NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Dealers regroup without Pontiac

16 posts in this topic

Dealers regroup without Pontiac

Buick-GMC stores want more Terrains, LaCrosses to thrive

Chrissie Thompson

Automotive News -- February 8, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

For Buick-GMC dealers, thriving now without Pontiac requires more hot vehicles on their lots, especially Buick LaCrosses and GMC Terrains.

For many of those dealers, losing Pontiac has cut sales in half. Some dealers are coping by cutting staff, inventory and overall spending. Others are embracing larger changes by upgrading their stores and training employees to compete with such brands as Acura, Lincoln and Lexus.

But dealers say reinventing their operations now matters little if General Motors Co., which cut production after bankruptcy last year, doesn't supply the vehicles they need.

"If they don't ship me the vehicles, then all of my optimism falls out," says Todd Wenzel, a Buick-GMC dealer in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Last summer, Wenzel started transforming his dealership to handle the loss of Pontiac. He had depended heavily on Pontiac; in 2008, he sold about 1,100 Pontiacs, which accounted for 56 percent of his gross new-car profit, compared to 700 combined Buicks and GMCs. He sold his last Pontiac on Jan. 2.

In January, he still posted a profit on his 58 new-car sales, mainly because his per-car gross profit for Buick and GMC was up to three times as much as the per-car gross profit of $600 on Pontiacs.

But Wenzel says he lost at least 25 sales last month because he lacked such vehicles as the LaCrosse and Terrain. GM is running the plants that make the vehicles on three shifts.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100208/RETAIL03/302089959/1078#ixzz0exNcpOnB

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

regal and excelle can't arrive soon enough!!!!!!!!! i am even beginning to think the granite is a good idea now too.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My local BPGC dealer still has the Pontiac signs up...

As recent as around Jan 1, they had a red G8 GT abd a black Solstice on the corner amidst the Enclave, LaCrosse, SRX and CTSes..

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same here, probably to add some EXXXXXXXXXXCITEMENT!!!!!!!!! :deadhorse:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thankfully the BG...P dealer I bought my G8 from that was one of many who referred to themselves largely by "Pontiac" alone, even in the name, had always done well at the same time they were selling G6's, etc. galore to move LOTS of Sierra's, Acadia's, Lucerne's, Enclave's and so on. During my last visit for service, they had put their very last Pontiac--a Solstice--inside with dealer name magnetic signs on the doors but otherwise didn't seem changed much at all. Near the end there weren't many Pontiacs anyway, and Buick-GMC were now so much the focus, that's all they can work at.

Every time I'm there or the local dealer, they're anxious to see the "Regal" and say that it and other new things like a "baby Enclave" and just more Terrains and Lacrosse's if they can get them can do well to keep past & new customers coming in the door for more. GMC is pretty well filled out as a truck & SUV brand, and Buick most lacking. Chevy is a whole other something in reality and for those that remain Buick-GMC alone, it remains a slightly different atmosphere in dealer & product in some aspects.

I was worried for many of them...and for the handful who were Pontiac alone it really stinks...but otherwise good things in store, I hope, for Buick-GMC dealers. The clientele buying G5's, G6's, and the Sunfires/Grand Ams before may still not be Buick material, but that's okay, and for the ones who are, there's a lot of great new products now and coming.

I'm plotting trying to buy one of the very last Solstice's right now myself...perhaps...whether from my favorite little dealer described above or elsewhere. Last model year, last of the Pontiacs, and the last new at a dealer just has a cool something to it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dealership I bought my Sierra from had "PONTIAC", "BUICK", "GMC" in two-foot tall letters written across the front of their showroom. Then, one day in the last month or so, the "PONTIAC" letters were gone, leaving a shadow and locating pins on the facade. Truly sad, at least for me, maybe not for Satty. Now they have a vinyl banner covering up the bare spot, advertising 2010 as their 50th year in business. They would have been a 50-year Pontiac dealer, but they were cut short at 49.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Local Pontiac dealers here are doing fine. The big complaint is not enough Terrains.

Most here were not selling a lot of Pontiac's so their loss has not had a great impact. They are looking forward to the Buick that are coming.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It goes back to what I said. It seems others feel the same way. There is a gap in the GM lineup where Oldsmobile and Pontiac were. GM thinks giving all these new products to Chevrolet will help, but as people have pointed out, it is all about perception and GM could make better uses of its brands.

I do not dislike Chevrolet please understand. I want them to take on Ford and others, but there are features and things you expect in cars that you do not want from a Chevrolet or do not see in a Buick. Realistically, how many more Chevrolets can they get in the showroom?

