By on August 20, 2018

Image: GM

In Newfoundland, a quick rejoinder to the comment “Can’t complain,” is “No one’s listening anyway!” followed by a couple of hearty guffaws and a nod n’ wink. Hey, give us a break; we’re all loopy from the cold.

Regardless of whether people are listening or not, people — especially opinionated gearheads — are likely to complain and provide unsolicited advice. Here is today’s question: if a major OEM were to ask for and promise to implement one of your recommendations, what would you say? And to whom?

Keeping it relatively simple — and not asking for the likes of flying cars or a windshield wash reservoir routinely filled with Thousand Island dressing — I’d ask Cadillac to bin its alphanumeric nonsense and return to an actual naming system.

The disarmament campaign arguably began back in the 2002 calendar year when the creased and angular CTS appeared on the scene. Built and marketed as a rear-drive return to performance, the CTS was a Detroit thumb in the eye to Das Germans. In that initial 2003 model year, Cadillac showrooms were also cluttered with the Seville, de Ville, and Escalade. Only one of those nameplates remain today.

It wasn’t long before lots were filled with trunklids bearing DTS, SRX, STS, and other alphabet soup. Yes, some of those letter trios existed prior to 2004 but they were preceded by an actual name, such as Seville STS, for example (making the car’s official name the Seville Seville Touring Sedan — we’ll leave the conversation about that for another day).

I’m not saying that Cadillac should wantonly pull names from its history and slap them on the existing lineup. Fleetwood, while appealing to this author, might not work in today’s market. A quick look at Lincoln proves a company can shed alphanumerics in favor of creative names.

What’s your advice? And to whom?

[Image: General Motors]

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162 Comments on “QOTD: Advice From a Wise Old Sage?...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    More choices of a la carte options. You want a stick shift, fine, you want a bigger engine, no problem. Just don’t make us buy high priced “packages” to get a simple option

    • 0 avatar
      I_like_stuff

      ” Just don’t make us buy high priced “packages” to get a simple option”

      That is the craziest idea we’ve ever heard
      – Cable Companies

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Lol, ain’t it the truth

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          that’s a good way to drive up logistical complexity and costs. Margins in this business are slim enough as it is. You can’t make money on mass-market cars trying to cater to every special little snowflake who demands to be able to choose every single possible option.

          same goes for cable. Ask yourself why the History Channel, the Learning Channel, and Discovery show nothing but crap now. Because they have to “pay their own way” instead of being supported partly by bundling.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I remember that when Oldsmobile was in its death throws one of their initiatives was “packaging” practically everything and near elimination of any a la carte e options. This was to make it simpler to build the cars and improve profits.

            There’s a reason that you can still go almost a la carte on pickups. Because the profits are so fat.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “same goes for cable. Ask yourself why the History Channel, the Learning Channel, and Discovery show nothing but crap now. Because they have to “pay their own way” instead of being supported partly by bundling.”

            — What do you mean, “crap”? Those are three of my more favorite channels and they show some good programming, even if you don’t happen to like it. I, for one, would prefer a-la Carte for my vehicle options as well as my TV programming.

            That said, in the process of my buying a new pickup truck for myself, I’m finding that many of the better options are now coming out as dealer-installed accessories, though the OEMs are willing to bundle many of them into a ‘trim package’ if you don’t mind receiving some you’d not choose on your own. It seems that accessorizing has become the new a-la Carte which makes money for the dealership while reducing costs for the OEM.

            Still, my graphics package will come from a third party business who has treated me very well over the last decade.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “What do you mean, “crap”?”

            I’d expect the History Channel to actually run programming about history. Not crap like “Counting Cars” and “American Pickers” non-stop. I’d prefer something called the *Learning* channel to run stuff which is actually educational, instead of cack like “Say Yes to the Dress.”

            the programming on such channels used to notionally befit their names. Now, they’re basically the TV equivalent of Buzzfeed.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I’ll happily pay the higher cost. I want what I want without a lot of crap that I don’t want. Even if it costs more up front, I won’t have to fix it someday or have it annoying me daily.

            It’s especially egregious when companies bundle JUST because the competition works that way – sending the stinkeye to BMW in particular for that one. Every single BMW is built to order, and in nearly every market but the US you can choose options nearly entirely ala cart if you want to. But not in the US, even on a special order car.

            But ultimately, if I can’t get what I want, I just don’t buy at all. Not big into compromise when dropping $50K+ on a car.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I would say like this – Package all the un-necessary items: large wheels, leather sunroof – here, $2500 [dis]comfort and appearance package.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Of auto topic but addressing above comments. There was a time when The Learning Channel, A&E and The History Channel were 3 of the 5 most viewed stations in my home.

        We have not watched anything on A&E for years. The same with the TLC. Is there any ‘learning’ attached to any of their programs?

        History we still watch, but it too is primarily ‘reality’ programming.

        Now pretty much just sports, TCM, TVO, PBS and BBC Canada. And with Doug Ford in power in Ontario and Trump in the USA, wonder when funding to PBS and TVO will totally dry up?

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          Also off auto topic in the early 80’s when my neighborhood was wired for cable my family signed up for the basic cable package with a premium option. A&E, Bravo and TLC ran more highbrow cultural and educational programming, now they’re full on reality shows.
          Basic cable to this day also has a bevy of religious programming from prosperity gospel to some preacher playing heavy metal records backwards looking for a demonic message.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Basic cable to this day also has a bevy of religious programming from prosperity gospel”

            they belong in prison. I can’t believe so many people will listen to those charlatans and think to themselves “yes, this all makes sense! I’ll give this guy most of my money!”

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          yeah, we used to jokingly call it “The Hitler Channel” but at least it was historical material.

          • 0 avatar
            MRF 95 T-Bird

            My girlfriends mother has basic cable. The package has the local affiliates and public access with ABC, CBS and NBC plus TBS and TNT. But no CNN, MSNBC or FNC yet a few channels are devoted to the religious grifters. Thankfully she is sentient enough not to send these folks money.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I dearly miss the Discovery Wings Channel.

            Of course, I am old enough to remember when MTV played music videos.

            I cut the cord years ago. I have a couple of streaming subscriptions, and an antenna for over-the-air. In FL I get 25 stations that way. In Maine in the summer I can’t be bothered, nothing on anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Of course, I am old enough to remember when MTV played music videos.”

            Nobody’s THAT old, Mr. Rhodes ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I would say like this – Package all the un-necessary items: large wheels, leather, sunroof – here, $2500 [dis]comfort and appearance package.

    • 0 avatar
      King of Eldorado

      Corollary: Make it easier and faster to spec a car as you describe and special order it. I’m always surprised when a car magazine reviews a six-figure vehicle and opines on which options/packages they would spec, and then says “if you can find one.” You shouldn’t have to ship a car halfway across the country or wait 4 months for it to be special-ordered. I wanted a BMW X3 a few years ago without the cold-weather package (I live in the southwest), but eventually caved and paid a few hundred more than I wanted because there were none available.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        @King… YES.

