By on December 11, 2014

2015 Chevrolet SS redNovember 2014 U.S. sales of the Chevrolet SS fell to the lowest full-month total in the model’s 13-month history with General Motors reporting just 105 units.

SS volume peaked at 350 units in March of this year. Last November, in the SS’s first full month, 178 were sold. Year-over-year, SS sales slid 41% twelve months later.

We knew the SS would be a rare car as it’s basically a competitor for the lower-volume V8-engined versions of Chrysler Group’s two big cars, the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300. (Sales for those cars aren’t reported by specific trim lines. Cars.com’s inventory shows 13,349 Chargers in stock at dealers now. 4711 of those Chargers are fitted with V8 engines. A smaller percentage of those V8 cars are SRT models.)

Chevrolet SS sales chartBut it wasn’t supposed to be this rare. According to Automotive News, GM dealers had around 800 SS sedans in stock at the beginning of November.

By the standards of rare cars, the SS is frighteningly exclusive. It was outsold in November by cars like the Honda CR-Z, Mercedes-Benz’s electric B-Class, Nissan Cube, Volvo S80, BMW i8, Nissan GT-R, Volkswagen e-Golf, and the Cadillac ELR.

Yes, even by the standards of rare GM products, the SS is dangerously approaching near nonexistence. The ELR has outsold the SS in three of the last four months; tying the Chevy with 111 sales in September. Speaking of the SS nomenclature, the SSR convertible/truck/thing, in its best years, generated 9648, 8107, and 3803 sales. Chevrolet will struggle to top 2500 sales with the SS in 2014.

Nevertheless, this isn’t just a failure by General Motors to keep the (admittedly tepid) enthusiasm alive after a first half in which 1662 SSs were sold. It’s also a sign that American car buyers may have moved on.

Surely this $45,000 sedan could have performed better in a different time, in an era when $50,000 didn’t buy a Porsche SUV, when $33,000 didn’t buy a Mustang with more horsepower, when the 38,433 buyers who wanted a rear-wheel-drive Holden sedan hadn’t already bought their Pontiac G8. Surely it would have. Probably. Maybe. Perhaps?

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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171 Comments on “November 2014: The Worst Sales Month For The Chevrolet SS Ever...”


  • avatar
    celebrity208

    I guess the introduction of the manual option hasn’t had an effect on the sales numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      And that’s a damn shame. Absolutely would love this car with a manual trans as God intended. On the bright side, it’ll make me pretending I’m Mike Brewer from Wheeler Dealers in ten years a possibility.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      And that’s a damn shame. The manual makes this such a tasty motor. Bright side is, in ten years I can pretend I’m Mike Brewer from Wheeler Dealers and try to sell it on.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      One minor quibble:

      “the manual option hasn’t had [a positive] effect on the sales numbers.”

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      None of the manuals are in the US yet. It’s too soon to see whether the manual will have an effect.

    • 0 avatar
      theupperonepercent

      When I think “manual” I think “small car”.
      Definitely not a car this size, regardless how much power.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        What??

        A standard transmission would be just what the doctor ordered on this application.

        AND why shouldn’t big cars have manuals? Seems like you’ve been clamoring about in Fiat 500’s or whatever else you would deem “cute” for far too long.

        Biggest car I’ve ever seen with a manual was my bud’s old Audi 200 Quattro Turbo (sedan, not avant). 5MT. Thumbs up for good AWD turbo launches. And hoonage. :)

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          Challengers come with manuals. They don’t make them much bigger than that.

          You mean biggest you’ve driven or seen in person? I’m confused. Big cars have definitely had manuals. I consider “mid-size” sedans big cars – Accords, Passats, previously the Fusion 1.6T. Same size or slightly larger is BMW’s 5-series.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        Size and transmission have nothing to do with each other. The manual SS is not yet available. I was hoping the manual would be a sales success but with this volume it will be hard to tell. Main hope was that the manual success would allow Ford and/or Chrysler offer a RWD sedan with a MT. My Lincoln is getting old.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          If more than 250 SSes sell per month, on average, it will be exceeding Chevy’s projections and can legitimately be considered a success.

          I think sales of the ’15 will probably be supply limited, and will fluctuate depending on when the shipments arrive in the US. It was like that with the G8 GXP. All of the 1829 cars sold except for a few early production models arrived in three discrete batches, one in December 2008, one in March 2009, and one in May 2009.

