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GM News Insider


Full Member
May 11, 2002
Royal Oak, Michigan
I figured many of you, like I, would want to know GM news asap. So, since I work for GM, I'll try to give you guys neat info as soon as we get them on our intranet.

Today 7/10
GM posted a $601 million profit at year end, the only one of the Big 3 in black ink. Wagoner (Our CEO)also shepherded two huge deals: the purchase of most of the Daewoo Group's automotive assets through a new company and the sale of Hughes Electronics Corp. to EchoStar Communications Corp.

With the ringing of the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange, HUMMER and General Motors announce July 10, 2002 the first official day of sales for the much anticipated HUMMER H2. With two black H2s greeting the traders on their way into the NY Stock Exchange, the HUMMER day will officially be rung in by Eric Feldstein, GM vice president of Finance and Corporate Treasurer and Marc Hernandez, marketing director for the new HUMMER H2.

The 2003 Silverado/Sierra featuring more expressive exterior styling among more than 40 major new features or improvements, including: a passenger-sensing air-bag system; dual-level air bags; advanced electrical architecture; a new family of radios and entertainment systems including the first industry application of a Bose audio system in a full-size pickup truck; and the expanded availability of the Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system.
The much-anticipated launch of the Cadillac XLR, a retractable hardtop convertible luxury roadster. Also in mid-2003, Cadillac will bring out the SRX luxury utility, offering the bold looks of the CTS plus the choice of all-wheel or rear-wheel drive, V6 or V8, and third-row seating.

Any thoughts on another $55,000+ Cadillac SUV?



Sierra's cab has been extensively redesigned to create a new standard for comfort and refinement. The instrument panel features new trim plates, International Standardization Organization (ISO) symbols replacing text, new switch controls and a more functional instrument panel cluster, providing more information in an easier-to-read manner.
The cluster includes a new driver information center, which reports on the status of up to 27 vehicle functions - nearly twice as many as the previous message center - with an easy-to-read, single-line LCD display.

Standard infotainment systems on SLE, SLT and Denali models, except fleet trucks, provide Radio Data System and XM (U.S.) or DAB (Canada) interface capability.
The segment's first-ever Bose audio systems, standard in Denali and optional in other models with bucket seats and a center console.
A standard AM/FM radio with CD player, cassette and remote, in-dash six-disc CD changer is standard on Denali and available in uplevel extended and crew cab models with the floor console.
Optional uplevel exterior rearview mirrors add power-fold for protection in narrow spaces, a "curb" reverse-tilt feature for easier parking, and integrated turn signals.
Sierra, excluding Denali, also offers optional new fog lamps that anticipate future North American trends and meet European requirements by distributing higher intensity light throughout their whole beam pattern, without being any more noticeable to oncoming traffic.
GMC DEBUTS ALL-NEW MIDSIZE PICKUP .... Next year GMC will launch an all-new mid-size pickup called the Canyon -- the sixteenth new truck introduced by the Professional Grade division since 1999. Production of the 2004 GMC Canyon will begin in the fourth-quarter 2003 at GM's Shreveport, Louisiana truck plant.

"The mid-size truck segment is extremely important and highly competitive," according to Craig Bierley, marketing director - mid-size trucks. "Canyon will dramatically enhance our competitiveness in this important segment," he adds.

Until September 3rd

Saturn, Saab, HUMMER and all 2003 models are excluded from this program

"Summer Drive" Finance Terms for all 2002 Models

$1,000 or 0.0/1.9/2.9%- 36/48/60
Chevrolet Corvette

$3,000 or 0.0/0.0/0.0% - 36/48/60
Buick Century
Buick LeSabre

$2,500 or 0.0/1.9/2.9%- 36/48/60
Buick Park Avenue
Cadillac Escalade
Buick Regal
Cadillac Escalade EXT
Buick Rendezvous
Chevrolet Avalanche
Chevrolet Astro
Chevrolet Impala
Chevrolet Blazer
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Chevrolet Camaro
Chevrolet Silverado
Chevrolet Cavalier
Chevrolet Suburban
Chevrolet Express
Chevrolet Tahoe
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet TrailBlazer
Chevrolet Prizm
Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT
Chevrolet S-10
GMC Envoy
Chevrolet Tracker
GMC Envoy XL
Chevrolet Venture
GMC Sierra
GMC Savana
GMC Yukon
GMC Safari
GMC Yukon XL
GMC Sonoma
Oldsmobile Bravada
Oldsmobile Alero
Oldsmobile Aurora