        I think its ridiculous how hard it is to order a car. Companies should give DISCOUNTS because their costs should be LOWER to order a car. No holding costs, no floorplan, etc. Its good for the dealers and good for the OEMs, but for some reason they act like its 1952 and build a bunch of crap and then discount it by 20% just so people will buy crap they don’t want

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “You shouldn’t have to ship a car halfway across the country or wait 4 months for it to be special-ordered. ”

        sorry, but that’s the way it is, what with mass production and all. Lemme give you a little tip: ordering a car takes 6-8 weeks not because the car companies sit back and say “HAHA f*** this guy, let’s make him wait!” but because when your order is put into the system, the company already has 4 to 6 weeks of production scheduled. Which means they have VINs generated, parts ordered based on the next 4-6 wks product mix, build rotations planned, and so on. they’re not going to tear that all up just to insert some jamoke’s special order. So your order goes into the system and gets scheduled for the next block of production after the 4-6 wks already booked.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          BMW at least can turn around an order for their “mainstream” cars in six weeks to the East Coast. And four of that is the car sitting on a boat. For both of my Euro Deliveries, I could have done a pickup in as soon as two weeks from placing the order. I don’t KNOW that they run their US plant the same way, but I would be awfully surprised if they didn’t.

          But yes, I agree that the mainstream car makes simply are not setup that way.

        • 0 avatar
          King of Eldorado

          I don’t disagree with your description of the status quo, but that’s my point: If a manufacturer is just churning out inventory based on their data on what sells best on the average and which versions are the most profitable, they should modify the process to allow for insertion of special orders by individual customers who might otherwise, at worst, go elsewhere, or at best, be left with a negative impression of the company because of the difficulty of getting a specific combination of options that the company’s “build and price” website said was available.

          To be clear, I’m not talking about combinations of options that are not otherwise available, such as a 7-series with cloth seats and no air conditioning. I’m talking about, e.g., a CUV with all the options in a specific color, advertised on the “build and price” site as available in FWD or AWD, but which is impossible to actually find in stock in FWD form and said to be available by a grudging special order (dealers want to sell their stock) to be shipped in an estimated 90 days.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “, they should modify the process to allow for insertion of special orders by individual customers”

            that’s not “modifying the process.” That’s basically throwing out the entire concept of JIT manufacturing. Seriously, this is not nearly as simple as you think it is, so stop acting like it is. if you were to “insert” a special order, that would have to work its way all the way back up the supply chain. Now the car maker has to issue new purchase orders, their Tier 1s have to now “insert” new orders into their production schedule, which means issuing new POs to *their* suppliers, who now have to tear up *their* build schedule, and so on.

            what you propose is unmanageable and NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @JimZ: “what you propose is unmanageable and NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN.”
            — Except that Ford does it with their F-series trucks and every foreign manufacturing plant is not only able to do so but actually does so for all markets EXCEPT the US.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Why not just order one? BMW makes it completely painless, and it is usually six weeks for one from Germany. I would think it would be faster than that for an X3 made here in the USA. My dealer will give the same discount regardless, and of course if you do Euro Delivery you get another nice chunk off the top. Can’t do that for an X3, but still…

        • 0 avatar
          King of Eldorado

          Yes, I should have specified that I bought the X3 in 2005 — BMW is much better now and at one point since then specifically advertised something like (can’t remember BMW’s language) Burger King’s old “Have it your way.”

  • avatar
    arach

    I’d say, “Before discontinuing the manual transmission and insisting no one wants it, Will you try putting the manual transmission in a car people actually want”?

    I’m not the only one to complain that they put the stick in the BASE model piece of crap and then 3 years later cancel it because “no one bought the stick”.

    Seriously… how about you put the stick in a version people will actually buy. Just because I like to drive stick doesn’t mean I’m broke and buying a base car.

    • 0 avatar
      IBx1

      THANK YOU.

    • 0 avatar
      SWA737

      Looking at you, Jaguar…….

    • 0 avatar
      SirRaoulDuke

      This.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Amen. And while they are at it, why charge extra for the automatic, when 90% of buyers get it? Charge extra for the stick, since it is a low volume option. Make people who want to drive stick pay for the privilege. We will..

      • 0 avatar
        I_like_stuff

        The stick shift is dead. Just deal with it. Other than in a few high end sports cars, it’s a dead man walking.

        And I say this as someone who owns a stick (in said high end sports cars). But I’m in a very, very small minority of people and I can live with that. And I don’t want a stick in my regular, stuck in traffic driving 15 MPH on the freeway cars anyway. Sticks are fun when driving out on the open road on a Sunday afternoon. Not so much when driving to work at 8:00am on a Monday. The people have overwhelmingly spoken on this topic.

        • 0 avatar
          IBx1

          oh no muh traffic

          Daily the fun car, otherwise what’s the point of life?

        • 0 avatar
          dividebytube

          >>Sticks are fun when driving out on the open road on a Sunday afternoon. Not so much when driving to work at 8:00am on a Monday.

          I disagree – I daily drive a 6-speeed manual Mustang. It’s one thing I look forward to on my commute.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I’m actually considering what my stick shift options are for a commuter because mine is so wide open and decently long (30 min each direction) that I need something like a manual to stay engaged in the experience.

          • 0 avatar
            Tele Vision

            @dividebytube

            I daily a 6-speed Cadillac and it, too, is the best part of my 80 Km ( return ) commute.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “The stick shift is dead”

          That’s what they’ve been saying about the convertible for the last 40 years

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “I’d say, “Before discontinuing the manual transmission and insisting no one wants it, Will you try putting the manual transmission in a car people actually want”?”

      just so you know, history existed long before you got here. The manual transmission has steadily been declining in popularity for FIFTY DAMN YEARS. They USED to be in cars people “actually wanted,” they used to be called “standard” trans for god’s sake. you had to pay MORE for the automatic. and as the years went on, more and more people did pay more for the auto.

      this is nothing new. you’re not saying anything every self-proclaimed “enthusiast” hasn’t been saying for decades.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        80% of BRZ, WRX, and STI are manuals.
        According to Hagerty, having a manual transmission improves the value of Ferraris by $50,000.

        I get it what you are saying, but when we wanted a manual transmission Porsche Cayenne, it was like pulling teeth. I couldn’t order it, had to search all over the country, and then had to pay a massive premium to get it because it was in “such high demand”.

        So if its in “such high demand”, why the heck didn’t they send more over here?

        Today I read that the same porsche only produced about 100 manuals a year. People like you are saying, “see? no one bought it” When I’m saying I had to scour the country and pay an extra 5 grand just to buy it.

        How is that “proof” no one wants a stick?

        I also tried to buy a mazda 6 GT in stick, but guess what. they sell it in canada and not the US. So if they make it, why can’t you even ORDER it in the US?

        That sounds more like self-fulfilling prophesy than a true death of an option.

