Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Oracle of Delphi

Bob Lutz Explains Why The Pontiac GTO Failed

280 posts in this topic

Posted Image

- “it was arguably past its best-buy date in terms of styling. When we brought it in, that basic styling configuration in the market…for close to seven or eight years. If you bring in a car, it should be in the beginning of its design cycle.”

- “We overpriced it.”

- “We maldistributed it. We based distribution on historic Pontiac sales…it turned out that was completely wrong.”

Link: http://news.windingroad.com/videos/bob-lut...iac-gto-failed/

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a sweet looking car! Maybe if a midsize FWD V-6 coupe looked like that, it'd sell. I just don't think too many people are looking for an expensive gas guzzling muscle car, and those who are tend to buy German cars.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So...basically the GTO program was a short-term yet costly exercise in leveraging global resources and boosting the Pontiac brand's performance credibility. In the words of South Park, "nice."

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So...basically the GTO program was a short-term yet costly exercise in leveraging global resources and boosting the Pontiac brand's performance credibility. In the words of South Park, "nice."

Yes, and hopefully the G8 will help continue to build Pontiac's performance credibility...FWD rental cars just don't cut it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the terribly named Asian toaster styled G8 might just follow in it's footsteps with very low initial production numbers, terrible V8 gas mileage and 35K plus price tag for that model. Hopefully when production shifts to NA it will have more Pontiac like styling and some character.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>- “it was arguably past its best-buy date in terms of styling. When we brought it in, that basic styling configuration in the market…for close to seven or eight years. If you bring in a car, it should be in the beginning of its design cycle.”<<

Ehh, styling has not 'progressed' much at all since '04, nor from '00 to '04 for that matter. The design is not dated. I've been seeing a number of them, all carefully parked at the ends of lots or in driveways, meticulously cared for & shined. Seems their owners have a deep appreciation for them regardless.

>>- “We overpriced it.”<<

Agreed.

>>- “We maldistributed it. We based distribution on historic Pontiac sales…it turned out that was completely wrong.”<<

No info to dispute this.

But one thing has been missed: the name GTO set up certain expectations that were not realized stylistically. The style wasn't wrong, but it was wrong for a 'GTO'.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>-

But one thing has been missed: the name GTO set up certain expectations that were not realized stylistically. The style wasn't wrong, but it was wrong for a 'GTO'.

Couldn't agree more. There is nothing wrong with the GTO other than its name. Even many of the media types that had previously bashed it have gotten past its exterior styling and admitted that it's a solid performance car. If GM had named it something else (I know you guys aren't fans of the alpha-numeric thing, but let's say G7) it would have done much better. I'm not saying it would have been flying off lots, but there wouldn't have been the backlash that there was.

The GTO serves as warning to resurrect old names with extreme caution.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But one thing has been missed: the name GTO set up certain expectations that were not realized stylistically. The style wasn't wrong, but it was wrong for a 'GTO'.

COPY/PASTE/FIND:'GTO'/REPLACE WITH:'LACROSSE'

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, he's right about the styling. In fact, I wouldn't even say the car has any "styling" per se. It's just a blob.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But one thing has been missed: the name GTO set up certain expectations that were not realized stylistically. The style wasn't wrong, but it was wrong for a 'GTO'.

I agree, the styling would make a great Toyota Solara! But not so much a GTO.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the GTO failed because it was way different than what your normal Mustang, Camaro, and Firebird customer (more or less the target audience) would expect in a performance coupe. It's basically like a European sports coupe, while they were expecting something more like the Firebird.

In other words, they were expecting something that was all about going fast and nothing about luxury, which is not what they got, and the price tag reflected that. They were expecting a go-fast for cheap car and they got a go-fast with luxury car and a price tag more than they want to pay. Basically, they were expecting a Mustang fighter and got something more along the lines of a big 3-Series. And, Pontiac didn't seem to market it as any sort of European-like sports coupe, but rather a Firebird replacement (though there was not much marketing at all).

As a result of this, the type of customer that would buy a car like the GTO is not one that would normally go to a Pontiac showroom, and therefore with the lack of marketing the type of customer that would buy a GTO did not know about it. When I got my GTO hardly anyone knew what the hell it was, that's a sign of bad marketing.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the GTO failed because it was way different than what your normal Mustang, Camaro, and Firebird customer (more or less the target audience) would expect in a performance coupe. It's basically like a European sports coupe, while they were expecting something more like the Firebird.

