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Automotive News: Pontiac future products


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CaminoLS6: <_< Oh... of course, how could I have missed all that from the smilie you used?

What's with all this attitude? I tried to post the news, thinking it would be of interest to Pontiac fans. Simple as that. Sheesh!

Edited by wildcat
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Why can Pontiac not STILL be the performance division?

Apparently, GM still doesn't understand that Performance doesn't have to equal RWD/V8.

The G3 is fine, so long as it is uniquely Pontiac (Which I'm sure it won't be) Looks like GM is taking their old school approach to this market: "Put out 2 or 3 half baked cars and hope that together they can all take down the more premium Fit and Versa and soon to be Fiesta!"

Why not do it right GM? Will the new G3 be based on the new Aveo or the current Aveo? If it's spawned from the new Aveo, then hopefully we'll get some differentation. How about a more sporty entry into this market GM? No one else does "sport" or "excitement" or "fun to drive" in this niche, why don't you guys? Oh, I forgot, that would require market leadership.

Here's hoping for the best with that... At least the G3 will drive volume and shut the dealers up. (After all, GM pretty much is ran by the dealers anyway, right?)

The other sedan must be Alpha...

YAY!!! All hope is not lost! GM, why would Buick be better suited for Alpha? Sure, you can charge more for a Buick Alpha, but in the day and age of 'share reversal' will you sell as many? The Alpha Pontiac, if done right could completely reverse the image of Pontiac and you could have your cake of higher transaction prices and eat it too in the form of big sales.

GM, DO NOT EFF UP THE CRUZE COMPANION!!!!!! The market is coming to you and this is SIMPLE business! Make a version that is 1) worthy of the Pontiac name and 2) Will get ADDITIONAL sales instead of stealing them away from the Cruze.

RE The G6: So, if Pontiac gets Alpha it could 1) keep the G6 and sell the two cars side by side (a la GP & G6) or 2) Just sell the Alpha.

Hmmmm........ So Buick is obviously wanting the G6 to stay on Epsilon so they can get Alpha. Yet Buick will be just off of an Epsilon II debut.

Why not develop a NEW G6 line from Epsilon II and GIVE IT TO BUICK The whole shebang... Make the sedan the Lacrosse, introduce a sexy Riviera convertible and make an Invicta coupe or something.

Then just give Pontiac a Sedan from Alpha.

That way, the enthusiasts get what they want and Pontiac isn't forcing volume in a market that doesn't want Pontiac volume. Buick gets a boost and better sales with higher transaction prices to boot.

Then maybe an Impala companion can be developed off of the stretched Epsilon for Buick. So the luxury folks get FWD/AWD and luxury while the enthusiasts get a simpler RWD G8 line and Alpha (Solstice could be melded in here too, yet Pontiac pulls volume through G3, G5 and Vibe.

*** So, every car at GM is now going to have either the 1.4L or the 3.6L?!?!? Geez, talk about bland... At least thy could develop the motors into different power ratings or something. ***

It looks more and more like Europe here everyday, and I'm not fine with that.

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CaminoLS6: <_< Oh... of course, how could I have missed all that from the smilie you used?

What's with all this attitude? I tried to post the news, thinking it would be of interest to Pontiac fans. Simple as that. Sheesh!

Easy there Wildcat, my attitude has nothing to do with you. And thanks for posting the article.

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Yes, it is a reverse from a proposed plan with a lot of potential... affordable RWD. But, I've been preparing myself for this news. I will not commit suicide over this, but will keep an open mind. I just hope that these small, FWD cars retain the Pontiac spirit and are not Canadian-style Chevrolet rebadges... and this article still leaves open the possibility of an Alpha-based G6 replacement. The turbo 1.4L in the Solstice... could be cool... proof that good fuel mileage and RWD can gleefully co-exist.
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Yes, it is a reverse from a proposed plan with a lot of potential... affordable RWD. But, I've been preparing myself for this news. I will not commit suicide over this, but will keep an open mind. I just hope that these small, FWD cars retain the Pontiac spirit and are not Canadian-style Chevrolet rebadges... and this article still leaves open the possibility of an Alpha-based G6 replacement. The turbo 1.4L in the Solstice... could be cool... proof that good fuel mileage and RWD can gleefully co-exist.

We all know that GM never sticks to a plan...

Ya know, for months we've come to Cheers and Gears and told GM to have a diverse line up. Maybe this is just that. Let's face it, we like big RWD V8 cars and with Zeta, the line up would've been badly skewed to RWD V8 trucks and cars. Maybe GM is just giving us a diverse line (finally)

I'm fine with that... As long as they don't half ass anything and still sell a few products that I want (RWD V8, heritage style stuff) We need other buyers too and this is the only shot at getting them IMO.

Pontiac as a volume division? WHY NOT?

A G3 that co-exists with a G8 (Or something along those lines)? WHY NOT?

An economical, but stylish and peppy G3? WHY NOT?

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Easy there Wildcat, my attitude has nothing to do with you. And thanks for posting the article.

No, no, that comment of mine was directed at someone else. I tried to quote his posting, but for some reason it wouldn't let me. That's why I put a space between what I said to you and what I was saying to another.

I saw the Cadillac story from Automotive News here, the Chevy story, I posted the Buick details (via LeftLane News, who got it from AN), but didn't see Pontiac. And I thought I politely responded to the other person by saying "other people like to see it in print, from a source such as Automotive news." That shouldn't be offensive, there are many news outlets and sources.

EDIT: Nope, I found the Buick stuff on Motor Authority, not Left Lane News.

Edited by wildcat
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We all know that GM never sticks to a plan...

Ya know, for months we've come to Cheers and Gears and told GM to have a diverse line up. Maybe this is just that. Let's face it, we like big RWD V8 cars and with Zeta, the line up would've been badly skewed to RWD V8 trucks and cars. Maybe GM is just giving us a diverse line (finally)

I'm fine with that... As long as they don't half ass anything and still sell a few products that I want (RWD V8, heritage style stuff) We need other buyers too and this is the only shot at getting them IMO.

Pontiac as a volume division? WHY NOT?

A G3 that co-exists with a G8 (Or something along those lines)? WHY NOT?

An economical, but stylish and peppy G3? WHY NOT?

Because GM needs to be diverse, Pontiac needs to be defined.

All BPG FWD should be Buicks since most Buick buyers don't even know which end of the car is doing the driving anyway.

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I was concerned when I read the following comment in reaction to a story about Pontiac on autoblog.com. This is from an autoblog.com poster named tankd0g:

"GM is one giant example of death by committee. After the second round of board meetings I'm surprised Pontiac wasn't reduced to an all 3 wheeled hybrid brand." I wish tankd0g would have said more about the board meeting. I seem to recall that Pontiac Custom-S had said something might happen regarding Pontiac at a Board of Directors meeting in August, but that was the last I heard. I do place extremely close attention to PCS' posts; but I believe that others may not believe him (or, perhaps, want to believe him), so they want to hear or read things from other sources. Also, I know things change and, for a while, things were coming quickly and sometimes in a confusing manner - not necessarily in agreement with each other. I care about Pontiac.

