• Feb 13, 2006

It's another example of the dreaded "platform sharing" concept, but don't fret, GM says it's temporary.


According to AutoWeek, the Chevy Cobalt will be revisited as a high-performance Pontiac model possibly called the G5. The model will be a temporary thing until a more Pontiac-like small car is developed. AutoWeek's source says we'll probably see the vehicle in 2007 out of the Lordstown, Ohio plant. Pricing will be close to that of the Chevy Cobalt SS, which starts at just over $20,000. There is already a Cobalt-based Pontiac currently sold in Canada under the name Pursuit (pictured).

 



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  • 65 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, anything is better than the Sunfire.
      Maybe they'll have enough sense to drop the 205-horse SS Supercharged engine in it.

      Now, if it were RWD, suddenly everything changes.
      But it won't be, sadly, so everthing's still the same.

      GM's got the right ideas, but they get going and *poof*, 5 brands have identical cars.

      What would be the best thing for GM to do right now? Dump Saturn. Plain and simple. Has anyone ever seen what happens to plastic when it hits a solid object? Dents are the least of their worries...
      • 8 Years Ago
      wait did GM just say it was making a re-badged cobalt on the same day mazda showed the first pics of its mazdaspeed 3. I believe so. GM the answer is infront of you. Do what you have to do with the cobalt re-badge, its not gonna make you look any worse, you already have the torrent and SV6 minivan. But seriously, Pontiac should be the easiest company to rebuild not the hardest. You were the wild boys of GM. I feel that with the right models (a focus on vehicles strictly below $30,000 that have the highest stock horespower and handling in their class) combined with low volume, you can pull this off. If 1,000 people want a model why build 1,000 cars, build 950 cause some demand. Thats how you suceed in the long term.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Clearly the next step is a Pontiac version of the Aveo.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "As far as stock goes, how many people even viewing this car blog do you think owns a car stock? Most people don't is my guess. It means nothing to me what GM's stock value is and I would hope it means nothing to GM at this point. One of my first comments on here was I think GM would hope the stock went to $1 a share so they could buy it all up and not have to listen to whiny nancy boys" - Posted by Lithous

      It means nothing to you what GM's stock value is? You know, you could have had a moment there where you had semi-true points in several of your arguments. But this quote just goes to show how little you know about not only the world around you, but about cars.

      If GM's stock price went down to a dollar, THEY WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO BUILD CARS. Since you wouldn't have made this statement about stock if you weren't a moron, I have to say trying to explain capital investement, depreciation, marketplace and consumer confidence, and debt-to equity ratios to you would be totally a lost cause. But these things are so simple, highschoolers can understand them. Obviously you're so uneducated, I am surprised you can use a keyboard.

      If GM's stock price went down to a dollar, they'd build Go-Karts. Its all they could afford to build (perhaps not even then). And then you can say we taught the Japanese, and you can drive your american Go-Kart on the freeway, and say that the japanese still have lots to learn from us. Yeah, like how to turn an impossible juggernaut of a corporation into a textbook example of greed and mismanagement, leading to eventual failure?

      You know what happened when the US government tried to raise the environmental standards of cars in the 70's? The big three american car manufactuerer's came together for a congressional hearing on the subject of improvig emissions, and they explained how it would be 'impossible with current technology' and how 'it would put them under'. They whined and complained. They got to the part about engines and how they couldn't become cleaner, and Soichiro Honda stood up and said, "We can do! We can build!" and showed them Honda's new CVCC engine.
      http://world.honda.com/history/challenge/1972introducingthecvcc/photo01/index.html

      So its not 'who teaches who' - but who gets the cojones to say, "Lets try this." and to not give up. The Japanese might have had crappy problems before - so have US manufacturers. But to them, its an insult to make the same mistake. To us - well, most americans blame everyone else. Its the japanese's fault GM's faling. Blame the government regulations. Bah! Real men aren't afraid to compete - and neither are real americans. We sure as hell don't fear foreigners on any grounds - so lets get GM off their asses, and fix themselves. But to say we're better at something, without conclusive proof? Is retarded. GM sucks right now. Lets hope they learn. You know, like the Japanese would.

