GM Ramps-Up the Rebates: 0% on Z06 and More!

gm ramps up the rebates 0 on z06 and more

Never mind what they said before. GM is joining Chrysler on the huge-incentives-for-2008-trucks bandwagon. Starting today, they'll bump the rebates on GMC Yukons, Yukon XLs, Chevy Tahoes and Suburbans from $2k up to $6k. And get this– the Hybrid models are included. Envoys and Trailblazers will get the same $6k discount, with another $2k tossed in as a lease "pull-ahead" bonus. Avalanches and crew cab/extended cab trucks have $5k cash on the hood. In lieu of the rebates (or in addition to, in some cases), they're also offering low-to-no-percent-interest financing. On the car side, Chevy's offering 0 percent financing for 48 or 60 months on Corvette coupes (including Z06) and convertibles, respectively. Pontiac is [s]bribing[/s] offering buyers a $1k bonus on the G8 sedan. Other GM models offer varying interest rate and/or nominal cash back offers. However, according to Automotive News [sub], GM spokesman Pete Ternes warns these figures could change "after GM releases its [Q2] earnings." If anything, you can probably expect them to sweeten the deal in a last ditch, damn-the-profits attempt to clear the '08s from dealer lots.

Comments
Join the conversation
4 of 35 comments
  • KixStart KixStart on Aug 05, 2008