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It sounds like status quo to me. The G3 will be nothing more than the current gen Aveo with a twin-nostrilized grille. The Cruze based sedan will be the Cruze with a twin-nostrilized grille. Does anyone see a pattern forming here? Do you think that GM would really bother making something distinct just for Pontiac? They claim that they are considering making the next gen G6 RWD, but you know they won't. I am very doubtful that the small sedan to slot between the G3 and G5 is RWD either. I doubt that the Solstice, G8 sedan, or G8 ST will stay around long enough to see a next generation. I was beginning to hope that GM had finally seen the light and realized that they had brands in their arsenal that could be targeted at specific demographics to help the company actually gain back market share (if these divisions were arranged correctly and given appropriate products). That hope has been diminished and very nearly extinguished. The corporation still views their divisions as a pile of interchangeable names and badges that they can randomly and haphazardly slap on vehicles just to claim that they gave lineups to the divisions. Instead of positioning these brands to appeal to and attract different portions of the market, they will continue to let them cannibalize themselves with cloned products and incompetent marketing. If GM does anything with Pontiac that differs from what I described above, then I'll be extremely (and pleasantly) surprised. I know I am being extremely negative, but I get frustrated watching them repeat some of the errors that were responsible for getting them into the dire situation that they are in today.

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It sounds like status quo to me. The G3 will be nothing more than the current gen Aveo with a twin-nostrilized grille. The Cruze based sedan will be the Cruze with a twin-nostrilized grille. Does anyone see a pattern forming here? Do you think that GM would really bother making something distinct just for Pontiac? They claim that they are considering making the next gen G6 RWD, but you know they won't. I am very doubtful that the small sedan to slot between the G3 and G5 is RWD either. I doubt that the Solstice, G8 sedan, or G8 ST will stay around long enough to see a next generation. I was beginning to hope that GM had finally seen the light and realized that they had brands in their arsenal that could be targeted at specific demographics to help the company actually gain back market share (if these divisions were arranged correctly and given appropriate products). That hope has been diminished and very nearly extinguished. The corporation still views their divisions as a pile of interchangeable names and badges that they can randomly and haphazardly slap on vehicles just to claim that they gave lineups to the divisions. Instead of positioning these brands to appeal to and attract different portions of the market, they will continue to let them cannibalize themselves with cloned products and incompetent marketing. If GM does anything with Pontiac that differs from what I described above, then I'll be extremely (and pleasantly) surprised. I know I am being extremely negative, but I get frustrated watching them repeat some of the errors that were responsible for getting them into the dire situation that they are in today.

That sums up my feelings on this as well.

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Hmmm...3 brands with compact and midsize FWDs....Chevy, Pontiac, Saturn... and maybe Buick...and the differentiation being...? Sounds too much like the same old, same old.

Edited by moltar
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I was concerned when I read the following comment in reaction to a story about Pontiac on autoblog.com. This is from an autoblog.com poster named tankd0g:

"GM is one giant example of death by committee. After the second round of board meetings I'm surprised Pontiac wasn't reduced to an all 3 wheeled hybrid brand." I wish tankd0g would have said more about the board meeting. I seem to recall that Pontiac Custom-S had said something might happen regarding Pontiac at a Board of Directors meeting in August, but that was the last I heard. I do place extremely close attention to PCS' posts; but I believe that others may not believe him (or, perhaps, want to believe him), so they want to hear or read things from other sources. Also, I know things change and, for a while, things were coming quickly and sometimes in a confusing manner - not necessarily in agreement with each other. I care about Pontiac.

I hold out hope for more than that. I do believe it is possible.

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I don't deal in the spiritual, I deal in fact.

Whatever...the only legit models in the Pontiac line today are the Solstice and the G8...the rest are just generics.

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We've been told to expect this for a while now. GM has much more important things to worry about at the moment, and it can't afford to pour money into Pontiac to take it to its full potential. So for now it will remain another Chevy.

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The G8 is more Pontiac than any of the FWD crap they've been trying to peddle for the last few decades.

Exactly.. my point. V8, RWD, IRS. It's got the right hardware to a performance car. The rest are just rental cars...and GM has Chevrolet and Saturn for the FWD rental cars...Pontiac needs to be about excitement if it's going to continue to exist.

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If Buick, Pontiac, and GMC are to remain tied together as a channel, one of them has to have the small, high-mileage vehicles, and it appears that Pontiac gets that role. This seems to preclude Pontiac from being discarded and displaced by Saturn.

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We've been told to expect this for a while now. GM has much more important things to worry about at the moment, and it can't afford to pour money into Pontiac to take it to its full potential. So for now it will remain another Chevy.

BS, some of these fools think it is good for the brand - and the rest are hoping this will kill it.

Fix Pontiac the right way, right now, or it dies forever.

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The G8 is more Pontiac than any of the FWD crap they've been trying to peddle for the last few decades.

That's was not my point, my point is, in reality, the G8 is a Holden, not a Pontiac. Truly, only the Solstice is a true Pontiac. A RWD car developed by Pontiac, not GM Holden, not GM Daewoo, not even GME.

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If Buick, Pontiac, and GMC are to remain tied together as a channel, one of them has to have the small, high-mileage vehicles, and it appears that Pontiac gets that role. This seems to preclude Pontiac from being discarded and displaced by Saturn.

The problem is that is old GM thinking. Why does BPG have to have small high mileage vehicles? To compete against Chevy and Saturn? Let Chevy and Saturn fill those niches....GM can't have the same market niche replicated across the brands competing with each other as they have done for ages...

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The problem is that is old GM thinking. Why does BPG have to have small high mileage vehicles? To compete against Chevy and Saturn? Let Chevy and Saturn fill those niches....GM can't have the same market niche replicated across the brands competing with each other as they have done for ages...

A very basic reality they seem to have chosen to ignore.

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That's was not my point, my point is, in reality, the G8 is a Holden, not a Pontiac. Truly, only the Solstice is a true Pontiac. A RWD car developed by Pontiac, not GM Holden, not GM Daewoo, not even GME.

We all know the reality of that, but GMNA didn't even have the capability to build a car like the G8 - and that's just pathetic.

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That's was not my point, my point is, in reality, the G8 is a Holden, not a Pontiac. Truly, only the Solstice is a true Pontiac. A RWD car developed by Pontiac, not GM Holden, not GM Daewoo, not even GME.

So? Doesn't matter... Holden is part of GM. It's not like the Vibe, which is a Toyota.

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The reality is that GM needs to sell more high-mileage vehicles, and dealers also want to have them to sell. It's going to be all about execution. If the cars are nothing but badgejob Chevies, then not much will be gained. But if they can be focused to target youthful buyers along the lines of Scions, the defunct Acura RSX, or Mazda3, then they can succeed. If people want GM to offer big RWD vehicles with big engines, they will have to be offset with desirable non-cookie-cutter small cars.

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The reality is that GM needs to sell more high-mileage vehicles, and dealers also want to have them to sell. It's going to be all about execution. If the cars are nothing but badgejob Chevies, then not much will be gained. But if they can be focused to target youthful buyers along the lines of Scions, the defunct Acura RSX, or Mazda3, then they can succeed. If people want GM to offer big RWD vehicles with big engines, they will have to be offset with desirable non-cookie-cutter small cars.

But they need not be Pontiacs.

Give the vanilla to Buick - problem solved.

