarly optioned.

In the 80s GM had a lot of cars that shared body panels, the Celebrity, Pontiac 6000 and Buick Century wagons come to mind. All they have improved was from going from straight rebadge to mechanical twins with a few different body panels and different materials on the same basic interior shape. They still have overlap. Toyota doesn't price the Camry and Avalon and Lexus ES the same, why are the Malibu V6, Impala and LaCrosse are priced about the same.

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I think the problem is that GM does not maximize its investments in differentiation. For example, as you correctly state, the Intrigue and Grand Prix share virtually nothing. Yet, they look almost the same on the road from the front and side profiles. I'm fairly good at identifying cars on the road, and yet even this trained eye has a very difficult time differentiating between an Intrigue and GP at night.

Same thing with the T-360s. The only exterior panel they had in common was the roof, yet they all looked the same.

That said, I would say the AURA and G6 sedans are rebadges, but the Malibu is not. I saw two parked next to each other in a parking lot today, and the rears are 99% identical in appearance. The taillight housings were the only differences I could really see. The front doors of the G6 differ in that they have the beltline dip, and the noses are unique...but the interiors are very similar and the rears are practically identical. Other than the aforementioned beltline dip on the G6, the profiles are nearly identical as well.

Regardless of the number of "on-paper" differences, the two look like clones to the average person.

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Same platform, same engines, same transmissions, same price range. If the Malibu was 20-27k and the Buick Epsilon was 27-34k I wouldn't have a problem with it. That would make sense, because they wouldn't overlap. But the G6, Aura, Malibu, Lacrosse, Impala are all around the $22-25k range when similarly optioned.

In the 80s GM had a lot of cars that shared body panels, the Celebrity, Pontiac 6000 and Buick Century wagons come to mind. All they have improved was from going from straight rebadge to mechanical twins with a few different body panels and different materials on the same basic interior shape. They still have overlap. Toyota doesn't price the Camry and Avalon and Lexus ES the same, why are the Malibu V6, Impala and LaCrosse are priced about the same.

I concur.

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I'll find the Inventory levels for all cars in question, and quote you one astonishing fact:

Buick sold less than 4 new vehicles per dealership last month. How much should that dealer be spending to advertise those Buicks? How much ad spending should GM co-op in order to sell those 4 vehicles? Or keeping parts available to service those 4 vehicles? Or printing sales brochures for each of Buick's 3 models? Or creating Ad Copy?

It's simply Common Sense.

As soon as I come across some neutral material, I'll get it to you...

The simple answer is—as much as anyone else spends to market a comparable model with similar sales—Avalon, Passat, MKZ, Maxima. The LaCrosse is GM's only entry in that segment, and that isn't likely to change with the new model. GM doesn't have that money, but it has nothing to do with the number of dealerships, the number of brands, or the number of models. GM should be making enough money on each vehicle to market it at the same level as it's competitors—none of which consistently sell any better than the LaCrosse. Your statistic only highlights the fact that GM has too many dealers left over from when Buick sold over a million vehicles a year. Too many of those are quite happy to sell one or two vehicles a month, and aren't interested in buyouts at a level that a larger dealer nearby will view as reasonable, given their low volume. That's not something you can blame Wagoner or Cowger for, that's just another legacy issue GM has been struggling to rectify. Why do you think they like Saturn better? No bloated dealer network to supply, better customer relations etc..

Think about it for a moment—no-one does a lot of brand advertising. Ever. They advertize individual models, a lot, and not all models either. If an individual model has the sales to support marketing, then there is no point in cutting the brand. You save on advertising, but your development costs do not change much, and the sales revenue that you lose, however inadequate, is far more than your saving in advertising. You end up upside down on your cost savings. It's not a new concept. GM has recent experience in cutting Oldsmobile, cited by LaNeve, and it occurs in other industries as well. You can't cut back product lines to regain profitability. It doesn't work. What GM needs to do is raise transaction prices, margins, and profits per vehicle. That means reducing daily rental sales, raising prices, raising perceived value etc., each of which GM has been trying to do. It may very well be a losing battle, negative perceptions being so ingrained, so cherished by too many people in NA. Despite the spin about doubling sales, the Malibu is a sales failure—the G6 still sells better, and sales are not really any better than they have been in the past. The marketing wasn't bad, the vehicle was good enough, in may areas class-leading. And yet it is not and probably never can be good enough, no matter how much money they invest in development and marketing. If it got 1000 mpg, repaired itself, made a Rolls look cheap and nasty, felt like you where flying instead of driving, and performed CPR if you had an accident, they probably still couldn't sell them with the greatest advertising campaign ever. GM in NA has been fighting a rear-guard action against overwhelming odds. Despite a number of mistakes, none of which any of you have pointed out, they are doing surprisingly well. Time will tell if it's enough. They are doing the right thing promoting their fuel economy, but I doubt enough people will believe them, no matter how good the campaign.

