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GM mulls bigger freshenings

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GM mulls bigger freshenings

Chrissie Thompson

Automotive News -- July 5, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT -- To cut costs, General Motors Co. is looking at more extensive freshenings that upgrade exteriors, interiors, infotainment, safety equipment and powertrains instead of more-frequent redesigns, said Vice Chairman Tom Stephens.

"Is the customer going to buy your product because he perceives you have an all-new vehicle?" Stephens, who heads product development, asked an audience of financial analysts here last week. An extensive midcycle change, he said, has a "similar impact to bringing out an all-new product."

Before GM's trip through U.S. Bankruptcy Court last year, the company tried to sustain demand by redesigning products every five to seven years, Stephens said.

In other product news at the event, Stephens:

-- Showed a picture of what he called an upcoming Chevrolet family "van" for several global regions -- probably the Chevrolet Orlando seven-passenger crossover, which GM yanked this year from its planned spot in the U.S. portfolio starting in 2011. GM did not make the picture available to reporters.

-- Said GM has designed Chevrolet SUV and small-car concepts. The SUV, which Stephens said GM's South American designers had created, could be built on the same platform as the global compact pickup being developed by GM's Brazilian operations. Stephens did not say when the vehicles might be produced or where they might be sold.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100705/OEM03/307059963/1427#ixzz0soQCz7Ee

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Just an observation.

It feels to me that GM is bring new product and good product but are being trumped by new even better product by the others.

To me GM is a little behind and almost needs to advance two steps ahead to get back to leading than just taking the lead for a short time.

The Malibu comes out and is soon trumped buy the Ford Focus. The Camaro comes out and a year later the Mustang becomes the darling of the press. The Cruze while a very good car I feel will be over shadowed by the Ford and Hynundia.

I almost think they need to move ahead of some of the pending things they had in the works before the Chapter 11 and speed up to the next level beyond where they have been hitting.

We may see this with some of the new product since it is now in the works and we know so little about much of it. Cars like the Cruze and Lacrosse were all pretty much done before the debt burden was lifted. So it is not fair to judge by this.

I just hope the truck, Malibu and other cars coming will be taking those two needed steps head and make everyone else play catch up.

For what it is worth that is just what I am seeing.

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Just an observation.

It feels to me that GM is bring new product and good product but are being trumped by new even better product by the others.

To me GM is a little behind and almost needs to advance two steps ahead to get back to leading than just taking the lead for a short time.

The Malibu comes out and is soon trumped by the Ford Fusion.

<snip>

For what it is worth that is just what I am seeing.

Corrected. That's just the way the game works...GM comes out w/ a new product, competitors come out w/ competitive new products shortly after.... such is the way it is.

As far as effective MCEs vs. new designs, the '10 Fusion and Mustang are good examples, as both are MCEs of previous iterations.

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Considering the life cycle of most cars is about 6 years before they are redesigned, I fail to see how 5-7 years is too frequent for them. I mean hell, they've yet to redesign the Colorado and it needs it badly, and then there's the Impala.

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"and then there's the Impala. " :deadhorse:

But It sells & makes mucho $ even fleeted. That said I do truly want that Chevy SS (RWD) to happen in a Few body styles.

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Love the tidbit about the SUV based on the new midsize truck! Now we just have to let GM know we WANT the truck and the SUV sold here in America.

And I agree that Ford's MCE formula has worked wonders for them... GM should strongly consider going this route.

hyper Good Lord what the heck is a HYNUNDIA?:lol:

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Hyper have you ever spelled Hyundai right? :P

I think that it's his portmanteau of Hyundai and Kia and not a typo.

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Guys it is generally just typo only and one I do often on a I phone.

If it happens I often do not correct for three reasons. One It is a typo I don't really care for Korean cars in the First place, Two I did not reread the post, and finally I know it bugs Blu.

Hyundai See it is correct and now you can all relax and get a good nights rest. :jump:

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Ford had to go to the update patteren they have because they had to fix a lot of cars fast.

The Taurus was a very failed 500. The Fusion was not doing so well in the first appearance and need some repair.