In other words, they were expecting something that was all about going fast and nothing about luxury, which is not what they got, and the price tag reflected that. They were expecting a go-fast for cheap car and they got a go-fast with luxury car and a price tag more than they want to pay. Basically, they were expecting a Mustang fighter and got something more along the lines of a big 3-Series. And, Pontiac didn't seem to market it as any sort of European-like sports coupe, but rather a Firebird replacement (though there was not much marketing at all).

As a result of this, the type of customer that would buy a car like the GTO is not one that would normally go to a Pontiac showroom, and therefore with the lack of marketing the type of customer that would buy a GTO did not know about it. When I got my GTO hardly anyone knew what the hell it was, that's a sign of bad marketing.

Everytime I take someone for a ride in my car, their response is the same. They all say "I want one!" Even my dad and brother who always made fun of it as being a Cavalier on steroids, say now that they have seen one up close they actually like it.

And really, how big did everyone think the market for a $32,000 400hp V8 coupe would be? The only reason the GTO appears to be a failure(which I don't beleive it is), is because it didn't have a $25000 300hp V6 model or a sedan to go with it. What are we comparing it to to consider it a failure? Mustang- the GT is $7,000 cheaper. Charger- it's a sedan, and you can get it with a V6 for $10,000 cheaper. G35- also has a sedan version. How many Camaro SS, and Trans Ams did GM sell?

Edited by CaddyXLR-V
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“We maldistributed it. We based distribution on historic Pontiac sales…it turned out that was completely wrong.”

Jeez, Not selling it here in Canada was the biggest mistake of them all. :canada:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>"...the styling would make a great Toyota Solara!"<<

Except for one thing- the typical toyota buyer is not used to that much style & substance.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everytime I take someone for a ride in my car, their response is the same. They all say "I want one!" Even my dad and brother who always made fun of it as being a Cavalier on steroids, say now that they have seen one up close they actually like it.

And really, how big did everyone think the market for a $32,000 400hp V8 coupe would be? The only reason the GTO appears to be a failure(which I don't beleive it is), is because it didn't have a $25000 300hp V6 model or a sedan to go with it. What are we comparing it to to consider it a failure? Mustang- the GT is $7,000 cheaper. Charger- it's a sedan, and you can get it with a V6 for $10,000 cheaper. G35- also has a sedan version. How many Camaro SS, and Trans Ams did GM sell?

Exactly. I read somewhere that the GTO actually sold better than the Trans Am. People don't realize that the Z/28 was nowhere close to $33k and the Mustang GT isn't either.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same old story, those who don't like the GTO, don't know the GTO.

Let's not forget that every GTO was a bonus sale on an existing product - GM made money on the car.

Also GTO and the Camaro/Firebird twins for that matter were NOT gas-guzzlers! They were rated at 28 and 29 mpg on the highway. (down a mile or two per gallon on the 6.0 cars).

All of this in a car that outpowers an M3 at a considerable discount. I don't think they priced it wrong, just marketed it poorly. I consider my GTO to have been well worth every penny, and I would buy another without reservation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are we comparing it to to consider it a failure?

Bob Lutz told you what made it a failure. Let me restate the reasons it in case you misssed them!

>>- “it was arguably past its best-buy date in terms of styling. When we brought it in, that basic styling configuration in the market for close to seven or eight years. If you bring in a car, it should be in the beginning of its design cycle.”<<

>>- “We overpriced it.”<<

>>- “We maldistributed it. We based distribution on historic Pontiac sales, it turned out that was completely wrong.”<<

Bob is right when he said this car was past its best buy date, good Lord this car was old looking when it got here, its basic design was an Opel Omega from the early 90's. Most people here remember that body style as the Cadillac Catera, allbeit a four door, but the basic platform was the same.

Most of my friends thought the GTO was a "Fat Chevy Cavalier" most non-GM people in North America could not tell the difference between the GTO and Cavalier. Shameful.

This car was doomed from the time Lutz first proposed the idea.

Has Lutz learned from this, not at all. When you fail to learn from History's lessons, you're bound to repeat them, hence the G8!