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If we were to cut three or four brands, what would the benefit be? What would we really save? We actually run our business now like it's four brands, with Pontiac, GMC, and Buick as one brand. And we've filled the portfolio for all of our brands. So if we killed one of the brands, we'd lose a business. We'd save a little short-term marketing money, but not much. Plus, we know from Oldsmobile how much it costs to kill a brand.
Glad to see someone with a brain is left at GM...

The reaction to $4 gas has been more severe than I would have thought. We ran some numbers the other day, and the difference between driving a Silverado pickup with a V-8 engine and a Malibu or Camry with a 4-cylinder comes out to about $17 per week in extra fuel. That's not that much. What has scared people, I think, is that prices have gone higher as we're also having layoffs and the economy is getting worse. And you've got oil analysts saying oil is going to get to $200 per barrel. So suddenly fuel economy is top of mind.

Exactly... Bullsh*t speculation and the media frenzy that ensued has scared the consumer.

Malibu sales are up 100 percent,

True that... I'm seeing new Malibus EVERYWHERE now.

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As for marketing, well GM can do all they like, but too many people refuse to believe anything good about GM's products. If you try and inform them, they just put their hands over their ears and go "LALALALALALALALALALALALA." E.g. if you tell them the Cobalt has the best highway mileage they say, no that must be pre-2008 figures. If you show them the 2008 figures they say, no that's not real-world, if you show them real-world reporting, they say "no …". It's not simply that they don't believe, they don't want to. It's become an ideological position that you can't argue with. And they are fierce proselytizers as well, voicing their opinion at every opportunity, and denigrating anyone who points out they're wrong on any point. You may as well tell them the earth is round, or the earth orbits the sun.

All thanks to the CONSTANT media tirade that has occured for the past 6-7 years.

The media knew that GM was getting off the mat and it pushed the company right bak down, except harder and dirtier this time.

It's no longer acceptable to simply NOT PREFER an american car, it has become necessary to LOATHE american cars... It's incorporated into entertainment, politics and style.

And it was all, for the most part, subconciuosly coordinated.

(No joke)

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So, if divisions (as they were) are now a fiction, who cares what the cars are called, as long as they're good and make GM money.

Pouring marketing resources into rebadges thus makes no sense, right?

2 words:

1) BRAND 2) EQUITY...

Why sell SPRITE under "blubberjuice" if the name SPRITE is already tattooed and established on the brains of consumers everywhere? This is ESPECIALLY true given GM's ever dwindling marketing budget

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Well, at least I know you're paying attention to my posts, huh?

When Honda's in as bad a shape as GM, I'll be sure to offer them my suggestions. Until then, I think their overall performance in a rotten market speaks volumes for their abilities and product choices.

Did you say the same thing when the Ridgeline FLOPPED amid HUGE profit in the truck market?

The Civic is currently capacity constrained....as is the Fit and CRV, IIRC. Your feeble attempt to compare a 2 line company with GM's brand morass only highlights your complete ignorance of what dealer support, marketing and advertising truly costs. Get back to me when you educate yourself on this matter--it literally will blow your mind.

Honda is succeeding for 2 reasons 1) LUCK... They had the right redesigns at the right time and had too much BUREAUCRACY to follow the market into trucks. 2) Their NAME. Consumers connotate Honda with fuel economy EVEN OVER TOYOTA.