$4,000 or 0.0/0.0/0.0% -36/48/60
Oldsmobile Intrigue
Cadillac Deville
Oldsmobile Silhouette
Cadillac Eldorado
Pontiac Aztek
Cadillac Seville
Pontiac Bonneville
Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac Grand Am
Pontiac Grand Prix
Pontiac Montana
Pontiac Savana
Pontiac Sunfire

SPOTLIGHT: 2003 Products
2003 CHEVROLET AVALANCHE .... Since its introduction, the innovative Chevy Avalanche has taken the market by storm, including Motor Trend 2002 "Truck of the Year" honors. For 2003, Avalanche builds on its momentum with new safety, comfort, convenience and performance features.

StabiliTrak, a vehicle stability enhancement system (VSES) that improves vehicle stability on various road surfaces at various speeds, will be available on the half-ton, two-wheel-drive Avalanche with the Vortec 5300 5.3L V8 engine for 2003.

The 2003 Avalanche also provides early compliance to 2005 federal seat standards for child restraint anchorages. The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system for child seats is provided in the front-passenger side seat and second and third-row center and passenger side seats.

Powering the 2003 Avalanche will be the durable 285-hp Vortec 5300 5.3L V8 engine, standard on 1500 Series models. The Avalanche 2500 Series offers the Vortec 8100 8.1L V8 engine, which achieves 340 hp and boasts a 12,000-lb maximum towing capacity.

Also available on the 2003 Avalanche:

a passenger-sensing system and dual-level air bags;
XM Satellite Radio as an option on all models;
brake and accelerator pedals that can be adjusted rearward in unison by nearly 3 inches for better positioning and comfort;
an available eight-button steering wheel control that allows Avalanche owners to personalize several functions, and safely access all entertainment systems;
a new multi-zone manual-control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system;
an available new, power-adjustable camper mirror that can be extended to a vehicle width of as much as 106 inches;
an advanced new multiplexed electrical architecture;
three new exterior colors - Charcoal Gray Metallic, Arrival Blue Metallic replaces Indigo Blue Metallic, and Yellow (interim availability).

Sorry guys, for some reason I can't get the pict to show from our intranet here at GM. Anyhow here's some more GM News.

GM Shows New Version Of Mid-Size Truck
'04 Canyon to replace GMC Sonoma in fourth quarter of 2003 run
The Detroit News
July 16
DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. on Monday unveiled a sketch and the name of its next-generation GMC mid-size pickup truck, ending speculation that it was pulling its upscale GMC truck brand out of the entry-level pickup market.

The world's largest automaker said it will start production of the new 2004 GMC Canyon during the fourth quarter of 2003, replacing the current GMC Sonoma.

The truck will be larger than the Sonoma and will be based on the same platform as the 2004 Chevrolet Colorado, the next-generation replacement for the Chevy S10.

"The mid-size truck segment is extremely important and highly competitive," said Craig Bierley, GMC marketing director for mid-size trucks, in a statement. "Canyon will dramatically enhance our competitiveness in this important segment."

GM had considered not replacing Sonoma -- a tiny truck with a base price under $15,000 -- because it no longer fit with the near-luxury GMC brand. To fill that gap, GMC would get the pricier Envoy XUV, a version of the Envoy sport-utility vehicle with a convertible pickup bed.

But Jim Sanfilippo, an industry expert with Automotive Marketing Consultants Inc. in Warren, believes GM finally gave into pressure from GMC dealers to give them a version of Chevy's Colorado.

Sanfilippo said the Canyon can fit in with GMC's "professional grade" image if GM gives it a six cylinder engine and four-door crew cab, as seen in the sketch. "A four-cylinder 'professional grade' pickup truck does not compute for me," he said.

A GMC spokesman, however, insists the Canyon was in GM's plans from the beginning. "GMC is a full line truck division," said spokesman David Darovitz. "That's how we're going to remain."

The Canyon will compete against other mid-size pickups such as the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier.

GM will build the Canyon and Colorado at a new $700 million assembly plant in Shreveport, La., being constructed next door to GM's existing Sonoma/S10 truck plant. The plant will employ the current plant's 2,500 hourly workers.

