Next Dead American Company?

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After hearing Oldsmobile will leave the automotive world, I was wondering what other people thought the next American car manufacturer to die would be. I think it would be Buick, they're only market is for old-people, and they don't seem to be growing too much. Either that or Mercury because you can just buy a Ford for the same price and Mercury's are ugly. Anyway, what do ya think?

posted by  moostang104314

my vote goes for Buick - Mercury is apparently in the middle of a "renaissance" or something to revitalise its image.

posted by  SuperJew

Mercury and Buick need to pull a Cadillac. I'm not into modern american autos, but the recent cars have impressed me (visually, haven't driven any yet) such as the chrysler 300 and CTS. I think Buick... no mercury ... it seems like neither have anything going for them. I bet their fate is almost decided already, it's just up to when they'll tell us

posted by  mischa

Aren't they all owned by GM or Chrysler anyways?

If so, I think they should all merge into two or three big companies or something.

posted by  MaChao

What do you mean? Oldsmobile was part of GM and it died. And if you mean Ford, GM, and Chrysler join, that would be totally retarded! There's way too much competition, they'd never even think of joining eachother!

If I understood your comment differently, correct me.

posted by  moostang104314

Really I believe Buick will be the next to go. It has absolutely NOTHING going for it other than the Regal being VERY reliable. That's just not enough to hold one company up. Mercury is going through a revival right now and we'll see how it goes...Will it be just another Marauder? Or will it actually be breathed new life?

posted by  thunderbird1100

if both go, i wouldnt mind....

posted by  Ki2AY

Mercury has been upper trim level rebadged Fords since 1939. It's been working for them for almost 70 years. A little late for teenagers to make decisions about them now.

Buick has been traditional american semi-luxury sedans for the same amount of time (with a few musclecars thrown in for good measure). Again, their target market is pretty big. It ins't teenagers, again, but it's retarded to market everything by what teenagers like.

posted by  ChrisV

Would you NOT agree Olds was almost on the EXACT same level as Buick and Mercury? I'd say they are. So who's not to say we can't judge?

posted by  thunderbird1100

GM is looking to its enemy number 1, Toyota (with Lexus). It's simply cheaper to let a marque dying than to keeping it up any longer. GM wants to be efficient and fit for the general competition, because it's General Motors. Joking apart....because of its bean counting philosophy. Just making money without innovations, quality improvements and longtermed goals -- it isn't the miracle cure at all. :smoke:

posted by  lutz

Could'nt agree more. Oldsmobile probably fell for the same reason that GM stopped making Camaro's. None the less, you can't just say Buick and or Mercury is the next to go. Most cars that Mercury and Buick make are'nt generally appealing to young teens because thats not their intentions. Aside for a few exceptions. Anywhos, I'm sure GM has other intentions than just randomly dropping car makes.....

posted by  DSMer

Plymouth was suppose to phase out like 6 years ago........ they are still around and kicking, although not very hard. I don't think Olds will be gone for long (hopefully) But who knows

posted by  Voda48

No, I wouldn't. Why? GM had 5 basic lines from Chevy to Cadillac. Ford has 3, from Ford to Lincoln. Buick and Olds filled the same role: more expensive than the base levels, but less expensive than the top level. With one gone, the other has that role to itself.

Mercury has always been the stepping stone to Lincoln, and fills the role of both Olds and Buick. It continues to serve that purpose. Buick and Olds could have been combined, or one could go. So Olds went.

The fact that ytou can't see the larger picture is why you can't judge. You simply don't have the experience for it. And you refuse to learn what you dont' know about the industry before making statements about it.

posted by  ChrisV

Plymouth doesn't exist anymore, either, though DCX is talking about reviving it for much the same reason. But it probably won't happen.

posted by  ChrisV

Well, like ChrisV said, I am young and don't have the experience for it, but that doesn't stop me from making a potentially retarded suggestion. But that does serve as a warning to the rest of you. :wink2: :banghead:

From what I see, I'd say the biggest domestic companies are Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge, and Pontiac. Now I'm not 100% positive on how GM is related to all of them, but I'd say GM either owns a couple of the companies, has some sort of contract with them, or just has a ton of shares in multiple companies.

