Pennock's Fiero Forum
  General Fiero Chat
  "Seven American Cars That Got Good Right Before They Died" says Road & Track

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Email This Page to Someone! | Printable Version


next newest topic | next oldest topic
"Seven American Cars That Got Good Right Before They Died" says Road & Track by Rsvl-Rider
Started on: 02-18-2016 01:41 PM
Replies: 28 (710 views)
Last post by: hyperv6 on 02-24-2016 10:19 PM
Rsvl-Rider
Member
Posts: 1086
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Feb 2014


Feedback score:    (7)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-18-2016 01:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yep, you guessed it...

http://www.msn.com/en-us/au...=mailsignout#image=7

------------------
John Wayne as John Bernard Books in The Shootist...
" I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."

My rides...
1988 GT with a 3.4L V6 automatic
2006 Harley Sportster
'cause I love the twisties on two wheels or four.

IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
Gall757
Member
Posts: 10706
From: Holland, MI
Registered: Jun 2010


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 88
Rate this member

Report this Post02-18-2016 09:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
And 6 of them were from General Motors. Those guys really had a knack for cancelling stuff just when they sorted it out.
IP: Logged
Napoleon_Tanerite
Member
Posts: 683
From: Columbus, MS
Registered: Sep 2015


Feedback score:    (10)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-18-2016 09:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Napoleon_TaneriteSend a Private Message to Napoleon_TaneriteEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gall757:

And 6 of them were from General Motors. Those guys really had a knack for cancelling stuff just when they sorted it out.


The entire Pontiac brand could qualify for this. It had little to no identity through the 80s and 90s, with all of their cars (minus the Fiero) being little more than re-badged Chevys. While you could say that Pontiac was ALWAYS like that, its best years were when they had their own identity. That started to take place again in the mid-late 2000s, but it was too late. The GTO, G8, and Solstice were OUTSTANDING cars, and are the direction the brand should have been going and dump the debris like the G3, G5, Vibe, etc. But it was too late. And yet-- Buick lives on.
IP: Logged
wftb
Member
Posts: 3680
From: kincardine,ontario,canada
Registered: Jun 2005


Feedback score: (4)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-18-2016 11:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That is from road and track? They are usually more knowledgeable .The Solstice never had a 2.2 engine .Most magazines do not laud the 86 Fiero , just the 88 .I did not waste my time on the rest of the list .
IP: Logged
hyperv6
Member
Posts: 5482
From: Clinton, OH, USA
Registered: Mar 2003


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 90
Rate this member

Report this Post02-19-2016 07:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well they really did not share the full story or info to put these models really in context. These cars were not really made right then killed for the most part as every car generally gets better. The problem were often infighting at GM or just the type of model they were where there was a limited group of buyers and you were not going to sell 50K-100K of each.

We all know the infighting of the Fiero and the fact that even at 30K units the plant could not support that few cars at a profit and the Corvette people really used that to shut them down.

The Corvair was killed because of the Camaro. When the Mustang arrived it had more power and was cheaper to build. The same was done with the Camaro as it was much cheaper to build a more powerful 327 vs a Turbo flat 6.

The ELR was an ill made attempt to make a show car a EV based on a Chevy. It was the electric Cimerron in a better looking package.

The Solstice was at the end of the line. Sales were way down and even if Pontiac die the Solstice had little life left unless there was a lot of investment and the return was just not there.

The SSR was a another show car turned production as a hail mary from Lutz as he came and lost the Camaro right away and needed something that could be built on a truck frame till something better could be had. Same with the GTO. Too little money left it dated looking and overlooked.

Even the 200 here is not right as Sergio has mismanaged FCA by taking Jeep profits and rolling them into Alfa. If he had put the money into making Chrysler what they should be then they would be seeing gains in volume and profits.

Many companies all have their issues. Toyota has screwed up Scion and made it their Saturn.

GM on Hummer just made mistakes and did not have the money to fight back on the critic's. They had even smaller and more efficient models to come but no money to do them.

History has a way of being reported to suit the reporters needs. Too often many facts get left out and the remaining ones become distorted. There was a lot more that went into all of this but the bottom line is poorly managed models is what happened. As if they were finally right?

But I could give you a long list of mistakes they all have made. The modern T bird? The Chrysler Maserati, Ford Mustang II, Honda Prelude with 4 wheel steering. etc.

But if you do not make mistakes then you are not trying.

We will see less mistakes at GM as they for once are working as one. Most companies will function better as one major failure could damage a company these days just look at VW now.
IP: Logged
lorennerol
Member
Posts: 519
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Apr 2010


Feedback score: (3)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-19-2016 12:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lorennerolSend a Private Message to lorennerolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:
The Solstice was at the end of the line. Sales were way down and even if Pontiac die the Solstice had little life left unless there was a lot of investment and the return was just not there.


The Kappa platform, which included the Pontiac Solstice, the Saturn Sky, the Opel GT, and the Daewoo G2X, was not ever planned as a high volume, high profit line. For example, the hydroforming tooling for the Sky hood was expensive and short-life; not intended to crank out 100,000 units/year. These were supposed to be break-even (at best) halo cars, especially on the Saturn side, where the goal was to get people to say, "That's a Saturn??!!?", and as an owner of one since 2007, I can say that absolutely worked.

What GM screwed up, as usual, was quality. They put a revolutionary powerplant in the turbo version (it was, at the time, the highest per-liter output and first direct injected engine GM had ever put in a production car), the cars handle very well, and the body lines are fantastic. Heck, they were even smart enough to significant alter the sheet metal on the Saturn version instead of just changing the badges as they'd stupidly done with some many cross-brand cars. And it was affordable: Mine, fully loaded, was about $33,000 in 2007.

