By on May 18, 2015

2016 Nissan Maxima

As I fly down to Nashville to drive Nissan’s latest iteration of their 4DSC (“four-door sports car”) – the Maxima – we will have all the articles you expect on a Monday.

Here’s what happened over the weekend.

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23 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: Chevrolet Sub-Camaro, Toyota/Honda Best Supplier Customers and Aston Martin’s Crossover...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    “On those cars, the price point begins to approach the segment of the next car up. We would spend a lot of money and resources, and what are we really doing?”

    Yet for some reason, we have the Colorado, canyon and spark.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      I’m assuming he means no small RWD sports car. The sales aren’t there to justify a smaller platform, and the prices would be too close to low end Camaros (see Subaru BRZ pricing). Nothing is stopping him from bringing a hot hatch based on the new Cruze or the Sonic, though….

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        I think it would be hilarious if they did release a small Chevy RWD car.
        After all, we lost Pontiac when some genius decided they should “copy BMW.” The we lost Cadillac the same way (they haven’t yet buried the body, whatever).
        Third time’s a charm, Chevy should copy BMW!

        I envision a day in the near future (2025 years or so) when an executive of what used to be GM announces his brilliant turnaround plan: “We need to make GMC more like BMW! The only tiny difference will be our 1920’s frames, 1950’s engines, tiller steering, and toxic waste-sourced interiors.”

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I’m not in the slightest support of a small RWD car, I’m not the targeted consumer ( unless they came out with a <2800 lb RWD 6.2 V8 for <$25k that a 6’2″ guy could fit in) I'm just interested in the hypocritical comment Reuss made. They won't build anything that departs from the norm anymore, but they'll build a few redundant vehicles that overlap in price to vehicles a class up… And then say they wouldn't do such a thing.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          “1950’s engines”

          Can’t argue with the results though, what GM’s V8 engines lack in extra cams and valves they make up for it with compact size, light weight, good fuel economy and generally better average power compared to their more rev happy higher specific output competitors.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I’m pretty sure he couldn’t have been talking about the V8s, they put shame to all the smaller V8s that are heavier and less efficient, which is basically every DOHC V8 made. Those are some ancient POSs for being more complicated and expensive yet being less efficient in consumption, output, and weight.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Anyone seen the Buick ads where they suggest that their new cars are attractive enough that you can’t recognize them as Buicks? This is not your father’s Buick. GFL.

          • 0 avatar
            Roberto Esponja

            Yeah, seems the Einsteins never learned from the “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile” boondogle.

            Heck, probably they weren’t born yet… :-/

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Just because a car is RWD and has a sporty character doesnt mean its copying BMW. Lots of carmakers have RWD cars and have had them before BMW started making RWD sedan/coupes such as the 2002, 3-series, etc.

          I like how you make fun of GM (Chevrolet) for doing exactly what the article says it isnt doing (building a smaller RWD sports coupe). Should you make fun of Lexus for copying the F-150? Makes just as much sense. I guess all is fair when trash talking about an American automaker, huh?

          Pontiac was still building mostly FWD cars when it was shut down (the G6 was its vollume product). The G8 was to compete with Charger/300, and because it drove very well, auto critics compared it to BMW. Besides, Pontiac was positioned as the sporty brand for most of its life, again, that doesnt indicate that it was just copying BMW.

          Cadillac went for a more sophisticated RWD setup to compete with nearly all other luxury carmakers, and yes, that included BMW, but also Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and (later) Infiniti, all of which offer sporty RWD cars.

          I applaud their efforts in getting away from the “FWD couch on wire wheel covers” cars and into cars that put as much stock in good handling, advanced technology (Magnetic Ride Control for example) and sporty dynamics as they do in leather, wood and chrome. Id rather have an ATS or CTS than I had a 90s Seville. Wouldnt you?

          If Cadillac was still making nothing but FWD land barges, people like you would complain just as loudly about that. “Why dont they do something different, like RWD performance cars without bench seats and coulmn shifters? If they just made an effort to compete with the Germans and Japanese, that would be better!” Well, they did, and still cant win for losing. Face it, no matter what they build, haters gonna hate.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Then we’re right back to price, the V6 Camaro can be had for under $20k, can they build a hopped up Cruze and sell it for say 17,500 after initial demand drops? The easy answer is putting the FWD version of the camaros V6 into the Cruze, but we all know GM has long since lost any cajones to do anything fun.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Yeah, a lighter 6.2L-powered Camaro certainly isnt fun. A Corvette that runs with European exotics that cost tens of thousands more isnt much fun.

          What they really need is a nose-heavy, torque steer crazy new version of the 3.1L Cavalier. What a concept! Everyone else is doing high output turbo 4s (often coupled with AWD) because theyre lighter and handle better, but yeah, GM should take 5 steps backwards so it can have a brick sitting on dealer lots while Ford (Focus/Fiesta ST, Focus RS), VW (Golf R), Subaru (WRX) and the like are blazing new trails and selling enough to make it worth the effort. How fun.

      • 0 avatar

        Well, compact RWD sports coupes would essentially be what the Kappa cars (Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Opel GT in Europe) were, although during those cars’ tenure, there wasn’t a Camaro. I wonder whether GM made its money back on the Kappa platform. I hear they pretty much borrowed components from every other GM unibody platform.

    • 0 avatar
      John R

      It’s a fair point.

      There’s nothing under the Toyota banner for the FR-S to run up against. The BRZ, unintentionally, probably does a good job of selling WRXs. And as a whole the 86 twins aren’t selling as well as they drive, unfortunately.

      Also, by the way, the Sky/Solstice cars weren’t…uh…that great.

