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Observations of GM at the Auto Show

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Here are some notes of what I found at the auto show this year.

the Cadillac line was placed in and with Benz, BMW, Porsche and Audi. It was removed from all the other GM products. T

The ATS and XTC were generating a lot of interest at the display.

The Buick display was near empty less for the Encore. The Encore had many older buyers looking.

As for the Encore it was the first time I was in it. It is a very nice car if you do not want a large ready cargo area. you can configure it to carry things but you had best be alone. It has a similar feel inside of my HHR less the cargo area and the much better interior.

The GMC display was busy with the Acadia. They did have a new truck there that did look nice but it was lost in the crowd. I think many did not even notice it.


The GMC Terrain Denali is a waste of money. For what little they offer is really is not a good value at the added cost. The new 3.6 is available in the SLT so why bother for a little more trim that did not work. Note the satin trim make the chrome wheels and nose look like my mine but dirty. But if they can generate more profits then more power to em.

The Chevy display. notes.

The Spark is small cheap and as good as anything else in the segment. It has a larger than expected draw.

The Malibu in LTZ trim is nice and comes across much better than the Eco. It was a mistake not to have the LTZ there at intro.

The rear seat room will get better but the small door frame will still be an issues for people with longer legs. The car will have to wait for a redo to fix this all together.

The Sonic had a line to get in it after it was over looked at last years event. Nice to see people taking interest.

The ZL1 had the line that normally was reserved for the Vettes since they only had one ZR1 there.

The star of the show was the 2014 Truck? No It had even less people looking at it than the GMC. I know the devil is in the details but with looks that are similar to the untrained eye it gets lost in the crowd.

The real star of the show for most companies was the Impala. There was a very long line for the Impala. The new styling really is amazing in person and makes a great impression. It is a shame that they only had one there.

The car really lost in the crowd was the Cruze Diesel. It does not look much different vs the old one and other than a few small signs few people noticed or cared. GM had a comment in the book they gave me on the car and they had better follow their own advice. "258 lb-ft of low end torque you'll have to experience to believe" . Looks alone will not sell this car as they will need to get butts behind the wheel.

The new Lincoln drew a crowd but I think the styling and large roof were the big draw. It will be interesting to see if they can turn that into to sales.

Hyundai had a large crowd. Not sure why but they had the most people.

I did get to take a ATS AWD Turbo for a drive. It was amazing. In fact the best Cadillac I have ever driven. Not as powerful feeling as my HHR but a good car. The ATS V will be something to look forward too. The XTS was very nice. It has some of the best seats for comfort I have been in. Not my kind of car but one that should get more credit than it deserves.

I drove a Volt again. The jump in speed from 20 MPH to 80 MPH is amazing. Ride is very nice and is one of the few environmentally friendly cars I really love to drive. I just wish it had a little more steering feel. I know it is not a sport sedan but the steering feels disconnected like a car from the 60's.

The crowd around the Subaru and Toyota coupes had a line. Lots of interest there but little elsewhere in their display.

Kia had a hootenanny with some singers. This was the first return of entertainment I have seen. Not sure if it would sell many cars but it is what it is.

I did get two free hats from Chevy. Nearly all there had one or two hats. We will see them in this area for a good time to come. People keep and use these vs a bag.

Just a few things I picked up at the GM displays. I just wish I had more time there but my time was limited. My son wants a ZR1. Maybe there is hope for him after Transformers. LOL!

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Kia had a hootenanny with some singers.

I was laughin' at that line, it MUST be said with a Larry The Cable Guy accent. I haven't been to any shows again this season. Glad you had a little fun.

Edited by ocnblu

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Tried the Cue system. Not bad if you already understand the Mylink or GMC Intllelink systems and own a Apple phone. The real issue is many who are buying these cars are older and not as tech savvy so I can see where they can get lost. I see it often at work where we get in older people to train that have little PC time and they are lost for a while and learn at a slower rate.

The blue on the Hot Wheels Camaro is amazing. Not a fan of the wheels but the color should not be limited to six months let alone just the Camaro.

As for Kia I could have said hoedown but that has a different meaning in Chicago, NY and Detroit.

The Fusion is like my Malibu but improved. It is like Ford did what Chevy should have done and benchmarked the older Malibu and improved it.

Might note there is no comparison between the Impala and new Bu. they may have some similar looks and even more similar looks to come but the size is totally different. There is so much more room in the Impala. It is a much larger car than you think if you have not seen it. It is XTS big not Lacrosse big.

GM now has a good base for their products once they fix the Malibu and get the new Camaro and Cruze out. It is time for them to make some fun affordable cars as only Toyota, Subaru, Hyundai and a couple others have anything cheap and fun. GM has fun cars but not till you almost hit $40K.

