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Guest donaltopablo

Can The Big 3 Come Back in the Car Market?

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Ryan and I have a conversation about this over AIM. I saw this article, figured I would bring the discussion here.

U.S. carmakers shift strategy

New sedans aimed at luring buyers back

By P

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Hope they are successful are re-inventing the sedan/car market.

On another note - one of the ugliest revisions I think I've ever seen is the new Malibu.

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I love American cars, but I will agree with Heckles that the new Malibu is somewhat ugly. This is not going to compete that well with the Japanese, IMO.

However, I do believe that American cars are getting better all the time. Many people are leery of American nameplates because of horrendous styling and quality issues from the 80's and 90's. Styling is always subjective, but some of today's best-looking, most exciting vehicles are coming out of Detroit. And, as far as quality goes, several American brands are rated right up there with the Japanese and Germans. Some of the latest and greatest from the USA:

Cadillac XLR

photoExt1_med.jpg

The new 350 hp V8 Pontiac GTO. This car is actually made in Australia, but I really want it BAD!

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The upcoming 2005 Pontiac Solstice roadster, priced around $20K (!!)

wallpaper_solstice_sm_1.jpg

The new 2005 Mustang

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Who likes Lincolns? The Mark X concept:

news_markx_article_ext.jpg

With compelling cars like these, I think Detroit can make a serious come back, as long as the quality is there. Their market share will never go back to the levels of 30 years ago, but I think a lot of Americans should at least give the Big 3 another look.

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With compelling cars like these, I think Detroit can make a serious come back, as long as the quality is there. Their market share will never go back to the levels of 30 years ago, but I think a lot of Americans should at least give the Big 3 another look.

I love the American speciality cars. I think they do an excellent job producing niche model vehicles.

The problem I see, is that the American car makers lack appeal for mainstream cars and standout models that sell in volume. The lack a number one seller (outside of the truck arena).

Quality is on the rise, but materials and fit and finish are only now (as in '03, '04 models) starting to come around. Even GM admits they lack a "Toyota" Camry, a solid, mainstream, massive selling car with a reputation of resale value and reliability. I believe they need to get this back.

I can name 4 people I know, all historic American car buyers (i.e. NEVER owned an import) who recently purchased Nissans. I think this is an important indication of the trends, that even historically American buyers are moving away from American companies when they think quality and resale value in a mainstream vehicle.

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In the Detroit area, it seems that the big 3 are loosing more and more of the market share. When compared to other regions of the country, seeing an import car on the road here is still a rarity; however, they are becoming more common. The only reason the big 3 still hold a huge share of the market around here is that because everyone works for the automotive industry, everyone gets a company discount. And there are lots of people like my dad, who gets company discounts on cars for like 6 different manufacturers.

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Well, I still drive a used 2-door Chevrolet ...

Brickhead, that Cadillac XLR looks like a heck of a car !

FWIW, here's what the Mercedes R-Class SUV will look like, when it goes into production at the local plant early next year :

gst_2.jpg

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Man, those sporty station wagon SUVs are getting popular.

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