Saturday, April 02, 2005
Add Me To That List
The bottom line is GM's problems can't just be couched in terms of product, because there are too many other contributing factors that got them to this point. And if we read one more analyst crowing about the Chrysler 300C as an example of what GM needs, we're going to scream. We'd love to go back and compile a list of the analysts who, in seeing a preview of the 300C, stood up and shouted, "It's a grand slam home run!"
Well, first, I've known about the Chrysler LX since the fall of '01 (yea, this was when the automotive press was doing everything possible to dispell the notion that DCX was working on a RWD replacement for the LH), and once it became clear that it was getting a 5.7 L V8 I had absolutely no doubt about its future success. Build it, and they will come - in droves. Any car guy could have called that one, and trust me - as soon as the car was publically unveiled, I was all over the car-enthusiast bulletin boards proclaiming that it'd be a hit. The only thing I'm apologizing for is not having a sufficiently-large bullhorn.
But even though the majority of the auto press and pundits had thought (publically or privately) that the 300C and Magnum would flop, I still want those same people piling onto GM and making things very clear for the General - if only there was some idea down at the RenCen of what it means to be an American car manufacturer, then it'd be GM that would be basking in success right now. Rub GM's face in it.
Do all of GM's woes stem from the lack of any one particular product? Of course not. But it's not GM's crushing debt or other structural problems that have led to the increased scrutiny as of late - no, it's their short-term profitability, and that's linked directly to the fact that GM has no bold must-have vehicle in their showrooms.
A rebirth of the Caprice wouldn't save GM in the long term, but it sure as hell would have helped over the next five years by solidly contributing to the bottom line, and that would have bought GM something they sorely need right now - time.
Looks like it's going to be 2009 before we see mainstream RWD products from GM. Will that be too late?