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The reality is that GM needs to sell more high-mileage vehicles, and dealers also want to have them to sell. It's going to be all about execution. If the cars are nothing but badgejob Chevies, then not much will be gained. But if they can be focused to target youthful buyers along the lines of Scions, the defunct Acura RSX, or Mazda3, then they can succeed. If people want GM to offer big RWD vehicles with big engines, they will have to be offset with desirable non-cookie-cutter small cars.

But the problem is that GM is not going to spend the money to give Pontiac distinct and sporty FWD small cars. They seem to be content to give the division rebadged Chevy clones to fill Pontiac's lineup. This is why I think the dealer networks need to be reconfigured. If Chevy, Pontiac, and GMC were combined to form a mainstream dealer super-network, then Pontiac would be free to pursue the affordable RWD niche (and there is obviously one out there) while Chevy would target the mainstream affordable portion of the market (GMC would become the corporation's sole truck/SUV division). There would be no need to give Pontiac rebadged Chevy hand-me-downs and Pontiac could actually be positioned to draw new buyers back to the corporation.

The other two dealer networks would be Opel/Saab and Buick/Cadillac. Opel/Saab would go after import shoppers and Buick/Cadillac would target the luxury end of the market. Saturn would be discontinued in favor of Opel (which I think could capture import shoppers without having to dilute/alter/decontent Opel's Euro products; unlike the present situation where the products have to fit in with the market's perception of Saturn's affordable price range). Hummer would be sold off to the first company foolish enough to enter a bid for it. The next gen Corsa, Astra, Meriva, and Zafira should give Opel dealers some sportier FWD small product offerings that should be competitive with similar vehicles from Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, and Volkswagen. Saab should have some small product offerings that would compete with similar products offered by Audi, Volvo, Mini, and Mercedes Benz (A-Class/B-Class).

As for the other brands:

Chevy/GMC would compete with Scion/Toyota, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, Suzuki, and Dodge.

Pontiac would have no competition because it would be the only affordable RWD car brand on the market.

Buick would compete with Acura, Lexus, Lincoln-Mercury, and Chrysler(?).

Cadillac would compete with Infiniti, BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes Benz (C-Class and larger).

Edited by cire
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This is proves GM has too many models/brands. There isn't enough money to develop vehicles for each brand. So it is either keep 8 mediocre brands or kill half of them and make 4 strong ones.

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We've been told to expect this for a while now. GM has much more important things to worry about at the moment, and it can't afford to pour money into Pontiac to take it to its full potential. So for now it will remain another Chevy.

no matter, Pontiac is already percieved as overwrought styling, non-performance, subpar quality mostly meant for rentals, in the bigger cities that matter anyways, what's another ten years of the same product lineup, same fortunes, can't hurt much more can it? Can we figure out the formula for how long we can maintain Pontiac out of it's real category, Acura, Nissan, Mazda, before it just loses all hope for relevance and a true sea of change truly destroys it?

But the problem is that GM is not going to spend the money to give Pontiac distinct and sporty FWD small cars. They seem to be content to give the division rebadged Chevy clones to fill Pontiac's lineup. This is why I think the dealer networks need to be reconfigured.

yes, that seems to be where they perpetually want to go. underdeliver, compensate with inundation of incompetent rebadges with varying levels of content that competes with its own GM brethren. If cars like the Beat could be sold under Pontiac with high content and strong performance value, meaning a base version and a high performance version both as great road cars, Pontiac could embark on the road to rediscovery and redefining itself. As it is now and as GM seems to want to keep it it will continue as a brand riddled with mediocrity that only appeals to tradionalists in the Midwest, of which the nubmer is dwindling.

Edited by turbo200
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This is proves GM has too many models/brands. There isn't enough money to develop vehicles for each brand. So it is either keep 8 mediocre brands or kill half of them and make 4 strong ones.

I think we have a winner here. 4 brands (at most): Chevy, Pontiac (if they'll give the $$ to make it an RWD niche), Buick, Caddy. As far as volume goes, Chevy should get its own dealers in most areas, with the other 3 brands sharing a dealer. MAYBE shift Pontiac over to the Chevy dealership, but the little bit of extra volume would help the smaller Buick-Caddy dealers more than the Chevy.

Ideally, though, I think a one-stop GM superstore would be awesome.

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about the 1.4L T/DI going into the solstice... does that make more sense than using the 2.3L DI engine that's coming for the equinox? would it make sense for the 2.3L be optional if P gets a "Cruze" of it's own?

assuming the 2.3 has 190-200hp will the 1.4 get close , or will the 2.3 just be aimed at heavier/bigger vehicles?

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It sounds like status quo to me. The G3 will be nothing more than the current gen Aveo with a twin-nostrilized grille. The Cruze based sedan will be the Cruze with a twin-nostrilized grille. Does anyone see a pattern forming here? Do you think that GM would really bother making something distinct just for Pontiac? They claim that they are considering making the next gen G6 RWD, but you know they won't. I am very doubtful that the small sedan to slot between the G3 and G5 is RWD either. I doubt that the Solstice, G8 sedan, or G8 ST will stay around long enough to see a next generation. I was beginning to hope that GM had finally seen the light and realized that they had brands in their arsenal that could be targeted at specific demographics to help the company actually gain back market share (if these divisions were arranged correctly and given appropriate products). That hope has been diminished and very nearly extinguished. The corporation still views their divisions as a pile of interchangeable names and badges that they can randomly and haphazardly slap on vehicles just to claim that they gave lineups to the divisions. Instead of positioning these brands to appeal to and attract different portions of the market, they will continue to let them cannibalize themselves with cloned products and incompetent marketing. If GM does anything with Pontiac that differs from what I described above, then I'll be extremely (and pleasantly) surprised. I know I am being extremely negative, but I get frustrated watching them repeat some of the errors that were responsible for getting them into the dire situation that they are in today.

Great post that I agree with 100%.

But all I'm saying is; be open minded. Maybe GM WILL differentiate the Pontiacs and do their best to ride out the storm. That would be the smartest thing to do IMO, since the products which the Pontiacs are based on are fresh.

If they are just badge engineered copies of Chevrolets, then we'll know to start the death count for GM again.

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Those aren't real Pontiacs.

Why not?

Better yet, why should Pontiac be locked into RWD V8?

You guys know how I feel about it... My first new car purchase will be a RWD V8 car. eff gas prices, eff the greenies, and eff what anybody else thinks.

However, I have a feeling that it's either this road (first, because GM is cash strapped and two because the future isn't volume RWD V8, sadly) or Pontiac dies.

And I would rather try to save a reinvent Pontiac than just kill it. (It should always be the place to go for RWD and/or V8. But why should that be it's mainstay?

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The problem is that is old GM thinking. Why does BPG have to have small high mileage vehicles? To compete against Chevy and Saturn? Let Chevy and Saturn fill those niches....GM can't have the same market niche replicated across the brands competing with each other as they have done for ages...

Simple... Dealers.

Like enzl said, the dealers are the connect from GM to consumer. To cut their throats would be VERY bad business for Buick/Pontiac?GMC AND GM as a whole.

Pontiac needs this to survive, and as long as they don't lose sight of their heritage and the products aren't rebadges I say bring it on.