      This is probably a segment that isn’t in GM’s wheelhouse.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Wow the Reuters article is an eye opener. Sounds like it isn’t even close in rating. Toyota and Honda are miles ahead, and posting big year over year improvements in rating, poor old GM and FCA are down in the dumps. I thought it might be the opposite, with the suppliers being upset with how many parts get rejected for QC reasons by the tier 1 Japanese manufacturers. Perhaps Toyota and Honda work a bit differently in how QC is handled in the first place? Would be awesome to hear some insider knowledge from the B&B. Anecdotal evidence: my gf’s uncle works at a sheetmetal stamping plant that does contract work, they mostly due stuff for ag manufacturers (tractor hoods, that sort of thing). They’ve done some OEM automotive stuff as well as aftermarket, the rear hatches for the 1st gen Xterras with the funny first aid kit bulge, and the rear door skins for the extended length taxi crown vics. He said that Nissan was rejecting their production at an absolutely incredible rate, likewise Ford was fairly choosy with the door skins. Aftermarket is the exact opposite, where apparently they’ll take almost anything that comes out of the press.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      It’s interesting that the suppliers don’t have any interest in expanding to serve increased demand that they see as short term because of something on the horizon.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    It’s supposed to be the “Chevy CAN build a Miata” segment, not “I wish I could afford a Camaro” segment.

    If that’s how they think, then maybe it’s best they not tap that one.

  • avatar
    Aquineas

    I’m curious where Hyundai would fall on this list.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Re: sub Camaro

    Next Cruze needs to have a hatch form, and get the chops to compete with the likes of the FoST/FoRS/Golf R etc. Cruze sells well but nobody talks about it. It’s not a car that elicits any passion from anybody, but GM has the tools to make it so.

    Coupe form can only succeed with a mega legacy (Miata, Cmro, Rustang, Vette, 911, M4 etc), mega performance/$$$ (2 series, Genesis 3.8, Cmero, Rustang, Z- just barely) or some combo of both. Hot hatches are a different kind of fun but they are very close to the same amount of fun with way more practicality. Truthfully cars like the BRZ, 2 series etc should have been sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Does a car need to have passion, though? The sales numbers on the WRX and GTI were abysmal up until their very recent redesigns. The Fiesta ST numbers are under 500/mo as far as I’ve been able to piece together. Focus STs have tons of cash on the hood and have since they were first released. Is it worth the effort and investment for something sporty when by and large people aren’t buying it? That extra R&D cash could be used for making the mainline cars better so they can better compete with the Corolla, Civic, Focus, etc and still have a very broad appeal. From a business perspective, Chevy already has 2 performance cars that cover the $24k to $100k range. Do they really need to fill that under $24k performance niche (especially since a loaded up Cruze is already pushing the mid $20k range.)

  • avatar

    First GM builds an e46 in a zoot suit. (Ok, that was the e90, but still)

    The small one looks like a cross between the 1 series and 2 series coupe.

    You almost want to sneak one in to Dorkfest. (the car club meet for lovers of the Z3 hardtop coupes)…..

    OK, if you ARE going to copy…..

    Dedicated sports car at a low price point….no.

    We will get hopped up versions of pedestrian cars. Cheap to do, great markup on a cheap frame.

    We will get higher powered versions of lux and near lux. Also cheap to do, be sure to lard up the option packages with one “must have” per package, so they have to buy them all. Thanks Cable TV ! for that advice.

    A Sportscar in today’s day and age is a higher price pointed toy for someone who has at least one other car and space to put it. This cuts the possible buyers way, way down. You can still make money if you can charge a stoopid price, like Porsche or BMW on the Z series.

    Cheap fast cars are non existent….Camaro and Mustang, years back, were. Today, you are at the same price point as a near lux car.

    It would be nice to see a non FWD hotted up coupe tossed in there. For others, you can pick up a nice 6 powered 1 series coupe used for 20- 25k.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    The company GM needs to copy is Subaru. GM needs to make everything (except Corvette) AWD and bland in styling. Look how Subaru sales have taken off as the cars get more boring to look at. And, as a North American brand – where it snows – shouldnt they be leading in AWD?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      This may come as a surprise, but it doesnt snow everywhere in the US. Some of the largest population areas rarely if ever get snow (southern California, Texas, etc). In my area, seeing a Subaru is quite uncommon. I see many more newer Camaros than Subarus.

      Copying Subaru would be an excellent way to lower sales. As much hoopla has been made about Subaru’s increasing sales, brands that dont make MPG-sucking AWD standard on their sedan line ups still out sell it by a wide margin.

      Subaru sold a bit over 40k units in April. Chevrolet division sold over 118k units in the same time period. Why should GM copy a brand that its mainstream brand outsells already by quite a bit?

      Its not as if you cant find an AWD vehicle in Chevy showrooms, its just going to be in the form of a crossover: Trax, Equinox, Traverse, as well as 4wd mid and fullsize trucks and fullsize SUVs. The Trax and Equinox are relatively fuel efficient and affordable. And bland styling? I think theyve got the bases covered on that as well (especially Trax and the now-dated Equinox, although the Terrain twin still looks good IMO).

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    New Maxima: Best looking Maxi since 1999. Has become the only car (non-truck) on a Nissan lot Id give two $#!Г§ about, now that the Cube is gone. Id still likely buy something else, but at least they tried and it shows.

    I see some early 810 styling in the front of the new Maxi, and that’s a good thing.

    Too bad Nissan (evidently) isnt going to produce the IdX. It couldve actually caused me to consider spending money there.

    I feel the same way about the Kia GT-4 Stinger, although Id like a non-turbo base model. It would be the first time since the truck-based Sportage was replaced that Id seriously consider a Kia. Actually, the Borrego wasnt bad, or at least I liked the idea of it, and, though a little bland, it wasnt bad looking. But, it looks like it (GT-4 Stinger) isnt going to happen, either.

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