By on January 16, 2014
Can you spot the Chevrolet SS in Chevy's display at the 2014 NAIAS?

Can you spot the Chevrolet SS in Chevy’s display at the 2014 NAIAS?

Unless you’ve lived through it, you have no idea what it’s like to slog through the colossal Detroit auto show media preview. There were something like 50 new vehicle reveals spread out over two days, a press conference every 45 minutes or so. In the blur it’s easy to miss something. Fortunately, I live in the Detroit area so if I manage to not get photos or video of an important reveal or new-to-the-NAIAS vehicle, I can always go back during the Industry Preview that follows the press days. While reading Derek Kreindler’s NAIAS recap I realized that one of the cars that I missed was the Chevrolet SS performance sedan. A couple of months ago our colleague Bark M speculated that General Motors was not trying very hard to sell the new $44,000 SS. After photographing the SS at the NAIAS, I think that Bark M might have been on to something.

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I was wondering how I missed the SS until I went back to Cobo Hall during the industry days. While it’s not as crowded as the public show, just about anyone in Detroit can probably figure out a way to get a ticket so there are still more people than during the media event and from the crowds (or lack of them) around the vehicles you can get an idea of which ones are likely to be popular when the show goes public. As I worked my way through the half dozen or so photographic fill-ins that I needed I headed towards the Volvo booth along the far northern wall of the convention center. On my way to Volvo I passed right by the Chevrolet booth. Scanning the display, at first I couldn’t find the SS, it wasn’t on the show floor. Figuring I could check again after shooting the V60 sportwagon, I turned towards the Volvo booth and as my head spun I caught a flash of red from the smaller upper deck of Chevy’s two story display. Ah, so that’s where it is.

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Chevy had devoted the upper level to motorsports, more specifically Indycar and NASCAR, with a couple of the Dallara built cars used in the open wheel series, a Gen 6 NASCAR racer in Chevy SS trim, a Chevy SS pace car used in that series, and, on the public side of the barriers, that red Chevrolet SS. Now the funny thing is that I’d been upstairs in the Chevy display before. I shot video of the Z06 and C7R Corvette reveals from the stairs and I’d set my camera back up near the Indycars. Perhaps my powers of observation are declining in my advancing old age and decripitude, and I was rather focused on getting a decent sight line to the stage, but I hadn’t noticed either the pace car or the street SS when I was up there. I did notice the Indycars, and the Borg Warner Trophy in a display case, but the NASCAR display was at the far end of the upper level.

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Actually, if you didn’t take the time to go upstairs, you wouldn’t know that it’s devoted to the Chevy SS and Chevy motorsports. There’s a sign at the very top of the stairway, but no signboards or anything downstairs that might drive foot traffic to the upper part of the display. To give you some historical perspective of how Chevy regards that upper level’s ability to help sell retail product, if I’m not mistaken, last year they used the second floor to display some of Chevy’s international products, vehicles not for sale in North America.

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After I finished shooting photos of the SS and pace car, as I walked towards the staircase, two men passed me. I only caught a glimpse of one of them as I hurried, but the name Ryan Newman on his credentials made the synapses connect and I wheeled around to follow them as they walked towards the SS. The other man was Jim Campbell, who is in charge of performance cars and motorsports at General Motors. No matter what the upper level folks in GM’s PR department think about TTAC, as a writer I’ve always been treated graciously by people working for GM, including Campbell.

Seizing the opportunity, I asked Newman if he thought it’d be possible to build an actual stock car racer, from a production vehicle, with an advanced roll cage, and have the result be as safe as the scratch built tube frame Gen 6 cars, and he said not at the speeds they currently race at, mentioning the 218 mph he did at Michigan International Speedway. Then I asked Campbell why, if they were serious about selling the Chevy SS, did they hide it upstairs? He said that the motorsports display was a great place to promote the SS. He has a good point, but it was obvious that there was less foot traffic up there than down on the show floor. At the time, I believe that we were the only ones upstairs.

During the industry preview, foot traffic on the floor was much heavier than on the upper level of Chevy's booth.

During the industry preview, foot traffic on the floor was much heavier than on the upper level of Chevy’s booth.

