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avant1963

LaNeve: We still haven't made up the business

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Of course they didn't. Olds had a unique position within GM. They weren't "Grandpa" like Buick. They weren't "Boy-racer" like Pontiac. They weren't "lower-class" like Chevy and they weren't "too expensive" like Cadillac. They were tastefull and understated. There was, and still is, nothing to directly replace Olds in the lineup. Put it this way, if Ford killed off Mazda, would the former Mazda customers automatially start buying "sport Mercurys"? I don't think so.
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Of course they didn't. Olds had a unique position within GM. They weren't "Grandpa" like Buick. They weren't "Boy-racer" like Pontiac. They weren't "lower-class" like Chevy and they weren't "too expensive" like Cadillac. They were tastefull and understated. There was, and still is, nothing to directly replace Olds in the lineup.

Put it this way, if Ford killed off Mazda, would the former Mazda customers automatially start buying "sport Mercurys"? I don't think so.

[post="44880"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Give me a break. You need to read into what LaNeve is saying. This is damage control and reassuring dealers that other brands will not be cut. Nothing more and nothing less. GM lost little to nothing by getting rid of Olds because of other moves they took to balance their porfolio. If you want more badge engineered product keep believe what you do.
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I'll admit they've done at least an okay job of it too, Evok. The G6, even though its inferior (IMO) to what it could and should've been and is lacking in many areas, has done a pretty decent job of replacing the former Grand Am and Alero. However, I think LaCrosse should've been more effective in replacing not just Century and Regal, but the Olds Intrigue as well.
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I'll admit they've done at least an okay job of it too, Evok. The G6, even though its inferior (IMO) to what it could and should've been and is lacking in many areas, has done a pretty decent job of replacing the former Grand Am and Alero. However, I think LaCrosse should've been more effective in replacing not just Century and Regal, but the Olds Intrigue as well.

[post="44885"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



I was refering more towards the Avalanche, Rendevous, Vue, Equinox, Escalade EXT/ESV, Rainier, Relay, Torrent etc., that has been added to the GM portfolio that in theory made up for the 200k that were lost when Oldsmobile ceased sales. The problems GM faces now on the product side are not because of the lack of Oldmobile. Gas prices significantly hurt truck/SUV sales across the market and their passenger cars have not hit the market strong.
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Give me a break.  You need to read into what LaNeve is saying.  This is damage control and reassuring dealers that other brands will not be cut.  Nothing more and nothing less.  GM lost little to nothing by getting rid of Olds because of other moves they took to balance their porfolio.  If you want more badge engineered product keep believe what you do.

[post="44881"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Sorry, but just for a reality check, the last Oldsmobile models were about the ONLY GM products that may have shared underpinnings with other cars, but were VERY different otherwise. It seemed to be the only brand there for a while that had anything worthwhile, whether it be the Alero that was a MUCH better car than the craptacular Grand Am (even though the Olds still had its own issues), the Intrigue which had some of the best suspension and steering tuning ever out of GM, not to mention the unique 3.5L OHC engine, or even the Aurora, which was so completely unique from the other G-body relatives, it really might have went on to be an absolutely outstanding piece, had it been refreshed again before death.

I remember reading an article where it said, near the end, the Buick guys at GM were P.O.'ed that the Olds guys had a car as nice as the Aurora with its real wood trim and 4.0L OHC V8, when all they had was the plasticky rental-grade LeSabre and its antique 3.8L--and really helped seal the deal on the death of Olds. Sounds like a VERY likely scenario to me.

Even though they're dead and gone now, it's always interesting to look back and imagine what level the only trully "unique" brand in GM would be on today, if still around. B)
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Personally, I don't think that killing a brand is the answer. Does it kill overlap? Does it decrease marketing costs? Does it decrease design costs? Absolutely - but so does combining B-P-G and killing model overlap. Combining/refining B-P-G would accomplish all of that without the sigma of killing yet another historied brand. I don't think it's fair to judge GM on their B-P-G strategy as it's execution is in it's infancy.
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Sorry, but just for a reality check, the last Oldsmobile models were about the ONLY GM products that may have shared underpinnings with other cars, but were VERY different otherwise.  It seemed to be the only brand there for a while that had anything worthwhile, whether it be the Alero that was a MUCH better car than the craptacular Grand Am (even though the Olds still had its own issues), the Intrigue which had some of the best suspension and steering tuning ever out of GM, not to mention the unique 3.5L OHC engine, or even the Aurora, which was so completely unique from the other G-body relatives, it really might have went on to be an absolutely outstanding piece, had it been refreshed again before death.

