Thirty years ago a old friend working towards a good retirement in GM middle management criticized the corporation as being totally unable to micromanage the huge business from the boardroom. His opinion was that breaking the divisions up would be in the best interest of investors and customers.
That’s a shame about the current Impala, because it seems that everybody was raving about it, giving it high marks, etc.
But if it’s not profitable to actually build and market a product . . .
I vaguely remember those Daihatsus from the 1990s . . .
Even though they weren’t the worst automobiles ever built, I wasn’t terribly impressed, either
Somebody at the dealership actually drove one, might have been one of the cashiers
When I traded in my 2007 Impala in 2014 I test drove a redesigned Impala. It had a very comfortable smooth ride, cavernous trunk, impressive smooth acceleration, good but not outstanding handling, and quite comfy seating. But the driver’s outward visibility was terribly restricted.
Both a Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry model I ended up buying had far more responsive handling and braking, impressively better driver outward visibility, had generous trunk capacity, and cost far less. The seats weren’t as comfortable. Both the Accord and Camry had quite respectable acceleration on 4-cyls although with higher rpms and engine noise than the Impala’s 6-cyls.
The Impala was tempting but for that money, mpg, power, and comfort one could buy a mid to full sized SUV that was more versatile in most respects.
I grew up riding in full sized land yachts with floaty rides and drove those family cars some in my early years of driving (along with owning a hamster powered '73 Corolla as my first car until '87) and enjoyed the comfort. But as a driver, despite still wanting comfort, I put more emphasis on secure handling and all around good driver visibility.
I had to check out the parking lot of the local cafe after replying to this earlier. 3 GM’s (one a newer impala), 2 Ford’s, one Dodge, one Toyota. Some of these were full size trucks, and many (including mine) were not new. It may be a regional thing, but I don’t see a huge lack of sales for GM. I see a lot more GM’s on the road than Asian brands. Again, not new vehicles that I’m seeing for the most part. But still, they (GM) seem to have done ok in sales at least in the past 5-10 years.
Myself, if I’m buying a car, I’d get a Toyota or Honda. But I’ll probably never buy a car again. Suv’s / crossovers are more desirable to me and most buyers. I bought a Highlander last go round. But I would think the explorer far outsold the highlander. So why are domestics bankrupt/selling off plants, etc again?
I would tend to agree that it IS a regional thing
Being a professional mechanic, of those 2 suvs you just mentioned, I would opt for the Toyota. And we have a few exploders in our fleet . . . so I’m not unaware of their reliability, and/or lack thereof
We also have lots of GM suvs in our fleet. Interestingly enough, I like the ride quality of the Yukon/Tahoe better than the Highlander. But in my professional opinion, the Highlander is the more reliable and better built vehicle, by a considerable margin. If comfort were the only criteria, I’d get the Yukon, but it’s not the only criteria, and somebody’s got to pay for the maintenance and repairs. I mentioned those two, because they’re pretty close in size
I wouldn’t argue. (I bought a Toyota). But I’d still think Ford sold more explorers than Toyota sold highlanders. I’m not sure about GM. So sales for domestics seem decent? Whether those sales are justified or not.
I’m not complaining too hard,but the highlander does ride worse than my 4wd GM half ton truck 8 years it’s senior and has more road (tire) noise. Reliability remains to be seen. But…it’s hard to outlast a GM LS engine. I’d say the engine is on par with Toyota reliability. The rest of the truck.,we’ll see. I imagine the transmission and electronics will go before the rest. I got the truck for cheap. Didn’t buy it new. We bought my wife’s highlander new.
New tends to be more of a choice. Used is more a question of whatever you can get the best deal on!
What year is your 4x4 GM 1/2 ton truck . . . 2000?
what transmission . . . 4L60E?
what LS . . . 4.8, 5.3, or 6.0?
I’ve occasionally seen some low compression problems on those engines, mostly the 5.3, top end problems, if I remember correctly. It starts off simple enough, misfire codes, then you do some diagnosis and realize WHY it’s misfiring on a particular cylinder
The 6.0 seems a little more stout, versus its smaller brothers, less problems with that one. Sure, there might be some problems with accessories, but the engine itself seems solid.