Nothing reaches production and goes on sale at a car company these days without some kind of business case being made for it. I’ve written about the factory NHRA drag racers like the COPO Camaro, Drag Pak Challenger and Cobra Jet Mustang and the people at GM, Chrysler and Ford unanimously told me that their programs had to be justified on a dollars and cents basis. I assume the same is true of the Chevrolet SS but it sure doesn’t look like they’re trying that hard to sell that many examples of a car that you and I would probably enjoy driving.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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86 Comments on “2014 NAIAS: How Hard Is GM Trying to Sell the Chevy SS?...”


  • avatar
    mikedt

    I’m guessing the market for a $44.000+ American performance sedan is pretty small. My gut says that in general people able to drop that kind of coin are going to go for BMW/Mercedes/Audi/Lexus or even Cadillac. More cache and if the car takes a little longer to get to 60 they won’t care.

    • 0 avatar
      Aquineas

      Hmmm not sure I agree. There are a lot of Chysler 300s roaming around these parks (I would argue too many). I wonder if it’s a question of lack of bling?

    • 0 avatar

      The SS doesn’t sit on dealer lots in NY State or NYC very long. They sell almost as fast as they come in, which is usually 1 – 3 per month.

      New SRT models don’t sit on lots either. They are moving very well here. Especially Chargers and Jeep SRT.

    • 0 avatar

      They don’t want the Administration officials and other Democratic politicians to notice the high performance cars! Nancy Pelosi would have a cow!

      (Although Joe Biden might like it. He still has the Corvette his father gave him as a present for his first wedding, in the late ’60s.)

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well, that segment really just consists of the SS and the Chrysler Group SRT8 sedans, so naturally that’s going to be a smallish segment. However, for what it’s worth, I hear these cars move pretty quickly and however small the target audience is, these cars aren’t sitting on the lots for months, or even weeks.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly my point Kyree.

        Chevy doesn’t really have to try to sell these. You can’t really advertise a gas guzzling performance car with a gas tax nowadays. Enthusiasts know what they are, find them and buy them. This segment only has 5 cars in it. The Jeep, the 300, the Charger, the Challenger and the SS. When you move to the German performance cars, you end up so high in price it becomes another segment entirely. And that’s why these cars do so well. Besides the Jeep, everything is $55,000 or less.

        …Which makes me wonder how the MKS Ecoboost, R-spec and XTS-V have the balls to have the price tags they have…

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          That’s a strange definition of a “segment” that lumps together three similar $45k-$50k sedans, a $50k ponycar and a $65k SUV.

          I’d say the SS’s segment consists of the Charger SRT, 300C SRT, and Genesis 5.0 R-Spec. Full-size RWD V8 sedans, in other words. The comparable Germans are either more expensive or smaller, and the FWD-based competitors (XTS-V, MKS EB, SHO) are a bit more luxury and less performance.

  • avatar
    Short Bus

    In my mind this is a great car that cost about $10k more than I’d be willing to pay for it. I’m sure it drives nice, but there’s zero visual appeal. For me, Dodge/Chrysler rules the $40k-$50k segment when it comes to American muscle sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      Short Bus – - –

      Yup. “SS” is supposed to mean “Super Sport”.
      Previous (early) Super Sports could be ordered with a manual transmission.
      And sports cars can have manual transmissions.
      This car has no manual transmission.
      What’s wrong with this picture?

      You’re right about Dodge: the Challenger can be had with a Manual Transmission, and a nice one too!

      ———————-

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        But the Challenger is a 2-door. The Charger sedan is automatic-only.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        Early Super Sports could be had with manuals, yes. But you could also order odd-ball optioned cars too. Choices in car buying is a thing of the past, unfortunately.
        Also, early Super Sports were never sports cars. They were option packages of the ordinary cars you could buy then separate models… but still basically trim packages for ordinary cars. A 250ci straight 6 ’67 Impala SS was not a Super anything, let alone Sport.
        I really like the current SS and I hate that GM is probably going to do to it what they did to the GTO in 2006.

      • 0 avatar

        My first car was a 1966 Impala SS. It had a 283 V8 with a two barrel carburetor and a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. It did have bucket seats, a console shifter and gauges. The SS brand hasn’t just been about performance.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    They’re almost certainly losing money on each one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      How can that be? They have already have ordered a specific number to be built if it was not economically viable they would not have started to build them for the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Surely even you must have heard by now that GM is pulling the plug on Australian production because the entire thing isn’t economically viable. Without fat checks and tariff protections to prop it up, building in Australia doesn’t make any sense.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          This is a rare case of me agreeing 100% with Pch101.

