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GM banking on 15 new vehicles for turnaround

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DETROIT -- Now that General Motors Corp. has outlined a painful plan to close factories and shed 30,000 jobs, the big question is whether a raft of vehicles debuting next year can revive its sputtering sales.

The automaker will launch about 15 new vehicles next year: A new family of large SUVs, three "crossover" vehicles, a new Saturn roadster and sedan and the next generation of its full-size pickups.

The new vehicles -- designed to shore up GM's strongholds and grab share of growing segments -- are critical to Chairman Rick Wagoner's comeback strategy.

To quell doubts about its future, GM has allowed dealers, journalists and key analysts to peek inside its usually top-secret product tent earlier this year, providing a glimpse of vehicles coming out in the next 30 months. The reaction was largely positive, but the models will face challenges in a U.S. auto market bursting with new entries.

"The stuff in (GM's) pipeline looks good," said Joe Phillippi, industry analyst with Auto Trends Consulting in Short Hills, N.J. "The problem is everybody else has stuff that looks good, too."

GM must pitch a new stable of large SUVs at a time when U.S. consumers are trading the gas-guzzling family haulers for more fuel efficient alternatives.

In addition, the automaker's late entry into the fast-growing crossover market may have cost it precious sales. And GM's will have to convince buyers that Saturn is no longer a purveyor of plastic-clad economy cars.

GM cannot afford any flops. Its North American auto division lost more than $4 billion in the first nine months of the year as rising gas prices took a bite out of large SUV sales, raw material costs exploded and competition increased from foreign automakers.

"We are now making very significant strides in making GM North America profitable again," Wagoner said Monday while outlining the cost-cutting plan.

Despite the decline in large SUV sales, GM is hoping redesigned and more fuel-efficient versions of the GMC Yukon, Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban will help it hold onto its 60 percent market share of the highly-profitable vehicle category. The automaker moved up the launch of the SUVs to early 2006 to woo buyers who may have passed on the outgoing models -- last redesigned in 1998 -- until their replacements arrived.

Paul Rubin, a GMC-Pontiac dealer in White Bear Lake, Minn., expects a sales boom when the new SUVs land in his showroom.

Full Story: http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0.../C01-391561.htm
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This is more GM smoke and mirrors. The DetNews article actually lists 13 "vehicles" in their headline table. Upon a cursory inspection, you can see that there are actually only 6 vehicles, with numerous rebadgings. Once again, an attempt to trump up the paltry investment in new product. Edited by goblue1999
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"The stuff in (GM's) pipeline looks good," said Joe Phillippi, industry analyst with Auto Trends Consulting in Short Hills, N.J. "The problem is everybody else has stuff that looks good, too."


That's the key issue right there. What is the reason why somebody should buy a GM product over a Toyota/Nissan/Honda/Ford/Mazda? What does a GM vehicle give you that nobody else has? GM has to do something to distinguish itself from their competitors -- something to drive people into the showroom. Discount-of-the-month-deals don't cut it -> they kill resale values and people are so used to them that they don't mean as much as they used to.

As you could've said 15 years ago: GM needs to define it's brands & engineer/style them accordingly -- and they need to do that for a sufficient amount of time that it "sets" into the public perception. To date, they have not done that effectively.
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I saw a late '80s Corolla last night when I was out with my dog. They are rare as hell around here, due to rust. Anyway, I remember thinking 15 years ago that the Corolla was just an ugly, boxy car - who would buy one? Fast forward to the present: nobody would say that the Corolla of today is ugly or boxy. Some would argue that it is vanilla or boring, but not ugly. Therein lies the trouble. Even a 2006 Elantra isn't ugly any more. So not only is GM not leading the industry with ground breaking designs (IMO, Chrysler, NIssan and Mazda are doing that), but they aren't surrounded by ugly competitors. Perhaps Wagoner is on the right track. GM will have to get used to 15-20% market share (like in Europe and South America) and will become just another nameplate amongst dozens of others. In my youth, we would never have considered an import. Toyotas and Datsuns were virtually non-existent. VW was for hippies. Audi? BMW? Nobody had heard of them. Now, in my neighborhood, everyone drives an import. Around here, Japanese and German cars account for 80% of what I see parked on the street. Many of us here on C&G lament the passing of GMs great, heady days. Look back to the late '60s Rivieras, the first generation Monte Carlo, almost any year Camaro, the late '60s Bonnevilles, the list goes on.... Those days are over. People only 10 years younger than me grew up with Toyotas and Hondas because their parents had bad experiences with the Big Three in the '80s and have now sworn off them. So now GM has cars that are designed and built as well as their Japanese competition, but they just don't have that extra something that makes people want to drive one. I hope Lutz knows what that something is, because I have to admit that even me - a diehard GM fan, is growing tired of waiting for that KO punch.
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This is more GM smoke and mirrors.  The DetNews article actually lists 13 "vehicles" in their headline table.