What I meant was since GM plays such a large role in all the big and small companies anyways, why don't they combine some of the smaller companies (Cadillac, Buick, Mercury, GMC, Lincoln - the ones I can think of so far).

There are a few that shouldn't be combined, because Cadillac and Mercury does fairly well and I guess you'd have to keep the Lincolns for prestige. So what I'm suggesting is merge the small ones with each other or merge them with one of the big ones.

lutz talked about general competition - even though I understand, I don't know if that works so well in GM's favor all the time. When the no-names (such as Buick and Mercury) are competing with the big names (such as Toyota, Ford, BMW), the no-names are forgotten quickly in the car-buying process.

I think it would work better to merge companies and focus more on innovation and produce a less number of models, but a larger number of them.

And as a side note, ChrisV - maybe marketing everything to teenagers wouldn't be such a bad thing. I think one of the reasons why the smaller companies are doing so poorly is because of their image. I bet if you asked young people what they thought of makes like Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, and Lincoln, I think most of them will mention words such as "old," "outdated," "ugly," or just "not cool."

Those companies mainly appeal to a different generation. So give it another 25 years and they'll all bite the dust anyways. The young people are the future and early opinions like that are hard to change. If [the companies] can get [the young people] while they're young, then they'll be setting themselves up longer.

posted by  MaChao

GM owns and IS the following:
and these other foreign affiliates:


posted by  Pac127

Excellent research! I guess they also have Isuzu from Japan, Hyundai/Kia from Korea and Fiat/Lancia (huge shareholding) from Italy. Am I right? :smoke:

I think with Fiat they have a special kind of deal because two Fiat's affiliates, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari/Maserati arent under GM's authority yet.

posted by  lutz

You think I live in a brown box? ANYONE with half a brain can tell Buick sales are horrible just by their demographic. Look at the market at wide here. How many buyers are aged 60-65+, not too many. Very few times do I see a younger person in a newer Buick or Mercury. I LIVE in an older persons type community. All you see are these cars for the most part. Buick just is targeting to ONE demographic (a small one at that) nowadays, they used to be ALL over the spectrum like in the 60's and 70's and sales were fine.

Now, to backup my claim why I think Buick might go sooner or later...

Straight from Detroit Free Press :

" Buick, which has the oldest average owner age of any U.S. brand, 63 years, posted its worst sales in half a century in 2003. "

" Buick sales slumped 6.3 percent, pulled down by a 42-percent drop for Century " - referring to 1st quarter sales of 2004

How can a company keep going like this? It also explains in that same article Saturn and Buick had the STEEPEST declines for GM's six top brands that same quarter.

Now, see why I can make inferences just like anyone else in the world with a mind to search for statistical evidence on the internet?

Also same goes for Mercury for the most part. They tried going out of their demographic (at least) to appeal to younger buyers with the Marauder. I applaud them for attemtping this. But look what happened... COMPLETE flop for them.

Here's the real picture: older folks better start liking Malibus and Taurus' because they alone won't keep these two companies alive.

posted by  thunderbird1100

:pop: :D

posted by  Ki2AY

"Statistics provided by Power Information Network (PIN), an affiliate of J.D. Power and Associates, show that women between 40-50 years of age buy the most cars, followed by 30-40 year olds, the 50-60 age group, women under 30 and lastly women over 60. "

"This is America’s fastest growing group. Between 1996 and 2010, those 55 to 64 will grow 65.2 percent, "

"What do they spend this money on? luxury cars, electronic equipment, investments, home furnishings, clothing, and gifts for the grandchildren are frequent purchases."

