Jump to content

Custom Search





Coming Up Next:
Lincoln Aviator


Welcome to Blue Oval Forums


Sign In  Log in with Facebook

Create Account
Welcome to Blue Oval Forums.  You must first register to create topics and post replies. Registration is a quick and easy process and only takes a minute.  Be apart of Blue Oval Forums by signing in or creating an account.
  • Start new topics and reply to others
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get email updates
  • Get your own profile page and make new friends
  • Send personal messages to other members
  • Create a photo album and post images
  • Use the Shout feature and more. . .
Click here to create an account now.
 
Guest Message by DevFuse

Photo
- - - - -

Alpha dud

lessons learned

  • Please log in to reply
42 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   meyeste

meyeste

    New BON Member

  • Blue Oval Member
  • Pip
  • 159 posts
  • Joined 13-August 05
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 11 August 2017 - 02:56 PM

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.








Lose this advertisement by becoming a member. Click here to create a free account.


#2 OFFLINE   jpd80

jpd80

    Member

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,874 posts
  • Joined 02-June 04
  • Region:Decline
  • Location:My Happy Place
  • Current Vehicle:Falcon 302 V8

Posted 11 August 2017 - 05:26 PM

GM spent a fortune on brand building, they turned the original idea of a Pontiac based RWD platform

into a premium chassis for Cadillac in an attempt to replicate the formula used by BMW.

 

Those asking what could have been done differently need look no further than

1. Listening to what Cadillac buyers wanted and not dismissing them as unnecessary for the future of Cadillac.

2. Prioritize vehicles that Cadillac needs - Utilities ahead of ripping up the car playbook to go chase a competitor.

3. Replace Sigma CTS and DTS / XTS  with premium Zetas in 2010 that could have deputized for 5 and 7 series

4. Replace Zeta CTS and DTS / XTS in 2015 with Omega based products called CT4 and CT6

 

Alpha based products could have and should have been used across the rest of GM's divisions,

if GM really wanted to chase BMW in its homeland, Opel/Vauxhall was the channels to use

which then leads onto Buick for Nth America and China as well as Holden in Australia.

 

The selfish myopic vanity of GM resulted in yet again failure for Cadillac but worse,

the hastened demise of Opel Vauxhall by not being raised up to premium products.


Edited by jpd80, 11 August 2017 - 05:29 PM.

  • ehaase likes this

#3 OFFLINE   Anthony

Anthony

    Voice of reason

  • Moderator
  • 5,219 posts
  • Joined 08-May 01
  • Region:U.S. Northeast
  • Location:CT
  • Current Vehicle:2014 Focus Hatch

Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:18 PM

The funniest thing is that the 10 model year old Challenger is only 30 something units behind the Camaro in year to date sales.
  • 2b2 and MY93SHO like this

#4 OFFLINE   sullynd

sullynd

    Blue Oval Enthusiast

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,703 posts
  • Joined 27-May 05

Posted 12 August 2017 - 02:25 PM

The funniest thing is that the 10 model year old Challenger is only 30 something units behind the Camaro in year to date sales.


The challenger has had some decent updates. I wish they had a Convertible. AWD is a definite plus.

#5 OFFLINE   rperez817

rperez817

    New BON Member

  • Blue Oval Member
  • Pip
  • 318 posts
  • Joined 03-October 16
  • Region:U.S. Southern Plains
  • Location:Fort Worth
  • Current Vehicle:'17 Jaguar XF 20d; '04 Ford Ranger

Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:02 AM

the SS - priced too high, didn't need a V8, styling was actually pretty good (except the bow-tie on the front). 

 

Chevrolet SS is a bargain. It provides features and performance comparable to or better than BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar sedans for a price that's $20k or more lower. 

 

Fantastic as it is, the car doesn't actually use GM Alpha platform. It's based on the GM Zeta platform Holden Commodore VF.


Edited by rperez817, 13 August 2017 - 12:06 AM.

  • meyeste likes this

Native Texan sent to spread the message, "God Blessed Texas"  :) 


#6 OFFLINE   jpd80

jpd80

    Member

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,874 posts
  • Joined 02-June 04
  • Region:Decline
  • Location:My Happy Place
  • Current Vehicle:Falcon 302 V8

Posted 13 August 2017 - 03:08 AM

 

Chevrolet SS is a bargain. It provides features and performance comparable to or better than BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar sedans for a price that's $20k or more lower. 