        But I do agree that for the normal buyer, an auto is better. They don’t want to shift, they just want the car to do its thing…

        If only we could have DCTs. I choose those over a stick every time, and the auto guys only hate them a little bit. Its like the perfect meet in the middle solution :)

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “How is that “proof” no one wants a stick?”

          if there’s one thing the B&B excels at, it’s interpreting things literally when they know they shouldn’t.

          “No one wants manual transmissions” doesn’t mean literally zero people want them. It means “the number of people who want them in mass-market vehicles is far, far too small to be worth the investment.” you can run and hide behind conspiracy theories or “self-fulfilling prophecies” all you want, but it’s only to stoke your own ego.

          back when manuals were called “standard” transmission and nearly everyone knew how to drive one, people bought them because they were cheaper and got better gas mileage (manuals usually had at least one more forward ratio than their contemporary automatics.) People did NOT buy them because they liked shifting for themselves. They bought them because they cost less. Once automatics gained as many gears as manuals it was game over for the stick.

          most people drive a car/SUV because they more or less have to; driving is not an enjoyable activity unto itself. when it’s something you have to do, adding needless hassle like having to shift for yourself has zero benefit. This “enthusiast” whining about how people would obviously “see the light” if only those mean old dealers would have cars with manual transmissions on the lot is pure fantasy.

          • 0 avatar
            arach

            In all seriousness, I’d like to understand your logic in the Porsche Example.

            They made a manual from 2003 – 2017.

            During that time period, they shipped them to the United States.

            100% of them that came here sold in days for 5-10% markup.

            Therefore instead of increasing supply to meet the clear demand that was here over this time, they instead say “see we only sold 100/yr” so it was discontinued.

            I don’t understand how that logic works. If you are going to produce them and people want them so badly they are waiting in line, paying huge dollars, and trying to order them, and you don’t give it to them, then that is clearly artificially creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. That is FIFTEEN YEARS of restricted supply.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            At golf this weekend, all 4 of us were driving manuals. 3 were 4 door sedans. Of course we were all over 55, so perhaps it is a generational thing?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “In all seriousness, I’d like to understand your logic in the Porsche Example.”

            I’m not interested in debating over something you cherry-picked. I also can’t speak for Porsche because I have no idea what their strategy is.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    *logs in twenty-seven times*

    MAKE IT MANUAL

    make what manual?

    ALL OF IT

  • avatar
    deanst

    Offering cloth seats, manual transmission and panoramic sunroof together. I think I’m down to one option – GTI.

  • avatar
    mmdpg

    Lexus/ Toyota please change the styling of the front ends of your vehicles, they are so awful I know lots of people who refuse to even look at them online never mind go to a dealer to test drive one. Predator was a good movie, bad car styling inspiration.

    • 0 avatar
      loner

      You beat me to it! I’m a big Toyota/Lexus guy, but for now I’m pretty much only shopping used. The newer ones are just too doggone ugly. I’d love to be excited about a new Toyota product again.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      Sorry, but the boss Akio said he wanted ‘exciting’ cars. Problem is, the designers seem to think Ugly = Exciting.

    • 0 avatar
      Radio-Friendly Transmission Shifter

      I am a devout Toyota guy, but they have some truly awful front ends. I was looking at a V6 Camry a while back (went with a Tacoma instead), but the front end was just too ugly. It looked nice otherwise, and seemed fairly quick, but I’m not going to sink 5 figures into a car I can’t stand to look at.

      As an aside, it’s a real shame Honda stopped making the Accord coupe. Not only was it a great car mechanically, but I love the way they look.

  • avatar
    RSF

    All automakers please just stop with all the mobility, driverless car nonsense. When you build the cars people want to drive people actually buy them.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Yes!

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Totally agree.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Have you seen what most people buy? What exactly do you think people want to drive that isn’t getting built? People mostly just want transportation, there’s just a small minority that care that buy the handful of cars worth driving.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        My dad used to think of cars the same way you do, Maymar. When I bought myself a Camaro one time, he asked me why, stating, “Cars are nothing but transportation.” He claimed that the Camaro was in no way practical, yet I achieved 32mpg on the highway, carried any number of out-sized purchases in the back that wouldn’t have fit through the doors (had a ’96 liftback version) and the car was extremely practical for my needs at the time. Even after I got married I continued to drive it for years, putting over 160,000 miles on it.

        And that is the point; not everyone wants the same thing and they shouldn’t be forced to accept what somebody else says they should want.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I agree with the commentary above in both naming conventions and in putting manual transmissions into cars people are willing to buy. Going manual in a stripper isn’t selling more strippers, it’s killing the manual.

    But for me, that’s beside the point. I’d go to the top with the argument that a huge industry segment is (or was) being ignored. If crossovers can be sold at every conceivable size, why not open-bed models that are traditionally called pickup trucks? Full sized pickup trucks are big sellers, I know, and even so-called mid-sized pickups are doing pretty well. But with today’s heavy traffic and self-important drivers, those bigger trucks have trouble maneuvering without disrupting that traffic. Worse, some of those can’t even get into places that used to be easy for them… like parking garages with 6′ clearance overhead or home garages with 7′ clearance at the door (not even considering their length compared to even 20 years ago. In other words, we need smaller pickups.

    And no, I’m not talking about sedan trucks like the old Rampage, El Camino or Ranchero, I’m talking small trucks like the old Courier, L’uv and D-50, based at that time on Japanese import models. Trucks that were small, agile and yet able to carry things you couldn’t (or wouldn’t) carry in a similarly-sized station wagon. Sure, they’re not the heavy-duty workhorses that some say they need for everyday work but rather the truly light-duty workhorses meant for delivery duty and trash hauling and DIY landscaping, etc. I’m talking small enough that a 2.0 turbo is almost overpowered, yet provides good acceleration within the truck’s load limits. Trucks that should be able to get 25% to 50% better fuel economy over their full-sized cousins. Trucks this size could well eat into the compact and sub-compact CUV market and be able to price in the sub-$20K to $30K range that makes up the majority of that CUV market. Trucks that size should also be less expensive to build than those similarly-sized CUVs, too, meaning more profits.

    • 0 avatar
      TDIandThen....

      I think most here would agree. My friend’s 1990 2.x Ford Ranger in manual is possibly perfect.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      I did a lot of actual work with my 2.4L Nissan hardbody truck – lots of lawn work, trash disposal, and home upgrades. Amazing how I did all of that without a full-sized V8 truck.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “I agree with the commentary above in both naming conventions and in putting manual transmissions into cars people are willing to buy. ”

      why, so they can take up space on the dealers’ lots?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        No, to make it easier for somebody to order the powertrain they want instead of the powertrain the OEM THINKS the people want. In buying my Colorado, I have a choice of three engines and two transmissions. Not one of those two transmissions is a manual. Rather, it’s a choice of a 6-speed or an 8-speed, driven by either a 2.5L inline 4, 3.6L V6 or a 2.8L Turbo-diesel. Only the base-model has the option of a 6-speed stick and that only with the 2.5L four.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “No, to make it easier for somebody to order the powertrain they want instead of the powertrain”

          so you think the automakers should spend tons of money to offer something a small, small minority of potential buyers care about?

          that’s called “spending dollars to make pennies.”

