Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 22:39:28 -0400
From: "hippo" <johnhnospamam.shoal.net.au>
Subject: Re: GM's excess baggage - Buick, Pontiac, Saab, Hummer


Eeyore wrote - suitably gloomily!: >Walt Kienzle wrote: >> I think GM's problem is that they are making cars for their perceived target >> market: Rental Car companies. >I think GM's problem is far simpler than that. They haven't a clue. Not >even a >tiny one. >I watch the way they've trashed the Saab brand in dismay for example. >Graham Hear Hear! Saab had a small, (too small for commercial success in the modern world). idiosyncratic and occasionally fanatical customer base who appreciated what the manufacturer did at a design and engineering level, even if the quality control side of the production equation sometimes caused wallet ache! :) So for years we got cars with floor mounted keys to save kneecaops, funny screens for great peripheral vision and forward safety planning throughout the design, as well as comfort, handling, mostly good ergonomics, reasonable economy and shedloads of space. Move on to the 94 NG and we not only got a column key, but it started a car with inferior torsional stiffness and crash figures to both the 9000 and the by then almost antique 900. Cue the V6 with some expensive maintenance habits (brakes, steering and cambelts) and Subaru sales started to go through the roof. So GM took them on board too....! (And yes, I do concede that the recent Saabs are a great improvement.) Maybe GM need to take a leaf from Renault's book? They keep a *very* close financial eye on Nissan since they bailed them out, but they also trust them to have a better knowledge of their traditional customers than anyone else. No, I'll never buy Nissan's version of the Megane, but lots of people will althugh they *wouldn't* buy Renault's styling or suspension package just 'cos it had a Nissan badge stuck on. What I won't buy is a Chevrolaab or a Saabaru. so for now I'll keep updating Outbacks and enjoy our nighttime coast and mountain drives in an 81 turbo sedan that's just nice to drive. Cheers

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