I remember reading an article where it said, near the end, the Buick guys at GM were P.O.'ed that the Olds guys had a car as nice as the Aurora with its real wood trim and 4.0L OHC V8, when all they had was the plasticky rental-grade LeSabre and its antique 3.8L--and really helped seal the deal on the death of Olds.  Sounds like a VERY likely scenario to me.

Even though they're dead and gone now, it's always interesting to look back and imagine what level the only trully "unique" brand in GM would be on today, if still around. B)


Agreed... the Alero, Intrigue, and Aurora were a definite cut above the usual blandtastic GM sedan fare of the late '90s-early '00s... nicely styled, good engines, suspension, decent interiors... I liked the direction Olds was taking then--breaking away from their fogey image of the Ciera/Cutlass/88/98s of the '90s into something very competent and modern. Too bad GM couldn't make it work. Edited by moltar
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Well lets see at it's death Oldsmobile was widely regarded as having:

The best of G-bodies in the Aurora, also thought to be GM's finest at the time.
The best of the W-bodies, the LaCross only comes close in it's highest levels of trim.
The most luxurious of the vans and GMT-360s. Just try telling me that the 9-7x and Rainier combined are outselling Bravada. Oh and splitting the vans from three models to four models.... splended idea.
The best of the N-bodies, though admitedly, the Grand Am didn't set the bar too high. Edited by Oldsmoboi
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Agreed... the Alero, Intrigue, and Aurora were a definite cut above the usual blandtastic GM sedan fare of the late '90s-early '00s...  nicely styled, good engines, suspension, decent interiors... I liked the direction Olds was taking then--breaking away from their fogey image of the Ciera/Cutlass/88/98s of the '90s into something very competent and modern.  Too bad GM couldn't make it work.

[post="44940"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Exactly. They just always struck me as something "different", but in a much better way than the rest.

The designs were VERY good, and MUCH better than some of the other crap plopping out of the other divisions at the same time (i.e., Aurora vs. LeSabre, Intrigue vs. Impala, Alero vs. Grand Am). Honestly, a lot of the materials still were nothing to rave about, such as the overly hard dash with its jagged airbag cutout on the Intrigue, but they had the "look" and function spot on. Now, if they had just gotten a refresh and, say, some newer, nicer materials, and pumped up fit & finish standards, I think most would have been over the top.

Hell, the engines alone, in the Intrigue and Aurora showed something was REALLY different and better in this brand, compared to all the rest. It never should have been killed off, but as has been said, that's old news. B) Edited by caddycruiser
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Well lets see at it's death Oldsmobile was widely regarded as having:

The best of G-bodies in the Aurora, also thought to be GM's finest at the time.
The best of the W-bodies, the LaCross only comes close in it's highest levels of trim.
The most luxurious of the vans and GMT-360s. Just try telling me that the 9-7x and Rainier combined are outselling Bravada. Oh and splitting the vans from three models to four models.... splended idea.
The best of the N-bodies, though admitedly, the Grand Am didn't set the bar too high.

[post="44943"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



GM still could not give them away. And yes, soon as the Rainier was given to Buick it outsold the 360 Bravada, excluding the 9-7.
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And when was the last time you saw an Olds ad before their death. Maybe once or twice for the Intrigue, but nothing else.

GM didn't even try. They simple expected to know to go to the Olds dealer. You know I've never ever seen an advertisement for the second gen Aurora? I see the same freaking Passat commercial 5 times in an hour TV program.

Advertising the Intrigue with the X-files? They're going for the 28-34 male geek segment and wondering why they can't sell cars.

No, there was nothing wrong with Oldsmobile that wasn't also wrong with the rest of GM. They had the best of each platform. Olds was simply neglected by the GM marketing machine.
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And when was the last time you saw an Olds ad before their death. Maybe once or twice for the Intrigue, but nothing else.

GM didn't even try. They simple expected to know to go to the Olds dealer. You know I've never ever seen an advertisement for the second gen Aurora? I see the same freaking Passat commercial 5 times in an hour TV program.

Advertising the Intrigue with the X-files? They're going for the 28-34 male geek segment and wondering why they can't sell cars.

No, there was nothing wrong with Oldsmobile that wasn't also wrong with the rest of GM. They had the best of each platform. Olds was simply neglected by the GM marketing machine.

[post="44949"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



What's your point? You can't change history. Ten years and 2 billion in investment, GM for many reasons could not turn the division around. Based upon their cost structure, and Olds being the least viable brand of the bunch, the decision was to axe it. GM is more than anyone brand.