A student of mine who is into cars said you know, GM should stop trying to make every brand appeal to every buyer. He said let Chevrolet be Chevrolet. put a few Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs in the mix and then have Buick and Cadillac. He said Pontiac does not have to be a full line brand. He said have Bonneville, Grand Prix and GTO. He made sense.

See Buick is shaping up to be an import entry level luxury fighter. Chevrolet is for the masses. Cadillac is luxury done the European way.

There are no "American" cars with "American" type features or "American" type styling at GM.

The people in other countries who like American cars are driving and liking the older stuff. GM should play up on that strength.

Realistically, you could get :

Chevrolet

Pontiac

Oldsmobile

Buick

Cadillac

GMC

to all fill a niche, sell in volume and stick to a mission.

Chevrolet: Mass market with style.

Pontiac: performance.

Oldsmobile American style with technology.

Buick: entry level word class luxury.

Cadillac: The standard of the world. The standard by which others are judged.

GMC: They are luxury/performance grade trucks.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is American features and American styling in you view?

Why does GM need all these divisions to do what other profitable auto companies do with only 2-3 divisions?

I know in the past this idea worked but time have changed, economics have changed and markets have changed. I too miss Olds and Pontiac but today it is a world economy and market and you have to to more with less and do it on a global scale.

I just looked at a 455 SD Formula that was ordered with nothing but a Auto tranny. It has dish caps and no spoiler. I used to love to help my Great Uncle who was a GM exect order his two cars every year. I would remember how we would chose and pic just the options and combination we wanted. Today it is option packages and just try to order a Camaro today with crank windows. Those were the days. But I understand it is cheaper to build option groups and make most of them the same in 3 or 4 variations. Most times anymore all you do is pick the trim level and sun roof.

Time has moved on and I think in time while we may see some cracks Chevy, Buick and Cadillac will cover most areas of the market. GM has only started to rebuild Buick and I would think many would see just by the hints at how diverse they will become in the future.

Either way GM will have something to meet most cars in the market this side of $100,000.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is American features and American styling in you view?

Why does GM need all these divisions to do what other profitable auto companies do with only 2-3 divisions?

I know in the past this idea worked but time have changed, economics have changed and markets have changed. I too miss Olds and Pontiac but today it is a world economy and market and you have to to more with less and do it on a global scale.

I just looked at a 455 SD Formula that was ordered with nothing but a Auto tranny. It has dish caps and no spoiler. I used to love to help my Great Uncle who was a GM exect order his two cars every year. I would remember how we would chose and pic just the options and combination we wanted. Today it is option packages and just try to order a Camaro today with crank windows. Those were the days. But I understand it is cheaper to build option groups and make most of them the same in 3 or 4 variations. Most times anymore all you do is pick the trim level and sun roof.

Time has moved on and I think in time while we may see some cracks Chevy, Buick and Cadillac will cover most areas of the market. GM has only started to rebuild Buick and I would think many would see just by the hints at how diverse they will become in the future.

Either way GM will have something to meet most cars in the market this side of $100,000.

GM does not offer a six passenger "American styled" car anymore. I am not counting Lucerne and DTS because they are on their way out. Impala offers a bench seat, but they changed up the option packages. I bet the next one won't. I look at the Ford Taurus and I see where Impala is headed. To me personally if I did not want Chevrolet or Buick in the past why would I buy one now? To go from Oldsmobile or Pontiac back to Chevrolet is going backwards not forward. Not everyone has Cadillac money. Buick clearly will not have anything bigger than LaCrosse. Buick is international near luxury. It is the new class of world class.

Also, I did not say Pontiac and Oldsmobile had to be full line brands either. Camaro is American looking. It is a sports car. Corvette is American looking. It too is a sports car. Malibu does not look totally American because of the segment it is placed. It has to "play" in that segment to compete. The Ford Fusion is in the same segment, but it looks American. LaCrosse looks more Chinese Buick than it does American Buick. That is where Buick is headed. That is fine. I hope they gain new buyers.

Cadillacs do not look like imports because they have a styling theme. You know the theme. The same applies with Buick and GMC too. Take Camaro and Corvette and the trucks out of the Chevrolet equation you have Cruze(international) the Malibu( undefined international) , Aveo ( international), Orlando ( international) and Impala( not what it is now).

If I wanted to buy something large, I pretty much have to buy a crossover vehicle. What use do I have for Traverse, Enclave or Acadia?

