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TCC: GM Chairman Pushes Up Model Intros To Preserve Market Share

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chevrolet-spark-geneva-011_100196149_t.g With the 'cash for clunkers' Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) scheme pushing sales up to near-pre-plunge levels, the scramble is on to take maximum advantage. So far, the early winner is the Ford Focus, nabbing crucial market share with every car traded in.General Motors is keenly aware of this, and though it too is benefiting from the CARS ..

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New GM, EXACTLY THE f@#kING SAME as the Old GM--preserve market share, push up model intros in a misguided effort to preserve said market share, release undercooked & half-baked product, continue to lose market share, lather rinse and repeat.

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Are the GMT900s undercooked and half baked?

Are the Lambdas?

How about the Malibu?

All three had their model intros pushed up a few months, and you'd have to split hairs to find anything wrong with them. GM can't waste any more time. There are cars in the pipeline that should be here NOW. Cruze, Beat/Spark/Viva/whatever-they-call-the-Aveo-replacement, Orlando, Buick Delta, and a few others I can't think of can all stand to have their intros pushed up.

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Since the Cruze is already on sale elsewhere, there's no reason why it shouldn't be here now.

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GM has been roundly criticized by many for too-long model runs, and here's an effort to shorten that... but there's no reason to assume a push-up intro will automatically result in a half-baked product. GMT-900s were pushed up what -6 months ?? and they came out as class leaders.

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Let's see, what model push-up failures have happened? Malibu/G6 in 2003, Cobalt, Astra, etc.

Does GM have the money to accelerate launches without compromising the product?

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Actually, G6 and Cobalt were delayed. Lutz scrapped the original design for the Cavalier replacement, and his influencce on the G6 is well documented here. As for the Astra, I'm not sure where you got that from. The car itself was done in 2004 and should have been here then, not in 2008 virtually unchanged.

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Croc, I'm surprised you didn't mention the Ion. :P

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Croc, I'm surprised you didn't mention the Ion. :P

Let's not mention the Ion.

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considering all the hype GM made about shortening development cycles several years back....talking about Cobalt here, specific references to the shortened development cycle of that car. there was a planned replacement for Cav....then that got cancelled, in lieu of that GM did Cobalt in a span of 18 months. quality control is not GM's problem at this point, and I don't look forward to them re-learning processes that have already smacked them in the face, like quality is most significant.

what matters here is GM's designs are no longer being done by committee...where one committee decides this needs more bluntness, this needs cheapness, this needs to go for cost, this shouldn't even be here for the pennies, blah blah

GM's designs will be pushed forward because the development cycles can be and have been dramatically cut short. Camaro is an example....as there was no development prior to the concept, which ran on a combo Zeta/Sigma hardware if everyone here remembers that far back. within three years and seven months of launching the concept the hardware was released to the public. it can be done even faster.

this is a hallelujah moment for GM.

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Let's see, what model push-up failures have happened? Malibu/G6 in 2003, Cobalt, Astra, etc.

Does GM have the money to accelerate launches without compromising the product?

g6 was delayed. malibu was not affected. lutz was already too late to change the car. cobalt was scrapped, I don't know that Lutz had something to do with that, but could be wrong. astra was a compromise solution because saturn was left with no small cars to sell and enthusiasts and press asked for it.

it's not accelerating launches. it's getting the product equation together, stop asking the wrong questions, trust designer instinct, and go with it, get in and compete. having anything in the compact RWD segment is better than having nothing at all. having anything in the compact FWD segment is better than what is there. having a fun FWD small car is sorely missing. having a compact and true midsize crossovers are really missing.....this can go on for a while. suffice to say, there are still segments in which GM has no competent product. so they have room to grow, share to regain. that is good. it says the problem isn't so much the hardware, but the product imaging, as i've been saying for years.

from this point forward I don't expect GM to mess up on quality presentation, seriously mess up on driving dynamics and ergonomics, or on quality and reliability. I believe they are a changed entity. look how far we've come, though. everybody's a changed entity [in general terms and specifically related to cars, look at hyundai].

Edited by turbo200
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Croc, I'm surprised you didn't mention the Ion. :P

Thanks! I knew I was forgetting one...well, completely forgettable vehicle.

And the G6 delay certainly had nothing to show for it...but that program was already pushed forward to begin with. Malibu/G6 were originally slated for 2004/5.

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g6 was delayed. malibu was not affected. lutz was already too late to change the car. cobalt was scrapped, I don't know that Lutz had something to do with that, but could be wrong. astra was a compromise solution because saturn was left with no small cars to sell and enthusiasts and press asked for it.

it's not accelerating launches. it's getting the product equation together, stop asking the wrong questions, trust designer instinct, and go with it, get in and compete. having anything in the compact RWD segment is better than having nothing at all. having anything in the compact FWD segment is better than what is there. having a fun FWD small car is sorely missing. having a compact and true midsize crossovers are really missing.....this can go on for a while. suffice to say, there are still segments in which GM has no competent product. so they have room to grow, share to regain. that is good. it says the problem isn't so much the hardware, but the product imaging, as i've been saying for years.

from this point forward I don't expect GM to mess up on quality presentation, seriously mess up on driving dynamics and ergonomics, or on quality and reliability. I believe they are a changed entity. look how far we've come, though. everybody's a changed entity [in general terms and specifically related to cars, look at hyundai].

I never mentioned Lutz. The 2003 Malibu was an accelerated launch because dealers were hungry for product, and the old N-body from 1997 just wasn't cutting it.

Cavalier was scrapped, not Cobalt, and Lutz rushed what became the Cobalt (due to his fondness for changing names). Accelerated development.

The beancounters are still there, and the focus is still on preserving marketshare. Marketshare is nice, but profitibility is more important. Rushed development results in less testing time, less time perfecting the vehicle. The only way to preserve marketshare is with incentives to move merely adequate product.

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