But the car is death by 1000 pin pricks; something little is always breaking on it and it's just crazy making. Even for me, and I've only put 23,000 miles on it since it was new in August of 2007. So instead of being a car that changed my opinion about GM, it solidified it: This is a company that just can't build a car that's on the same level as Toyota or Honda in terms of overall quality: Materials, engineering, and build. And instead of it being a stepping stone for people like me into a Corvette, it's become a reason I wouldn't buy one. I mean jeebus, the CUP HOLDER is so fragile that I've gone through three barely using it and the OEM units now sell for over $200 on eBay. How do you fail this badly on a cup holder?

They also screwed over owners by liquidating all the spare parts from the plant and destroying the tooling for the Sky hood.

Anyway, they plan was to launch a Gen 2 model in the 2011 or 2012 model year and move production from Wilmington to the Corvette plant in Bowling Green. What really killed it was the recession; sales fell off the table and through the floor because when money is tight middle class people, to whom this car was aimed, stop buying impractical two-seat cars.

[This message has been edited by lorennerol (edited 02-19-2016).]

IP: Logged
Raydar
Member
Posts: 38597
From: Carrollton GA. Out in the... country.
Registered: Oct 1999


Feedback score:    (12)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 452
Rate this member

Report this Post02-19-2016 12:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Napoleon_Tanerite:


The entire Pontiac brand could qualify for this. It had little to no identity through the 80s and 90s, with all of their cars (minus the Fiero) being little more than re-badged Chevys. While you could say that Pontiac was ALWAYS like that, its best years were when they had their own identity. That started to take place again in the mid-late 2000s, but it was too late. The GTO, G8, and Solstice were OUTSTANDING cars, and are the direction the brand should have been going and dump the debris like the G3, G5, Vibe, etc. But it was too late. And yet-- Buick lives on.


The G6 was even scheduled to switch to the Alpha platform, and become RWD.

I have a 2010 G6, and it's really quite good. Solid as a rock. 220 HP in the smallest (3.5) V6. Independent suspension. The automatic tranny is even programmed for engine braking when shifted out of overdrive. It's *perfect* for commuter use, which is why I bought it. But it's still fun to drive. Never thought I'd say that about an automatic commuter car.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 02-19-2016).]

IP: Logged
lateFormula
Member
Posts: 992
From: Detroit Rock City
Registered: Jul 2002


Feedback score: (2)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-19-2016 12:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lateFormulaSend a Private Message to lateFormulaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:


The automatic tranny is even programmed for engine braking when shifted out of overdrive. It's *perfect* for commuter use, which is why I bought it. But it's still fun to drive. Never thought I'd say that about an automatic commuter car.



Do you regularly drive the car in "manu-matic" mode? I own a 2006 G6 with the 3.5 + 4T45E and I can assure you the one I have does not engine brake until your speed increases more than 12MPH. I have to drive down a hill almost daily and for many years I would downshift to 2nd gear before I got to the top of the hill and there was never any engine braking until I was rolling well out at the bottom of the hill. It coasts freely unless the speed increases, then it will apply fluid pressure to the torque converter to induce engine braking. There are other issues with the function of manu-matic on these transmissions but I won't get into that here.
IP: Logged
Raydar
Member
Posts: 38597
From: Carrollton GA. Out in the... country.
Registered: Oct 1999


Feedback score:    (12)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 452
Rate this member

Report this Post02-19-2016 12:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I also have the 4T45E, but I don't have the manu-matic (tap shift) feature. I have the regular shift gate with the positions P-R-N-D-3-L.
Shifting into "3" at highway speed causes the trans to shift out of overdrive.
But when you slow down to ~40 MPH, the trans shifts into 2nd, providing engine braking. If you slow way down, it shifts into 1st, as normal. When you accelerate from a stop, it shifts 1-2 as normal. Regardless of throttle position, it doesn't shift into 3 until at least 45 MPH. If I'm in heavy traffic, I never get above 2nd gear. Apparently the TCC stays engaged enough to slow the car, in this situation.
Strangely enough, the WOT shifts are also softer than when the lever is in "D".

I'd thought about converting mine to Tap Shift, but I'm pretty sure the TCM requires a separate program to make it work. The rest is just hardware, switches, and resistors. (Tap up is one resistor value. Tap down is another resistor value.)
I could probably find that program. I have Tunercat, and the correct definition files for my car, so the ability is there - but I'd hate to lose the utility of what I have now.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 02-19-2016).]

IP: Logged
hyperv6
Member
Posts: 5482
From: Clinton, OH, USA
Registered: Mar 2003


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 90
Rate this member

Report this Post02-19-2016 08:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by lorennerol:


The Kappa platform, which included the Pontiac Solstice, the Saturn Sky, the Opel GT, and the Daewoo G2X, was not ever planned as a high volume, high profit line. For example, the hydroforming tooling for the Sky hood was expensive and short-life; not intended to crank out 100,000 units/year. These were supposed to be break-even (at best) halo cars, especially on the Saturn side, where the goal was to get people to say, "That's a Saturn??!!?", and as an owner of one since 2007, I can say that absolutely worked.

What GM screwed up, as usual, was quality. They put a revolutionary powerplant in the turbo version (it was, at the time, the highest per-liter output and first direct injected engine GM had ever put in a production car), the cars handle very well, and the body lines are fantastic. Heck, they were even smart enough to significant alter the sheet metal on the Saturn version instead of just changing the badges as they'd stupidly done with some many cross-brand cars. And it was affordable: Mine, fully loaded, was about $33,000 in 2007.

