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A Horse With No Name

Odd, Solstice, Sky related...

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Local Mazda dealer had about 15 miata's in stock, some of them 2008 models that had been there awhile. Buyers Mazda is also where our Miata club meets, and they were always hinting that a really good deal could be had as the Miata was selling slowly.

However, as soon as it came out that Pontiac was shutting down, there was a run on Miatas. In a few weeks time frame, they have sold all 15 or so Miata's on the lot, as well as most of the Miata's that showed up on an all Miata Semi-truck shipment Monday.

Probably just coincidence...but it seems odd that a dealership would see very few Miatas for months and then sell a ton. The weather is part of it....but spring showed up a long time ago.

Seem strange to anyone else?

Sadly, customer traffic looked really dead at the Pontiac/GMC dealership next door...

Chris

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Seem strange to anyone else?

Sadly, customer traffic looked really dead at the Pontiac/GMC dealership next door...

Not really. It was predicted that many Pontiac people would go to Mazda... I'm sure people who wanted to buy the Sky/Solstice were waiting to see what happened to Pontiac/Saturn and now are going with the only game in town... the Miata... to avoid problems with resale value.

It's also been predicted here that GMC and Buick are the walking dead without Pontiac to help drive traffic.

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Dont convertibles typically slel better in the summer/late spring months anyways? I know that if I were looking to buy one, I wouldn't want to do it in the middle of winter, who would buy a new convertible that they couldn't enjoy with the top down for the first 4 months?

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If The New GM expects any chance for their ill-advised plan to kill Pontiac to work, they are going to NEED to repopulate Buick's lineup with at least a couple of some sort of youthful vehicles. Wilmington could have continued with Stingray, Bengal and Opel GT versions of Kappa. The Delta Buick cannot come fast enough, and it needs to be available in not just old-man sedan, but coupe and some other bodystyle, as well. I have a strong feeling this bankruptcy has caught The New GM completely flatfooted when it comes to a realignment of models to cope with so many discontinuations in such a catastrophically short time.
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I have a strong feeling this bankruptcy has caught The New GM completely flatfooted when it comes to a realignment of models to cope with so many discontinuations in such a catastrophically short time.

Exactly my point. Without unique product, GM is dead in the water, and loosing the Kappa twins is going to hurt them beyond the loss of Kappa sales.

They need sporty and youthful product, as a lot of people buy GM cars because they want unique products.

Chris

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Thus the sad effects of this decsion set in.

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Agreed. Buick can't sell a Solstice-like vehicle at Solstice prices. However, they can set themselves up as an aspirational brand for younger people with a well done Alpha or "Zeta II" four-place convertible.

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Dont convertibles typically sell better in the summer/late spring months anyways? I know that if I were looking to buy one, I wouldn't want to do it in the middle of winter, who would buy a new convertible that they couldn't enjoy with the top down for the first 4 months?

Yes, esp. in northern climes...it's the opposite here in PHX...a convertible is very much a winter car here.. :)

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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Well I live not all that far away and the weather just in the last few weeks has even been ideal Convertible weather.

I think it is a bit premature to be able to measure a run on Mazdas due to Pontiacs death.

For sure Mazda will gain some Pontiac buyers but so will many others MFGs. Avis and Enterprise will have to go elsewhere for their fleet sales so someone will get them.

While I hate to see Pontiac go but it was not going to save GM. Also GM did not have the money to fix Pontiac properly. We all spend GM money here freely but if we had to work under what GM has left you would be hard pressed to do much more with what they have available.

Pontiac is gone and to fix it needed to start happening a long time ago. Lets just hope some time in the future Pontiac may retuen as a niche car. If the Mini and other cars can return so can Pontiac.

Time to deal with the truth and that GM would have never fixed Pontiac short term to your wishes. GM could not even afford to properly market the all the car they had so how could they provide new product with no money?

Lutz statment that Pontiac was damaged was a message to the BOD. He saw a long time ago Pontiac was on life support. He did all he could with what little he was given.

Time to move on as what could, would have and should have all have moved on. So should we as nothing is going to change.

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The question remains, was it a mistake to kill Pontiac?

I believe that the answer is a resounding yes.

Time will tell.

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I think Chevy is the more logical destination for Pontiac intenders. Buick cannot appeal to Pontiac customers without diluting itself. Problem is, GM spent the last several decades establishing Chevy as the "bottom rung" in its hierarchy, and it'll be a tough sell to those who don't want "bottom rung" yet can't afford a Buick or Caddy. To get this to work and force people to take a second look, GM needs to market the hell out of Chevy, something they've been pretty piss-poor at doing.