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The reality is that GM needs to sell more high-mileage vehicles, and dealers also want to have them to sell. It's going to be all about execution. If the cars are nothing but badgejob Chevies, then not much will be gained. But if they can be focused to target youthful buyers along the lines of Scions, the defunct Acura RSX, or Mazda3, then they can succeed. If people want GM to offer big RWD vehicles with big engines, they will have to be offset with desirable non-cookie-cutter small cars.

Excellent post!

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This is proves GM has too many models/brands. There isn't enough money to develop vehicles for each brand. So it is either keep 8 mediocre brands or kill half of them and make 4 strong ones.

Bull&#036;h&#33;...

Once the engineering for the platform is done (For Chevrolet or Buick or whatever) it takes mere pennies (Not literally) to create models from that platform.

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"Liz Wetzel's team in GM's Global Brand Studio has studied the brands' history to unearth the ideas and themes that set each apart. The eight-person -- that's less than one for each million vehicles GM sells annually -- group began work three years ago.

They've identified key elements to codify a product-development system that has too-often relied on intuition and guesswork. Designers are visually oriented, so the studio distilled the images and key phrases to clarify the differences among the brands.

Buick and Cadillac owners both have money, but they choose to spend it on radically different things.

A Buick owner would be inclined for a quiet vacation on an isolated beach, while Cadillac is more about dressing up for a night out on a weekend in the city.

A Pontiac will be designed for the nightlife, too, but for a fashion-forward agenda with pounding bass and flashing strobes.

Chevrolets aim to look good as well, but with the effortless appeal of blue jeans and a good shirt, not Pontiac's club-hopping flash.

Saab sells cars around the world, so it can speak to a smaller audience: people who consider themselves independent thinkers and want a car with Scandinavian style and environmentally responsible performance.

Saturn attracts buyers who wouldn't touch a Chevy or Pontiac with a 10-foot-pole and its theme will build on Opel's European strengths: design, handling, fuel efficiency and interior room.

Time will tell how GM executes the strategy, but the automaker appears to have a solid product plan and design vision for its other brands for the first time in decades."

It amazes me that the company actually spent money to come up with this ridiculous dribble to try and define their brands through words without having to spend money actually developing products to back it up. I guess it's cheaper in the long run, but it makes the company look foolish. I don't see how a twin-nostrilized G3 or G5 would designate "fashion-forward" attendees at a club with "pounding bass and flashing strobes" while a split grilled Aveo or Cruze would designate "the effortless appeal of blue jeans and a good shirt". I seriously doubt that anyone wants to be seen pulling up to "da club" in a G3 or G5. The one that really gets me is that the corporation seems to believe that Saturn actually appeals to buyers who favor imports and that the brand will eventually be accepted as an European substitute or equivalent by the U.S. buying public (instead of the mainstream, affordable Chevy alternative brand that it is). Sometimes I wonder if there is a huge cloud of refer smoke hovering over GM's corporate offices (accompanied by "pounding bass and flashing strobes" maybe). Why else would GM bother to spend money coming up with these ridiculous scenarios for their brands, when they ultimately plan on rebadging themselves into an early grave. GM needs to realize that "talk is cheap" and "actions speak louder than mindless marketing dribble".

What's even more amazing is the fact that it took them 3 YEARS(!) & 8 PEOPLE(!) to come up with this pile of rubbish. It seems like the time, money, and resources would have been better spent creating clear and coherent product strategies instead.

I know this is old news that was submitted in another topic forum, but I wanted to remind myself how the corporation defines Pontiac because it's too hard to figure out by the number of rebadged Chevy products in the division's lineup. I guess I should be able to tell by driving past the clubs with the "pounding bass and flashing strobes" and observe all the G3's and G5's sitting in the parking lot.

Edited by cire
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"Liz Wetzel's team in GM's Global Brand Studio has studied the brands' history to unearth the ideas and themes that set each apart. The eight-person -- that's less than one for each million vehicles GM sells annually -- group began work three years ago.

They've identified key elements to codify a product-development system that has too-often relied on intuition and guesswork. Designers are visually oriented, so the studio distilled the images and key phrases to clarify the differences among the brands.

A Pontiac will be designed for the nightlife, too, but for a fashion-forward agenda with pounding bass and flashing strobes.

The description for Pontiac buyers reminds me of the really lame TV ads for the Acura TSX that have been running lately..

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Great post that I agree with 100%.

But all I'm saying is; be open minded. Maybe GM WILL differentiate the Pontiacs and do their best to ride out the storm. That would be the smartest thing to do IMO, since the products which the Pontiacs are based on are fresh.

If they are just badge engineered copies of Chevrolets, then we'll know to start the death count for GM again.

I guess I do need to adjust my extremely negative attitude. It does get really frustrating when the corporation leads you to believe that something great is going to happen, only to backtrack and announce that they have reverted back to their old ways. I do understand what you're saying: excess negativity doesn't really help matters much either. My bad!

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I guess I do need to adjust my extremely negative attitude. It does get really frustrating when the corporation leads you to believe that something great is going to happen, only to backtrack and announce that they have reverted back to their old ways. I do understand what you're saying: excess negativity doesn't really help matters much either. My bad!

True...in many things, I've been called overly negative or pessimistic...I consider it realistic. I need to tone it down, but the automakers disappoint me so often with decisions that seem so wrongheaded to an outsider...

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This isn't about FWD vs. RWD. It's not about big cars vs. small cars.

It's about priorities.

The real problem is that GM has no true priorities, because they have no long-term plans. If they feel they need to sell more small, FWD cars, then Pontiac will get small, FWD cars. If they feel they need to sell more SUVs, then Pontiac will get SUVs. And it isn't just Pontiac, either. This short-term thinking gave Buick not one, but two SUVs. It gave us pointless vehicles like the SSR and the purchase of Saab. This thinking killed Oldsmobile off then immediately afterwards moved cheap, friendly Saturn up into its place. It was this unrestrained and erratic mentality that made GM start work on a now-cancelled Cadillac V-12, before even thinking about making a decent small car.

Now, they'll tell you that they're doing this to focus on making profits, but as we know they've been going into the red constantly. So, all this waffling has been for nothing.

What they need to do is make a manifesto, not just some stupid catch-phrases that they will undoubtedly use in their numerous brochures. They should sit down and crank out a divisonal mission statement for each branch define what their companies stand for and then hold to it unflinchingly. Then the statements should be reviewed and modified, if needed on a decade or bidecade cycle. They do not need to make them analy specific, but neither could they be so general as to mean nothing.

Now, I have struggled enough with making sense of all the divisions. I don't want to relentlessly hack everything away except Chevy and Cadillac, because I think that is the stupid, easy solution. I can tell you now that if that happens, there will be a lot of alienated customers who can't afford a Cadillac but don't want a grey plastic-laden Chevy. Yet, neither do I want to just leave everything the way it is with all of the brands packed in like sardines.

Unfortunately, the view of some enthusiasts is that if they would just give each brand four or five muscle cars each, then everything would be just fine. But even then, the same pointless rebadging would take place and everything would end up back at square one.

It's either brands or models; one has to be cut back and now is the time.

I don't like cutting stuff. But brands are not only defined by what they are, they are also defined by what they are not.

And the only way to do that is to start getting rid of models that don't fit in with a particular brand, or get rid of brands that don't fit in with GM.

We can (and will) argue about what should go, but like many here I feel that Pontiac should never, ever be on that list.