But the car is death by 1000 pin pricks; something little is always breaking on it and it's just crazy making. Even for me, and I've only put 23,000 miles on it since it was new in August of 2007. So instead of being a car that changed my opinion about GM, it solidified it: This is a company that just can't build a car that's on the same level as Toyota or Honda in terms of overall quality: Materials, engineering, and build. And instead of it being a stepping stone for people like me into a Corvette, it's become a reason I wouldn't buy one. I mean jeebus, the CUP HOLDER is so fragile that I've gone through three barely using it and the OEM units now sell for over $200 on eBay. How do you fail this badly on a cup holder?

They also screwed over owners by liquidating all the spare parts from the plant and destroying the tooling for the Sky hood.

Anyway, they plan was to launch a Gen 2 model in the 2011 or 2012 model year and move production from Wilmington to the Corvette plant in Bowling Green. What really killed it was the recession; sales fell off the table and through the floor because when money is tight middle class people, to whom this car was aimed, stop buying impractical two-seat cars.



Actually based on the GM people I know here was the deal.

Yes volumes were to be kept low but they dropped to levels that would have killed the car if GM had not killed Saturn or Pontiac first. Just look at the last year of production and those numbers per insiders were not sustainable.

The idea was to spread out production with the various models but that was not even enough.

There was a plan for a second gen at one point but it was still going to have to make a business case that the odds were good it could not make.

The quality really had to do with the fact of several things. One GM was broke. Keep in mind this was a time when the new GTO arrived they could not redesign the exhaust and add fake hood scoops till the second year as they did not have the money. This came from Fred Simmons of Pontiac to me personally. I knew then GM really was in trouble.

Lutz came to GM and really was trying to save things but he really had no money to do it. It is amazing he was able to do what he did because he really has so little to do it with. This is why you have a Kappa with all the things it had with a mix of GP, Envoy, CTS and parts from other cars. Even the SSR had Alfa Romeo door handles. This is also why you had no trunk that was useful and low quality interiors parts. Show me any car from GM of that era that had much interior quality.

The fact is GM would start with the engine and then suspension and then styling. The interiors were always last and usually where the money shortage showed up.

That all has since changed with the bail out. GM now due to Lutz has a new culture and a new way to build cars. They for the first time in decades and I mean a lot of decades are finally funding product to a compete product. It really shows. There are still some things that need to be fixed yet and they will be addressed as not all things can be fixed at once and often a platform has to be changed to fix some of it.

I would recommend the book Car Guys vs Bean Counters and it explains the issues GM was facing in that era as well as the Kappa cars.

Bob speaks of the failed culture and what he did to start the change that Mary Barra and Mark Reuss continue to change today.

To be honest the same things they did to the Fiero in a way happened again on the kappa. Lack of money and damaged Culture. They did fix some things like not over selling the car in the first couple years but it still suffered from the lack of money and culture.

FYI the hyroform was done not because they could not afford the tooling and cost for the body parts. They chose to use it because it was a cheaper way to make the body panels. Other wise the program would have never gone to production. But on a good note GM has perfected this method and now uses it to make high grade panels at lower cost and some parts a normal press just can not make. That is one thing of this era that really has paid off. Even the new C7 frame rails are made this way now as they can make them stronger and stiffer this way.

There is so much too this that the general public really never knew.

Case in point. Lutz wanted to know why the Hyundai had better body gaps and crisper edges. The engineer said we can do that. Lutz said well do it. Two months later the 08 Malibu appeared with the best body panels of the time. He asked the guy what he did and they only had to make a few changes on the presses to make it better. He asked why they never did it before. He said we were not told to. They wanted to but were never allowed to ask to fix things. This is only one short story on how damaged the culture was.

Same on the ignition deal. The managers had numbers to make so they would sacrifice quality to make their numbers to get their bonus and no one was the wiser. Odds are great few people knew much about the ignition deal as too often GMs right hand never knew what the left hand was doing. One salesman from a bearing company loved selling GM bearings. He could sell one bearing under several part numbers and higher and higher cost because no one knew they were the same bearing.

This mess went back to at least the 50's but they were large enough it was hidden till the money ran out. Today things are much different and will continue to improve as will their profitability and quality.

I can tell you some really crazy stories that have been related that make you wonder how they lasted as long as they did. Read the Lutz book and it will open your eyes to what was going on and it is only the tip of the ice berg.

What really killed the Kappa was the recession that killed GM.

Lutz has many plans for Pontiac but the chance of many of them ever happening and them building the cars right were never going to happen. The death of old GM is what saved the GM we have now and why things are so much better. Pontiac really was set to die in the early 80's and then Olds fell first. Pontiac had been on borrowed time with bought by the Fiero, Firebird and Grand Am. If not for their volume beating out Olds they would have died long ago. In fact the Fiero and Firebird get the credit for people coming in to the dealer and ending up buying the Grand Ams that floated Pontiac sales. Later GP sales helped too but with no global sharing of product it was a matter of time in this now global industry.

[This message has been edited by hyperv6 (edited 02-19-2016).]

IP: Logged
jscott1
Member
Posts: 21674
From: Houston, TX , USA
Registered: Dec 2001


Feedback score:    (15)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 415
Rate this member

Report this Post02-19-2016 08:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've criticized GM on here multiple times for the poor packaging on the Fiero which also showed itself on the Solstice with that ridiculous fuel tank that took up 80% of the trunk space. But that was for various reasons they wouldn't do anything that stupid today, right? WRONG.... my new Chevy Spark... the spare tire is the most ridiculous packaging I have ever seen. First of all the spare tire is an option... but if you opt for it, somehow GM can't figure out how to fit a compact spare in the space designed for it. Only GM could figure out how to make a compact spare take up more room than a full sized tire!