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I think Chevy is the more logical destination for Pontiac intenders. Buick cannot appeal to Pontiac customers without diluting itself. Problem is, GM spent the last several decades establishing Chevy as the "bottom rung" in its hierarchy, and it'll be a tough sell to those who don't want "bottom rung" yet can't afford a Buick or Caddy. To get this to work and force people to take a second look, GM needs to market the hell out of Chevy, something they've been pretty piss-poor at doing.

..And GM has pretty much axed all the middle rungs--Oldsmobile, and now Pontiac and Saturn. Buick is all that is left.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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Lutz statment that Pontiac was damaged was a message to the BOD. He saw a long time ago Pontiac was on life support. He did all he could with what little he was given.

Buick was included in that statement he made of Pontiac. GM will need more money to give Buick products too. Buick's image isn't any better than Pontiac's.

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Exactly my point. Without unique product, GM is dead in the water, and loosing the Kappa twins is going to hurt them beyond the loss of Kappa sales.

They need sporty and youthful product, as a lot of people buy GM cars because they want unique products.

Chris

So does this mean you would like to see Buick get the Sky as the Bengal or some sporty car and maybe Chevrolet getting the Nomad Kappa we all loved as a concept? I would personally love to see this since Americans seem to be looking harder at small cars again.

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The question remains, was it a mistake to kill Pontiac?

I believe that the answer is a resounding yes.

Time will tell.

talk to any salesman at a BPG dealer right now and he will say yes too. and you can get the answer right away.

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Buick was included in that statement he made of Pontiac. GM will need more money to give Buick products too. Buick's image isn't any better than Pontiac's.

Ah! but you do not count the factor that if Buick fails in this country the losses will be covered by the sales in China. Buick is a low risk venture as for the most part models will vbe shared and cost will be covered.

Pontiac is not sold anywhere and if it failed here it was going to take even more money GM does not have with it. Holden is haning by a thread so they could not absorb the loss either. the loss of the G8 is going to hit them to the tune of a Billion dollars a year. For this reason I suspect once the supply of G8's are used up we will see a Zeta Chevy Caprice inmported to the tune of 40K a year. That would be a win win for Chevy and Holden by not burdening Chevy with a number af cars they may not sell and Holden retains the income lost from Pontiac.

Selling Pontiac in China and Europe was not going to work so where to you cover your losses if Pontiac tanks after a rebuild? I don't think Canada can absorbe anymore sales.

Edited by hyperv6
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The question remains, was it a mistake to kill Pontiac?

I believe that the answer is a resounding yes.

Time will tell.

Ok by 2012-14 Pontiac needed all the models replaced but the G8. First where do you get the money? Second if the division tanks how do you absorbe the loss? After spending that kind of money this could put Chevy and Cadillac at risk since they will now be short funds to rebuild and retool their line up.

If Pontiac had a way to cover their butts on the potential losses like Buick they may have had a chance. The Niche class was not going to hurt GM as much but it was never going to save GM either.

Too many thinkwith their hearts and not their brains on Pontiac. Sometimes in Buisness you have to make the hard call. this was it.

The cry to save Pontiac need to have been done 30 years ago before they gave us some of the many mistake cars as they have loke the G3, G5, Korean Lemans, A body Bonnevilles Minivans and Aztexs. It is too late to cry about it now. Kinda of like regretting lung cancer after you smoked for 50 years.

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Selling Pontiac in China and Europe was not going to work so where to you cover your losses if Pontiac tanks after a rebuild? I don't think Canada can absorbe anymore sales.

I think Pontiac had the best chance of not tanking. There was a debate long ago whether Saturn or Pontiac should get rebuilt. Well GM decided to rebuilt Saturn, and it failed. Sales never picked up, even though it was decided that Saturn was a safer bet. What happens now if the volume in BPG dealerships drop so low that both GM and Buick are hurt by it? I wouldn't want to be stuck with a Buick/GMC dealership. All GM had to do was keep real Pontiac names instead of all the dumb G names, and give Pontiac good product, and sales would have picked up.

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The question remains, was it a mistake to kill Pontiac?

I believe that the answer is a resounding yes.

Time will tell.

I agree. I'm thinking GM gave up a lot of what was good about GM by giving up Pontiac.