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smk4565- >>"Same platform, same engines, same transmissions, same price range. If the Malibu was 20-27k and the Buick Epsilon was 27-34k I wouldn't have a problem with it. That would make sense, because they wouldn't overlap. But the G6, Aura, Malibu, Lacrosse, Impala are all around the $22-25k range when similarly optioned."<<

So now price is an element in judging if 2 or more cars are "rebadges" ??? Stick to one arguement at a time, please.

No full-line manufacturer has zero overlap. If the product is differentiated enough, there's no reason to purposely avoid pricing overlap; they're different vehicles- they just happen to have the same parent organization. To eliminate all GM "overlap", they'd be down to -what?- 20 vehicles?

In the 80s GM had a lot of cars that shared body panels, the Celebrity, Pontiac 6000 and Buick Century wagons come to mind. All they have improved was from going from straight rebadge to mechanical twins with a few different body panels and different materials on the same basic interior shape."<<

So what are you now referring to in '08 as having "a few different body panels and different materials" ??? Nothing I mentioned from GM above fits your criteria here...

-- -- -- -- --

Croc- >>"I think the problem is that GM does not maximize its investments in differentiation. For example, as you correctly state, the Intrigue and Grand Prix share virtually nothing. Yet, they look almost the same on the road from the front and side profiles. I'm fairly good at identifying cars on the road, and yet even this trained eye has a very difficult time differentiating between an Intrigue and GP at night."<<

How are you with the camry & es at night? Or any bmw vs. another at night (sedan-to-sedan, SUV-to-SUV)? C'mon... what kind of evaluation is that?

GM's product differentiation investment is currently better implimented than at any other point in your lifetime.

>>"That said, I would say the AURA and G6 sedans are rebadges, but the Malibu is not. I saw two parked next to each other in a parking lot today, and the rears are 99% identical in appearance. The taillight housings were the only differences I could really see."<<

2008.pontiac.g6.20132239-E.jpg

2008.saturn.aura.20128976-E.jpg

I see everything being different, tho the taillights are very similar in shape (tho clearly not interchangable). No "rebadge" here in my book... shouldn't be for anyone else.

Frankly- there's as much design difference between either of the above as there is with this, IMO:

2008.honda.accord.20151150-E.jpg

>>"Regardless of the number of "on-paper" differences, the two look like clones to the average person."<<

I disagree completely and feel the above shots strongly support this.

BTW- it's the similarities (platforms) that are "on paper", the physical differences are right there to see with the naked eye.

Edited by balthazar

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How are you with the camry & es at night? Or any bmw vs. another at night (sedan-to-sedan, SUV-to-SUV)? C'mon... what kind of evaluation is that?

ES and Camry are very easy to differentiate at night. They have totally different headlight and taillight shapes. The Intrigue and GP have very similar front ends, especially the early GPs with the "bottom feeder" air intake and no proper grille. The Intrigue's headlamps are slightly more slit-like, and I believe one amber bulb is located differently...but otherwise they are extremely similar.

GM's product differentiation investment is currently better implimented than at any other point in your lifetime.

You're missing my point; it isn't the dollar amount I'm quibbling about, but rather how those dollars are being spent. Another example: the original CTS. The general consensus is that its interior was "cheap" for its class. BUT! That was a very expensive interior with a lot of high-end materials and details.

GM needs to spend its differentiation money not on three different body panels that are non-interchangeable though they share the same styling vocabulary...but on using maybe the same body panel for all three cars with different cut seams for other hardware to better differentiate things. Or creating three distinct panels with entirely different styling vocabularies.

Edited by Croc

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The rebadges from the '80s were obvious and horrible. But here we go again, dragging up what GM did 20 years ago as reasons why it deserves to die today.

The average person doesn't know BOF from unibody, nor would they confuse the Impala with the Malibu. It's only when some self-appointed expert with an axe to grind points it out that it becomes an issue.

GM is merely the whipping boy for the anti-car lobby that has taken roost at the media these days.

I am finding my time more usefully spent these days on other sites where the auto in general is attacked directly.

GM and Toyota will duke it out in their own fashion, but if social engineers have their own way, we will all be living in 50 story condos and forced to take transit or a bicycle.