    • 0 avatar
      Birddog

      To be fair, most of the people crying for a Manual version can’t legally drive yet.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I see the opposite: that newer generations of drivers will continue to have less interest in manual transmissions. It’s not like when I was a kid and the manual versions were dramatically better than the automatics in every way, so they were relatively common and you were forced to go through the hassle of becoming a competent operator in order to drive the better version of any car. Now, it will take a lot of learning and practice before a new driver is even on par with the equivalent automatic. So to that new driver who has no sense of the pleasure of expertly controlling a manual; what’s the point?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Dead man walking… Chevy isn’t interested in this car, doesn’t promote it, really doesn’t know what to do with it. It’ll be gone in 2 years, but if you long for a unicorn here’s your chance. Otherwise, Chevy doesn’t care why should we?

    • 0 avatar
      DPerkins

      Actually, Chevy spent a ton of money inserting the SS into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Looks like it was not money well spent, from a promotional perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        De-badge the sucker and everyone will want to know why your Malibu is so fast, or how you got a manual shift in one.

        Or put Impala badges on it as should have been.

        • 0 avatar
          Caboose

          I like the car they’re currently calling Impala; I think that’s just about the right name for that car.

          No; this should have been a Caprice.
          I had a ’90 Caprice, last of the square bodies. White with a tan bench. I needed a passenger up front if I wanted to adjust the seat.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Ah, yes.

            90 Caprice.

            I drove a 92 Caprice Classic once. What a smoky burn out machine it was, without even trying.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Parallels what is happening to Holden in Australia

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        What percentage of the NASCAR audience could actually afford it?

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          A very sad commentary on the current situation in the US

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            What are you talking about? This is an Australian car. Holden’s demise is happening there, not here

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Referring to not many people can afford it in a typical NASCR crowd

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            NASCAR people can’t even afford NASCAR licensed merchandise, that’s why it’s always half off at Walmart. Trying to market anything but camo shower curtains and chewing tobacco to them is a waste of time

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Sure I like me some Beech-Nut or Levi Garrett but MY shower curtains always have happy little duckies on them.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            (shouts over Hank Williams): Come on over to the double wide and watch Nascar ANYTIME!!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Damn, you got TV? I’ll bring the Bud

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            In color!

            Whooooooo, boy!!!

          • 0 avatar
            old5.0

            Huh? Have you guys seen the parking lot at a typical NASCAR track on race weekend? Stuffed full of $60,000 pickups with $70,000 fifth wheel campers hanging off the back. I hate NASCAR as much as the next guy, but let’s not allow our sense of superiority to carry us too far from reality.

            The reason NASCAR is a marketing loser for the manufacturers is that car people quit giving a shit about it a long time ago. On your way to work tomorrow, try counting the number of Hyundai’s you see wearing NASCAR stickers. The modern NASCAR fan is there for the drama, not the cars.

        • 0 avatar
          Zippy The Chimp

          Actually, when it comes to incomes $50,000+, the NASCAR fan base out earns the national average, 54% vs 52%. 16% of the NASCAR demo earns $75,000 – $99,000 versus 14% of the US. The stereotype of the poor NASCAR fan is incorrect.

          • 0 avatar
            energetik9

            I’ll vouch for this. Worked for years in marketing running a major sponsorship program within NASCAR. The NASCAR fan base is far more affluent than most people realize. 2nd largest televised sport in the US and it’s much larger than just a southern sport.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        I know a couple of people driving Chargers and 300s that would have definitely given the SS a look, but they didn’t even know it existed! They don’t watch NASCAR, don’t read car mags or go to car websites, so the only thing non Cadillac with RWD and a V8 that they thought GM sold was a Camaro or a truck. If you don’t know about it, it’s unlikely you will buy it. It’s not rocket science, GM!

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      What ever demand there was for this car was satisfied in the first year.

  • avatar
    vvk

    All the more reason to buy it.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Can they raise it up 5″ and stick plastic body cladding to it? There’s no American gas guzzlin’ honkin’ V-8 RWD muscle car CUV yet. Why not? Sounds like they have 800 to experiment on!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Uhhhh, how about the gas guzzlin’ honkin’ V8 SRT8 Grand Cherokee with the grunty and gnarly 6.4?

      My oldest son has a 2012. And it is awesome! Had me screaming like a little girl when he took me driftin’ around the Tularosa Speedway dirt track, with all four wheels spinnin’.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Good point, the gran-daddy of them all and the only “American” one built

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        Grand Cherokee SRT8 is more SUV than CUV, but these days that’s kind of splitting hairs so fair enough. But it also costs 65k large, so it isn’t in the same market niche as my proposed SS Adventure would be. Plus reclassifying it as a light truck would get rid of the $1,300 gas guzzler tax, making it even more attractive.