"COMPACT" spare


Full Sized Tire

IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
84fiero123
Member
Posts: 29950
From: farmington, maine usa
Registered: Oct 2004


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 325
Rate this member

Report this Post02-20-2016 08:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:

I've criticized GM on here multiple times for the poor packaging on the Fiero which also showed itself on the Solstice with that ridiculous fuel tank that took up 80% of the trunk space. But that was for various reasons they wouldn't do anything that stupid today, right? WRONG.... my new Chevy Spark... the spare tire is the most ridiculous packaging I have ever seen. First of all the spare tire is an option... but if you opt for it, somehow GM can't figure out how to fit a compact spare in the space designed for it. Only GM could figure out how to make a compact spare take up more room than a full sized tire!

"COMPACT" spare


WTF ever happened to these ?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/82-...E-TIRE-/191510639161

http://www.camarocentral.co...tor_Kit_p/tru-55.htm

My 67 firebird had a refillable tank to inflate its spare with. So they had been using them for decades.

Steve

------------------
Technology is great when it works,
and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't



Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.

[This message has been edited by 84fiero123 (edited 02-20-2016).]

IP: Logged
gtjeff
Member
Posts: 344
From: Racine, WI
Registered: Feb 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-20-2016 11:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gtjeffSend a Private Message to gtjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Word has it GM lost $10k on every kappa car. Remember how Lutz hyped the Solstice up and how it would sell for under 20K? It did for one year, the following year the base price went up $2k.

 
quote
Originally posted by lorennerol:

The Kappa platform, which included the Pontiac Solstice, the Saturn Sky, the Opel GT, and the Daewoo G2X, was not ever planned as a high volume, high profit line. For example, the hydroforming tooling for the Sky hood was expensive and short-life; not intended to crank out 100,000 units/year. These were supposed to be break-even (at best) halo cars, especially on the Saturn side, where the goal was to get people to say, "That's a Saturn??!!?", and as an owner of one since 2007, I can say that absolutely worked.



IP: Logged
gtjeff
Member
Posts: 344
From: Racine, WI
Registered: Feb 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-20-2016 11:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gtjeffSend a Private Message to gtjeffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The Corvette has had hydroformed frame rails since 1997 (C5), long before Kappa. Someone mentioned to me they are more difficult to straighten out after an accident.

http://www.superchevy.com/h...104-corvette-frames/

QUOTE]
Originally posted by hyperv6:
FYI the hyroform was done not because they could not afford the tooling and cost for the body parts. They chose to use it because it was a cheaper way to make the body panels. Other wise the program would have never gone to production. But on a good note GM has perfected this method and now uses it to make high grade panels at lower cost and some parts a normal press just can not make. That is one thing of this era that really has paid off. Even the new C7 frame rails are made this way now as they can make them stronger and stiffer this way.
[/QUOTE]

[This message has been edited by gtjeff (edited 02-20-2016).]

IP: Logged
jscott1
Member
Posts: 21674
From: Houston, TX , USA
Registered: Dec 2001


Feedback score:    (15)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 415
Rate this member

Report this Post02-21-2016 11:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:


WTF ever happened to these ?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/82-...E-TIRE-/191510639161

http://www.camarocentral.co...tor_Kit_p/tru-55.htm

My 67 firebird had a refillable tank to inflate its spare with. So they had been using them for decades.

Steve


My third gen F body had one of those inflatable spares, (which I had to use multiple times) it was pretty cool. First time I saw it inflate I was like WTF! I thought it would just get hard at it's present size, didn't know it would grow. I've thought about that for the Fiero, but apparently they never made one in 5 x 100. And brakes were smaller in the 80s so it probably wouldn't fit over any upgraded brakes like the 12" Corvette. But they are cool. I refuse to ride without a spare, so I will sacrifice the space. In a car where there is a spot for a spare its ridiculous to not have one.
IP: Logged
lorennerol
Member
Posts: 519
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Apr 2010


Feedback score: (3)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-22-2016 11:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for lorennerolSend a Private Message to lorennerolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gtjeff:

Word has it GM lost $10k on every kappa car. Remember how Lutz hyped the Solstice up and how it would sell for under 20K? It did for one year, the following year the base price went up $2k.



I've been around Fortune 100 corporations long enough that I know how numbers like that can be significantly fudged either way just by the way shared costs are allocated to a division or program. For example, if they forced the Kappa platform to absorb all the depreciation for the R&D costs associated with the development of direct injection technology, it would make that platform look very bad on the P&L and the next platform to get a direct injected engine would have zero R&D cost (I think it was the Cobalt SS). Or, as another example, if allocated corporate overhead costs were divided up by total plant square footage: The Kappas were built in a small portion of the giant Wilmington plant, so they might have been allocated more of that cost than if it was done based on square footage in use. I'm not saying this is how it was done, I have no inside info, just that I've seen things like this done elsewhere.

In a very similar way, the LR8 "Iron Duke" engine cost the Fiero program almost nothing; all they had to do was add a shift to the engine plant. The tooling, training, R&D, etc. had already been depreciated across the other platforms using that motor (and there were many). If they hadn't gotten the engine virtually for free, the Fiero might never had been made.

In the end both the Fiero and Kappas were amazing, affordable, unique, sporty American-made cars that were killed off too early for those of us who love them. I am very happy to own one of each
IP: Logged
Formula88
Member
Posts: 53788
From: Raleigh NC
Registered: Jan 2001


Feedback score: (3)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 555
Rate this member

Report this Post02-22-2016 09:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:


My third gen F body had one of those inflatable spares, (which I had to use multiple times) it was pretty cool.


My '72 Trans Am came with an inflatable spare. It was replaced with a full size because the inflator was long gone and the spare itself rotted away over the years, but I've seen restored cars with them.
IP: Logged
hyperv6
Member
Posts: 5482
From: Clinton, OH, USA
Registered: Mar 2003


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 90
Rate this member

Report this Post02-23-2016 07:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The Kappa short comings were because GM had no money to do things as they pleases and then while they did not lose money as some like to claim they did make very little money on them.

