Category Archive:

General Motors’ Failures – Kudos for Trying

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General Motors Company (formerly “Corporation”) today is a shadow of its former self.  It sells fewer models through fewer brands since its bankruptcy in 2009.  It is reconstructing itself and building itself into a competitive and profitable car company.  That transformation appears to be going very well.

Over the years, however, General Motors has often tried to be a trailblazer (no pun intended) in new vehicle design and development.  Many of these vehicles failed, but we believe GM deserves a tremendous amount of credit for trying where other companies did not have the creative thought or resources to make a “segment breaking” product.  Here are some examples…


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Chevrolet Traverse – 2013 What Were They Thinking?

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We have always liked the General Motors Lambda Platform crossover SUVs (XSUVs).  The Buick Enclave is the most elegant and chrome laden.  The GMC Acadia picks up sheetmetal from the now-dead Saturn Outlook for 2013.  That’s OK.  The Outlook wasn’t bad looking and GM likely saved bundles by using /modifying tooling for the “fresh” Acadia.  The Chevrolet Traverse was the last Lambda launched and was arguably the better looking of the three “mainstream” Lambdas – Traverse-Acadia-Outlook.  It carried the bold crossbar in its grille that has come to clearly identify a Chevrolet when seen in the rearview mirror.

Chevrolet Traverse Front End Goes Plain Jane

Now they’ve gone and ruined it.  For the 2013 mild freshening, Chevrolet has abandoned its bold and distinctive front end appearance for a milquetoast “car” front end look for its crossover.  This fits into the VehicleVoice category of “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?”


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Two Three-Row Crossovers Take Different Paths

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The model year was 2007.  ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley was popular on the radio.  Steve Irwin, the famous crocodile hunter was killed by a stingray and minivans were about as cool as Barney.  Two new three-row crossover SUVs entered the market looking to haul families and mass quantities of Vitamin Water from Costco in style and safety.

Posted in: GMC, Mazda

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A Pickup Truck With A Diet For Raptors

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The General invited AutoPacific to get a sneak peek at a new pickup truck concept that will be shown at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. We’re going to spoil the surprise and fill you in with all of the details so keep reading…
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2011 Sierra Denali 2500 4X4 Crew Cab – Duramax Yes, Denali No

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Ten years ago when you thought about General Motors pickups you probably weren’t thinking heavy-duty. Sure, a half-ton Silverado might do nicely for city slickers or small jobs but for the real cowboys working on heavy duty projects only a Ford Super-Duty with a Power Stroke or Ram with a Cummins would really ‘work’. When it came to the heavy-duty pickup truck market it seemed as though GM didn’t really have what it took and their small share of the heavy-duty truck market (only 10%) reflected that sentiment. But all that was about to change…
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Driving Impressions: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD

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We recently had the opportunity to drive the new 2011 Silverado HD and Sierra HD pickups. They may not look very different, but with an all-new frame and chassis and an improved powertrain these vehicles should be considered all-new.
New and improved is the theme, at least in every aspect except exterior and interior appearance.


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2010 GMC Acadia Wins Battle for AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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GMC_10_Acadia.jpgAcadia Noses Out Ford Flex for VSA It turns out the Large Crossover SUV segment has become a very competitive place. The 2010 GMC Acadia won the class nosing out the Ford Flex. The Acadia scored 711 VSA points in its victory to the Flex rating of 704. Acadia won twenty-one of the forty-eight categories. Flex won twenty-two. So, Acadia’s win came by more consistency overall in the ratings.
Solid Performance in VSA Acadia scored particularly well (4.5 or over on a 5-point rating scale) in exterior size, ease of loading and unloading cargo, vehicle’s reputation, exterior color, exterior styling, interior styling, interior fabrics and materials. Acadia also did well in dynamic characteristics like braking, handling and fun to drive. Owners perceive Acadia to be very reliable and dependable, with high quality. Acadia owners say they feel safe in the Acadia and rate its safety features highest.
Acadia’s sister vehicle in the General Motors Lambda Platform – the Chevrolet Traverse – won one of the forty-eight categories – tops in interior storage compartments.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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Autopacific Announces 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

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AutoPacVSAlogo10.jpgNational Survey Reveals Cadillac as Top Premium Brand, Buick as Top Popular Brand, Ford Motor Company Has Most Awards with Seven, Suzuki Kizashi as Top Car and Lincoln MKT as Top Truck
TUSTIN, Calif. (May 20, 2010) — AutoPacific today announced its 14th Annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA) to help consumers make informed vehicle purchase decisions.
“While the auto industry is showing signs of improvement, more than ever before, manufacturers need to be able to differentiate themselves. Proof of satisfied customers is as good as gold,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “We’ve found that more than 25% of new car buyers are positively influenced by owner-based awards like the VSA when deciding on a new car or truck.”
AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award is an industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new car or light truck. This study by the Southern California-based automotive research firm summarizes the results of over 42,000 new vehicle owners.
“Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes,” says Peterson. “The winners perform well in 48 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience.”


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Recalls and Used-Car Shopping: GM and Carfax Team Up

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Being a company focused firmly forward, we don’t talk used cars much. But a program like this deserves some virtual ink.
Recalls have been in the news this year like rarely before. The depth and scope of Toyota’s problems has increased sensitivity to any manufacturer’s recalls–and make no mistake, there are many issued. Most not so severe as Toyota’s problems with accelerator shims, but out there all the same.
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Half of the equation for ensuring cars on the road have had any recall work performed is in the owner’s hands. Often, owners ignore recall notices, particularly for minor issues, or figure it’ll get handled with the next oil change, to have it fall off today’s crowded to-do lists.
GM and Carfax announced a measure of help for anyone looking to purchase a used vehicle, making it easier to find out if the car was affected by a recall and if the work was done. GM is providing VINs to Carfax of millions of Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, GMCs, Saabs, Saturns, Pontiacs, and Hummers with open recalls.


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PickupTrucks.com and AutoPacific Announce the Most Significant Trucks of the Decade

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PickupTucks.com and AutoPacific have taken a look at all the new trucks sold in the past 10 years and made their picks for the most significant trucks of the decade. The trucks that made the list introduced cutting edge technologies and pushed the segment into new territory.
“Despite the economic challenges of the past two years, it’s hard not to look back at the last ten years without calling it the decade of the pickup truck,” said PickupTrucks.com editor Mike Levine. “Sales of full-size pickups hit 2.56 million units in 2004 and Ford’s F-Series trucks remain the nation’s best-selling vehicles, 33 years in a row.”
Though there are many trucks that had a significant impact in the last decade, it’s clear that the 2009 Ford F-150 earned the title of “Most Significant”.
“On balance, we thought the 2009 Ford F-150 was the most significant pickup of the last decade,” said Jim Hossack, vice president of consulting for AutoPacific. “It sells in high volume, owners like it and its body, chassis and powertrain are all first rate. Features abound, and there are more models, series and options than can be counted. It’s a good looking truck and suitable for the widest possible range of tasks and uses.”
After the jump are those trucks deemed most significant, in no particular order.


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