        And does the SRT8 have a swoopy back like the Honda Cross-Tour and BMW X6? No, it does not. GM could take a page from the Monte Carlo SS Aero book and design a bubble hatch thingamajig for it. I guarantee those 800 cars would move faster than you could say “new market niche!”

        Any GM execs reading this? If so, please implement and forward my origination fee of 2.5% of the profits. Thanks!

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          LOL!
          ——————————————-
          BTW, about the $65 Large. A lady friend of the family has a 2012 GC Limited 5.7 4X4 that stickered at $44K, IIRC.

          It doesn’t scare me like the SRT8 did but it is still more than capable, although handling in the twisties is more like driving whale blubber (because of all that weight over the front wheels without the SRT suspension.)

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    It’s performance is fine but it looks boring, the new Impala has better road presence and it’s expensive.

    As poorly as wagons sell in the US I bet they would have sold more Chevy Nomads if it had this powertrain and AWD. I know I would have bought one and I would not buy an SS.

  • avatar
    vvk

    There are about 500 of them listed for sale on AutoTrader. None with manual transmission.

  • avatar
    sproc

    How have sales of other Camaro trim levels been comparative to their competition? Frankly, I can’t imagine living with this car as a daily driver, SS or not. Riding in my neighbor’s SS really felt like riding in an armored personnel carrier, both for visibility and ride quality. I concede that it looks cool, but I just can’t see any appeal beyond straight line performance.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Agreed with Lie2me, sproc, and the general sentiment. GM has done little to no marketing for these cars unlike Dodge/Chrysler. I think they’re an interesting car, but the styling is confounding. It’s not strictly a Q-ship, but the bling is more Buick than BMW, and isn’t redolent of performance to me. I *think* a local dealer has (had?) a manual, but when I compare this to the plethora of options available for the same or less money, it’s just not competitive.

    This seems like the typical GM effort – an exceptional car with unrealized potential due to lazy or inept execution from cradle to car lot. The SS mission isn’t clear to anyone, including GM and the result is a failure.

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      What other large V-8 sedan is available with manual transmission for less money?

      Even BMW 550i is no longer available with a stick. That is/was the only competitor, in my opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The trouble is you can’t get the manual yet.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        I dunno – maybe there isn’t one. I guess 105 people demanding 4 doors, V8, and standard transmission bought one last month.

        In my mind, V8 is a more specific way to say performance and there are a number of performance cars available at or below this price with 4 doors and standard transmissions. My point is, any one of those cars has a better-defined and better-supported mission than the SS. Hence, they all outsell the SS.

  • avatar
    ErRocEthier

    Might have something to do with the new Charger (and it’s advertising) + the 2014->2015 Charger upgrade offer that Chrysler had promoted (lease a 2014 Charger or Challenger and upgrade at no cost to a 2015 when it comes out).

    I see the Charger as a big hurdle to this car’s success. Not because it is a better car, but because of the promotion, and past success of the Charger + the new 2015 coming out.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      A prospective owner has to think to themselves, “5-10 years down the road, do I want to be hunting for Charger parts or SS parts?”

      I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about how hard it is to find parts for the GTO and G8. Expensive too. The Charger/300 has been around for nearly a decade with plenty of support.

      • 0 avatar
        ErRocEthier

        +1

        Although I assume the GM parts bin is all over the SS so it might not be as bad as one might think, but parts availability of the Charger will be far greater.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          If the SS experience is anything like the G8 experience, powertrain parts will be easy and everything else won’t be hard to find, but may take a few weeks to get into the country. The worst thing is definitely the delays.

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …GM’s problem is that fewer than one in one thousand people are even aware that this car exists, let alone what makes it special…what should have been a marketing halo for chevrolet has instead been positioned as an obscure footnote in the back of a sales catalog nobody reads…

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The purpose of this car was to amortize Holden losses over a larger number of units, part of the tradeoff of receiving subsidies to keep Holden assembly in Australia.

    Now that GM has decided to bail out of Oz production, this car no longer serves any purpose.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The purpose of this car was to amortize Holden losses over a larger number of units, part of the tradeoff of receiving subs*dies to keep Holden assembly in Australia.

    Now that GM has decided to bail out of Oz production, this car no longer serves any purpose.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I’ve sat in these, looked them over and over at the Chevy dealer, and I still find nothing remotely attractive about the SS, especially the incredibly stupid name.