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That’s where you’re wrong, JimZ. Ford has already proven they can do exactly that with their 23 different trim and option levels for the F-150. It’s called “Just in Time” sourcing and their internal distribution system to the assembly line is able to provide the exact equipment needed to the specific vehicle with reportedly no errors in hundreds of thousands made each year. Yes, even different wiring harnesses for different option packages are delivered at the point they need to be installed with no error. By no means is it impossible or even more expensive to send a higher-rated harness to an otherwise lower-rated truck and have the connections available for any of those up-graded options. A-la Carte is NOT impossible or even difficult any more. If the buyer is willing to pay more for a specific option while ignoring undesired options, just how much more work is it to drop in a pre-made harness for the higher option package? Absolutely no more difficult.

            If you want a manual transmission on a higher-trim truck, there should be no problem with providing that transmission, keeping in mind that the owner will not get that huge, space-hogging center console as a result. There are practicalities involved which the buyer will need to understand but I can honestly tell you that if they’re wanting a manual shifter, they simply can’t have a big console in the way of using that shifter.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            GM, please spend many thousands of dollars to design a manual transmission for engines with more torque than the base I-4. Then spend many thousands of dollars getting those vehicles (individually) certified for sale. Oh, and before that, spend many many more thousands of dollars to make it pass emissions, since this is harder to do with a manual than it is with an automatic. Then please spend many thousands of dollars to build these trucks and force them upon dealers where they’ll have to be discounted heavily to sell.

            Then I still won’t buy it because I can’t find the exact truck I want with x options but not x other options at my local dealer.

            Sincerely,
            0.2% of the market.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @JT: Again, No. They’ve already spent the money; there’s no need to design one they already have. They also have no need to re-certify something they already have AND they already know it can pass emissions. All they have to do is incorporate it into higher trim levels of existing models.

            Oh, and that’s why you should special order… only the people who want it will order it, so it won’t sit on the lot, undelivered, unless the person who ordered it passes away between ordering and delivering. All the options they want, none of the options they don’t want and both buyer and seller are happy. Who cares about those who will take whatever is pushed at them?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – You just don’t have a grasp of reality. Show a parking garage with just 6′ of overhead clearance. Your 6′ tall wife in heels would bang her head on the pipes and could sue.

            Just the clearance in the all the doorways in your house are 6’5″, I guarantee it. I’ll bet there’s not a single parking garage in the world with less than 7′ clearance (open to the public).

            Everything you state in terms of space/dimension is off by quite a bit. Anywhere a midsize pickup fits, a stock 1/2 ton pickup will fit.

            Just the smaller the vehicle a driver gets used to, the more inept at maneuvering that driver gets. Without exception, everyone that’s used to compact cars, jumps curbs when I let them use my F-150 for the 1st time.

            I won’t even get into the huge dent on the side of my F-150 and the missing street sign (snapped wood 4X4 post) in front of my house.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: I always have to wonder about your grasp of reality, Mike. For whatever reason, you never seem to be right about anything you discuss, though you adamantly believe that your view is the only correct one, despite all evidence to the contrary. Amazing!

            • “Show a parking garage with just 6′ of overhead clearance. Your 6′ tall wife in heels would bang her head on the pipes and could sue.”
            —- No, she couldn’t. These garages are all well marked, though few in number as they are older ones, most long ago replaced with new construction and more efficient designs. Few remain that still use the circular down ramps to the exit and even those are the newer versions. Such parking garages as I describe were built in the 50s and very early 60s, before 4×4 became so popular and almost NO trucks would be seen in such a garage. —- Even so, in the cities, certain emergency vehicles such as paramedic and very specialized fire-fighting trucks have to be built to very strict height limitations to access modern parking garages with 7′ height restrictions.

            • “Just the clearance in the all the doorways in your house are 6’5″, I guarantee it. I’ll bet there’s not a single parking garage in the world with less than 7′ clearance (open to the public).”
            — Come to Philadelphia.

            • “Everything you state in terms of space/dimension is off by quite a bit. Anywhere a midsize pickup fits, a stock 1/2 ton pickup will fit.”
            —- So you now admit that today’s mid-sized trucks are effectively the same size as full size. Yet… they’re still 10″ narrower than current STOCK full-sized trucks. Those full sized trucks cannot go EVERYWHERE a modern mid-sized truck can go, only most places. Now imagine what would happen if true compact trucks returned.

            “Just the smaller the vehicle a driver gets used to, the more inept at maneuvering that driver gets. Without exception, everyone that’s used to compact cars, jumps curbs when I let them use my F-150 for the 1st time.”
            — That’s hardly surprising. But yet my wife drove her Fiat 500 as though it were a long-bed F-150. Why? Because that truck was the only car we owned that she COULD drive when she got her license. That huge thing scared her half to death when a modern full-sized truck came around a curve across the center line, forcing her to drop right-side wheels off the pavement. Fortunately, she was logical enough and observant enough from my own driving to know what not to do and was able to recover with no damage to the truck. — My point? Not all drivers lack experience with full sized trucks, even if they own a modern sub-compact vehicle. I, myself, just completed an 800-mile drive in a 16′ truck towing an auto trailer with no difficulty, up to and including taking it through some relatively tight spaces (for the truck and trailer) that seemed to surprise some onlookers. And no, did not jump a single curb on the entire trip.

            • “I won’t even get into the huge dent on the side of my F-150 and the missing street sign (snapped wood 4X4 post) in front of my house.”
            — Your fault? Seems to me a severe lack of situational awareness both of the size of the vehicle AND obstacles along the road.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Maybe in a Pygmy village. There’s not a single public establishment on the planet where a anyone just 6′ tall has to duck to clear beams, pipes, doorways. Fact.

            I’m not saying they’re the same size, only that you overstate the size of “fullsize”.

            Overstating is what you’re best at, for dramatic affect? BS factor? Either way, your views aren’t grounded in reality.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Not fact, Mike. No matter how much you may believe otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            That’s not what “Just in Time” production means. if you’re starting from that bad a misconception, then there’s no reason to continue discussing it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You’re Mr. SHOWMEPROOFORELSE!, so let’s see it. Yes I’m calling you out on your bullsh!t.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Someone bring back the 3/4 ton SUV.

    8 passenger seating, diesel and big block gas engines, 15k tow capacity, available from work truck grade up through $100k Platinum/High Country/Limited.

  • avatar
    MartyToo

    I want an Asian brand – preferably Honda – to make an AWD hybrid with engine power up front and electric power in the rear.

  • avatar
    ernest

    Memo to Cadillac- change ad agencies. Marketing is everything. Ironically, the two models I never see advertised sell just fine- the XT5 and the Escalade. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    GM – bring back the “Ultra V8” program that was cancelled during the bankruptcy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Ultra_Engine

    Engineer it to be installed transversely and longitudinally in RWD, FWD, and AWD applications. Install it in any unit body vehicle that is full size for it’s class that doesn’t already have a V8. The Traverse, the Impala, Lacrosse, etc.

