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Detroit Forced To Ditch Excessive Trims, Packages, Options


1976 Lincoln Mark IV Emilio Pucci Designer Edition

1976 Lincoln Mark IV Emilio Pucci Designer Edition

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Buyers of Big Three cars will soon be constrained to mainly trim packages (I.e. Honda's DX, LX, and EX) as opposed to picking and choosing from a litany of individual options. A part of the domestic automakers' desperate scramble to build vehicles in more efficient ways, it's surprising they've waited until 2009 to make a big change in this realm.

Chevrolet Venture Warner Brothers Edition

Chevrolet Venture Warner Brothers Edition

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Let's compare a domestic with an import. The 2008 Ford Fusion could be optioned 2,600 different ways. The 2010 version: only 104. But that's still a labyrinthine options list compared to either the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, which combined offered buyers a total of only 15 unique versions but sold over 800,000 units in 2008.

So what this means to you, the consumer, is that ultra-limited-special-deluxe editions are going the way of the dodo. Automotive iconoclasts like the 1976 Lincoln Mark IV Emilio Pucci Designer Edition seem forever consigned to memory, that car's silver Normande Grain landau vinyl roof, silver and lipstick red pinstriping, and red or silver bodyside moldings a quaint nod to a rococo past. Presumably, we'll also see fewer half-baked co-branding exercises like the Chevrolet Venture Warner Brothers Edition.

None of this applies, of course, if you're a billionaire on your way to the dealer to customize your very own '09 Maybach Zeppelin, one of only 100 to be built. May we tempt you with an exclusive console-mounted perfume atomizer, Madame?

[source: Detroit News]

 
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Comments (6)
  1. "mr."

    Too bad the tax payers had to go on the hook for billions of dollars before something that makes sense happened. Ever wonder why so many people drive a Honda or Toyota? Keep it simple Stupid, plus the quality.
     
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  2. "Mr"

    Finally! KISS is not only important from a manufacturing, efficiency, quality standpoint, it also affects the customer viscerally.
    When a customer has too many decisions, they might not choose at all because the pressure to make the right choice is on them. And even if they do choose, they're less happy with it because they will forever wonder if it was right. (I love the TED conference too much).
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html
     
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  3. "Collector Minivan?"

    3 standard option trims makes sense, but there are bad ways to implement this strategy--hope Detroit can find the proper balance. Even Honda makes it difficult to buy a leather interior without their overpriced and non-portable nav system.
     
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  4. "Not Sure"

    I dont know if it is such a great idea, a person might like to buy Cruise Control without having to buy $2000 worth of other options. I guess if the packages are done the right way it may turn out alright.
     
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  5. "Variety is the spice of life"

    Mini doesn't seem to have a problem with 1,000's of possible combinations, in fact it's a selling feature. I find Honda selections to be very limiting and is keeping me away from buying one at the moment. It's leading me to hold off for the Fiesta to show up verses buying a Fit.
     
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  6. "Makes sense!!"

    People that can't think and have a hard time making decisions buy from Honda & Toyota. Smart people that can think and make decisions buy from GM, Ford & Crysler.
     
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