    I don’t care how powerful the car may be, it has absolutely no curb appeal to me and obviously almost everyone else. Kill it with fire and give us a Camaro a person can actually see out of and you’ll have a real winner, even if Camaro sales are good – they’ll be that much better!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    You say the S80 outsold the SS (which I believe), but only the V60 is on the chart. Did you mention the wrong Volvo?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I would indeed expect the demand to be low for something over $40k wearing a Chevy badge which is not an SUV and is not 4WD/AWD and could also have been for sale in 2007.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Wow, that’s quite a list of niche or nearly-dead vehicles outselling the SS.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Manufacturers had it right all along, give the enthusiast exactly what they want and they will find a reason not to want it.

    Tell me if this is appealing:
    A mid size sedan with 415hp, rwd, 6 speed manual transmission, with looks that make it pass under the radar

    The cheapest one I see on cars.com is $39,770. Which is the only reason I wouldn’t buy one.
    I like it, I would own one, I just don’t make the kind of money that would reasonably afford me one. And at the rate they’re selling I doubt I’ll be able to find a used one in a couple years.

    So what you’re looking at is the reason the BRZ isn’t getting a turbo, why the IDx will never see the light of day (or any other small RWD mainstream car), and why no 4 door V8 Chevy sedan will exist once this goes out of production. No one will buy them after stomping their feet and demanding them.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    No matter how great you make these things, a $40k-$50k Chevy sedan is just a tough sale.

    I honestly don’t who buys these things brand new and plunks down that kind of coin over something like a Lexus GS or Audi A6. I’d take the half second hit in acceleration to have a car that didn’t feel like a rental when I got in.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” a $40k-$50k Chevy sedan is just a tough sale”

      The care and feeding of the UAW dictates these high costs.

      With labor negotiations coming up this summer, look for ever more price increases.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Do you seriously want to play that card. “American” V8s are still the cheapest on the planet despite the UAW. This Holden @ $40-50K is still in line with other V8s

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        What does the UAW have to do with a car made in Australia?

        I swear some people think unions are all-powerful.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          The great thing about the fungible-ness of money is that profits, no matter where or how made, can pay for those UAW bennies.

          Unions ARE all-powerful, to wit: the demise of GM and Chrysler.

          The UAW most certainly hastened the demise of these two American car makers with their incessant demands for ever more pay and benefits.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I urge you to take a close look at post-bankruptcy GM’s financial statements. You’ll find that the UAW has rather little to do with anything.

            If there’s anyone who lost money to the union, it’s not GM’s current buyers — it’s the federal government. And they didn’t lose that much, in the grand scheme of things.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            dal20402, that subject has been debated ad nauseam over the past.

            What’s more important now is what the labor negotiations scheduled for this summer will bring the UAW.

            My money is on the UAW to squeeze as much out of their employer as they can, without regard to the shareholders.

            The political climate being what it was in 2009, the taxpayers paid to keep GM and Chrysler running and the UAW employed. Not everyone thought that was a good thing.

            I would have been all for that had the bailouts and handouts been applied equally and fairly across the board. As it was, the bailouts and handouts were very selective and a lot of businesses went under, while GM, Chrysler and the UAW lived on to negotiate and collectively bargain another day.

            Same facts, different interpretations.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          The UAW did not want it despite GM management wanting it. So trade off they imported it and did not advertise it, unlike the Chrysler 300.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I can understand why the UAW didn’t want it. It wasn’t built by them. It was built elsewhere. Didn’t provide any dues paying members for them.

    • 0 avatar
      lzaffuto

      Exactly. This car is $10k too expensive. It’s a Chevy competing against Cadillac, Infiniti, BMW, Audi, etc. It beats them on performance but not necessarily refinement or interior quality and certainly not on badge snob appeal.

  • avatar
    MK

    But it’s got that sweet chrome fender vents that looks exactly like something that came from Pep Boys and is held in by sticky tape!

    Also it’s just not much to look at, the G8 was much better looking the profile of this car is quite generic and the Charger is just better looking, better pricing and more desirable in just about every way.

    Just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it’s desirable.

    The sales seem to reflect that.

  • avatar
    John R

    Wow. The GT-R out sold it? Hysterical. I have an irrational love for the GT-R – it’s my go to if I hit the powerball, but at the same time I understand a $100k Nissan is a tough sale. Even if it runs with 911 turbos.

