GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt - Other Cars Forum

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GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:02 AM
No sugar coating by this GM exec.

Quote:


Last Updated: May 13. 2010 1:07AM
GM officials take time to Cruze
Execs test-drive new cars and the competition, offer candid evaluations
BY Scott Burgess / The Detroit News
After test driving the Chevrolet Cruze and other promising vehicles in recent weeks, General Motors Co. executives Wednesday predicted a continued rise in sales for the troubled automaker.

"We expect to increase our sales next month and the month after that," said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, after tooling around in the Cruze outside of Ann Arbor. "We can't control how many vehicles the market sells, but we can continue to sell more cars."

Reuss and other top executives meet weekly outside Ann Arbor for what they call Knothole Rides. They test drive new GM vehicles and their competition and then offer frank assessments to vehicle line executives and chief engineers.

These rides -- and their critiques -- have become even more important as GM prepares to launch a series of essential vehicles in the coming months.

"They have all got to be home runs," said Tom Stephens, GM's vice chairman, global product operations. "And we're going to keep enhancing these vehicles through their life cycle. You should see some of the improvements we'll have for (the Cruze) for 2013."

GM will roll out new heavy-duty trucks and will launch the midsize Buick Regal and compact Chevrolet Cruze, both vehicles that could help re-establish the automaker known for trucks and SUVs as a carmaker.

In November comes the long-awaited electric Chevrolet Volt with a range-extending gas engine, which Stephens called GM's "highest-profile launch of the year."

But on Wednesday, executives were focused on the Cruze, a compact car that arrives in dealerships in September and is designed to outperform the top-selling Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

"We have never really built good small cars," Reuss said. "But we are now."

Gary Altman, Cruze chief engineer, said the discussions at these rides are frank and sincere.

"If there is something wrong, they'll let you know, and you fix it right away," Altman said.

While driving a Cobalt, Karl Stracke, vice president of global vehicle engineering, was blunt: "Look at this car, it's horrible. How did this get through so many people."

But such candid evaluations have helped the automaker develop new entries -- the Chevrolet Malibu, Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Equinox, all of which have been critically acclaimed and well received by consumers.

"The mission is simple and clear: design, build and sell the very best," said Terry Woychowski, vice president, global vehicle program management.

The group is even willing to take advice from outside sources. On a previous Cruze drive, Woychowski called his 17-year-old daughter to meet him and offer advice.

"She had lots of great insight," he said. "I need her, and here she was teaching me things about the car."

While flying down a bumpy road in a Cruze, Sheri Hickok, director of global noise and vibration, purposely hit as many bumps as possible to listen to any noise infiltrating the cabin.

"You can have two vehicles that ride exactly the same, but if one has a solid sound and the other one has high-pitched squeaks and rattles, people will think the quieter car has a better ride," she said.

"I'm very pleased with the improvements since the last drive. There were some wind noise issues that seem to have been fixed."

The final of four test drives during the development of new vehicles comes as the cars are ready for dealerships.

The group is keenly aware that every auto manufacturer will continue to improve their small cars. While the Honda Civic is the benchmark GM wants to pass, it knows Honda will bring out a new Civic as early as next year as a 2012 model.

While looking over his notes, Stephens said the Cruze's ride and handling bettered the current Civic.

But Reuss, standing nearby, noted, "We've got to beat the next generation."

http://detroitnews.com/article/20100513/AUTO01/5130376/1148/auto01/GM-officials-take-time-to-Cruze#ixzz0np3BLiT7



>>>For Sale? Clicky!<<<
-----The orginal Mr.Goodwrench on the JBO since 11/99-----


Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:34 AM
So he's taking advice from a 17 year old who has been driving maybe one year. Hell he should hire me.I've been on the road for almost five.
Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:53 AM
More comedic stuff.

My Cobalt isn't great, but to call it horrible it's offended.





Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:14 AM
strat81 Online
shoulda put him in a j-body.... LOL



Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:40 AM
how are cobalts horrible????



Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:03 AM
JGoodmanSS07SC wrote:

how are cobalts horrible????


