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March 22, 2005

GM Whiffs « Social Issues »

Apparently, the G6 (upon which GM pinned so much hope) is this year's "Don't Gotta Have It..." car.

Detroit Free Press auto critic Mark Phelan saw problems with the G6 coming. He gave the car two out of four stars in a review last year, noting: "They are attractive, comfortable and competent cars, but a high price, iffy interiors and oddly tuned steering leave them well short of sporty competitors."

Yeah, that sounds about right for just about everything put out by the Big3 these days: Attractive, comfortabel and competent, but iffy interiors and a relatively high price compared to the quality and value of a reliable "import" model (most of which are made in the US these days in non-union factories).

American consumers realize they deserve better than what Detroit is offering. There are a dozen car lines out there that you can spend under $20,000 and know you will get 150,000-200,000 miles out of...but not one of them is a Big3 vehicle. You may "think" or "have a good chance" of getting 150,000 miles, but it will probably be falling apart by 100,000 miles, and you have a 1-in-10 (or worse!) chance of having it in the shop half a dozen times in the first three years for non-scheduled maintenance problems. American consumers are becoming less willing to assume that risk for the benefit of the Big3.

Posted by Nathan at 01:46 PM | Comments (3)

I caught this piece on the G6 yesterday and then mentioned to MT, "Well, if we're gonna see a $3,500 cash incentive, maybe we should consider that in a couple months."

BIG MISTAKE on the patr of GM...they did NOT follow up with their new olds (haha, yes) buyers, and say, "Hey, we've discontinued your preferred model, but look, we've got this G6 that's a lot like a sportier Alero."

INSTEAD, as I shockingly discovered Monday, they've been routing Olds customers to Buick, and IMO, waiting entirely too long to contact those Olds customers, too.

The G6 is OK to look at. I am still not quite used to it, and it pales in unique styling to Malibu Maxx, for example.

Plus, for decades, the Pontiac Grand Am has been the model that GM buyers just. keep. on. buying. I have no idea what number Grand Am my folks are on, but they get one for a "running around" car (since they have fuel-inefficient farm rigs). They've never had any problem more serious than needing an air filter changed. And then, what happens? They discontinue that very car.

I know they have no intention of buying a G6.

I bet GM is kicking their own ass over this one.

Posted by: Jo at March 23, 2005 07:26 AM

I'm sure they are.

Please understand, too, I am not "chortling with glee" or anything. I would prefer to buy a good American car to a good foreign car any day. But I'm not going to sacrifice my money for their benefit. I do what's best for me and my family.

Posted by: Nathan at March 23, 2005 07:33 AM

It is disheartening that GM couldn't have done a better job by the G6. I don't think the panoramic skylight is enough to attract new customers.
Everything else was decent...but it's still too expensive.

What Detroit really doesn't seem to understand is that people want a car they know will start without problems until the car is fully paid off, at the very least. They want a car that handles well, accelerates well, brakes well, is relatively quiet, with good fit/finish and made with quality materials, and gets good gas mileage for a decent price. They can get all that from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and (with some care in selection, perhaps) from Hyundai, Suzuki, and perhaps Mazda (yes, a Ford subisdiary...why isn't Ford learning anything from them?), so why come back to US vehicles? The main thing that would draw back American consumers in droves is, simply: the same quality in all aspects at a cheaper price.
Maybe the Big3 can't do it. I hope that's not true.

Posted by: Nathan at March 23, 2005 08:43 AM
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