Author Topic: How are halo cars not bullshit?  (Read 550 times)

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Offline 12,000 RPM

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How are halo cars not bullshit?
« on: December 08, 2016, 10:49:02 am »
Simple question.... is anyone buying an Altima because they like the GT-R? I'm not seeing it.
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Online giant_mtb

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2016, 12:10:26 pm »
I think part of it is a perceived brand loyalty. If someone's dream car is a GT-R, they might be more inclined to check out other Nissans when they're looking for their realistic DD.  Doesn't matter if they could never afford a GT-R, it's their car.

Offline GoCougs

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2016, 01:37:23 pm »
Well, in the least I don't think halo cars contribute to a direct/traceable increase in sales of other products or to the bottom line of the automaker. People are smart enough to know, if but only based on price, that the GT-R and Altima are nothing alike. I'd also guess 80-90% of Nissan customers have never hard of the GT-R or of the storied history of the Skyline in general.

Halo cars are about marketing (in getting the automaker name out there, which the GT-R has been hugely successful at), it gives the company's hotshot engineers something to stick around for and it serves as an internal morale boost. The Ford GT (2nd gen), Dodge Viper, Lexus LF-A and Honda NSX (original) have been other very successful halo cars.

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2016, 03:30:57 pm »
It's all part of building a brand.  If Hyundai built a world beating supercar tomorrow, it wouldn't cause a million new Elantra sales the day after.  But it's one cog in the machine of branding that helps to warm people up to a brand. 
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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 03:52:34 pm »
I see halo cars as space programs for cars. Make-work projects for the high caliber engineers, yes, but the lifted price and materials constraints allows the engineers to innovate in ways other than jamming more dumb white LEDs into headlight clusters.
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Offline 12,000 RPM

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 04:28:00 pm »
I guess it becomes a question of how effective they are at marketing. You take the GT-R for example...... the two models probably most closely related to it are down in the dumps sales wise (Z and Maxima). Other cars were on an upward trajectory before it came out (Altima) or way after its launch (Sentra up 2x over the last 3 yrs).

The space program analogy is interesting but it speaks to a few problems. You look at Nissan's lineup, in a lot of ways it feels like they save all the enthusiasm for the GT-R. You drive a Fit back to back with a Versa, the Fit is a million times more fun to drive with essentially the same hardware, possibly because engineers at Honda have to make fun where they can. Plus while a lot of times the halo car trickles technology down, a lot of times it doesn't. GT-R is a good example. Only new tech in it for Nissan is the DCT. Everything else in it they had in an '89 R32 or old VQs. Engine is port injected lol. So it's often misapplied.

I think in certain cases it can work. For example Mazda with the Miata.... there's some Miata in everything they build. But that's kind of the point..... they've spread the enthusiasm around, rather than containing it to one car. The 3 would be no better or worse if Mazda stopped building the Miata. So the big variations in how successful the concept is in practice renders it useless IMO
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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2016, 04:58:42 pm »
I guess it becomes a question of how effective they are at marketing. You take the GT-R for example...... the two models probably most closely related to it are down in the dumps sales wise (Z and Maxima). Other cars were on an upward trajectory before it came out (Altima) or way after its launch (Sentra up 2x over the last 3 yrs).

The space program analogy is interesting but it speaks to a few problems. You look at Nissan's lineup, in a lot of ways it feels like they save all the enthusiasm for the GT-R. You drive a Fit back to back with a Versa, the Fit is a million times more fun to drive with essentially the same hardware, possibly because engineers at Honda have to make fun where they can. Plus while a lot of times the halo car trickles technology down, a lot of times it doesn't. GT-R is a good example. Only new tech in it for Nissan is the DCT. Everything else in it they had in an '89 R32 or old VQs. Engine is port injected lol. So it's often misapplied.

I think in certain cases it can work. For example Mazda with the Miata.... there's some Miata in everything they build. But that's kind of the point..... they've spread the enthusiasm around, rather than containing it to one car. The 3 would be no better or worse if Mazda stopped building the Miata. So the big variations in how successful the concept is in practice renders it useless IMO

This is just false. Fit is a snooze fest. There is a little GT-R in every Versa.
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Offline Gotta-Qik-C6

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2016, 05:10:48 pm »
I see halo cars as space programs for cars. Make-work projects for the high caliber engineers, yes, but the lifted price and materials constraints allows the engineers to innovate in ways other than jamming more dumb white LEDs into headlight clusters.
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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2016, 05:55:20 pm »
I think halo cars help in some cases, if it helps build the brand as mentioned above. If you can get fanbois, they'll be more likely to buy your other cars when they need a 4 door DD or a truck or whatever. Like Chevy vs Ford type of thing.
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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2016, 06:23:18 pm »
I think halo cars help in some cases, if it helps build the brand as mentioned above. If you can get fanbois, they'll be more likely to buy your other cars when they need a 4 door DD or a truck or whatever. Like Chevy vs Ford type of thing.