If they really need to know what Pontiac is, it is simple. Pontiac is Passion.

It doesn't really matter to me if they have small cars mixed in with big ones. If they have four-cylinders mixed in with V8s. Even having FWD and RWD is fine, so long as the passion is intact. That spirit of driving must be the priority. Mazda manages to pull it off, even Alfa can create an entire experience that delights the senses in a small, FWD car. But unlike these lively compacts, Pontiac's small cars rival the sonambulist Corrolla in "excitement". Heck, even the Volvo C30 looks like a bimmer next to the G5. And that's exactly why things need to change.

GM needs to commit to a long-term plan with specific priorities for each brand and the corporation as a whole. Because if they just bounce around according to the whims of the market, then it will only be a matter of time before the market realises that the important part of GM is General and not Motors.

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This isn't about FWD vs. RWD. It's not about big cars vs. small cars.

It's about priorities.

The real problem is that GM has no true priorities, because they have no long-term plans. If they feel they need to sell more small, FWD cars, then Pontiac will get small, FWD cars. If they feel they need to sell more SUVs, then Pontiac will get SUVs. And it isn't just Pontiac, either. This short-term thinking gave Buick not one, but two SUVs. It gave us pointless vehicles like the SSR and the purchase of Saab. This thinking killed Oldsmobile off then immediately afterwards moved cheap, friendly Saturn up into its place. It was this unrestrained and erratic mentality that made GM start work on a now-cancelled Cadillac V-12, before even thinking about making a decent small car.

Now, they'll tell you that they're doing this to focus on making profits, but as we know they've been going into the red constantly. So, all this waffling has been for nothing.

What they need to do is make a manifesto, not just some stupid catch-phrases that they will undoubtedly use in their numerous brochures. They should sit down and crank out a divisonal mission statement for each branch define what their companies stand for and then hold to it unflinchingly. Then the statements should be reviewed and modified, if needed on a decade or bidecade cycle. They do not need to make them analy specific, but neither could they be so general as to mean nothing.

Now, I have struggled enough with making sense of all the divisions. I don't want to relentlessly hack everything away except Chevy and Cadillac, because I think that is the stupid, easy solution. I can tell you now that if that happens, there will be a lot of alienated customers who can't afford a Cadillac but don't want a grey plastic-laden Chevy. Yet, neither do I want to just leave everything the way it is with all of the brands packed in like sardines.

Unfortunately, the view of some enthusiasts is that if they would just give each brand four or five muscle cars each, then everything would be just fine. But even then, the same pointless rebadging would take place and everything would end up back at square one.

It's either brands or models; one has to be cut back and now is the time.

I don't like cutting stuff. But brands are not only defined by what they are, they are also defined by what they are not.

And the only way to do that is to start getting rid of models that don't fit in with a particular brand, or get rid of brands that don't fit in with GM.

We can (and will) argue about what should go, but like many here I feel that Pontiac should never, ever be on that list.

If they really need to know what Pontiac is, it is simple. Pontiac is Passion.

It doesn't really matter to me if they have small cars mixed in with big ones. If they have four-cylinders mixed in with V8s. Even having FWD and RWD is fine, so long as the passion is intact. That spirit of driving must be the priority. Mazda manages to pull it off, even Alfa can create an entire experience that delights the senses in a small, FWD car. But unlike these lively compacts, Pontiac's small cars rival the sonambulist Corrolla in "excitement". Heck, even the Volvo C30 looks like a bimmer next to the G5. And that's exactly why things need to change.

GM needs to commit to a long-term plan with specific priorities for each brand and the corporation as a whole. Because if they just bounce around according to the whims of the market, then it will only be a matter of time before the market realises that the important part of GM is General and not Motors.

Best post on this topic ever.

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I like Argen's post too - made me think of something insanely out of the box for Pontiac. Thinking about what Pontiac could be in the future based on how cool it was in the past, I think GM could intelligently make Pontiac hip, chic and kind of fuel efficient in a sort of "what a real BMW imitator Mazda could be" sort of way:

Pontiac G8 and G8 ST

Keep the Solstice and bring out Solstice Coupe

Alpha Pontiac Sedan

Pontiac version of Volt (or Extended Range Electric Vehicle :D )

NO SUV's or X-over garbage.

Definitely give Pontiac a version of the Volt with Pontiac styling. There's method to this madness (mileage for CAFE) - and I also think it would give Pontiac an added "green" type of swagger to it. If marketed right, it could work I think.

The problem with this of course would be no small, affordable Pontiac (until the E-Flex drive train became "affordable") But it would certainly be a much more respectable lineup. I cold see this being a tough sell, but at this point, what does GM have to lose? It isn't like the G6 sells in Camry type numbers now anyway.

I would market this lineup by talking up how awesome the 60s GTO's were and how that heritage was the driver behind the new lineup.

Oh well, we all know GM isn't going to do anything that cool unfortunately. Cue the song "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum. :alcoholic:

Edited by gmcbob
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Why can Pontiac not STILL be the performance division?

Thank the dealers... "we need a small car to sell...waaaa. WAAAA!!" This is pretty much how the Chevy Traverse came into play.

GM just needs to stand up for themselves and tell the dealers what they are going to get, not the other way around.

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I say convert Saturn to Opel and combine it with Pontiac. Opel would provide dealers with small yet sporty, fuel efficient FWD vehicles. This would free Pontiac up to be a small, all RWD niche brand (as well as a Cadillac platform mate division). I had previously proposed to combine Pontiac with Chevrolet, but Pontiac's all RWD lineup might get overlooked or overshadowed by the Camaro and Corvette. Besides, Opel has a sportier image that might mesh better with Pontiac. This arrangement would be contingent on GM selling Saab and Hummer, combining Buick with Cadillac, and figuring out what to do with GMC.

The lineups for this sporty, midmarket dealer network would look something like this:

Opel:

* Volt: Rumor has it that the car will be sold in almost identical fashion through Opel dealers in Europe, so why not do it in North America also. This would be the only time that I would allow 2 divisions (Chevy and Opel) to sell identical products in North America (I don't believe the car will be badged as a Chevy product in Europe; it will be exclusively an Opel over there).

* Corsa: FWD subcompact 3-door/5-door (Gamma).

* Tigra: FWD subcompact "TwinTop" roadster (Gamma). Could be absorbed into the "Corsa" line to save marketing costs.

* Astra: FWD compact 3-door/5-door/sedan/wagon/"TwinTop" coupe (Delta).

* Insignia: FWD midsize sedan/wagon/"TwinTop" coupe (SWB Epsilon).

* Meriva: FWD subcompact MPV (Gamma).

* Zafira: FWD compact MPV (Delta).

* Vectra: Next gen morphs into FWD midsize MPV (LWB Epsilon).

Pontiac:

* Solstice: RWD roadster/2-seat coupe (platform unknown). There are rumors that Kappa will be discontinued and that the next generation Solstice/Sky/GT/G2X 2-seaters have been cancelled. If there is a next generation Solstice, it should be merged with the Opel GT for Europe and the Daewoo G2X for Korea. A luxury retractable hardtop roadster could be spun off for Cadillac.

* LeMans: RWD compact 5-door (Alpha). Styling would be based on the Holden Torana TT 36 Concept (which would make the transition from concept to production as the Holden Torana in Australia). The production version would be approximately 182 inches long on a 109 inch wheelbase. Shares platform with compact Cadillac products.