Last year, GMC sold 42,062 Sonomas, down nearly 18 percent from 2000, while Chevrolet sold 162,181 S10s, down 23.4 percent.

By comparison, GM's biggest rival in small pickups, Ford Motor Co., sold 272,460 Rangers in 2001, down 17.5 percent, and Toyota Motor Corp. sold 161,983 Tacomas, up 10 percent.
Keep em coming Zimm... :love: :B:
$2,500 or 0.0/1.9/2.9%- 36/48/60
Buick Park Avenue
Cadillac Escalade
Buick Regal
Cadillac Escalade EXT ?
Buick Rendezvous
Chevrolet Avalanche
Eldorado Chevrolet in McKinney, TX as of this weekend had 0.0%-60mo financing for the entire line minus Corvette and said that deal would remain in effect until at least the end of July. I wonder if that's a local thing or what?

I'm not really sure ???. What I posted is what's posted on our GM intranet.
I would guess that independent dealerships can work out their own financing with local banks or GMAC? ???

Thanks for the replies guys ;D. I was begining to wonder if anyone was interested in this stuff :6:

SPOTLIGHT: 2003 Products
2003 CHEVROLET TRACKER .... For 2003 the Chevrolet Tracker offers three small SUV choices that are big on capability -- the base Tracker, the rugged ZR2 and LT. New features on the 2003 Tracker include monochromatic paint on the LT, yellow exterior paint and deep tinted glass as an option.
The Chevrolet Tracker is available in two-door convertible or four-door hardtop versions, and in two- or four-wheel-drive configurations.

Base-level Tracker models come standard with AM/FM/CD radio, air conditioning, power rack-and-pinion steering, a folding rear seat and a shift-on-the-fly transfer case on 4x4 models.

Tracker LT models come standard with a V6 engine, four-speed automatic transmission, power locks and doors. The Tracker ZR2 - available in a two-door convertible or four-door model - also comes standard with a V6 engine (four-door only), 8 inches of ground clearance, skid plates and a 4x4 transfer case that offers shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive at speeds up to 60 mph.

The LT and ZR2 (four door) models are powered by the 2.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine that generates 165 peak horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. Standard on the base Tracker and on the ZR2 two door is the 127-horsepower, 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine.

On the inside of the Tracker, the rear compartment of the two-door model comfortably accommodates full-size adults. The rear seats can be folded and stowed for even more room - up to 44.7 cubic feet of storage space on four-door models.

Man, they sure are loading up the bells & whistles :eek:

SPOTLIGHT: 2003 Products
2003 GMC YUKON DENALI, YUKON XL DENALI .... GMC has added a number of safety and comfort features on the Yukon Denali and Yukon XL Denali, further enhancing the segment-leading premium full-size SUVs for 2003.
The Vortec 6000 6.0L V8 adds standard electronic throttle control and uses new oxygen sensors to improve driveability and fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The oxygen sensors light off more quickly and only draw current when and as needed.

All-new seats feature a simpler, cleaner European-style appearance, including new trim and more sculpted contours. Seats include thicker, more comfortable headrests and new seat patterns. Front-row seats provide easier access to power seat button controls. Yukon Denali now joins the Yukon XL Denali in offering second-row captain's chairs, which can be folded to create a flat load floor, for improved comfort and flexible storage.

Interior refinements include a redesigned instrument panel and cluster, including new trim plates; new ISO symbols and LCD displays; a new steering wheel and center floor console, with a seamlessly integrated single-piece design.

New features for the 2003 Yukon models include:
StabiliTrak on Denali Series models
Major brake system enhancements
Enhanced fuel-vapor leak detection
Standard eight-button steering-wheel controls with feature-personalization capability
Dual-level, occupant-sensing air bags
More flexible headlamp control
Standard power adjustable brake and accelerator pedals, with memory
High airflow tri-zone automatic climate control
Advanced infotainment systems and upgraded Bose system
Optional Panasonic DVD Passenger Entertainment System
Fully integrated, Class II multiplexed electrical architecture and higher-powered generator
OnStar/cellular/GPS antenna
Carbon Metallic exterior color
Standard XM Satellite Radio
SPOTLIGHT: 2003 Products
THE 2003 CHEVROLET CORVETTE .... For 50 years, the Chevrolet Corvette has been carefully crafted from a precise blend of power, performance, style and comfort. As the sport car icon celebrates its golden anniversary in 2003, Chevrolet's flagship continues its reign as one of GM's technology and style bellwethers.
For 2003, Corvette unveils a 50th Anniversary Edition, more standard equipment on the coupe and convertible models, and Magnetic Selective Ride Control, the industry's fastest and most powerful real-time damping suspension.