      • 8 Years Ago

      "Why? Because good product are well...GOOD (regardless of country of origin)."

      That's fine and I can save that for most other industries where there is no American choice (either no American made and/or no American brand left). Once in a while you have to look at the big picture (the economics of it all). Maybe if GM and Ford get out of "death watch status" then Americans can go back to their old ways of looking 5 minutes ahead and not 5 years ahead.


      "If Toyota coppied GM, they would be running themselves into the ground, Like GM."

      I just showed you how they are doing things like GM more than Honda and Nissan. I don't see Honda and Nissan adding another division since they added their luxury divisions. Toyota did. If GM came out with the POS xB whatever it is called box of a vehicle people would be screaming bloody murder.


      "and by the way a 1989 Camry was a million times better than anything GM had out at the time,"

      Talking about hilarious, a slight exaggeration there, huh? Does that mean you would literally pay $1 million times more, literally, for the 1989 Camry than anything GM? That's what got Toyota where they are and GM where they are, people like you over exaggerating the facts. Toyota has an inch and Americans give them a mile.

      The one thing the Japanese did smarter was have service intervals which entailed replacing things which American companies did not include. This made service more expensive but less break downs. I will give them credit for that.


      • 8 Years Ago
      to astute (comment #17): I completely understand what you mean when you mention the 300, Audi/VW's, TL/Accord, etc., but what I think the problem is that makes GM's badge engineering so awful is that they fail to truly differentiate between the models. The Acura TL is a far different car from the Honda Accord. The 300 is certainly not an E-Class. However, a Torrent is just an Equinox with with a Pontiac grille on it. Ford is guilty of it, too, even moreso than GM. For every Ford that comes out, there's a Mercury version with a thick vertical-bar grille to make sure there's no confusion between the two. It's fine to share platform traits and components. It's quite another to have brands that are so similar that picking between them is like picking what color you want.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes, to the questioner, the 300 is based on an older E class (not the current one). It is alot more differentiated than the Crossfire, which is barely more than a reskin of the old SLK, I'll give you that.

      I notice no one stood up for the Aston DB7? Or the Passat vs Skoda Supurb (whoops, I said Octavia before) and A6? Let alone the VW Golf/Skoda Fabia/Audi A3/Seat Cupra.

      Yeah, GM has some egregious rebadges. Check the Chevrolet Canyon next to the Isuzu equivalent. The only difference is the grille.

      But heck, VW (the model for platform sharing) has quite a few egregious rebadges. They even have the SUV problem, with the Touareg vs the Porsche Cayenne (and soon Lambo LM003). Or in minivans how about the VW Sharan, Seat Alhambra and Ford Galaxy?

      Heck, how about the Ferrari Enzo (or FXX if you wish) and the Maserati MC12? Open season on Ferrari now?

      The Opel Speedster (Vauxhall VX220) is a complete badge-engineering job too. Does that make it a poor car?

      How about when you could look under the Acura TL (or TL-S) and see the exact same rear suspension and gas tank as an Accord (same exhaust setup too if the Accord was a V6)? Both were great cars, why complain about this?

      Has noone on here seen the interiors of the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Magnum and Dodge Charger? They're nearly identical. And the Magnum and Charger have almost the same front end! And they ride on the same platform, one that was already recycled!

      When the Camry gets a reskin and the Lexus ES hasn't yet, those cars look awfully alike (it has happened at least twice). Yet Toyota is doing really well. Maybe those who think this is inherently wrong need to rethink.

      Platform sharing is a necessity for the mass-market manufacturers. Only the companies with the highest margins (like BMW) can ignore it. If you can market substantially the same car in another market and generate significant additional sales, then it is probably a smart move. That probably doesn't include the Pontiac Montana SRV6 (or whatever its called). It may not include this new Pontiac, who can tell yet?

