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Hey Darth, I research, read trade articles, look at GM's SEC filings, and I was doing a monthly analysis of their sales - haven't had the time to dive into the numbers the last few months.

When Ford released the new F-150 a few years ago there was a lot in the press about Ford betting the farm on the release of their top selling vehicle. The launch wasn't trouble free, although it was a vast improvement, especially in safety and comfort over the model it replaced, but they missed the boat on a few things and it hurt Ford, A LOT, and they didn't get the sales bump they were looking for.

GM on the other hand focused on the key issues when they rolled out GMT900:

a) Don't fix what isn't broken. Yes they tweaked the Vortec engines and added DoD, but they didn't do a huge rollout. GM drive trains and 4-wheel drive systems are truly world class and yes the 4-speed automatic in the Chevrolet line and some of the GMC trucks is old school, but it is bullet proof.

b) Seriously address what you have wrong. Fit and finish, interior material quality and give buyers the options they want. Seriously, go down to your Chevrolet dealer, sit in a 2006 Avalanche and a 2007 Avalanche (or Silverado, or Tahoe, or Suburban) it is NIGHT and DAY in comparision. The quality bar on fit, finish, and material quality is honestly on par with the Japanese guys, and the price points went down from the models they replaced (while true profits on each unit went up).

c) Address one of the core issues, but don't sell yourself out. Mileage on GMT900 2-wheel drive models went from 14/18 to 18/22. OK, not a HUGE improvement, but around 25% and that was done with more horsepower and no sacrifice in capability. The GMT900 hybrid Tahoe/Silverado is projected to get around 20/28 MPG - you're talking minivan mileage with stump pulling power - that is going to be cool (and about 12 months away). Also, as capacity ramps up the more efficient 6-speed automatics will make their way through the line, and should boost the mileage from 18/22 to 19/23 or so.

d) Price things realistically - instead of playing funny money rebate games. Yes, rebates are back but largely competitive to address what everyone else is doing, yes, even the Japanese guys - who have some pretty deep rebates on their trucks.

The end results SO FAR. Only the Tahoe was sold from January of 2006 so if you look at year-over-year data, Tahoe sales are up almost 6% for the year. In the land of $3 a gallon gas - that's a major accomplishment. All other vehicles are trending upward, but not enough month-over-month data to say, yup, it worked. One other HUGE thing to point out. No recalls, no major quality issues, no large scale complaints and some models due to options are manufacturing constrained (tough to get the loaded out LTZ models).

GM probably bet the farm on GMT900 - and SO FAR, it appears to be working.
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