    Make it standard in every Cadillac that’s not the Escalade (Escalade already has it’s own V8s.)

    • 0 avatar
      IBx1

      You mean the LT1?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        No it was a program for a “less than 5 ltr V8” basically a Northstar successor (maybe they finally would have worked out all the bugs from the original.)

        Back when OLD GM thought that CAFE and fuel prices were going to kill the Tahoe/Yukon they had intended the 1st Gen Lambda triplets to have a V8 option. The Ultra V8 program was part of that push as well.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    I realize the start/stop technology horse has already left the barn, but I think it would be preferable if I had the option to select when I want this on, not always on and I have to turn off (or in some cases, can’t turn off at all).

  • avatar
    TDIandThen....

    Agree with much of the above.

    It probably falls under the ‘thousand-island-dressing-in-windshield-washer-reservoir’ admonition above but I’d advise SAAB to get together with NEVS and re-start a modest non-electric production. Make a plan to use that Chinese money and Swedish talent and copy Volvo’s return.

    Less fantastical, FCA should re-badge the Fiat 124 as the entry level Alfa, give it a larger 1.8L Alfa engine and put it at Alfa dealers as their entry-level fun car.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I have 3

    More hybrids/EVs
    More cars that run on 87 octane
    Panoramic sunroof or nothing (with an opaque shade, come on VW)

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I don’t care what they call them, I don’t buy a car for the emblems.

    Just offer a V8 option or make one the base engine. The 5.3 would be perfect, say 355 HP and similar torque, as I don’t need to be setting the Nurburgerkingring on fire any time soon. 17 inch wheels, 50 series tires and I’m good.

    If Cadillac wants to force an automatic at that point, well it’s start. Baby steps.

    Maybe it’s ’cause I’m Gen-X or whatever, but I’ll only own V8s from now on.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      You reminded me of one of my favorite Jack Baruth articles.

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/how-gm-could-save-the-cadillac-ats-from-its-otherwise-inevitable-fate-of-complete-marketplace-failure/

      Or the tinyurl version: https://tinyurl.com/y8cbxxhr

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        In retrospect, the ATS didn’t fail solely because of its’ engine – the entire segment began to die shortly after GM brought it out. Hell, you can get the 3-series with the twin-turbo six, which is a no-BS dynamite engine that no enthusiast would ever b*tch about, and that model’s flaming out too. The best case scenario would have been a better share of a shrinking market. Ditto for the other Cadillac sedans.

        But the ATS’ mediocre engines definitely made the model’s fall worse.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Not everything comes down to speed. Cadillac should know this, and I’d be reminded of that V6 (or worse) awful cheesiness every time I fired it up, to when I shut it off.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            This. Having a turbo-four isn’t the problem – having a cheap-sounding turbo-four is. If you want to try a turbo-four that’s done right, and sounds and feels premium, try an A4 or 330i. The four in the ATS has plenty of power, and the power delivery is remarkably linear, but it sounds chintzy.

            I’ve long said this and I’ll say it again – if GM has to put 2.0Ts and V-6s in its’ sedans, then for God’s sake, don’t make them identical to the ones that end up on rental lots in Malibus or Impalas. Use the basic family-sedan engine designs, but tune them so that they’re “bespoke” to Cadillac.They could even do the AMG thing, and make these versions of the more prosaic engines on a separate line, with more hand build, or something like that.

            Better executed, premium-feeling powertrains would have probably put the ATS and CTS in far better competitive positions in a shrinking market.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            ” the basic family-sedan engine designs, but tune them so that they’re “bespoke” to Cadillac.”

            It won’t make any difference. Going beyond engines, there are many parts, most in fact, of the Ford-based Lincolns that are “bespoke” to the Lincoln, even including some engine options like the 3.0 TT. The MKC is slightly larger and has a vastly different interior than the Escape, for example, but you yourself have said “just save $$$ and buy an Escape”. It doesn’t matter how different they are, if they are related to the lesser model no matter how slightly, its dogged out and put down. You’d say the same even if they spent the money to make the 2.0T in a Cadillac “feel” more premium. “Its still the same basic engine I got in a rental Malibu! I won’t pay $x for it!” In fact, there are differences in the engines that go into Cadillacs vs those that go in Chevys. Still they’re lumped in with the lesser because they’re related.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            No, the MKC is available with the more powerful 2.3T, The Escape only goes up to the 2.0T engine. These days to get a premium Escape you have to buy a Lincoln… as it should be

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            You’re right, John, I did say that, and the reason is that the MKC and Escape are built on the same basic platform. The same is also true of Lincoln’s sedan line (such as it is), which is all based on the FWD Fusion platform.

            Aside from the XTS, all of Cadillac’s sedan platforms are unique to the brand (exception being the Camaro, of course).

            Everyone talks about how bad Caddy’s bombed with sedans, but Lincoln’s bombed far worse (the Continental, in particular, has sold a lot slower than I thought it would), and I think the reason is the platform sharing with lesser Fords.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Suggestions like this make me scream. No, the ATS/CTS wouldn’t be doing better with a base V8, and I sincerely doubt you would have bought one as equipped new anyway.

      If anything, judging by where the market interest and Germans they are supposed to be fighting are headed, GM should be looking in the other direction at electrification. The CT6 plug in is a good start but they need some sexy EVs to recapture the public’s imagination. Part of why V8s were so huge in Cadillac’s heyday is because they were state of the art. For luxury cars in 2018 they are old hat and a desperate clinging to the past. NVH aside a typical 2.0T outperforms many V8s from ~10-20 years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Cadillacs are the only luxo cars I like. Design-wise, style-wise, etc-wise. I’m the one that wants to scream when directed at the V-series or hit the bricks. So don’t tell me what I would be or wouldn’t buy. You don’t know d!ck.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I’ll believe cylinder count doesn’t matter when Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls, etc. begin offering 2.0T vehicles.

        High-end brands might start doing plug-ins, but I bet they will still be matched to 6+cylinder engines (see Panamera S E-hybrid for example, which still uses a V8). There is still prestige in cylinders.

        Full EVs may be a different situation, but right now no one seems to have the stomach to release a full-on competitor to the Model S.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          The cylinder counts of $300K+ cars have zero relevance to the engines in ~$40-60K cars for people actually buying them. Hell, the cylinder counts in $40-60K cars have little importance to the people actually buying them. How else do you explain BMW’s move from 6 to 4 cylinders being a complete non-event?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      V8s today are over-rated. At 400+ horses, quite honestly nobody needs them unless they are professional haulers (including farms and ranches) or professional race drivers; a V6 at 300+ horses is enough for any personal hauling needs, as proven by the hundreds of thousands camping trailers up to and including some massive 35-foot models hauled by older V8s only putting out 300 horses or so. Heck, back in the early 70s, 5000# travel trailers were being hauled by cars claiming less than 200 horses from their V8s.

