By on May 14, 2010

Given what it’s been through over the last several decades, GM is lucky to have any hard-core fans left at all. And yet sites like GMinsidenews.com [full disclosure: GMI is owned by TTAC's parent company, Vertical Scope] have thrived as havens of near-unadulterated GM pride, bankruptcy and bailout notwithstanding. So when true-believer sites like GMI run works subtitled GM Annual Feature “Deletions” Continue: 2011 shows that not all of Old GM’s habits are dead–yet, TTAC sits up and takes notice (as soon as we come sniffing around and find it, anyway). The piece opens:

Just the other day, we posted the product changes for every 2011 General Motors product in the United States. This has become an annual feature on GMI, as it is always interesting to see what tweaks or screw-ups GM is adding to the next model year. The main problem we find in the annual model year changeis is the practice of removing content from products. After glancing at the 2011 stuff, I was surprised to see “New GM” continuing the trend of deleting content.’

To be fair, the 2011 changes show fewer content “deletions” than previous model years; however the fact that any content is being entirely deleted from a product is almost laughable considering GM’s dire attempt to win back U.S. customers. Perhaps other OEM’s delete features as well (trust me, they do), but they also don’t have a perception problem to deal with. GM, you’re building great products now…stop deleting content off of them every year.

So, what’s being deleted? GMI’s ire focuses on Chevy’s much-vaunted Malibu, which loses:

(UG1) Universal Home Remote
Auto-dimming feature from LTZ driver-side outside mirror
Front door pull cup back-lighting on LS
(NW5) 18″ 5-spoke, bright finish aluminum wheels (Part of 2LT V6 Package)
17″ wheels with bright chrome on 1LT

None of which is drastic, but as GMI’s Nick Saporito point out:

For 2009, the Malibu lost power-adjustable pedals and the front side markers that GM made a big deal out of at launch. 2010 was no different, when Malibu lost the beautiful electroluminescent LTZ instrument cluster and trunk cargo net. I am left wondering why anyone would bother with an LTZ; they have cut the most content from it, dwindling its advantage over LT models.

In effort to tell the “whole story”, I will say that GM has added some features to the Malibu. Since launch, Bluetooth and USB connectivity have been added. That is still not justification for removing other content though.

If that’s what they’re writing at your fan site, it’s time to start opening your organization to the concept of tough love. On the other hand, decontenting Chevy models could also be seen as the price you pay for keeping Buick around (expiring Lucerne excepted, Buick remains largely unmolested by the bean counters). But the Chevy decontenting doesn’t stop at the ‘bu. The Traverse is being slowly bled of content as well:

In 2010, the Traverse shed its projector beam headlamps (they were standard on LTZ), 110-volt power outlet (also standard on LTZ), the owner’s manual pouch was deleted from all models and its power rear sunshade was replaced with a manual one. In the upcoming 2011 model year, the Traverse is giving up its power-folding mirrors with built-in turn signals. Yet again, it seems that the high end LTZ trim gets smacked by GM cost cutting.

GM apparently hasn’t posted ordering information for the 2011 Equinox yet, but if that gets hit with the accountant’s stick, much of Chevy’s passenger vehicle volume will have been touched by decontenting. Considering that the 2011 Aveo’s claim to fame is “Standard cabin air filtration” and the 2011 Impala will be available in both “1FL (comparable to 1LS) and 2FL (comparable to 1LT) Fleet equipment groups,” that doesn’t paint a pretty picture for GM’s volume brand (new Cruze notwithstanding). But let’s not hate… let’s give the fans the last word:

I have little doubt in my mind that GM puts a tremendous amount of thought into these feature deletions every year. Truth be told, it is probably a rather complex issue to contend with, which is likely the problem. In GM’s condition, feature cutting should not be happening — rather feature additions should be happening. I understand that some features are removed from specific trim levels (which is why I noted the LTZ-only deletions), but when they are removing the content entirely from the vehicle, there is a problem.

Perhaps GM does this to the high end Chevrolet models in an effort to help their Buick/GMC siblings? If so, I just lost some hope for New GM. The upcoming product from Hyundai is telling us that Chevrolet had best continue pushing up-market a bit on the mainstream side or face becoming seen as the inferior goods of mainstream vehicles. Chevrolet should stand for value; cutting feature content every year—and raising the price—does not reek of value to me.

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55 Comments on “Chevy Decontents Key Models For 2011, Fans Not Amused...”


