Chicago Tribune: GM reconsiders RWD cars. [Archive] - Ford Inside News Community

: Chicago Tribune: GM reconsiders RWD cars.


SobeSVT
04-10-2007, 03:54 PM
http://www.chicagotribune.com/images/chinews/newlogo2.gif (http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/columnists/chi-0704090401apr10,0,7049242.column?coll=chi-business-hed)

GM puts brake on rear-drive vehicles

Published April 10, 2007

http://cache.jalopnik.com/assets/resources/2007/02/pontiac_g8_gt_show_car.jpg

General Motors has put a hold on future rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

"We've pushed the pause button. It's no longer full speed ahead," Vice Chairman Bob Lutz revealed in an interview.

Two of the most important RWD cars in the works are the Chevy Camaro sports coupe due back late in 2008 and the full-size, RWD replacement for the Chevy Impala sedan for 2009. Both are expected to be huge sellers and contribute major profits to a GM till burdened with IOUs the last few years.

"It's too late to stop Camaro, but anything after that is questionable or on the bubble," said Lutz, noting that also means Camaro derivatives -- along with a big Impala sedan, "if we call it Impala."

The RWD cars, you see, would be larger and heavier than front-wheel-drive cars or are high-performance models.

So it comes down to the matter of fuel economy. Or as Lutz says: "We don't know how to get 30 percent better mileage from" RWD cars.

That 30 percent bogey arises from a proposal by the Bush administration to raise corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards by 4 percent a year so cars would have to average 34 m.p.g. by 2017, up from 27.5 m.p.g. today. On top of that, the Supreme Court ruled last week that the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate carbon dioxide expelled by cars, a gas that contributes to global warming. The EPA doesn't do so now.

"We'll decide on our rear-drive cars when the government decides on CO(-2) levels and CAFE regulations," Lutz said, adding that limiting CO(-2) would increase mileage, too.

"Carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of burning gas and directly proportional to the amount of fuel burned. If we legislate CO(-2) from cars, why not legislate we take one less breath per minute since humans release capricious amounts of CO(-2) each time they exhale?" offered a testy Lutz.

Lutz also points out that higher mileage will come at a price, with the proposal to raise CAFE certain to increase costs by as much as $5,000, which will be added to a car's sticker, an amount most consumers won't be willing to pay. There are no hard numbers for how much CAFE compliance adds to the sticker now.

for more CLICK HERE (http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/columnists/chi-0704090401apr10,0,7049242.column?coll=chi-business-hed).

Mbukukanyau
04-10-2007, 03:56 PM
All I can say is Yikes!!!

B.R.
04-10-2007, 04:36 PM
Bummer. I was looking forward to seeing a G8, the concept looks sweet.

2b2
04-10-2007, 10:58 PM
I have trouble believing the G8 won't come off as planned - at least for the imported phase - despite 9 pages and counting of hysteria ...um... elsewhere.

Whenever I hear some really negative words from a FML/GM rep, I remind myself it could be pre-UAW-negotiation rhetoric...

plus MaximumBob's job description could include "unofficially" saying what Rick can't and still look in-charge. Know what I mean?

SobeSVT
04-10-2007, 11:32 PM
I have trouble believing the G8 won't come off as planned - at least for the imported phase - despite 9 pages and counting of hysteria ...um... elsewhere.

Whenever I hear some really negative words from a FML/GM rep, I remind myself it could be pre-UAW-negotiation rhetoric...

plus MaximumBob's job description could include "unofficially" saying what Rick can't and still look in-charge. Know what I mean?
I was thinking the same thing. It is either pre-UAW-negotiation B-S or they are just reassessing their RWD approach after a resurgence of very rational thinking among buyers (v. emotional thinking). The rethinking of their RWD effort makes a lot of sense in view of the 300's cool down, or should I say melt down. It makes even more sense since Lutz is blaming the goverment's environmental initiatives for their decision. Typical Detroit!! :mad:

megeebee
04-11-2007, 06:29 AM
The G8 and Camaro are too far along to cancel. The G8 will be imported at first. Assuming good sales, production will move to the US along side Camaro. What I believe is on hold are the replacements for Impala, Lucerne, and DTS. This doesn't mean "cancelled", at least not yet. But it's sad that the global Zeta program is once again stalled. I did read not too long ago that both RWD and FWD versions of the next Impala were completed at the design studio, so top brass could have the option.