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The simple answer is—as much as anyone else spends to market a comparable model with similar sales—Avalon, Passat, MKZ, Maxima. The LaCrosse is GM's only entry in that segment, and that isn't likely to change with the new model. GM doesn't have that money, but it has nothing to do with the number of dealerships, the number of brands, or the number of models. GM should be making enough money on each vehicle to market it at the same level as it's competitors—none of which consistently sell any better than the LaCrosse. Your statistic only highlights the fact that GM has too many dealers left over from when Buick sold over a million vehicles a year. Too many of those are quite happy to sell one or two vehicles a month, and aren't interested in buyouts at a level that a larger dealer nearby will view as reasonable, given their low volume. That's not something you can blame Wagoner or Cowger for, that's just another legacy issue GM has been struggling to rectify. Why do you think they like Saturn better? No bloated dealer network to supply, better customer relations etc..

Think about it for a moment—no-one does a lot of brand advertising. Ever. They advertize individual models, a lot, and not all models either. If an individual model has the sales to support marketing, then there is no point in cutting the brand. You save on advertising, but your development costs do not change much, and the sales revenue that you lose, however inadequate, is far more than your saving in advertising. You end up upside down on your cost savings. It's not a new concept. GM has recent experience in cutting Oldsmobile, cited by LaNeve, and it occurs in other industries as well. You can't cut back product lines to regain profitability. It doesn't work. What GM needs to do is raise transaction prices, margins, and profits per vehicle. That means reducing daily rental sales, raising prices, raising perceived value etc., each of which GM has been trying to do. It may very well be a losing battle, negative perceptions being so ingrained, so cherished by too many people in NA. Despite the spin about doubling sales, the Malibu is a sales failure—the G6 still sells better, and sales are not really any better than they have been in the past. The marketing wasn't bad, the vehicle was good enough, in may areas class-leading. And yet it is not and probably never can be good enough, no matter how much money they invest in development and marketing. If it got 1000 mpg, repaired itself, made a Rolls look cheap and nasty, felt like you where flying instead of driving, and performed CPR if you had an accident, they probably still couldn't sell them with the greatest advertising campaign ever. GM in NA has been fighting a rear-guard action against overwhelming odds. Despite a number of mistakes, none of which any of you have pointed out, they are doing surprisingly well. Time will tell if it's enough. They are doing the right thing promoting their fuel economy, but I doubt enough people will believe them, no matter how good the campaign.

You're making a huge assumption in all of this:

GM is making money on cars.

They've haven't recently. What makes you think they are right now?

And one example of the tyranny of having 8 brands:

How many Outlooks would have been sold thru Chevy dealerships?

It's all academic if GM cannot find a way to stop the bleeding. This means making money. Along with that, it means convincing others (banks, investment community & customers(!)) that you have the goods. Having to develop 6+ Ep products at once simply makes no sense, especially if they're all going to compete with each other for mindshare (All current Eps overlap on price--with each other & other GM sedans as well)....you simply can't make 'the best' if that time, $ & energy is split 6 ways.

Edited by enzl

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2 words:

1) BRAND 2) EQUITY...

Why sell SPRITE under "blubberjuice" if the name SPRITE is already tattooed and established on the brains of consumers everywhere? This is ESPECIALLY true given GM's ever dwindling marketing budget

Right. So why rename product like GM does? Buick Park Ave, Regal, Century or LeSabre were perfectly fine. So was Pontiac's. So was Caddy's.

LaNeve is 2nd to RW in the accountability sweepstakes over there.

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enzl- >>"You're making a huge assumption in all of this: GM is making money on cars. They've haven't recently."<<

AFAIK, GM does not only NOT report divisional profit/loss (and never has), but also does not report individual model profit/loss. Would love to see the data on this... do you have a link or can you chart-up the data you learned this from?

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enzl- >>"You're making a huge assumption in all of this: GM is making money on cars. They've haven't recently."<<

AFAIK, GM does not only NOT report divisional profit/loss (and never has), but also does not report individual model profit/loss. Would love to see the data on this... do you have a link or can you chart-up the data you learned this from?

