rkmdogs

Crystal-Ball Gazing

111 posts in this topic

I just read another web-site posting from someone who apparently has

an inside track to the policy and goings-on within the General.

Here is what he had to say,....... and it is very interesting to say the least!

____________________________________________________________

Cutting through the clutter of GM's RWD program

There's a few pretty intresting rumors floating around on various sites that I wanted to cut through, and maybe clear up without giving away anything that would get me nasty-grams from people I'd consider friends, or give too much away from books that are being worked on.

1st, the Zeta. Last year it came out that Zeta was dead. It wasn't and isn't, and never was. GM is a company that has backup plans to it's backup plan's backup plan. The initial idea was that Zeta would be done by GM-Holden, and GM-North America would simply make the same cars here, with perhaps different styling. Keep in mind that Zeta is more about being a modular assembly method than being a particular architecture.

What Holden came up with was a vehicle that was based on the current VZ (Commodore series) car. Much of the structure was carried over. big difference was the rear Independent Suspension was far more complex, and (like the Sigma) a self contained unit attached to it's own subframe. This was affordable to Holden because it required only modest changes to it's existing methods of assembly, but for GM-NA, it would have been much along the same lines as creating a new car.

Another issue is that the structure required additional added on pieces to pass upcoming US rear crash standards, adding weight. Finally, there was an issue with parts. Holden is mostly self sufficient. Most of the parts, right down to instrument panel assembly is done in house, while GM-NA tends to outsource alot of their items. in the end, the car didn't make sense, and GM looked at other alternatives.

Many years ago, GM began a project in which a "Sigma-lite" chassis was under development. This was put on ice by the "Old' GM management, but seems to have been dusted off and sent to Holden for more work and cost cutting. This structure was ideal because from the start, it was made for US crash standards, and utilized alot of the "blue metal" from existing structures (assume they mean "Sigma").

In the end, what apparently came out was a new "zeta" chassis that was as versatile as the Holden version, a bit cheaper to build (thanks to the addition of struts up front), and in the end all but guaranteed that the new Holden VE Zeta will be a short lived car as GM standardizes it's worldwide "Volume" RWD chassis.

Now, about what's going to come off that chassis.

You have heard all kinds of rumors by now on everything from Grand Nationals to Firebirds.

Buick is NOT going to create any car that goes against it's "theme". That includes Grand Nationals, GNXs, or anything that doesn't fit in with "American Road" cars. By every account, it ain't goinna happen. What IS likely to happen is that Buick will get a convertible in the form of the Velite concept. Last word I recieved is that it won't be based on the Zeta, but on another chassis. Keeping speculation out of the mix, that could mean Kappa, Espilon, or (and this is also unlikely) the Y-body. So it could be FWD or RWD. The car did go through a dramatic change when GM re-evaluated what vehicles should be RWD & which didn't need to be.

Firebird currently ISN'T in the cards. GM is very aware that it essentially spent twice to sell the same car, and they are getting away from that by eliminating overlap. What IS possible or likely is that Pontiac will gain a large coupe. It's also possible this coupe may even be a quad coupe. Although a "Firebird" could possibly be done in the last minute, Trans Am will never return. GM paid a royalty on the name (a story in itself). They've been trying to get out of it since the 3rd gen.

There were a pair and maybe even a trio of coupes that were proposed over a year ago for Chevy, Pontiac, and maybe Buick as well. These were the cars delayed along with the original Zeta sedans. This line was supposed to replace the GTO, Bonneville, Monte Carlo, and Park Avenue. As you may very well know by now, those models are left hanging, since all now have a gap in their replacements.

Finally, what can we expect with the new "Zetas"?

The chassis is primarily Chevrolet's. It a large car chassis, as planned back when the whole Zeta idea was talked about back in 2002. But unlike initial plans, it's going to be a dramatically smaller project than origionally planned.

Expect a full sized Chevrolet sedan based on the chassis. Also expect a Pontiac sedan. Expect a Buick sedan. Expect a coupe for Chevrolet & Holden. Also expect a variation of the coupe for Pontiac.

You probally heard rumors that the GTO and Camaro are the same car. Not so. Both were different projects. Camaro was done by GM-NA. Holden did the Monaro replacement and next GTO.

