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Thread: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

  1. #31
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    Man,
    My dad has a Buick Century (which my wife calls the official car of retired men),
    My mom has a (blech!) Rendezvous,
    One brother just bought a Grand...something. Prix, Am?
    The other still has an Olds Alero (that's not even a word!)

    In other words, if someone in my family buys it, manufacturer beware!
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

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  3. #32
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM
    But that's the ONLY thing they sell well. There are plenty of industry analysts who believe Ford will declare bankruptcy within a decade. They sell trucks well, but they are still a very poorly ran company in lots of trouble. One bright isn't enough to cover up the mess they're in from years of mismanagement.
    It's the only thing they really need to sell well, the majority of Ford's assets are geared for truck production. The truck line has been carrying Ford on it's back the last 10 years.

    Personally, I'd like to see Ford stop producing most of their consumer cars. Keep making the Crown Vic, but make it available to Law Enforcement agencies only, since that's who buys most of them. Lincolns could be sold to limo companies and car services. The only Ford cars I'd keep in mass production is probably the Focus (which sells very well BTW) and the Mustang. Dump the rest and stick to truck and SUV sales.

  4. #33
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    GM needs a clear product line and should have done this years ago, but there's always a sliver of a reason to protect somebody's turf. GM would be a stronger company if it offered classic American Chevrolets, luxury Cadillacs and import-beating Saturns. I'm curious if there are any dealers left who sell only Pontiacs or Buicks. They might object, but it would be better for the company.

  5. #34
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    When I spent a lot of time travelling for work, I rented numerous GM cars. I would say that the Buicks were by far the worst, just because they all had that supersoft mushy suspension. To me, driving a Buick was like shaking hands with someone who has a "dead fish" handshake. Chevies were okay, but at that time most of their cars had the styling of a Tylenol caplet. I liked driving Pontiacs the best because they had a little more pick-up and had a nice tight suspension, which is my personal preference.

    If I were GM, I would definitely get rid of Buick. It's market spot could easily be taken by fitting Chevy models with luxury packages. If Pontiac sticks around, I would try to differentiate it from Chevy as far as looks go and limit the production to the G6, Grand Prix and GTO. No SUV, no minivan, no cheapy compact version of a Chevy.

  6. #35
    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    This after GM killed Oldsmobile just a year ago?

    Things don't look good for GM right now
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

    All models are wrong. Some of them are useful.

  7. #36
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds4Life
    It's the only thing they really need to sell well, the majority of Ford's assets are geared for truck production. The truck line has been carrying Ford on it's back the last 10 years.

    Personally, I'd like to see Ford stop producing most of their consumer cars. Keep making the Crown Vic, but make it available to Law Enforcement agencies only, since that's who buys most of them. Lincolns could be sold to limo companies and car services. The only Ford cars I'd keep in mass production is probably the Focus (which sells very well BTW) and the Mustang. Dump the rest and stick to truck and SUV sales.
    Kill the Fabulous 500? Indeed, what a flop, a car so boring, so underpowered, so uninspired that the only thing Ford can think to say of it is that you get to sit up real high. Looks like a Jetta for old guys, doesn't it?
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  8. #37
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck
    Kill the Fabulous 500? Indeed, what a flop, a car so boring, so underpowered, so uninspired that the only thing Ford can think to say of it is that you get to sit up real high. Looks like a Jetta for old guys, doesn't it?
    From what I've read, if Ford would simply put a motor in the thing, it would be a decent car.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  9. #38
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds4Life
    It's the only thing they really need to sell well, the majority of Ford's assets are geared for truck production. The truck line has been carrying Ford on it's back the last 10 years.
    NOt sure where you got the idea that most of Ford's assets are ties up in truck production? Ford is in MAJOR financial rouble. Dominating the truck market hasn't been, or never will be, enough to keep them from going belly-up.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  10. #39
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    MWM have you ever read The Reckoning by David Halbersom?

  11. #40
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    MWM have you ever read The Reckoning by David Halbersom?
    I've not read it but heard of it. My guess is if it's Halberstam it's probably pretty good.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  12. #41
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM
    I've not read it but heard of it. My guess is if it's Halberstam it's probably pretty good.
    Yeah really good, and being in Detroit you'd get a good look at the culture of the auto from the business side in the early 20th century and how it effected the area you're in now.