Seems to me that the 40+ age group control alot of the car economy.

posted by  DSMer in the rest of the free world too (Europe for example) :smoke:

posted by  lutz

Now if only Buick could get that age DOWN to 45ish from 63.

posted by  thunderbird1100

Umm, in case you did'nt know this. 63 is part of 40+.

posted by  DSMer

Think for a minute here. You think more people aged 40-45 buy new cars more or more people aged 60-65 buy new cars? DUH 63 is part of 40+, but a very small percentage of it. All about statistics and UNDERSTANDING them.

posted by  thunderbird1100

I fail to see your point.. 60+ buy lots of cars. More so than 20-30 yr olds, and almost on the same percentile level as that of a 40 yr old. Your interpretation of older folks not being able save a car company was a broad and unreasonable one. Refusing to learn what you did'nt know in the first place is'nt "understanding" statistics. Its just being plain ignorant. Face facts, older folks do buy more cars than younger people. Your statement of "Older folks" better start liking Malibus and Taurus' was very redundant. Those cars are marketed towards older people, why would'nt they like them?I surley hope you did'nt expect to see some import tuner ricing out his Taurus now did you?

Anywhos point being, elderly control alot of car econmy, iregaurdless of what you may think or believe. Buick can in fact be saved by the elderly community of America. Its not that Buick needs to market towards younger people, they need to offer more features than other competitive companys like Caddilac, Lincoln, and Mercury.

posted by  DSMer

Ai Yi yi.... you just dont seen to grasp these simple and factual points. If the 60+ market is so big like you claim they are...they WHY are Buick sales down 200 feet below the surface of the earth right now? You saw their average buyer age, 63, LIKE I said... the 40-45 new car buying group is bigger than the 60-65 new car buying group. Mercury belongs in the same older age group average buyer and they to aren't doing so hot right now. As said before; They can't be targeting their cars to this one, small, demographic. Acura has a much lower average buyer age of around 50-53ish and they've been posting sales records all through 2003 and 2004. Notice how the 60+ average age buying brands aren't posting anything usually BUT all time sales declines.

posted by  thunderbird1100

Quite simple. The older 60+ market is spending their money on Caddilacs and Lincolns. Other companys have much more to offer than Buick.

posted by  DSMer

I highly doubt Buick will go with all their new luxury cars/suv's/vans coming out....Mercury would go b 4 buick, they don't even sell Mercury in Canada n e more.

posted by  Xploder87

Now, at the age of 31, I am hoping to one day be able to afford a luxury car, drive 55mph in the passing lane, own an RV as well, and play tourist all over America.

My point being, that the 40+ crowd have most of the money and all of the experience. I find that youth is a bit over idolized today. I for one enjoy getting older....and a funny thing is happening to me, my taste is changing....against my will of course....and as the population grows, so will the amount of young AND old people.

Bottom Line: I find as I get older, the more space and comfort I want in a vehicle. I still love small sports cars, but they are slowly becoming an "in addition" to the "family" car or truck.....I never even saw it coming. :laughing:

posted by  Cantesoleares

That's Scion's job. And Chevy.

First off, they are not "smaller companies" they are divisions within a large corporation, designed to be marketed to differnt people. it would be stupid to have every GM brand targeted at the same teenage consumer group ESPECIALLY when that group has the least chance of actually BUYING a new car

Trust me, as a young person, you simply don't realize that your tastes and needs will change. The moment you have a family, and a re a homeowner, you wil notice your priorities changing. And as your body is less able to contort itself into tiny sports cars, becaeu you're getting older, you'll want a car that is comfier and easier to get in and out of.

Here's the deal. You haven't been anything BUT a young person, so you can only understand your perspective. I've been a young person. I can understand what a young person whants AND an older person, due to having been in both situations. I've been single. I'm married now. Now, toy cars and fun cars are secondary purchases, not primary modes of transportation. I still love the toys and the fun cars. I no longer require every car on the market to BE one.

posted by  ChrisV

Yep nice smooth well powered, minimal maintenance car for daily drive; buy new & sell after 3 years.

posted by  Wally

Motor Trend said pontiac has a good change of getting the axe next due to slow sales.

posted by  04subwrx

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