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Rollin' on Retail: GM's Sales Gains Detailed


El Kabong

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Problem is that Ford does have vehicles in these segments-GM just beat them to the punch in bringing them here. The EcoSport and Global Ranger may well have been winners for Ford if they had been brought to NA.

For me personally, the biggest drawback in relying on fleet sales isn't so much that profit margins suffer, but rather that if you're selling product to a computer then you're not really in touch with someone interested in making a more fun vehicle.

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GM has also had a recent product assault bonanza. 

 

 

No other automaker is having that same level of new products being introduced anywhere. I don't know why everyone just compares GM and Ford together.

 

Many of GM's small truck sales have actually be conquests from Tacoma buyers.

 

As a whole, GM is doing better, because arguably, GM is finally building excellent products. And many automakers, not just Ford have to be prepared for it.

 

Honda has been so piqued by small truck sales that they have their Ridgeline to be even closer to what buyers basic care factors of a truck lifestyle and then the explicit want of a very car-like truck, in a smaller, nimbler but no compromise package. I suspect the Ridgeline will ride even better than the well riding GM twins.

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I might add, that in a better economy, GM should be outperforming Ford - by a lot.

 

It's because GM has finally gone back to its initial successes of having a stable of well-differentiated brands in terms of their target buyer's perceptions of brand image. The only laggard had been Cadillac to an extent, but if that can be improved, and it looks like it will, GM has a superior position in the market outright, in North America atleast.

 

That's something that Ford lacks. Its something that even Honda or I might dare even Toyota lacks. What Lexus really is the backbone cash cow that is the RX and ES. The others, while profitable, are not what the Lexus brand would say are segment leaders in sales, which counter-intuitively they also don't carry as much exclusivity either, so they fail to extract the most value they can command in terms of their price point to the consumer.

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Ridgeline may ride better (possibly, maybe) than the GM twins, but it's going to be highly compromised in capabilities. It'll do okay picking up a dozen bags of mulch from Lowes, but that's as truck as it will get, and the Honda Element is equally capable in that regard.

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Your comments on Cadillac are exactly why I'm not concerned with comparing profits relative to size of the company. Throwing big cash back into R&D will always blunt quarterly or even yearly results, but it's a long term investment in stable growth and profits. People often forget that some of GM's most profitable years were when Roger Smith was at the helm. But nobody wants to go back down that road.

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A lifestyle truck might not be a recreational truck.

 

I think the Pilot...er Ridgeline should be capable enough to even have a dirt bike or ATV in the bed (if it fits) and go on most trails that a Colorado could.

 

Now a Colorado outside of Z71 or Trail Boss isn't quite as good as a Tacoma.

 

It might not get sales, not because it is not a capable truck.

 

Mostly Honda might have an issue with whether the product even fits their current brand identity. Has Honda ever been known to built hard-core, off-road or a tough working person's truck?

 

The domestic companies and Toyota has specifically built an image in the public's eye for doing that, even though most truck buyers just buy the expectations, they hardly ever go off-roading, and if they do, they hardly do the technical stuff, and by that point that person would not get Ridgeline no matter how capable it might be. 

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Your comments on Cadillac are exactly why I'm not concerned with comparing profits relative to size of the company. Throwing big cash back into R&D will always blunt quarterly or even yearly results, but it's a long term investment in stable growth and profits. People often forget that some of GM's most profitable years were when Roger Smith was at the helm. But nobody wants to go back down that road.

 

Expenditures on major R&D, due to accounting rules, well, not U.S. GAAP, but in certain situations cans be componentized into assets instead of being just expensed. 

 

Uh, I think you might be forgetting that other automakers also plunk down a ton money for R&D. Ford and GM's capital spending has been fairly neck and neck, and other things would only be disclosed to shareholders.

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Ridgeline may ride better (possibly, maybe) than the GM twins, but it's going to be highly compromised in capabilities. It'll do okay picking up a dozen bags of mulch from Lowes, but that's as truck as it will get, and the Honda Element is equally capable in that regard.

 

And a glorified Honda Element with a pickup bed to carry tools, 2 by 4's, and few panels of plywood is perhaps all the truck the vast majority of truck buyers really need.

 

I see some contractors on work sites stepping out of family sedans for the job, so I really believe that the difference in capabilities, while real, are immaterial to most buyer's actual needs.

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No, the ridgeline isn't going on the same trails as a Colorado.

 

What I mean by a trail is actually road that just happens to not be made of asphalt. I'll stipulate 50.01% of the trails that a Colorado could go on (sans Z71), the Ridgeline can perhaps also go on. There's the "mostly" aspect.

 

Like even some wheel articulation - it'll handle it. If the FWD based AWD Subaru Forester can tackle South Africa, I'm pretty sure that the Ridgeline could as well.

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