      Now note: I don’t claim to be a GenX or whatever; I’m older than that. I’m a Boomer and right near the tail end of that. I’ve driven everything from a 1.6L up through a 425c.i.d. Wildcat, engines rated from 60 horses through 350+ (and maybe larger, considering the aircraft tugs I drove on occasion in the USAF.) And yes, I’ve driven a few aircraft too–or rather piloted, since they’re not wheel-driven vehicles–rating several hundred hp per engine (Beechcraft KingAir 200, for instance.) Massive engines aren’t needed to get decent horsepower for today’s cars. Add the 8 to 10-speed transmissions with lower first and second gears and you see tiny engines putting out all the power that’s needed to move a pretty heavy vehicle.

      Oh, I understand the fun of a big V8… but the most fun cars ever built tended to only offer 150 horses or less. You don’t need power to have fun, no matter the size of your vehicle; you need agility and enough power to ensure smooth, strong acceleration to a reasonable driving speed. Except for very limited locations, 120mph is faster than anyone needs to go and having a car capable of nearly double that is almost assuring a Darwin event… again, excepting professionals who are trained, trained and trained again to the point that they can typically regain control of the vehicle under almost any condition, something the average driver is NOT taught and few bother to learn for themselves.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Yea, Cadillac’s problems don’t have much to do with their engines. The 2.0T and 3.6 are a step behind the best of the competition, but ultimately in line with the volume offerings from the best sellers. GM tried to align Cadillac on boring left brain specs in a segment where a lot of the purchases are emotional. Aside from patriotism, I can’t think of any intangible reasons to buy a Cadillac. They look boring in and out; they’re cramped and a bit unrefined compared to the competition, and at launch at least were pretty overpriced.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I’m over V8s. I never want one and don’t care for them. I think they are useless.

      Give me a Turbo 6 or a Turbo 4 and I’m happy. Give me hybrids with electric and gas.

      The benefits of a V8 never outweigh the cons from my experience, and if I could have gotten the Chevy SS with a V6 I would have been all over it.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I agree with you guys, V8s don’t “need” to exist in passenger cars. Nor do most things found on anything above a base Sonic.

        Luxury cars certainly don’t “need” to exist either, but why are V8s still offered and very popular in 1/2 ton pickups, sports/pony cars and various others?

        Other than the feel of “quality”, other intangibles, and there’s never been anything better than the V8, all things considered, I don’t know.

        I do know I won’t buy a Cadillac without a V8, same as fullsize pickups, Mustangs, etc, and I know I’m not alone. If Cadillac doesn’t want our business, that’s fine too.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “I do know I won’t buy a Cadillac without a V8, same as fullsize pickups, Mustangs, etc, and I know I’m not alone. If Cadillac doesn’t want our business, that’s fine too.”

          Yet it’s those same Caddys, pickups and other vehicles that are now getting by on far smaller engines than they ever did before, with as much performance or more than their older, V8 brethren. The big power trucks now are running diesels rather than V8 gassers, with only a relatively few exceptions.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It doesn’t have to be rational, although long-term increased V8 reliability and longevity are a fact.

            But some people gotta have a sunroof while others, Nav etc. If a V8 is too much trouble, enjoy not having a lot of us as customers.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “It doesn’t have to be rational, although long-term increased V8 reliability and longevity are a fact.”
            — Now that, DM, is almost true. Yet I still read of people complaining loudly about certain modern V8 engines as compared to V6s.

            And even with Ford, more than half of all F-series sales carry a V6, not a V8. Even Ford’s strongest engine now is a diesel, not a gasser V8.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yeah not every V8 is wonderful, and not everything is about Ford. But like most with my view, I’ll take the worst V8 over the best V6. OK excluding Northstar and GNX.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “If Cadillac doesn’t want our business, that’s fine too.”

          That’s basically my attitude. As long as FCA and Genesis keep building things I like, they’ll keep getting my money. If GM can be successful with 4-cylinder Cadillacs then more power to them, but I won’t be among the buyers.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          It feels good to claim this power as a consumer, but in the real world the F-150 with non V8s outsells the V8 equipped models. The new Silverado is coming out with a gasoline 4 banger and a diesel 6 banger. Everywhere you look, cylinder counts are down, because they are largely unnecessary to get the job done.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Everywhere you look, cylinder counts are down”

            That doesn’t mean I have to participate in it.

            And ~25% of F-150s having the V8 is still *a lot* of vehicles. Considering the proliferation of the Ecoboost engines that 25% is likely specifically seeking out and choosing the 5.0L as well

  • avatar
    volvo

    To all manufacturers

    1. A la Carte options menu. I don’t want leather and sunroof (just another possible egress point for water) in order to get upper end drivetrain and electronics. This I think is pie in the sky wish since the cars are built as packages on the assembly line and custom orders aren’t around any more.

    2. What is possible and not too expensive would be 360 degree cameras standard or as an option on all models. The cockpit view to the sides and rear is very poor in new cars but usually this is an option or standard only on the highest end cars if available at all. I remember when backup cameras were also treated the same. Now they are standard (yes I know government mandate but aftermarket price for similar package is less than $100).

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “1. A la Carte options menu.”

      notgonnahappen.com. adds way too much complexity and cost.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        It does, but it doesn’t have to.

        Take book printing. They used to do 5000 runs, now they do Print on Demand.

        Look at Tshirts. They used to inventory with screen printing, now they do print on demand.

        The added costs are saved by reduced inventory.

        I read that manufactures spend 5-10% of the vehicle cost on inventorying. If you can reduce that to 1-2%, then you just freed up 4-8% of costs, increasing profits substantially.

        So the question is, can they figure out how to manufacture on demand?

        I think it shouldn’t be that hard. Car comes down the line, either option is installed, or its not… why does it add complexity to have a-la-carte options? What does a manual transmission… or sunroof… have to do with heated seats or a garage door opener?

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          It’s a bit deeper than this. Most people are happy to buy whatever the dealer has in stock, so for the consumer there’s not much value in this. And some manufacturers are really terrible at inventory management, so throwing this in the mix would only make things worse. I think another comment thread in this article was speaking to how GM had to shut down production on a car after they had built up 100 days of inventory. Why’d they let it build up that much in the first place? Persnickety build choosers are few and far between… nowhere near numerous enough to upend the current buying model.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Take book printing. They used to do 5000 runs, now they do Print on Demand.”

          well, I think the fact that they use laser printers instead of typesetting has a lot to do with that.

          “I think it shouldn’t be that hard.”

          everything seems easy when you don’t understand it.

          “Car comes down the line, either option is installed, or its not… why does it add complexity to have a-la-carte options? What does a manual transmission… or sunroof… have to do with heated seats or a garage door opener?”

          because buildable combinations need to be prototyped and tested. Because more buildable combinations means more stations on the line which get bypassed by various vehicles. Because more buildable combinations raises part costs since the development and validation costs are spread across a fewer number of parts.

          seriously, look at the prices of e.g. Japanese cruiser motorcycles vs. Harley-Davidson. The Japanese companies offer *NO* options, in many cases even no choice in paint colors. anything you want to add has to be done by the dealer. Thus, they undercut equivalent Harleys by a few thousand dollars at least.