As for repair on hydro-form. Yes it may at some times be more difficult to repair but the gains in strength and weigh loss are worth it. Also the fact somethings can only be made that way.

The Kappa and most cars today are going to no spare. While some just claim it is because of companies trying to make more money the truth is more in the hands of the size of the car and the fact of the added weight. It is not the last thing we will see that is lost in cutting weight.

Also so many cars today have tires that are so large you could never get a suitable spare in them and even if you did it may not fit over the brake anyways.

MY HHR SS if I have a flat on the front I have to put a rear tire on the front and the spare on the rear. One because they do not want anyone driving with a smaller tire on one side with nearly 300 HP going to the front tires. Talk about Torque steer but also because the spare will not fit over the larger brakes.

The truth is if you keep good tires on having a total flat is rare anymore nails often lead to a slow leak at best. Add in that many vehicles use two different sized tires on the front and rear anymore one spare will not cover both ends and in these cases you can not just swap tires front to rear either.

In this day and age where companies are working hard to dump 10 pounds from a car buy using shorter bolts etc a spare and jack can dump a lot right away.

Talk has been that in the future you may not have radio. You may just have speakers and an amp. your phone or pad will become the audio head. Yes to save weight. How many now enter your car and the bluetooth connects to the car and you just listen to Apple I play?

But in short it was amazing the kappa came to market at all. there really was so little money and a lot of compromise needed. that is why your driving lights are from a Grand Prix and your back up lights from a GMC SUV. They were not there for styling but to save money GM did not have and to keep the cost of the car down to where people could afford it.

I think keeping the price down was key as if it ran the cost up too much the Corvette guy would have been even more unhappy. Keep in mind in this era Corvette sales were tanking between 2009-2012. 10K-13K units a year and that is not good for a car making a business case. Even the Corvette does not get a free pass.
IP: Logged
lorennerol
Member
Posts: 519
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Apr 2010


Feedback score: (3)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-23-2016 11:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for lorennerolSend a Private Message to lorennerolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:As for repair on hydro-form. Also the fact somethings can only be made that way.


Yes, like the Sky hood (the Solstice hood was traditionally stamped): At the time, at least, it could only by made on a hydroform press. That's fine, except that GM apparently scrapped the press when they sold the Wilmington plant. So spare hoods are going to be made of unobtanium, like Fiero GT tail lights.

 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:
The Kappa and most cars today are going to no spare.


They came with a can of fix-a-flat and a 12V air compressor. Seriously.

 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:
But in short it was amazing the kappa came to market at all. there really was so little money and a lot of compromise needed. that is why your driving lights are from a Grand Prix and your back up lights from a GMC SUV. They were not there for styling but to save money GM did not have and to keep the cost of the car down to where people could afford it.


Same steering wheel as on almost every GM car of that era, including the Corvette. Same with the radio. A lot of shared interior parts; I think the waterfall is from a Caddy. Manual transmission from the Colorado. The 2.0 turbo ended up going into the Cobalt SS, too.

 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:
I think keeping the price down was key as if it ran the cost up too much the Corvette guy would have been even more unhappy. Keep in mind in this era Corvette sales were tanking between 2009-2012. 10K-13K units a year and that is not good for a car making a business case. Even the Corvette does not get a free pass.


Agreed. But my beef is with little things that would have been inexpensive to fix: Glue on the door sill that doesn't hold. A cup holder that breaks. Wheel well liners that are too brittle and shatter around the fasteners. My fingernails will scratch the faceplate on the radio, which is also impossible to read with sun on it. Cheap hose clamps that everyone has to replace to avoid codes and limp mode. My wheel hubs and calipers are rusting. Etcetera. Unlike the Fiero at launch, though, they got all the expensive stuff right: Powertrain, sheet metal, suspension, roof (despite what some people say). But the lack of attention to small but highly annoying details meant that the car, at least for me, didn't fulfill their goal for it to be a halo car to bring me back into the GM fold. So they arguably lost money selling me the car, and lost me as a future customer over a few hundred dollars of chintzy materials, and I'd gladly have paid a bit more to have that stuff be right. I mean, on a loaded Sky, would they have lost that many sales if it was $34k instead of $33k?
IP: Logged
jscott1
Member
Posts: 21674
From: Houston, TX , USA
Registered: Dec 2001


Feedback score:    (15)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 415
Rate this member

Report this Post02-23-2016 02:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:


The Kappa and most cars today are going to no spare. While some just claim it is because of companies trying to make more money the truth is more in the hands of the size of the car and the fact of the added weight. It is not the last thing we will see that is lost in cutting weight.

Also so many cars today have tires that are so large you could never get a suitable spare in them and even if you did it may not fit over the brake anyways.

MY HHR SS if I have a flat on the front I have to put a rear tire on the front and the spare on the rear. One because they do not want anyone driving with a smaller tire on one side with nearly 300 HP going to the front tires. Talk about Torque steer but also because the spare will not fit over the larger brakes.

The truth is if you keep good tires on having a total flat is rare anymore nails often lead to a slow leak at best. Add in that many vehicles use two different sized tires on the front and rear anymore one spare will not cover both ends and in these cases you can not just swap tires front to rear either.

In this day and age where companies are working hard to dump 10 pounds from a car buy using shorter bolts etc a spare and jack can dump a lot right away.

Talk has been that in the future you may not have radio. You may just have speakers and an amp. your phone or pad will become the audio head. Yes to save weight. How many now enter your car and the bluetooth connects to the car and you just listen to Apple I play?

But in short it was amazing the kappa came to market at all. there really was so little money and a lot of compromise needed. that is why your driving lights are from a Grand Prix and your back up lights from a GMC SUV. They were not there for styling but to save money GM did not have and to keep the cost of the car down to where people could afford it.
...


You and I have debated the Kappas to death and I agree with the difficulties of 2008-09, so that's not my point.