    I wrote, "For all of its noise about the E-Flex “architecture,” when the time comes, GM will struggle to replace that gasoline motor with fuel cells or natural gas turbines or hamster wheels or whatever GM’s Power Source Of The Month Club subscription is offering." And Ressler wrote, in reply, "I don’t know why you’d assume this. GM has fielded working electric, hybrid, solar-electric, hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles in a variety of real-world test programs." GM has fielded working TEST vehicles of various stripes. Few have shown any promise of reasonable-cost manufacturing, which is the real issue for an automobile manufacturer. And then there's this... --- From "The Atlantic" http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/general-motors page 1: And how, I ask over coffee early one February morning in Detroit, is it going? It is 6 a.m., and Farah, who is 47 and has angular features and prominent black glasses, is rushing to make a 7 a.m. meeting. The car, he says, is 10 weeks behind the original schedule. Any more slippage, and the 2010 deadline will be history. Even if no more time is lost, he will have only eight weeks to test the underbody, the car’s structural base. Is that enough time? He answers indirectly. In some cars, he says, testing the underbody can take a year. page 5: In late March, at the New York auto show, I checked back in with Andrew Farah, the Volt’s chief engineer, and asked for an update. “Still just as bad as before,” he said. When I mentioned that another executive had said the underbody was a well-proven design that didn’t need much testing, he shot me a look of disbelief. “There’s a big gaping hole down the center of this car where the battery goes.” --- That's the new Delta platform they're using. To get the Volt going, they took a brand-new platform and chopped a major hole in it and are hoping it works. That's not adding a new module to an existing architecture. The chance that this can be used for something else? Zero. You may think "The Atlantic" does a bad job of reporting and understanding new manufacturing projects but that writer has had a much better look into the project than you. Recent reports from GM say that the two-mode hybrid will not go into the brand-new Lambdas. The reason? No room in the chassis. Where's the planning? Where's the extensible and flexible platform? GM does not think that way. They can reuse the same ladder frame, it's true, but that's the extent of it. E-Flex is a name, nothing more. There's no architecture under there at all. There's no reason to believe that this can be stretched, narrowed, raised, extended or changed to meet new requirements. When the time comes to do something else (new power source or whatever), GM will either have to go from scratch or bastardize the existing parts and build something that's not as good as it could be. And it will take considerable time to do it. And then Ressler wrote, "They’re just poor at marketing their publicly-visible projects." You're kidding, right? They're marketing this thing full-time. Well... I suppose you're right... they could be doing a bad job of full-time marketing. In fact, I suppose they are... the original price discussion was $25K. We've seen $48K bandied about. They appear to be settling on $40K but it's clear they're begging for a handout to accompany it. Yep... begging really induces confidence in the program. Ressler also wrote, "$80,000 cars are for rich people. $40,000 cars are in high school parking lots in some areas where only middle class people live." Get real. I live in a fairly wealthy town. BMWs are for people who think they're upper income in my town. And BMW delivers something important for the $40K; it's a BMW. A $40K Chevy is DOA. And people who think they're upper income are not as sensitive to the price of fuel as those who know they're not upper income. And those people will do a cost/benefit on the Volt and buy... something else. More Ressler-ification: "By time of the Volt’s launch, the market context will further evolve." Yes. Mostly in terms of more competition to it. By the bye, if gas rises to $6/gallon, other costs will increase too. Kiss the $40K Volt good-bye. And, with respect to GM's mass production potential, in response to my observations on BAS and the two-mode, Ressler wrote, "BAS was the smallest of stop-gaps. Ignore it. 2Mode is a seriously good system that requires a higher commitment up front to underwrite the gap between what the market will pay and what it will cost, until production efficiencies can make it profitable. Kind of like the early Prius." BAS or, to put it generically, start-stop, is the simplest way to get a real improvement in fuel economy at a bargain price. GM completely booted it. The two-mode is a reasonably good idea... get true hybrid guts into the transmission (where they'll fit), stash the batteries wherever convenient and, voila!, a hybridized vehicle. And GM completely booted that. It's fiendishly expensive and GM puts it into a vehicle that no one wants. I'll leave it up to you whether it's a marketing, engineering or manufacturing failure. Personally, I think it's a big enough failure to be very inclusive in that regard. But the fact remains that GM introduced both of these things... the simple and the complex but fairly modular and made a complete hash of them. There's no mass production benefit here... these things are expensive and sell in miniscule quantities. Why would I expect anything different from the next GM advanced propulsion vehicle? And Ressler offered, "GM has nimble and rapid teams, and a hallmark program around the Corvette. Present day GM can do the same for Volt." OK. GM has ONE nimble and rapid... wait a minute. They have one team which has not managed to screw up a single limited production vehicle. Was it a nimble and rapid team that brought us the SSR? Maybe - but that nimble and rapid team delivered a second limited production vehicle that was a flop. So, not only do we need nimble and rapid teams, we need them working on the right projects. Show us a group of nimble and rapid teams that are keeping GM ahead of the market curves - or at least closely following them - to keep GM product moving through showrooms and onto the street. It's like the search for the Loch Flint monster... you're sure it's there but I'm pretty sure that's a fuzzy photo of driftwood. Certainly, nothing in Loch Flint has proven big enough to take a serious bite out of Toyota's profits. By the way... I think you have argued that the SSR was not a "flop," per se. GM discontinued that thing (bad convertible, bad truck, bad tow vehicle, bad dragster) back in 2005 and, the last I checked, they had still sold some as new this year. That's conclusive evidence of a flop. And Ressler ran out of steam shortly after, "Volt is not preventing a better Cobalt or whatever GM car you wish to cite as insufficient. The HHR SS and the Cobalt SS both prove the platform can be executed to a high standard. Malibu is a fully competitive vehicle. CTS is fully competitive. It is not money that is inhibiting quality in their vehicle lines. Volt is a strategic imperative." Unless GM has money no one knows about, GM is not doing any number of things in order to support the Volt. The HHR and Cobalt SS's? Please... muscle car thinking on a cheesy FWD chassis is not a "high standard." Kids build ricers to a higher standard than that. The Malibus is a fully competitive vehicle? Sure... in a third-world country that is otherwise deprived of automobiles. The recent M/T shootout put it eighth in a field of ten. The Volt is not a strategic imperative. Building better cars, faster, with shorter lead times and much better fuel economy are the strategic imperatives. Survival is a strategic imperative. The Volt - if it arrives - will be a tactical entry. At production levels of 10K/year in 2011 and, maybe, escalating to the dizzying levels of 60K/year as early as 2012, when the Prius is selling perhaps a million per year and Honda is doing who-knows-what, the Volt is a tactic that is too little, too late. There are any number of projects that GM could take up today to deliver, predictably, in a shorter timeframe which can help GM survive. Start/stop for every model. VCM everywhere (even in a 4!). Better transmissions for all their small cars. Better aerodynamics on every model. But GM can't do all that and fund Volt development.