      • 0 avatar
        hpycamper

        JimZ
        You may be right about ala carte, but we’ve heard this argument about too comlex, too expensive so many times in the past, only to have it turn out to not be true. I remember when disk brakes were not supposed to be feasable for production cars, and there are many other examples. I suspect if a mainstream company put their mind to it, they could make it happen economically.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Sure they “could” but large manufacturing companies (and even mid size ones like mine) have teams of MBAs whose job is to analyze what people will pay for certain options and how to maximize profit thereby.

          Example: If someone “must” have a sunroof, which might cost $500 alone, but is still willing to pay $5000 to upgrade to the next trim where it’s standard, what possible incentive is there to offer it as a stand-alone? This is to say nothing of the manufacturing inefficiencies that grow exponentially as more variations are offered.

          Believe me, I wish more vehicles were available with ala carte options. I put my money where my mouth is and recently factory ordered a Super Duty customized just how I wanted it. But I have spent my entire career in manufacturing and I understand why things are the way they are. I expect the trend toward packages and simplified options only to grow over time, and the custom orders to basically disappear even more than they already have.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I agree! I want leather and a sunroof. I don’t want to have to get the upper end drivetrain and electronics… urgh.

      I’m not just trolling either, my wife wants “Leather, heated seat and a sunroof” Thats all she cares about, so I want a base car with sunroof, heated seat, and leather.

      Some manufacturers are awful. To get a sunroof, you have to spend $20k in options. Nuts.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      When I did a tour of the Bentley factory in England they said that most of their customers really enjoyed the build process of being able to customize their car to their tastes in terms of colours, stitching patterns on the seats, kind of wood veneer, etc.

      Except in the USA. There customers wanted to walk into a dealer and drive out that afternoon with their new car. They said the USA was an instant gratification market, so for the USA only they built cars to what they thought would sell and they do sell. Of course custom ordering is always available, but a small percentage of customers in the USA actually buy a Bentley that way.

  • avatar
    heycarp

    Just take care of customer –
    have a new Ford motorhome with several codes & severe miss –
    turned away by 5 different dealerships , many saying that they had no lift for unit –
    I finally had to scan & repair myself –
    you don’t need a lift for a CEL-

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Knobs. Knobs for Heat/AC and the radio. Bonus points if you can use them with gloves on. Okay, a couple of buttons too. That’d eliminate most of the complaints about the “infotainment” system. Especially helpful for those who rent cars a lot.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Could we have tactile feedback in those knobs as well?

      My 2010 Toyota has big fat volume and tuning knobs but they don’t feel like they’re connected to anything.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Dials, knobs, analogue gauges (gages in GMspeak). I am 100% behind returning to those.

        An actual shift column/lever rather than a dial. I know a bit of a contradiction with the above.

        Also realistically sized tires, that can absorb a pothole.

        Trunks with an actual keyhole and push button to open.

        Lights that are not integrated into the ‘bumpers’.

        Visibility and rear seat headroom.

        Velour upholstery with colour matched ‘plastic’ interiors. I know this one is a pipe dream.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    To All
    Make large wheels, sunroof and leather[ette] optional on all trims. Make split-folding backseat, blue tooth – standard.

    Notable items – digital/funky gauges suck. Normal analog ones look classy and easy readable.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    To Tesla:

    1. Amend Mr Musk’s contract to only award those future handsome bonuses if he stops tweeting.

    2. Add a heads-up display and a key fob to the Model 3.

    3. Start building the mythical $35k Model 3, even in a trickle. We know you have to pay the bills. But your future depends on trust, and people (both supporters and detractors) want to see the high-volume, low-end car.

    4. Stop doing cute and innovative just because you can. Your buyers are no longer first adopters. Stop it with the flamethrowers and Easter eggs.

    To Kia: The tiger nose has had a good run, but now all your cars look the same. Time for a change.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      To all manufacturers – corporate hues – OK. Same fascias, so you can’t tell one model from another – no.

      Good Example: – 18 Civic/Accord
      Bad Example: – 18 Mazda 3/6

  • avatar
    OzCop

    I would suggest GM re badge the white Caddy above, with a Chevrolet SS badge. That was lacking in the previous SS, and in my opinion was one reason sales for that model suffered. Also, bring back the 6 speed manual gearbox. Plus, price it like a Chevy should be priced compared to Cadillac, add the above mentioned AlaCarte menue, and it would sell…

  • avatar
    BoogerROTN

    It looks like everyone covered my major beefs, so I’ll go with something small.

    I hate “blanks.” You know, crappy little plastic covers that go in the place where the switch for the option you didn’t purchase goes. Or, the bigger pieces of plastic that are inserted into the bumper cover where your fog lights are supposed to be. These things never look right and they always attract your attention. We have a Mazda 5 as a beater car; how much money did Mazda save by putting four individual switch blanks in the dash (just to the left of the steering wheel)? And the black color doesn’t even match the rest of the black plastic in the dash. Would it have been that expensive to manufacture a single piece of color-correct plastic that would pop in that cluster? And not to pick on Mazda; a Toyota in our corral also suffers from the same issue.

    With regards to the interior bits, I’d gladly pay the extra dollar or two to address this issue. And as far as the front bumper cover, I’d pay the extra $10 or so to address that too. These cheapo moves are the last reminants of 1980’s car design…

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      ” how much money did Mazda save by putting four individual switch blanks in the dash”

      a lot.

      ‘s a good thing nobody here runs a car company, y’all would be liquidating within a year.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        One thing I noticed between my wife’s 2016 Terrain SLE (1st gen released right after the Bankruptcy) and my Father-in-laws 2018 Terrain SLE is that GM has gotten WORSE not better with switch blanks.

        Heck some GM vehicles have gotten so bad (I’m looking at YOU Buick) that there are button blanks even in the absolutely LOADED editions. If there’s nothing I can order to fill that space, why is that blank space there?

        I also consider Dodge/Chrysler/Ram/Jeep steering wheels to be terrible about this as well. There are blanks on the right hand side that are for the adaptive cruise control and are generally only used in the absolutely LOADED models – meaning 80% plus of production is sent out the door with those blanks.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Are some of the blanks to future-proof the vehicle, where they may not have features now, but would prefer to have the space available in case they roll something out in a year or two?

          Other than that, aren’t international variants sometimes an issue?

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      the worst thing about blanks is some car companies have a fully loaded car with blanks. If its fully loaded, there should be no blanks.

      And if your going to use blanks, cant you at least make them look interesting?