New standard equipment on the coupe and convertible include foglamps, sport seats, power passenger seat, dual-zone auto HVAC, and a parcel net and luggage shade on coupe.

Magnetic Selective Ride Control -- available on the coupe, convertible and the 50th Anniversary Edition -- uses a revolutionary damper design that controls wheel and body motion with Magneto-Rheological fluid in the shocks. By controlling the current to an electromagnetic coil inside the piston of the damper, the MR fluid's consistency can be changed, resulting in continuously variable real time damping. The system isolates and smoothes the action of each tire, resulting in less bouncing, vibration and noise.

The 2003 Corvette also includes Child Restraint Attachment System (CRAS) child seat hooks on the passenger seat to allow easier child seat connection. The Corvette's air bag-"off" switch must be used to disable the passenger-side air bag when using child seats in the vehicle.

The Corvette lineup is equipped with two of the industry's most powerful car engines, the 5.7L Gen III LS1 and LS6.

To learn more about the 2003 Corvette, visit http://leads.gm.com/regions/gmna/index.html and click on "Featured Product."


HUMMER DEALER NETWORK COMPLETED .... HUMMER has added the last set of new dealer points across North America, bringing the total number of new GM HUMMER dealerships to 147.

As of July 22, 2002, the newest HUMMER dealerships include:
Al Serra HUMMER, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Dave McDermott HUMMER, New Haven, Connecticut
Nimnicht HUMMER, Jacksonville, Florida
Proctor & Proctor HUMMER, Tallahassee, Florida
HUMMER of Savannah, Savannah, Georgia
HUMMER of Union City, Union City, Georgia
Frontier HUMMER, Billings, Montana
Roger's HUMMER in the Syracuse, New York
Crest HUMMER, Nashville, Tennessee
Don Hewlett HUMMER, Austin, Texas
Osborne-McCann HUMMER, Tacoma, Washington
HUMMER of Manhattan, New York City, New York
HUMMER of Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Moore HUMMER, Richmond, Virginia
FORD TO PRODUCE NEW DIESEL ENGINE IN 2003 .... Ford Motor Company announced its plans to produce the 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine that powered the 2002 Mighty 350 concept truck starting in 2003. The engine, which generates 325 horsepower and 550 pounds-feet (lb-ft) of torque, will power the F-series Super Duty pickup truck and the Excursion sport utility truck first. Ford said the engine would emit 20 percent lower emissions and provides 10 percent better fuel economy than their other heavy-duty diesel engines.

IRS DECREES HYBRID TAX DEDUCTION .... The United States Internal Revenue Service will allow consumers who purchase gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles to claim a $2,000 income-tax deduction. The Honda Insight, Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius are the only vehicles that qualify for a deduction to date. Ford will introduce a gasoline-electric hybrid version of the Escape in 2003.

Thanks for keeping us updated. I love this stuff, keep it coming. :love: :B:
New Hummer H2 Is Distinctive, Useful And Fun To Drive
July 24, 2002
The Orlando Sentinel/KRT
By Steven Cole Smith

The Hummer H1, the barely civilian model of the military-minded HUMVEE, is rude, crude and at $111,922 -- that's what our last H1 test vehicle cost -- a little pricey.

Suppose for less than half that you could have a Hummer with a comfy leather interior, a power sunroof, a 316-horsepower gasoline-powered V-8 engine instead of the H1's noisy 195-horsepower diesel and a stereo with a CD player that can be heard over the engine. Suppose its highway ride was as comfortable as that of the average Chevrolet Suburban -- but its off-road capability exceeds that of most vehicles besides the H1.

General Motors hopes at least 20,000 of you will say, "Where do I sign up?" That's the planned production number for the 2003 Hummer H2, which went on sale this month.

After a lengthy test drive of the H2 under a variety of conditions, I guess a lot more than 20,000 of you will want to enlist in the Hummer army. GM would love to sell 40,000 H2s a year; that's the maximum capacity of the tiny new plant near South Bend, Ind.

