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Pontiac Expects 25% Sales Boost in 2006

LAS VEGAS -- General Motors executives have told Pontiac dealers to expect a 25 percent increase in retail sales next year.

Higher retail sales would ease Pontiac's heavy reliance on fleet sales, which are expected to generate 36 percent of its total sales this year.

Dealers say Pontiac wants to sell 340,000 retail units in the United States next year, up from an estimated 272,000 retail units in 2005.

If retail and fleet sales continue at their current pace, Pontiac will sell 428,000 units this year.

The company expects the full G6 lineup, Torrent sport wagon and Solstice roadster to spur the boost.

GM executives told dealers at a conference here this month that the four-cylinder G6 and new Torrent will be high-volume vehicles.

GM launched the V-6 G6 sedan last year but has been waiting for a lower-priced version to increase volume.

Although several of the vehicles on which Pontiac is depending are on the market, it takes months for dealerships to be fully stocked and sales to reach normal volume.

With a full year of production at full volume, Pontiac expects big sales increases next year.

Pontiac has sold about 340,000 retail and fleet units for the first nine months of this year, down 9.7 percent from the year-ago period.

In 2004, the brand had 12-month sales of 474,179 in retail and fleet. GM will not reveal Pontiac's current retail-fleet mix or say what the 2006 goal is.

GM would not comment on the forecast given to dealers.

GM spokesman Rick Asher says Pontiac will work to increase retail sales and decrease sales to daily rentals.

GM's full line of G6s will be in showrooms by the middle of the first quarter. GM launched the 3.5-liter V-6 G6 sedan in September 2004. In July, GM launched the 2.4 liter 4-cylinder and the 3.9 liter V-6 sedans. GM launched the G6 coupe in July with two V-6 engines, a 3.5 liter and a 3.9 liter. The G6 convertible is scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of next year. Only a V-6 ragtop will be available.
 

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It would be nice to see Pontiac get a 25% sales boost, but I'll really believe it when I see it. Their best hope is with the Torrent and G6. However, I would be concerned about upper level G6's simply stealing sales from the Grand Prix, and the Torrent doesn't do much to distinguish itself from the Equinox which seems slightly cheaper. They also have to make up for the loss of Sunfire sales, which has been around 20K units per year. But we shall see, as the division certainly needs a boost!
 

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Fformula88 said:
It would be nice to see Pontiac get a 25% sales boost, but I'll really believe it when I see it. Their best hope is with the Torrent and G6. However, I would be concerned about upper level G6's simply stealing sales from the Grand Prix, and the Torrent doesn't do much to distinguish itself from the Equinox which seems slightly cheaper. They also have to make up for the loss of Sunfire sales, which has been around 20K units per year. But we shall see, as the division certainly needs a boost!
Well, the Sol should replace the Sunfire sales. ;)
 

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Editguy said:
Well, the Sol should replace the Sunfire sales. ;)
Yep, it will. The G6 has just about caught up to past Grand Am sales too. But that doesn't leave much else to grow Pontiac 25%. Especially when you need to make up for the now dead Bonneville, and lower Grand Prix sales (down nearly 6% this year) before you see any overall growth. The Torrent would have to become REALLY hot.
 

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Fformula88 said:
However, I would be concerned about upper level G6's simply stealing sales from the Grand Prix, and the Torrent doesn't do much to distinguish itself from the Equinox which seems slightly cheaper.
GM has a history of making cars that compete against themselves.

I did look at a G6 coupe the other day, and I must say it is really nice.
 

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Considering that they lost almost half their lineup for 2006, that would be quite a feat. I wish them the best.

Aztek (gone)
Bonneville (gone)
Grand Am (gone)
Sunfire (gone)

G6
Grand Prix
GTO
Montana
Solstice
Torrent
Vibe
 

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Editguy said:
Well, the Sol should replace the Sunfire sales. ;)
The Sol can't replace Sunfire sales. Even though the price is similar, quantity is not even in the ballpark. Pontiac is definitaly taking a hit in the econobox category. Maybe if they marketed the Vibe correctly....
 

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Sales to go up 25%? Hard to believe with current data.

Bonneville (gone)

G6 ----> replaces Grand Am, but sales are still down compared to predecessor
Grand Prix ----> Solid platform, but getting dated & sales dropping. Next to go?
GTO ----> replaces FIREBIRD (too little? too late?). Sales not up to snuff.
Montana ----> does anybody buy these?
Solstice ----> New, instant hit - but low production quantity.
Torrent ----> replaces Aztek. Doing well.
Vibe ----> Only vehicle with the ability to replace Sunfire, but probably won't. Next to go?

I don't see where the sales are going to go up unless they plan on doubling or tripling the Sols and market the Vibe to a slightly lower pricing level.
 