1. GM's own data, as vetted by Union negotiators. Why the concessions unless things were that dire?

2. Big 3 have admitted as much on many occassions, citing the legacy cost differential & Healthcare ($1200-2500/car) as the reason they couldn't produce and profit from a car built here. This argument has been used for years--and since the cost of raw materials is up, along with energy prices, there's no way they're building them cheaper. Nissan's margin of 8% profit on sales (the "8" in their old 180 turnaround plan) is the gold star for midmarket margins. On the low end, $1,200 is 10% of a $12k vehicle--or 5% on a $24k---GM simply couldn't be making money on a majority of cars they sell.

3. If you believe previous reports that big truck profits of $5-10k or more per unit were accurate, the following should share the sh!t out of you: GM's income fell 33% last quarter--almost all of it a result of 40% less trucks being sold.

Honda makes money on small cars because they're well run.

GM's current management has shown no ability to make a buck consistently when trucks were selling. They're simply incapable of doing it as presently constituted.

Edited by enzl

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You're making a huge assumption in all of this:

GM is making money on cars.

They've haven't recently. What makes you think they are right now?

And one example of the tyranny of having 8 brands:

How many Outlooks would have been sold thru Chevy dealerships?

It's all academic if GM cannot find a way to stop the bleeding. This means making money. Along with that, it means convincing others (banks, investment community & customers(!)) that you have the goods. Having to develop 6+ Ep products at once simply makes no sense, especially if they're all going to compete with each other for mindshare (All current Eps overlap on price--with each other & other GM sedans as well)....you simply can't make 'the best' if that time, $ & energy is split 6 ways.

I think you should re-read my post. I am not assuming GM is making money on cars. That is the very problem—GM's margins are not high enough to support adequate marketing. Cutting a brand is not going to help this however. Cutting a brand means lost volume, which means lost revenue (not profit, revenue), which means less money to support the remaining brands, not more. By the logic you espouse GM needs to shut down all of its North American sales operations. It may come to that. Now, developing a unique set of vehicles architectures for Pontiac cannot be supported. It probably can't be supported for Cadillac just yet either, which is why I would like them to share Alpha and Sigma2 with Pontiac, Buick and Holden (like they were supposed to from the start). I think you are overestimating how many sales Chevy would gain from the shutdown of Pontiac, Saturn or Buick. Almost all the volume generated by these divisions would be lost. Forever. You don't think the volume loss after shutting Oldsmobile wouldn't happen with any other division? The new Malibu is a castly improved model, which had heavy marketing at the expense of other GM sedans at it's launch. did it make one iota of difference? Despite the spin, no, none at all. the "increases" are from the nadir set last year, well below previous levels. The new model is not doing as well as the old one, not as well as the older, less promoted G6.

It's a bit of a stretch to say all (how many? It's 4, not 6—Malibu, G6, Aura, and 9-3) Epsilon models overlap in price. The G6, Aura and Malibu are all the same price. They should not be, under any circumstances. Overlap perhaps, but then so do the Camry, Avalon and ES350. So do the Accord, TSX and TL. The problem is not too many divisions, it's a mindset of bargain-basement pricing in the North American market. GM has conditioned people to expect it and is too scared to change it. Not surprising given the howls of protest every time they try and increase pricing.

Chevy should be the only "bargain" division, priced consistently below Nissan, Toyota, and Honda. Saturn should be priced against Toyota, Pontiac higher again (e.g. the G8 is $3K underpriced), and Buick higher again. Saab should be just under the price of other European luxury marques, and Cadillac should be right at that level. GM's NA pricing structure is all wrong, but it's not because they have too many brands, it's because they were badly managed, well before Wagoner took over. GM needs to ratchet up pricing of higher brands substantially, even if they sacrifice sales. It can be argued the low pricing actually undermines sales, because it's hard to be taken seriously as a premium brand when you are priced against bread and butter models in the same size segment. There are continual signs the strategy board understands this, but it's always undermined by engineers, dealers and sales managers who aren't ready to adjust.