  • avatar
    Mainedog

    My father has a loaded ’09 Cadillac CTS with all kinds of toys, bells and whistles. We were amazed though to find that it doesn’t have an underhood light – on a car with a sticker over $50k! Even some of the $1,500 POSes that seem to grow in my yard have one, so I just don’t understand.

    It’s a pattern of things like this from GM that have this long-time Chevrolet/Pontiac/Oldsmobile family (five of the six vehicles at my house are GM products and all three of my father’s vehicles are GMs) looking very favorably at Ford and Lincoln offerings this days.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      GMs don’t need an underhood light.

      Ford appliances on the other hand…..

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      Of course it’s ok to you that they’re deleting projector beam headlights from the high end model of the Traverse even though you couldn’t stop crying when the Fiesta showed up in the US without them…

    • 0 avatar

      I have noticed this to be a trend on all sorts of modern vehicles, not just GM products. No underhood lights, engine bays completely covered in plastic trim, transmissions losing their dipsticks… the trend is towards less home maintenence and more taking it to the dealer for maintenence.

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      @Trishield
      A majority of the plastic under the bonnet is actually sound insulation, and it does actually work. It’s also relatively easy to remove in most cases.
      With regards to having an under hood light, I can’t think of one occasion when that would have come in handy. 9 times out of 10, if something is going to go wrong, it usually goes so wrong that you and your tire iron aren’t going to be able to fix it and you’d have to ring for road side assistance anyway.
      However I agree with your dipstick comment, deleting something like that really does force people to go to a dealer, which is just wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      Mainedog

      The underhood light would have been nice when jump starting another car at 5am. I’ve noticed a few other examples of things that should have been there and aren’t, but the light was the first one to come to mind.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Maybe some of these features proved to be troublesome from a reliability or profit perspective, or maybe they just didn’t sell.

    I would hope some marketing expert would be able to link car sales to the presence of auto-dimming driver’s side mirrors. TTAC is that such decontenting doesn’t cost them any sales in the short run, but it certainly has a long-term effect.

    Are these features sliding from Standard to Optional, or simply disappearing altogether?

  • avatar
    john.fritz

    Crown Vic/Grand Marquis fans are very well acquainted with the de-contenting blues. You could use Ford’s feature stripping of those two cars between early 1990′s and 2005 as a case study. Although it’s meaningless now, in model years past I’m sure it was just one more nail in the Panther platform coffin.

    And yes, I know. Good riddance, et al.

    • 0 avatar
      taxman100

      Yep – when I compare my 2002 Grand Marquis LSE to a new 2010 Grand Marquis “Ultimate”, as they are badged, the amount of deletions gives me no reason to buy a new one.

      Inside and out, Ford has cheapened it up in order to convince you to buy one of their other products.

      Screw Ford – I’m done with them after the Panther goes away.

    • 0 avatar
      MadHungarian

      Worse yet with the Town Car. Also, similar to decontenting is what I will call “feature omission,” which is when new features being added to other cars are not made available in the model being de-contented. Think of the Sync audio systems and all the other gee-whizzery found on the MKS which could be in a Town Car if Ford cared to.

  • avatar

    GMI is wonderful reading when you want insight into the cult mindset. That said, the pragmatic approach to decontenting that some (but not all, or even most) posters have taken is refreshing.

    What I like best about Gov’t Motors’ shoddy practice in this regard is, if someone really wants the “best” Malibu out there, they’re not looking at a new model (and a new sale for GM) — they’re looking on the used lots of such rental outfits as Enterprise, Alamo, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      And with the increase in fleet dumping for vehicles such as the Malibu, consumers have a greater selection to choose from!

      http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f13/inside-news-gm-wants-new-malibu-take-big-retail-fleet-sales-impala-46860/

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Ten years ago Car and Driver cited the high level of standard features (at the basic price) as one of the only reasons to buy from GM. Of course they also said (at the time) that talking about the high level of standard content in a GM car was like talking about how cheap an all you can eat buffet is but neglecting to mention the “taste.”

  • avatar
    ajla

    Look at the list of deletions on the STS. GM absolutely went with a scorched earth strategy on it for 2011. The 300C is now more of a luxury car. Why even bother selling it anymore?

    Lacrosse got some nice changes though…

  • avatar
    Littlecarrot

    I personally don’t mind a little decontenting. Items such as power windows or power seats in an economy car aren’t really necessary. Having those items just makes them more unreliable down the road–especially with GM cars. The problem is, we rarely have a choice in the matter anymore.

