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Discussion Starter #1
I was just wandering something, and please clarify if I am a nut. But, is Gm or Pontiac checking out this site?
Would it not be in the best onterest for Gm to correspond with this site to get ideas and opinions?

Honestly, WHY NOT?
Were the ones who will be buying this car. We are the ones who will recommend it. If they are communicating with this site, then I am clueeless about it.

C'mon, GM, lets blow away the industry with the solstice, and make it a legendary car that "working-class" people/ the mass moajority of our society can dream about when they are younger.
AND LETS GET IT OUT BEFORE THE SUMMER OF 2005
 

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I'm sure someone from GM reads this stuff, hell they probably sponsor it. Just because they read it doesn't mean it is overly useful to them.

Think about it, if you were an objective observer of this form, and let's say your passion was watching the home and garden network, you drive a mini van and don't know why everyone else doesn't, and GM is paying you to evaluate the reaction to the Solstice for them, what would you learn. Mostly that there isn't much agreement on how the car should be built.

According to some of us, here are the things they need to change;

Engine
Wheels
Trunk
Top
Exhaust
Front end design
Instraments
and everything else seems open for debate

And this is with out anyone seeing or driving an acctual car. Many of the most vocal people have already said they are going to change this car no matter what GM does with it. So if your GM, what good is reading this forum?

On the other hand, this forum, and others like it, show how popular this car is already. This forum has alot of members, but only a few actualy post. I suspect that the vast majority of members on this forum like the car just the way it is. If they take the time, and filter the posts they can derive at certain areas of concern, like the need for more optional power, or the top and trunk, but it's tough when most members don't post or participate in the polls.

I have fabricated and built many things in my time, and no matter how hard you try to work out the best design, there will always be those that come up to you when you're done and say "You know what you shoulda done...." All one can do is try to synthysize an overall average of what most end users will want, take into consideration other people's input (this is where this forum comes in), and go with your gut feeling, inspiration and intuition on the project. From what I've seen, GM has done a commendable job at doing just that.

This car's going to be great and it will have popular support for many years to come. Now if they just focus on my posts they'll have a winner. Only kidding! :lol This forum needs more input from it's non-vocal members. At least participate in the polls. Help Pontiac get some useful input from this forum. If only a few members respond to threads then it's hard for them to gauge acctual public opinions and trends. I'll shut up now.
 

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RnR,

Of course they are [aren't you? I can see you reading this...]. :wink

However, I'm sure they are very busy trying to pull off a major magic trick - come up with a brand new platform faster than anyone has done so in the last 35 years - and try not to overpromise or underdeliver.

Additionally, answering all your (my, anyone's) questions does little to help their competitive position. The guys at Mazda/Ford, Toyota, Honda, etc. are also reading this [aren't you? I can see you reading this...]. :wink

Why divulge all their secrets to everyone? Who does it benefit? If it's official, it will be on the GM site or Pontiac site. Right now, we all have a vague idea, but have many unanswered questions. Curiously, they are the same unanswered questions that were unanswered with the England drive with all those magazines. Viz,

1) Will they pull ahead intro into summer 05 or earlier?
2) Will a higher horsepower version be available? When?
3) If higher Hp version available, what form?
4) Is the top going to be functional? Usable?
5) How much "real" storage space will there be?

I suspect these unanswered questions are that way on purpose. It preserves their competitive position. These answers will come, in time.
And no, you're not a nut.

[edit: sorry, I was in process of responding when AeroDave responded. Apologize for any redundant info. and
DITTO to you silent readers: participate in polls. It's much more impressive if you see 150 participants rather than the 25 that regularly post.]
 

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I know of at least a few people involved with the Solstice that read our site. I'm sure they are paying attention to what is said. Given the time crunch to get it out I doubt that they will be able to put all of our changes into the first model year.

btw... Gm does not sponsor us. We are an independent site.
 

