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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This plant made Beretta/Corsica back in the day and most recently made the Saturn L series sedan. The capacity must be 200,000 car/year or maybe more. (GM only wishes that they could have sold 200K worth of L's)

To set this size of a plant aside to make 20K Solstice/20K Sky/20K Opel(60K total) seems odd. Especially since the price point of these cars will be sub $25K.

Must be a contract thing? Could be a state thing? Could be a union thing?

Quick look at the numbers...60,000 cars/year @ $3,000 each (GM's profit/car?)= $180MM in profit/year. Not bad. I wonder what the investment costs were? How about 1 Billion...so pay back is roughly 6 years...that's when they break even. Sounds like a losing proposition to me...unless they get more cars on the Kappa platform...Camaro? A Cadillac? A Buick? Just like the Sigma, I'm sure the wheel base and track can be increased to accomodate larger cars. This had to be designed into the car.

What about quality? The same people that put together the L-series (with door gaps the size of my finger (yes, likely related to the plastic panels). How can they adjust their thinking to put together this car with a fraction of the door gaps of the L or even the Chevy Beretta/Corsica

How many Miata's sell per year? Will small convertibles swamp the market and result in only 10K Solstices/10K Sky/10K Opel selling per year? Then will GM cancel the cars?

Many things to ponder while we wait for our cars...

RadRiv
 

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Plant was "re-tooled" last summer for kappa. Any comparisons to old volumes would be apples to oranges?

The method of kappa production also limits it's volume. In fact the whole business model was pitched as a way to make money on a low-volume car.

Miata sales ranged from high of 80k a year when it first came out, did couple years in 50's I think and near end of life cycle of a generation they petered out at around 10k a year (while people wait for next model). Remember those early numbers didn't have much competition so now a days we have more competition. There were some threads a while ago that showed the Miata #s. 20k always sounded a a good target for Sol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree, apples and oranges. However, the size of the plant and the number of union folks employed there (at one time anyway), makes you think that there are more to come. I know GM pays idled union folks from this plant and they can't bring them all back...unless the contract changed when the L series sold so poorly...???

The Hydroformed frame and body panels will limit production (that's what they are telling us)...however they could be pulling our leg. They hydroform the Full Size Truck and the Mid-size trucks (Trailblazer/Colorado/SSR) frame and they don't seem to have a limit on them.

Also, Wilmington, DE is a good port city to ship to Europe and elsewhere.

Just some points to argue...again, idle time until the cars roll in!
 

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RADRIV said:
Also, Wilmington, DE is a good port city to ship to Europe and elsewhere.
Good point, the 3rd kappa for Opel will be heading to Europe.

Those other 2 kappas (Sky & Opel) will also add to the overall volume numbers so could get up to maybe 40-50k units when all 3 are at full speed in 2007?
 

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RADRIV said:
This plant made Beretta/Corsica back in the day and most recently made the Saturn L series sedan. The capacity must be 200,000 car/year or maybe more. (GM only wishes that they could have sold 200K worth of L's)

To set this size of a plant aside to make 20K Solstice/20K Sky/20K Opel(60K total) seems odd. Especially since the price point of these cars will be sub $25K.

Must be a contract thing? Could be a state thing? Could be a union thing?

Quick look at the numbers...60,000 cars/year @ $3,000 each (GM's profit/car?)= $180MM in profit/year. Not bad. I wonder what the investment costs were? How about 1 Billion...so pay back is roughly 6 years...that's when they break even. Sounds like a losing proposition to me...unless they get more cars on the Kappa platform...Camaro? A Cadillac? A Buick? Just like the Sigma, I'm sure the wheel base and track can be increased to accomodate larger cars. This had to be designed into the car.

What about quality? The same people that put together the L-series (with door gaps the size of my finger (yes, likely related to the plastic panels). How can they adjust their thinking to put together this car with a fraction of the door gaps of the L or even the Chevy Beretta/Corsica

How many Miata's sell per year? Will small convertibles swamp the market and result in only 10K Solstices/10K Sky/10K Opel selling per year? Then will GM cancel the cars?

Many things to ponder while we wait for our cars...

RadRiv
RadRiv:
According to a couple of different sources, only a portion of the plant is occupied by the Kappa line. BTW - you forgot the Malibu/Cutlass cars that were built there between the Beretta/Corsica and the Saturn Loser Series.

IIRC, the Solstice is supposed to be 20,000/year, the Sky about half that, and no word on European Kappa volumes - but should be less than the Sky.

Don't forget - the WHOLE PURPOSE was to come up with a low volume, low investment niche "back to basics" roadster. Supposedly - the Solstice is profitable (can't find source) at the low volume of 20,000/year. This means the investment MUST have been substantially less than the $1B a new platform typically costs. Dies for the body panels alone were 1/3 cost or something like that because they are one-sided sheet-hydroforming dies.

So, if the kappa line occupies only 1/3 or 1/4 of the original plant, the attributed costs are that much lower too. Example: if the beretta/corsica took 24 hours to build, and produced at a rate of 60 cars per hour - that is a plant that is 1500 stations long. I don't know what the cost is per line length, but 1500 "units" is a good start.

If the Solstice is same assembly time (24 hours per car) but only 5 cars per hour (20,000/year, 240 - 16hr work days), the system size only needs to be 120 "units" large.

Yes, this is a simplification - but parametric modeling starts with simple explanations. If you want to be capable of producing 25,000 Solstice, 15,000 Sky, and 7,500 European Export Kappas - that's a rate of 47,500/year. OR a normal line rate (at 16hr/day) of 12 1/2 cars per hour. That translates to 300 "units" - or a rough size of the assembly plant required to produce the planned kappas. Or the Kappa line occupies about 1/4 - 1/5 of the entire Wilmington complex.

Stated in $$$ - the assembly plant allocation of fixed cost for the Kappa line is 20-25% of that required to make, say, a new Cobalt, or a new ION, or the old Cavalier, or even the Saturn Loser Series.

You also don't want to overcapacitize: otherwise, if you never make your intended volume, you carry excessive assembly plant investment that you may never recover. Like the Saturn Loser Series - capacitized for much more than they sold, GM had to have lost money on these cars.
 
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