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Bimmer325

C&G Discussion: Is the Solstice Pontiac's Ticket?

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  • Posted Image Responses posted in this thread may be reproduced for use in an upcoming C&G Feature Article. Relevant, well thought-out replies are encouraged. All necessary credit will be given to those quoted. If you aren't comfortable with your opinion being reproduced, please feel free to say so. All are encouraged to participate in the following discussion regardless. Thank You.

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The Solstice's shapely sheetmetal is a significant departure from anything in Pontiac's lineup, as is it's drivetrain. Every one of the Kappa-based roadsters is accounted for this year, and sales continue to outpace Mazda's venerable (and also all-new) Miata. Moreover, the Solstice takes Pontiac in an entirely different direction from both design and performance standpoints. Little is known regarding Pontiac's future lineup beyond MY '07. As brands like GM's own Saturn begin to encroach upon Pontiac's territory, it's alarmingly apparent that the brand is in need of a more tightly-focused lineup.

This is where our discussion comes alive.

What are your feelings about the Solstice becoming the inspiration for the Pontiac of tommorow? No, I'm not suggesting that Pontiac should roll out a line of impractical roadsters. Rather, I'm referring to the Solstice acting as a guide for future models. This entails:

  • a predominantly rear-drive lineup that emphasizes performance
  • a universal design language that echoes that of the Solstice
What's your reaction to the points outlined above? Is the Solstice's formula Pontiac's ticket to success? Now's the chance to voice your opinion! Feel free to run with this. Let us know what you think Pontiac needs in order to survive. As always, thanks for participating!

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Bimmer325

Editor/Reporter

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I'm all for it...If GM can duplicate the Solstice's sexy design vocabulary on the entire Pontiac lineup, then they should be golden.

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rear drive sporty cars have been suggested as a theme for pontiac for a while now. theres no reason the solstice should have anything to do with the inspiration of such a lineup.

how many companies have 2 seat roadsters that translate design wise into larger sedans or coupes? if the question is simply, should pontiac get some new, cool kick ass cars that put the competition to shame then the answer would be an emphatically hell yes.

but like i said the solstice is merely a part of that formula...not the formula.

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Single, round-element headlights, a split grille that dominates the front end without looking like rabbit teeth, the fender scallop, chrome trim, and a variation on the high-set taillights could all be translated across the lineup very nicely, imo. And RWD is of paramount importance to the future relevance of the brand because it is the enthusiast's choice for driving fun and involvement.

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RWD :yes:8):yes:8):yes:8):yes:8)

All else is just icing on the cake.

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It's what Pontiac should have been for the past few decades. Only GM cannot seem to figure it out.

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It's a step in the right direction, but we're not there yet. It's successful at attracting customers in going to a Pontiac dealership, but I'm sure the next minute when the customer sees a Wave or Pursuit sitting in the showroom they'll just undoubtedly think: "It's just a Chevy with a pig's nose" and leave.

And sadly, BV was right last time when he said my G6 is a Camry wannabe. This needs to stop.

Yes, the Solstice is great value for a two-seater, but I have to have a primary car before I can have one! They need better higher volume products, but here, higher I don't mean high as rebranded Chevies, but something really unique. Something like: "A 3-series for G6 money" type of car. The G5 is NOT what Pontiac needs.

The idea of having Pontiac being the poor man's BMW isn't bad. Take the lower fraction of the BMW's lineup and that could very possibly be Pontiac's needs. Heck, even if Pontiac's lineup look like Mazda's, that would be nice as well. But don't forget Pontiac is with Buick and GMC now. So the lower fraction is well enough. Leave Buick and GMC to the upper section and trucks.

But see a pattern here? BMW and Mazda to an extent are PERFORMANCE brands. Well, not quite Mazda, but they are trying. And this is the image what Pontiac needs, minus the quality of the old BMW and old Mazda.

I'm a little off topic here, but this is what I think Pontiac needs.