No company ever cut there way to profitability, they produced something people wanted and then sold it. Pontiac built cars people wanted and then they got the axe...\

Chris

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So does this mean you would like to see Buick get the Sky as the Bengal or some sporty car and maybe Chevrolet getting the Nomad Kappa we all loved as a concept? I would personally love to see this since Americans seem to be looking harder at small cars again.

Yes, I would. The idea of a Bengal is really about as appealing to me as a G8 ST is to Camino.

I would have loved one of the Targa Coupes. Even though I love Mazda, I also love Pontiac.

Really sad to see the Solstice/Sky go.

And the Nomad Kappa thing...yes.

Chris

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I think Pontiac had the best chance of not tanking. There was a debate long ago whether Saturn or Pontiac should get rebuilt. Well GM decided to rebuilt Saturn, and it failed. Sales never picked up, even though it was decided that Saturn was a safer bet. What happens now if the volume in BPG dealerships drop so low that both GM and Buick are hurt by it? I wouldn't want to be stuck with a Buick/GMC dealership. All GM had to do was keep real Pontiac names instead of all the dumb G names, and give Pontiac good product, and sales would have picked up.

Agreed.

They spent the money on the wrong brands, Buick included.

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Pontiac could have survived with little investment and the need for fewer marketing dollars with just G8 and Solstice. Put a 1.4t as base engine in the Solstice and a 2.0t in the G8 with 6 speed manuals for maximum fuel mileage, while offering the larger engines with refinements as options. I am still pissed this niche brand strategy wasn't tried before this ill-advised decision was made.
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This whole thing just makes me very, very angry and frustrated. I've seen over the last 20 years what Mazda has dumped into support for the Miata, and I've seen the (lack of) support for the G8 and the Solstice.

We've been messing with small two seat roadsters here since before WWII, and Sports car type roadsters after WW II with things like the early Corvettes and MG's.

The Solstice debacle (letting this great car go) is IMHO sort of like working on a problem test question for 50 years, coming up with the best answer possible after that fifty years...and then throwing away the test before you hand it to the teacher.

Unbelieveable.

Chris

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This whole thing just makes me very, very angry and frustrated. I've seen over the last 20 years what Mazda has dumped into support for the Miata, and I've seen the (lack of) support for the G8 and the Solstice.

We've been messing with small two seat roadsters here since before WWII, and Sports car type roadsters after WW II with things like the early Corvettes and MG's.

The Solstice debacle (letting this great car go) is IMHO sort of like working on a problem test question for 50 years, coming up with the best answer possible after that fifty years...and then throwing away the test before you hand it to the teacher.

Unbelieveable.

Chris

The Targa is the most glaring example of this.

It's a damn shame that it will never get a chance to be what it could have been.

Not to mention the ST.

All of these cars deserved a few more model years.

The rest of Pontiac was just baggage

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I think Pontiac had the best chance of not tanking. There was a debate long ago whether Saturn or Pontiac should get rebuilt. Well GM decided to rebuilt Saturn, and it failed. Sales never picked up, even though it was decided that Saturn was a safer bet. What happens now if the volume in BPG dealerships drop so low that both GM and Buick are hurt by it? I wouldn't want to be stuck with a Buick/GMC dealership. All GM had to do was keep real Pontiac names instead of all the dumb G names, and give Pontiac good product, and sales would have picked up.

I think if they had given the Opels to Pontiac over the G5 they would have done better.

But again if Pontiac did not market them any better they too would have failed there.

There will never be too few dealers to hurt too much. Just look at Lexus and other low volume premium dealers. If you build a car people want they will come.

Ok so if Pontiac had new cars and old names they would be saved? I will agree on one part if they had new product it would have made a differance but with out good product name changes would have made no differance.

Pontiac did not fail due to the G name. It may not have helped but it alone did not kill them.

As for new product how much would it have cost to revamp the entire line? If Pontiac failed how much would GM lose in the deal? GM would litterally have put all their money on one number and if they lost they lose big. Now with Buick if it works it works if it fails they continue to sell in China and GM recovers their lost money. Low risk is the smart move.

But to say you only needed to redo all the models and rename all the car, in other words recreate a majore divison in only a couple years would have cost billions GM just did not have or could risk losing. Imagine Pontiac tanking with billions of dollars of goverment money already spent. That wpould be the PR nightmare of the century to explain your way out of.

Give GM a chance as we have a lot of good new product coming. Lutz may be gone this year but his products will continue to appear for the next 5-6 years.

Just read the reviews of the new Caddy SUV and see how well they are doing. Almost every car has been a well accepted vehicle in a GM hating press.

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