And I know that probably less than half of cars today come with spare tires, that's not my point either...

My point is that

1) here in 2016 the Chevy spark has a place for a spare.

2) A spare tire kit is offered as an option.

So good so far, but

3) the moron that designed the spare tire kit used a large triangular wedge of styrofoam to mount the tire and the "compact" spare intrudes into the trunk space when a FULL SIZED WHEEL AND TIRE will fit flush in the same spot.

I happened to have a full sized spare wheel and ordered a tire and scissor jack. I hear about how rare flats are these days, but my last car was a flat magnet. The tires were underszed and I had 4 flats before I went to oversized tires. I even had a rare double flat when both right side tires blew after hitting a pot hole. I refuse to drive without a spare if I can help it.
IP: Logged
lorennerol
Member
Posts: 519
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Apr 2010


Feedback score: (3)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-23-2016 05:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lorennerolSend a Private Message to lorennerolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:
3) the moron that designed the spare tire kit used a large triangular wedge of styrofoam to mount the tire and the "compact" spare intrudes into the trunk space when a FULL SIZED WHEEL AND TIRE will fit flush in the same spot.


Spun focus group: "We have a design option that makes it easier to remove the spare from the trunk. Would you like that?"

If they omit the "...it intrudes into the trunk and makes it less usable." part, they get the answer they wanted rather than an accurate reflection of what their customers will like.

Every time someone tells me "This isn't the old GM" (people have been telling me this going back to the early 80s), I think of things like this. Yes, the culture at a giant corporation can't be changed overnight, but it's been 35 years.

IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
hyperv6
Member
Posts: 5482
From: Clinton, OH, USA
Registered: Mar 2003


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 90
Rate this member

Report this Post02-23-2016 08:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by lorennerol:


Agreed. But my beef is with little things that would have been inexpensive to fix: Glue on the door sill that doesn't hold. A cup holder that breaks. Wheel well liners that are too brittle and shatter around the fasteners. My fingernails will scratch the faceplate on the radio, which is also impossible to read with sun on it. Cheap hose clamps that everyone has to replace to avoid codes and limp mode. My wheel hubs and calipers are rusting. Etcetera. Unlike the Fiero at launch, though, they got all the expensive stuff right: Powertrain, sheet metal, suspension, roof (despite what some people say). But the lack of attention to small but highly annoying details meant that the car, at least for me, didn't fulfill their goal for it to be a halo car to bring me back into the GM fold. So they arguably lost money selling me the car, and lost me as a future customer over a few hundred dollars of chintzy materials, and I'd gladly have paid a bit more to have that stuff be right. I mean, on a loaded Sky, would they have lost that many sales if it was $34k instead of $33k?


Here is the deal. You bought a car from a company going broke. Yes it is that simple. The F body manager told me long ago that GM would give them enough money for the drive line and suspension and they always ran out before the interior and that is why the window lifts failed.

Now that GM has gone under and was bailed out they now have the money to develop cars from start to finish. It is taking time but the new models coming out are reflecting the difference. I was just in a new Camaro and a lower level Malibu and both showed marked differences from cars of just a few years ago let alone back in 08.

As for the spare being replaced with a fix a flat and compressor get used to it as they all will be there soon. Space in smaller cars and weight are the new HP wars.

To put it plain and simple the Kappa was a Hail Mary that was too late and so underfunded. As for their quality it was not surprising to most as it reflected most of the GM models of the time.
IP: Logged
hyperv6
Member
Posts: 5482
From: Clinton, OH, USA
Registered: Mar 2003


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 90
Rate this member

Report this Post02-23-2016 08:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

hyperv6

5482 posts
Member since Mar 2003
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:


You and I have debated the Kappas to death and I agree with the difficulties of 2008-09, so that's not my point.

And I know that probably less than half of cars today come with spare tires, that's not my point either...

My point is that

1) here in 2016 the Chevy spark has a place for a spare.

2) A spare tire kit is offered as an option.

So good so far, but

3) the moron that designed the spare tire kit used a large triangular wedge of styrofoam to mount the tire and the "compact" spare intrudes into the trunk space when a FULL SIZED WHEEL AND TIRE will fit flush in the same spot.

I happened to have a full sized spare wheel and ordered a tire and scissor jack. I hear about how rare flats are these days, but my last car was a flat magnet. The tires were underszed and I had 4 flats before I went to oversized tires. I even had a rare double flat when both right side tires blew after hitting a pot hole. I refuse to drive without a spare if I can help it.


To be honest I would take the space and less weight over a spare in a Spark. Just give me a compressor and I will take it home to change. So few tires have catastrophic failures anymore.

I have not had a flat in years. I have had nail and slow leaks and I always deal with it at home. the last flat I had was 25 years ago and it was just one of those odd things where a key to a Hub cap went into the side wall. They were low buck tires and that may have been part of it too.

Just for the safety factor anymore if I have a flat out odds are I am just getting on the cell phone anyways. There are few places out of reach anymore and if you change a tire on the freeway odds are great you will get hit by a drunk anyways.

I am not disagreeing with you I just have different priorities and fears.

IP: Logged
jscott1
Member
Posts: 21674
From: Houston, TX , USA
Registered: Dec 2001


Feedback score:    (15)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 415
Rate this member

Report this Post02-23-2016 09:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:


To be honest I would take the space and less weight over a spare in a Spark. Just give me a compressor and I will take it home to change. So few tires have catastrophic failures anymore.

I have not had a flat in years. I have had nail and slow leaks and I always deal with it at home. the last flat I had was 25 years ago and it was just one of those odd things where a key to a Hub cap went into the side wall. They were low buck tires and that may have been part of it too.