The one thing I remember about those 1/2 ton GM trucks is that it sometimes seemed the ride empty was a little bouncy. Seemed to improve with a sizable load in the bed
@marnet, the Impala doesn’t compete with the Camry or Accord. It competes with the Avalon, and Honda doesn’t have a large sedan. I drove the Avalon and Impala in 2017, and I much preferred the Impala to the Avalon. It was as quiet and handled better than the Avalon. It was also more comfortable. The Avalon is a fine car, but it wasn’t my favorite big sedan.
I ended up with an Accord EX-L. While not as quiet (not even close) as the Impala it was comfortable enough, quiet enough, and got much better fuel economy that I didn’t want to spend the extra $7000 for the Impala. The Accord isn’t as large inside and the Impala, but it is primarily a commuter car, and I like getting 37 mpg instead of the 27 or so I’d get with the Impala. My round trip is about 65 miles and the gas savings is important.
@jtsanders I totally agree. I looked at the Impala because I had been driving one that at the time I had cobbled together three huge discounts that overlapped for a small window of a few days that had made it affordable. I liked the comfort of the full sized car. And in 2007 I could still get the shift lever on the column in an Impala. But I opted for replacing it with a Camry for the very reasons you cite.
I think you’ll see lots of Impalas and Malibus in rental fleets, and they’ll show up on the used car lots. I had a rental Malibu and it was fine, except a little boring. The Malibu was plenty big.
Rented an Impala a couple of months ago, fine, except there’s a metal strip across the dash that reflects sun at many angles. Ooops.
Me? Mine is a 2005 with the lowly 4.8 liter. 4.8 vs 5.3 vs 6.0, they’re all the same block, I’ve learned. The 4.8 had flat top pistons and a smaller bore vs the 5.3. The 6.0, a larger bore still. I guess the heads are different. I imagine the motor will last, judging from what I’ve seen of those engines.
The 4l60e trans is kinda hit or miss. They tend to not last terribly long. But people tend to neglect them and beat on them. So we’ll see. Mine was supposedly replaced at 80k miles. I should have my behind kicked for not servicing yet. It has 146k now, but I’ve only owned it for the latest 9k.
In our newspaper today GM is quoted as saying that one of the reasons for discontinuing the Bolt and Volt was “Let someone else spend billions on developing batteries”.
We do get emotional about cars and their manufacturers. I try and look at it from a purely business standpoint. Nobody makes cassette players now, or maybe only as antiques. Seems like regular sedans are headed in that direction.
Incidentally, yesterday a friend who has a 2016 Chevy truck had its transmission go out with nasty a nasty burning smell. It has less than 10K miles on it and has been babied (truck bed has never been used, no towing/etc)
Perhaps the model name that the clueless folks at Daihatsu selected should have been a clue regarding the car’s quality.
The dictionary definition of charade is as follows:
An absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance.
Gm did indeed test the heck out of cars before they were sold to the customer. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was it took 2-3 years to get the needed changes through GM’s byzantine change process. You know, the process that was circumvented for the ignition switches.
We always claimed it was Chrysler that used the first buyers as their validation test sites. Truth is, all of them did it to some degree.
You live in a different area then I do. I’m looking out at the parking lot right now and there are well over 400 cars parked out there. A grand total of 20 cars are from GM,Ford or Chryco. The vast majority are from Asian manufacturers.
Could definitely be a regional thing. I have no idea what sales numbers look like for each manufacturer. One thing that may or may not contribute, we probably keep vehicles longer here since they do not rust away. So I may see more “older sales” vs “newer sales”. Our parking lot, 2 Ford (2013 f150, one mid 2000’s ranger), 3 GM’s (2 2003 or so silverados and my Buick), 1 1993 or so Dakota, 1 2016 Nissan Altima. One guy gets dropped off by his wife. They drive some old Buick suv deal. No real correlation to current sales in our parking lot. I guess the newest vehicles out there would indicate Ford still sells a fair number of trucks (true) and Nissan (and the other Asian brands) sell more sedans (also probably true). Would be interesting to see actual sales figures.
Where will GM find themselves if/when the price of WTI exceeds $100 and gasoline exceeds $3 and they are producing only trucks? Will Detroit find themselves reliving the 1970s debacle of inventories of unwanted gas guzzlers going unsold while the much more agile Japanese and Korean manufacturers quickly jump in to corner the market? The hot SUV market will cool quickly when a fill up exceeds $50.
That is a very similar ratio to what I observe in my area. Yes, some people around here still drive “American” cars, but they are a fairly small minority.