29th May 2023, 21:32

Right. 40 years makes a difference. Even comparing a 1983 Cav to a 2023 Cav, those two aren’t in the same universe build quality wise.

30th May 2023, 17:39

The big three definitely had some major catching up to back then. They had spent decades being the only game in town. And then came the Japanese cars which were shockingly much better.

Another issue was the corporate culture of the time. GM for example had good engineers but they were hampered by the bean counters. Perfect example was the Pontiac Fiero. By the time the bean counters were done it was using the same engine and suspension as most other smaller GM cars, meaning it lost most of the original, more sporty characteristics envisioned by the engineers. And then they did what they seemed to do a lot: By the time the car was canceled it was actually pretty good.

Same happened with the Cavalier. It started out not being very good at all, but by the time production ceased in 2005 it was actually a good and reliable car.

Quality is still hit and miss. While they make some good cars and trucks, they also make some awful vehicles. Like the V6 engines that stretch their timing chains.

31st May 2023, 21:19

Agreed with the beancounters. I read the book on how the Taurus Mk 1 was developed, and I did admire the skills and foresight of engineers, but they had to deal with bean counters who wanted to water down everything properly designed.

14th Jun 2023, 03:33

I think I'd like to butt in here to say that there's only one 2023 Cavalier, in China. It is almost completely unrelated to the Cavalier. Its lineage goes back through European Opels of the 1990s, instead of European Opels of the late 1970s, like the first-generation Cavalier. The J-car was a good attempt, hindered by GM problems. The cost-cutting on the last generation in North America was severe.

14th Jun 2023, 19:19

Agreed, not sure why the 2023 model was even mentioned in the first place, let alone being sold in China which makes praising the build quality a moot point, unless they actually own or have even driven one.

14th Jun 2023, 22:28

I think the point is quality tends to improve over time for most manufacturers. One notable exception though is Nissan. After working with Renault, Nissan’s reputation for quality torpedoed. I would not consider buying any Nissan vehicle manufactured 2000 or after.