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Pontiac is properly GM's performance brand, but it also needs to be a volume brand. The Solstice is a nifty halo car, but little more. Cars like the G6 and Grand Prix determine the fate of the brand - bread and butter cars for those who want something different than a Chevy.

The G6 is moving in the right direction, with upgraded powertrains arriving for '07. The problem, of course, is the G6 has already been out for two years. Same problem affects the Ford Five Hundred - a great design, but put on the market before the engine that was designed for it was ready.

Pontiac's big car for the foreseeable future will be the Grand Prix, and it is entirely appropriate that it be a RWD and a direct competitor with the 300. With that addition, Pontiac appears to cover the spectrum quite well:

1. State of the art RWD roadster - Solstice

2. Compact FWD grocery getter - Vibe

3. Compact FWD coupe with a modern drivetrain - Pursuit/G5

4. Midsize front-driver able to compete directly with Accord, with couple, vert and high-performance variants - G6

5. Affordable performance-oriented "full size" rear-driver - Grand Prix/G8

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And sadly, BV was right last time when he said my G6 is a Camry wannabe. This needs to stop.

Not for nothing but I made that comparison over a year ago and

got a lot of flack over it. The G6 is kind of like the offspring that

would result if a Camry LE got knocked up by a Mazda 6 IMHO.

truth be told the G6 is a decent vehicle and I'm dissapointed they

did not call it what it actually is: a Grand Am. I wish the base

model was available wiht a 5/6 speed. Automatic "sport sedans"

suck. If it doesn't have a clutch pedal it's NOT a manual.

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Not for nothing but I made that comparison over a year ago and

got a lot of flack over it. The G6 is kind of like the offspring that

would result if a Camry LE got knocked up by a Mazda 6 IMHO.

truth be told the G6 is a decent vehicle and I'm dissapointed they

did not call it what it actually is: a Grand Am. I wish the base

model was available wiht a 5/6 speed. Automatic "sport sedans"

suck. If it doesn't have a clutch pedal it's NOT a manual.

And the even more unfortunate thing: In '07 they knocked out the manual on the GTP down to GT... unless there's a manual coming for the 3.6.

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Pontiac has always tried to be the performance division with a distinct flair. This is clear and simple, something that is not conservative, takes no prisoners, and is not for the average person looking for something safe. Both points you listed, Bimmer, qualify at those marketing perspectives.

But the Pontiac of today is so dulled and indistinct, many think it is dead, and it was only 8 years ago that it was selling nearly a million units per year. What has happened that people have been convinced to stop giving brands chances?

Well, within the company, it's simple. Lack of product focus and understanding where the market was going have led to sales duds. Plain and simple. Marketing cannot do anything for a G6 with a pushrod motor pushing out 200 hp for the supposed performance division and a face that harks back to the last generation Accord. The rear is another indistinct trait altogether.

What the hell happened to GM that convinced them they should try and make their cars as innoucous and Japanese-inspired as possible....[best slack-jawed yokel impersonation] "because that must be why America buys the Japanese cars so much".

Why haven't they figured it out? Haven't they gotten spanked by the Accord and Camry enough to just take it apart and drive the sucker!?

Ooooookay. End that.

Back to Pontiac.

MArketing for the G6 could do nothing for this brand that used to produce attractive sedans that had sporting intentions every once in a while [last gneration Grand Prix].........but never really produced sedans that completely measured up in the quality and sophistication respect.

Marketing could do nothing for it.

The only thing left is to completely reinvent this brand.

Back to why people are convinced to stop giving chances to brands. Lack of resources within the company. It's your own damn fault, GM, for starving Pontiac of the right kind of product. So when you're out of business, and you have all these Pontiac people shedding tears or whatever and asking what went wrong, don't point the finger at anyone but yourself.

Go drive a Mazda 3 for some excitement, inside, outside, and through and through. Then drive a G6 and tell me what's wrong.

As for the public, they'll start giving chances to brands again as soon as you give them a valid reason.

There are a lot of brick walls out there, but not everyone is, and their are a lot of soft spots for GM, and Pontiac. And killer DESIGN is the ticket to stardom.