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And don't forget, enthusiasts like us are in the minority. A very vocal minority at times, but still a minority. GM must make it's decision based on the largest majority of potential buyers. I.e, some people that have not yet heard about a Solstice. People that will never log onto a site like this. This includes people that will see a Solstice on a lot for the first time, turn around to go see it, then drive away in it. The majority of buyers will look at the overall appeal of the car, not the little details. Seriously, nobody gives a crap how big the Pontiac symbol on the front end is or other nonsense. 17" or 18" wheels will not make a bit of difference in the number of Solstices sold. They will test drive it and if it has the sporty look and feel they want they will not care if it has 170HP or 190HP. Then you get into another group of people that rely on magazines like Car and Driver for their info. If C&D says the Solstice is better than the Miata then that's what they will buy. I think the front end is kinda ugly, but I doubt changing it will make much difference one way or another in total sales.

Some things WILL matter. Forced induction WILL make or break some deals. The size of the luggage area will affect overall sales. There are people that will not buy a car like this unless there is a hard top option. There are plenty of people that will only buy an automatic... But GM already knows all this much better than we "keyboard demographic experts" ever will. :)

Pontiac execs - if you make the front end just a little more aggressive you'll sell twice as many cars the first year. ;)
 

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Skeptic,

:cheers :thumbs

Skeptic said:
...if you make the front end just a little more aggressive you'll sell twice as many cars the first year. ;)...
...maybe you'll buy two instead of one? :lol
 

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skeptic said:
And don't forget, enthusiasts like us are in the minority. A very vocal minority at times, but still a minority. GM must make it's decision based on the largest majority of potential buyers. I.e, some people that have not yet heard about a Solstice. People that will never log onto a site like this. This includes people that will see a Solstice on a lot for the first time, turn around to go see it, then drive away in it. The majority of buyers will look at the overall appeal of the car, not the little details. Seriously, nobody gives a crap how big the Pontiac symbol on the front end is or other nonsense. 17" or 18" wheels will not make a bit of difference in the number of Solstices sold. They will test drive it and if it has the sporty look and feel they want they will not care if it has 170HP or 190HP. Then you get into another group of people that rely on magazines like Car and Driver for their info. If C&D says the Solstice is better than the Miata then that's what they will buy. I think the front end is kinda ugly, but I doubt changing it will make much difference one way or another in total sales.

Some things WILL matter. Forced induction WILL make or break some deals. The size of the luggage area will affect overall sales. There are people that will not buy a car like this unless there is a hard top option. There are plenty of people that will only buy an automatic... But GM already knows all this much better than we "keyboard demographic experts" ever will. :)
Agree. Looking at the potential markets for Solstice I see 3 major ones.

1) College Crowd - the youth market, 18-24 who use it every day.
2) Weekend Warriors - mid-life crisis folks who will use it on weekends and sunny days
3) Enthusiasts who will race or modify it.

I think Pontiac has a done an excellent job for all 3 groups. The 3rd group needs a solid foundation to build on plus higher HP versions (post year 1). Groups 1 & 2 will use the car "as is" and really just want a great price and decent performance. Personally I'm in group #2 so the 20k sticker & reasonable HP and handling are my biggest selling features. I'd have my pick of 8 different roadsters at the 40k mark but for a 2nd vehicle that just can't fly. :yesnod
 

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Hate to say it but I'm in all three groups:
1) I plan minor performance modifications and might race it on the occasional weekend,
2)although I'm no longer in college, I'll be driving it every day and
3)I'm 52 so I guess that's mid-life, but only if I live to be a hundred and four!
:cheers
 

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I wonder what the sales numbers to the 3 groups will be like?

Dave...good point, some people will cross groups. "Mid-life" is probably a wide range in today's world :cheers
 

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skeptic said:
And don't forget, enthusiasts like us are in the minority. A very vocal minority at times, but still a minority. GM must make it's decision based on the largest majority of potential ;)
For a good many other platforms your statement may be true, but for this car it's the "enthusiasts" that it is (should be) aimed at IMO. The car will have no interest to people that need to move equipment, kids, or play things. This car is designed to do one thing (I hope) and that is Haul Ass & do it well!

Pontiac needs to have done their homework on what an enthusiast wants and demands in a sports car. This car no doubt will sell on its "Eye Candy" appeal, but at the end of the day if it does not perform up to "our" expectations it will go the way of other Pontiac mistakes. (No names mentioned)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok GM, PLease make this a GUYS CAR. I KNOW THE TREND IS TO SATISFY THE FEMALE BUYER B?C THEY CONTROL MOST OF THE DECISIONS, BUT PLEASE MAKE THIS A GUYS CAR.

