Two Things GM Should Have Done Differently and Three Things FCA Should Do

Some opinions of mine

3w ago

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GM shouldn't have put the Blazer badge on a crossover.

Jeep has sold the Wrangler for over 30 years, with sales trending upwards for almost the vehicle's entire existence. Toyota has sold the 4Runner for over 30 years, with sales increasing every year from 2011 to 2018. Ford has hopped on the bandwagon with immediate success, thanks to lots of attention given to the new Bronco and 120,000 orders placed already.

But what does GM do?

Chevrolet Blazer

Chevrolet Blazer

GM resurrects the Blazer name, but doesn't put it on a profit-earning sale-stealing off-roader to rival FCA, Ford, and Toyota. Instead, GM puts it on a midsize two-row Chevy crossover that looks like every other Chevy crossover. Also, the Blazer isn't selling, trailing the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Edge, and Nissan Murano.

Chevrolet TrailBlazer

Chevrolet TrailBlazer

GM should have resurrected the Blazer name by bringing the Asian-market TrailBlazer to the US, which is an SUV version of the Colorado. GM could also make a Chevrolet Blazer Bison and a GMC Jimmy to go with it.

The 1997-2017 Chevrolet Malibus should have been rebadged Holdens.

Down under, GM's former Australian brand, Holden, had a spectacular range of sedans. The Berlina was a normal midsize sedan, with the Commodore being the sportier version and the Calais being the upmarket version. Meanwhile, the Statesman was a long-wheelbase Berlina and the Caprice was a long-wheelbase Calais. Lastly, the Ute was the pickup version of the Berlina/Commodore/Calais. There were also wagon and coupe variants of the Berlina/Commodore/Calais.

Pontiac G8 GT

Pontiac G8 GT

The US got the high-performance Commodore SS coupe as the Pontiac GTO from 2004 to 2006, the Berlina as the Pontiac G8, and the Commodore as the Pontiac G8 GT/GXP from 2008 to 2009. The Ute version almost came over as the G8 ST, but was cancelled. Finally, a fully-loaded Corvette-engined Commodore came over as the Chevrolet SS from 2014 to 2017 with rear-wheel-drive only and an available six-speed manual transmission.

Chevrolet SS

Chevrolet SS

If the Chevrolet Malibu generations sold between 1997 and 2017 were rebadged Holdens, we could've gotten the Commodore coupe as the Chevelle, the Ute as the El Camino, and SS versions for all three. That way, the 2014-2017 SS's name wouldn't confuse people and the car would likely have sold better. Even better, we wouldn't have to suffer the Malibu Maxx.

I want FCA to bring back the Dodge Ramcharger, Adult Toys, and Plymouth.

For those unfamiliar with the Dodge Ramcharger, it was essentially a single-cab, short-bed Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, except that it was an SUV. This recipe was also used to cook up the original Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Bronco. However, instead of basing the Ramcharger off of the Ram 1500, it would be a short-wheelbase two-door variant of the Durango and have the option of the 707-horsepower Hellcat engine.

Dodge Ramcharger

Dodge Ramcharger

For those unfamiliar with Dodge's Adult Toys, a short history lesson is necessary. Back in the sixties, American cars weren't subject to tough safety and emissions regulations and fuel was cheap, making muscle cars a popularity. Unfortunately, the seventies brought in tough safety and emissions regulations and more expensive fuel, putting those thirsty muscle cars out of style. However, pickup trucks were exempt from those regulations and experienced increased sales volume once gas prices got lower.

My Uncle's '76 Warlock

My Uncle's '76 Warlock

So, Dodge created a line of many special editions of the Dodge D100, called Adult Toys, starting in 1976. Because Dodge was entering potentially dangerous water causing product failure, they carefully dipped a toe in with three special editions, each one limited to 200 units: the tremendously rare and nearly-forgotten Spirit of America and the successful Warlock and Li'l Red Express. A facelift arrived for 1977, setting the 600 '76 models apart further from the higher-volume later models. The Adult Toys were discontinued for 1980 and are highly sought-after by collectors today.

Dodge Li'l Red Express

Dodge Li'l Red Express

The most famous of the Adult Toys was the Li'l Red Express, which was powered by a 5.9-liter small-block V8 producing 225 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque and could outrun the Ferrari 308 GTB to 60 MPH (97 KPH), though the truck's poor aerodynamics would ultimately result in a slower quarter-mile time.

A comeback of the Li'l Red Express could be in the form of a single-cab, short-bed Ram 1500 with the Hellcat engine that would be huge fun to drive, if not faster than the contemporary mid-engined Ferrari.

Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird

Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird

Finally, I want FCA to bring back the Plymouth brand, which was discontinued in 2001 due to slowing sales and increasing anonymity when Chrysler merged with Daimler. Plymouth was positioned as a cheaper alternative to Dodge, but Dodge's cheapness made Plymouth seem like a pointless redundancy. Now, Dodges are becoming more expensive and cheaper Plymouth versions could be successes. The Barracuda could return as a cheaper Challenger, the Roadrunner could return as a cheaper Charger, the Trailduster could return as a cheaper Ramcharger, the Hemi 'cuda could return as a cheaper Challenger Hellcat, and the Superbird could return as a cheaper Charger Hellcat.

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