  • avatar
    BlueEr03

    They are finally getting rid of those awful chrome wheels on the Malibu, I see that as a win for everyone. They cheapened the look of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      +1

      Eliminating the chrome wheels is an upgrade.

    • 0 avatar
      stevelovescars

      +2, that was my first thought when I read the story. The chrome wheels were adding nothing to the look of the car IMHO.

      Also, those universal garage door opening things never seem to work right anyway and, seriously, would somebody make a purchase decision based on that feature anyway?

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      “…Also, those universal garage door opening things never seem to work right anyway and, seriously, would somebody make a purchase decision based on that feature anyway?…”

      No, but that kind of misses the point. I was given an Altima as part of my job’s compensation package. I was never so rah-rah about Nissan, but the car surprises me again and again with the thoughtful touches that were engineered in. Whether it’s the tilt/telescopic wheel or the removable cup holder insert that allows for easy cleaning, the car reeks of nice touches. And this is not a high line model. Needless to say I extol the virtues of the car whenever asked about cars. That kind of endorsement is what GM needs in spades. Ripping out content is not going to help them in this regard. I thought that with the Malibu GM was on the road to redemption. I guess I was wrong. Pity.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      golden2husky, I too drive an Altima for work, and echo your observations.

      But I’m stumped on the comment that Homelink garage door openers never seem to work. We’ve had no less than six vehicles with this feature and have yet to have an issue with them opening our garage door, the gate to get into our neighborhood or the gate to get into the parking lot at work.

      And that’s not one or two makes of vehicle – it’s five different ones from three different continents. That’s the reason I’m so surprised…I thought that Homelink was Homelink, regardless of who made the vehicle.

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    Hyundai will likely be able to include most of those items and appeal to customers as offering better value especially as the overall quality is perceived to be the same and getting better then GM.

    But GM can fight back by creating new confusing option packages to let the customer add back those deleted features and then offer various time sensitive rebates to adjust the price. This should empower the dealer to perform more sales tricks in the closing room.

    And some criticize Scion for having a single equipment level for each model (not counting the non-essential but non critical stuff like wheels, cup lights and so on which are easily added a la carte and not via complex option packages.)

  • avatar
    trucosm

    on the 1 in 6 billion change that someone actually important at GM is reading this…..

    there has been one auto company in recent history that has gone from shitt-atude to respectability–Hyundai. How?

    Give more quality things for less $$$. Good marketing doesn’t work without good product.

    Decontent base/economy models? Fine. For the Camccord class and higher? C’mon.

    One current example of GM’s already lame decontenting–lack of xenon lights in CTS which is inexcusable for a “luxury” car (at least when I was in the market in 2008. hopefully it was changed for 2010 or ’11).

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    This is pretty common, and not restricted to GM. When a car company is going through tough times, cost-wise, these little shavings will yield serious savings across the board. Toyota and Honda did something similar in the late 90s/early 2000s when the yen’s value squeezed them.

    What you should worry about is the cost pressure on the stuff you can’t see. Losing side markers is one thing; outright mechanical failure is quite another. You’d hope GM will have learned that lesson the first time.

    • 0 avatar
      EEGeek

      Indeed. VW is notorious for introducing a new model with nice options and then gradually removing things and/or bundling the new niceties with expensive unrelated options. For 2011, if you want HID headlights in a GTI, you have to get Nav and a sunroof. If you also want Dynaudio you have to add leather seats. Ka-ching!

  • avatar
    dwford

    I am sure GM has done a lot of research and found that these items are either not noticed or not appreciated by customers (the same customers that I am sure think that the Malibu has a V4 engine).

    Hyundai is not immune to the deletions: The 2011 Sonata lost the gas strut hinges on the trunk in favor of the old fashoned ones that go into the trunk, lost the pullout sunvisor extensions in favor of the sliding sunvisor, dropped the easy latch on top of the rear seats to fold them down in favor of the pull tabs inside the trunk and lost the anit-whiplash front headrests. The Santa Fe lost the V6 in the GLS model, lost the electrically popped gas door in favor of the floor mounted release, lost the 3rd row seat (that the 2011 Kia Sorento adopted!). The 2010 Elantra lost the stick shift on the SE models, lost the leather option, lost the bad holder on the side of the center console, went to a single cubby under the armrest instead of a double, downgraded from a light on the vanity mirrors that went on when you slide the lid to having a separate switch on the ceiling. I could go on..