Because as executives in a large corporation they're not driving economy cars that they passed through knowing that people would buy them whether they (the executives) thought the car was "horrible" or not ?








Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 12:45 PM
Schaffer wrote:

So he's taking advice from a 17 year old who has been driving maybe one year. Hell he should hire me.I've been on the road for almost five.


your right it's a horrible idea to get free input from someone in the demographic that the car is meant to apeal to, what were they thinking


I wonder how Hahn will skew this around, according to him anti gm comments are all based on the Jap nut swinging biased media.... Surely this article has to be made up for GM to even admit they made a crappy car.


On the bright side this foes seem to be a good sign, if you guys ate happy with your Cobalts and GM themself days the car sucks then it should safe to assume that te new stuff will be on a whole new level of quality. Maybe I'll go back to GM yet



Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 1:53 PM
Mr.Goodwrench-G.T. wrote:

17 year old wrote:


"You can have two vehicles that ride exactly the same, but if one has a solid sound and the other one has high-pitched squeaks and rattles, people will think the quieter car has a better ride," she said.

For 17, she seems very wise. People with limited knowledge associate build quality with sound all the time, from the way the door sounds when it closes, to the sound of the engine, to the sound of exterior noises. While there is "some" truth to this notion, it is far from the complete truth.




I have no signiture
Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 1:59 PM
^ i don't think that was his daughter that said that, it said that was the director of global noise and vibrations





Check out my build thread!

Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:15 PM





Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:59 PM
RuggedZ wrote:

^ i don't think that was his daughter that said that, it said that was the director of global noise and vibrations

my bad...lol.




I have no signiture

Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 6:08 PM
strat81 wrote:

shoulda put him in a j-body.... LOL


imo the j-body was a better put together and designed car.



Don't know what ya got til they take it away...
Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 6:29 PM
z yaaaa wrote:

strat81 wrote:

shoulda put him in a j-body.... LOL


imo the j-body was a better put together and designed car.

IMO it was at the very least a better looking car.
I own a Cobalt and it is pure garbage, the entire interior is made out of the same cheap plastic as a milk jug. It feels more refined than a Cavalier but still manages to feel cheap. And mine is a slightly loaded version, I'm so glad i only have to drive it for a year. After owning this thing it's changed my mind about wanting a Cobalt SS. Slap a turbo, some nice wheels and skin the stock seats in leather you still have cheap car built to minimize quality, and maximize profit. Sit in any Cobalt then sit in a newer GM vehicle like the Malibu, Camaro or even the new Cruze and the lack of quality and cheapness of materials is blindingly obvious.



"Formerly known as Jammit - JBO member since 1998" JBOM | CSS.net

Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 7:54 PM
My dash design sucks, is horrible plastic and very generic. However it serves it's purpose. I don't have any "notorious dash cracks", nor do I have to remove 15 7mm bolts to remove my CD player so I'm pleased. I don't have any noises and associated issues like I have had in j-bodies, and this is after being on B&G coils for a decent amount of time. With minimal mods the car outhandles, and straight line easily outperforms any j-body I've owned. Not saying it's faster than any j-body period, so don't go retarded on me.

Did I get what I paid for? You do, that is true. For what I paid could I be happier in anything else? No, I could not.





Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:07 PM
They were prob driving around in a 4 door cobalt, which is horrible, actually its worse than a cavalier





1989 Turbo Trans Am #82, 2007 Cobalt SS G85





Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Friday, May 14, 2010 2:05 AM
So the two door Cobalt and the four door are two totally diffrent cars built with different materials and quality build? Just asking.



Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Friday, May 14, 2010 8:02 AM
Rodimus Prime wrote:

They were prob driving around in a 4 door cobalt, which is horrible, actually its worse than a cavalier

I'd have to agree. Rented one last year and the only good thing I have to say about it is it got upto speed quick enough and got great gas mileage; 37mpg @ 70+mph the whole trip, wife even had it pegged at 85mph for a while. The seats were absolutely horrible, felt like we were sitting on a wooden bench.







Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Friday, May 14, 2010 9:04 AM
Rodimus Prime wrote:

They were prob driving around in a 4 door cobalt, which is horrible, actually its worse than a cavalier


Care to explain, or are you just spewing more of your ignorant opinion as fact?