Upon a cursory inspection, you can see that there are actually only 6 vehicles, with numerous rebadgings.  Once again, an attempt to trump up the paltry investment in new product.

[post="47359"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


If you really think about it... they are all "rebadges." I'm sure you were referring to the GMT 900's, and of course the new crossovers will be rebadges by your standards. The Sky is just a rebadge of Solstice... right? And, I can't believe you missed calling the Aura a rebadge of that Opel, whatever it's called.

So... they are all rebadges! SO WHAT! The SUV's and trucks have always sold, regardless of how differentiated they are or not. The crossovers will sell, because it sounds like they will be awesome. And both Saturns will sell because they look amazing (especially the Sky).

It just seems like everyone is going anti-GM these days, like it's the cool thing to do. And i'm tired of it.
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If you really think about it... they are all "rebadges."  I'm sure you were referring to the GMT 900's, and of course the new crossovers will be rebadges by your standards.  The Sky is just a rebadge of Solstice... right?  And, I can't believe you missed calling the Aura a rebadge of that Opel, whatever it's called.

So... they are all rebadges!  SO WHAT!  The SUV's and trucks have always sold, regardless of how differentiated they are or not.  The crossovers will sell, because it sounds like they will be awesome.    And both Saturns will sell because they look amazing (especially the Sky). 

It just seems like everyone is going anti-GM these days, like it's the cool thing to do.  And i'm tired of it.

[post="47433"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Yes it is...

And, if these are "re-badges" then most other auto manufacturers sell a lot of re-badges too.
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And, if these are "re-badges" then most other auto manufacturers sell a lot of re-badges too.

[post="47548"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I was going to start listing some, but then I might as well just list every vehicle that every manufacturer has to offer.
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is the avalanche one of those 15, and will there be a new Caddilac Escalade EXT as well?
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Luckily, many of these are high profit models. If GM can get these trucks, SUVs and crossovers off the lots without incentives, it will be something to smile about. ...If they can get them off the lots at all. Something tells me the GMT-900's are not gonna save GM's bacon this time.
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Yes it is...

And, if these are "re-badges" then most other auto manufacturers sell a lot of re-badges too.

[post="47548"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Thank you.

The ES is just a blatant badge job of the Camry, and the GS is just a variant of the Avalon, if that's what rebadge means. Those guys who say all GMs are rebadges just to torment GM are basically giving themselves a big slap in the face. Edited by ToniCipriani
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Thank you.

The ES is just a blatant badge job of the Camry, and the GS is just a variant of the Avalon, if that's what rebadge means. Those guys who say all GMs are rebadges just to torment GM are basically giving themselves a big slap in the face.

[post="47612"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


While the ES is as much of a 'badge-job' as what some claim these future GMs to be without seeing them, the GS is not. Totally different platform (Camry-based vs. RWD chassies). Though, Lexus still does have rebadges...bad overpriced ones at that...notably the LX470.
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That's the key issue right there.  What is the reason why somebody should buy a GM product over a Toyota/Nissan/Honda/Ford/Mazda?  What does a GM vehicle give you that nobody else has?  GM has to do something to distinguish itself from their competitors -- something to drive people into the showroom.  Discount-of-the-month-deals don't cut it -> they kill resale values and people are so used to them that they don't mean as much as they used to.

As you could've said 15 years ago: GM needs to define it's brands & engineer/style them accordingly -- and they need to do that for a sufficient amount of time that it "sets" into the public perception.  To date, they have not done that effectively.