 

Fantastic as it is, the car doesn't actually use GM Alpha platform. It's based on the GM Zeta platform Holden Commodore VF.

 

Sadly, production finishes next month, yet another plant and engineering center that GM has killed.

 

We're not down on GM's engineering here, the Alphas are superb vehicles that just don't sell and that's all on GM

for not marketing the cars properly and for not diversifying  to Buick and Chevrolet to elevate those brands as well.

 

and that before we even begin to talk about the salvation of Opel/Vauxhall and Holden


Edited by jpd80, 13 August 2017 - 03:19 AM.

  • rperez817 likes this

#7 OFFLINE   meyeste

meyeste

    New BON Member

  • Blue Oval Member
  • Pip
  • 159 posts
  • Joined 13-August 05
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:33 AM

GM spent a fortune on brand building, they turned the original idea of a Pontiac based RWD platform

into a premium chassis for Cadillac in an attempt to replicate the formula used by BMW.

 

Those asking what could have been done differently need look no further than

1. Listening to what Cadillac buyers wanted and not dismissing them as unnecessary for the future of Cadillac.

2. Prioritize vehicles that Cadillac needs - Utilities ahead of ripping up the car playbook to go chase a competitor.

3. Replace Sigma CTS and DTS / XTS  with premium Zetas in 2010 that could have deputized for 5 and 7 series

4. Replace Zeta CTS and DTS / XTS in 2015 with Omega based products called CT4 and CT6

 

Alpha based products could have and should have been used across the rest of GM's divisions,

if GM really wanted to chase BMW in its homeland, Opel/Vauxhall was the channels to use

which then leads onto Buick for Nth America and China as well as Holden in Australia.

 

The selfish myopic vanity of GM resulted in yet again failure for Cadillac but worse,

the hastened demise of Opel Vauxhall by not being raised up to premium products.

 

Strange you know a lot more about GM than I do, I was really looking for people to agree with me; GM seems to be ran by idiots and it's kinda  fun to watch. I can't say I really care if they right the ship or not. 

More seriously IMO GM engages in the practice of telling people what they want to drive, and then they get upset when people don't agree with them and don't buy their cars.  I wonder how that meeting goes; you have to believe someone is in there saying "look we let the Germans get out ahead of us in the ought's, all our cars were crap - possibly cite the Cadillac Cimarron to drive the point home, we need to start ground up provide value and earn back customers"

That would be the individual that actually did research and knows that he/she is talking about.

Next we have the Exec whose research consisted of reading of BMW's profit margins and spends his/her time watching Kevin Costner movies this person says "I don't believe it, if we build a great car people will recognize it and buy them!!" speaker #1 comes back with "we must provide value to customers to get them back", Exec responds with "but I want a yacht next year!!!, have you seen the margins BMW makes? They charge customers $6k to replace a shock! (thinks to herself ) "perhaps a helipad on that yacht" though kinda mouths it out loud, at which about speaker #1 realizes he'd best get on board or will be out of a job. 


Edited by meyeste, 14 August 2017 - 06:47 AM.


#8 OFFLINE   Fgts

Fgts

    Blue Oval Member

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPip
  • 1,507 posts
  • Joined 02-March 10

Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:16 AM

 
Chevrolet SS is a bargain. It provides features and performance comparable to or better than BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar sedans for a price that's $20k or more lower. 
 
Fantastic as it is, the car doesn't actually use GM Alpha platform. It's based on the GM Zeta platform Holden Commodore VF.


Should an Chevy Alpha sedan appear it should shock the market by offering a sub $30k low dollar V8 model even if it steps on the toes of the Malibu. I believe the Camaro is going this route next year.

As far as the platform it may not be sell in high volumes but I don't think it's a dud considering the circumstances it was intended for in the 1st place.

3 Cars already built on this platform and until someone on here knows its balance sheet, can't whine about what it cost to develop. Eventually as time goes on Alpha will get periodical updates addressing it's shortcomings.

#9 OFFLINE   7Mary3

7Mary3

    Blue Oval Member

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPip
  • 1,987 posts
  • Joined 01-August 05

Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:05 PM

Car sales in general are sinking fast, even BMW is increasingly relying on CUV's.  Cadillac's best sellers are the SRX/XT5 and Escalade (laughing all the way to the bank, $100K at a time).  The new age muscle/pony car thing is fading as well.  I don't think there is anything wrong with the Alpha platform, in fact it's quite good (I wish Ford had as good a RWD platform).  I think it's just the market it is in. 