Just for the safety factor anymore if I have a flat out odds are I am just getting on the cell phone anyways. There are few places out of reach anymore and if you change a tire on the freeway odds are great you will get hit by a drunk anyways.

I am not disagreeing with you I just have different priorities and fears.


I think you missed my point... for some reason GM thought as lorennerol so humorously pointed out that customers would rather fill the limited space with a big chunk of Styrofoam and have the "compact" spare intrude into the trunk space, versus putting it into the hole provided for it. The car comes from the factory with an even larger chunk of Styrofoam taking up nearly all the space except for the inflator and can of goo. It's a ludicrous design whether you believe in spare tires or not.

Yes, everyone's goals are different. I bought the Spark to pull behind my motorhome because there is no such thing as a baseplate to flat tow a Fiero, (although I've heard of custom ones). Last thing I want is to be dragging a car around with a flat and no spare available. You and I have had dramatically different experiences with flats. I've had catastrophic tires failure more times than I can remember, including a double failure on my Fiero where a pothole dented both rims, (separate from the double flat I described earlier).

[This message has been edited by jscott1 (edited 02-23-2016).]

IP: Logged
lorennerol
Member
Posts: 519
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Apr 2010


Feedback score: (3)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-24-2016 12:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lorennerolSend a Private Message to lorennerolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:


Here is the deal. You bought a car from a company going broke.

Now that GM has gone under and was bailed out they now have the money to develop cars from start to finish. It is taking time but the new models coming out are reflecting the difference. I was just in a new Camaro and a lower level Malibu and both showed marked differences from cars of just a few years ago let alone back in 08.
To put it plain and simple the Kappa was a Hail Mary that was too late and so underfunded. As for their quality it was not surprising to most as it reflected most of the GM models of the time.


Here's the thing: I grew up in Ann Arbor and have been hearing basically this same thing since the early 80s: Those cars GM made 5 years ago, they stunk. But these new cars, boy, what a difference. Except every time, for 35 years, it turned out to not really be different. And after this much time, at least for me, trussing up chintzy interior materials isn't enough; they would have to show a marked and consistent improvement in initial quality *and* longer term reliability to get me to bite. Oh, and dealer service. Taking my Sky to the dealer when it was under warranty was a wholly awful experience after Saturn was shut down. They damaged the car more than they fixed it. Lastly, they still haven't fixed my ignition switch. They called me about six months ago, took all the info, and said they would ship the parts to my nearest dealer and call me when that happened. I'm still waiting for that call. Could I call them? Probably, if I could find a phone number and get a human on the phone. Do I want a GM service center screwing with my car again? No.

I love my Sky and I love my Fiero, and I do not care at all for GM.

IP: Logged
Gall757
Member
Posts: 10706
From: Holland, MI
Registered: Jun 2010


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 88
Rate this member

Report this Post02-24-2016 03:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by lorennerol:

I love my Sky and I love my Fiero, and I do not care at all for GM.


GM is definitely not out of the woods. All those involved with the new GM food chain hope they are, but the optimism is self-serving.

[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 02-24-2016).]

IP: Logged
hyperv6
Member
Posts: 5482
From: Clinton, OH, USA
Registered: Mar 2003


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 90
Rate this member

Report this Post02-24-2016 09:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:


I think you missed my point... for some reason GM thought as lorennerol so humorously pointed out that customers would rather fill the limited space with a big chunk of Styrofoam and have the "compact" spare intrude into the trunk space, versus putting it into the hole provided for it. The car comes from the factory with an even larger chunk of Styrofoam taking up nearly all the space except for the inflator and can of goo. It's a ludicrous design whether you believe in spare tires or not.

Yes, everyone's goals are different. I bought the Spark to pull behind my motorhome because there is no such thing as a baseplate to flat tow a Fiero, (although I've heard of custom ones). Last thing I want is to be dragging a car around with a flat and no spare available. You and I have had dramatically different experiences with flats. I've had catastrophic tires failure more times than I can remember, including a double failure on my Fiero where a pothole dented both rims, (separate from the double flat I described earlier).




My glass is half full and yours is half empty. What else is there to say?

[This message has been edited by hyperv6 (edited 02-24-2016).]

IP: Logged
hyperv6
Member
Posts: 5482
From: Clinton, OH, USA
Registered: Mar 2003


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 90
Rate this member

Report this Post02-24-2016 10:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by lorennerol:


Here's the thing: I grew up in Ann Arbor and have been hearing basically this same thing since the early 80s: Those cars GM made 5 years ago, they stunk. But these new cars, boy, what a difference. Except every time, for 35 years, it turned out to not really be different. And after this much time, at least for me, trussing up chintzy interior materials isn't enough; they would have to show a marked and consistent improvement in initial quality *and* longer term reliability to get me to bite. Oh, and dealer service. Taking my Sky to the dealer when it was under warranty was a wholly awful experience after Saturn was shut down. They damaged the car more than they fixed it. Lastly, they still haven't fixed my ignition switch. They called me about six months ago, took all the info, and said they would ship the parts to my nearest dealer and call me when that happened. I'm still waiting for that call. Could I call them? Probably, if I could find a phone number and get a human on the phone. Do I want a GM service center screwing with my car again? No.

I love my Sky and I love my Fiero, and I do not care at all for GM.



Well you have to understand just exactly what was going on and what has happened to know where this all is. GM had been going broke for several decades and to those who could see inside knew it. The Fiero was a perfect case of how poorly GM was run and how Pontiac was almost killed in the early 80's, Yes they were on the chopping block around the time they put the Bonneville on on the A body Le mans platform with only a grill change.

But to be fair Ford and Chrysler of this era also were no winners themselves. K cars with blue smoke blowing engines and rear doors pins just being hardened cotter pins? Ford with warping heads on engines head lights fogging up and paint pealing off in sheets were no better.