    But a 400hp RWD sedan at $40-50k with a bowtie badge is tougher? Really?? I know I see an SRT Charger at least once a quarter out on the road and those are roughly in the same range.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggGJSNUGd30

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-v6ufoTevU

    It can’t be branding alone. I agree that GM has done a terrible job marketing this thing. To the point I wonder if it was deliberate.

  • avatar

    Not invented here.

    Same thing happened to the Contour, many Opels, and any other “international” car that isn’t somehow reliant upon the US manufacturer base.

    There will be a bunch of these in fanboi hands once the Police Departments get done with them. The SS will be like the Mercury Marauder, then.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    $45,000 buys you a nearly fully equipped SS, while $50,000 buys a stripped base level Macan (expect to pay another $15 – 20,000 to get Macan up to SS’s equipment level). Then again, the SS is not a Porsche.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Enthusiasts see it for what it is, an anonymous update to an old Pontiac design. Nothing about it screams “must have.”

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    It’s the Pontiac G8 all over again! A real shame, I’d take this over a Camaro any day!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    As a G8 owner, who would be a logical buyer of an SS (or at least someone who would look at one) I’ll give you my focus group of one on why there isn’t one in my driveway.

    1) The landscape varies, but here in Puget Sound most SSs have ridiculous dealer mark up and there are just enough idiots in the world to pay it, so ADM continues (again, that is here in Puget Sound, YMMV)

    2) The styling is a bit meh

    3) I’ve argued that when you pull out an Excel sheet and compare a SS to a G8 GXP, and then adjust for inflation, it is priced fairly – but there is steep competition at this price point.

    4) Here is the biggest issue for me. Although a great engine, the LS3 under the hood – GM has other motors they could drop in here and make this a screamer. Not offering an LSA. To point 3 above, give this LSA power and even at a reasonably higher price point, I might consider opening up my wallet. In reality you could get a LS3 powered G8 with a manual in 2009 – the SS is a better car overall but it isn’t enough

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      An LSA powered SS would be an absolute screamer. As a thought exercise, I wonder how much it would cost?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        They could charge more for the LSA and get attention.

        A Charger Hellcat has a base price of $65K.

        If they priced a SS with the LSA and all other goodies as it stands today at $50K to $53K (including gas guzzler tax) there is a big enough price difference to justify the price.

        Just my opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        outback_ute

        I drove a HSV GTS with the LSA a couple of weeks ago, it was obviously fast but also very easy to drive apart from a stiff/notchy gear change. They are over AUD$90k though, because it includes things like 6-piston AP brakes on 15.4″ rotors, MRC and a larger differential that requires sheetmetal modifications to fit.

        I can’t see them fitting the new LT5 because it isn’t used in the Commodore and doesn’t need to be (no emissions reg changes to force that). They are supposed to be dropping the 6.0 soon, partly to compete with the new supercharged Falcon XR8 but also I expect because GM will stop building them.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I don’t think there’s a single Chevy dealer around here that I’d actually want to buy from. There’s a non-zero possibility that I’ll buy a 2015 SS and if I do it could well be from a dealer in either Texas or Virginia, both places where I have family and can start a road trip to come home.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This won’t be permanent — it’s because of the model year transition.

    SS buyers are a knowledgeable bunch (they have to be to know the car exists), and they know there is substantial added value in the 2015 compared with the 2014. In addition to the manual option it has Magnetic Ride Control — a big deal — and a lot of new color options.

    But the 2015s hadn’t reached U.S. shores in November (I’m not sure any of them are here yet, even now). So Chevy is stuck trying to sell 2014s.

    Yet there is not a lot of room for discounts on the 2014s — that ugly Australian cost-of-production issue rears its head again. Folks are getting less than $1000 off MSRP. I’d hold out for the 2015 as well with that sort of pricing.

    Eventually dealers are going to have to eat some losses on those 2014s, but I don’t think they’ll do so until the 2015s actually start showing up in volume.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Given the unfavorable exchange rate, is GM losing money on the SS?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      No, but if they sold it at $30k like so many commenters on here think they should do, they would be.

      The G8 experience taught GM that it can only sell Commodores in the US at the over-$40k price point.

      • 0 avatar
        lzaffuto

        Tell us how we’re wrong then. It is a Chevrolet. It costs $43k. I can get a Dodge Charger RT for $33k. I can get a Chrysler (supposedly upmarket luxury brand ) 300C for $37k. Actually, I can get them both for thousands less than that because that is the starting MSRP that is already $10k less than this. Every one of those cars that is sold is one of these that is not.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The R/T and 300C are slower and less powerful than the SS, and both get up to around $40k if you equip them like the SS. They’re also heavier and don’t handle as well.