#10 OFFLINE   papilgee4evaeva

papilgee4evaeva

    La Voz de Razón

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,494 posts
  • Joined 07-September 07
  • Region:U.S. Southern Atlantic
  • Location:Research Triangle, NC
  • Current Vehicle:2005 Buick Rainier CXL; 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium

Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:12 PM

Camaro is what it is.  I think its lack of daily livability, particularly the smushed greenhouse and weird IP, is why it doesn't move as well as it should.

 

Cadillac?  GM definitely tried to do too much too fast.  I think they were on the right track with the last Sigma II CTS, and I don't find too much wrong with the design or offerings of the current one.  But one good generation wasn't gonna be enough to command the huge price hike they wanted.  Same with ATS.  Sticker shock is more of a problem for a damaged brand than an unproven one (i.e. Maserati, Alfa Romeo).

 

Of note: not once did I blame the Alpha platform for the reason why these vehicles aren't as successful as they could or should be, nor will I.  Rather, it's proof that GM had another good idea but found a way (or several) to underdeliver on that idea.


  • 30 OTT 6 likes this

CURRENT VEHICLES
2005 Buick Rainier CXL V8, 158K (mine)
2013 Ford Fusion Titanium, 48k (wife's)

PREVIOUS VEHICLES

1999 Nissan Maxima SE Limited, 188K (wife's; donated)

2001 Pontiac Bonneville SLE, 126K (the Cruise Missile; started getting gremlins, plus we outgrew it)

1996 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4WD, 111-160K+ (stupid odometer) (sold to make room for the Bonnie)
1995 Dodge Intrepid (wife's; almost everything that could go wrong did; towed away stealthily)

FUTURE VEHICLES?

Some other sort of three-row family hauler (for us)

6th-gen Ford Mustang GT Coupe? (for me)


#11 OFFLINE   meyeste

meyeste

    New BON Member

  • Blue Oval Member
  • Pip
  • 159 posts
  • Joined 13-August 05
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:57 AM

Fairly decent responses;

 

Thanks for pointing out the SS was a Zeta platform car, the Alpha cars are the Camaro, ATS and CTS. 

 

I agree the issue is Marketing; in the sense GM's market research led them to produce cars that didn't sell why is that? 

 

Well price point; it seems GM can't learn this lesson after all a big reason the Generation 4 Camaro was axed for poor sales and I believe that was also because it's price point was too high. 

Now Ford has ramped up the 2018 Mustang's price point however, to build more or less the same car I have now the price point is nearly exactly the same (I don't have a PP car because I won't want the 19" wheels). To get to $50k there are options that simply weren't available before and I think this is a good strategy on Ford's part. It would seem GM (as usual) agrees or has simply decided it's probably best to do whatever Ford does as I hear they will do the same for 2019. 

 

At the same time the Camaro really is a practical two seater, the one owner of a 16 Camaro (V6) I know traded it in less than a year because of that reason they got a small SUV instead. 



#12 OFFLINE   akirby

akirby

    fordmantpw's alter ego

  • Moderator
  • 25,967 posts
  • Joined 18-April 06
  • Region:Decline
  • Location:Alpharetta, GA
  • Current Vehicle:2013 Fusion Ti (Ruby Red)

Posted 15 August 2017 - 08:25 AM

GM didn't do any market research.   If they had it would have told them that bmw buyers aren't Cadillac buyers for the most part and that copying them wasn't going to be all that successful.

 

GM has a history of building what the engineers/executives want to build (Solstice/Sky, GTO/G8/SS, HHR, ELR) rather than what they can sell and make money.

 

Johan clearly wanted to compete with the germans from an engineering perspective.   Either he was completely ignorant about why people buy BMWs and why people buy Cadillacs or he purposely ignored it to do what he wanted to do.



2013 Fusion Titanium (Ruby Red)
2016 Lincoln MKX Reserve (Luxe/Cappucino)

#13 OFFLINE   rmc523

rmc523

    Blue Oval Fanatic

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,904 posts
  • Joined 07-July 07
  • Location:Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Current Vehicle:2009 Flex Limited w/ AWD

Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:42 AM

GM didn't do any market research.   If they had it would have told them that bmw buyers aren't Cadillac buyers for the most part and that copying them wasn't going to be all that successful.

 

GM has a history of building what the engineers/executives want to build (Solstice/Sky, GTO/G8/SS, HHR, ELR) rather than what they can sell and make money.

