Recently, we discussed the constant battle between the American, automobile giant, General Motors and its desire to take on zee Germans.
We also discusses, how the majority of people don’t really recognize GM as a premium car manufacturer. Regardless of how good GM’s cars are, people just don’t want them.
And as soon as I write that, GM proves me right, again. I must put on my winning face, without looking too smug.
The Chevrolet SS.
What a conundrum that car is for the General. On one hand, it’s actually a very good car. Based on the Holden Commodore (that’s right GM fans, the SS is actually Australian, so stop cheering for ‘Merica with it), the Chevy SS is one of the more fun, faster and better handling sedans on the market today. Whether you like GM or not, there’s no denying the performance of the SS. However, there is one monumental flaw with the SS — No one knows about it.
For some reason, the SS’ sales figures are horrendous. Which is surprising, because it’s actually, very quietly, a good car. It’s one of the few GM cars I think I would actually buy. Maybe not buy, but I’d drive a friend’s if they had one. But my opinion clearly isn’t a common one. GM sold under 1,500 SSs last year(!). BMW sells more 3 Series’ in a week, in America. Admittedly, the folks at GM say that this is right on track with what they expected, and they say they are pleased, but I’m not buying it. There’s no way a company is pleased with 1,500 units a year.
Which brings me to the my very delayed point, regarding the SS. Apparently, Chevy wants to give the SS a 1LE package.
Doing so would give the SS bigger wheels and tires, same size front and back, revised dampers and brakes. This would ultimately turn the SS from a good car to a great one. This could make the SS a genuine, budget BMW M5. The same was said about the Pontiac G8 GXP, which was basically the same car as the SS. However, this probably won’t happen. The engineers at Chevy want to make this, but the bean-counters don’t see the value, as the SS is doing poorly already so making it more expensive will just exacerbate things. And we all know who, the engineers or the bean-counters, runs GM.
A shame, really. The SS is a damn good car for the money. Sure, at almost $50,000, it’s still just a Chevy sedan but it’s one that has a 6.2 liter V8, making 415 hp, it’s rear-wheel drive, it has Brembo brakes as well as leather seats as standard. It’s also available with a manual transmission, which is rare in that sort of car. It’s a proper sports sedan. Admittedly, it looks a bit like a tarted up Impala, but underneath, it’s the real deal. For some reason, though, it flies under everyone’s radar.
So despite having a very good car, and having engineers who want to make it better, GM won’t do it. They won’t because it won’t sell, which helps prove my Brand-Value theory right. I’m gonna practice my winning face now.