* Grand Prix: RWD midsize sedan (SWB Sigma-Zeta). Styling would be merged with a downsized next gen Holden Commodore (approximately 190 inches long on a 114 inch wheelbase). Shares platform with next gen Cadillac CTS (midsize) products.

* Bonneville: RWD large sedan (LWB Sigma-Zeta). Styling would be merged with a downsized next gen Holden Statesman (approximately 198 inches long on a 118 inch wheelbase). Shares platform with Cadillac flagship sedan.

* If the respective 5-door/sedan versions of the LeMans/Grand Prix sell well, other variants could be added to the lineup. The LeMans line might pick up a 3-door version and the Grand Prix line might pick up a coupe and/or wagon.

This scenario would give dealers the smaller FWD vehicles they claim they need without forcing the corporation to resort to rebadging Chevy products for Pontiac or diluting Euro Opels for Saturn (The development money has already been spent developing the Opel products for Europe, so why not build and sell them in North America under the Opel name). Of course, Opel will be the volume division in this setup, but at least Pontiac will have a small yet distinct lineup that would make the brand relevant in the market once more (as well as targeting a different demographic than Chevy).

Edited by cire
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No more divisions!

GM needs less distraction, more hard work.

There's a group of products in Europe & Australia that are already developed. There are plenty of underused factories here. How about trying to figure out how to make a buck on a CAR here in the US before we go off on another branding misadventure?

Newsflash: No one misses Opel from the last time the badge was here.

With all due respect to the time and effort in the above post--GM simply has too much to do and too little time or money to do it. A few years ago, they could have done numerous things to improve, including the Opel idea. Now, its simply a race against time with limited resources--they have zero margin for error.

Again, given the history of this management team, what's the likelihood of a flawless execution of creative, ingenious plan?

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This isn't about FWD vs. RWD. It's not about big cars vs. small cars.

It's about priorities.

The real problem is that GM has no true priorities, because they have no long-term plans. If they feel they need to sell more small, FWD cars, then Pontiac will get small, FWD cars. If they feel they need to sell more SUVs, then Pontiac will get SUVs. And it isn't just Pontiac, either. This short-term thinking gave Buick not one, but two SUVs. It gave us pointless vehicles like the SSR and the purchase of Saab. This thinking killed Oldsmobile off then immediately afterwards moved cheap, friendly Saturn up into its place. It was this unrestrained and erratic mentality that made GM start work on a now-cancelled Cadillac V-12, before even thinking about making a decent small car.

Now, they'll tell you that they're doing this to focus on making profits, but as we know they've been going into the red constantly. So, all this waffling has been for nothing.

What they need to do is make a manifesto, not just some stupid catch-phrases that they will undoubtedly use in their numerous brochures. They should sit down and crank out a divisonal mission statement for each branch define what their companies stand for and then hold to it unflinchingly. Then the statements should be reviewed and modified, if needed on a decade or bidecade cycle. They do not need to make them analy specific, but neither could they be so general as to mean nothing.

Now, I have struggled enough with making sense of all the divisions. I don't want to relentlessly hack everything away except Chevy and Cadillac, because I think that is the stupid, easy solution. I can tell you now that if that happens, there will be a lot of alienated customers who can't afford a Cadillac but don't want a grey plastic-laden Chevy. Yet, neither do I want to just leave everything the way it is with all of the brands packed in like sardines.

Unfortunately, the view of some enthusiasts is that if they would just give each brand four or five muscle cars each, then everything would be just fine. But even then, the same pointless rebadging would take place and everything would end up back at square one.

It's either brands or models; one has to be cut back and now is the time.

I don't like cutting stuff. But brands are not only defined by what they are, they are also defined by what they are not.

And the only way to do that is to start getting rid of models that don't fit in with a particular brand, or get rid of brands that don't fit in with GM.

We can (and will) argue about what should go, but like many here I feel that Pontiac should never, ever be on that list.

If they really need to know what Pontiac is, it is simple. Pontiac is Passion.

It doesn't really matter to me if they have small cars mixed in with big ones. If they have four-cylinders mixed in with V8s. Even having FWD and RWD is fine, so long as the passion is intact. That spirit of driving must be the priority. Mazda manages to pull it off, even Alfa can create an entire experience that delights the senses in a small, FWD car. But unlike these lively compacts, Pontiac's small cars rival the sonambulist Corrolla in "excitement". Heck, even the Volvo C30 looks like a bimmer next to the G5. And that's exactly why things need to change.

GM needs to commit to a long-term plan with specific priorities for each brand and the corporation as a whole. Because if they just bounce around according to the whims of the market, then it will only be a matter of time before the market realises that the important part of GM is General and not Motors.

One of the best posts I've ever had the pleasure of reading!

Please tell me you work for General Motors! :D

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Thank the dealers... "we need a small car to sell...waaaa. WAAAA!!" This is pretty much how the Chevy Traverse came into play.

GM just needs to stand up for themselves and tell the dealers what they are going to get, not the other way around.

I agree.

But at the same time, that could be suicide.

GM is already 'out of favor' with most dealers because the Japanese gravy train has arrived. Most of the dealers are (wisely, from a business standpoint) pumping money into the asian brands. And the more Detroit fumbles and bumbles, the worse the dealers confidence in a recovery gets.

To just ignore the dealers might be the 'straw that breaks the camels back' if you know what I mean.

It's just too bad that GM couldn't either buy back dealerships or set up a new chain of corporate owned dealers. I'm thinking something along the lines of a Mac store. Exclusive, upscale and with the ability to sell any GM product from any division.

Or maybe GM could seek out 'mom n pops' people and then market a 'small town one-on-one feel' for their dealers to combat the HUGE and ANNOYING big dealers that sell everything under the sun and have no vested interest in the survival of the company.

Think about it... If you're a dealer that sells Toyota and GM, what does it matter to you if GM goes down the tubes? That just means EVEN more, more profitable Toyota sales.

IMO No one cares (outside of us) if GM and Co. just roll over and die. The greenies and media want it to happen because of past axes. The government is going to go where the money is and votes are (the asian companies) the dealers are just as happy peddling trash from Japan and the consumer gave up on Detroit when trucks (aided by the same media and govt that is trying to eliminate Detroit) fell out of fashion.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Please tell me you work for General Motors!
I don't and I'm not sure I'd want to.

Don't misunderstand, I love it and all but the bureaucracy there will chew you up and spit you back out if you don't fit in and the execs don't like you.

If you've ever read On a Clear Day..., then you know the same pretty much happened to John Z. He was too daring, too innovative, and that grated on his superiors' nerves until they go on his case so badly that he quit. They say they've changed since those days, but more and more it shows that the Old GM still rules.

However, if they bottom out in the future, then I would love to come in Iaccoca-style and kick ass and take names.

Newsflash: No one misses Opel from the last time the badge was here.

I must be a whole lot of no one, then.

I was desperately looking for an old Manta before I bought my current car. There was an issue of Hemmings Sport and Exotic which featured the Manta, in which the author off the article considered it to be better than the comtemporary BMW 3-series. The article also noted that the Manta did so well in its class in the SCCA that after it won a few years in a row the organization banned it because it outpaced the competition so easily.