I believe that the hottest vehicle for 2003 will be the Hummer H2. It's that distinctive, it's that useful, it's that much fun to drive.

First, a little history. The Hummer H1 is built in an ancient plant in South Bend that was once part of Studebaker. The 325-acre near-jungle where the Hummers are tested was the Studebaker family's private hunting reserve. Now Green Berets in training haunt the preserve, learning how to get the HUMVEEs stuck then unstuck.

The HUMVEE (from "High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle") replaced the Jeep as the darling of the U.S. military. But it was not considered a civilian vehicle until movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger, while filming "Kindergarten Cop," spotted a HUMVEE and decided he wanted one. He appealed to AM General, and the company built him a few.

The rest is history -- certainly a tale more memorable than "Kindergarten Cop."

AM General is owned by a company controlled by mercurial New York billionaire Ira Rennert, who recently made news when his plans to build a 63-acre estate in previously sleepy East Hampton, N.Y., sent the residents to court in an attempt to halt construction.

Rennert seems an unlikely caretaker for AM General, a company whose future was tied to whatever military contracts it could manage. At least, until General Motors came calling.

In a deal by General Motors executive Mike DiGiovanni, GM bought the Hummer brand, but not the company. The idea was to get Hummer to build the H2 using lots of GM parts, and GM would pay the company a per-vehicle fee. Exactly how much is unclear, but it's a good bet that the two companies split about $9,000 in profit for each $50,000 H2 sold. Maybe more. DiGiovanni did such a nice job pulling it together that GM made him the Hummer general manager.

It has not been revealed how much GM has invested in AM General and Hummer. GM will try to turn the Hummer brand into a four-wheel version of Harley-Davidson, with plenty of Hummer caps and T-shirts, and a degree of owner loyalty other companies covet. Once the H2 is up and running Hummer will introduce the SUT, which will have a small pickup bed that opens up the rear of the cab into the interior, much like the Chevrolet Avalanche.

Look for the SUT as a 2004 model. By 2005, you'll likely see the H3, a still-smaller Hummer expected to sell for about $32,000.

But now the story is the H2. It has the unmistakable look of the Hummer H1, but because it's based on a Chevy Suburban platform, it's more than capable of being a daily driver. At 81.2 inches wide, it's narrower than the H1, but it's still wider than any other mass-market consumer vehicle available. The next widest is the 2003 Lincoln Navigator, an inch thinner than the H2.

For the H2's base price of $48,800, which includes shipping, drivers receive a well-equipped vehicle. Take every option the company offers, and the H2 tops out at about $58,000, which includes a sunroof, leather upholstery, an air-ride rear suspension replacing conventional springs and a host of other features.

The H2 rides on 17-inch BF Goodrich tires, which offer a splendid compromise between good pavement manners and off-road capability. Full-time four-wheel-drive is standard, as is a sophisticated two-stage traction control. You would expect the H2 to excel off-road, but you'd be surprised at what a nice, quiet, smooth ride it offers on the highway. Crank up the stereo and hit the cruise control and a 500-mile day is within reach.

That is, if your gasoline credit card is paid up. The H2's "gross vehicle weight" places it in a heavy-duty truck class, where no EPA mileage test is required. But 12 to 14 miles per gallon is about all you can expect. After all, the H2 weighs about 6,400 pounds, a half-ton more than a Suburban. Even so, the 6.0-liter V-8 from GM's full-sized truck line, plus GM's corporate four-speed automatic transmission, does a pretty good job of motivating the H2. It's no drag racer, but reaching and maintaining highway speeds is no problem.

If the H2 has any shortcoming, it's in the comparative lack of interior space, given the overall massive dimensions. GM wanted to equip the H2 with a full-sized spare tire, and there was no way to fit it under the vehicle and have the ground clearance needed for serious off-roading. It's stored in the passenger compartment, mounted vertically in the rear.

It takes up a lot of room and limits rear visibility, and means that the optional third-row seat consists of just that -- a seat, for one person, who will sit next to the spare tire. The regular back seat is reasonably roomy, but if you want to squeeze six adults in the H2 -- two up front, three in the middle and one in the back -- four of them won't be very comfortable.