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Offline r0tor

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2016, 06:47:58 pm »
Wow... Spilling your crap in a different thread... Congrats sporty
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Offline 12,000 RPM

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2016, 07:10:57 pm »
Wow... Spilling your crap in a different thread... Congrats sporty
I felt it was worthy of its own discussion. Problem?

I think halo cars help in some cases, if it helps build the brand as mentioned above. If you can get fanbois, they'll be more likely to buy your other cars when they need a 4 door DD or a truck or whatever. Like Chevy vs Ford type of thing.
I think this is true to a degree but I'm not seeing the ZL1 getting people into Equinoxes
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Offline ChrisV

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2016, 09:35:58 am »
Fans of the halo cars recommend the brand to family, friends and coworkers, and since the fans are generally car guys, their opinions on cars for everyone else to buy are asked for. It's not a 1:1 relationship where someone comes in and looks at a GT350 and buys a Fusion, but it's a more subtle and long lasting relationship. That Altima buyer may not know anything about the GTR or Skylines, but I'd bet they know someone who does, who recommended Nissan to them.
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Offline ifcar

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2016, 09:44:50 am »
I think this is true to a degree but I'm not seeing the ZL1 getting people into Equinoxes

But it could get them into base Camaros, which sell in substantial volume.

As was said earlier, a halo car is most valuable if the brand also offers something attainable to someone who thinks the halo car rocks. Nissan is an example of the opposite -- while it was once the performance-bargain brand with the Altima and Maxima, it's now a mix of basic budget cars and edgy-looking but not really sporting ones. But if the GT-R were an Infiniti, on the other hand, it would lend some performance credibility to a Q50 and Q60.

Offline 12,000 RPM

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2016, 10:11:37 am »
There are just too many opposite examples.... Nissan, Mitsubishi (when it had the EVO)... then on the other side of the spectrum there's Toyota. A halo car can't overcome a shitty brand lineup.
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Offline MX793

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2016, 10:21:44 am »
There are just too many opposite examples.... Nissan, Mitsubishi (when it had the EVO)... then on the other side of the spectrum there's Toyota. A halo car can't overcome a shitty brand lineup.

A brand cannot ride entirely on a halo car.  I don't think anybody has argued that.  Even with an awesome halo car, a brand needs to back it up with a decent supporting cast of "regular" cars, which a brand like Mitsubishi and now Nissan really don't do a great job of.  A halo car can, however, be a tipping point to sway a buyer between two brands of similar product.  There was a time a few years back, though, where being an Evo fan versus an STI fan was the deciding factor in whether you were driving a run of the mill Impreza or Legacy instead of a Lancer or Galant.  A life-long Corvette fan is more likely to look to their Chevy dealer for a new family sedan than look at a Ford or Dodge.
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Offline ChrisV

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2016, 10:54:47 am »
It's the same thing with racing as advertising. Winning equates to sales, even of unrelated cars. Enough so that manufacturers keep on doing it, as they have since henry Ford did it in the early 1900s.







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It's the exact same thing: get enthusiasts, well, enthusiastic about the brand and they push the cars to the non-enthusiasts. And it works for the most part. Enough to make it worth the cost of doing so.

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Offline ChrisV

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2016, 01:28:21 pm »
besides, anyone who calls this car bullshit doesn't deserve the title "automotive enthusiast" ;)



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Online Rockraven

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2016, 02:00:48 pm »
I think this thread is done now.  :golfclap:

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Offline GoCougs

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2016, 02:38:45 pm »
Not at all, I'm just getting warmed up ;).

Racing is a bit different - any serious racing series - F1, NASCAR, GTE - are profit centers. Car buyers don't care who wins; Ford hasn't won a NASCAR championship since '04 and it still sells plenty of cars, and 99.9999% of F1 fans will never buy a Ferrari, McLaren or Williams. Sure, like halo cars, there's a marketing and engineering aspect, but unlike halo cars, take away the profit motive and the endeavor stops.

And I predict the new Ford GT will be a bit of a flop, or at least nothing like the GT from ~10 years ago - TTV6 just doesn't cut it plus it doesn't look that great (or not nearly as nostalgic-good as the GT from ~10 years ago). I think Ford would have been better off spending that coin on an attainable(ish) halo car - say for example a "Cobra" to compete with the Corvette or 911.

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2016, 03:11:49 pm »
You really think Ford makes a profit on going to Daytona, LeMans or Sebring with the GT? Not a chance. They call it advertising budget and let it go at that.



