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  1. buyacargetacheck

    Dealership Signs

    Was on auto row today and noticed that the Pontiac sign on my local dealer's building here north of LA has been covered up. The GM pylon sign out front still has "Pontiac" but will likely be replaced by "Cadillac" as the dealer has replaced his Cadillac-only store with Volkswagen(!) and has moved Cadillac in with Buick/GMC. Interestingly, the HUMMER sign at the same Buick/GMC dealership has not been covered up/removed yet despite the lack of new inventory. The Saturn dealer down the street still has his sign up but no new inventory. What's going on in your town?
  2. buyacargetacheck

    Perot hopes Whitacre has better luck fixing GM

    Right. I like Whitacre a lot. He's about goal-setting and results. Not excuses. This is GM's last chance.
  3. they will be consolidated into 2,000 Buick-GMC dealers. Said Susan Docherty, general manager of Buick and GMC Buick and GMC combined are on track to sell about 340,000 vehicles this year. Next year probably won't be much better, might be worse. With 2,000 dealers selling 340,000 vehicles, that's 14 vehicles sold per dealer per month. How sustainable does the GM braintrust think this is? And look who made the statement, the new head of sales.
  4. buyacargetacheck

    General Motors and Tengzhong Sign Definitive Agreement For Sale of HUMMER

    I agree. On average, each HUMMER dealer in the US is only selling about 5 vehicles per month. Most of those are H3s. And sales are decreasing. Hard to make a solid business case for those kinds of volumes. Worldwide, the story is much the same. GMNA accounts for around 72% of sales worldwide with 80 dealers (150 total worldwide). I can see Tengzhong in 2 years, after the GM contractual period ends, simply making money on licensing toys and t-shirts while licensing the name to a HUMMER knock off manufacturer in China. Becomes a China-only brand then.
  5. buyacargetacheck

    GM - Saturn - Penske deal is DEAD!

    The analyst who stated that Renault/Nissan pulling out of the Penske deal is basically a lack of confidence in the US market for the next 2 years is correct. The Chinese are crazy to want to invest in Hummer and Saab. Those brands would be better off dead. There's just no more money to be made. The new GM isn't out of the woods either.
  6. buyacargetacheck

    New Cadillac Ad

    Freakin banal as hell. Jeez. Rockets and desert test bases? Are they marketing to grownups or children? And everytime I heard the prefix "Re" I thought of Saturn and "Rethink." How'd that work out? Not good. Just like when they tried to reinvent Oldsmobile before that. Has GM not yet learned that apologizing for the past will not increase sales? Who wants to shell out $40 or $50K for a luxury car that has a name that needs an apology? Don't they get it? Not good. Not a good sign. BTW, they came close with the "Moments" spot back in the earlier part of the decade. There was a whiff of apology there too but the imagery, music and iron made up for it. There was emotion. Of course, the LeMans program and XLR in the ad are both dead. At least there's the CTS Coupe which will be old news by the time we see them out on the road. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyYq4_3fw2s
  7. The CTS Coupe is a nice looking car. But GM might make more money by building a similarly good-looking Riviera off EpII and building it in the same factory that makes the LaX and Malibu. A Riviera that prizes comfort, power and styling over BMW-handling is believable and true to Buick's brand. I can't believe Sigma is profitable at the volumes it has sold.
  8. Right. Why not just buy the real thing and get a BMW (or Mercedes or Audi...)? Cadillac's problem is that their cars aren't born, bred and built in Germany yet GM wants to position it as a German alternative. People spending $40K are not fooled. The upcoming XTS (if styled right) will be the only Cadillac car true to its heritage and brand promise (as is the DTS today). Unfortunately, there won't be many interested buyers. Cadillac is dead brand walking.
  9. buyacargetacheck

    Leftlane discusses the future of GM with Ed Welburn

    GM is about to make a monumental blunder by introducing at least 4 new Chevrolet nameplates in a down market flooded with great alternatives. Bringing back the Caprice name is a good idea, but taking a page from Alan Mulaly's playbook here's how the lineup should look with traditional heritage-filled names (that will be easier to market): Caprice (enlarged EpII D-car) Impala (EpII CD-car Camry fighter -- the classic Chevy volume family car) Malibu (Delta C-car -- no Cruze) Malibu (Delta C-crossover -- no Orlando -- badged as Malibu -- crossover style) Chevette (B-car -- no Spark) Volt Corvette Camaro Cadillac and Buick are all over each other. Now Welburn is talking about Buick small cars -- Chevy's domain. Cadillac has lost to Lexus and the Germans on the mid to high end. Game over. Pick one: Buick or Cadillac and expand the remaining brand. Better yet, whittle the whole thing down to just Chevrolet and expand it worldwide.
  10. buyacargetacheck

    Interesting May Sales Figures

    The Enclave is carrying Buick. It's sales were up 40% to 4,103 from last May. The LaX was down 49% and the Lucerne down 28%. For year-to-date the sedans are down 57% and 43% respectively. Overall, the trend is still down like it has been for years. GM has GOT to do something about regaining Buick's mojo, its public perception. Same for Cadillac. One way would be to combine the two lineups, call it Cadillac or Buick, and then promote the heck out of it. Otherwise, even with the benefits of bankruptcy, we're looking at both brands fading away for good.
  11. buyacargetacheck

