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Toyota Brand #1 in US for 2008

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I warned about this sometime back. With SUV and pickup sales falling like they have there's probably nothing GM could have done within the last year or so to prevent this. Had they done with the Cobalt back in 2004 what they've done with the Malibu (competitive fuel economy, leading styling, continuing big ad campaign) things might be different. Although not the only reason for the loss in sales leadership, the continued investment in fuzzy brands and models at the expense of Chevrolet, no doubt, has not helped. GM must get its branding "house" in order or we may never see Chevy at the top again.

http://freep.com/article/20081230/BUSINESS01/812300344/1014

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Think they don't "flaunt it" because of all the 'moral goodness' in the company (which is what the PR team wants you to believe) or because they fear backlash?

:rolleyes:

Honestly, I don't even think a competitive Cobalt would've helped GM.

With the media in high gear promoting Detroit as the 'gas guzzler' manufacturers, and the state of GMAC AND the constant talk of bankruptcy. I'm not sure anything could've saved them (And that's the point, right?)

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I can only imagine how much worse the anti-big 3 talk would have been with the bailout, etc had gas prices remained at $4.xx/gallon.

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Chevy can't be #1 when they have to compete against Pontiac, Saturn and GMC. The Cobalt and G5 combined are blown away in sales by the Corolla or Civic, same with the Epsilon trio compared to the Carmy. Chevy needs better cars, but GM spent 2006-08 on GMT900s, Lambdas, Zeta and updated G-body and W-body cars, all of which are big and not going after the heart of the market.

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Zeta and W bodies are not big. Mid sized. Compare a G8 next to a G6 and see what I mean.

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Zeta and W bodies are not big. Mid sized. Compare a G8 next to a G6 and see what I mean.

The smaller of the 2 W-bodies is 198 inches long, that is 7-series size. The G8 is over 196 inches long, midsize is near 190 like the Fusion, Camry, Aura, CTS, 5-series, Lexus GS, etc. The Accord is now classified as a full size car, and it is 194 inches long. GM doesn't have small to midsize products that consumers want. The Malibu is their only credible offering, and it is an average seller.

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Are we going to go down this road again?

Chevrolet may be #2, but GM dominates every single segment, from small cars to mid. It occupies 15% or greater market share in small cars (against 15 names, which is double the average), climbs to 25% market share (388,704 sales of 1.544m) for mid-size/'intermediate', etc. etc. etc.

:deadhorse:

This entire debate focuses on two important concepts and two only:

What will create the better long term prospect for GM? Focusing on fewer brands/models and making those the 'best in class' (whatever the hell that means) and risk losing market share as loyal consumers abandon GM because their 'brand' is gone, or continuing to dilute the diminished marketing/development dollars between a gazillion models.

That is the $250 billion dollar question. When GM finally throws the dice and decides which path to continue down, that will decide the fate of the company more than anything else.

Losing my Olds portfolio hurt me a lot, but even I would not want to have to make the tough decision as to whether more brands/models should go.

In only one example, it must be tempting for GM to steal the pickup crown away from Ford, by being able to brag about the #1 selling pickups in the country (which, in fact, GM has had for many years), but would risking the 100k+ Sierra sales in a year be worth that temptation? That's just one example.

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If GM's 388k sales of midsizers is 25% of the market, then the Camry which sells around 450,000 a year must be 30% share off one vehicle. Likewise for the Accord. GM's brands have been losing buyers for years because of lackluster product. The brand loyalty argument of, "we can't kill Buick GM will lose 150,000 sales a year" but Buick has lost 700,000 annual sales since 1988. The customers are leaving anyway.

Market share also does not equal profit, it is something GM has relied on because they had to stay big to pay all the legacy costs and keep union members working, because otherwise they pay them anyway to sit in the jobs bank.

The decision to what models to cut are easy:

All Saabs

All Hummers

G3, G5, G6

G-bodies

W-bodies

Saturn brand (Astra to Pontiac, Aura/Insignia becomes Regal, Sky moves to Chevy or Buick, theta crossover to Buick)

Yukon, Yukon XL and Denali

Canyon/Sierra/Savana are sold as work trucks (fleet/business) only, regular trims cut

Escalade EXT

STS

Add:

Fiesta/Fit rivaling Aveo replacement

Cruze

Malibu (updated interior, 2-mode hybrid option)

Chevy minivan

Zeta Impala (G8 can die if they do this)

Buick Delta II sedan

Cadillac Alpha sedan/coupe/convertible

CTS sedan/coupe/wagon to Sigma III and add $12k to price

Cadillac flagship

XLR, start over from scratch on C7 platform

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Yes! Woohoo! Yeah guys! Awesome! We did it!! Yes we can!! YEAH! Come on guys! Woooohoo!! Alright!! Freaken awesome!!