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Online Rockraven

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2016, 03:24:44 pm »
Lol, nothing run in NASCAR is based on a halo car. That being said, NASCAR fans are some of the fiercest brand-loyalists going. They practically made the guy who came up with the Calvin-pissing-on-badge sticker a bazillionaire.

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Offline MX793

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2016, 04:15:05 pm »

And I predict the new Ford GT will be a bit of a flop, or at least nothing like the GT from ~10 years ago - TTV6 just doesn't cut it plus it doesn't look that great (or not nearly as nostalgic-good as the GT from ~10 years ago). I think Ford would have been better off spending that coin on an attainable(ish) halo car - say for example a "Cobra" to compete with the Corvette or 911.

Considering the new GT costs ~4x what the last one did, is being built in extremely low volumes even by supercar standards, and Ford is making prospective buyers submit applications to be chosen to own one, yes, I expect it will be a relative flop.  Car wasn't built to move volume or even make much of a profit directly.
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Online Rockraven

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2016, 04:20:38 pm »
Considering the new GT costs ~4x what the last one did, is being built in extremely low volumes even by supercar standards, and Ford is making prospective buyers submit applications to be chosen to own one, yes, I expect it will be a relative flop.  Car wasn't built to move volume or even make much of a profit directly.

IIRC, Ford received over 4000 applications to buy what, one of 500 cars?

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Offline GoCougs

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2016, 04:49:11 pm »
Considering the new GT costs ~4x what the last one did, is being built in extremely low volumes even by supercar standards, and Ford is making prospective buyers submit applications to be chosen to own one, yes, I expect it will be a relative flop.  Car wasn't built to move volume or even make much of a profit directly.

I don't mean sales flop. Ford fanbois are desperate for big performance ;).

I predict a bit of a marketing flop. The previous GT was a big marketing hit, primarily for its styling and sound. This looks nothing like the original and is powered by a V6.

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2016, 05:24:50 pm »
I don't mean sales flop. Ford fanbois are desperate for big performance ;).

I predict a bit of a marketing flop. The previous GT was a big marketing hit, primarily for its styling and sound. This looks nothing like the original and is powered by a V6.

None of these are likely to ever even sit in a dealer showroom, unlike the last one.  Every single one of the new models has been sold sight unseen.  Ford built over 4000 of the last model over 3 years, so while rare, people are bound to encounter them on the street.  I've seen a couple either at local car shows/gatherings or just on the street.  With only ~1000 to be built (250/yr for 4 years), these will be far rarer. 

Also, the last one was never built to be a track star.  It was a retro throw-back with respectable performance, but no racing pedigree and with no intent of ever fielding it as a race car.  The few that did get used in racing never did particularly well.  The new one was built to go racing from the start.  Kind of like the original.  And like the original, the car was styled to be aerodynamically effective, not necessarily to look pretty (or like some other car).  The new one has enough styling queues that you can tell it's a descendant, but it's clearly a modern sports racing car first.  The lack of a V8 is disheartening, but one cannot argue with the performance of the TTV6.  Ford offered the press a ride-along in a pre-pro model and all of them said something to the effect of "anyone complaining about the V6 needs to stop, this motor delivers".  The exhaust note of the production car is reportedly very pleasant and exotic-sounding and not at all like the race car's.
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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2016, 06:26:55 pm »
The sound of the V6 Camaro really changed my mind about dismissing that car. Putting the flat-plane Voodoo in the GT seemed like the way to go, but I look forward to official tests of the TTV6 GT.

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Offline GoCougs

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2016, 02:39:00 pm »
I don't think anyone questions the performance of a TTV6 - 600+ hp and ~3,000 lbs is quite a package. However, a TTV6 layout is plebeian for a $400,000 car. (Yes, I get why they do it - to put all they can into the Ecoboost name.)

The new V6 Camaro is legion, for a V6-powered car, but then again it's N/A and costs like $30k ;).

Offline Submariner

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2016, 03:56:26 pm »
besides, anyone who calls this car bullshit doesn't deserve the title "automotive enthusiast" ;)



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Offline 12,000 RPM

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Re: How are halo cars not bullshit?
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2016, 04:02:51 pm »
I think the V6 is OK. It's a new time. Audi R18 & F1 have legitimized turbo V6s as high performance engines. Besides Cougs, weren't you the guy dinging the GT350 for not having enough performance? Now the GT has the performance and you want to dump on it for not having enough character :wtf:

I'm still writing the impact of halo cars off to "noise". I'll add race cars to that. Back in the day "race on Sunday sell on Monday" was legit, but now? Interest in motorsport has dwindled big time. I don't think it's a factor worth mentioning anymore. You talk about Nascar fans... it's not like those folks were looking at anything non domestic in the first place. So to a large degree their minds are made up. Likewise I don't think motorsports factor into any Camry buyer's decisions (even mine :) ). Every connectiion presented has been spurious at best
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