          That’s not to say they’re a bad deal — they’re a very good deal.

          • 0 avatar
            lzaffuto

            Certainly it performs better, but apparently most people don’t think it performs $10k+ better, and Chevy doesn’t have a budget model that competes on price. And I’m not saying that I don’t like the SS. It’s an awesome car. It’s just when a brand agnostic customer is looking at RWD, V8 family sedans, the Chevy looks overpriced even considering the extra performance. The amount of money we are talking about buys lots of aftermarket goodies.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Correct. This horse has been beaten to death and a number of trade publications have done the build out and performance comparisons. The R/T and 300C are not in the same performance category as an SS, and don’t come close to the options.

            When you build a Charger to align to a SS, it’s a touch cheaper, when you build a 300 to align to a SS, it actually costs more.

            When you look at the price of a G8 GXP, adjust for inflation, and then look at all the other standard equipment you get over a G8 GXP, the SS is reasonably priced.

            That isn’t to say that at its price points buyers have a whole lot of choices – that’s part of the problem.

            Friends, Romans, countrymen! Lend me your ears! For I have come to bury Caesar not praise him!

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            “The R/T and 300C are not in the same performance category as an SS, and don’t come close to the options”

            What options?

            Only thing that the SS has that the LX cars don’t is heads up display and MRC.

            LX cars have the vastly superior 8 speed auto to GM’s 6, and if you wan’t a cheaper car you can option for a cloth seat V-8 Charger.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “Only thing that the SS has that the LX cars don’t is heads up display and MRC.”

            That’s only true if you option the LX cars up to $40k+. Otherwise you’re missing the sunroof, HIDs (on the Charger), a good number of interior features (leather, ventilated seats, power passenger seat, seat memory, auto-dimming heated mirrors, heated steering wheel, HomeLink, adjustable pedals), and the premium sound system with nav.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      GM loses money on Holden production. Theoretically, the SS should help GM to reduce its losses (although I would question whether GM will be able to recoup the costs of federalization.)

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      It would be the other way around.

      With the USD getting stronger the cars are built in AUD and sold with USD. So there is more money based on exchange, not less.

      It still isn’t at the exchange rates that existed pre-Great Recession. Stronger USD, more money on US sold Holdens built in Australia.

      Same would apply to Japan. The strengthening US dollar means that Scion products (which are built in Japan) are getting “cheaper” to make with more profit in US sales.

    • 0 avatar
      outback_ute

      The exchange rate is only US$0.82 to the AUD now, much better than when this program was started.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Hellcat.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “It was outsold in November by cars like the Honda CR-Z, Mercedes-Benz’s electric B-Class, Nissan Cube, Volvo S80, BMW i8, Nissan GT-R, Volkswagen e-Golf, and the Cadillac ELR.”

    I’ve seen a few CR-Zs, Cubes, and GT-Rs on the street.

    I’ve never seen an SS.

  • avatar
    mu_redskin

    why not create an honest to god Holden package? Give buyers the option to option it out with all the Holden logos etc.. Didn’t Nissan do something like this when they created the first Altima? I seem to recall the first year of the Altima was really a Stanza and had a faint Stanza label on the trunk due to the time it took Nissan to register the car as the Altima with the feds. Couldn’t GM do something similar with this?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      They could, but GM has zero interest in promoting the car. The Stanza Altima was a weird sort of continuity move by Nissan to bridge the names. The car was really a Bluebird anyway.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    The styling of the car is too anonymous. The target market for a car such as this wants something a little flashier and more aggressive. Shame on GM for cheaping out on a new front clip and hood. And yeah, it needs a proper name, not a trim designation.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Points:

    Too much $$ for that particular car.

    I understand sleepers and appreciate them wholeheartedly, but this looks like a goddamned G8.

    No manual.

    I could buy a Marauder and spend 40% (or less) of the sticker cost of this “SS” and have just as much fun, manual transmission be damned. I could spend even less and just buy a Police Interceptor Vic and just run the piss out of it, for hoonage’s sake.

    No thank you!

    • 0 avatar
      Panther Platform

      “I could buy a Marauder and spend 40% (or less) of the sticker cost of this “SS” and have just as much fun, manual transmission be damned. I could spend even less and just buy a Police Interceptor Vic and just run the piss out of it, for hoonage’s sake.”

      Thanks for the best laugh I’ve had in a long time. And needless to say I agree with you.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Marauder? A car that’s slower than an Accord Sport and has the handling of a pontoon boat? Oh, but I guess it sounds pretty good.