And back in 2002 time frame, ad spending per vehicle for Olds was on par with the rest of the divisions. About 500 bucks per car.
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It was a good brand and definitely shouldn't have been killed off. I hear people mention how nobody wanted to buy a brand of automobile with "Old" in the name. Well, worst-case-scenario, they could have changed their name. Datsun did it and become Nissan. Why couldn't Oldsmobile? They didn't have to kill the brand...
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I always liked Olds, not as much as Pontiac, but more than Buick or Chevy. It's sad to see the brand killed. And as stated before, Olds did have some of the best GM cars made in the 90s. But yet they still didn't sell. If so many people care so much about the brand, why wouldn't they buy the cars then? Some of the best GM cars for the time, yet still couldn't sell them=brand getting axed. Pontiacs still sold, while many of their cars were much less than perfect. Thats why Pontiac is still around. Maybe Olds should have been killed sooner, with Pontiac getting better product, through the 90s. Then instead of one dead, and one declining, we could have 1 dead, and one going strong.
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I can agree with Evok about damage control. Look at what happened when Lutz made the comment last year (or early this year) about "damaged goods." It sent the dealers, press, customers, etc on fire with speculation and questions. GM is not going to repeat that mistake again.

The best way to look at this is GM realizes "killing a Brand" doesn't solve problems. What GM did for Oldsmobile in the 1990's, GM really needed to do for all of its divisions simultaneously. I see GM closer to accomplishing that now than ever before in recent history.

There are several reasons why Oldsmobile was phased out. But regardless of why, the negative results from the "phase out" may have saved the rest of GM's brands from retirement. At least for now.

Here are two very good summaries by CNN that explain GM's situation with Oldsmobile.

http://money.cnn.com/2000/12/12/companies/...obile_overview/

http://money.cnn.com/2000/12/12/companies/oldsmobile/

(edited to correct the Lutz statement)
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Well I save my bias on Olds, and I wont rehash what or why but, when I heard they were killing Oldsmobile I knew they would not regain the sales loss, I knew they were throwing out the yellow flag, I knew potential GM customers would be wary. I did not know how much trouble GM was actually in, I thought they were just being jerks, which they were, cause it didnt work out. Now today we have all these additional much larger problems and GM has come to a full stop, comparitively. So if they could not give Oldsmobiles away in 00 01 02 & 03 it could also be said today that they can not give any GM's away. Just check the red flag sales :AH-HA_wink: GM aint Rocky, they aint gonna get up from all the pounding and kick butt Perception is everything, they lost face with too many bad decisions, Americas back is turned and they are cheering for the battle in the other ring. So hows your Korean ? tic toc tic toc
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never really "owned" a buick. had two as company cars. a loaded X car and an 80 regal. owned some olds, chevys, gmc's, still have a pontiac and a caddy. olds was a good brand. lots of innovations. drove an aurora V-8 when i was looking for a sedan. hate to say it but i wasn't that impressed. good car but i didn't like the noise level or the way it took the bumps on these crappy michigan roads. give that car buick's quiet tuning and rework the ride and you get, ah, the lucerne, as a matter of fact.
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Here comes (Saturnmobile)!--KILL a good near luxury mid priced brand (OLDS)!--Loose those sails to competiters (RICE BURNERS like ACURA)!--Reposition a lower cost brand with NO real HISTORY known for their PLASTIC BODY PANNELS and NOISY/RUFF ENGINES intended to take on the RICE BURNERS (SATURN) to TRY to replace that OLD-KNOWN BRAND!---------((GENIUS?))---------((STUPID?))----------I vote the LATTER!!
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the Alero that was a MUCH better car than the craptacular Grand Am (even though the Olds still had its own issues), [QUOTE]

Still trying to figure why an Alero is all that different from a Grand Am - other then the Grand Am sold more , that is the only difference
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[quote name='PontiacTechNJ' date='Nov 19 2005, 12:08 PM']
the Alero that was a MUCH better car than the craptacular Grand Am (even though the Olds still had its own issues), [QUOTE]

Still trying to figure why an Alero is all that different from a Grand Am - other then the Grand Am sold more , that is the only difference

[post="45336"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

[/quote]

Sleeker styling, better-looking interior. Nice colors. That's about it, but it does make a difference. An Alero is more a car you can take to a night out or to work and not have people laugh at you.
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Yes, Oldsmobile was a great brand lost due to mismanagement, but from what I've seen of the Aura, Sky, Outlook, and next Ion, I am hopeful some of the Olds DNA survives and is passed on into GM's grand remake of Saturn. The Aura and next Ion interiors could have been in Oldsmobiles, imo. I know this is not a popular opinion with Olds fans, and I cannot truly blame you, all I ask is that we wait and see what they come up with.
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