The small cars all were not the hits they had hoped for. Only the Mustang was doing well and witht he coming Camaro they knew they needed to update fast to hold their edge.

Ford did what they had to do. They reacted to needed updates in a very short time. They took what was a solid base of a car and fixed them to make them much better than they were in styling, technology, options and performance. I think it proves revolution is always not needed but fast work and reaction to the market is when a product does not live up to what is expected.

Also a good repair to their marketing has played into this deal too. The EcoBoost marketing has done wonders for Ford. I do not love Fords cars but I am impressed with what they have done with what they had to work with. They have taken a pigs ear and made silk. At least in the eyes of the public.

Lets just hope GM can become faster reacting to fix things when they do not go as planned. ALso do better at marketing in the same way as I feel they can build a better car than Ford if done properly.

I hope the fast update to the 2012 Camaro interior is only a glimps at the way they will react to problems at GM in the future.

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Here's a thought:

Platform redesign every 9 years

HEAVY refresh every 3 years, including revamping the engine & trans lineup as needed. By heavy refresh, I mean you can hardly tell it's not a full redesign. Overall the same dimensions and underpinnings, but new interior and sheetmetal.

On the other hand, I think this should be more a plan for the premium brands, and Chevy should perhaps have some appeal to those that want to feel that their vehicle has been out for a while and the bugs worked out, to those that care more about knowing it's a solid reliable platform more than they care about having the latest or flashiest vehicle. Remember, Toyota built its volume up on boring appliance cars based on the perception that you bought a Toyota because it was the most reliable appliance, not the sexiest car out there. Chevy perhaps could stand to do the same thing, while GMC, Buick, and Caddy go with very frequent refreshes & redesigns so that their buyers always feel like they're going to turn heads with the coolest, newest car on the road.

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Ford had to go to the update patteren they have because they had to fix a lot of cars fast.

The Taurus was a very failed 500. The Fusion was not doing so well in the first appearance and need some repair.

The small cars all were not the hits they had hoped for. Only the Mustang was doing well and witht he coming Camaro they knew they needed to update fast to hold their edge.

Ford did what they had to do. They reacted to needed updates in a very short time. They took what was a solid base of a car and fixed them to make them much better than they were in styling, technology, options and performance. I think it proves revolution is always not needed but fast work and reaction to the market is when a product does not live up to what is expected.

Also a good repair to their marketing has played into this deal too. The EcoBoost marketing has done wonders for Ford. I do not love Fords cars but I am impressed with what they have done with what they had to work with. They have taken a pigs ear and made silk. At least in the eyes of the public.

Lets just hope GM can become faster reacting to fix things when they do not go as planned. ALso do better at marketing in the same way as I feel they can build a better car than Ford if done properly.

I hope the fast update to the 2012 Camaro interior is only a glimps at the way they will react to problems at GM in the future.

Ford gambled, this seems to on the surface be working. However, the current NA Fusion, Focus, and Escape, although recently refreshed, are really not on the edge of the market, no pun. Even with its redo the Fusion seems dated because 'look at what Hyundai did'. The Escape is ancient. New Focus is on its way, but i have a feeling Ford will pay dearly for not transitioning to the world Kuga and Modeo designs sooner.

Coworker (ex) posted pics on Facebook of her new Sonata this weekend. They are giddy. I am not seeing this love for the Malibu. Camaro maybe. Will a 6 year old camaro design still create buzz? Maybe if they lighten it, change the interior, etc.

Current Malibu is struggling for retail sales, the next one probably doesn't have the buzz either. Is GM gonna let it rot for 6 years?

GM is further trying to reduce not only their new product investment, but also their model lines. Well, the current buzz for them is that they need to reduce models so they don't internally compete. Yet if they put all their products on longer cycles, they won't get any market buzz, and they will rot in showrooms. Not enough new product comes out and dealers can risk going into long lapses of stagnation because they have so few vehicles to compete with and nothing all new in the pipe to create enthusuiasm.

You hear the phrase, don't put your eggs in one basket. Well, GM is really hoping they can sell the same market share and more profits with half the models and more time in gestation?