  • avatar
    pg123456789

    The problem is marketing and dealerships. GM is not marketing this vehicle, and dealers are more interested in selling trucks and bread and butter models, with sales people having no idea about the SS.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The SS should have never been a Chevrolet in the first place.

    If GMs goal was a low volume car with minimal to non-existent marketing support, and a at a price point somewhere between a very nicely equipped Silverado and base C7, this car should have been a Buick.

    Buick dealers would get a flagship vehicle. The starting price point of $45K is well above the base price of every other product in the Buick showroom. It would be rear wheel drive, and V8, and Buick has a significant number of heritage brands they could have put on this (Grand National?).

    The overly conservative style of the SS would fit better in the near luxury Buick line up, and the Chinese already have a waterfall Buick Zeta platform front clip that could be put on (assuming it would pass US pedestrian crash standards). For seating materials once again, the Chinese parts bin for the Park Avenue could have been raided. The dashboard, switch gear, and infotainment would otherwise fit into the Buick model.

    Aspirational buyers who found the “Grand National” too rich for their blood could look at a very well equipped 3.6 LaCrosse or a GS Regal – a LaCrosse almost fully equipped would be at the base price of the SS, a GS Regal fully equipped is about $5K less.

    I’ve said from the word go making this a Chevy was a huge branding mistake – this would have made so much more sense as a Buick – and the extra parts needed to make a Buick version already exist.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      ApaGttH for GM President!

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      What you’re saying makes sense. Chevy already has the Corvette and Camaro that covers the performance and flagship categories. Buick, which really doesn’t need any help, but has always had some kind of performance offering could have used the SS to kind of spiff-up their still somewhat stodgy image without sacrificing any development resources. Even if they didn’t sell many (but, I bet they would have sold more then Chevy) just having something a little more exciting sitting in their showrooms couldn’t have hurt

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      IIRC the Park Avenue was offered but US Buick dealers turned it down.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yeah, marketing this as a “Grand National” would have made sense on a number of levels. My only question is whether VF is refined enough to fit even semi-credibly with the rest of the Buick lineup, which prioritizes quiet and a premium interior atmosphere.

      I think it’s being marketed as a Chevy rather than a Buick because that makes more sense for NASCAR promotion, and the Chevy/NASCAR tie-in is worth more than all actual VF sales would be no matter what U.S. branding is applied to the VF.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I have not personally driven a VF Zeta.

        Every review I’ve read of the VF Zeta says it is head and shoulders above the VE in handling and refinement. Cadillac good? No way.

        Buick good? I think it could have been done. Maybe sacrifice 5 ponies with a more conservative exhaust tune.

        Also to be clear, I wasn’t suggesting they take the long wheelbase Chinese VE Park Avenue and bring it here. I was only suggesting they could take the VF Zeta SS, take the seats and front clip and rear clip from the Park Avenue and poof – Buick Grand National.

        If the sales numbers are this low, I have to believe that with a heritage brand (Electra, Grand National, Wildcat) they would have sold incrementally more, and possibly at a higher price point.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Exactly. Had they marketed this as a ‘4 door Grand National’ or a ‘4 door vette’, I’d imagine interest would be high. Instead, it’s ‘bu with a stonkin’ motor that no one knows about.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Regarding the spam filter, am I the only one starting to feel like a sucker for trying to post here? How long has this been going on now?

  • avatar
    George B

    All the brand cachet of a Chevy Impala for the price of a BMW. What could possibly go wrong? This car works as a 4 door for people who want a Camaro, but need a large sedan, providing the price is comparable to the Camaro.

  • avatar

    Finally there is a high end GM car selling more poorly than Cadillac.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    “Most people don’t even know the SS exists.”

    If someone doesn’t, then they wouldn’t be interested anyway. They non-car hobbyists shopping for a common SUV/pickup/FWD sedan.

    Bob Lutz swore up and down that if Pontiac was kept and ‘offered only RWD’, then enthusiasts would buy them all. But, when the G8, Solstice, and even Firebird was around, they looked away. Even those who are “in the know” will go import or vintage USA.