TOYota 4 LYF! Toyota FTW!! This is just SUPER neat guys! Ah! So awesome. I'm lovin' it! Everything is gonna to be A-O.K. now that Toyota is at the top! YES! No more polluting the environment!! Everyone is going to get like 50mpg!! Swweeet! You guys can now go buy full-size Tundras and don't have to feel guilty! It's just so great! I can finally buy that truck I've always wanted and not have to worry about destroying our planet!! I'm just so.... happy. Omgosh!!

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Yes! Woohoo! Yeah guys! Awesome! We did it!! Yes we can!! YEAH! Come on guys! Woooohoo!! Alright!! Freaken awesome!!

TOYota 4 LYF! Toyota FTW!! This is just SUPER neat guys! Ah! So awesome. I'm lovin' it! Everything is gonna to be A-O.K. now that Toyota is at the top! YES! No more polluting the environment!! Everyone is going to get like 50mpg!! Swweeet! You guys can now go buy full-size Tundras and don't have to feel guilty! It's just so great! I can finally buy that truck I've always wanted and not have to worry about destroying our planet!! I'm just so.... happy. Omgosh!!

Best post of the week nominee. :)

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The smaller of the 2 W-bodies is 198 inches long, that is 7-series size. The G8 is over 196 inches long, midsize is near 190 like the Fusion, Camry, Aura, CTS, 5-series, Lexus GS, etc. The Accord is now classified as a full size car, and it is 194 inches long. GM doesn't have small to midsize products that consumers want. The Malibu is their only credible offering, and it is an average seller.

So the difference between a compact (Cobalt at 180 inches) and fullsize (G8 at 196 inches) is 16 inches?

That's nuts.

No wonder I have to argue with the rental car people when I ask for a fullsize and they give me an HHR or a G6.

16 inches doesn't make that much of a difference in fuel economy. It doesn't really make that much of a difference in parking. I don't even think that makes much of a driving feel difference.

I imagine the general public couldn't judge the size difference if the cars were 20 ft away.

Why even bother to have different platforms with a 16 inch size difference?

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So the difference between a compact (Cobalt at 180 inches) and fullsize (G8 at 196 inches) is 16 inches?

That's nuts.

No wonder I have to argue with the rental car people when I ask for a fullsize and they give me an HHR or a G6.

16 inches doesn't make that much of a difference in fuel economy. It doesn't really make that much of a difference in parking. I don't even think that makes much of a driving feel difference.

I imagine the general public couldn't judge the size difference if the cars were 20 ft away.

Why even bother to have different platforms with a 16 inch size difference?

Well, the official EPA classification of subcompact/compact/midsize/fullsize is based on interior volume + cargo space, not overall length or wheelbase, so there are cars within the same category that can vary quite a bit in length or wheelbase.

Fuel Economy Classes

I'm not sure how rental car agencies categorize their cars, but I know in the past they've categorized a Grand Am as a midsize and a Taurus ('00) as a full size, so who knows.

Edited by moltar
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Toyota may be #1 now, but another brand can eventually knock them off this plateau if they continue to let their "perceived quality" slip (Camry/Tundra) as well as continuing to create "warmed over" redesigns (Corolla/Matrix). They seem to have developed a cynical arrogance that far surpasses the perceived complacency that the media seems to love to bestow upon GM. Toyota needs to remember that staying on top is usually far more difficult than getting there. Some of the company's recent half hearted efforts (current Camry/Corolla) and complete blunders (current Tundra) certainly won't keep them at the top. Without their "perceived quality", there is nothing about Toyota or their products that anyone could consider outstanding, exciting, or extremely desirable.

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Toyota may be #1 now, but another brand can eventually knock them off this plateau if they continue to let their "perceived quality" slip (Camry/Tundra) as well as continuing to create "warmed over" redesigns (Corolla/Matrix). They seem to have developed a cynical arrogance that far surpasses the perceived complacency that the media seems to love to bestow upon GM. Toyota needs to remember that staying on top is usually far more difficult than getting there. Some of the company's recent half hearted efforts (current Camry/Corolla) and complete blunders (current Tundra) certainly won't keep them at the top. Without their "perceived quality", there is nothing about Toyota or their products that anyone could consider outstanding, exciting, or extremely desirable.

Although nobody loves trashing Toyota more than me, I'd actually take the Corolla off that bashing list. I would deny this publicly, of course, but I actually like the new Corolla. To say it is leagues ahead of the old POS would not be an understatement. However, the Yaris and the Turda are just too horrible to even think about with my current hang over.

To Toyota's (fleeting - no pun intended) ascendancy, I say 'good luck:" the Press is fickle and merciless. And as the Camry becomes the 'new' Buick (almost every one I see around here is driven by a septegenarian), GM can get back to the business of building cars that people want.

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