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Mostly about car sales in general. Quick reference to roadster market and the Solstice entrance. Here's is the blurb if you don't want to read the whole article...

Even though the U.S. auto industry had a near-record year in volume, it wasn't a great market for many sports cars. Sales of the BMW Z4 collapsed. The Mazda Miata, Audi TT, Nissan 350Z Honda S2000 and Mercedes all showed declines. Among the few bright spots were the new Chevy Corvette, Mazda RX-8 and Chrysler Crossfire.

GM has a couple of low-priced roadsters coming--the Pontiac Solstice arrives this spring, while and the Saturn Sky will be in showrooms later in the year. I think that these are attractive cars, but this slow-growing segment is getting crowded. The Solstice is likely to be successful, but the industry has to realize that such cars no longer sell themselves.
Link:
Lessons From Last Year
 

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The Solstice is likely to be successful, but the industry has to realize that such cars no longer sell themselves.
Are you listening GM, because based on the numerous threads about the trunk and top here on this forum, you may not have a winner after all.
 

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LatinVenom said:
The Solstice is likely to be successful, but the industry has to realize that such cars no longer sell themselves.
Are you listening GM, because based on the numerous threads about the trunk and top here on this forum, you may not have a winner after all.

Exactly what I have been trying to argue in numerous threads! With so many choices, the little things really begin to count!

That said, I think the Solstice is set to grow the market. Many of the cars in this segment are getting long in the tooth which hurts their sales. S2000, Boxster, TT, and Miata are aging. The 350Z is seeing the typical dropoff after a huge first year but is still selling well. Z4 sales are a disappointment, but that is due more to the controversial styling than the segments collapse. With the older cars in the market, it may be ripe to grow back a little with a couple new offerings. GM better hope it grows some!
 

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The other factor that Solstice sales will be up against is used roadsters. A 50k roadster five years ago is now almost the same price as a loaded Solstice, and most of those expensive roadsters were well cared for, so as we have already seen on this forum, there will be people saying, "Yeah the Solstice/Sky look awsome, but for that money I can get a Boxster/Vette/TT/Z3/S2000 etc."

All those used roadsters out there impact the sales of new ones more than I think say, used sedans impact that market. Most roadster styling stays fresh looking longer and they don't change every 3 years, so a 5 year old Boxster looks as cool as a new one. A roadster is mostly a plaything and a 2nd or 3rd car, so alot of people's budgets are tight and they're looking for value. A used roadster represents alot of value.

Years ago there weren't alot of choices and so the few roadsters we could get saw limited steady production and remained in the hands of the priveledged. The Miata changed all that. The country went nuts for roadsters and lots of car companies wanted that attention, so now, 10-12 years latter, there is a large supply of new and used roadsters. Tough market, beacuse even though roadsters are the best ever designed now, they still aren't very practical and still have limited sales appeal to most Americans.
 

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solsticeman said:
But in two years, just think what a naturally-aspirated 2006 Solstice will go for... THEN we'll see who dominates the used-roadster market.
Yup, especially when the higher powered versions come out. That should definetely help drop the price of the naturally aspirated cars too.
 

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solsticeman said:
But in two years, just think what a naturally-aspirated 2006 Solstice will go for... THEN we'll see who dominates the used-roadster market.
My point was that the new 2006 Solstice is going to have to compete against a large pool of very capable used roadsters. If they don't sell all that well now, then I wouldn't say they would dominate the used market a few years latter. Good deals on them will be a given however.
 

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I am in concurrence with the used value market for roadsters; however my 45 year old unit needs to be replaced before I get too old to enjoy another Roadster. Nothing like a Nationwide Warranty to make things feel better. Care and feeding should also be included in this equation; insurance, fuel economy, depreciation, resale....Guess owning mine for 36 years makes the view different?

Take care-Steve
:cheers
 

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solsticeman said:
What's wrong with your 45-year old unit? ;)
Hmm, whats wrong with a 45 year old... um...er... nah. I am nto touching it! :lol :jester

The used roadsters that are around are a good point, but I wonder how much they would really infringe on new roadster sales of cheaper cars. A used Boxster may be had for a decent price, but I am not sure I would want to live with one. I cannot imagine what maintenance and repairs will cost on an aging Boxster with no engine access from above! :crazy Same goes for other higher cost cars too. They are filled with higher cost parts, and as they age they will need them more frequently.

