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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Nahtabot, Oct 21, 2020.
But sometimes that’s what a marketing dept is tasked with - make you want a type of vehicle you didn’t think you wanted/needed.
Almost the way it was, except - different motor. Which is easy and has been done for years with the Subaru swap for example .
No offense but they go where the market dictates. There's little demand for a US luxury vehicle. In fact, there's shrinking demand for sedans. It's an SUV, crossover (and truck) market. The US has conceded the car market to Japan and Korea. The luxury car market is Tesla and the Germans (plus Lexus).
Plus, everyone is rushing to the EV market. That's the future.
I think the US carmakers "get it" fine.
For the past two and half years my neighbor lamented and worried that Chevy was making a huge mistake with converting the C8 Corvette to a mid-engine design. "Traditional Corvette owners aren't going to like it". He told me how the Vette forums online were concerned and voiced skepticism. Hah! He's on a waiting list to get one and so are many of the guys in the local Corvette club.
I think I know ewe .
US luxury cars feel like they're going the way of fur coats.
They're 100% fixated on the high margin, extremely light duty trucks. The beds are covered with extended roofs and filled with inexpensive upholstery and gizmos. These are otherwise known as SUVs.
They got addicted to the easy, easy money these vehicles represent in the early 2000s, and that nearly killed them during the financial crisis. So of course they went right back to it, like a kid wolfing down candy right after getting over a stomach ache from wolfing candy. Big shot decision makers at major companies are just people, some of them lazy and eager to take the easiest option.
@burntfrijoles hit the nail on the head. The market for big luxury sedans is shrinking, let alone a big American mid-range luxury car like the Continental. I'm no spring chicken (turn 50 in a few months) but even for me the Continental brand seems quite old-fashioned and far too staid to compete with other vehicles in the $45,000 - $50,000 price range.
Most folks who want a big vehicle prefer an SUV or truck, and most folks who want a sedan either want something fancier and sportier than a Continental or substantially smaller and less expensive. Spending more money on marketing wasn't going to make the Continental successful in today's market, and I'm surprised they even tried.
Sedans and wagons are long gone. It's all crossovers and SUVs now. And with good reasons.
The newest CRV gets as good or better mileage than my 5 year old 4 cyl Accord. That's with AWD. And a base to mid level CRV doesn't cost that much more than a similar new Accord.
It's a no-brainer.
The Accord is the everycar. Big enough for a small family to travel with (we have mucho travel miles on ours). Ridiculously dependable and affordable, with good mileage and cheap maintenance/repairs. But if I need to trade up or buy new any time in the next few years, it will be for a CRV. It's just a no-brainer at this point. A new CRV does everything a typical passenger car needs to do, and then some, economically and reliably.
That said, there is absolutely NO US auto brand name (manufacturer is not accurate, as they are made all over the globe at this point) car or truck that appeals to me enough to seriously consider it. The sedans (what's left of them) suck, as do the SUVs. And trucks? Not anymore. Just can't reconcile it. A jeep sounds fun. But that's about it. Even if my mid-life crisis period extends to 70, I just can't reconcile the cost of a new jeep. No way. Too many other things more important to me that need to be paid for.
I don't think wagons and sedans are long gone. It's just that the automakers are too stupid to see where the market is going. Cater to the vanlifers. People are starting to live in their vehicles now. There's no affordable housing left. Automakers should wake up and get out in front of that movement or at least try a functional, tiny home, temperature controlled, battery generator inclusive, test vehicle and find out whether they can build a customer base. I wouldn't be surprised if Toyota wasn't already attempting it.
Most people who buy an SUV don't buy it for the mileage. They buy it because they need an SUV, well-aware of the extra costs in operating them. In a world where vehicles and guitar amplifiers have gone the way of the sugar cookie (small, loaded with too much sugar and over-priced) it's good to be able to still purchase a vehicle ( Full-sized SUV and Pickup truck) that some people still want and need.