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

would any of you rather we not have gotten the car here at all? if so? i disagree with you completley.. id rather have a 400HP RWD GTO with "bland" styling (that i happen to really like) then to have nothing at all

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeez, Not selling it here in Canada was the biggest mistake of them all. :canada:

+100000000000000000000000000000

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drove my GTO to a get-together last night, and watched as a Canadian fell in love with it. :AH-HA_wink:

I wasn't sure he would ever get out of the driver's seat!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob Lutz told you what made it a failure. Let me restate the reasons it in case you misssed them!

>>- “it was arguably past its best-buy date in terms of styling. When we brought it in, that basic styling configuration in the market for close to seven or eight years. If you bring in a car, it should be in the beginning of its design cycle.”<<

>>- “We overpriced it.”<<

>>- “We maldistributed it. We based distribution on historic Pontiac sales, it turned out that was completely wrong.”<<

Bob is right when he said this car was past its best buy date, good Lord this car was old looking when it got here, its basic design was an Opel Omega from the early 90's. Most people here remember that body style as the Cadillac Catera, allbeit a four door, but the basic platform was the same.

Most of my friends thought the GTO was a "Fat Chevy Cavalier" most non-GM people in North America could not tell the difference between the GTO and Cavalier. Shameful.

This car was doomed from the time Lutz first proposed the idea.

Has Lutz learned from this, not at all. When you fail to learn from History's lessons, you're bound to repeat them, hence the G8!

Oh cry me a river. :P
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bob Lutz told you what made it a failure. Let me restate the reasons it in case you misssed them!

>>- “it was arguably past its best-buy date in terms of styling. When we brought it in, that basic styling configuration in the market for close to seven or eight years. If you bring in a car, it should be in the beginning of its design cycle.”<<

Doesn't mean it wasn't a good-looking car.

>>- “We overpriced it.”<<

Possibly, but ask the people that bought them if they think they're worth every penny of the price.

>>- “We maldistributed it. We based distribution on historic Pontiac sales, it turned out that was completely wrong.”<<

Can't argue with that, they're huge in California.

Most of my friends thought the GTO was a "Fat Chevy Cavalier" most non-GM people in North America could not tell the difference between the GTO and Cavalier. Shameful.

It's funny that you say most non-GM people can't tell the difference between a GTO and a Cavalier but it's best market is one of GM's worst. Someting doesn't work there.
This car was doomed from the time Lutz first proposed the idea.

The GTO sold better than the cheaper Trans Am...

Has Lutz learned from this, not at all. When you fail to learn from History's lessons, you're bound to repeat them, hence the G8!

I think you should wait until we see what the G8 does. Then you might have to eat some crow.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, some key things have been changed for the better with the G8. It's a sedan (still needs a coupe model in addition), it's available with the V6, and it will be priced lower. But low production capacity and the same design failings (anonymous, tepid, generic with a sparse sprinkling of Pontiac DNA) make it seem like another last-minute, half hearted attempt, which, to me, is a crime against the brand.

The crow is a pretty small bird, I'll take a drumstick if I'm wrong about this.

Edited by ocnblu
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The plain facts that hurt the car were as follows.

The MUSTANG at a much lower price.

Styling while not bad was old and not fresh to the eyes in the NA market.

Dealer mark up! If the stickers were at $33k and the cars were sold at 28K with dealers coming off stickers it may have had a chance. But dealers marking up the car to over $40k and not coming off price when the Mustange was still being sold for less sealed the deal.

I blame the Mustang as a whole for the problems than anything else. If the new Stang had not arrived whne it did it may have had a chance without the dealer mark up. It was a 30K car not a 40K car.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the mustang was never supposed to be the GTO's real competitor. The GTO didnt have a V6, why? cause correct me if im wrong, the Manaro it was based on was V8 only. it was cheaper to keep it that way then to re engineer a stop gap car for a V6. GM was Building the Manaro anyway, so selling the GTO here was just a bonus on top of that. why fight over why it was a failure? i see GTO's EVERYWHERE around here... its a head turner, enthusiasts who have modified them within an inch of their lives love them, and women who'll never turn a wrench love them. They Gave pontiac some image, and the good of having the car outweighed the bad of resurecting the name. i would LOVE to have a GTO someday if i can buy one

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0