Plus, a lot of new car buyers really want a new car. Otherwise, it is a bit of a waste to buy new instead of late model used. So there is also the desire to have a new car over a new to me used one too.
 

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I've heard it's better to have a used unit then an unused unit. I certainly think there's some merit to this thinking.

You know more about the used units, you're familiar with them, they've "been through the ringer" or "around the block a few times."

As for replacing units, can you really "replace" a unit that you've had for 45 years? I'd imagine, even if it's worn out, you've still got some attachment to it. All you can do is "exchange" it or try and make the one you've got keep working.

I know someone who has a unit from the 1950's and it's still going strong.:jester

Besides, if you get together with other owners of similar units, you can build up a network of information of the weaknesses of them...


...ahhh, I give up. I can't keep going...
 

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The 45 YO unit has all of the fun factor that I hope the Solstice has. However, I would hate to make a long trip in it now. My Austin Healey Sprite wasn't much on comfort when it was built in August of 1960.(Bolt on windows, trunk access from cockpit only, lever shocks...) But, that didn't hamper my brother from driving it from Los Angeles, CA to Caribou, ME and back in 1974. Young folks seem to be able to handle these long road trips better.

Still driving it, planning on making my car clubs 'Polar Bear' run this month.

Steve
 

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Exactly Solsticeman, like having my old Eldo (86,000 miles), or Ff88's Fiero, they become almost like family. Or at least mine has. I know it's a dinosaur, parts are getting harder to find for it, it can't be replaced easily for another just like it, but man oh man, I do love that car. It's my little bit of history. The last of it's kind... For every person that says they'd never buy a used unit of any kind, there's another that falls in love all over again and maybe gives it the life and love it should've gotten.
 

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hehehe Michael, I think they're trying to refer to a different type of 'unit' then you're refering to. :D

This is another one of those jokes like why driving with LSD is bad. :jester
 

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Okay, so I'm not the brightest bulb in Times Square! I don't care! ;) I'll look good in the Solstice, that's all that matters...
 

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They make replacement parts for those things?! I just took my 30-year-old unit for its first mod about 6 weeks ago. Now I don't have to keep it under a cover anymore!
 

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By George...I Think He's Got It!

Exactly. Turning heads, wind in your hair, revvy growl...service at the local GM dealer (instead of at Han's German Money Pit Boutique)...ahhh.

Regards,

Big Daddy
 

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Unit Care and Feeding

:devil Key to keeping your unit in good working order:

1) Keep it generously lubricated.
2) Frequent use keeps hoses and belts in good working order.
3) Find a qualified unit servicing agent in your area. I found one 20 years ago, and she's an expert at servicing mine. Knows it in and out.
4) Don't take your unit to other servicers. They will just screw it up, and you'll tick off your tried and true unit servicer.
5) Your unit may spawn sub-units...some of which have units of their own...teach them about unit maintenence as soon as they begin to take their units out for a spin.

Regards,

Big Daddy
 

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My 66 mustang still has wow factor evryone looks at it and wants to talk about it everywhere I go with it but driving it is no pleasure,bad handling,
manuel steering and manuel brakes. It will be leaving my driveway soon and
will be replaced by solstice :patriot
 

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I have to *somewhat* disagree with AeroDave's assessment that:

AeroDave said:
Most roadster styling stays fresh looking longer and they don't change every 3 years, so a 5 year old Boxster looks as cool as a new one.
I think roadster styling is among the quickest to age. A big problem with many roadsters/sports coupes is that their styling is stunning one year and rendered old/average by new models from the competition a year or two later. So while a 5 year old Boxster looks as cool as a new one, I know that to some people (not me) it looks old by today's design standards. In a market driven largely by physical appearance and sex appeal this is a never-ending problem. The Solstice will hopefully endure well thanks to its classic styling.

BTW, I totally agree with you, AeroDave, that used premium roadsters will be competition to the Solstice/Sky. I'd be lying if I said a used Boxster isn't on my shopping list. Six cylinders, a gorgeous skin, and those tantalizing intake/exhaust notes can really make for an excited unit... err, I mean, can really make for an exciting unit.
 
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