          Imagine the Charger SRT-8 as the ONLY car being built and sold on the LX platform. The ONLY CAR, no V6 Chargers to sell to Enterprise, no $25,000 model to sell, no mid-level R/T, no Chrysler 300 of ANY flavor, just the top of the line performance model.

          There is NO WAY Fiat-Chrysler would make money on the car based on the development/manufacturing costs of the platform. Especially building them in a high cost labor country.

          Now further imagine that the Charger SRT-8 was being built in a foreign country and having to be shipped thousands of miles to the United States. Even with token money making sales in the country of origin, you still couldn’t make money on the North American product.

          How would any company possibly make money on that business proposition?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree with both of you but consider this, the 505hp Camaro Z28 is bring priced at $75,000. So its a retail 23,000 car, with maybe 15K-20K more worth of materials. I’m not sure what transaction prices will be or production numbers, but GM could have loaded up the “SS” with every toy imaginable sold it as a companion car to the Z28 (as Pch101 once brought up) or if GM had a comparable performance only brand like SRT, (*cough cough* Pontiac) or a world class Bentley/RR level marque (not Cadillac) it could have been branded as such for bigger money than $44K. Heck bringing it over as a limited edition Holden would be better than a bowtie, I don’t care what the Aussies put on their Holden grilles, branding matters. This could have worked in RenCen’s favor, instead it gets sold at a loss, on a long paid for platform, as a compliance car.

            Could Chrysler do this with Charger and go SRT only and still make money? I would say yes for a time as long as little to no money is put back into the platform and all updates are cheap or cosmetic.

            “Chevrolet has announced that it will charge a whopping $75,000 for its upcoming 2014 Camaro Z/28 when it goes on sale this spring. That sticker price includes a $995 destination charge, as well as a still-unspecified gas-guzzler tax.”

            http://www.autoblog.com/2014/01/03/2014-chevy-camaro-z28-75000-price/

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            Which is also why Chevy is not heavily pushing/promoting it. Why encourage people to go out and buy a product you are losing money on everytime it is sold? Chevy doesn’t need this car for a halo effect like Pontiac and the G8- they have the Corvette (and to a lesser extent the Camaro). So no sense in making the SS a loss leader.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The SS’ primary mission was to appease the Aussies’ desire to have more exports, a concession for securing subsidies that were provided to Holden.

            Making the Aussies happy is obviously not so important now that GM is pulling the plug.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I agree with one exception – the shipping costs. That is a non-issue, as the buyer pays it as a “destination charge”. Shipping around the world on a RoRo ship is really cheap to start with, even for a private person. For GM, buying in bulk, that destination charge has to be a nice bit of profit.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Pch101. Yes but not selling the SS in the US. Holden overall but not the intial deal that was already confirmed as a goer.
          As it stands the European and Japanese builders building in Arksanas and Kentucky are only viable because they get subsidies from the various state governments. If the subsidies dry up they leave.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Not at $45k, but they were losing money on cheaper G8s. That’s why they’re only selling the SS in loaded form.

      They aren’t making nearly as much as you’d expect from a $45k sedan powered by a slightly uptuned truck engine, though.

      • 0 avatar

        The SS does not lose money IF Chevy’s John Fitzpatrick is to be believed. Then again, no company would say they lose money on a product.

        “The essentially single configuration initially offered for the Chevrolet SS was decided upon to increase profits and reduce complexity.”

        I personally hope it is profitable so Chevy can continue to sell great cars like this. If a Camaro SS on the same platform and engine minus two doors can msrp for $32,000(actual sale price being much less after incentives), I cant see why a SS couldn’t be profitable at $44,000 despite a high AUD and shipping costs. It has very few options, one engine and one transmission and is 99% identical to a car already made. They didn’t even throw in a different grill on the car unlike the G8. The 3K to 5K units MAY even help to spread development costs in Australia.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Similar Commodores cost more in Australia, and they’re losing money on those.

        The whole operation loses money, and selling a few more cars to Americans won’t eliminate the losses. Australia is too small to provide scale economies, which makes the whole operation a bleeder. The fact that Americans demand such low prices for things only makes it that much harder.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          No it is not too small. Volvo sells and makes trucks and sells them all over. It is currently the worlds largest truck maker and that from a population of 8 million.