    Of course, many of Hyundai’s deletions were accompanied by nice improvements like the GDI motor, 6 speed transmissions, standard Bluetooth, push button start, etc..

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Off the top of my head, I’d say that a lot of those don’t really count as deletions. Going from seat mounted fold latches to trunk mounted, or from an electric switch actuated gas cap release to a mechanical one are just design decisions that have both benefits and drawbacks, but one isn’t obviously better than the other.

      Likewise, changing around option packages to mirror what people actually order makes a certain degree of sense. If people weren’t buying Sante Fe GLS models with V6s in enough numbers, or Elantra SEs with stick shifts, it makes sense to cut that as an available option. You aren’t charging people more for offering less, you are just eliminating a choice that had such a low take rate that it wasn’t economical to offer it anymore.

      Ford does a lot of the same things when it comes to re-adjusting option packages and changing how a vehicle can be ordered. For 2011 there is no more Focus coupe (just as well, hardly anybody bought them) and there is no longer a manual transmission option on the SEL, which, again is fine because the only people who bought manual Foci were the people wanting the cheapest of the cheap strippo versions. Similarly, Ford decided last year that if you wanted a navigation system in an Expedition, you were had to take a moonroof and a rear seat DVD player as well. While on the surface it looks like cramming options, enough people ordered all three of those together that it hasn’t really hurt sales on the vehicle, and the price to buy all three together as a package is now less than it was to buy all three together as seperate options when you could order them that way.

      GMs issue is taking things that used to be standard features, either on the vehicle or on a certain trim level, getting rid of them entirely, and then raising the price of the vehicle anyway. That’s just pissing in the face of your customers and bad business practice. Ford doesn’t do that on mainstream vehicles (the Town Car and Grand Marquis being exceptions, but the decontenting has more to do with their transition to fleet only status over the years) nor do most other major automakers.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      …the same customers that I am sure think that the Malibu has a V4 engine…

      A V4? Are you sure about that?

      Although I may be mistaken, I thought the Ford Taunus and Saab Sonnet were the last mainstream cars to have that configuration.

      With the exception of Subaru, most 4-cylinder vehicles these days have I4 engines…

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      Please ignore the above comment, as I failed to catch the obvious sarcasm in dwford’s statement.

      New rule in my house: No posting until AFTER I’ve had my morning coffee…

    • 0 avatar
      ohiomax

      2011 Sonata has active head restraints on all trim levels, so not sure where you are getting that the whiplash protection head restraints are not present when they are from the base to limited models except they are called active head restraints like very other car maker calls them.

  • avatar
    Ion

    2 years ago these would’ve been called “XFE” models.

    • 0 avatar
      superbadd75

      Actually, the XFE models do eliminate content, but part of it is in the name of wieght reduction for fuel economy. My sister’s Cobalt XFE gets pretty damn good mileage, and she doesn’t care about power windows and such.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      Yikes. Tell your sis to leave a few extra car lengths between her and the one in front of her on the highway. Those low rolling resistance treads make for some pretty lengthy stopping distances and sloppy, messy handling traits.

      Not worth the extras point or two of fuel economy IMO.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    VW is famous for this as well. The first model year will be loaded to the gills, and by the end of the run the only thing left is a stripper model. When the Jetta MKV was introduced you could get it in a loaded 2.0T model with leather, wood trim, xenons, etc. By the end of the run the 2.0T was only available in a decontented Wolfsburg model. Many standard features were weakened as well – “premium” audio becoming optional, and others I don’t remember.

    Some of this has to do with eliminating options and packages with a low take rate. Other times it has to do with getting impressive reviews on a new model in its first year, then cutting features for later years.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    I have been rather surprised to find several little things here and there that got eliminated on my 2008 Trailblazer. The one that really pissed me off the most was a 12V power outlet in the rear cargo area. I used the one in my 2002 TB for a portable air compressor when filling the tires on our bikes, and the first time I went to use it in the 2008, it was gone! I even bought a higher trim level in the ’08 model than I had on my ’02, so it was a little strange that they’d eliminated it altogether. Such is the way of GM, I guess. It’s sad that my tax money has gone to support such poor business sense.