[post="47363"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Very well said - both you and the author. I feel the same way.

The problem as I see it, GM doesn't get this part. I honestly can't see how a majority of GM's vehicles made it past the drawing table.

Then there are a few GM cars that are really nice - but as was said before, so are the competitions' vehicles !! Even low-end Kia and Hyundai are making nice looking rides.

GM's moves need to be bold and decisive. They need to lead again, rather than follow. And frankly, I don't know if that company is capable of such.

GM's current situation reminds me of the stages of death and dying:

1 - Denial - GM and its suppoprters in denial of any type of problem...starting back in the 70's.

2 - Anger - GM and its supporters mad at management, trade laws, suppliers, unions, etc. Its everyone else's fault.

3 - Bargaining - GM praying that if they can make it through the tough time, then they'll promise to start making good quality vehicles.

4 - Depression - GM and its supporters haven't gotten here yet. Maybe a few of the supporters.

5 - Acceptance - GM and its suppporters are nowhere near this point.


Personally, I am just leaving stage 4, and entering into stage 5 - Acceptance. I am starting to come to grips with the fact that GM's days as #1 are gone, and that I'd be happy with them being at #3, as long as they put out good vehicles. Its not important anymore for me that GM be #1. I just want a few good American cars that GM seemed to be the only producer of. And even if that doesn't happen, then acceptance of the fact that GM might go away completely, is next.

greg
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GM's current situation reminds me of the stages of death and dying:

1 - Denial - GM and its suppoprters in denial of any type of problem...starting back in the 70's.

2 - Anger - GM and its supporters mad at management, trade laws, suppliers, unions, etc.  Its everyone else's fault.

3 - Bargaining - GM praying that if they can make it through the tough time, then they'll promise to start making good quality vehicles.

4 - Depression - GM and its supporters haven't gotten here yet.  Maybe a few of the supporters.

5 - Acceptance - GM and its suppporters are nowhere near this point.
Personally, I am just leaving stage 4, and entering into stage 5 - Acceptance.  I am starting to come to grips with the fact that GM's days as #1 are gone, and that I'd be happy with them being at #3, as long as they put out good vehicles.  Its not important anymore for me that GM be #1.  I just want a few good American cars that GM seemed to be the only producer of.  And even if that doesn't happen, then acceptance of the fact that GM might go away completely, is next.

I experience all 5 stages on a daily basis.
greg

[post="47661"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

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This is more GM smoke and mirrors.  The DetNews article actually lists 13 "vehicles" in their headline table.

Upon a cursory inspection, you can see that there are actually only 6 vehicles, with numerous rebadgings.  Once again, an attempt to trump up the paltry investment in new product.

[post="47359"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


True-but they need all the help that they can get right now....
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Very well said - both you and the author.  I feel the same way. 

The problem as I see it, GM doesn't get this part.  I honestly can't see how a majority of GM's vehicles made it past the drawing table.

Then there are a few GM cars that are really nice - but as was said before, so are the competitions' vehicles !!  Even low-end Kia and Hyundai are making nice looking rides.

GM's moves need to be bold and decisive.  They need to lead again, rather than follow.  And frankly, I don't know if that company is capable of such. 

GM's current situation reminds me of the stages of death and dying:

1 - Denial - GM and its suppoprters in denial of any type of problem...starting back in the 70's.

2 - Anger - GM and its supporters mad at management, trade laws, suppliers, unions, etc.  Its everyone else's fault.

3 - Bargaining - GM praying that if they can make it through the tough time, then they'll promise to start making good quality vehicles.

4 - Depression - GM and its supporters haven't gotten here yet.  Maybe a few of the supporters.

5 - Acceptance - GM and its suppporters are nowhere near this point.
Personally, I am just leaving stage 4, and entering into stage 5 - Acceptance.  I am starting to come to grips with the fact that GM's days as #1 are gone, and that I'd be happy with them being at #3, as long as they put out good vehicles.  Its not important anymore for me that GM be #1.  I just want a few good American cars that GM seemed to be the only producer of.  And even if that doesn't happen, then acceptance of the fact that GM might go away completely, is next.

greg

[post="47661"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Very good point.
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