  • Phil Ressler Phil Ressler on Aug 05, 2008
    That’s the new Delta platform they’re using. To get the Volt going, they took a brand-new platform and chopped a major hole in it and are hoping it works. That’s not adding a new module to an existing architecture. The chance that this can be used for something else? Zero. You may think “The Atlantic” does a bad job of reporting and understanding new manufacturing projects but that writer has had a much better look into the project than you. I don't have any confidence in Atlantic's writer understanding the product engineering context for what he's looking at, nor keeping his agenda out of the text. More to the point, the implied inflection, syntax and general tone of his quotes do not sound genuine coming from a chief engineer. So the writer might have a better look into the project than me, but he may not have my inferential and observational skills, lack of agenda, and or contextual experience with manufacturing. Recent reports from GM say that the two-mode hybrid will not go into the brand-new Lambdas. The reason? No room in the chassis. Where’s the planning? Where’s the extensible and flexible platform? GM does not think that way. They can reuse the same ladder frame, it’s true, but that’s the extent of it. Irrelevant to this discussion. We already know that management decisions are notoriously uneven throughout GM. E-Flex is a name, nothing more. There’s no architecture under there at all. There’s no reason to believe that this can be stretched, narrowed, raised, extended or changed to meet new requirements. When the time comes to do something else (new power source or whatever), GM will either have to go from scratch or bastardize the existing parts and build something that’s not as good as it could be. And it will take considerable time to do it. There are different kinds of architecture. The architecture that counts here is electric drivetrain powered by a serial-hybrid storage/charging scheme. Clearly the rush to field that architecture in a deliverabile vehicle on a compressed schedule has resulted in the physical platform not fully taking advantage of the drive architecture. I might have seen a way to spend the time and resources differently, but it's OK for the v1.0 car to have some convention in the platform architecture as backbone for the real advance in the drive architecture. If GM reflates its business, it will be easy enough to subsequently field a platform architecture that's caught up to the drive architecture. Get real. I live in a fairly wealthy town. BMWs are for people who think they’re upper income in my town. And BMW delivers something important for the $40K; it’s a BMW. A $40K Chevy is DOA. And people who think they’re upper income are not as sensitive to the price of fuel as those who know they’re not upper income. And those people will do a cost/benefit on the Volt and buy… something else. GM has time to decide under what brand the Volt debuts. The $40K Chevrolet Volt delivered in convincing form simply requires the package and the marketing to be integrated to be a perception-changing proposition. I'd take that marketing challenge, at 10X their initial volume objectives. BAS or, to put it generically, start-stop, is the simplest way to get a real improvement in fuel economy at a bargain price. GM completely booted it. The two-mode is a reasonably good idea… get true hybrid guts into the transmission (where they’ll fit), stash the batteries wherever convenient and, voila!, a hybridized vehicle. And GM completely booted that. It’s fiendishly expensive and GM puts it into a vehicle that no one wants. I’ll leave it up to you whether it’s a marketing, engineering or manufacturing failure. Personally, I think it’s a big enough failure to be very inclusive in that regard. As I said, BAS isn't worth discussing. It's not a harmful technology, just not an important one. 2Mode is excellent. Certainly has shown no failure of manufacturing, as it works well in the vehicles management chose to deliver it in. It's not an engineering failure either. There was a marketing decision to use it first where it could do the most good, in vehicles that had plenty of space for the hardware. Having been developed as a heavy-duty system in the first place, it is being scaled down. Logical to debut it in trucks. However, it should have been launched in pickups rather than SUVs, and moved more rapidly into Malibu and other similar end-points to the consumer. Somewhere on the business side, decisions were made that yielded the current situation. 2Mode deserves broader implementation. But the fact remains that GM introduced both of these things… the simple and the complex but fairly modular and made a complete hash of them. There’s no mass production benefit here… these things are expensive and sell in miniscule quantities. Why would I expect anything different from the next GM advanced propulsion vehicle? You might not expect it, but you should grant the possibility of success because the Volt team is discrete and has its own mandate. OK. GM has ONE nimble and rapid… wait a minute. They have one team which has not managed to screw up a single limited production vehicle. Was it a nimble and rapid team that brought us the SSR? Maybe - but that nimble and rapid team delivered a second limited production vehicle that was a flop. So, not only do we need nimble and rapid teams, we need them working on the right projects. The SSR team *was* nimble. Clearly someone wanted to build it, and the CEO greenlighted the project. It was a cosmetic vehicle however, an exercise in vanity nostalgia. It could have been more successful if it had been offered as a fixed roof hot rod pickup, and of course ASC was a critical partner. The decision to build and field the SSR wasn't the team's fault. The project's disappointing result was traceable right back to the concept stage. It's management's job to filter out such things. All companies misjudge. In the grand scheme of things, the SSR is mouse nuts. And Ressler ran out of steam shortly after...Unless GM has money no one knows about, GM is not doing any number of things in order to support the Volt. The HHR and Cobalt SS’s? Please… muscle car thinking on a cheesy FWD chassis is not a “high standard.” Kids build ricers to a higher standard than that. The Malibus is a fully competitive vehicle? Sure… in a third-world country that is otherwise deprived of automobiles. The recent M/T shootout put it eighth in a field of ten. My guess is you haven't driven a Cobalt SS or HHR SS. Have you driven straight HHR? These cars are popular and satisfying to their owners. HHRs are winning repeat owners even without a model change. It's built on Cobalt's platform. Making a Cobalt a little better each year is not inhibited by spending on the Volt. If you don't think a Malibu is fully competitive in its class, you're just not being objective about the sorry state of the floppy Camry and the dead-end direction of the added-fat Accord. M/T? Really? The same M/T that you and others trash for lack of credibility here? Is that all you got, a Motor Trend round-up that closely ranked the full field of cars? Phil