  • avatar
    Tommy Boy

    Too bad the taxpayers weren’t consulted about de-contenting GM — instead we get to pay full sticker, plus interest, for what is well known as a lemon company!

  • avatar
    segfault

    GM Death Watch?

    Also, this reeks of 2003 (I think), when Lutz instituted GM’s “safety for nobody” campaign and deleted ABS and side airbags–which were previously standard features–from nearly the entire lineup. Look at a 2001 LeSabre, Tahoe, or Trailblazer, and they will have seat-mounted side airbags. Very few of the 2003 models have them because they became optional. I think the LeSabre lost its standard ABS in that year, too, and I know the Century did.

  • avatar

    Ford Contour, Mercury Mystique. First two years, a BMW wanna-clone. Then the decontent began. Bye bye heated mirrors, etc. By the end, it was a mere notch above the Focus…..Most of the web pages were “how to re content your car.”. The SVT was mostly decent shocks. I got my dash replaced when it warped. when all the dashes warped they de contented that and had a “kit” to re stabilize it, but not replace it.

    Cheap, cheap, cheap……..the factory will kill to save 25 cents on a $5 part they charge you $250 to replace when it fails.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Yeah, the Contour/Mystique and Cirrus/Stratus/Breeze were supposed to be truly world-class import-fighters, able to go head to head with the Accord and Camry with no apologies, just a lower sticker price. Honda and Toyota don’t really decontent every year like Ford and Chrysler did–they wait for a redesign so it’s less noticeable. Also, they’re more careful about what content they allow in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      Ummm…segfault
      The Mystique / Contour was a disaster that was supposed to be in the UK mold of the Mondeo as a mid-sizer. But it bombed because they couldn’t find their place in the mess of Escort, Taurus and Focus.

      The Cloud cars for Chrysler were supposed to be the smaller versions of the LHS cars released in the early 90s.

      But no one with a brain and a checkbook would bet an Accord or Camry of similar year would be a better car than the b.s clown cars.

      I also dont think Honda OR Toyota de-contents.

      I don’t see the point for it for the domestics.. only to be cheap.
      But then again.. I’m extremely bias against them.. and think they severely suck.. and couldnt make money on a Tissue factory.

  • avatar
    jnik

    Next move: to bring back the blank squares in the instrument panel, to remind you of what you didn’t pay extra for.

  • avatar
    IGB

    Taken from Canadiandriver’s Toyota Yaris review:

    “However, some optional features were deleted for 2010: the Convenience Package deletes power heated mirrors, while the Enhanced Convenience Package deletes alloy wheels, wheel locks, and fog lamps. The Appearance Package, which included alloy wheels, fog lights and cruise control, is gone altogether, as is the optional Aero Package, which included stylish spoilers and side sills.” and “the price has gone up,” he notes.

    GM is not alone.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Oh yeah,Toyota takes a whole different aproach. They will actually add options after your purchase. Like a fifty cent washer. Or in some cases,they may delete,after purchase,15 minutes with a “saws all”and you have 20 percent less gas pedal.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    A contrary point of view. Chevrolet has been the 800 pound gorilla of GM. Chevy fans have got to get over the fact that Chevy cannot cover the entire market anymore. There is a fancier version of the Traverse – it is a Buick Enclave. Ditto with Malibu – it cannot be allowed to poach into Buick Lacrosse territory.
    Don’t tell me “well Ford and Toyota offer this stuff, so Chevy has to as well”. Ford and Toyota don’t have a Buick in their lineups. GM is going to have to make Chevy + Buick = Ford or Toyota. So, Chevrolet fans are going to have to accept some trim-back at the high end of the line to give Buick a reason to exist.

  • avatar

    A car is to drive. It’s not a home entertainment center, or at least it shouldn’t be. Anything they can take out to reduce weight–like power seats–is good. But don’t interfere with the quality or the driving.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      Perhaps my admitted Dearborn bias is apparent, but I can’t imagine buying a car that doesn’t have Sync.

    • 0 avatar
      JeremyR

      That certainly limits one’s choices!

      While Sync is cool, (1) I avoid buying Microsoft products when I can help it, and (2) all I really need is an aux-in jack on the stereo, not $500 worth of gee-whiz technology, thanks.

  • avatar
    Acc azda atch

    Ya know..

    (Please lord don’t strike me.. for what I’m about to say.. PLEASE!)

    The LTZ Malibu.. and the XR in the Aura..is some of the nicest interior packages.. Ive seen from a domestic.. in coming on 5yrs.