As for when we can expect the new Camaro, that seems to no longer be a secret. Seems after not even wanting to talk about the possibility of a new Camaro for over 3 years, it's now the only thing GM seems to want to talk about. Bob Lutz is almost bursting at the seams trying not to say too much. Ed Welburn himself publically said Camaro could be done very quickly if approved. My own sources say Camaro will likely be out quicker than anyone expects once given the go ahead. Why?

Typically, a concept is given to focus groups and the results are sent back to designers and engineers numerous times for changes. Bob Lutz already said there would be no aditional focus groups for Camaro... "if approved".

Next, as most of you noticed, there was already an extremely detailed CAD of the chassis. The underhood work was done over 2 years ago. This is perhaps the most complete "Concept Car" in automotive history.

Finally, under normal conditions, a new car needs to wait for an existing vehicle to run it's course before the plant is converted. GM has excess capacity, so it's not going to put a car in a plant that's too big for it (as was done with the 4th gen). Logic would dictate that a coupe would be made on the same assembly line as the sedan it's based on (ie: Monte Carlo & Impala) to protect it against fluxuations in the coupe market. However, when GM announced that it's closing one of it's Oshawa Canada plants, and Bob Lutz announced that Camaro "If approved" (again, that disclaimer) would not be made in Canada. That left only one plant.

Wilmington Delaware used to make the Saturn L. It's capable of making over 200,000 cars per year. When the Saturn L was killed, it seemed odd that GM would assign the Kappa (Solstice, Sky, & the Opel GT) to that factory, especially since combined, it only is projected to make 35-40K vehicles per year. The F-body's Ste. Therese plant operated at 33% capacity and was closed as GM's most underutilized plant (Wilmington with Kappa uses about 15% capacity).

Wilmington also has the entire Saturn L machinary still intact (Solstice uses only a small portion of the plant). With an expected 120-150,000 Zeta coupes planned, that will bring the plant up to full capacity. In short, all GM has to do is grant the budget, and the conversion begins.

As for names and models, outside of Camaro I'm not going to (or can't) say. I will point out that Impala has just been restyled, Lecrosse was done last year, and Grand Prix is the old man of the group. I'll also say the W-body is done once these cars run their course. I'll also point out that Oshawa #2 is planned for closure & it makes Grand Prixs and Lecrosses. I'll also point out that Oshawa (like Ste Therese and the Camaro-Firebird) have exclusive mandates to make Impala, Grand Prix, and Monte Carlos as long as GM uses the name and those plants are in existence.

If you want to speculate, it could mean alot of things. Maybe one or all of those names are dead. Maybe those cars will all be made in one plant. Maybe one of those cars will be made elsewhere under a different name. But there is another thing to note here. Like the Chrysler plant that's going to make Caliber, Compass, and Patriot, and the former Ford Taurus plant that's been reconfigured for both FWD & RWD cars, GM has-is investing a large amount of money to turn the Oshawa plant int a flexible assembly plant.

Means anything could come out of there.

(Officially this is all speculation, of course. )"

:AH-HA_wink:

Edited by rkmdogs

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so whats left a far as names...tempest, nova, chevelle, .......bastards.

theyll get the camaro out sooner than later...as for everything else, gotta wait and see.

this is one of those things that leaves more questions than answers...nice way to stir up the pot.

edit: the audi le mans concept had to be scrapped a couple months ago because

pontiac still owns those rights...so among others, perhaps a possibility too.

Edited by Mr.Krinkle

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Very good read, no huge surprises there, just confirming what we

Camaro guys have been saying for years. Even if we did get mocked

for it, as a matter of fact quite a few times we RWD/Camaro fans

were ridiculed and told that the Camaro concept will be a reality

when pigs fly or things to that effect.

Thanks for the great read. :D

so whats left a far as names...tempest, nova, chevelle, .......bastards.

Ummm.... okay, how about Caprice Classic, Biscayne & Bel Air for

Chevy; Invicta, Electra & Park Ave for Buick; Catalina, Grand Am

& Chieftan for Pontiac?