  • avatar
    TheAnswerIsPolara

    if that was on the floor, I likely would have walked right by… Looks like a rental. Reminds me of the now-departed Pontiac G6.

    Of course, the G6 & G8′s had that blend-into-the-background vibe going for them too. Even the Impala has more personality.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Also a case of “Not Built here” so the UAW would be pressing to stop promoting it. I thought it very odd there was little PR attention on the car?

      • 0 avatar

        No amount of promotion is going to gave any effect on sales for a car like the SS. Besides, GM is either losing money or barely breaking even. Spending more money for marketing is probably not worth the effort. The SS is the kind of car that everyone who would want a car like this already knows about it. The kind of people who buy this car already know it exists. They don’t need to brag about their purchase to their family/co-workers, nor do they care. A SS buyer is the kind of guy who buys a car to enjoy driving and not impress people he doesn’t like. The kind of guy you’d love to hang out with unlike the BMW dbags (though audi is quickly becoming the car of choice for dbags with heads high up their rears)

        • 0 avatar
          Compaq Deskpro

          I think those people would still rather buy a Charger or 300.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Don’t be so sure. The SRT variants of the Charger/300 have more power, but the SS is better in just about any other respect, and is meaningfully cheaper than the comparably equipped SRTs.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            @dal20402

            And the Charger comes with a 400+ pound weight penalty that negates a fair amount of that HP advantage, and is still hobbled by a 5-speed.

            The people actually reviewing the cars are finding 0 – 60 times under 5 seconds, and 1/4 mile times in the high 12s to low 13s – and most have noted that has been observed on summer only rubber in blistering cold conditions where traction is an issue.

            It’s only a tick slower than the Charger – and like the Charger vs G8 argument of five years ago, apparently has better handling (.93 to .95 – that’s impressive for 2 tons of Aussie metal) equal to slightly better brakes, and much better ride and steering feel. Every reviewer is staying the interior is better.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Get one while you can.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      I’d rather pick up a Caprice cop car a few years down the road for less than 10k.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Good luck finding one, I see one on Ebay and only one Manheim sale of a 2013.

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chevrolet-Caprice-9C1-POLICE-CHEVY-CAPRICE-9C1-POLICE-6-0L-V8-355HP-LIKE-NEW-WARRANTY-WELL-KEPT-RARE-/261372338932?forcerrptr=true&hash=item3cdb0162f4&item=261372338932&pt=US_Cars_Trucks

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          It’ll be better once you can pick up a 2014 PPV. GM made numerous upgrades to the 2014 Caprice—as well as the Commodore—which include switching it over to the new Global-A electronics architecture. Global-A vehicles are identifiable as having some kind of actual LCD in the instrument panel (as opposed to a display matrix like most previous GM cars). Except for Cadillac models and the truck vehicles, they also all seem to use GM’s switchblade key fob, and they all support *actual* MyLink. The Global-A architecture vehicles are pretty much every new introduction since MY2010 with the Camaro, Equinox, LaCrosse, Terrain and SRX. The Commodore and its derivatives are the only GM cars that actually got *upgraded* to Global-A, most other pre-existing cars (such as the Acadia, Enclave and Terrain) were simply warmed over with their existing architectures.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Exactly – you can’t even get a 6 year old 2008 G8 GT for $10K right now (non-salvage of course). Hard pressed to get a GT for $15K.

          The Zeta sedans have a cult following and are very desirable. Spend some time on G8Nation and see how the reasonably priced ones (not the people who sunk $15K in extras and are trying to cost recover) move very quickly.

          A G8 GXP will be hard to find for much under $25K – and those are now 5 model years old.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            A 2009 G8 GT spent quite a bit of time at our local Carmax recently. But maybe that’s because it had 72,000 miles, and they wanted $31K for it…

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            @ $31K for a 2009 GT (assuming not a GXP) they were asking at, or darn close to 2009 MSRP – before the cash GM had the hood.

            Ya, I can see it sitting for a while at that asking price. For a GXP, closer to reasonable money assuming good condition. If it was a GXP with a M6, it was a deal.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Too bad, because they look really nice, and I’m sure are a satisfying drive.