GM executives insist some H2 customers will also consider conventional luxury sport utes, such as the Range Rover and the Lexus LX470. They won't. H2 customers will decide between it, a Chevrolet Corvette, a Porsche Boxster, a new sailboat or a nice used Cessna 172. H2 customers want a useful toy, and this Hummer is about as useful as it gets.

General Motors hopes to have about 150 dealers on board by the end of the month, only about 25 of them will be current Hummer stores. The rest were selected from the GM dealer body, and most of them are Cadillac dealers. They will be allowed to sell Hummers out of regular dealerships until about 2005 or 2006. By then they will be expected to have built a separate Hummer showroom and an off-road demonstration track complete with log climbing, a hill with at least a 40-degree incline and a 16-inch wall that the H2 can climb.

Already customers who have deposits on some of the first H2s are selling their places in line for as much as $10,000 on Internet auction sites such as eBay.

The rich, as it has been said, are not like you and I.

The rich will own H2s. You and I will just wish we did.

No how many of you actually new what HUMVEE actually meant??

I liked the look of the H2 from picts, and liked the model they had on display last year at the Cleveland auto show. But I just saw my first one on the road the other day and I think they look really out of place. I like the H1's, but these H2's look way to tall and box-like. What do you guys think?
zimmsAV said:
I liked the look of the H2 from picts, and liked the model they had on display last year at the Cleveland auto show. ?But I just saw my first one on the road the other day and I think they look really out of place. ?I like the H1's, but these H2's look way to tall and box-like. ?What do you guys think?
2003 Hummer H2

This one reminds me of someone ... hmm
SPOTLIGHT: 2003 Products
2003 PONTIAC SUNFIRE .... The 2003 Pontiac Sunfire sports a stylishly aerodynamic appearance, more standard equipment and more standard power and torque. Sunfire's exterior styling changes for 2003 begin up front, where the cat-eye headlamps and new, integrated turn signals extend further into the hood. Integrated fog lamps, dual-port grille and aerodynamic extensions further accentuate Sunfire's sporty character. Sunfire features redesigned rear taillamps and an all-new, body-colored applique. The back-up lights have been moved from the rear fascia and integrated with the license plate.
Also improved for 2003 is Sunfire's performance quotient. The Ecotec 2.2L L4 engine now powers all 2003 Sunfire models. Twin balance shafts located in the cylinder block cancel the shaking forces inherent in an inline four-cylinder engine, resulting in a smooth engine from idle to maximum engine speed. The Ecotec L4 generates 140 hp @ 5600 rpm and 150 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

For 2003, Sunfire owners have more cargo-carrying flexibility and seating options with a 60/40 split-fold rear seat. The split-fold rear seat also extends Sunfire's cargo-carrying capacity by enabling longer items -- such as skis or snowboards -- to be conveniently transported inside the vehicle.

Also new on the 2003 Sunfire:

Sporty interior fabric
Three-point center rear seat belt
Available seat-mounted front side air bags
Four all-new wheels and wheel covers
Single model with three distinct Preferred Equipment Groups (PEGs): 1SA , 1SB, 1SC
OnStar now available on 1SB and 1SC PEGs
Sedan model discontinued
Three new colors: Victory Red, Summit White and Electric Blue Metallic

New Buick Bucks Old-Timers Image

GM woos young buyers, covets its traditionalists

Associated Press

July 25, 2002

By Ed Garsten

Marie Teasley likes the Buick Rendezvous because it makes her feel young. Her husband, Ron, likes it because of its look and the fact that golf superstar Tiger Woods hawks it in television commercials.

The Detroit residents, who say they are over 65, represent the demographic Buick executives typically have targeted.

Their interest in the youthful appeal of a Buick is decidedly atypical for the General Motors Corp. brand: Youth and Buick have been mutually exclusive terms over the years.

"The latest research shows the 2002 model year Buick still has the oldest buyer body of any brand, at 66," said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific Inc., a Santa Ana, Calif.-based automotive market researcher.

The average Cadillac buyer is 65; for Lincoln, buyers average 63; for Mercury, it's 60; and Oldsmobile, a surprising 53, Peterson said.

But Buick salesman Sylvester Harper has noticed something happening since the introduction last year of the Rendezvous. "It appeals to all ages with its style, ease of entrance, options and pricing," said Harper, sales manager at Suburban Olds Cadillac Buick in Troy.

