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I found this interesting post on that blog under the comments that I think expresses many of the feelings posted here. Notice what site was cited for reference info! :lol:

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Lori,

I am thriled to be one of the first 1000 EOP owners of the Solstice, so needless to say, I think your team has done a terific job of bringing the Solstice from concept to (almost) production. It would appear that you have a winner onboard; I've not personally been as excited about a Pontiac (or any GM vehicle) since I was a kid. You've done a lot of things right.
But let me tell you from my perspective some things that could use improvement in your processes:

1) Website. I signed in to receive "updates" on the Solstice on the Pontiac website back in December or January 05; I have not once receieved ANY update via my request, including the EOP program itself. The only information available was throught the Solsticeforum.com site.

2) GM BuyPower. Another website that I used to get information from 5 dealers in my area, relative to the Solsice. Through the site I e-mailed the dealers for specific information about "market adjustments" they planned for selling the vehicle. I got 2 responses overall; only one of those dealers confirmed that they would not sell the car above MSRP. After three weeks I wrote to Pontiac to report that I had no response from the other dealers. I never receieved a response from Pontiac either.

You claim that the Apprentice promotion was to gauge interest?! For what purpose - clearly the Solstice was headed for production regardless of interest. It was a marketing campaign, and a good one at that. The problem lies in execution of the delivery.

I appreciate the promise of quality through rigorous testing, etc., however shouldn't the kinks have been worked out before the Apprentice campaign to assure summer delivery? Frankly I think any justification at this point is lame; GM has tremendous resources to fix this problem in a timely manner. Fix them and get the first car out by the solstice.

As excited as I am to get my Solstice, I can't help but feel a little frustration with GM through this process. Will I buy another GM vehicle after all of these years anyway? I guess it depends on whether the excitement outweighs the frustration. Why don't you "gauge interest" in the Audi A3 Sportback, build the Nomad - I'll be back.

Posted by: patrickmichael
I too am losing patience and the "gauge interest" spin on the EOP does tend to insult one's intelligence. I've seen quite a few posts here and elsewhere complaining about the lack of communication we were lead to believe would occur. Emails and some neat stuff like a poster or two would go a long towards reversing some of the feeling of being used by GM with such a possible long delay in delivery. I do want a quality product as much as anyone else, but it is a good dealer harder to maintain patience with GM on this one. They are going to suffer a lot of bad PR if it's another three months of this type of "we're workin on it" environment before acceptable cars start being delivered.

I really didn’t intend to rant about this, :rant: but it sure is hard to drive around on the few sunny days we're having lately in these parts and not really wish it was in my own Solstice.
 

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Solstick said:
Emails and some neat stuff like a poster or two would go a long towards reversing some of the feeling of being used by GM with such a possible long delay in delivery.
I agree that their communication leaves much to be desired. Even some basic information such as when we might have more information about our orders would help. Maybe something like "Although a firm production schedule has not been determined yet, we expect to have a better idea by the end of the month (or whenever) and we will be contacting you when your order is scheduled for production to give you more information about the approximate delivery date." Without that, I'm sure a number of people were wondering if they would even get a call until their Sol was at the dealer ready to be picked up. I thought that might be the case until I finally spoke to a GM rep who assured me they will be in touch. And it might be nice if they threw in a couple of postcards showing the Solstice in some of the new colors with some different backgrounds (a sunrise, mountains, snow, etc.) A little picture-book showing a few shots of some Sols on the assembly line might be a cool little souvenir also. It wouldn't cost much, but would certainly build the excitement. Oh well ... that very well may be what they have planned, but it would be nice if they got started with some form of communication showing us they're thinking about actually producing our cars and not only concerned with getting our orders (the EOP e-mails).
 

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Seems to me that GM has blown it!!! If its going to take until Oct. to just
get the first 1000 out thay have missed the revenue on over 7000 more
for this fiscal year (which ends in Sept).

Will GM being on the edge of financial bankrupcy, I am sure the stock
market will be all over this blunder and tank their stock this year.

So sell it if you got it!!!!!!

They may rebound later, but the roadster market being so small they can
not generate significant revenue either way. But I am sure a lot of analysts
will see this in a negative light, which GM does not need right now.

GM -- Do a good job because if you don't your name will be flushed down
the toilet, as apposed to just floating in the bowl!!!!!!!

Having been away from GM products for 20 years now, and having purchased
5 new cars since that time (not including this new solstice) if you don't get
this right you are going to loose this customer forever the next time.
 