    I’m in love with the color of the instrument panels.
    I love with the lighter / darker tans.. its beautiful.

    However..
    Tap on the cover over the shifter… and feel that hollow sound as it slides around the grooves located around the auto shifter.

    Or slide yourself down to the button located DEEP on the door pocket on the driver’s side to hit the remote for the trunk or fuel release.. — a simple cable feature located at the front left of the driver seat attachment point Accords have had for coming on 20yrs.

    Heck, I’d love the electroluminescent gauges.. must look beautiful at night.

    But I see the value of the LTZ’s as being some of the nicest trim for a midsizer than GM has. Don’t understand the concept of de-contenting it.

    Then again..
    I DO take notice about how many LTs and LS’s I see on the road.
    (Just like I do notice how many Altima 2.5′s v 3.5s I see on the road)

    Answer this question batman..
    Are they de-contenting the LTZ cause its a lower take rate.. or not enough dealers buying them for their stocks.. and therefor less people picking them up?

    I secretly (very secretly) would love an interior like this.. but it still leads me to not understanding why.

    Also..
    I didn’t have an idea that the parent company of TTAC also owns GMI. How DOES that work out?!

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    IMO the vast majority of GM buyers won’t notice any of the decontenting and even if they do they will still buy. GM’s problem is attracting buyers that aren’t already predisposed to buy a GM product and that battle starts with the vehicles themselves and longheld perceptions about GM products. So far GM is failing miserably at attracting new buyers but that is the way it has been for many years now. GM’s longstanding decline in marketshare shows no signs of turning around because they are either unwilling or incapable of doing the things necessary to turn it around. As an example as has been posted many times on TTAC a Hyundai type warranty would gain GM solid credibility in the marketplace but GM won’t do it. GM continues to fail to give the average car buyer any reason to consider their products. Why would a Honda/Toyota buyer even stop in a GM showroom?

  • avatar
    AdamYYZ

    I continue to be amazed by the 2011 Mustang “Value leader” aka “Rental Beater”. Standard features include: 300HP engine, cruise control, tilt steering, intermittent wipers, message center, CD player w/audio aux jack, air conditioning, ABS, Traction Control, Stability control, MyKey, power windows & doorlocks, 6spd transmission, alloy wheels and much more.

    How much more could you want for 22,900 Canadian? That’s a bonkers car thats fun to drive, easy to own, safe, comfortable and also the envy of your neighbors. Who cares that you can’t option it.

    I wish other companies shared Ford’s ideals for a “Bare bones” car. My loaded Civic Si stickered for more than that and is beaten in every way minus a sunroof!

  • avatar
    50merc

    Little things count. The new vehicle in our garage would have a Honda badge on it if we could have gotten power seats on it. I guess no one in Japan ever gets arthritis.

    My wife disqualified Subaru because the automatic shifter has that ridiculous confusing zig-zag pattern.

    Those who recall the 70′s know that a major reason Japanese cars became popular is that they came with so many nice things as standard equipment.

    Of course, into the 50′s you had to pay extra to get an oil filter or a mirror on the driver’s door.

    • 0 avatar
      NTIV10

      Seriously, the zig-zag shifter pattern is confusing? Somehow Mercedes-Benz drivers have been able to figure it out for oh, about 50 years.

    • 0 avatar
      MadHungarian

      @NTIV10: Yeah, the zigzag shifter was a Benz trademark probably back to when automatics first appeared on Benzes. Nobody else felt the need to join in for the longest time, and now it seems to have become a fad. IMO, for the purpose of imitating M-B. My problem with it is primarily that it seems like a pointless affectation and secondarily that because the patterns vary somewhat it means when you jump into an unfamiliar car you have to stop and figure it out.

      It’s in Corollas now, for heavens sake, and for that matter the Corolla version of it is particularly silly, because when you are shifting it, it sure feels like the real linkage is actually moving straight forward and back, and there’s just some kind of U-joint at the bottom of the lever to make it sashay through the gate.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Find out why people are buying your product, and delete it. Sounds like another winning GM strategy!

  • avatar
    NickR

    I noticed significant decontenting when I moved from my 2000 Toyota to the 2002.

    WRT to GM, I honestly think you could get away with this if you distracted people with a broad palette of exterior colours to pick from. Remember how many different colours used to be available? With modern manufacturing techniques it shouldn’t be too difficult.


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