    Or you could just drive to downtown Detroit and look at the burned out buildings. :mhcky21:

  13. #42
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron
    From what I've read, if Ford would simply put a motor in the thing, it would be a decent car.
    A 4.6L police interceptor would be kickin...did I mention you ride way up high?
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  14. #43
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck
    A 4.6L police interceptor would be kickin...did I mention you ride way up high?
    The 4.6 in the PI is the same 4.6 that's in every standard Crown Vic, the only difference is the PI had a higher output alternator and the PCM is flashed differently.

    I think Ford made a mistake when they discontinued production of the Focus SVT, it was a peppy little car that sold very well because it was affordable to younger buyers. They sure make some stupid decisions sometimes.

  15. #44
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds4Life
    The 4.6 in the PI is the same 4.6 that's in every standard Crown Vic, the only difference is the PI had a higher output alternator and the PCM is flashed differently.

    I think Ford made a mistake when they discontinued production of the Focus SVT, it was a peppy little car that sold very well because it was affordable to younger buyers. They sure make some stupid decisions sometimes.
    From what I hear, the actual specs of the PI are "classified". Whatever that means. But, supposedly the thing puts out more HP than the one in the Vic.

    The Focus is about the only thing they have going, don't you think? I had a 2000, which dropped parts all over the road for four years, but I admit it was fun to drive. And I bought the DOHC motor with it. That little squirt had some giddyap. Had to be a Mazda drive train, according to a friend who is a mechanic. He said it was a pretty big leap away from the rubberband used to power the Escort. And I've noticed that the Focus is getting tricked out by the kids almost as much as those little Hondas. Something I could never get into, personally. Gimme a '70 Hemi Cuda, or a '69 Camaro anyday. Ah, the GM of my youth. Sad to see the demise.
    Last edited by SunDeck; 03-29-2005 at 11:25 AM.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  16. #45
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: GM May Kill the Buick or Pontiac Brand

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/27/we...ew/27haki.html


    DETROIT BIG SLICE has a prescription for the ills facing Detroit's automakers.

    "They need to step their game up and put their ear to the streets," said the bear-sized 32-year-old who lives outside Los Angeles and customizes cars and buses for the rapper and trendsetter Snoop Dogg that include a purple and gold 1967 Pontiac Parisienne signed by several Los Angeles Lakers. "Go put your ear to the street and ask people what they want instead of trying to force something on people," he said. "They're making ugly cars."

    Once again, Detroit has resumed its long slide to automotive oblivion, and everyone's getting his two cents in about how to stop the bleeding. One suggestion: Make cars and trucks that people actually want, as opposed to ones that they'll tolerate in their driveway because of a $5,000 rebate or zero percent financing. A century ago the landscape was littered with American automakers. At this point, we're down to two domestic automakers, or three, depending how you count. Since Chrysler became a division of the German automaker DaimlerChrysler in 1998, people in Detroit sometimes call the Big Three the Big Two-and-a-Half.

    Though Chrysler has shown recent signs of revival, General Motors and Ford are rapidly losing customers at home and their debt is rated one notch above junk by Standard & Poor's. That's bad news for two of the nation's biggest corporate borrowers, because a further downgrade could cost billions of dollars. G.M. is in particularly bad shape. Most believe a significant overhaul is required, including possibly sending another brand like Pontiac or Buick to join Oldsmobile on the chopping block.

    Crises visit at least one Detroit automaker at least once a decade. But this is a different time: The silver bullets have run out. Previously, someone or something came to the rescue. In the 1980's, Chrysler fell back on the government for a bailout and then helped itself by inventing the minivan. In the 1990's, the Big Three rode the sport utility vehicle to the mainstream, and the big rigs helped them skate past lagging reputations and terminally tacky design.

    But there aren't any new magic cars or trucks in the works. And with the Japanese capturing broad swaths of the S.U.V. market and even taking on Detroit's hegemony of pickup trucks, the domestics are hurting in an era when Washington looks increasingly unwilling to backstop American industry.

    Detroit's dependence on trucks also has some analysts worried.