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Rant alert

Okay, I feel a rant coming on... :rant: You know, this is great that we get GM exec's making a few sweeping statements. And hats off to Lori for at least making the effort. HOWEVER; the part about the Apprentice stunt being used to guage interest is, quite frankly, insulting. A promotion that was plainly geared toward seeking orders done in April, and a delivery 6 MONTHS LATER in October - for the first 1000!?!? I don't know of any other consumer facing product manufacturer that would try to float that out to its customers. It would appear that GM simply screwed up on the timing for the promotion vs. the delivery, and you know what - just say so. As consumers we can understand delays, but just tell it like it is, and don't treat us as a bunch of gullible kids who will swallow stories about "guaging interest" with little more than a gee, golly. :rant: Let us know when the car is coming. Some will wait and buy, and others will go get a Miata. GM - just be straight with us please.
 

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Bought_It said:
Seems to me that GM has blown it!!! If its going to take until Oct. to just
get the first 1000 out thay have missed the revenue on over 7000 more
for this fiscal year (which ends in Sept).
Here is a post I used earlier in the month:


"GM's fiscal year end is December 31st.

And with yearly revenues around $200,000,000,000 (200 Billion Dollars), even 5,000 cars at $20,[email protected] would only be $100,000,000 (100 Million) or .05% of revenue.

Wow I just used the term, "only 100 million"."
 

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Danno said:
HOWEVER; the part about the Apprentice stunt being used to guage interest is, quite frankly, insulting. A promotion that was plainly geared toward seeking orders done in April, and a delivery 6 MONTHS LATER in October - for the first 1000!?!? I don't know of any other consumer facing product manufacturer that would try to float that out to its customers. It would appear that GM simply screwed up on the timing for the promotion vs. the delivery, and you know what - just say so.
The "stunt" produced less then a 20% order to registration rate. And even that was slightly higher then they thought they would get. Never mind the very small order to site hit rate. If they just wanted orders, then wouldn't need to have spent millions and millions of the promotion. Just up date thier web site and open the doors. The promotion was to gauge interest and create interest. Pontiac has been quoted in the press as saying the interest shown by the Apprentice appearance is making them consider ways to increase output for the year.

And if you think GM screwed up the timing. When would you have had a promotion for the 1000 First 1000 Exclusive Retail Order Solstices? Keep in mind that you have to make your decission in September of 2004 or (perhaps even earlier), and that production is scheduled to start in Summer of 2005, and that the available dates of Apprentice Season 3 runs through the end of April 2005.
 

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:brentil:
You know what, I'm getting kinda tired of all these "you're so stupid GM, why didn't you know the future and not f-up like you did, cause I can play the 20/20 hindsight game and bitch about how GM sucks some more" posts. [Doesn't mean you can't post them, they're just pissin me off.]

Ummm, when else did you expect them to show the car on The Apprentice? The season kinda ended already. It's not like they could have altered TV schedules to make them stop playing the show till Sept. If they wanted a spot on the show they probably had to plan it out over a year before this season started anyways. And it's not like there's any shows really running over the summer worth advertising on since all your shows are pretty much over now. Everyone here knew this was Pontiac trying to guage interest too. We had been discussing it before the EOP started, and there had been several media.gm.com articles about website statistics and such that pointed towards this type of thing.

I'd also like to point out as several have said, the GM fiscal year follows the real year I believe, and is not Sept.

So you guys would rather them sell non-production quality products, so that the line bombs because of faulty parts/bad quality instead? If the cars aren't ready, they're plain and simple just not ready. GM can't throw the magic switch and make the cars just exist at dealer lots.
 

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Brentil is right on. Besides if GM was trying to guage interest more than just conceptual focus groups, I would imagine in order to be somewhat effective, the earlier, the better for the EOP. Hopefully now that they know that 7500 orders have been placed, they have some idea of how much of a success the Solstice will be and they can make some changes to the plans/process to ensure they can meet this demand as quickly as possible.
 

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brentil, you echo my thoughts...
 

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brentil said:
:brentil:
You know what, I'm getting kinda tired of all these "you're so stupid GM, why didn't you know the future and not f-up like you did, cause I can play the 20/20 hindsight game and bitch about how GM sucks some more" posts. [Doesn't mean you can't post them, they're just pissin me off.]

Ummm, when else did you expect them to show the car on The Apprentice? The season kinda ended already. It's not like they could have altered TV schedules to make them stop playing the show till Sept. If they wanted a spot on the show they probably had to plan it out over a year before this season started anyways. And it's not like there's any shows really running over the summer worth advertising on since all your shows are pretty much over now. Everyone here knew this was Pontiac trying to guage interest too. We had been discussing it before the EOP started, and there had been several media.gm.com articles about website statistics and such that pointed towards this type of thing.

I'd also like to point out as several have said, the GM fiscal year follows the real year I believe, and is not Sept.