IF this looks like a womans roadster, I'm GOING NOWHERE NEAR IT.
Make it cool and tough.
 

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Yes, I'm "midlife" also . . . at 69! (Well, my mother lived to be 101, so there's always hope!). And this will be my major vehicle. Who wouldn't want to drive it at every available opportunity? :thumbs
 

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Rocknroll said:
Ok GM, PLease make this a GUYS CAR. I KNOW THE TREND IS TO SATISFY THE FEMALE BUYER B?C THEY CONTROL MOST OF THE DECISIONS, BUT PLEASE MAKE THIS A GUYS CAR.

IF this looks like a womans roadster, I'm GOING NOWHERE NEAR IT.
Make it cool and tough.
The prod car will be as you see it today (most of tweaks will be to internals but body and base engine are set). No need to worry.
 

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I am sure GM tries to get all the feedback on the Solstice, and all its other vehicles that it can. However, that does not mean they wwill take every complaint serious, or make every change requested. They will take autoshow reactions, website opinion, focus group opinion, letters written to them, and other sources of consumer feedback and look for trends. If everyone voices the same complaint, I am sure they will look into the problem and try to correct it. But some things are not that practical to correct, cannot be corrected, or are not seen as a big problem by all of their sources of data.

Example, the engine. A lot of enthusiasts here think 170 HP is not exactly enough. Yet, other people may think its a great starting point for a two seat roadster. A lot of people enjoy Miata's and MR2's because you can drive them at 90% on public roads without traveling 40+ MPH over the posted speed limits. For them 170 HP may be an appreciated increase, without it getting so fast its not practical to enjoy it in everyday driving.

There is also the cost factor. GM wants a cheap roadster to start, and that has to start off with a cost effective engine. Supercharged engines, V6's, or whatever would easily raise the base price. They would also raise the insurance cost, which has to be looked at in an economical sports car. If the buyers can afford the car, but not the insurance of the car, they still won't buy it. I am sure GM will have a faster version down the road to satisfy those of us who want a little more go.

By the look of it, the Solstice is going to be great as is, and is only bound to get better after production starts as GM improves and refines it!
 

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Chip said:
For a good many other platforms your statement may be true, but for this car it's the "enthusiasts" that it is (should be) aimed at IMO. The car will have no interest to people that need to move equipment, kids, or play things. This car is designed to do one thing (I hope) and that is Haul Ass & do it well!

Pontiac needs to have done their homework on what an enthusiast wants and demands in a sports car. This car no doubt will sell on its "Eye Candy" appeal, but at the end of the day if it does not perform up to "our" expectations it will go the way of other Pontiac mistakes. (No names mentioned)
Perhaps you and I are thinking of different things when the word enthusiast is used. To me an enthusiast is someone that knows all about the car. Someone that 20 HP difference one way or another is a big deal. Someone that belongs to a car club or online forum and talks about their car. This has nothing to do with whether or not they haul kids or move equipment. Look at Miata owners (basically the same target demographic). Most of them are not what I'd consider an enthusiast. They bought the car because they think it's a fun little car that looks nice and is in their price range. Would a smaller toyota emblem or larger stock wheels make a noticable difference in the total number sold? Of course not. Obviously there are plenty of Miata enthusiasts, but they are not the majority of the Miata owners.

Another thing to consider when speculating on what GM is going to do. Its sorta like if you and I were walking in the woods and a bear jumped out and charged us. I don't have to be the fastest person on the planet. I don't even need to outrun the bear. I just need to be better than my direct competition, to outrun you. Pontiac doesn't need to build the best car in the world, nor the fastest. They don't even NEED to build the best Solstice they can for $20k. They need to build a car that is better than their competition.
 