I even saw an Opel GT in the midst of the National Hot Rod Association show down here in Richmond recently, and it looked great. Sadly, the owner kept bragging about how "rare" it was which is a pet peeve of mine. Especially, when the GT is not really that rare. It was a nice example, but he wanted just north of eight grand which is higher than most anyone should pay for that car. Also, as I'm sure you know, the person who persuaded Opel to make a sports car in the first place happened to be named Bob Lutz.

Ironically, one of the other small cars that I considered was the Catera, which also happens to be an Opel.

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No more divisions!

GM needs less distraction, more hard work.

There's a group of products in Europe & Australia that are already developed. There are plenty of underused factories here. How about trying to figure out how to make a buck on a CAR here in the US before we go off on another branding misadventure?

Newsflash: No one misses Opel from the last time the badge was here.

With all due respect to the time and effort in the above post--GM simply has too much to do and too little time or money to do it. A few years ago, they could have done numerous things to improve, including the Opel idea. Now, its simply a race against time with limited resources--they have zero margin for error.

Again, given the history of this management team, what's the likelihood of a flawless execution of creative, ingenious plan?

I don't completely agree with everything in your reply, but I can understand why GM shouldn't attempt to launch Opel in the U.S. given their current dire financial situation. I still think Pontiac should be more than an outlet for twin-nostrilized Chevy clone products and that Saturn will never be fully accepted as a North American version of Opel due to its established market image.

I do have an alternative plan:

1) I would still sell Saab and Hummer.

2) I would discontinue Saturn. This brand's quirky and affordable market image is the wrong fit for Opel's sporty and sophisticated products and GM doesn't need to waste money and resources to continue to support a brand that does nothing more than provide in-house competition for Chevrolet. The only problem would be what to do with the stand alone dealerships. I'm not sure how many of them are left. Saturn is housed in a 3 brand dealership where I live.

3) I would still combine Buick and Cadillac to form the luxury dealer network. Buick would sell FWD luxury cars (Invicta and smaller) and FWD/AWD luxury crossovers. Cadillac would focus solely on producing well executed, world class RWD luxury cars.

4) Chevrolet would still be the sole division in the corporation's mainstream dealer network. The division would continue to sell affordable FWD cars (Malibu and smaller) and affordable FWD/AWD crossovers as well as serve as the corporation's sole truck/SUV division. The next gen Camaro would be slightly downsized to fit on the Alpha platform (188 inches/109 inch wheelbase). A downsized next gen Holden Statesman on the LWB Sigma-Zeta platform would form the basis for a North American built next gen RWD Impala (198 inches/118 inch wheelbase). The Corvette would continue in Chevy's lineup.

5) Pontiac/GMC would become the midmarket dealer network. Pontiac would carry cars while GMC would carry MPVs and crossovers. Rebadged Opel products would figure prominently in forming the network's lineup. All the network's products would be built in North America.

Pontiac:

* Fiero: Rebadged next gen Opel Corsa subcompact 3-door/5-door and next gen Opel Tigra "TwinTop" roadster.

* LeMans: Rebadged next gen Opel Astra compact 3-door/5-door/sedan/wagon/"TwinTop" coupe.

* Grand Prix: Rebadged Opel Insignia midsize sedan/wagon/"TwinTop" coupe.

* Bonneville: Rebadged downsized next gen Holden Commodore sedan on the SWB Sigma-Zeta platform (193 inches/114 inch wheelbase).

* Solstice: Next gen roadster and 2-seat coupe would be merged with next gen Opel GT/Daewoo G2X.

GMC:

* Meriva: Rebadged next gen Opel Meriva subcompact MPV (Gamma).

* Zafira: Rebadged next gen Opel Zafira compact MPV (Delta).

* Antara: Rebadged Opel Antara/Saturn Vue compact crossover (SWB Theta).

* Vectra: Renamed "Terrain" midsize crossover (LWB Theta).

* Acadia: Large crossover (Lambda).

I'm not sure how well this would work out, but it's definitely better than the status quo. Pontiac wouldn't be selling rebadged Chevy clones and would reclaim its rightful place as the sportier, somewhat premium division that slots between Chevy and Buick in GM's brand hierarchy. Maybe Opel's products won't need to be significantly altered or diluted since the brand images of Pontiac and GMC align better with Opel's sporty and sophisticated products (just the badges and grilles will need to be changed).

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>>"If you've ever read On a Clear Day..., then you know the same pretty much happened to John Z. He was too daring, too innovative, and that grated on his superiors' nerves until they go on his case so badly that he quit. They say they've changed since those days, but more and more it shows that the Old GM still rules."<<

The difference between then & today is huge- JDL had clout, authority and a budget. He circumvented rules and had hardware which to do it with. And his 'grating' pushed PMD to the #3 sales spot throughout the entire 1960s.

That could never happen today because there are no propritory powertrains, no divisional engineering departments, no divisional budgets, no general managers with any authority. In other words, no individual brand pride. There's simply nothing to work with. If "GM" cannot accomplish this because they're 'spread too thin', perhaps delegation would be productive, but I know there's still not enough money for this.

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I don't completely agree with everything in your reply, but I can understand why GM shouldn't attempt to launch Opel in the U.S. given their current dire financial situation. I still think Pontiac should be more than an outlet for twin-nostrilized Chevy clone products and that Saturn will never be fully accepted as a North American version of Opel due to its established market image.

I do have an alternative plan:

1) I would still sell Saab and Hummer.

2) I would discontinue Saturn. This brand's quirky and affordable market image is the wrong fit for Opel's sporty and sophisticated products and GM doesn't need to waste money and resources to continue to support a brand that does nothing more than provide in-house competition for Chevrolet. The only problem would be what to do with the stand alone dealerships. I'm not sure how many of them are left. Saturn is housed in a 3 brand dealership where I live.

3) I would still combine Buick and Cadillac to form the luxury dealer network. Buick would sell FWD luxury cars (Invicta and smaller) and FWD/AWD luxury crossovers. Cadillac would focus solely on producing well executed, world class RWD luxury cars.

4) Chevrolet would still be the sole division in the corporation's mainstream dealer network. The division would continue to sell affordable FWD cars (Malibu and smaller) and affordable FWD/AWD crossovers as well as serve as the corporation's sole truck/SUV division. The next gen Camaro would be slightly downsized to fit on the Alpha platform (188 inches/109 inch wheelbase). A downsized next gen Holden Statesman on the LWB Sigma-Zeta platform would form the basis for a North American built next gen RWD Impala (198 inches/118 inch wheelbase). The Corvette would continue in Chevy's lineup.

5) Pontiac/GMC would become the midmarket dealer network. Pontiac would carry cars while GMC would carry MPVs and crossovers. Rebadged Opel products would figure prominently in forming the network's lineup. All the network's products would be built in North America.

Pontiac:

* Fiero: Rebadged next gen Opel Corsa subcompact 3-door/5-door and next gen Opel Tigra "TwinTop" roadster.

* LeMans: Rebadged next gen Opel Astra compact 3-door/5-door/sedan/wagon/"TwinTop" coupe.

* Grand Prix: Rebadged Opel Insignia midsize sedan/wagon/"TwinTop" coupe.