So, to answer your question, yes and yes, Pontiac needs RWD, or a lot more RWD, and a lot more performance, as well as more daring plebian models for the more mainstream, and more curves like the Solstice would help things out A LOT. DAMN GOOD LOOKING CARS is the key.

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Guest YellowJacket894

The Solstice could be Pontiac’s ticket. However, it seems that GM is not taking it.

A completely rear-drive and all-wheel-drive line would work wonders for turning Pontiac back into a performance brand again. Sleek, curved styling like the Solstice would make those cars gotta-have products. Throw in a low base price and I think maybe BMW should worry just a little about the sales of the 1er (when it gets here) and 3er.

But instead we get retagged, renamed Chevy Cobalts and Aveos as unfulfilling Pontiac Pursuits/G5s and Waves with Porky Pig-esque noses. This is not a step in the right direction. This is not where Pontiac needs to go. Other divisions have less renamed, rebadged products. It seems the rest of GM is moving forward while Pontiac stays back, saddled down with rebadges and mostly unsatisfactory products -- lacking in exterior and interior design or engine and transmission choices.

Sometimes it makes me think that those Porky Pig noses being slapped on today’s Pontiacs are the division’s way of saying “T-t-t-t-hat’s all folks.”

Edited by YellowJacket894

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Who's all those other brands/corporations standing right behind GM in the "can't figure it out" line?

Ford?

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Ford?

Last time I checked Ford still gives us options...

they have a RWD Mustang & a great BOF sedan

with RWD in the Crown Vic. Not as good as the

B-body but still a great car for the money.

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If the Solstice can at least get people thinking about Pontiac, then why can't they get a car that makes people want a Pontiac? It's great that all Solstices are sold out, but Pontiac really needs a sell-out sedan that gives the Accord and Camry a run for their money.

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Last time I checked Ford still gives us options...

they have a RWD Mustang & a great BOF sedan

with RWD in the Crown Vic. Not as good as the

B-body but still a great car for the money.

That's great and all but Ford has no clue what to do with Lincoln or Jaguar. Mercury may even be included in the list, too.

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That's great and all but Ford has no clue what to do with Lincoln or Jaguar.  Mercury may even be included in the list, too.

Well that I'll agree on 100%.

Jaguars are a joke... the X-type is so lame I almost

hurl every time I see one. Gross styling and $h!ty

Mondeo Guts... well, not $h!ty but definately not up

to snuff for what they're asking.

Lincoln is going 180* of where they shoud be and I

have a Feeling if things don't improve very very

soon for Mercury they might be seeing the

Guillotine too... :(

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Lincoln is going 180* of where they shoud be and I

have a Feeling if things don't improve very very

soon for Mercury they might be seeing the

Guillotine too... :(

Mercury's already dead in Canada.

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Any last-minute responses?

Things are wrapping up on this as we speak.

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Too late.

Pontiac and Buick are wasted efforts, the hot thing yesteryear but increasingly no longer cool (with exception) or relevant. GM doesn't have the management talent to turn these brands around even if they had all the money in the world (at one time they did, anyone remember?). Lutz won't be around forever, and GM won't incorporate his product system in the culture after he's gone. Just look at history.

Sorry to say, the Solstice should be a Chevy. Forget about making Pontiac about performance. It's actually been about being a differently styled Chevrolet for about 30 years now. What makes anyone think anything will change??? Buick is a nice idea, but the low-key luxury car is a niche in the 21st century. Toyota has shown us with the Cressida and the Avalon that this idea slots in nicely as a top of the line model in the mainstream brand. Buick will never be hot again.

I feel that Ford is thinking along the same lines by moving product to Lincoln that would have gone to Mercury in years/decades past. GM needs to make money stemming the blood loss by focusing on shorter lifecycles with broader lineups at Cadillac and Chevy. What they do with the PBG channel and all the franchise laws and all that I don't know. That's what the highly-paid Harvard MBAs at GM are for, right?

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