    • 0 avatar
      steevkay

      It’s the only Chevy I’ve ever wanted (apart from Corvettes, since there’s so many awesome ones). I hope more people end up buying this, it’d be a shame for it to go the same way the G8 did (good press reviews, but little consumer interest). I certainly cannot afford it new, which is why I hope more people buy it so they come up on the used market…

  • avatar
    mars3941

    Car shows me nothing appealing style wise, looks like many other mundane sedans. For 44K there are many other cars I would lay out this kind of coin for before this thing. Good thing they have the Impala to back it up but apparently they’re not moving to well either. Our local dealers, Fla. discounting over 3K plus sizeable rebates.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    This car sounds about $10,000 too expensive. A couple cars that I assume are competition for this are the Charger and 300, which can be had with the 5.7 V8 for around $30k and $34k, respectively.

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      The SS kind of falls between the Charger R/T and the SRT cost and acceleration wise. IMHO the SS has a much nicer interior than the Charger. I like that the SS kind of blends in with the other cars. I’m not a fan of the SRT because it’s too “boy racer” looking to me.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The SS is only sold fully loaded. A comparably equipped Charger R/T is around $40K and has a cheaper-looking interior, and a comparably equipped 300C Hemi is priced comparably to the SS.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Nobody pays even close to sticker on a Charger. That loaded R/T at 40K actually sells for around 32-33. Taking it easy on the more useless options (eg $1000 Garmin, $1000 backup camera, $1000 adaptive cruise control, $1000 subwoofer by Dr. Dre) will bring that comfortably under 30.

        The SS actually costs $45,000.

  • avatar
    Loser

    Right now I’m torn between an SS or a Charger. I drove a G8 GXP back in ’09 and was very impressed. I planned to get one in 2010 but we all know what happened to Pontiac. Kicked myself for not just getting an ’09 model during the fire sale. The dealers around here will not honor supplier pricing on the SS. I’ll just wait for the rebates to hit if I decide to go with the SS. But then again with the limited run they may never need rebates.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I doubt there will be much in the way of rebates. Charger base model is significantly cheaper, but if you start breaking it down into packages it might become more attractive to spend the premium and buy the Holden, er Chevy.

    • 0 avatar
      Aquineas

      I’m betting the SS will be more of a collector’s item, should you choose to hold it that long.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      If you’re waiting for dealer discounts and rebates on the SS I think you’re waiting in vain.

      Ya maybe a small amount of cash on the ’14s come ’15 model year. There are no crazy discounts, and some have sold for as much as $10K above sticker (the first one at Good Chevrolet in the Seattle area went for over $55K).

      What did PT Barnum say?

  • avatar
    carguy

    They don’t advertise them but they also don’t discount them so I’m guessing they are selling at the rate GM anticipated. For those who keep talking about wanting old-school RWD, V8 domestic sedans: Get one while you can.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      I think that is exactly it. Getting one while you can would be now with a ’14 or a ’15 or ’16 and then I imagine it will be gone since Holden, and the Commodore as we know it, will be gone. Chevrolet will quietly drag it out until ’16 because that’s what they have planned and the sales bar is set pretty low.

      The only hope beyond that would be if GM wanted to continue production domestically on a Camaro/ATS platform and I imagine the volume may not be there to justify the specific sheet metal, interior, etc. design and tooling.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Same situation at SEMA. I must have walked right by the SS several times in Chevy’s immense “booth” area, but not consciously. Otherwise I would have taken several pics. The Z28 and special edition Corvettes were getting all the attention at the time (early November).

  • avatar
    Justin Crenshaw

    I think Chevy is doing exactly as intended with the SS. They have always said it will be sold in low numbers to a select group of buyers wishing to have a high(er) performance RWD American sedan.
    This isn’t a one off design by any means. This platform is sold in other markets around the world, Chevy only had to make a few design changes to turn it into the SS.
    Take an existing platform, make minor changes, sell it in low enough numbers to ensure all of them sell (and not at a steep discount). All the while keeping those faithful GM buyers happy…seems like a great business case to me.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    They need a bread-and-butter version to justify the SS. Here’s my genius idea. Make a V6 AWD version and call it “Chevelle.”

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      They’re not selling a lower-trim version on purpose because they can’t make money on it. That’s what they found out by losing money on the G8 base and GT.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        This. AUD vs USD – the math doesn’t add up for a 3.6L version.