So you guys would rather them sell non-production quality products, so that the line bombs because of faulty parts/bad quality instead? If the cars aren't ready, they're plain and simple just not ready. GM can't throw the magic switch and make the cars just exist at dealer lots.
A rare :brentil: from Brentil! :agree: I agree wholeheartedly.

I can understand that some people are upset. Some thought they should have gotten an EOP car and didn't, so they are upset. Those that did get one have to wait before it arrives, so they are upset. Everyone is upset because GM isn't producing production cars, and there is no clear date when that might start. Everyone is so enthusiastic about the car, and have been patient for so long, and now with the weather turning want to have the car. So frustration is understandable.

However, there have been some blatant open attacks on GM too. They did make some mistakes, such as the zero-zip debacle. They have also been offering free maintenance plans to make up for it. Overall, however, this is turning into a huge success.

Someone says they are losing out on profit? What? They have over 8000 cars already on order, and most of the country doesn't know it exists yet. They have to wait a little while to collect the money, but Solstices appear poised to be in demand for a long time. They will get their profit.

That brings us back to the EOP. Some of the first 1000 buyers are getting tired of waiting? There are 4000 more potential buyers on a waiting list to get an EOP car. They would love to have the opportunity to get one, even if it meant waiting a few extra months.

For GM, this has been a success. Although they get slammed a little here for the EOP program, its not going to hurt sales at all, and after cars hit showrooms nobody will care anymore anyway.

S-man keeps giving the best advice. Just be patient! The car will be produced, and be in your driveway soon enough!
 

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brentil said:
:brentil:
You know what, I'm getting kinda tired of all these "you're so stupid GM, why didn't you know the future and not f-up like you did, cause I can play the 20/20 hindsight game and bitch about how GM sucks some more" posts. [Doesn't mean you can't post them, they're just pissin me off.]

Ummm, when else did you expect them to show the car on The Apprentice? The season kinda ended already. It's not like they could have altered TV schedules to make them stop playing the show till Sept. If they wanted a spot on the show they probably had to plan it out over a year before this season started anyways. And it's not like there's any shows really running over the summer worth advertising on since all your shows are pretty much over now. Everyone here knew this was Pontiac trying to guage interest too. We had been discussing it before the EOP started, and there had been several media.gm.com articles about website statistics and such that pointed towards this type of thing.

I'd also like to point out as several have said, the GM fiscal year follows the real year I believe, and is not Sept.

So you guys would rather them sell non-production quality products, so that the line bombs because of faulty parts/bad quality instead? If the cars aren't ready, they're plain and simple just not ready. GM can't throw the magic switch and make the cars just exist at dealer lots.
From someone who is in the advertising business (but nothing to do with Pontiac or GM), I'd say you are 100% correct.
 

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Small Dealer said:
The "stunt" produced less then a 20% order to registration rate. And even that was slightly higher then they thought they would get. Never mind the very small order to site hit rate. If they just wanted orders, then wouldn't need to have spent millions and millions of the promotion. Just up date thier web site and open the doors. The promotion was to gauge interest and create interest. Pontiac has been quoted in the press as saying the interest shown by the Apprentice appearance is making them consider ways to increase output for the year.

And if you think GM screwed up the timing. When would you have had a promotion for the 1000 First 1000 Exclusive Retail Order Solstices? Keep in mind that you have to make your decission in September of 2004 or (perhaps even earlier), and that production is scheduled to start in Summer of 2005, and that the available dates of Apprentice Season 3 runs through the end of April 2005.
Once again, the voice of reason speaks. :)
 

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Wow - I completely disagree with all of you who are now defending GM in the light of a morsel tossed out from on high. I work for a fortune 500 company in marketing, and I am very close to this kind of marketing strategem. Let me tell you that a promo like that on the apprentice cost a pretty penny, and in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS was designed to drive sales. Gauging interest is the business of polling/survey companies, and can be done a lot more accurately, and sliced up by demographics, and for a lot less that what that TV deal will have cost. As for when I would have run the promo, given the fact that the Apprentice was in the can early - the answer is simply that you revolve around the immovable date - the apprentice - and if that meant being unable to launch this summer, they should have launched next summer, with many Solstice available FOR PURCHASE immediatly after the show - striking while the iron is hot, as it were.

GM is a big outfit playing with big dollars - taking it on the chin when a botched launch is put out to the public is part of playing in the big leagues. So I think those of you who are saying "poor GM" are looking at the business (and the business of business) through rose coloured glasses.
 

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Danno said:
As for when I would have run the promo, given the fact that the Apprentice was in the can early - the answer is simply that you revolve around the immovable date - the apprentice - and if that meant being unable to launch this summer, they should have launched next summer, with many Solstice available FOR PURCHASE immediatly after the show - striking while the iron is hot, as it were.

