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GM's "Fake Alloy" Cuts Wheel Repair Costs

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Link: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=107063

LUTON, England — You know that sinking feeling when you scrape your expensive alloy wheel along the curb while parking? Now there's a clever alternative from General Motors' U.K. Vauxhall arm that won't burn such a hole in your wallet.

Vauxhall has introduced an innovative "fake alloy" that looks like an expensive aluminum wheel but costs a fraction of the price to fix. That's because the "alloy" is in fact a five-spoke steel wheel, finished with an easy-to-replace plastic cover that looks just like an alloy wheel. It's called the Structure wheel and is fitted as standard to the Exclusiv trim line in the Vectra model line, the car that forms the basis of the new Saturn Aura.

Vauxhall says the cost of replacing the wheel cover after a curb crunch is less than $30 — about a quarter the cost of having a scratched alloy wheel refurbished by a specialist and a tiny fraction of the cost of a new alloy if the wheel is too badly smashed to be repaired.

"Wheel covers are much easier and cheaper to replace, of course, but all style-conscious drivers lust after the sleek looks of alloy wheels," the company said in a statement.

The entire wheel assembly is only marginally heavier than the equivalent 16-inch alloy wheel.

What this means to you: A sensible alternative to alloys, but are alloys aimed at people who are sensible? You do the math.

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Those idiots just can't quit bashing GM, even internationally. Did GM dug their graves or something?
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Those idiots just can't quit bashing GM, even internationally. Did GM dug their graves or something?

[post="7118"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I'm confused, are you referring to the quoted text in the first post? Because I see no GM bashing there. Are you are commenting on something I missed in the link?

Anyway, $30 is not bad at all when it comes to fixing a wheel.
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Anyway, $30 is not bad at all when it comes to fixing a wheel.

[post="7157"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


You mean a hubcap. I have to wonder what the long-term surface durability is like, not to mention possible noise and up-close appearance. Those Ferrari-bodied Fiero kit cars "look" like Ferraris, too, but they're not.

I'll take my chances w/ my white alloys, thanks...
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You mean a hubcap.  I have to wonder what the long-term surface durability is like, not to mention possible noise and up-close appearance.  Those Ferrari-bodied Fiero kit cars "look" like Ferraris, too, but they're not.

I'll take my chances w/ my white alloys, thanks...

[post="7176"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



But it's not exactly a hub cap either. I think it's more substantial that a crappy plastic cover.
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I'm confused, are you referring to the quoted text in the first post?  Because I see no GM bashing there.  Are you are commenting on something I missed in the link?

Anyway, $30 is not bad at all when it comes to fixing a wheel.

[post="7157"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


The verdict they add. Sounds to me it's rather negative.
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The verdict they add. Sounds to me it's rather negative.

[post="7249"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



ahhh... I guess it can be taken as slightly negative.

Just this morning I saw a Jetta with the wheels freshly scraped on a curb. I bet that guy would love it if he just had to replace a cover. So, in regards to their verdict... this is a solution for all those people who don't spend big $$ for aftermarket alloys, but like the "look" on their new car.
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Wouldn't it be cheaper for them in the long run if they just quit parallel parking or pulling up to curbs?
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Wouldn't it be cheaper for them in the long run if they just quit parallel parking or pulling up to curbs?

[post="7258"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Yes, but accidents happen. So, if all you care about is the look, then these wheels are the solution.
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