* Bonneville: Rebadged downsized next gen Holden Commodore sedan on the SWB Sigma-Zeta platform (193 inches/114 inch wheelbase).

* Solstice: Next gen roadster and 2-seat coupe would be merged with next gen Opel GT/Daewoo G2X.

GMC:

* Meriva: Rebadged next gen Opel Meriva subcompact MPV (Gamma).

* Zafira: Rebadged next gen Opel Zafira compact MPV (Delta).

* Antara: Rebadged Opel Antara/Saturn Vue compact crossover (SWB Theta).

* Vectra: Renamed "Terrain" midsize crossover (LWB Theta).

* Acadia: Large crossover (Lambda).

I'm not sure how well this would work out, but it's definitely better than the status quo. Pontiac wouldn't be selling rebadged Chevy clones and would reclaim its rightful place as the sportier, somewhat premium division that slots between Chevy and Buick in GM's brand hierarchy. Maybe Opel's products won't need to be significantly altered or diluted since the brand images of Pontiac and GMC align better with Opel's sporty and sophisticated products (just the badges and grilles will need to be changed).

I think your heart is in the right place, but I simply don't trust GM to execute another 'plan'. They're stuck with P/B/GMC as a distribution channel, so there's simply no point in making any of those three brands full-line...the 3/4 models each make up a full line-up for each showroom--that's OK.

Saturn & Spring Hill should be sold off...it would have been easier if the Traverse wasn't there--but I believe that the Traverse would make more sense with the other Lambdas & killing the Outlook. Saab & Hummer should be sold off (or given away)--GM cannot afford to field the product these brands need, desperately.

With less brands, you magically have more development money for the cars/trucks you need to build. The quality can be raised (along with pricing) & eventually, if things improve, you can acquire another marque, if necessary. I would sooner see more Caddy's & special Pontiac sportscars & Chevy selling competitive small cars than what's going on now.

If product is everything in this business, going back to rebadges is a huge error, IMO. Variants of the Kappas, Zetas & Alphas have alot more chance to sell at high margins than pumping out a few more (competent but unexciting) Epsilons, Gammas or Deltas, IMO.

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I will say this BPG does need a few fuel sippers for volume and eco-minded buyers. Not everyone (is like me) wants a large sedan (Bonneville) or an SUV. Honestly they need some cars (Pontiac) like the G6 (I want a new one that acutally looks different than the Malibu) that have more styling differences not the G5 fix. The Torrent at least had a different suspension and steering wheel from the Equinox. The G5 aside of the grille and wheels is the same. I don't mind a rebadge but restyle it enough so it is hard to tell like the difference between a LeSabre and Bonneville. GM can do that for relatively modest bucks and give it dual exhaust and sportier ride and handling and you have a winner. That is all the have to due to the Malibu and go ahead and add an Alpha and do the next G5 aka Cruze right so it doesn't scream rebadge. I do like the G5 more honestly but I am a Pontiac guy.

Edited by gm4life
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I will say this BPG does need a few fuel sippers for volume and eco-minded buyers. Not everyone (is like me) wants a large sedan (Bonneville) or an SUV. Honestly they need some cars (Pontiac) like the G6 (I want a new one that acutally looks different than the Malibu) that have more styling differences not the G5 fix. The Torrent at least had a different suspension and steering wheel from the Equinox. The G5 aside of the grille and wheels is the same. I don't mind a rebadge but restyle it enough so it is hard to tell like the difference between a LeSabre and Bonneville. GM can do that for relatively modest bucks and give it dual exhaust and sportier ride and handling and you have a winner. That is all the have to due to the Malibu and go ahead and add an Alpha and do the next G5 aka Cruze right so it doesn't scream rebadge. I do like the G5 more honestly but I am a Pontiac guy.

Eco friendly doesn't mean boring. There are plenty of cars--Miata, 1st Gen xB or GTi that are a blast and economical. All of the ingredients are there--you just need the right chef and some balls of steel.

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I think your heart is in the right place, but I simply don't trust GM to execute another 'plan'. They're stuck with P/B/GMC as a distribution channel, so there's simply no point in making any of those three brands full-line...the 3/4 models each make up a full line-up for each showroom--that's OK.

Saturn & Spring Hill should be sold off...it would have been easier if the Traverse wasn't there--but I believe that the Traverse would make more sense with the other Lambdas & killing the Outlook. Saab & Hummer should be sold off (or given away)--GM cannot afford to field the product these brands need, desperately.

With less brands, you magically have more development money for the cars/trucks you need to build. The quality can be raised (along with pricing) & eventually, if things improve, you can acquire another marque, if necessary. I would sooner see more Caddy's & special Pontiac sportscars & Chevy selling competitive small cars than what's going on now.

If product is everything in this business, going back to rebadges is a huge error, IMO. Variants of the Kappas, Zetas & Alphas have alot more chance to sell at high margins than pumping out a few more (competent but unexciting) Epsilons, Gammas or Deltas, IMO.

I can understand and appreciate what you're saying, but I don't think GM will ever embrace employing RWD on a grand scale and will continue to succumb to their overwhelming urge to stuff rebadged Chevy clones into Pontiac's lineup if an alternative plan isn't set in motion. At least Pontiac would be better defined and differentiated if its lineup was completed with rebadged and altered Opels (which wouldn't appear in any other North American GM lineup since we agreed to dump Saturn) instead of rebadged Chevy clones. The development money has already been spent to develop Opel products for Europe, why not alter them enough to give Pontiac a unique and moderately premium car lineup in North America (in addition to building them here). To me, an altered and rebadged Corsa is way more desirable than a twin-nostrilized Aveo.

I haven't really expanded the lineups of Pontiac or GMC under this proposal, I just refined them. If GM goes through with their plan to eliminate the Torrent and stuff the hideous Aveo based G3 into Pontiac's lineup, Pontiac will have 6 product lines in its product portfolio (G3, G5, Vibe, G6, G8, and Solstice). My proposal actually leaves them with 5, although there are more variants in some lines. Some of the variants could be easily eliminated if necessary. The same thing applies to GMC. If you include the upcoming Terrain and disregard the soon to be killed Envoy, GMC will have 5 product lines (Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, and Yukon). My proposal leaves them with the same number, but gives them a lineup that is more in step with the times. Buick and Chevrolet would pick up a few products, but that would be more than offset by eliminating Saturn, Saab, and Hummer from the mix.

I still think Buick would better serve the corporation if it was combined with Cadillac to form the luxury dealer network. By assigning the role of FWD luxury vehicle expert to Buick, Cadillac is free to pursue excellence in developing a world class RWD car lineup. I think leaving Buick with Pontiac/GMC only allows it to inhibit what Pontiac/GMC could become.

As far as RWD platforms and products, I can see GM developing and/or maintaining the platforms principally for Cadillac (except the Y-body platform, which is prioritized for the Corvette). The cost of these platforms will be leveraged by developing a few random specialty products for Chevrolet and Pontiac in North America. I believe that is the extent that GM will utilize RWD and even that may be a little optimistic.

The status quo is simply not working for GM. They need to come up with a clear and coherent game plan (there still seems to be too much indecisiveness and second guessing) that will ensure their longevity and future success. I'm not saying that any of my proposals are the ultimate answer, they just provide suggestions and options. I do enjoy reading and responding to your insights and counterpoints.

Edited by cire
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