To be honest the imports too were a shade better but they had their own rust issues and interior issue too. The 80's were not good for anyone but that is hind sight too. It is a lot easier to classify it looking back.

As for GM service it is all in a matter on where you take it. Dealers are franchises and as like most dealers from any company they can be hit and miss. In my case here I have one GMC Buick dealer that tried to rip my dad off and a Chevy dealer that is across the street that has the best service in the country. They have treated me great and even family and friends have always had top service. Yes they even do most of the Saturn and Hummer work in the area.

GM still has some work to do with dealers as they would like to cut the numbers in half but the government will not let them and they can not afford to buy all of them out. They do send out surveys and unless they are perfect they can and will remove discounts, lower hot product distributions etc. But these dealers will play hard ball with GM.

Now to be fair I have seen the same issue with some of the imports and even Ford. One Ford dealer here was at one time giving people discounts to sign that they would not bring warranty work to their dealer even if they bought it there.

There fact is there is enough sin to go around for all MFG's. There is good and bad to all of them. I have two dealers here I have burned the bridge to and two that I fully rely on as they are great in sales and service and have given me no BS on anything.

In fact my Chevy dealer has done work on a buddies car. It has had a Turbo rev issue and they did make it better but are still not happy with where it is at. They call him every couple months and if they have a new thing to try they call him in and work in it with no charge since his first visit. They pretty much have it resolved now but it was just some odd thing and they did not just give up on it or try to charge him for every move. Note it is out of warranty and is a 08 model.

I was raised with a great uncle that worked at GM from the late 20's to the 60's. He was a lead engineer and he taught me much on how GM worked in the Sloan era. He was old school and that worked back then. The Sloan model started to fail in the late 50's and declined over time. GM needed to cut models and brands years ago but no one wanted to do it. They lacked strong leadership and had little focus.

The bankruptcy was a tough pill but it was needed. This cut the number of models and division that were a must. It also cleaned house of as Bob Lutz called them the people that were the problem. Few if any are left. In fact the ignition issue in my opinion let Mary Barra break up much of the old boys club and clean house as few were going to step up at a time like that and stop her.

The Culture at GM was in major damage for decades and it is only now that they are getting the tight people in the right places.

As for the cars today they are funded properly and not shopping parts from the bins to build them. They are not running out of development money to finish them completely inside and out.

There have been many new platforms come in and make some real statements. There is still much work to do but there is no reason to fear their cars any longer. They will continue to get to where they need to be as each platform is replace. Just drive a old Malibu vs the new and the old Camaro vs. the new and it is amazing how different they are.

I know people inside and for once they are happy as they are being put to where if something needs fixed they do not have to wait to be told to do it. They are expected to just fix it. The culture of the past made them wait to be told?

As for your dealer issue You need to look around as if they are that bad there has to be a better one near by. Life is too short to keep going back to the same dealer.

As for my ignition replacement it went down in 20 min with no muss of fuss. The car was in the same shape as when I took it in like new. The good dealers are there and if you have a bad one don't go back. That is the best way to get them removed.
IP: Logged
hyperv6
Member
Posts: 5482
From: Clinton, OH, USA
Registered: Mar 2003


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 90
Rate this member

Report this Post02-24-2016 10:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gall757:


GM is definitely not out of the woods. All those involved with the new GM food chain hope they are, but the optimism is self-serving.



As with any business there is always risk around the corner. But the truth is they are on the road to recovery and hell if they could survive the ignition deal as they did it was a good test of strength and the trust of the customers not to abandon them. Profits have been going up and sales number continue to increase.

Optimism based on business performance matrix is not what I would call self serving optimism.

The fact is every company out there is just one issue away from a crisis. VW is the largest but had to leverage loans to pay for the Diesel issues and could lose Bentley over it.

FCA is struggling with great issues on quality and recalls. Also they have an idiot leader that invest in Alfa and not Chrysler when he needs profits and Volume. They will merge with someone like Peugeot or Mazda at some point.

Toyota has dodged several crisis. Their quality is not what it once was and competition is getting greater. Their sales or lack of in China is also hurting them.

Honda will need a dance partner at some point to share development cost with. As of now many believe that they and GM will work closer. Honda would remain independent but would share building cost with many new models. They already are working on fuel cell tech with GM that GM has been leading on.

Ford has had engine issues and from time to time a crisses. They are working with GM on transmissions to save money. They supply the money and spec and GM has been engineering them. Hell they were testing the new Ford trucks at the GM Warren proving grounds before it was released.

They are struggling now as a past CEO wanted to kill Lincoln and now they want to try to save them. They are about 5-10 years behind and will need investment but they can catch up.

Ford still also has to pay off the loans they took out prior to the GM and Chrysler bail out. Yes they went broke first but leveraged the plants for loans. GM could not get the loans because of the banking crisis. It may have been a bit of good bad luck there.

There are many other struggling companies out there and some of them may die soon like Mitsubishi and Suzuki if they do not merge with someone. Mazda has been doing well but they lack a partner like they had in Ford and development cost are eating them up.

The next ten years will be tough on all the automakers. No one is getting a free pass. I expect that GM right now is in a better place to deal with it than they were just a few years back with the cuts they made.

The key to the GM future is investment in new technology and development. As long as they keep spending there they should be ok. If they cut back then that is a sign of trouble. Several automakers have already cut back and that is a sign of decline.

To be honest with the state of the world economy the next ten years will be tough on all companies. My fear is it will lead to war on a global scale. That too often happens like in the past.
IP: Logged

next newest topic | next oldest topic

All times are ET (US)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Back To Main Page

Advertizing on PFF | Fiero Parts Vendors
PFF Merchandise | Fiero Gallery | Ogre's Cave
Real-Time Chat | Fiero Related Auctions on eBay



Copyright (c) 1999, C. Pennock