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April 20, 2005

Bob Lutz Fires Back; Misses at Least Once « Car Issues »

We're not dead yet! We think we'd like to take a walk!

But some good stuff there. Particularly:

For one thing, I am enthusiastic about the Buick Lacrosse. It may be a bit conservatively styled, as are many excellent Japanese cars, but it's wonderfully executed, has fabulous workmanship, is dead-quiet, and, with the sport suspension and the four-cam V-6, has sensationally good dynamics. Plus, on the road, it has very nice "presence." And it’s already selling better than the old Regal and Century combined. In March, we delivered 8,233 units, a 36% increase over February. That's not bad.

I think that's a pretty decent assessment. As I said, if I were going to spend close to $30k on a car, I'd at least look into the LaCrosse. The article I read rated it lower than the Chrysler 300 or Ford 500, but the way it described the LaCrosse made me think it fit what I wanted more, whereas the 300 and 500 were more set to please a professional test-driver; and I've already determined they don't see things the same way I do, for the most part.

I have a huge problem with something he says when speaking about the GTO:

Since this is a true muscle car, I'll hardly mention that this car has a beautiful interior and a great stereo.

No. He still has problems getting it. The niche market is too small to sustain a model these days. You can't just label a car a "muscle car" and ignore its other aspects. Good, I'm glad GM gave it a beautiful interior and a great stereo, because it needs those things to sell and build loyalty. But Lutz almost makes it sound like an accident. It is on your flagship muscle cars that you must provide the best experience. Because someone will come it to do a test drive without intending to or being able to buy the car, but the impression they get from that test drive will cause them to form judgments about Pontiac and GM.

They can't punt on any issue with any car. They have to put the best car out there for every car. If they can't do that, they need to cancel the model.

The other good news I glean from this is that I don't think GM is going to cancel Pontiac or Buick. And with the Solstice roadster is a step in the right direction, too.

Good on ya, GM! Keep it up. You can cover your high health/union costs if you sell enough cars.

...of course, you still don't make the car I want, and only come close in the price range I may never spend...

But still, things are looking up.

Posted by Nathan at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)
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