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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Vision Thing: The apples that fall far from the tree

About a year ago, I needed a new laptop. My old 13-inch MacBook Pro, royally used and generally abused through college and beyond, was beginning to struggle with large Photoshop files and any kind of 3D modeling kicked in the fans like a 747 spooling up for take-off, bringing everything to a juddering halt.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-design/vision-thing-the-apples-that-fall-far-from-the-tree/
22 REPLIES 22
Snailish
Engineer

The Europe take is interesting.

The GM "Ladder of Cars" worked best when the rungs didn't overlap (and Cadillac was several rungs beyond).

Better off buying/merging with a brand that fills the space(s) you don't. --And don't compete with yourself nor blur the lines of your offerings.

Which brings us to the modern silliness of the GMC brand (love the old GMCs, I will restore my 69 someday) in which they make some Chevys and some Cadillacs and probably shouldn't be making either.
AdrianClarke
Instructor

This is absolutely correct, although when GM started to centralize things in the seventies was when it started going wrong for them, because the same platform was no longer distinct enough across the brands.
VW under Piech thought it could push upwards with the Phaeton, but found out to their cost there's a limit to how far brands can go.
GMC is a slightly strange one, but I suspect their market is those for whom Chevy is a bit proletarian and Cadillac a bit showy. A blue collar customer earning good money might not be comfortable in a Cadillac, but a GMC is perfect. At the moment I think the GMC versions are usually better looking than their Chevy brethren as well.
Snailish
Engineer

I should have given context:

 

In Canada we had Chev/Olds/sometimes Cadillac dealers and Pontiac/Buick/GMC. GMC trucks in Canada were usually close in sales to the Chev numbers. The dealerships were often close together in the same small town  --now we have Chev/Buick/GMC and how Cadillac lands is anyone's guess.

 

GMC here were Chev in disguise decades before that happened in USA.

 

GMC here has long been marketed as the working persons basic work truck... and the super snazzy Denali of recent decades.

 

Being an old school GMC fan I generally think GMC looks better.

fueledbymetal
Advanced Driver

Wow, another incredible article, thanks! And it finally clicked for me that the name of your column is a Sisters of Mercy reference. I should have caught that earlier - hearing First and Last and Always for the first time was definitely one of the most monumental experiences in the musical journey of my life.
AdrianClarke
Instructor

Well done, have an espresso. You’re the first person to get it. I was really struggling for a name for the column and believe it or not it came to me in the shower while I was singing Sisters songs. My favourite band for a long long time. Discovering them after being into grunge completely altered my music tastes and personal style. Eventually I fell out of love with them (or rather Eldritch) for not releasing any new material and latterly being terrible live.
I’ll be seeing them again in August but only because they’re headlining a music festival in Germany I’m going to. I don’t hold out much hope of them being any good though.
fueledbymetal
Advanced Driver

Right on! I would love to have seen them with the original lineup. At least there is some decent YouTube concert footage from 84-85.
TG
Gearhead

We have two political parties for a reason - people aren't good at making decisions when there are too many options. Sometimes white space is there for a reason
AdrianClarke
Instructor

It's called 'analysis paralysis' and it's what happens when people have too many choices. This why OEMs have always failed when they introduce a new car with lots of personalization options (MINI, Opel Adam, SMART). Customers get bamboozled.
Unfortunately steady profits and consistent strong sales are no longer enough. It's year on year growth that seems to be the measure of success now, and this has forced OEMs to try and find more and more sales, sometimes to the detriment of their brand equity.
Snailish
Engineer

It's why I find it frustrating that for years now the auto media has been dismissing the Chrysler Charger (etc.) platform cars as being an "old platform" as a condemnation.

 

If the existing platform sells and you aren't going to make actual improvements in a new platform (most platform changes just obsolete parts --the discernable differences to the average consumer are not there) why not take the cost-savings with the benefit to your customers of parts availability?

AdrianClarke
Instructor

If you’ve not read it my first column was about the Challenger. And the Fiat 500 which is of similar vintage and still selling well in Europe. Someone in Stellantis knows what time lunch is.
If I ever managed to live in the US I would seriously consider a Challenger. I absolutely love them.
Snailish
Engineer

I hadn't read it and it was a bit of a search. Not all your stuff is flagged the same way here  --in fact it was the link you embedded at the front of the early articles yourself that got me to the "Adrian Clarke" list rather than the "Vision Thing" list.