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!

at higher prices and with less warranty than Hyundai and Kia too?

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If GM is to maintain interest with longer cycles then they need more models...i.e. ORLANDO should not be cancelled, how about a midsize pickup?

Perfect example of a vehicle that needs a heavy refresh but probably doesn't need a complete redo. The Acadia. The new Terrain has a nice rough and tumble butch look to it that the Acadia should acquire, as well. In addition to that, Perhaps GMC would see fit to make a new interior, or add a hybrid option, or a diesel, or a more powerful option engine, etc.

Mid cycle refreshes if extended to do more, could be effective, but even then after 5 years the vehicle gets pretty stale.

Fords Edge and Lincoln's MKX are examples of pretty thorough redos and it will be interesting to see how that works out. At least the Edge had great exterior styling to begin with.

Edited by regfootball

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Thanks for thinking of me, hyper. You big stud.:)

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Ford gambled, this seems to on the surface be working. However, the current NA Fusion, Focus, and Escape, although recently refreshed, are really not on the edge of the market, no pun. Even with its redo the Fusion seems dated because 'look at what Hyundai did'. The Escape is ancient. New Focus is on its way, but i have a feeling Ford will pay dearly for not transitioning to the world Kuga and Modeo designs sooner.

Coworker (ex) posted pics on Facebook of her new Sonata this weekend. They are giddy. I am not seeing this love for the Malibu. Camaro maybe. Will a 6 year old camaro design still create buzz? Maybe if they lighten it, change the interior, etc.

Current Malibu is struggling for retail sales, the next one probably doesn't have the buzz either. Is GM gonna let it rot for 6 years?

GM is further trying to reduce not only their new product investment, but also their model lines. Well, the current buzz for them is that they need to reduce models so they don't internally compete. Yet if they put all their products on longer cycles, they won't get any market buzz, and they will rot in showrooms. Not enough new product comes out and dealers can risk going into long lapses of stagnation because they have so few vehicles to compete with and nothing all new in the pipe to create enthusuiasm.

You hear the phrase, don't put your eggs in one basket. Well, GM is really hoping they can sell the same market share and more profits with half the models and more time in gestation?

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!

at higher prices and with less warranty than Hyundai and Kia too?

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If GM is to maintain interest with longer cycles then they need more models...i.e. ORLANDO should not be cancelled, how about a midsize pickup?

Perfect example of a vehicle that needs a heavy refresh but probably doesn't need a complete redo. The Acadia. The new Terrain has a nice rough and tumble butch look to it that the Acadia should acquire, as well. In addition to that, Perhaps GMC would see fit to make a new interior, or add a hybrid option, or a diesel, or a more powerful option engine, etc.

Mid cycle refreshes if extended to do more, could be effective, but even then after 5 years the vehicle gets pretty stale.

Fords Edge and Lincoln's MKX are examples of pretty thorough redos and it will be interesting to see how that works out. At least the Edge had great exterior styling to begin with.

The key is with Ford is now they are making the money to make the rest of the needed changed. This will not be the only move they make. Also the rep cred they have earned will pay off with most new models..

The present Bu is a very good car just it is now the oldest in class. The new car we can tell what it will do as even we here have little clue on what it will really be like. The public as a whole have no clue a new one is even coming. We should learn soon on paper what to expect so it is too soon to write that one off.

As for more models we have to see what all they have coming. Also I would rather see them up date the present more often than just make more cars that will go longer netween changes and that could steal sales from other GM product. If it is going to take them this long to fix the Impala more models seems counter productive.

For sure the small pick up is needed.

The Edge will do ok but the lincolns just are not connecting in a good way. I wonder what they will do next styling wise. They all seem just like fancy Taurus. At least the CTS is not like any other GM car with the RWD and styling. Too bad they can not afford use their own engines.

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current mkx has a &#036;h&#33;ty interior. a new interior and please ford add the ecoboost v6, maybe then with those new blistered fenders you'll be in good shape.

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Ford had to go to the update patteren they have because they had to fix a lot of cars fast.