What we found out in Europe is:
Sooner or later everybody just gets a VW or Audi, or BMW or Merc.
So much simpler if every country just produces one thing - you can do the Telecasters!
We can do the AC-30s.
In 20 years or so , many of you will look back and wonder what in the h**l you were thinking . All this stuff is cyclical and trendy .
If you aren't the lead dog , the view is pretty much the same .
Just like on the other thread, I’m surprised no one has mentioned the one US automaker who is leading the world in their portion of the market. They obviously “get it”, and are building a wildly popular sedan.
Hint: The name starts with a T...
I think GM/Ford/Chrysler are screwed.. they're just pocketing short term profits from trucks & SUVs based on current cheap gas prices with the expectation that the next time they are about to go bankrupt they'll just be getting another government bailout to finance taking EVs seriously.
They keep recycling the same junk and people are buying it but it's not going to last.
Current average price of a new car in the US is $35k. You can buy a Tesla now that goes 400 miles on a charge. 500 mile range is not that far off. The first one of those cars that goes into the $25-30k range is going to really start putting a major hurt on the big 3 automakers.
Who knows which manufacturer will start catching up.. but it won't be one of the big US manufacturers, if anything it will be VW.
Everyone who thinks using gas is still fun will start changing their mind when the electric cars suddenly cost less, cost less to drive, cost less to maintain, and outperform the gas cars. Any manufacturer who isn't ready for that is in for a big hurt. At some point the range is no longer an issue cause 500+ mile trips in a day are exceedingly rare for so many.
You can brush off what I'm saying.. but it's like being the person who wants to go out and pick up mussels & fish when the water goes out before a tsunami.. EVs are building up to a big wave that's going to wash over everything.
I think Ford and GM haven't caught on to the idea that people no longer associate Lincoln and Cadillac with "luxury," and haven't for probably decades. They seem to have this idea that they can and should compete on price in the luxury space. So the materials are largely inferior, they don't really prioritize performance or the driving experience, and are competing with German, Brit, Japanese companies that do all of those things pretty well or at least better. People who are spending $100k on a passenger car aren't thinking... 'oh dang, I could save $20k and get a slightly inferior car!'
Anyway, Ford need to ditch the brand. This was a valiant effort at least styling-wise, and I would've liked to see it succeed, but here we are. Gotta call it what it is, a dud for a brand that's had a death rattle for the last 20 years.
Just to reiterate this every few years as the need arises :
the line workers don’t decide what cars to build.
Do we need to repeat that ?
sure - the people on the assembly line do not decide which vehicles to build.
So, as pointed out above, the boardroom guys are making the wrong decisions for at least the second time in 20 years. Let’s see how it works this time.
Oh, ok - I’ll mention that labor costs per vehicle average 12.5%. Far lower than folks imagine...
(And the public is so stupid they fall for that tiny Buick SUV, which of course is some mid-size crap car platform with a turtle shell/helmet greenhouse attached)
I guess it depends on the journalist. I have been a reader of Car and Driver and Road & Track for 40 years (and off and on reader of Motor Trend and Autoweek) and the reviews usually give little attention to the tech (unless it is bad/distracting) and focus on how engaging the car is to drive. BMW has suffered at their hands for about a decade with the complaint that they now drive like Buicks rather than sports sedans. They decry the loss of the manual transmission as the result of people wanting to focus on tech rather than on driving.
This is it. The non-heavy-duty SUVs and crossovers ARE CARS. They are the new cars. Get comfortable with a little greatness!
Didn't that T brand recently reveal an intention to move their assembly facility across the Pacific Ocean ?
I recall when Tom McCann derided any car that lacked a separate front seat ashtray for both driver and passenger . Many of them follow where they are lead . After all , they do want to sell magazines and that is their number one purpose . Perspective .
There really is something special about a manual transmission . I wouldn't have it any other way .