      Like on a car, if you opt NOT to get the 8″ stereo, you get a cubby hole. On the Ram, if you opt not to get the trailer control, you get a cubby hole.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        arach,

        the blanks on fully loaded car could come from 2 items
        1 – there could be something more available there for other markets in this same car
        2 – they know that people install some aftermarket stuff. New Wrangler, for example, has whole cluster of switches in case people install winch or some other equipment

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      ” We have a Mazda 5 as a beater car”

      For this alone I want to beat you up. But you’re lucky. Mazda have their fog blanks pre-wired. So, you go to Amazon, buy $50 foggies, then on eBay buy $40 stack and in 30 minutes you may have your foggies in.

      The dashboard blanks save manufacturer tons of money. Here is what you can do about. Go to “U-pull-it” junk yard and pull some of those switches from any crashed Mazda. Just fill those blanks. You said, you are ready to pay a few bucks for it. This is what it gonna cost you.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Here I go again – just like stick shift fans, another broken record skips on: GM, since you invented the pillarless hardtop, please bring it back, at least in coupes. That way, one can enjoy windows-down driving and have a nice, wide open field of view, plus having a back seat area that is actually practical for passengers not being stuck in a fishbowl.

    I realize that driving on the highway with windows open is noisy and can be uncomfortable in heavy traffic, but at other times, it is a very pleasant experience. I drive with all windows down as often as I can – sunroof, too, just to get that open-air feeling without having a convertible.

    True – I’m all about style, show and less go, and especially since I retired I like to cruise slow and easy around town on errands and such after rush hours, but not being like the stereotyped old man driving a Buick 10 miles under the speed limit!

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Stop investing in autonomous technology. That tech is going exactly nowhere.

    Instead, take that R & D money and use it to design and manufacture the most compelling cars and trucks Earth has ever seen!

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    Real names. Fewer models. And build to order. Right now Cadihack is pretending it is exclusive and luxurious. Every one of their PREMIUM vehicles should be custom made to order for the client and either the client gets flown out to watch their vehicle built or they get the video of the product being made as part of their purchase price.

    I’d say the same thing about Lincoln as well.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    I wish manufacturers/dealerships would take vehicle maintenance more seriously during its first fifty thousand miles.

    I had an interesting conversation with my mechanic who was inspecting my new-to-me A3 hatchback. He said it’s been long enough with the 10, 15k oil change intervals for him to have enough evidence to say, it’s simply not enough. “Maintained by the dealer according to schedule” just isn’t well maintained in his book. “They’re trying to get you into the new one,” he concluded, “but I’m trying to keep you in this one.” Very different approach.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      My wife’s Camry is spec’d for 10k synthetic oil changes by the book. I had decreased to 7500 intervals since 30k miles or so. It had 7k on the last change a week ago and the engine had a bit of what sounded like intermittent light rod knock at idle(!). Checked the dipstick, it was on the low mark, was a quart low. I’m going down to 5k intervals now with the car at 79k miles. Thankfully 5 quarts of fresh 0W-20 has it purring like a kitten again. My 4Runner that’s old enough to drink gets a 5W-30 high-mileage syn blend (whatever is on sale) and never uses oil between 5k changes. I’ve been geeking out about what the Audi gurus are using in the 30V 2.8L V6s, for now I had my brother put in Mobil 0w-40 “Euro blend” synthetic with an OEM filter.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Many of today’s cars tell you when to change the oil. It seems right around 10K is normal any more.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          My Honda actually monitored the oil life according to a calculation of total accumulated engine revolutions,etc. The Toyota just turns the maintenance minder light on every 5k (tire rotations and oil changes or other service per the manual).

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    TO all manufacturers, offer me a real station wagon, and offer me a rear wheel drive wagon too, and for a few, offer me a proper shooting-brake.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Smaller wheels.

  • avatar
    gottacook

    Subaru: Please return to making cars in the shape and size of the 1997-2008 Forester. The current Crosstrek comes closest in overall dimensions, but I don’t like it – it doesn’t have as much cargo space, the side and rear windows are much smaller, the top of the dashboard makes unpleasant reflections on the windshield, etc. Yes, there’s more rear seat room in a Crosstrek, but we rarely have rear-seat passengers in our several 11-year-old Foresters. If we have to replace one of them, we will likely have to abandon Subaru if we finally get a new car.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    More cowbell!

    Seriously, though…

    1) If you must include start-stop tech, then so be it, but make it defeatable.
    2) Knobs on radios and climate controls.
    3) MPG calculators that actually have a correlation to the gas gauge. Don’t tell me I have 100 miles of range when the tank reads half full.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Mike, #3 may be related to the fact that you might burned some gas without moving. So the calculator calculated that at that speed, you gave that range. I’ve seen range go up as speed increases.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Agreed, and the MPG calculator in my Jetta is really good in this regard. This summer, however, I’ve rented two cars (Nissan Armada and Buick Encore) where the calculator and gas gauge gave me two very different stories on fuel. Both cars were used on long road trips, so they should have been pretty accurate. In the Armada’s case, the calculator showed far more range than the gas gauge would suggest I had. Turns out the calculator was more accurate. That was more than a little disconcerting out there in the middle of nowhere, in a car with a serious gas-swilling habit.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Before you make any more additions to your lineups, why not work on improving the products you already have, especially with regards to long-term reliability? I’m looking at you FCA.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I’d say if DRLs are standard kit on a vehicle then so too should automatic headlights. Then we could stop having numpties wandering around who are completely invisible from behind after dark. Also, make the auto-cancelling highbeams a more prevalent thing so we’re not all blinded by those who couldn’t be bothered to pay attention.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    I’d like all options available. Why I can I have 9 colours of seat material available for a UK market Jaguar and 2 colours in Canada? Similarly, why are there more choices of wood or other trim available in a European market car than in Canada/USA?

    It can’t be a regulatory thing, and if seats are already being made in many colours why can’t I order them?

  • avatar
    300zx_guy

    – Offer in the US wagon versions of cars that are sold elsewhere, even if it means Outbackifying it to make it a “crossover”.

    – more colors. So many cars come in two shades of white, two shades of black, two shades of silver/grey, and only two actual colors (typically a blue and a red).

    +1 to more knobs and real buttons for frequently used functions (radio, HVAC). So annoying to have to dig into a menu system to redirect airflow, switch the stereo source, etc.

  • avatar
    Tandoor

    Eliminate black, white, and gray paint for five years.
    “If I buy a blue car the resell value will be lower”. You’re buying something that depreciates like a sandwich left on a park bench. Get over it and enjoy your new car.
    Give us some small relief from boredom.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Since you stated with Cadillac, I’ve only got one: bring back Brougham trim!

    And all automakers: if you decide to put a touchscreen where the heater/radio/seat controls should be, make damn sure it has the most beefy CPU your suppliers offer. Some people won’t care but millennials go apeshit when they have to use something that is constantly lagging and skipping. Tesla can do it. It is literally their only saving grace, a fast UI.

  • avatar
    jmiller417

    Electric motors to take over propulsion of manual-transmission cars in town. This would take the drudgery out of bumper-to-bumper traffic and facilitate more autonomous features.

    As for Cadillac, it should just use the old names for the trim packages instead of the generic Standard, Sport, Premium, etc. CT6 Deville and CT6 Fleetwood, anyone?

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