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Very good read, no huge surprises there, just confirming what we

Camaro guys have been saying for years. Even if we did get mocked

for it, as a matter of fact quite a few times we RWD/Camaro fans

were ridiculed and told that the Camaro concept will be a reality

when pigs fly or things to that effect.

Thanks for the great read. :D

Ummm.... okay, how about Caprice Classic, Biscayne & Bel Air for

Chevy; Invicta, Electra &  Park Ave for Buick; Catalina, Grand Am

& Chieftan for Pontiac?

appolo, century, regal, skylark, roadmaster, riviera.

beretta,celebrity,lumina, vega, citation, 454 anything!

bonneville, fiero, 6000, sunfire, phoenix...ventura catalina. and of cousre the grand ville

the list goes on and on...obviously the chevette and some others

would probably never be considered.duh...but there are plenty

to choose from and if they wanted to resurrect some of olds retired nameplates

theres that option too...dont know how others would feel about that one though.

i think its safe to say the citation is off the list. ya think?

as would the 6000 and fiero-maybe. that might be like reviving the pinto.

however...vw thought the rabbit was a good idea too so who knows.

point is there is plenty to pick through...certainly no shortage of names with a history as rich as gm's. they just need to do them justice or else theyll piss a lot more people off. we saw how fickle some people can become when the gto was reintroduced...i personlly had no qualms about it, in fact i like the way in which it was done in as much as it was a plain wrapper on an otherwise fantastic car.

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So what are you seeing here that looks like old/inaccurate news?

Not inaccurate but I have read it previously, I believe it was GuionM from CZ28.com.

If you want a read of some of his stuff click here.

Edited by 91z4me

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Looks like something GuionM would have posted.

He has a lot informitive post, I wished he posted over here more often.

Edited by hyperv6

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Not inaccurate but I have read it previously, I believe it was GuionM from CZ28.com.

If you want a read of some of his stuff click here.

You have to register there first before you can do anything.

Yes, it was from GuionM but at GM Inside News. And it was a current April posting.

The crap that has been getting posted here lately might be better suited to the

Potty Mouth pictorial, or the Sat Eve. Post, for all the real car stuff that has been

here!

Too many of the posts here lately have been written by people who do not put

their mind in gear before engaging the clutch on their mouth.

This was real CAR news that I ran across; that I had never seen this information

posted HERE, a site which is supposed to have an inside track on the Generals' plans, even if none of the plan makers want to acknowledge their presence!

:pokeowned:

Edited by rkmdogs

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that was actually old news, if you want to call it that. it was right before or after the detroit auto show.

its basically just some ideas that got floated around, mostly speculation from the best i could gather. theres no real anything but hypothetical possibilities or even just the different directions that things could go.

everybody knows new sh*t is on the way...just what are you going to call it?

its hype.

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It is really great to see GM commited to RWD.

Buick is NOT going to create any car that goes against it's "theme". That includes Grand Nationals, GNXs, or anything that doesn't fit in with "American Road" cars. By every account, it ain't goinna happen.

Wht are these cars against Buick's theme?

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Guest flowmotion

Putting both similar RWD Pontiac and Buick sedans in the same dealership seems rather unlikely.

And the GN/GNX didn't fit Buick's "theme" back in the 1980s either. Would have made more sense to put those engines in the Monte Carlo.

Edited by flowmotion

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Guest Josh

I know for a fact without even doubting it's Guy.

The GTO was done by Holden before and everything was put on hold. He's right about the cost for GMNA on the original "Zeta" last I heard before it was canned was they were trying to take costs out of it by any means but it didn't work out.

Buick has the Velite coming off Zeta. I'm almost certain. There was also talk of a "Chevelle-like" vehicle off Zeta that dried up. But when the 60 Minutes video came out with what many thought was a cross bar and two horizontal head lights under a blue sheet all I got was a "can't comment" and I left it at that.

What I will say is this. There is a very very very small group of people that really know what's going on inside GM regarding this platform (and the new trucks....sans GMT900).

The hints are the best thing to go after.

Personally? Zeta is important, but Kappa II holds much more weight. That platform is going to kill it and in a very, very big way. Lutz is the man. Plain & simple.

Forgot one thing. The Camaro is going to be the quickest vehicle ever produced.

