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About texas99alpha

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  • Birthday 12/30/1981

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    GM cred:
    1989 Buick Electra Estate
    1989 Buick LeSabre
    2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
    2017 Chevrolet Traverse

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  1. AWD is a great option that I wish Honda would take a hint from. AWD is so far superior to standard FWD in all situations. Makes the car more complete.
  2. But I thought that Ford was rehabbing the train station in Corktown to be the epicenter of their AV and "innovation" activity.
  3. Lincoln is a great example - big margins per vehicle but low volumes. This is the strategy that seems to be chased by GM and Ford - hike prices to the point where volume really suffers or big risk financing is required to move metal. Looks good to profitability but volume and cashflow will continue to fall as a result. Cut models that you don't feel like competing in anymore - may have had thin margins but they could move generate cashflow and revenue. These vehicles that are being cut actually do a lot of damage to the reputation and strength of the company - cutting out whole swaths of customers that might be able to one day afford and move up to one of the big margin vehicles. Seems like a death spiral strategy. Perhaps the smarter strategy would have been to let silicon valley take the finanical risk on autonomy and maybe even electrics - then adopt an industry standard and harness partnering and JVs to bring it into the big fleet. What I see instead are a bunch of companies throwing money around on things that have yet to be standardized (a LOT of parallel R&D) and yet to be proven as having any sufficient customer demand.
  4. I have a lot of praise for Honda product - I just bought a new Accord Touring model. Hard to find - dealers tend to stock way too many base LX and Sport trims. Amazing car for the money and the features - light years ahead of GM and Ford. GM is seeing some weakness on SUVs. It seems to me a little early to cut sedans in favor of crossover SUVs like GM and Ford are doing. I don't mind variant trimming, but seems to me if you can share a platform between a crossover and a sedan, you can reduce development costs for the sedan and get away with lower sales - all the while maintaining model flexibility for changing consumer tastes. Just when you think you've figured out the consumer - you haven't. Tastes change on a dime - something the industry still doesn't understand.
  5. The trend of only pursuing the most profitable projects (by today's measure) to please wall st is a little rearward looking. Margins on those projects may be eroded once your purchasing power has declined due to the fact that you cut a bunch of other volume projects with lower margins. A very poor and short term way of looking at the business. GM share will continue to decline, but so will their scale and purchasing power. Margins on their formerly high margin products will be pressured. New buyers won't be coming into the fold because you offer nothing to "start" selling them on. Ride sharing services? That's the answer? Again, a myopic view that works in a highly urbanized environment, but not for "middle america". What I see is a strategy that's not very comprehensive and has a lot of holes that will threaten their future capital programs.
  6. 1) 260k cars is still 260k cars - a lot - a lot more than Chevrolet sells of most of their SUVs. 2) Cost of development is marginal. Modern crossover SUVs are based on a sister car platform. The big winners will be the ones able to leverage both products off of a single platform of shared costs. 3) GMs sedans have been neglected and not class leading in some time. They're also priced way too high. 4) EVs aren't for everyone. Very myopic when you live and commute in a single urban environment but highly impractical for those who have longer commutes or travel a lot. Fast charge batteries haven't been proven out in severe conditions or duty either - so don't tell me those are just on the horizon. EVs also have a high environmental cost.
  7. The 3 Series GT is a real head scratcher. This is a true "crossover" and a heck of a lot of fun to drive for the size that it is. BMW has done an abysmal job marketing it - just finding it on their website or on dealer inventory requires a PhD... Don't know why it's gotten so much neglect. It's a gem if you find one.
  8. Sometimes I feel that Fiat knows less about American market product than Daimler did. Daimler at least flooded the product pipeline and was very forward looking with crossovers and new concepts - maybe they were a little too early. Daimler's problem was that they thought American product ought to be done as cheaply as possible - damn styling and interior quality. Fiat on the other hand will put a lot of capital in just a few products - but their brand strategy is very confusing and diluted. In either scenario, I'm not sure the guys at Auburn Hills ever have much say. 93-99 was really the golden era and will never return.
  9. Don't understand GM's obsession with super high belt lines and claustrophobic interiors where the center console is taking over the cockpit. Not particularly innovative.
  10. Thank you! This is a tale re-told over and over in the auto industry. The American auto companies refuse to admit when they flub something. Take Taurus - best selling car in America 92-96. New Taurus comes out and it's a styling dud. What does Ford do? Let it rot on the vine for 10 years (with a mild makeover somewhere in between). Compare that story with the ill conceived Honda Civic in 2012. Developed during the financial crisis of the 08-10 era - this was a styling and content disaster. Super cheap. Honda started making changes to it the second model year and even truncated the generation as a whole for a whole-new Civic in 2015 for MY 2016. GM should just admit that they were wrong with the direction of Camaro styling and re-think it in a more appealing way. Also, lower the pricing or offer more believable base trims. I sometimes wonder if they purposely jack up V8 pricing simply to bias their CAFE numbers (Higher price, lower sales - and thus a lower hit on corporate fuel economy, but more per unit profit - good for wall st short term investors)
  11. A few train of thoughts: - Maybe it's all a ruse... Just like the ATS was supposed to go away with the CT5 replacing CTS and ATS... Then all of sudden, a surprise announcement for the CT4. (too similar to the CT5, but whatever...) - GM is doing this to themselves. When they don't get the styling or quality right and sales sag - they blame the customers, and not themselves. The belt line is ridiculous on this car - very hard to see out of and makes it not pleasant to drive on a daily basis. The styling has gotten considerably more squinty and quite frankly ugly. They are doing the same thing with the Impala - they let it sit on the vine for years without updating it while the competition got tougher, and then blame sagging sales on customers wanting SUVs. - Why then did they make such a big deal about the Blazer having "Camaro styling cues" - if the Camaro is so bad for sales, then I don't know why they would borrow cues from it and slap it on an SUV. And yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if it were re-born as yet another styling exercise 5 passenger SUV... *yawn* has the market been saturated with these enough already?? - As for EVs... Go ahead and do it - they will be surprised when they've dumped all this capital into these models and they only sell sub 100k quantities. This will be a disaster. This is America, and people like to drive without having to stop for 8 hours to charge up. For some reason, product planners at the auto companies (and investors) are thinking everyone lives in LA or NYC.
  12. I think the biggest problem with HHR is lack of AWD. This new platform that Lutz is talking about would appear to address that. Nobody wants an SUV-like vehicle without at least the option of AWD - especially in all states Oklahoma and north.
  13. Hate to say it but the Equinox is not an SUV. Chevrolet was first (among domestics) to this crossover market ahead of Ford. Compare the dimensions on MSN autos - I think you'll see that the Equinox and Edge measure up quite well with each other (the Edge edges out the nox in width though). The only thing is that Chevrolet made the mistake of putting a subpar powertrain in the Equinox, and a cheap interior (at least initially). I still personally think the nox is more stylish pitted against the Edge. Hopefully Chevrolet will relaunch the Nox with the new 3.6 I've been reading about here and there, to pose some serious competition with the Edge.

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