        Next, every reviewer will write, “ya, the 3.6 version is nice but why would you buy it,” basically like the G8.

        Also prevents bleeding into the Impala, where the SS sits nicely atop from a pricing stand point.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Impala cannibalization. If this was going to work the Impala needed to be RWD. V6 Impala, luxury lower powered V8 version – call it Caprice, and then high hp SS. Otherwise the lineup is bloated.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Well, I have yet to read a review at this point, including Consumer Reports that says one bad thing about it. I have yet to read a review showing 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds either, nor 1/4 mile times in the 13.5 range.

    Everything I’ve read said its refined, a blast to drive, has a marvelous roar, and is worth the bank – IF you’re looking for a V8 gas gulping large American sedan that doesn’t say Chrysler or Dodge on the front end.

    With that said after I saw a black one in the errr, flesh, I have to say – meh – boring on the outside.

    Consumer Reports said in their story that when they went to buy one there was no discounts, no nothing, and they had a bit of a hard time finding a dealer that would even play ball at sticker. They acquired one by credit card deposit over the phone site unseen for sticker – according to their story.

    GM has always said they never planned to sell more than 3K to 5K examples a year of the SS. They have always said it would be very niche. Everyone knows Zeta is dead and this is the end of the line. Why put marketing resources in a vehicle that is some quasi-homogulation / need to prop up Holden production numbers.

    There is a big cloud of, “why,” and definitely serious questions on the exterior styling (the G8 people gritched was too garish, this is too sedate, whatever).

    I don’t think GM will have any issue selling the 3K to 5K examples a year through 2017ish. But if the number is that small, and this is an enthusiast product – then why spend the marketing bank on $217,500,000 gross revenue annual, best case scenario. $54 million a quarter in gross revenue has to be chump change for GM.

    [INSERT CONSUMER REPORTS IS IRRELEVANT HERE]

  • avatar
    ajla

    The SS is front and center at the GM Test Track Showroom in Disney’s Epcot park. Cool car. I can’t afford one.

    I think the suede insert and stitched SS logo on the passenger side of the dashboard is stupid and will show lots of wear. I’d prefer just plastic, but I’m sure auto journalists would lose it if GM went that route for the interior.

  • avatar
    zeus01

    It the first pic at the top of this editorial the guy holding the passenger door of the blue car open looks like Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Why buy an SS, when for $10 LESS I can get a Subie STi or a used Corvette? Or a Mustang?

  • avatar
    npbheights

    I was sitting at a stop light today. To my right was brand new Chevrolet Impala in black. To my left, a brand new Chevrolet SS in red. (This kind of stuff is typical in south Florida) Without regard to the power train of the respective cars, the Impala looked a lot more impressive than the SS.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    I suppose that the issues raised by my American brethren in regards to the “bland” styling of the SS. It is a product of a country who’s ethos has always been one of the quiet achiever, you know, the guy who gets things done without a huge amount of fanfare. This results in vehicles, for the most part, being exceptional handling, well mannered, performance orientated without lots of badges, chrome, slits, grills etc… Also Australia revels in the practice of “cutting down the tall poppies” This is why the Holden sets its sights on BMW. In Australia if you want to have BMW performance and handling at a cheaper price, buy a Holden. Nobody says you should have bought a BMW, god forbid, too expensive for what it is. Now, in America the attitude is exactly opposite. Your ethos is to shout to the world how great I/them/it am/is. I know. I work for an American company and they extoll the bragger, the load mouth, beat my chest ’cause I’m a hero. Never matter that what they actually achieved is a cut above mediocrity. Same with the car culture, if it’s a bland box, it won’t sell even if it out handles, out drags, out everything else. It doesn’t shout “here I am” and that runs counter to the environment that people have been brought up in. There is no criticism of either style, it achieves what it does etc..

    So If the Holden was clothed in a sharp edged, be-chromed multi level badged body it should sell well against the “gangster” style 300c or even take on Cadillac with it’s avant-garde styling.

    It is unfortunate some people look at the cover and dismiss it. A select few actually take the time to read and have a great time.

    It also doesn’t help selling the next great thing and then kill the golden goose that produces it.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      On a broader level, you’re right about the tall poppy vs. the look-at-me! culture. (It’s funny how the two cultures are so similar, yet so very different at the same time.)