"Formerly known as Jammit - JBO member since 1998" JBOM | CSS.net

Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Friday, May 14, 2010 9:20 AM
MyZ24owns_my_Nissan wrote:

So the two door Cobalt and the four door are two totally diffrent cars built with different materials and quality build? Just asking.

Of course, especially when it has the (p)leather option it automatically turns it into a Rolls Royce competitor.



>>>For Sale? Clicky!<<<
-----The orginal Mr.Goodwrench on the JBO since 11/99-----

Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Friday, May 14, 2010 10:43 AM
Spike J wrote:

The seats were absolutely horrible, felt like we were sitting on a wooden bench.
Yep, I hate riding in my sister's 'balt. Summer roadtrip this year is going to be painful...




fortune cookie say: better a delay than a disaster
Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Friday, May 14, 2010 9:03 PM
Drive mine 12 hours straight home twice now, I have one of the worst cases of scoliosis I've seen, and I'm not crying.






Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Friday, May 14, 2010 10:24 PM
i drove mine across the country 6000 miles in less then a week and a half and i also slept in the front seats in rest stops. no complaints here. its funny if they drove a cavalier when the cobalt first same out they would probably might be saying the same thing but now the cobalt is old and the cruze is the new talk now. so this whole test they did was pointless and you just posting it up here because you dont like the cobalt/g5 is just stupid. i bought my g5 gt brand new 4 years ago and i have not one complaint about the car. to each there own.
Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Friday, May 14, 2010 10:27 PM
why a cobalt 4 door is worse than a cavalier?

1. Much much uglier
2. Slower
3. Heavier
4. Gas mileage isn't as good either
5. Smaller trunk opening than the cav
6. Unable to tune it with HP tuners
7. Engine bay is littered with those horrible looking plastic covers
8. Electric Power steering which feels artificial and not as live as the J, also massive recall on this part
9. Returnless fuel system, makes the car harder to modify or adjust fuel pressure
10. headlights are a complete pain in the ass to take out to replace a bulb compared to a J
11. Seats are not as comfortable
12. J's never came with fake wood dashes
13. Electronic Throttle body
14. Did I mention its an eyesore?



1989 Turbo Trans Am #82, 2007 Cobalt SS G85





Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Friday, May 14, 2010 11:19 PM
MyZ24owns_my_Nissan wrote:

So the two door Cobalt and the four door are two totally diffrent cars built with different materials and quality build? Just asking.
Did i miss something? only the 4-door cobalts are
- Uglier?
- Slower?
- Heavier?
- Gas mileage isn't as good either?
- Smaller trunk opening than the cav?
- Unable to tune it with HP tuners?
- Engine bay is littered with those horrible looking plastic covers?
- Electric Power steering which feels artificial and not as live as the J, also massive recall on this part?
- Returnless fuel system, makes the car harder to modify or adjust fuel pressure?
- headlights are a complete pain in the ass to take out to replace a bulb compared to a J?
- Seats are not as comfortable?
- J's never came with fake wood dashes?
- Electronic Throttle body?

Last i checked The 2 and 4 door are the same car, same engine, same suspension, same electronics, same transmission, same steering, same dash, same fuel system, same seats, same cheap hard plastic interior. The only difference is the SS has a turbo and SC option motors. And some years/model code had Recaros but if it's just a regular cobalt the 2-door and 4-door are exactly the same car minus 2-doors. so what's your point? having 2 less doors doesn't make one version of the same Cobalt better than the other. neither has an advantage over the Cavalier since it's basically the same car mechanically. Goodwrench, here's and excellent part where you can say what you've been saying for years about the Cobalt......




"Formerly known as Jammit - JBO member since 1998" JBOM | CSS.net

Re: GM exec goes blunt on the Cobalt
Saturday, May 15, 2010 1:49 AM
The Cobalt was/is worlds better than the J body. Only someone on crack would think otherwise.

Not denying that Cobalt has alot of flaws, but it's not horrible either, especially considering it's competition when it was released over 5 years ago.
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