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Fformula88 said:
....Example, the engine. A lot of enthusiasts here think 170 HP is not exactly enough. Yet, other people may think its a great starting point for a two seat roadster. A lot of people enjoy Miata's and MR2's because you can drive them at 90% on public roads without traveling 40+ MPH over the posted speed limits. For them 170 HP may be an appreciated increase, without it getting so fast its not practical to enjoy it in everyday driving.
....
This is exactly what I'm struggling with now. My pleasure drives are mostly on the street and not the track. I like pushing the engine and using the gears, but the car I have now needs to be kept in check in order to avoid going much beyond what is legal. Someone once said it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slowly. I think I'm coming around to that opinion although it's also a nice feeling to have high horsepower on tap.

Interesting to see the ages posted on this thread. I'm 51.
 

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skeptic said:
Perhaps you and I are thinking of different things when the word enthusiast is used. To me an enthusiast is someone that knows all about the car. Someone that 20 HP difference one way or another is a big deal. Someone that belongs to a car club or online forum and talks about their car. This has nothing to do with whether or not they haul kids or move equipment. Look at Miata owners (basically the same target demographic). Most of them are not what I'd consider an enthusiast. They bought the car because they think it's a fun little car that looks nice and is in their price range. Would a smaller toyota emblem or larger stock wheels make a noticable difference in the total number sold? Of course not. Obviously there are plenty of Miata enthusiasts, but they are not the majority of the Miata owners.

Another thing to consider when speculating on what GM is going to do. Its sorta like if you and I were walking in the woods and a bear jumped out and charged us. I don't have to be the fastest person on the planet. I don't even need to outrun the bear. I just need to be better than my direct competition, to outrun you. Pontiac doesn't need to build the best car in the world, nor the fastest. They don't even NEED to build the best Solstice they can for $20k. They need to build a car that is better than their competition.
These are some really good points too. To be a hit, they need to be better than their direct competitors, but not necessarily better than every sports car out there. Top the Miata at the $20K price point and its going to be a winner. The Miata is not fast, and although is a great handling vehicle, still has some chasis flex. Also, if it undercuts the Miata by a couple thousand, it doesn't even have to be quite as good. The MR2 is a better performer than the Miata, at least exceleration wise, but its more expensive and that has been a killer for it.

As for an enthusiast, what I was alluding to before is that enthusiasts are not necessarily out for all the horsepower they can find. If they were, the f-bodies would still be for sale and no Miata would ever have sold. There are different kinds of enthusiats, some like power and acceleration above all else, others are interested in the handling and feel characteristics of a car. People often get caught up in HP numbers and magazine racing, and that is fine, but not every enthusiast judges a car solely on those factors. That is the person Solstice is after. GM will be glad to sell a Corvette to anyone who is looking for big HP numbers!
 

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"Another thing to consider when speculating on what GM is going to do. Its sorta like if you and I were walking in the woods and a bear jumped out and charged us. I don't have to be the fastest person on the planet. I don't even need to outrun the bear. I just need to be better than my direct competition, to outrun you. Pontiac doesn't need to build the best car in the world, nor the fastest. They don't even NEED to build the best Solstice they can for $20k. They need to build a car that is better than their competition"

Back in the day this was known as plain old "value", or bang for the buck. No Pontiac does not need to build the best car, but if it doesn't move forward far enough with it's version of the Kappa platform it will be a major hit on the division. They can little afford to make a false step on this rollout.
I also think you have slighted many Miata owners by saying "Most of them are not what I'd consider an enthusiast. They bought the car because they think it's a fun little car that looks nice and is in their price range" They may not fit (by definition) into the hard core enthusiasts category, but the several I know sure think they are hard core. No matter really, I just think that Pontiac has this car squarely aimed at sports car enthusiasts. Sure they want to outdo the Miata, but the effort has to be the real deal. No "Iron Duke" powerplant this time. This is GM's attempt to take on the world and make a profit on a low volume low cost platform.They claim that Kappa is the key that opens that illusive lock. I am sure I can speak for us all when I say I hope they surpass their own (and our) expectations with the rollout of the Solstice.
 

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I agree with Rocknroll, this must be a guy car. I think it looks like one as it is and I like it as it is. More horsepower never hurts. I like the tire size also, this helps it look like a guy car. The Miata has little wheels and was voted #1 girls car. I think guys look out of place in them and I would never consider owning one for that reason. I am 47 years old and have always liked fun and powerful cars( manly cars). That is why I have Pontiacs and that is what I would expect in this car.
 
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