      But the problem with this particular car is that the mainstream large family sedan is basically dead in the US. What little is left of the market is strictly a niche.

      US roads are packed to the gills with non-descript cars. They just tend to be smaller and more fuel efficient than this one. And they cost a lot less.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I still think GM has done itself a disservice by not at least trying to use it’s Holden facility to better ends.

    The Holden name should have been dropped and HSV used.

    The build performance cars to take on the like of M Series BMWs, AMG’s, Audi’s, etc. Holden has produced arguably the best chassis for a prestige car. It could still keep on producing them.

    Even if Holden sold a couple hundred thousand a year it could have value added enough to be profitable. It would be no skin off of GM’s back as GM Detroit can only ‘import’ vehicle technology like this.

    From the US articles I’ve read on the SS the US still is behind Australia in build quality. Something I’ve mentioned before.

    It wouldn’t have taken much for GM to ‘disassociate’ and produce a global prestige product.

    Names like Chev, Cadillac, Buick, are not associated with quality outside of the US. Maybe China, but have any US bloggers on TTAC seen a Chinese made vehicle.

    I would be quite cut up to have my vehicle’s name and quality put down to that level.

  • avatar
    AL

    GM does not want to sell more than 3k cars a year. With CAFE, every SS they sell is one less fat SUV they can make real money on.
    I don’t understand why everyone seems so fixated on volume for such a niche car that is VOLUME LIMITED BY THE MANUFACTURER to begin with.
    This is a drivers car. And a very capable one. I believe this is NA Dude’s GNX. In the years to come when these cars are all gone we’ll be grateful it existed…briefly.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @AL – As if there’s a limit on fat SUVs GM can sell.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DiM
        I thought you stated that full size pickups are SUVs with a balcony. You seem to chop and change how you define and categorise motor vehicles to suit your arguments.

        Please be consistent with your arguments. It makes it hard to debate you.

        Full size pickups as you defined as SUVs seem to be the mainstay for the Big 2 and Fiat in the US.

        This just counters your above comment.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAF0 – You thought wrong. Again. I already explained that “SUV/Balcony” comments yesterday. You got bad memory? Or trolling? Or only just stup!d???

          Now you’re trolling under a new username? I knew “AL”s comment was exactly something you’ve said before, so I just played along. Way to be obvious. But actually it doesn’t matter what username you troll under. A BAF0 comment is too easy to spot.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            I do agree with you that the Vietnamese fishing industry should convert to gasoline engines.

            They are finding the solar powered outboards uneconomical like you thought it would be.

            Even the Chinese based, sushi bar owner are going over to full size pickups.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    If you want performance, but love to slither thru traffic undetected, it’s perfect. Looks like an Impalibu if you’re not paying attention. Many times, I’d hear throaty V8 exhaust coming from what I thought was a Grand Am sitting next to me at a light. That was the Monaro based GTO. It also blended nicely into traffic, if you didn’t stare right at it.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      So, you are all show and no go type? You only buy on what you perceive others’ think of you, not performance?

      Now I can see why you think a pickup is a high performance vehicle.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Isn’t the SS a limited production run vehicle? How much money do we expect GM to spend on a niche vehicle. Furthermore if it’s not a limited run then the car is the driving dead anyway. Without AWD and a v6 it can’t hope to compete with the LX twins.

  • avatar
    Jan Bayus

    Its priced at a specific point to not stretch the supply chain. Vette owners will buy one, and when the ability to produce them here ramps up and the M5 and AMG drivers who all know each other in every community realize they are driving an automotive version of an iPhone 4S, they will start looking at the SS too.

  • avatar
    blautens

    I believe the SS is a far more well sorted out, well rounded vehicle than the 300/Charger sedans. But here’s the thing, you either get it, or you don’t. And if you get it, chances are you’re a GM guy or a Chrysler guy and you aren’t cross shopping those two. (Not seriously, anyway, but it’s always fun to drive new cars.) And those guys will buy (and rightfully enjoy) accordingly. It’s all good.

    If you start thinking practically about any numbers involved (short of HP, gear ratio, etc.), then you don’t get it, which is fine. It’s a big tent, plenty of room inside for every enthusiast.

    Big, fast, American (in spirit, anyway) V8, RWD muscle is like a special kind of whiskey in many ways.

    I had more to say, but suddenly I need a drink.


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