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I think you should re-read my post. I am not assuming GM is making money on cars. That is the very problem—GM's margins are not high enough to support adequate marketing. Cutting a brand is not going to help this however. Cutting a brand means lost volume, which means lost revenue (not profit, revenue), which means less money to support the remaining brands, not more. By the logic you espouse GM needs to shut down all of its North American sales operations. It may come to that. Now, developing a unique set of vehicles architectures for Pontiac cannot be supported. It probably can't be supported for Cadillac just yet either, which is why I would like them to share Alpha and Sigma2 with Pontiac, Buick and Holden (like they were supposed to from the start). I think you are overestimating how many sales Chevy would gain from the shutdown of Pontiac, Saturn or Buick. Almost all the volume generated by these divisions would be lost. Forever. You don't think the volume loss after shutting Oldsmobile wouldn't happen with any other division? The new Malibu is a castly improved model, which had heavy marketing at the expense of other GM sedans at it's launch. did it make one iota of difference? Despite the spin, no, none at all. the "increases" are from the nadir set last year, well below previous levels. The new model is not doing as well as the old one, not as well as the older, less promoted G6.

It's a bit of a stretch to say all (how many? It's 4, not 6—Malibu, G6, Aura, and 9-3) Epsilon models overlap in price. The G6, Aura and Malibu are all the same price. They should not be, under any circumstances. Overlap perhaps, but then so do the Camry, Avalon and ES350. So do the Accord, TSX and TL. The problem is not too many divisions, it's a mindset of bargain-basement pricing in the North American market. GM has conditioned people to expect it and is too scared to change it. Not surprising given the howls of protest every time they try and increase pricing.

Chevy should be the only "bargain" division, priced consistently below Nissan, Toyota, and Honda. Saturn should be priced against Toyota, Pontiac higher again (e.g. the G8 is $3K underpriced), and Buick higher again. Saab should be just under the price of other European luxury marques, and Cadillac should be right at that level. GM's NA pricing structure is all wrong, but it's not because they have too many brands, it's because they were badly managed, well before Wagoner took over. GM needs to ratchet up pricing of higher brands substantially, even if they sacrifice sales. It can be argued the low pricing actually undermines sales, because it's hard to be taken seriously as a premium brand when you are priced against bread and butter models in the same size segment. There are continual signs the strategy board understands this, but it's always undermined by engineers, dealers and sales managers who aren't ready to adjust.

You misunderstand me. Forget culling brands--GM can't afford it.

How about just putting the resources you have into the proper places? Traverse should have been the Outlook. Saturn has never had $40k product--why start w/Outlook.

The Ep's (either current or future) are as follows: Malibu, 9-3, G6, Aura, Vectra (I), & Insignia, Aura, 9-3 (resized mid-project), 9-5, Invicta/LaCrosse (II) with multiple variants/bodystyles for almost all of

those--and that's just today & the immediate future. That's crazy--they're mostly 4 dr., FWD sedans that will barely sell as well as the Camry.

Simple economics yields your pricing problem: Too many seats, not enough asses.

And GM's going to launch its comeback on the basis of its cars? Or smaller CUV's launched 5 yrs late? Please.

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Honda builds a lot of vehicles in Canada. With our expensive dollar, their bottom line may not look so pretty in another couple quarters.

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Same platform, same engines, same transmissions, same price range. If the Malibu was 20-27k and the Buick Epsilon was 27-34k I wouldn't have a problem with it. That would make sense, because they wouldn't overlap. But the G6, Aura, Malibu, Lacrosse, Impala are all around the $22-25k range when similarly optioned.

Here's my thoughts on the rebageing. In the 70's and 80's GM got away with it because the imports hadn't made a stronghold in the US yet. Those were pathetic rebages, take vehicle 'A', throw on a different grill or set of tail lights and it was now brand 'B'. Now, today even though the G6, Malibu, Aura are the same platform, I do not consider them as a rebage. They are different inside and out. The fact that they are in the same price range is fine, it gives me 3 different looking vehicles to choose from. For me, the Aura looks better than the G6, so we chose and Aura (and I like the exterior a bit better than the new Malibu). However the G5 should've never happened. That is a rebadge of the '80's. The only reason for the G5 was that Pontiac dealers.... Dealers... were complaining about not having a small car to sell. GM listens to the dealers too much, allowing them to drive their future direction. While the Traverse is a nice vehicle, 4 Lambdas is over the top, 3 I'm ok with, 4 is overdoing it. And again, the Traverse was nothing more than an answer to the Chevy dealers crying that they needed a crossover. Will it be good for GM? Not sure, crossover sales are flatlined, now GM spend lots of $$$ on altering development of the Traverse because of gripeing dealers.