  • KixStart KixStart on Aug 06, 2008

    Ressler wrote, "I don’t have any confidence in Atlantic’s writer understanding the product engineering context for what he’s looking at, nor keeping his agenda out of the text. More to the point, the implied inflection, syntax and general tone of his quotes do not sound genuine coming from a chief engineer. So the writer might have a better look into the project than me, but he may not have my inferential and observational skills, lack of agenda, and or contextual experience with manufacturing." Let's just take a moment here... who actually got into GM and talked to the engineers about what's going on? Was it you or Jonathan Rauch? It was Rauch, wasn't it? And while he might not have your inferential and observational skills... well... you seem to think a GM that's already 0 for 2 is going somewhere with this thing. GM's 0 for 3 if we count the PNGV. Hmmm.... 0 for 4 if we count the EV-1. Frankly, I'm going to have more faith in Rauch's skills than yours. So, we're going to take Rauch at face value until we actually have some new information from some more authoritative source. Ressler wrote, [A bad Lambda decision] is "Irrelevant to this discussion. We already know that management decisions are notoriously uneven throughout GM." Yet, you seem to think the Volt program has uniquely good decisions. R-i-i-i-g-h-t. Rick Wagoner has land in Florida for you. Ressler wrote, "There are different kinds of architecture. The architecture that counts here is electric drivetrain powered by a serial-hybrid storage/charging scheme. Clearly the rush to field that architecture in a deliverabile vehicle on a compressed schedule has resulted in the physical platform not fully taking advantage of the drive architecture." "The architecture that counts here..." What you describe is just a concept, merely a wisp of an idea... hardly an architecture. There is nothing concrete and reusable in that. The V2 vehicle starts from scratch. "Clearly the rush to field..." required borrowing something from somehwere else whether it was suitable or not. And it will be no more relevant to the V2 than it is to the V1 and building the V2 from whatever they start with will take just as long and be just as risky as building V1. Ressler wrote, "As I said, BAS isn’t worth discussing." It certainly doesn't suit you to discuss it... I can see that. However, this is part of GM's history and track record. And a sorry one it is, too. Meanwhile, Toyota is readying, possibly already shipping, start/stop vehicles in Japan. In fact, BAS is a bad implementation of a really good idea. GM could have done this right but... Ressler wrote, "2mode is excellent..." Well, then all that's holding GM up on that is an inability to build it inexpensively AND an inability to market it properly. No problem. Why would you think the same outfit that can't build this economically can build the Volt economically and why would you think the same marketing geniuses that missed the 2mode so badly have any idea how to define a Volt that people will want? Never mind what you think, GM's commitment to build a whopping 10K of these in the first year tells you how successful GM expects to be at building them. Ressler wrote, "The SSR team *was* nimble. ... The decision to build and field the SSR wasn’t the team’s fault. ... It’s management’s job to filter out such things. All companies misjudge. In the grand scheme of things, the SSR is mouse nuts." A few mouse nuts here, a few mouse nuts there, pretty soon you've got a whole mouse forest growing from those nuts. The fact that they built it does not mean any team was nimble. And the thing was certainly surrounded by layers of mistakes. Never mind the misguided concept, the end result was an overweight failure. This "nimble" team missed the mission. Ressler, "My guess is you haven’t driven a Cobalt SS or HHR SS. Have you driven straight HHR? These cars are popular and satisfying to their owners. HHRs are winning repeat owners even without a model change. It’s built on Cobalt’s platform. Making a Cobalt a little better each year is not inhibited by spending on the Volt." I have better things to do with my life than set aside time to drive exceptionally ugly GM vehicles just for the experience of driving an exceptionally ugly GM vehicle. When I'm interested in driving a performance vehicle, there are plenty of better choices available to me than an HHR SS. "Making a Cobalt a little better each year..." is a death by a thousand cuts. The Cobalt does not need to be a little better each year, it needs to be better than the Corolla today. The Cobalt needs, at minimum, a weight loss program, interior enhancement and a better automatic transmission. Update: And better aerodynamics. Forgot to mention that. There are plenty of projects around GM, similar in scope, that would contribute to the bottom line before GM implodes. Why isn't GM taking care of these things? Lutz recently mentioned the Cobalt as "coming into its own." I may be slightly off in my recollection of precisely what he said, but he clearly indicated he was satisfied with it. No changes forthcoming. This is the management that's making all the right moves with the Volt? Here's something else that GM could do with the money they're flushing down the Volt... build a more reliable car and back it with a killer warranty. I went down to the library this evening and I find that, in spite of Lutz' 2003 assertions to the contrary, GM vehicles still do not have the reliability, durability and longevity of a Toyota. And the market knows this which is why GM resale values blow and sales are slow.