If I had to buy a car today under $30K I would have a hard time looking to GM. The Regal GS is about all there is that is cool looking and fun to drive under 40K. The ATS is good but once you add things to it you are over $40K.

I still like the Camaro but it is so late in life I would be hard pressed to buy one now. I would rather wait for the new one to see what it will bring to the table. I see it making a big change to the line. Then there is the Sub Alpha car if it should ever come. I also hope we may see a Alpha based Ute at some point once the Zeta goes away.

Anyway GM looks to be in a state of change and they still have much to do on product and marketing levels.

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That's wut I'm thinkin'. GM is stuck in a rut again, regarding any sort of plethora of fun. They are in a box, and remain so at their own peril.

  • Upvote 1

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Cruze RS already exists... it consists of foglights, ground effects kit, and RS emblems. Um... yay?

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Cruze RS already exists... it consists of foglights, ground effects kit, and RS emblems. Um... yay?

Interesting...didn't know they even had one..the Cruze is kind of an invisible car. I never see them on road.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Spark RS in the vein of Sonic RS sounds cool. If only 3-door cars were legal in the USA. I cannot believe Obama signed that lawr.

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LoL...nothing governmental about it...3dr bodystyles, like manual transmissions, fell out of favor w/ the Genericans who prefer their appliances in 4dr sedan w/ automatic form...

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What they need to do is put some more power and GM Performance Tuning to the RS packages.
The Formula they did with the Cobalt Turbo and HHR Turbo were great but so unknown due to the lack of marketing.

I do not need a SS badge or a bunch of decals on the car, just give me a car that handles and performance in a world class form as my HHR SS does. The Cobalt SS and HHR SS were tuned to the degree that you could go down a back road and not have to white knuckle it on a uneven surface.

The Cruze RS could use a 2.0 Turbo out of the Malibu SS. The Sonic needs the 220 HP 2.0 out of the Regal. Price these cars at $24,995 and $19,995 and you could get some attention. Offer the GM Performance upgrades to add 50 HP to these cars with only two MAP sensors and a computer flash with the drivetrain warranty in place you could really be onto something here.

If GM could offer a cheaper Turbo 4 in a RWD car under 30K they could fill a major gap.

Lets face it the Camaro is not going to get cheaper so they need to fill the lower niche. It also has to have sporting styling that appeals to all not just to a segment. Time to think outside the box and make a new Chevy Classic vs. just living in the past. With a new model and new name it is not tapped by what is expected.

Not sure on the Spark RS. Not much you can do there. That is a car with on porpoise.


Buick need the small Opel OPC hatch and the Adam. these could take on the Mini and the top end Fiat 500.

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Sigh, you really think a Spark is a car with on porpoise?

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Sigh, you really think a Spark is a car with on porpoise?

Yes there is a small but growing segment in this country and larger segments in the rest of the world for the Spark.

The Spark has two things going for it. Good MPG and it is a car that you can buy pretty cheap and have a full warranty on vs a used car with a lot of miles that could cost a lot of money to repair. Many of todays cars are pretty much disposable and not everyone can afford a new car let alone a good used car and still repair it.

Add in the electric sales.

Now if you ask me if the Spark should only be sold in the NA market I would say are you nuts. But with the global market what ever they sell will help in CAFE and profits. Just with what they sell in China more than pays off the development so I see most other markets as pure profit.

But It still pains me to see a Chevy like this.

Note too on the new Spark and the Encore they are using a new head rest in the back seat that folds down over the seat for short people and Children. If you sit in it without moving it up it is a pain in the back. It is just one of those things if you are over 5 foot you need to look before you sit.

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I was most impressed with the Impala of all the GM vehicles. It looks great from the front, the interior is roomy, stylish, comfortable, the materials were good too. The back end is boring and the car a bit big for my tastes, but they hit the mark with that car. The Malibu I thought was a joke, when the driver's seat is pushed back all the way it actually touches the rear seat.

The ATS is small inside, any of the 3 German rivals have more interior room, and the ATS doesn't really stand out or look all that expensive. There is nothing bad about it, but nothing really wowed me about it either. XTS Platinum is nice if it cost less. For $64k at other brands you can more car, and it isn't $25k nicer than the Impala.

At Buick the Lacrosse looks a bit dated already, and the Impala is a much nicer car inside and out. The Verano is the best Buick right now, the interior on that is about the same as the other Buick sedans yet it costs way less, and the Verano has the 2.0T. I sat in the Encore, it isn't all that nice for a vehicle with a sticker of near $34k, and it has no power.

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