I do not want an internationally styled import looking or handling five passenger car. Many do that like that type of thing. That is not my thing. This is how these debates go because people just do not get it. Chevrolet and Buick and Cadillac do not speak for every buyer out there.

Holden Caprice and Statesman and Holden Commodore look American with the exception of a few styling cues.

I assure you as much as I like GM, they have NOTHING I would trade me cars in on.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM does not offer a six passenger "American styled" car anymore. I am not counting Lucerne and DTS because they are on their way out. Impala offers a bench seat, but they changed up the option packages. I bet the next one won't. I look at the Ford Taurus and I see where Impala is headed.

That type of car is on it's way out, soon to be extinct...Ford's Panthers are going away soon also. As much as a like the old school, old style full size cars (RWD, V8), the market for them just isn't there anymore like it was 20-40 years ago.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM doesn't offer ANYTHING for more than 5 people smaller than the Lambda, or cheaper that 30k. This is a huge mistake in my view. I am in a family of five, GM has nothing for me when I buy a new vehicle in a year or so. I know I said 5, but often we will bring friends, and can handle that with our 7 passenger van right now. The GMC Terrain should have been 6-7 passenger, it would have been a good was to distinguish it from the Equinox, and the platform can handle it-see also Suzuki XL-7..

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM doesn't offer ANYTHING for more than 5 people smaller than the Lambda, or cheaper that 30k. This is a huge mistake in my view. I am in a family of five, GM has nothing for me when I buy a new vehicle in a year or so. I know I said 5, but often we will bring friends, and can handle that with our 7 passenger van right now. The GMC Terrain should have been 6-7 passenger, it would have been a good was to distinguish it from the Equinox, and the platform can handle it-see also Suzuki XL-7..

It is nice to know I am not alone in my thoughts. You have a different need, but it too is not being met.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM doesn't offer ANYTHING for more than 5 people smaller than the Lambda, or cheaper that 30k. This is a huge mistake in my view. I am in a family of five, GM has nothing for me when I buy a new vehicle in a year or so. I know I said 5, but often we will bring friends, and can handle that with our 7 passenger van right now. The GMC Terrain should have been 6-7 passenger, it would have been a good was to distinguish it from the Equinox, and the platform can handle it-see also Suzuki XL-7..

Orlando is coming and that seats 7.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orlando is coming and that seats 7.

the mazda5 does nicely at packaging room for 6. I will assume the orlando can almost duplicate that packaging. really though, if you are hauling 7 people, a minivan or lambada is really almost a neccessity. and to be honest, the low end traverse with fwd can be had at about the 26k price point (at least it did for awhile). If you look at average prices of what the new nox is going for, and how close the mpg is, its really not worth the step down if you really haul a lot of people often. I will assume a base Orlando is even going to price out at least where the base Equinox is.

I tend to think the Dodge Caravan is going reclaim market share once more and more people realize how cheap they are to haul 7 compared to just about any three row. the outlander and veracruz are the only examples I have seen that can be configured to cheaply haul 6/3 rows. well, and the Sorento, but even the new Sorento you have to opt up to a bunch of stuff and the price quickly gets to traverse (with rebates and discounts) price levels.

Does the Dodge Journey have 3 rows? I know some builds of that vehicle are pretty easy on the pocketbook but the interior is so terrible it can't be recommended to anyone.

Edited by regfootball
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since we're veering here, I am not really a fan of tiny vehicles with an overly optimistic number of seating positions. When you have 7 people and no place for them to put their stuff, what good is it? It seems more intelligent to me to have, in a small vehicle, 2 rows of seats and enough room in the back for a reasonable amount of gear. It is almost always the case that the third row is only there for marketing reasons, not real-world usage.

I have a cousin with 4 young boys. She sells real estate, and when the market busted, she traded her Excursion on a Saturn Outlook. She says it drives well enough, but is too small for her needs. All her boys are active in something, so in the Lambda with 6 people and all their stuff, it just does not work. She wants to get into an Expedition EL as soon as she can afford to (her dad, my uncle, is a lifelong Ford guy, so it would be impossible for me to get her into a Suburban).

Asks reg: "Does the Dodge Journey have 3 rows? I know some builds of that vehicle are pretty easy on the pocketbook but the interior is so terrible it can't be recommended to anyone."

Yes, the Journey has a 3rd row optional, and with the back seat up, there is very little space for gear behind it. If you go to Edmunds, owner reports are very good for the Journey. I like them, but would not waste the money on the optional miniscule third row.

Edited by ocnblu
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Who's Chatting

    There are no users currently in the chat room