    What could Buick do

    What could Buick do to fill Pontiac's shoes? It's not even a legit question at this point. GM is staring down the bankruptcy barrel. As Chrysler is about to demonstrate this is a time to reset the company and do everything right as if you were starting a brand new company. Chevrolet handles what Pontiac did just fine. GM doesn't have unlimited resources for chasing down BMW and Mercedes with Cadillac. Select Cadillac vehicles (new SRX, Converj and maybe a less expensive GMT900 Escalade) should be moved over to Buick. Cadillac should be cancelled. It's either Cadillac or Buick, and I think Buick can pull off sharing parts and platforms with Chevy better than Cadillac. Plus, the automotive center of the universe is moving to China. Buick can build on that. GMC. What do you think the future is for trucks in a more stringent CAFE world? Phase out GMC Chevy clones, move all medium-duty trucks to GMC and spin off the medium trucks to someone else. Retrench with Chevy Trucks to beat Ford, Dodge and Toyota. Bottomline 2 channels: Chevy and Buick.
  12. buyacargetacheck

    Cadillac Epsilon? Say i aint true...Motor Trend 'Scoop'

    As good as Sigma and the current CTS are they aren't setting Europe on fire. Why would Alpha change that? What could Cadillac do so much better in European (or American) eyes than BMW or Mercedes? A smaller size isn't enough. More importantly, where is the money coming from to build a small RWD platform that will be shared with Chevy? Where's the money coming from to build a credible distribution network and marketing push into Europe? Just not going to happen.
  13. buyacargetacheck

    Cadillac Epsilon? Say i aint true...Motor Trend 'Scoop'

    The CTS is well respected and even among the import lovers (like TTAC) it has taken first place against the likes of BMW and Mercedes. No doubt the CTS is a fine car. I would love to own one. But did it ever occur to you that GM cannot make money on a Cadillac-only platform and plant that merely produces 80K vehicles a year mainly for the North American market? That Cadillac's future rests with sharing more not less with Chevrolet? There's simply no other alternative. That means Sigma's future is dim unless there's sharing to be done with Camaro. Cadillac is a failure in Europe because it doesn't have a 3-Series sized competitor. The more car for you buck thing works well in American, but not in Europe where they like smaller. OK, and GM has how much to spend building such a vehicle for a hyper-competitive, nationalistic European market? How about egg? The only small Cadillac they have is the FWD CadiSaab BLS...look how well that Epsilon is selling. Yes, Cadillac's future is not in Europe where luxury buyers know a rebadge when they see one. Alternatively, in the US, there's a very large segment of luxury buyers just ready to be tapped who don't care about RWD, never have, never will. and for those who want that type of luxury, there's Buick. The problem with that is that neither Cadillac nor Buick will ever gain any traction in a market filled with great alternatives when they're both reduced to 3 or so offerings. Lexus, BMW, etc drives market share gains every year because there's always a new model in the showroom. With only 3 models each and at least a 4-5 year product development lifecycle there will be years when Cadillac and Buick have nothing new and are vulnerable to market share erosion. 2 options: you can fix that with rebadges (obvious downside there) or you can make one nice near-luxury/luxury brand out of the two. Listen, this will eventually happen no matter what any of us wishes (if GM survives) because the economics of the industry in 2009 demand it. This is not 1965.
  14. buyacargetacheck

    Cadillac Epsilon? Say i aint true...Motor Trend 'Scoop'

    Makes a lot of sense to me. I've been saying the same thing for a while now. Cadillac has ZERO chance of countering BMW, Mercedes and Audi model for model. Cadillac has been rejected in Europe after multiple efforts, and is increasingly irrelevant in the US for 2 reasons: 1) as good as the CTS is, the Euro brands have more prestige among Boomers and X'ers, especially the hi-tech new-money corporate crowd. 2) Cadillac has neglected its traditional "comfort/flash" customer base and has allowed Lexus to run away with this group. Let's be realistic: GM doesn't have the resources to build Cadillac into a world luxury car leader. Go back to what it has done well for a long time: comfortable flashy cars at an upper middle class price. Still plenty of room for a RWD performer. As has been the trend, Cadillacs and Buicks will share platforms and parts with Chevy. But there's not room for both Cadillac and Buick. It's got to be one or the other, and I can see arguments for both. A sensible range might look like this: LTS (EpII) $34K SRX (Theta) $35K CTS (build next generation off Camaro platform in same factory) Escalade (Lambda) Converj (Delta Volt) XXX (halo CTS coupe)
  15. There's only room for either Cadillac or Buick at this point. Both brands are essentially 2 or 3 vehicle brands now, and GM doesn't have the money to have Cadillac do battle with the Germans internationally. 2 or 3 vehicle brands just won't be able to cut through the media din. The future is China and the Chinese apparently like traditional American car values (ride over handling). As crazy as this sounds, GM should use bankruptcy to take the very best Buick dealers and the very best Cadillac dealers and make them all Buick dealers with an 8 or 9 near-luxury vehicle lineup (300K+ sales). It's more believable to make Buicks from Chevys than Cadillacs with Chevys. That's what GM will have to do. LaCrosse (EpII) Buick "SRX" (Theta) Enclave (Lambda) Buick "CTS" (based off Camaro) Buick Park Avenue (based off Camaro) Buick Riviera "CTS Coupe" (based off Camaro) Buick "Escalade" (GMT 900) Buick "Converj" All out advertising effort with Buick promoting its comfort, styling and international appeal. Ditch GMC and polish the Chevy Truck brands even if that means picking up 1/4 to 1/3 of former GMC buyers. Truck sales are not the future and don't require two brands.

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