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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Mention of Solstice and Sky for Houston auto show...

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/3012761

They started making you register to read it (hate that) so here it is...

Jan. 28, 2005, 9:40AM
That new car smell
Houston show displays the year's hot vehicles
By DAVID KAPLAN
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

RESOURCES
• What: Houston Auto Show
• When: Today through
Feb. 6
• Where: Reliant Center
• Tickets: $10 for adults, free for children 12 and under
• Information: www.houstonautoshow.com

More than 600 vehicles will vie for attention at the 2005 Houston Auto Show, which starts today. But only a handful will receive the most coveted kind of attention: buzz.

A car with buzz gets people talking because it's different, stylish and exciting. Cutting through the clutter, it can redefine a carmaker's image.

Last year, buzz surrounded the Chrysler 300, DaimlerChrysler's snazzy rear-drive sedan that is still considered hot.

This year the spotlight may shine on two roadsters, the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, according to Brian Moody, road test editor of Edmunds.com, a Web site for car buyers and sellers.

Saturn's classy 2006 Aura sedan is also making waves.

How does a car get buzz?

"Sometimes it's as simple as whether it's a good-looking vehicle," said Jeff Brodosky, auto analyst with J.D. Power & Associates.

Along with having the wow factor, cars with buzz often cost less than expected, he said. In other words, a middle-class consumer can actually own one.

The 1965 Ford Mustang is a famous example.

Even though the Solstice and Sky are getting rave reviews, neither will sell in large numbers, Brodosky said, because as two-seaters they are impractical for most families.

The Sky may not be high volume, but it can bring "a halo to the entire Saturn brand," said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn's general manager, who described both as "signature vehicles" that can change consumers' perception of the brand.

The Sky will go on sale in early 2006 and start at less than $25,000, while the Aura, a Euro-styled, luxury-looking sedan with a refined interior, is scheduled to make its debut in the summer of 2006. The Aura's price is not yet set but should start in the low $20,000 range, a Saturn spokesman said. The Aura at the auto show is officially a concept car but almost identical to the one that will go on sale, Lajdziak said.

The Sky and Pontiac Solstice are similar under their skin, but they have dramatically different exteriors. The Solstice, to be priced starting below $20,000, is fluid in design, while the Saturn combines curves and sharp edges. Both have Batmobile-like humps behind the seats.

DaimlerChrysler has produced a number of pizazz cars recently. According to AutoVibes, a monthly auto survey, the hottest cars of 2004 were, in order, the Chrysler 300; Dodge Magnum, a muscle car/station wagon; and the BMW 6-series.

The Chrysler 300 is embraced by the hip-hop world. Rappers Snoop Dog and Twista are owners, for example. The Dodge Charger, which goes on sale this summer, impressed rapper 50 Cent, who recently told the auto customizing magazine Dub: "I need to know what I gotta do to get that Dodge Charger first. I need that."

Not everyone likes the Charger. Some enthusiasts are outraged at the idea of a four-door Charger. The last year for the two-door version was 1976.

"We love the purists — they set the bar," said John Sloan, director of Chrysler car marketing. "But the world has changed dramatically since the 1960s."

Buzz can be fleeting, and carmakers must plan accordingly.

The retro Chrysler PT Cruiser, for example, attracted huge buzz when it made its debut in 2001, but interest waned.

The Chrysler 300 made a big initial splash, but the company waited several months before increasing production to make sure "the buzz was sustainable," Sloan said.
 

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Mike; I wonder if at some point Pontiac will slip in a "real" production car into the show circuit. The trick for us is to know that the switch has occurred. That is, if they care to make a switch.
 

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Chip said:
Mike; I wonder if at some point Pontiac will slip in a "real" production car into the show circuit. The trick for us is to know that the switch has occurred. That is, if they care to make a switch.
Once GM says production has begun in Wilmington, Del we can more then likely expect prodction level cars to start being shown.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Remember we heard the plant started a non-salable build in January so maybe one of those could start showing up in the shows real soon. It will be hard to know for sure what we are looking at.
 

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mceb said:
It will be hard to know for sure what we are looking at.
Not really, it will be the one with the top up! :lol Which show would be the best one to show off the top?
 

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We probably have a better chance at someone in the factory or a person that lives near by, to take pictures of one of these cars. Some of those people have come in the forum with information so how about it, are you game?. :smile
 

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aawil said:
Me too. But I doubt it. I just hope we don't get last years production concept.
I hope someone can answer some of our questions not just look stupid like they did last year! :lol
 

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AJC said:
I hope someone can answer some of our questions not just look stupid like they did last year! :lol
Oh, I doubt that! They don't give those people the information we are looking for! They are just hired guns to market the car.

What would be nice is if GM sent out the lead engineer on the project to really discuss some of the nitty gritty of the car! I know, it won't happen. It would still be nice! :smile
 
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