 

On the bright side I got to read a few Vision Things I hadn't seen.

 

Here's the thing though, the Challenger article has the Vision thing tag applied to the lead photo. It just isn't sorted there.

 

So I have two suggestions for Hagerty to do to your stuff:

 

1. Every Adrian article is a "Vision Thing" and should show up under that tag.

2. Please number each entry... #1 being the oldest (then I would have found the one you sent me to with 2 clicks.

AdrianClarke
Instructor

Thanks, useful to know. I'll flag this up.
Snailish
Engineer

Yeah look at Canada with a federal system designed for two parties that has been a mess for decades. Only two parties have ever actually been elected for generations... but we have these regional fractures and similar parties that overlap platforms. By the time you factor in voter turnout and votes for that candidate we have many, many representatives with a small % of support speaking for us.

 

If our parliament (congress) was even partially proportionally represented we'd probably get much higher turnout as every vote could matter (depending on the system). But as-is --we'd likely be better off with less choices.

Flashman
Technician

I always feel smarter after reading your articles. And I can relate; my iMac is 11 years old. I can't get OS or MS Office updates but it still suffices, so I still use it. I did have to bite the bullet and buy my wife a MacBook M1, but I lessened the pain somewhat by buying an Apple refurbished one. Sometimes you have to pay for what you really want. Challengers notwithstanding, I don't recommend living in the USA.
Snailish
Engineer

The old computer comment is pertinent to something I read about today:

 

google chrome flex is a new free operating system designed to make old computers into Chromebooks (functionally speaking). My understanding is it is basically a repackaged and improved version of the cloudready tool.

 

For those that get Star Trek references... google is the Borg looking to assimilate all.

 

The part I find interesting is that for ages the computer market has been all about obsolete as soon as possible  -this is something else on several levels.

 

Might help some of the forum users here with older comps that are letting them down? I know my not-very-old laptop here is now unsupported by its maker.

 

My experience with chromebooks is they are a very streamlined computer experience  --so beware if that doesn't suit your usage.

4RenT
Instructor

My IBM R400 Thinkpad ( build date 2009-09-09) is my laptop. I don't have any plans to replace it. Nor do I have any plans to "update" its MS windows to Win8, 10, or 11. It is about time to update its Linux side.

AdrianClarke
Instructor

Proper IBM Thinkpads are one of the only Apple adjacent Windows machines out there.
AdrianClarke
Instructor

My Macbook Pro is from 2015 (it replaced the last of the 17" Pros, when the graphics card ran out when it was about five years old. To be fair to Apple there was a recall and they replaced it the graphics card free of charge, but it was going to take weeks and I couldn't be without a computer for that amount of time. When I got it back I sold it). It functions fine for web browsing, playing music and videos, but 3D modeling is beyond it now and it's one of the first to be non user upgradable. My Dell now has 32GB of RAM in it.
The new M1 & M2 Macbooks look tempting, but I found out this week Autodesk Alias & VRED, the main NURBS and rendering software used for car design, are no longer supported in OSX. If this writing gig takes off and I end up having to travel a bit, then an Air would be tempting.
janedon
Advanced Driver

I just can't Justify paying premium dollar for a new car that doesn't look premium from the outside--

If you don't like Windows 10 then you are really going to love Windows 11. Change for the sake of change. To be fair Apple with IOS and Google's Android do the annual change for the sake of change with each new release. It's kind of frustrating. Microsoft's worst sins are the increasing spying and insistence on having a useless Microsoft Account. I think they peaked with Windows 7 or maybe XP. 10 was a step back in some areas but 11 is quite a few more.

Anyway, The current Mercedes A -Class was a car for people who wanted the snob appeal of a MB badge instead of buying a superior Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. BMW is still knee-deep in garbage entry level cars so I am not sure anyone has really learned their lesson.
4RenT
Instructor

I'd give you a thousand "likes", if I could, for the Windows10 comment!

AdrianClarke
Instructor

The current A Class shares a platform and engines with Infiniti/Nissan/Renault. So all you're getting is a fancy badge and vape shop interior.
BMW is interesting because they've had to share FWD platforms with MINI, which means MINIs have gotten too big for their class. I would have thought the smarter move would have been to drop their own FWD platform and keep all BMWs, even small ones RWD. MINI could platform share with someone else.