  • Phil Ressler Phil Ressler on Aug 06, 2008
    Let’s just take a moment here… who actually got into GM and talked to the engineers about what’s going on? Was it you or Jonathan Rauch? It was Rauch, wasn’t it? Absolutely irrelevant to my observation. So, we’re going to take Rauch at face value until we actually have some new information from some more authoritative source. You mean *you*, not "we." That's your choice. Yet, you seem to think the Volt program has uniquely good decisions. R-i-i-i-g-h-t. Not a uniquely good decision. One of many. Revamping Malibu was a good decision. Supporting Corvette when it would be easy to curtail it is a good decision. Doubling down on the bet made on CTS was a good decision. Cobalt being vastly better than its predecessor was a good decision. HHR was a good decision, which the market rewarded. Volt is simply among the good decisions juxtaposed with the untenable decisions made at other times. What you describe is just a concept, merely a wisp of an idea… hardly an architecture. There is nothing concrete and reusable in that. The V2 vehicle starts from scratch. Sorry, a drivetrain choice is architectural too, not just concepts. Especially when it's actually being built. ICE-charged, serial hybrid all-electric drivetrain is a motive architecture, and it's a far more important architecture than is the v1.0 structural platform. Why would you think the same outfit that can’t build this (2Mode) economically can build the Volt economically and why would you think the same marketing geniuses that missed the 2mode so badly have any idea how to define a Volt that people will want? Because Volt's genesis was a later point-of-departure and the resources organized around the Volt have more autonomy. They are also designing a car, not merely a technology. Whether GM marketing is up to the Volt remains to be seen. Marketing is the most limiting capability at GM right now. The fact that they built it does not mean any team was nimble. And the thing was certainly surrounded by layers of mistakes. Never mind the misguided concept, the end result was an overweight failure. This “nimble” team missed the mission. Actually, the SSR team nailed the mission. It was just the wrong mission. SSR owners tend to love their cars. However the mission was directed at a symbolic niche -- a very slender niche. Had they offered a variant hardtop at much lower cost, that niche would have been scalable enough to become profitable. The mission was incorrectly conceived. The execution to mission was pretty good. Ever drive one, especially after they put the 390 hp small block in it? With a 6 speed stick? Didn't think so. The Cobalt does not need to be a little better each year, it needs to be better than the Corolla today. Cobalt is already better than the Corolla. The current Corolla is a horrid little car, and no performance option exists. I'd buy a Cobalt over a Corolla any time I wanted to buy in that market. Here’s something else that GM could do with the money they’re flushing down the Volt… build a more reliable car and back it with a killer warranty. Again, Volt development is not the inhibitor to improving reliability and boosting scope and longevity of the warranty. Of course I haven't had to worry. My GM vehicles have been paragons of daily reliability. The basic difference here is that you choose to be cynical and dismiss possibility GM can succeed with a sound idea. I can't say they *will* execute commensurate to the strategic and innovative value of the Volt, but I do say they *can.* The fact that Volt has come this far, with so much visibility, indicates GM is giving that team rope to do things differently. In time, we'll know the outcome. Toyota is not a visionary organization. It's iterative. That's their corporate culture and it's appropriate for them. GM is a different organism. An imaginative project like Volt is elemental to it regaining its footing, both from within and externally. Phil

Next