Big 3 Issues

I’m sure everyone has heard about the current problems in Detroit. 2 of the Big 3 aren’t in real good shape. Both Ford & GM have been hemorrhaging money for some time now. Sales are down, losses are up, legacy costs are crushing. Looking back, as hindsight is always 20/20, allowing the UAW to even exist was a foolish decision. And by promising the absurd benefits package, they essentially made it so that they could not ever lose market share. The answer today? Well part of it no one likes. The UAW needs to disappear, or at least become inconsequential. It has long since outlived any sort of usefulness. the second part is build more desireable vehicles. There aren’t many people who choose to buy or not buy a car based on whose badge it wears. People buy (gasp!) cars they like. My first car was a toyota, it had some issues, so I bought another Toyota. 3 Fords and 1 Lincoln have followed. Not because of any “brand loyalty,” but because they were the the vehicles that I liked the most. It could be another Ford next time, or a Lexus, or a Chevy – who knows? Some of the current GM/Ford products and my brief opinions:

Fusion – Excellent design – bold but not offensive. It it drives half as good as it looks it’s a winner. An SVT version would make me a buyer.
Five Hundred – Yawn. But the Crown Vic wasn’t particularly exciting and it sold well.
Focus – It sells, but doesn’t do much for me. Keep doing what works. Bring back a revised SVT version.
Explorer – Ford does SUV’s right.
Expedition – One of the best full-size on the road today
Navigator – I have one, so I must like it at least a little.
LS – Good idea, bad implementation. Needs a replacement.
Mustang – HUGE hit. Nuff said.
GT – Incredible halo car. Who knew Ford had it in them?
F-150 – Not a fan of the new style, but no doubt it’ll run forever, and take tons of abuse quietly.
Ranger – Seriously? It hasn’t changed in how long?? Absolutely out-classed.
Escape – Not a fan, but it sells.
Mercury – I love the styling cues, but I don’t see the purpose. An EB Explorer is “near-lux” to me already.

Vette – always a winner. Amazing package.
Impala / Malibu – are they different enough to need 2 models? Am I missing something? Impala SS is a novel idea, but I can’t get on board with V8 FWD ‘SS’
Cobalt – Yuck. G6 – Stupid name, ugy design, maybe it drives nice?
Grand Prix – awful design. Just awful.
Bonneville – needs to not exist.
Solstice – big winner! Great car
Trailblazer – never been a fan, but it sells.
Tahoe – Stick axle in a “family” vehicle? It’s 2005…..The redesign hasn’t changed that either. Thankfully the new interior looks excellent. Silverierra – I’ve always thought the F-150 was miles ahead.
Equinox – I hate it, but I hear it’s doing well.
Saab – why? When’s the last time it turned a profit?
GTO – It’s probably a fine car… But it is rather pricy, and the styling….. Well I have a hard time dropping $30+ large on an overgrown cavalier.
Colorado – 5 cyl engines freak people out. This thing needs a V6.
HHR – a little late???
SSR – another good idea gone wrong
Burban – Boring but it works well.
Avalanche – eyesore…. No rear visibility…. I don’t really understand its’ purpose.
Monte Carlo – awful styling, who’s the buyer?
Hummer – Too much for my tastes, but they sell, good .margins on small investments.
Caddy – I can’t say I like all the models, but overall the new “edgy” styling has brought back a reason to buy a cadillac. Great job here.

Style is so huge these days. Look at Nissan – almost all of their models are boldly styled. Even with the quality slip as of late, they are having their best year ever.

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