As we all recall the GM Alpha platform was highly awarded and was supposed to have given GM a leg up on Ford, BMW, the world in general; it was highly acclaimed, every single auto magazine raved about the alpha-based ATS, SS & Camaro. In reality, the alpha platform has fallen well short of expectations. You have to wonder will GM be able to figure out why the vaunted Alpha platform is being handily outsold by the far less acclaimed CD4 platform & S550? (I had to look up what the Fusion platform was called as I had no idea). For example Lincoln's, MKZ easily outsells the ATS and CTS combined (I looked it up), The S550 has easily outsold the 16 Camaro even though GM had a year to tweak the alpha based Camaro to make it better (which they clearly do).
So what gives, why is the Alpha falling so short?
I have my own opinion; in the luxury segment and being a midwest transplant living just outside DC I think I have a good perspective; people don't care that much about pinnacle performance they want to show all the other 1 mm deep people they have money and that's it. A BMW, Audi or Mercedes represents showing off success, a Cadillac or Lincoln for that matter will never do for those people. Also give BMW, Mercedes and Audi credit; though their reliability and longevity is terrible, their vehicles generally look very good.
For the rest of luxury - practicality and value define success. the ATS was neither, rear seat and trunk are cramped and it wasn't an absolute ugly car, but wasn't much of a looker either.
Pony cars - the '16 Camaro took a step back in style, compared to the Zeta it's bland in direct comparison though if viewed separately they do resemble one another - which has more impact on I am unsure, likely a little of both. Second I could not buy a 16 Camaro because it's simply too small, I am not a big guy - 5'11" and nail the bmi for my height, still the Camaro makes me feel cramped as soon as the door closes. A Mustang feels "just right". Though a Ford guy I believe in being objective, I went and checked out a Camaro with real intention of buying the COTY; what I found was a car that was just too small and too expensive for what I would be laying out (and I still hate their dash, though it's better than it used to be.) In fact that Magazines were so wrong about the Camaro got me to reconsider and sit into the far-less well received S550 Mustang, which had me thinking buy perhaps 10 seconds after I sat down, and when I did my objective tests (back seat, trunk, f'n cool factor of the interior this car has it all.)
the SS - priced too high, didn't need a V8, styling was actually pretty good (except the bow-tie on the front).
In short GM is attempting to cut in at the front of the line and didn't bother to take a realistic look at how those they were cutting in front of got there.
Why do I care? well I don't know if Ford really bumped up the release date for the S650 because the S550 was an overwhelming success or they got caught up in the reviews of the alpha Camaro. I hope they pay attention to what GM seems to have painstakingly proven; style, value and practicality rule.
Lessons to be learned I think Ford has the S550 Mustang perfect, I hope for the S650 they manage to keep it the extremely well-thought out car that the S550 is now.
Capitalizing on the failures of the SS and ATS; If Ford is thinking about a rear-drive performance sedan (I haven't heard they are) style and practicality; roomy backseat that makes the driver ask to sit in back now and then. It doesn't need a 5.0 in it that 3.3 V6 would be terrific.
Edited by meyeste, 11 August 2017 - 03:08 PM.