The Taurus was a very failed 500. The Fusion was not doing so well in the first appearance and need some repair.

The small cars all were not the hits they had hoped for. Only the Mustang was doing well and witht he coming Camaro they knew they needed to update fast to hold their edge.

Ford did what they had to do. They reacted to needed updates in a very short time. They took what was a solid base of a car and fixed them to make them much better than they were in styling, technology, options and performance. I think it proves revolution is always not needed but fast work and reaction to the market is when a product does not live up to what is expected.

Also a good repair to their marketing has played into this deal too. The EcoBoost marketing has done wonders for Ford. I do not love Fords cars but I am impressed with what they have done with what they had to work with. They have taken a pigs ear and made silk. At least in the eyes of the public.

Lets just hope GM can become faster reacting to fix things when they do not go as planned. ALso do better at marketing in the same way as I feel they can build a better car than Ford if done properly.

I hope the fast update to the 2012 Camaro interior is only a glimps at the way they will react to problems at GM in the future.

+1

Fast is going to be important at this point....

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Ford gambled, this seems to on the surface be working. However, the current NA Fusion, Focus, and Escape, although recently refreshed, are really not on the edge of the market, no pun. Even with its redo the Fusion seems dated because 'look at what Hyundai did'. The Escape is ancient. New Focus is on its way, but i have a feeling Ford will pay dearly for not transitioning to the world Kuga and Modeo designs sooner.

Coworker (ex) posted pics on Facebook of her new Sonata this weekend. They are giddy. I am not seeing this love for the Malibu. Camaro maybe. Will a 6 year old camaro design still create buzz? Maybe if they lighten it, change the interior, etc.

Current Malibu is struggling for retail sales, the next one probably doesn't have the buzz either. Is GM gonna let it rot for 6 years?

GM is further trying to reduce not only their new product investment, but also their model lines. Well, the current buzz for them is that they need to reduce models so they don't internally compete. Yet if they put all their products on longer cycles, they won't get any market buzz, and they will rot in showrooms. Not enough new product comes out and dealers can risk going into long lapses of stagnation because they have so few vehicles to compete with and nothing all new in the pipe to create enthusuiasm.

You hear the phrase, don't put your eggs in one basket. Well, GM is really hoping they can sell the same market share and more profits with half the models and more time in gestation?

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!

at higher prices and with less warranty than Hyundai and Kia too?

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If GM is to maintain interest with longer cycles then they need more models...i.e. ORLANDO should not be cancelled, how about a midsize pickup?

Perfect example of a vehicle that needs a heavy refresh but probably doesn't need a complete redo. The Acadia. The new Terrain has a nice rough and tumble butch look to it that the Acadia should acquire, as well. In addition to that, Perhaps GMC would see fit to make a new interior, or add a hybrid option, or a diesel, or a more powerful option engine, etc.

Mid cycle refreshes if extended to do more, could be effective, but even then after 5 years the vehicle gets pretty stale.

Fords Edge and Lincoln's MKX are examples of pretty thorough redos and it will be interesting to see how that works out. At least the Edge had great exterior styling to begin with.

Don't worry reg, Ford has it covered. Better than you think. While the Escape and Fusion are not top end, the point is that they are SELLING. That is the imoprtant part. They will be able to afford some much better products down the road. And the Mercy killing of merc was a good idea too...granted, those who expect some big things from lincoln might not be happy. It's going to take a while to figure out what they plan to do with them....

The problem with GM is that they still have a HUGE lineup of cars, with a decent amount of overlap. And the push to go green is costing them money too, but no one ever thinks of that. Oh, and the bread and butter sales for the last three decades or so is in a free fall.....

They are making huge strides, but it is hard to see. But with the sheer number of Noxes and LaXs I see, things are going in the right direction.

While I don't see the Cruze wowing everyone, I do see a flock of toyota buyers looking for that new, safe compact that is good on gas. (used to be the corolla). I see the sales being there....anlong with the Volt's.

I do question the Aveo though....

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I think Ford really understands the "substantial" update strategy.