And you guys doubt me about Kappa II? :rolleyes:

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You have to register there first before you can do anything.

Yes, it was from GuionM but at GM Inside News. And it was a current April posting.

It is a GMI guionM post from February 11th, which certainly doesn't deserve a front page link or much of any discussion now.

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26728

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You have to register there first before you can do anything.

Yes, it was from GuionM but at GM Inside News. And it was a current April posting.

The crap that has been getting posted here lately might be better suited to the

Potty Mouth pictorial, or the Sat Eve. Post, for all the real car stuff that has been

here!

Too many of the posts here lately have been written by people who do not put

their mind in gear before engaging the clutch on their mouth.

This was real CAR news that I ran across; that I had never seen this information

posted HERE, a site which is supposed to have an inside track on the Generals' plans, even if none of the plan makers want to acknowledge their presence!

:pokeowned:

First of all the attitude is not needed. I simply said I had read it before which means that other here have also most likely read it. I have read pretty much everything that Guy has posted within the last 2 years, even non car related stuff. That being said if you found it there and posted it here then you should have posted a link directly to the post rather than making it a huge mystery and trying to seem important. It was real car news when it was posted which as you can see was a while ago. I was simply pointing out that this wasn't some new inside line that someone had and that a new insider had not just been born. For your information Guy has actually had a few article published in the likes of PHR, and gotten both good and bad feedback for it from GM. He actually exposed what happened with the 4th gen plant and why it had to close in an article and apparently even though all the information was taken from GM press releases and other public sources GM still didn't like that he connected the dots for so many people. So perhaps instead of trying to build your reputation and Owning people you should just post links when you grab information off the net, OK?

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Like i said before we are going to see Zeta sooner than we think we will see the camaro and GTO next year for the 2008 model year and then the GP and Impala replacement the following year.

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Like i said before we are going to see Zeta sooner than we think we will see the camaro and GTO next year for the 2008 model year and then the GP and Impala replacement the following year.

All I can say is, that you will be sadly disappointed.

No GTO in the current plan. And certainly no Camaro next year.

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Pontiac GXP: Hudson, who is knowledgeable, just said, only a few posts before yours, that "there's no Pontiac at all in the current plans." Going by that, no GTO and no Grand Prix.

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Where have you bin the GTO has been greenlighted already. There is only goin to be a 1-2 year gap after the 2006 model year everyone knows the GTO is a go so i dont know where you got your info from.

Edited by PONTIACGXP

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well from what i heard its already designed and so is the sedan there is no doudt that the GTO is a go but im not sure if the sedan is designed and a go yet GM is playing mind games with everyone and they have been for the past year or two they are trying to start pullin a toyota on everyone they are not going to show any of these products until they are ready for productin.If you really think GM doesnt know what they are going to put out in the next 2 years you are crazy be ready for alot of products coming out in the next year or two.as i said before look for the GTO and Camaro next year for the 2008my and the pontiac rwd sedan for 2009my just think about it the GTO is gone this year the announced already that theres a new one coming and dont listen to the media saying there isnt one coming and the GP hasnt even gotten a refresh yet trust me its being replaced by the 2009my follwed by the malibu epsilon 2 and a facelifted G6 for 2008 or 09 GM is trying to refresh all there brands quickly so there market share goes up do not sleep on GM!!!

Edited by PONTIACGXP

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well from what i heard its already designed and so is the sedan there is no doudt that the GTO is a go but im not sure if the sedan is designed and a go yet GM is playing mind games with everyone and they have been for the past year or two they are trying to start pullin a toyota on everyone they are not going to show any of these products until they are ready for productin.If you really think GM doesnt know what they are going to put out in the next 2 years you are crazy be ready for alot of products coming out in the next year or two.as i said before look for the GTO and Camaro next year for the 2008my and the pontiac rwd sedan for 2009my just think about it the GTO is gone this year the announced already that theres a new one coming and dont listen to the media saying there isnt one coming and the GP hasnt even gotten a refresh yet trust me its being replaced by the 2009my follwed by the malibu epsilon 2 and a facelifted G6 for 2008 or 09 GM is trying to refresh all there brands quickly so there market share goes up do not sleep on GM!!!

Like I said, you're going to be disappointed.

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