 

Johan clearly wanted to compete with the germans from an engineering perspective.   Either he was completely ignorant about why people buy BMWs and why people buy Cadillacs or he purposely ignored it to do what he wanted to do.

 

I think you meant SSR, not HHR.


Car of the Day:

 

2018 Lincoln Navigator L Black Label

 

k2NSDNS.jpg


#14 OFFLINE   fuzzymoomoo

fuzzymoomoo

    Blue Oval Enthusiast

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,737 posts
  • Joined 18-February 14
  • Region:Decline
  • Location:Southeast Michigan
  • Current Vehicle:2008 Focus, 2015 Focus

Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:45 AM

 
I think you meant SSR, not HHR.

Both really....

What? What happened?


#15 OFFLINE   rmc523

rmc523

    Blue Oval Fanatic

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,904 posts
  • Joined 07-July 07
  • Location:Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Current Vehicle:2009 Flex Limited w/ AWD

Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:46 AM

Both really....

 

I doubt many engineers got too excited about making the HHR lol.


Car of the Day:

 

2018 Lincoln Navigator L Black Label

 

k2NSDNS.jpg


#16 OFFLINE   fuzzymoomoo

fuzzymoomoo

    Blue Oval Enthusiast

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,737 posts
  • Joined 18-February 14
  • Region:Decline
  • Location:Southeast Michigan
  • Current Vehicle:2008 Focus, 2015 Focus

Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:47 AM

 
I doubt many engineers got too excited about making the HHR lol.

well clearly someone did, because that happened.

What? What happened?


#17 OFFLINE   akirby

akirby

    fordmantpw's alter ego

  • Moderator
  • 25,967 posts
  • Joined 18-April 06
  • Region:Decline
  • Location:Alpharetta, GA
  • Current Vehicle:2013 Fusion Ti (Ruby Red)

Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:50 AM

Both.   The point was they make a lot of vehicles nobody wants to buy and then they cancel them, regardless of the reasons.



2013 Fusion Titanium (Ruby Red)
2016 Lincoln MKX Reserve (Luxe/Cappucino)

#18 OFFLINE   rmc523

rmc523

    Blue Oval Fanatic

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,904 posts
  • Joined 07-July 07
  • Location:Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Current Vehicle:2009 Flex Limited w/ AWD

Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:51 AM

well clearly someone did, because that happened.

 

Execs wanted to try to jump on the coattails of the then-successful retro-esque PT Cruiser, so Chevy came out with the HHR.  Both of which obviously failed long-term.

 

My point was that HHR was unlike any of the other vehicles you mentioned, which were more of the "pet project" variety.


Car of the Day:

 

2018 Lincoln Navigator L Black Label

 

k2NSDNS.jpg


#19 OFFLINE   grbeck

grbeck

    Member

  • Blue Oval Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,249 posts
  • Joined 14-July 00

Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:52 AM

GM, is to some extent, cursed by its past history and success. For many years, the divisions were guided by the vision of the General Manager, while Harley Earl, and then Bill Mitchell, ruled the styling studio with an iron hand. What they liked were what you got on the showroom floor. The hiring of Bob Lutz was, in some respect, an attempt to recreate this.

 

That approached worked in the 1930s up through the late 1970s. But times have changed. Competition is much tougher, and customers place more priority on reliability than they did in the postwar boom years.



#20 OFFLINE   rperez817

rperez817

    New BON Member

  • Blue Oval Member
  • Pip
  • 318 posts
  • Joined 03-October 16
  • Region:U.S. Southern Plains
  • Location:Fort Worth
  • Current Vehicle:'17 Jaguar XF 20d; '04 Ford Ranger

Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:57 AM

Johan clearly wanted to compete with the germans from an engineering perspective.   Either he was completely ignorant about why people buy BMWs and why people buy Cadillacs or he purposely ignored it to do what he wanted to do.

 

His effort to improve Cadillac's engineering and design was the right thing to do. GM now has the capability to compete with premium cars from Germany, England, Japan, and South Korea. That's necessary to ensure Cadillac is a player in the global luxury car market.

 

As mentioned by others, crossover and SUV popularity negatively affected sales of luxury sedans recently. Can't blame Johann for that. This dynamic is not limited to Cadillac. At BMW, 3-Series sales are down 20%, 5-Series down 10% (even with the new G30 generation introduced this year), and 7-Series down 25% so far in 2017.


Edited by rperez817, 15 August 2017 - 10:58 AM.

Native Texan sent to spread the message, "God Blessed Texas"  :) 









Custom Search


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Privacy Policy Terms of Service ·