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You misunderstand me. Forget culling brands--GM can't afford it.

How about just putting the resources you have into the proper places? Traverse should have been the Outlook. Saturn has never had $40k product--why start w/Outlook.

The Ep's (either current or future) are as follows: Malibu, 9-3, G6, Aura, Vectra (I), & Insignia, Aura, 9-3 (resized mid-project), 9-5, Invicta/LaCrosse (II) with multiple variants/bodystyles for almost all of

those--and that's just today & the immediate future. That's crazy--they're mostly 4 dr., FWD sedans that will barely sell as well as the Camry.

Simple economics yields your pricing problem: Too many seats, not enough asses.

And GM's going to launch its comeback on the basis of its cars? Or smaller CUV's launched 5 yrs late? Please.

You still don't have 6 Epsilons, and certainly not in the same market. You might eventually get 6 in future of which we could do without the Impala and G6 (too close in size to the G8).

I would agree the Outlook should never have been a Saturn and go one further—they should never have been developed as competitors for "midsize" crossovers—they are simply too big to attract the same volume as a true midsize 5- or 7-seater. They would have been better positioned as replacements for the Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade.

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You still don't have 6 Epsilons, and certainly not in the same market. You might eventually get 6 in future of which we could do without the Impala and G6 (too close in size to the G8).

I would agree the Outlook should never have been a Saturn and go one further—they should never have been developed as competitors for "midsize" crossovers—they are simply too big to attract the same volume as a true midsize 5- or 7-seater. They would have been better positioned as replacements for the Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade.

My bad---you will have MORE than 6 variants by next year, this time...plus a couple in the hopper (draining precious resources). All have pricing points that intersect--that's simply crazy.

Whether they are here or being developed---that's simply far too many products for a relatively narrow band of the marketplace--which other makers cover with 1,2 0r 3 products, generally under 1 0r 2 brands.

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You're only gaining one more, that makes 5 in NA, and the Insignia is still the next Aura, you can't count that twice. On that measure, Toyota is offering:

1. Avensis

2. Mark X

3. Crown Athlete

4. Crown Royale

5. Crown Majesta

6. Camry (2 different designs as well)

7. Avalon

8. Aurion

9. ES350

10. GS

11. Reiz

And I may have left some out. There certainly used to be a lot more not so long ago (Windom, Cresta, Chaser, Mark II, Corona, Carina, Camry Prominent, Vista etc.).

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You're only gaining one more, that makes 5 in NA, and the Insignia is still the next Aura, you can't count that twice. On that measure, Toyota is offering:

1. Avensis

2. Mark X

3. Crown Athlete

4. Crown Royale

5. Crown Majesta

6. Camry (2 different designs as well)

7. Avalon

8. Aurion

9. ES350

10. GS

11. Reiz

And I may have left some out. There certainly used to be a lot more not so long ago (Windom, Cresta, Chaser, Mark II, Corona, Carina, Camry Prominent, Vista etc.).

Insignia is being 'extensively redesigned' before being badged as an Aura in the states.

Toyota or Honda are immaterial...they KNOW how to make money with small and medium sized cars. GM simply does not have the resources to make 5, 6 or really any unnecessary versions. When they could of made a difference, they chose not to--now, they're screwed.

Only the Avalon, Camry, ES and GS are here. The GS isn't on the same platform, nor does it really compete with the Avalon or Camry and its overlap with the ES is small. Apples and Oranges, my friend--but nice try.

GM is playing catch-up with no room for error. What are the odds that this management team can pull that off?

Edited by enzl

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. . . Toyota is offering:

1. Avensis

2. Mark X

3. Crown Athlete

4. Crown Royale

5. Crown Majesta

6. Camry (2 different designs as well)

7. Avalon

8. Aurion

9. ES350

10. GS

11. Reiz

I know that some of us (including me) sometimes fault GM for certain vehicle names they've chosen, but, in my opinion, these Toyota names are all b-o-r-i-n-g... except for GS - which, of course, I like to think :glare: they stole from Buick's Gran Sports.