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SkyCaptain said:
The Sol can't replace Sunfire sales. Even though the price is similar, quantity is not even in the ballpark. Pontiac is definitaly taking a hit in the econobox category. Maybe if they marketed the Vibe correctly....
I based that on Fformula88's assertion that the Sunfire was selling about 20k a year, which should be the neighborhood that the Solstice should be in, at least based on Pontiacs original projections. And with a third shift, they should be able to reach their original goal. Oh, and if the 20k figure is vorrect, the Solstice sales of 20k is a lot more beneficial to Pontiac than 20k Sunfires.
 

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Pursuit

I think the plan is to add the Pursuit and dump the Vibe. Pursuit would start at $12K and easily sell 50K units/year.
 

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Here are the stats on Pontiacs recent sales covering YTD sales Jan-Oct 2004 and Jan-Oct 2005 (so not a full year, but close).

Vehicle..... 2005..........2004
Bonneville...9466..........27,222 (-65.2%)
Firebird......0...............109
G6............98,027........5091
Grand Am...31,287........127,332
Grand Prix..106,313.......112,707 (-5.7%)
GTO..........10,018........9,487 (+5.6%)
Solstice.....1,488..........0
Sunfire......24,366.........29,367
Vibe..........57,393.........51,340
Aztek........4,733...........18,167
Montana....22,799.........30,040 (-24.1%)
Torrent......3,941..........0

Total........369,831.......410,862 (-9.98%, or 41,031 units)

Using these figures, GM would need to find at least another 90,000 units in sales next year to move 25% more Pontiacs, putting sales up around 460,000 units. That looks like a tall order.

Consider, GM will not have the Bonneville, Sunfire, Aztek, or Grand Am sales next year (2006). Although they were being phased out in 2005, they still accounted for 69,852 units. Without those cars, Pontia sold roughly 300,000 vehicles that they will still sell next year, and they need those vehicles to instead move about 460,000 units, or 160,000 more.

So take the Sol. That is going to be roughly 20,000. Lets say those 30K Grand Am coupe buyers find a home in the G6, and half the Sunfire buyers, about 12,500, pick up a Vibe (which I doubt, as they are still vehicles in different segments despite price. If Sunfire buyers wanted a Vibe, they would have bought it already). That is 62,000 buyers, but GM still needs 100,000 more. The Torrent offers a great opportunity, so lets say they manage to move 50,000 of them. Not totally out of the question I suppose (although I think they will need big discounts. I saw one a couple weeks ago, MSRP of 28K and it only has a 185 HP engine. I can get an equivalently optioned Saturn Vue cheaper and have a 250 HP engine).

Pontiac still needs 50,000 more buyers to meet this target. That is assuming all other lines can keep their current pace, which is unlikely with the Grand Prix aging, the Vibe aging, the Montana's apparent sales slide (not helped by the Saturn Relay) and more competition for the GTO and another year on the lot for that car (and also anticipation of it's replacement).

I want Pontiac to do well, and I think they will do ok. But I do not see how anyone can really predict big sales increases with their current model range. Especially after abandoning two whole market segments.
 

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65MGB said:
I think the plan is to add the Pursuit and dump the Vibe. Pursuit would start at $12K and easily sell 50K units/year.
The head of Pontiac is on record as saying that they declined the Pursuit for the US market, and will not be selling a delta chassis clone.
 

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I also doubt that we , Pontiac, will experience such a high increase in sales. I will say that with the addition of the three new vehicles, G6, Solstice, Torrent our line is much more up to date.

Torrent - in our area is a HUGE desire. Most people consider it a replacement for the Aztek. I am having a terrible time keeping them in our invetory.

G6 - is an excellent car that lands well with its competitors, which is not an easy thing to do considering its competition. I would bet that the G6 will seriously be a competitor in the next few years once they are seen on the road and people fall in love with them.

Solstice - Just need more of them. I only hope the Halo effect of the car gets people buying other Pontiacs. I personally have many customers that bought a G6 coupe instead.

GTO - Nationally the sales are significanlty better than the 04's. Our region is the highest in the country and we simply cannot get enough of the cars. We buy cars from as far away as Maine. The car is a hot item here.


If anything they are making a positive trend to the green. Hopefully the reliability marks on all of these new vehicles will match the quality of the cars.
 

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Read the article. RETAIL All it would take to hit the mark next year would be something along the lines of this:

Solstice....18,000
Vibe.........57,000
Torrent.....50,000
Montana....30,000
GTO..........15,000
G6...........100,000
GP.............70,000

Total....340,000
 

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Small Dealer said:
Read the article. RETAIL
So that is still an increase of about 68,000 units retail, which is still a rather significant increase.
 
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