There is either an immense lack of vision or we are in a prolonged game of preparing for mergers (why abandon entire market segments unless you intend to merge with the German/Korean/Japanese companies serving them fully?)
K cars were cheap. So were Neons. So are other things… K cars though were a stable platform for years with lots of parts so they lived full lives in the 5-15 year old market before they rusted away or fell apart. Most automakers are on this trend of change for the sake of change… which just adds to the cost of ownership in the secondary market… I applaud FCA for keeping the Charger/Challenger etc. on the same “ancient” platform.
I’m saddened that we don’t have more “catalog” models… that is to same a car that doesn’t change year to year. Model T, Volkswagen Beetle, Squarebody GM trucks exemplify this.
GM could take the 1970 Chevelle design, redo it as a unibody (if they must) with all modern required safety features… and like sell hundreds of thousands of coupes, 4 door sedans and wagon variants --and not change the design for 10 years (maybe some grills here and there) and recoup the development costs over and over .
It’s an unwillingness to think about it differently. Car business plays it safe and stays on train tracks (i.e., electric future is the only way, we do 4-5 year generations that obsolete most parts, etc.). The best asset the Big 3 have is iconic design & history… but we offer bland sedan/suv/crossovers that look like everyone else’s and wonder where the passion has gone…
Lee Iacocca lived with passion. It’s more impressive that he wasn’t just Mustang, minivan prototypes existed in the early 70s at various companies but went nowhere. He was willing to go for it.