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Insignia is being 'extensively redesigned' before being badged as an Aura in the states.

Toyota or Honda are immaterial...they KNOW how to make money with small and medium sized cars. GM simply does not have the resources to make 5, 6 or really any unnecessary versions. When they could of made a difference, they chose not to--now, they're screwed.

Only the Avalon, Camry, ES and GS are here. The GS isn't on the same platform, nor does it really compete with the Avalon or Camry and its overlap with the ES is small. Apples and Oranges, my friend--but nice try.

Only the Malibu, Aura, G6 and 9-3 are offered here. Counting both the Insignia and Aura you also have to include the Aurion and Asian Camry in Toyota's lineup. The 9-5, LaCrosse and maybe the Impala will replace existing models. The 9-3 switches to a smaller model you can't count as midsize or Epsilon. Where is your "more than 6" come from? That's all I'm questioning. If you have to bolster you're argument with falsified data, you undermine it.

The Impala is redundant in it's current form. It's not, nor should be, a premium model like the LaCrosse. The next Malibu should replace both Chevy mid-large sedans, offering the Impala's space with the Malibu's footprint and powertrains. Honda does it with the Accord, and even the rwd G8 has the same space in a similar package to the Accord and Malibu silhouette. The G6 should be downsized, a lot. A roomy mid-compact sedan based on either Delta or Alpha is needed, at the same price as the current model (a true Grand Am replacement). In the current environment they should sell just as many if not more. Even the compact Grand Am sold more. The current G6 is too close in size to the outgoing Grand Prix and the new G8. I could go on.

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Only the Malibu, Aura, G6 and 9-3 are offered here. Counting both the Insignia and Aura you also have to include the Aurion and Asian Camry in Toyota's lineup. The 9-5, LaCrosse and maybe the Impala will replace existing models. The 9-3 switches to a smaller model you can't count as midsize or Epsilon. Where is your "more than 6" come from? That's all I'm questioning. If you have to bolster you're argument with falsified data, you undermine it.

The Impala is redundant in it's current form. It's not, nor should be, a premium model like the LaCrosse. The next Malibu should replace both Chevy mid-large sedans, offering the Impala's space with the Malibu's footprint and powertrains. Honda does it with the Accord, and even the rwd G8 has the same space in a similar package to the Accord and Malibu silhouette. The G6 should be downsized, a lot. A roomy mid-compact sedan based on either Delta or Alpha is needed, at the same price as the current model (a true Grand Am replacement). In the current environment they should sell just as many if not more. Even the compact Grand Am sold more. The current G6 is too close in size to the outgoing Grand Prix and the new G8. I could go on.

You've named at least 6 Ep's that are current or coming...and my point wasn't the exact # of derivatives, but the loss of focus that comes with developing this many products---when you seize on a detail of a greater point in order to undermine it, you look petty (and somewhat blind to GM's real problems.) There are more than 6 Ep variants, either here already or under development, period.

Your 2nd paragraph echoes my thoughts on the matter, although I believe GM's public image is poor and getting worse. There may be no pulling out of the nose dive they're in...

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:deadhorse:

In the US, Epsilon I:

Malibu

G6

Aura

9-3

In the US, Epsilon II:

Malibu

Impala

Aura

Invicta

9-5

A G6 replacement has not been confirmed on Epsilon II, 9-3 is moving to Delta, and I can honestly see the Epsilon II Impala being dropped entirely since they've extended W-platform production for another several years.

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The Impala should just stay the fleet whore that it is as a W-Body. Making it EPII will make it too similar to the Malibu, and then they'll be competeing with each other. AT least right now it's easy to choose:

Old fart, doesn't handle great, outdated but cheap and reliable car, good for old people (or people who like the way old cars drive), cheap people, and fleets = Impala.

Sleek, modern, handles well, not a bargain but competes on it's own merits with the best in class = Malibu.

If it were RWD it could be clearly differentf rom teh Malibu and compete with different cars, but Zeta's dead so might as well milk it for all it's worth...worked out well for Ford for almost 30 years.

Edited by Dodgefan

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