    A rich “car guy” with $50K will go to Barrett-Jackson and buy a resto-mod Chevelle, Camaro, or even Trans Am [with Chevy crate motor], before even kicking tires on a “Rental Car look alike” as the SS has been called. Just look at all the internet comments about Holden’s RWD cars brought here since 2004, and how ‘plain, ugly, boring’ they were called.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Lutz’s problem there was that Pontiac was just too far gone. He might have been able to turn around perceptions given a decade (as Buick is slowly doing) but he didn’t have a decade given the financial crisis. Then he had the wrong product at the wrong time. What he needed in 2008 wasn’t a G8, it was a cheap Alpha-based G6.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Holden’s RWD plant closes in a few years, GM is better off pushing Camaro and Vette towards ‘car guys’. And, for 4 door ‘performance cars’ let Caddy sell those against Germany’s brands.

    Bye bye Caprice SS.

  • avatar
    ajla

    If I had $44k to spend or if GM sold a $30K low-spec version with like a 350hp V8 I would own one of these.

    But that isn’t the situation so now I own a Charger RT instead.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    “This here’s a rare performance car son…that will be full sticker price.”

    -Average terrible Chevy dealership sales manager/owner/head d-bag

  • avatar
    Lee

    Imagine if they actually spent some marketing $$ on it. Morons.

  • avatar

    great car, lousy marketing.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Buickman – what’s your thoughts on instead of a Chevy SS branding it a Buick (with the appropriate upleveling of interior where needed) and calling it Wildcat, Electra, or Grand National?

  • avatar
    TopJimmy5150

    Hmmm….

    GTO didn’t sell
    G8 didn’t sell
    and SS isn’t selling?

    What a shock! Maybe the public (outside of the motoring press and gearheads) doesn’t want rear-drive, badge engineered Holdens with thirsty V8 engines. How many more times is GM going to try this before they finally figure out that it’s a waste of resources???

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Lets go over the G8 – again.

      The first G8s didn’t show up in the showroom until March of 2008 (a handful were delivered in late February).

      The 2008 production run was only about 13,000 cars because production on 2009 models started in June of 2008 – shipping time from South Australia was about six weeks – those early 2009s started to hit lots in mid-August of 2008.

      Did you forget what happened on September 12, 2008? Banking market crash? Complete credit freeze? If you didn’t know Dimon and Jesus personally, you couldn’t get a loan. Dealers couldn’t get floor financing. Cerberus wanted a GM/Chrysler merger so they cut off financing to GMAC to any customer with a FICO below 720 – which at that time was about 64% of America.

      The auto industry was bailed out starting in December of 2008. Pontiac was dead in May of 2009.

      The G8 was around for a total of 15 months. It’s really hard to call the car a “failure’ given it never had a chance.

      If the car wasn’t “desired” then why is that 6 and 7 model year old GTs in moderately good condition are selling for 55% to 60% of their original sticker. GXPs are selling for 75% of their original sticker.

      You would be extremely hard pressed to find a 2008 G8 GT that isn’t salvaged title or with extreme miles on it for under $15K – and that car sold in March of 2008 for $29.9K.

      That isn’t exactly the trait of a car that failed.

      The GTO was a failure because it answered a question no one asked (two door cars are largely dead to American buyers), came to market just as there was the massive gas price spike in 2005 (remember dealer pricing for all in 2005 to move those gas guzzlers at Ford, GM and Chrysler???) and it had all the charm of a Chevrolet Cavalier coupe.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Cain is invaluable. How else would I ever know that so many notorious non-sellers outsell this thing.

    Nothing gives you a sense of proportion like da numbahs. This car is a Silly Thinge.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    This car is really cool. Know what would have made it great? Another $1500 to make over it’s dash layout to make it stand out, an aggressive front end and a marketing plan selling it as ‘The 4 door vette’, which is what it is.

    GM could screw up a free lunch.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    I live in Warren. I have never seen an SS in the wild. There was one at the Chevy dealer, but I have never seen one on the road. Unless you count the cop cars.

  • avatar
    matstery

    Two things this article fails to acknowledge:

    1. The Volvo V60 (at the top of their list) also had its WORST MONTH IN ITS ENTIRE HISTORY of 2014 sales! Does this mean that America has ended its love affair with crossover utility vehicles?

    2. Because the Chevy SS is built in Australia and shipped here, there are ZERO 2015 SS’s on dealers floors, and won’t be for two more months. I doubt this is true of many other cars, if any at all.

    Sensational headlines can be twisted any way the author wants.

  • avatar
    AlexMcD

    Jack Bauer couldn’t get the average Chevy salesman to mention that the SS exists and no force on earth can get them to put one on the lot.

    As I write this, I’m watching TV and the Charger commercials go by one after the other. If I had the cash, I would certainly buy an SS. It would take a Spec OPS team to locate one, but still…

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