The 2010 Fusion is a great car. The 2006 Fusion was a good car that had some flaws. Not enough power, below average interior to name a few. Ford listened to the consumers and addressed it all. 6 speeds across the lineup. More powerful 2.5 and 3.0 engines with better fuel economy. 3.5 Sport model. The best midsize hybrid sedan on the market as well as sync and many other improvments. Was this a cheap refresh? No, but it was well worth it and I honestly think that the new Sonata is the only midsize car that is a step above the Fusion, it can contend with and beats most any other midsize car. (side note: My parents just got a well optioned Fusion SE- Silver on black with sun and sound package and sync this past weekend. So far they are loving it, payed only 300 over invoice and with zero down and zero intrest for 60 months.) Either way that comprehensive refresh kept the car fresh and will carry it along just fine for about 2 more model years when it the world Fusion/Mondeo will be ready to roll.

The Edge - Had the same issues as the 1st Fusion mainly. Now it's getting ecoboost 2.0 liter and revised 3.5 and 3.7 liter v6s along with an awsome interior and Ford Touch. Moderate investment that makes an almost completely new CUV.

If GM kept its products fresh like this it could rebuild brand and model equity. Plus it keep the tempo of new models up to sustaint sales momentum across the whole brand.

Ford has had 2-3 new or Heavy MCE'd moels debuting for the last few years and it is going to continue.

2005

New Mustang (1st totally new mustang in 20 years)

New 500

2006 New Fusion (replacing the ancient Taurus with a fresh new model/name)

2007 New Edge (first midsize CUV)

2008 Revised Focus and Escape and tarus replacing 500 (keeping the old models fresh till new ones come)

2009/10 (I know the model years and callander years are a little off but bear with me.

Heavily refreshed Taurus

Heavily refreshed Fusion

Heavily refreshed Mustang

All of these could pass for new models.

Coming out within the next 12-24 months

Totally new Escape based off the Kuga

Heavily refreshed Edge (late this summer)

Totally new Focus

Totally new Explorer

Heavily refreshed Expedition

Heavily refreshed F-150 (will get both the new 5.0 and the 3.5 ecoboost.)

and by CY 2012 the totally new Fusion world car.

I have concerns for Lincoln but the Ford brand has an awsome temp for new product releases over the next 2 years. GM would do well to emulate them.

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I thing we will see the needed changes at GM but it is still early in the game as the things started post Chapter 11 are not here yet and we are now just getting the things they had on the boards waiting for the money.

Factor it in that GM speaks little of future product anymore we tend to think what we see is all there is.

The new Chevy trucks should be interesting as they will make a major change in them. The other unseen thing will also spice things up a lot.

Most will be hits but they need to react to the misses fast and desicively. This is where Ford is finally getting it. If a car is not performing on the market as it should fix it now not 7 years from now. Imagine if they had improved the Cobalt in the weak areas the third year of the body style.

Edited by hyperv6

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I thing we will see the needed changes at GM but it is still early in the game as the things started post Chapter 11 are not here yet and we are now just getting the things they had on the boards waiting for the money.

Factor it in that GM speaks little of future product anymore we tend to think what we see is all there is.

The new Chevy trucks should be interesting as they will make a major change in them. The other unseen thing will also spice things up a lot.

Most will be hits but they need to react to the misses fast and desicively. This is where Ford is finally getting it. If a car is not performing on the market as it should fix it now not 7 years from now. Imagine if they had improved the Cobalt in the weak areas the third year of the body style.

thumbsup.gif

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I thing we will see the needed changes at GM but it is still early in the game as the things started post Chapter 11 are not here yet and we are now just getting the things they had on the boards waiting for the money.

Factor it in that GM speaks little of future product anymore we tend to think what we see is all there is.

The new Chevy trucks should be interesting as they will make a major change in them. The other unseen thing will also spice things up a lot.

Most will be hits but they need to react to the misses fast and desicively. This is where Ford is finally getting it. If a car is not performing on the market as it should fix it now not 7 years from now. Imagine if they had improved the Cobalt in the weak areas the third year of the body style.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Edited by CanadianBacon94

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