I wrote over at GMI that perhaps GM may want to "pull-ahead" the Epsilon II mid-size FWD product since they have a better chance of winning volume. (I'm thinking especially of the fast-declining Buick and Saab). There is also the new 2 mode hybrid system for FWD ccars to offer as well, so this may be the best way to satisfy any new CAFE standards.

The Zeta RWD cars are no doubt nice, but large numbers are still with FWD/AWD cars and crossovers. They aren't as exciting as RWD cars can be. And their design is almost aways a version of "cab-forward", giving them longish front overhangs and short dash-to-axle ratios. But they sell very well all over the nation and from most automakers.

ndwariga
04-11-2007, 01:32 PM
The G8 and Camaro are too far along to cancel. The G8 will be imported at first. Assuming good sales, production will move to the US along side Camaro. What I believe is on hold are the replacements for Impala, Lucerne, and DTS. This doesn't mean "cancelled", at least not yet. But it's sad that the global Zeta program is once again stalled. I did read not too long ago that both RWD and FWD versions of the next Impala were completed at the design studio, so top brass could have the option.

I wrote over at GMI that perhaps GM may want to "pull-ahead" the Epsilon II mid-size FWD product since they have a better chance of winning volume. (I'm thinking especially of the fast-declining Buick and Saab). There is also the new 2 mode hybrid system for FWD ccars to offer as well, so this may be the best way to satisfy any new CAFE standards.

The Zeta RWD cars are no doubt nice, but large numbers are still with FWD/AWD cars and crossovers. They aren't as exciting as RWD cars can be. And their design is almost aways a version of "cab-forward", giving them longish front overhangs and short dash-to-axle ratios. But they sell very well all over the nation and from most automakers.The main problem I think is that GM has a serious aversion to business risk.. They will not take any chances whatsoever. For Example, Does Toyota kill a vehicle in its first model run?

B.R.
04-11-2007, 04:35 PM
The main problem I think is that GM has a serious aversion to business risk.. They will not take any chances whatsoever. For Example, Does Toyota kill a vehicle in its first model run?

Toyota never would kill a vehicle in its first one. Look how long all of their names have been around. Camry, Corolla, Avalon, they are at least 10 years or more. But now Ford is changing their habits, the names of their new products will be around for awhile.

SobeSVT
04-11-2007, 04:42 PM
The main problem I think is that GM has a serious aversion to business risk.. They will not take any chances whatsoever. For Example, Does Toyota kill a vehicle in its first model run?
Toyota Echo?

B.R.
04-11-2007, 04:54 PM
Toyota Echo?

I thought it was around for a long time before it was killed.

ndwariga
04-11-2007, 05:23 PM
Toyota Echo?
Is is dead Global?

SobeSVT
04-11-2007, 05:29 PM
Is is dead Global?
I have no idea. That is why I used a question mark. They certainly killed it here after just one generation.

ndwariga
04-11-2007, 05:41 PM
I have no idea. That is why I used a question mark. They certainly killed it here after just one generation.
I think Aveo just spanked it... real good

megeebee
04-11-2007, 06:13 PM
I have no idea. That is why I used a question mark. They certainly killed it here after just one generation.


Yaris is it's replacement. It never sold very well (except in Seattle, of course).

I remember reading a review of the Echo when it was new. It was NOT among the Toyotas the press normally druel over. It was described as:

"Something completely new from Toyota.......a bad idea."

B.R.
04-11-2007, 07:21 PM
The Yaris is even worse than the Echo was. The interior of the Yaris even though it is a small car is nowhere near the Toyota standard for interiors. The Fit and upcoming Mazda 2 are much better small cars.

2b2
04-11-2007, 09:19 PM
that's
former Toyota standard for interiors...

B.R.
04-11-2007, 09:32 PM
that's
former Toyota standard for interiors...

That is right. The Tundras is a joke with the plastic on the drivers side and the Camry interiors are getting worse and worse.

Mbukukanyau
04-12-2007, 02:47 PM
Why are they doing this?