Through June, Buick sales were up 4.3 percent compared with the first six months of 2001, powered by the success of the Rendezvous.

The Rendezvous was Buick's first truck in 80 years and in September 2003, there will be a second one, the Rainier, a more traditional-looking but luxurious sport-utility vehicle.

The goal for Buick is to walk the thin and potentially dangerous line of flirting with a little younger buyer while holding onto its traditionally older customer by making them feel younger.

"We will satisfy today's customers, but we will probably on average be 5 to 10 years younger in our age skew than we are today by offering products that are right for people that are 45 to 50 years old," Roger Adams, Buick general manager, said in an interview at GM's recent full-line preview.

The Rendezvous and Rainier represent Buick's shot at widening the brand's appeal while reaching out to a younger buyer.

"It's definitely the right direction, and adding the Rendezvous and Rainier will help bring in younger buyers," Peterson said.

Harper said he's seen younger buyers who might never have owned a domestic vehicle suddenly be attracted to Buick because of the Rendezvous.

Adams said the average age of first-time Buick buyers is 45. "We have people that have never been to Buick who will have young families who say Rendezvous is a much better alternative than a minivan to them, and it offers more features than SUVs."

Rendezvous and Rainier do not mean Buick is abandoning its core passenger car business. The division looks to lure younger buyers by jazzing up the style of its passenger cars but not by doing anything too radical.

"Buick has always stood for American style, a lot of curved edges, shapely looks, and those are the things we want to continue," Adams said.

Attention to design by GM North America Chairman Robert Lutz led to a year delay in launching what was supposed to be the 2003 Buick Regal midsize car. "A lot of his comments were about making it more stylish, not settling for something that was easy to do from any engineering standpoint -- really pushing the envelope. He's also been strong on interior design," Adams said.

"He wants when people sit down in the car to say, 'Wow,' " Adams said.

It's going to take "a little of that Bob Lutz magic," to begin to counteract Buick's stodgy image, said Michael Flynn, director of the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation at the University of Michigan. Lutz, a former Chrysler Corp. vice chairman, went to GM last year with a mandate to reinvigorate its product line.

With Oldsmobile being phased out by the 2004 model year, Adams sees an opportunity to win over the division's traditionally older customers. "As we offer a lot of premium products, they could naturally migrate to us," he said.

But Oldsmobile customers might not be easy conquests because they are not as old as Buick's, says AutoPacific's Peterson, who said research shows the average Olds buyer is 53.

While the Rainier replaces the departing Oldsmobile Bravada, Adams said Buick won't stretch its truck line into pickups

I agree, the the avg OLDSmobile driver is OLD

I still think Buick should have gotten the boot, and not Olds
U.S. July Auto Sales May Rise 4.8% On No-Interest Financing
July 25, 2002
By Bill Koenig

Detroit -- U.S. auto sales may rise 4.8 percent this month from July 2001, helped by the return of no-interest loans as automakers follow General Motors Corp.'s lead in trying to clear dealer lots of 2002 cars and trucks.

Sales may rise 21 percent at General Motors, fall 3.9 percent at Ford Motor Co. and slide 0.2 percent at DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler, according to a Luckey Consulting Group Inc. forecast. Honda Motor Co. will rise 4 percent and Toyota Motor Corp. will fall 4.1 percent, Luckey said. Automakers report July sales Aug. 1, and other analysts issue forecasts in the next week.

Chrysler began offering a seven-year, 70,000-mile warranty as a standard feature this month to try to improve the company's image for reliability. A longer warranty shows consumers that the company expects models to need few repairs, executives have said.

Did everyone know about Chrysler's new warranty? I think that puts a lot of pressure on GM to step up. I'm gonna dig around and see if I can find out any info about us extending the standard warranties.
I'm no fan of Hyundais, but that is one reason my wife considered a Tiburon (think no resale value). Since Daimler-Chrysler is going back to the days of 7/70, why don't GM, Ford and the larger imports not only follow but BETTER that. 10/100 SHOULD be the status quo for qwarranties as it send a message of incredible reliability. Although I am guessing that will add to the bottom line of your new auto...

When I see long warranty I think Crappy quality....Kinda like they have to entice you to buy it cause you know it will have problems...

Also the long warranty is on drivetrain only isn't it? I do not think they could afford to warranty bumper to bumper stuff....Could they?