    "Demand for S.U.V.'s has evidently stalled," said Standard & Poor's in a recent report. G.M. is rushing its next generation of big S.U.V.'s like the Chevrolet Suburban into production by year's end, but with increased competition and volatile gas prices, "it is questionable whether these will generate the profit margins" of the past, the report said.

    Worse, there used to be just the Japanese and the Europeans to worry about. Now a vigorous Korean competitor, Hyundai, and a Chinese company, Chery, promises to bring the first ultracheap Chinese cars to the United States in two years. Worse still, soaring healthcare costs are a severe competitive disadvantage for American companies with hundreds of thousands of retirees. G.M. spends nearly $2,000 for each car or truck it produces in the United States on health care and pension benefits, more than enough to equip each car with free leather seats.

    Would it be so bad if we all drove cars made by Toyota and Honda and Nissan and Hyundai and BMW? After all, foreign automakers have plants here and domestically assembling many of their vehicles.

    But the Big Three and their suppliers have a much deeper employment impact because more of their parts and cars are still made here and they support so many American retirees. They also provide health care to more than two million Americans, when one includes workers, retirees and family members, or about 0.7 percent of the entire population. G.M. and Ford are Top 10 employers in both Michigan and Ohio and their huge former parts operations, Delphi and Visteon, are themselves among the nation's largest companies.



    The Big Three's impact is by far the most prevalent in the Midwest, where a domino chain of suppliers is suffocating as the Big Three shrivel, leaving Michigan tied with Mississippi for the second-highest unemployment rate, behind only Alaska. But the domestics also have nearly 20,000 dealers around the country and plants in cities like Chicago, where Ford produces its new Five Hundred sedan, and Arlington, Tex., where G.M. makes the Cadillac Escalade and other big S.U.V.'s.

    To become more competitive, the Big Three are coming with hat in hand to the United Auto Workers union, which recently gave an inch on its legendary health care benefits by agreeing that Chrysler workers who used preferred provider organizations, or P.P.O.'s, would pay the first deductibles levied on Big Three autoworkers.

    Until now, unionized autoworkers have not had to pay deductibles or monthly premiums for health care. Those sterling benefits have made Big Three jobs some of the most sought after blue-collar work in America, but last week G.M. executives said that era needs to come to a close.

    Critics, executives and analysts say that getting Detroit's finances and benefits in order can only be a first step. More fundamentally, the companies have to give brands clear design identities that are not just marketing images.

    G.M.'s current position is similar to the one Kmart found itself in in recent years, squeezed between the more fashionable Target and the more cut-rate Wal-Mart.

    "They are neither the lowest cost mass manufacturer nor are they clearly positioned to support brand values to justify consumers paying more just to have one of the G.M. brands in their driveway," said Helmut Panke, the chief executive of BMW, in an interview last week. G.M., he added, is "stuck in the middle."

    For many analysts, the antidote can be found in what has worked for Detroit. Chrysler has shown signs of revival recently on the back of distinctive cars, like the Chrysler 300 sedan, that match an attempt at a glossier image.

    G.M.'s Cadillac brand has also been a success story.

    "They clearly have achieved a major turnaround there," Mr. Panke said. "Maybe it's best described by the very coherent, consistent design language, everything they offer, from the cars through the S.U.V.'s in there, but also the focus on the message of, we are back and we are performance and we are the American luxury brand."

    And what about some of G.M.'s other brands, like Pontiac-Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Saab-Saturn? "The rest, if you took off the badges, or the labels, you would have a hard time recognizing who's who, what is what," Mr. Panke said.

    This is a common view. John DeLorean, the flamboyant and scandal-prone G.M. executive who briefly ran his own car company in the 1980's and who died last week, was also concerned that Detroit had "lost touch with the buying public," says his nephew, Mark DeLorean.

    Today's Detroit relies on big rebates to get people to buy cars they aren't "in love with," the younger Mr. DeLorean recalled his uncle saying. "John's attitude was always, I want people's eyes to light up when they walk through the showroom."

    Or as Big Slice puts it, "G.M. is looking too plain, that's what it is, they need some spice and some seasoning."

    "They need to come holler at Big Slice," he added. "I'll put 'em back in the game.


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