      Platform sharing (badge engineering if you must) is especially important in the US (birthplace of Lexus and Acura), Germans may buy a luxury car that they see riding around the streets in cloth-seat form as a taxi, but Americans won't. Even near-luxury and semi-luxury cars here aren't the same vehicles used as taxis.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My advice for how GM should consolidate their brands in order to stay competitve, maintain identities, and stop canibalizing its own sales.

      Pontiac - Euthanized. No more Pontiac. No brand identity, no market, no killer products, no reason for existance any more.

      Chevy - Performance
      Kill the entire lineup, sell only the Corvette and Camaro and turn the Solstice into a Chevy too, because we just killed Pontiac. Now you've got 3 cars that get people excited. Stick with that and don't lose focus.

      Cadillac - Aspirational Luxury Brand
      Luxury performance cars and crossover SUV's only, no trucks or truck-based SUV's. Cadillac is doing good, but they should kill the Escalade now... Milking this cash-cow would be easy, but it's not where the brand should be headed. Do the right thing. Kill it.

      GMC - Trucks and truck-based SUV's Let GMC do what GMC does. Chevy doesn't sell trucks anymore so finally GMC will be able to have it's own identity.

      Saturn - Your mainstream brand
      Affordable, practical, reliable. Keep the lineup simple and competitive. This is your main weapon against the imports.

      HUMMER - Kill it. GMC is your SUV brand. Besides, Monster-Trucks for suburban grocery getting is an idea who's time has past. Let's be realistic. The future is bleak for Hummer. Kill it now.

      SAAB - Sell to someone who knows what to do with this brand snd who can give it the attention it deserves. GM clearly can't handle it at this point.

      Buick - Kill it. You already have a successful luxury brand in Cadillac. You don't need two... you especially don't need a luxury brand that appeals primarily to the elderly.

      So anyways, I'm no expert, just playing fantasy CEO for a second... but if I were running the show, that's how i'd trim the fat.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I was going to say, isn't there a Canadian only version already?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Gotta love ole Rastus GM sells more cars in a 1/4 than your darling Toyota sells all year. The American public seems to buy them regardless of your rantings with the likes of this " I am happy to see that most Americans do" fact is they don't. As to profit, well, at the moment we all know they have a problem there, yet GM has been very profitable for many years and just where do you think they got their reserves from?

      Any businsess can have down years. As to firesale depreciation if you got a 10 or 15 grand discount up front, now you want the back-end deal too? You're just too funny.

      The net gain in jobs that Toyota has produced is not actually a net gain in the industry at all. Now that's just business, some win some, some lose some. Overall there is no net increase in automotive manufacturing jobs, union or non union. To hold GM, Toyota, whoever, up as a savior of jobs is just incorrect.

      And most of us are not hard working "fools" we are hard working people and we choose to buy the products we wish to buy.

      Then we have the racial "White boy" comment. Really who is the fool now?

      But I digress, this particular idea for this particular car is not a great idea.

      Most of this harks back to the Roger Smith era of badge engineering, not platform sharing.

      Someone said that GM has done the same for 50 years, well, not exactly, GM used the same frame, yet had different transmissions, engines, trim, exterior styles up until the mid 70's, the we had the "corporate" engines and we were on our way, good ole Roger in the 80's took it one step further and gave us cookie cutter cars that even today GM is trying to get away from.

      In this case at the moment GM just needs to say no to this one.




      • 8 Years Ago
      #17, astute, you've got it all wrong. There's a huge difference between platform sharing (mazda 6, ford fusion, lincoln zephyr) and completely the same car with different badges and maybe grilles (GMC Jimmy and Chevy Blazer) come to mind. What the hell is with GM. Make your brands at least a little different maybe?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I love this guy Robert Farago...no nonesense, factual, and honest:

      http://thetruthaboutcars.com/content/1139832330196134092/index.php

      Up
      to GMDW 56...how high will it go?? My guess is that this series will stop around the October timeframe. Until then, keep us all amused with this cheap entertainment, Robert, ...because, although it is cheap, it is certainly PRICELESS :D

      (I can see why you stopped doing the Roman Numeral thingy...who the hell can count to 89 in Roman...hahaha)
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