GM is a big outfit playing with big dollars - taking it on the chin when a botched launch is put out to the public is part of playing in the big leagues.
I'm not sure I can agree with your assessment. As a marketer, you know, it is equally important to beat your competition to the market. We have already read articles discussing the release of the new Miata. Waiting until next summer would have allowed Miata to take market share. Pontiac has 8100 orders. That is fantastic. As noted previously, this represents 10% of this market. WOW! Besides, like many of the posts, people assume too much. How do we know that the launch was botched? We really don’t know when the first cars will roll out. If any of the first 1000 make it in the hands of their new owners before the end of July, then it would have been successful. Just wait for the excitement once people start to see these cars!
 

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PubliusE said:
I'm not sure I can agree with your assessment. As a marketer, you know, it is equally important to beat your competition to the market.
Who's in the market right now??? (I hear crickets).
 

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Danno said:
As for when I would have run the promo, given the fact that the Apprentice was in the can early - the answer is simply that you revolve around the immovable date - the apprentice - and if that meant being unable to launch this summer, they should have launched next summer, with many Solstice available FOR PURCHASE immediatly after the show - striking while the iron is hot, as it were.
Thank you, it isn't every time that some one will actually respond directly to a question in a post.

So if you where running GM, the G6 plant would still be idle waiting for the September 2005 season premier of Oprah. And the Solstice would be pushed back until Spring of 2006 to launch with an episode of Season 4 of the Apprentice.

Cars wait for advertising, compared to the old advertising waits for cars and the current "Event Promotion" waits for nobody.
 

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So we are all ranting, but over what? Because we don't have our early order cars yet? Its only May! If they don't begin showing up by late July or August then I will join the rant.
 

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SamllDealer, like I said before, you revolve around the fixed dates. You are working backwards using your logic, then applying mine - an unfair (illogical) daisy chain. Using my logic, the marketing strategies around Oprah, Apprentice, etc, would all drive the manufacturing dates, and if that is logisticaly impossible change your marketing vehicle It's a basic tennet of marketing: set 'em up, knock 'em down - not set 'em up, hang out wait a while, let folks get interested in other products/ideas, then knock down the reamining hard liners.
 

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Fformula88 said:
Some of the first 1000 buyers are getting tired of waiting? There are 4000 more potential buyers on a waiting list to get an EOP car. They would love to have the opportunity to get one, even if it meant waiting a few extra months.
Indeed. I am not a potential buyer, I am a buyer. I have an order in and am waiting just like everyone else. While I did not make the first 1000, I'm OK with that – I got my order in too late on April 15. Would I like to have one of the first 1000 – Sure! So please, feel free to help the waiting list move closer in my direction.
 

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Danno said:
Wow - I completely disagree with all of you who are now defending GM in the light of a morsel tossed out from on high. I work for a fortune 500 company in marketing, and I am very close to this kind of marketing strategem. Let me tell you that a promo like that on the apprentice cost a pretty penny, and in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS was designed to drive sales. Gauging interest is the business of polling/survey companies, and can be done a lot more accurately, and sliced up by demographics, and for a lot less that what that TV deal will have cost. As for when I would have run the promo, given the fact that the Apprentice was in the can early - the answer is simply that you revolve around the immovable date - the apprentice - and if that meant being unable to launch this summer, they should have launched next summer, with many Solstice available FOR PURCHASE immediatly after the show - striking while the iron is hot, as it were.

GM is a big outfit playing with big dollars - taking it on the chin when a botched launch is put out to the public is part of playing in the big leagues. So I think those of you who are saying "poor GM" are looking at the business (and the business of business) through rose coloured glasses.
GM probably had to commit on the Apprentice fairly early, so show planners knew what they would be looking at for their season. At the time that GM committed, they probably were planning on an early summer release. Hence their change at the NAIAS to a summer 2005 release, and the rumors that production was to begin in May with deliveries by June. That would have been a decent lead time for the project. Unfortunately, in the time between the commitment to the apprentice and now, they most likely ran across some unforeseen delays.

Still, with 8100 cars on order, I think they did strike while the iron was hot. That is 40% of their projected yearly sales, and they are yet to deliver a single car or really kick their marketing into high gear for the car.

Not saying you are wrong. In an ideal setting, having the product ready to go would be better. Have the car on the apprentice, then have 10 sitting on the dealer's lot the next day to sell. Unfortunately, it is what it is at this point, and by all appearances it still looks successful.

Also don't forget, a primary mission of a car like the Solstice is to give Pontiac, and General Motors an image boost to sell other cars. So even if someone who wants a Solstice cannot buy it yet, marketing it is getting people to think of Pontiac as the maker of cool, fun cars, and it is giving people the impression GM is once again capable of making a cool, fun car. Although you cannot tabulate that into Solstice sales, it may still be invaluable to the turnaround of the company.
 
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