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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
According to my source, the Saturn Curve is dead. Instead, they are looking to take the Vauxhall concept car, not send it to Europe (as originally planned) and work that concept car into the next Saturn, based on the Kappa architecture. What is the target date? Sometime in 2006.
 

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WOW! That would rock. Wonder if Saturn would stick to their "no hassle, no haggle" guns on that one... or if they would gouge over MSRP.
 

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Now that's some interesting news. I wonder where it will come in at from a price standpoint. I had expected the Saturn to be a lower priced/lower performance car than the Solstice.

The Vauxhall concept looks pretty mean and pretty expensive.
 

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Hmm.... I bet it would do wonders for the Saturn Image and really help out sales of their Red Line cars....

"That's a Saturn? Nope, thats a NEW Saturn."
 

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I heard the same thing from a source who usually has reliable information on GM too. That is basically why they had the Vauxhall prominently displayed with the three North American nameplate Kappa vehicles in Detroit, to guage American reaction to that design as well! It sounds like the reaction was very favorable.

Now, would the Vauxhall Saturn be in a similar price range? or would they option it up more and price it above the Solstice to try and prevent directly competing with the Pontiac on price. I thought it looked really sharp at Detroit, and am sure it will sell well if it is indeed the design they will use for Saturn. It would definately spell a change for the Saturn division, and its styling direction.
 

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I still question the strategy of GM positioning a Saturn as higher priced over a Pontiac? Isn't Pontiac more of a performance division than Saturn? Granted they are trying to pep up the Saturn brand but shouldn't they still sell the more basic version? Seems kind of odd :crazy
 

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I don't know if it will be officially more expensive. Just speculating. I agree, it would be odd to have a high cost roadster at Saturn, but it also does not make sense to me to price them both at $20K and create direct competition for yourself.

I was thinking $20K for the basic Solstice, maybe $23K-$24K for the Saturn with some more standard equipment, and maybe optional equipment not available on Solstice. None of this is from the source, just pure speculation! :crazy
 

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That don't look like no Saturn to me. Actually, I don't much care for the looks of it. I like the simpler, more classical lines of the Solstice. JMHO.
 

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while i think it would do nicely as a saturn i do not entirely understand how the general is positioning thier cars. the three kappa concepts were all different solstice= roadster curve= coupe and the nomad= hatchback. it does not make sense for there to be two kappa based roadsters, especially if they are in a simmaler price bracket. One guess is that they will place it around 30-35k to fit between the solstice and corvette. My only question is can saturn compete with the likes of honda, bmw, and porshe (spelling)? However i find that doubtful, i would guess that they may convert the lightning to a coupe or design a coupe in the same style as the lightning. this is all speculation, but i could not see the general taking a risk with a small 2 seat roadster and then compete against itself leaving other nitches open.
 

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Just a thought but suppose you wanted to go after two different markets with a single platform. One for the Miata/S-2000/rice boy and another for M3/Audi TT/SLK luxo-sports market. Cadillac is going after the 500SL top end market with a $70k roadster which leaves a big gap in the $25k-$35k range.

Meanwhile Chevrolet has the Corvette, Buick is looking at a four place convertible, and Olds is not around anymore which leaves...
 

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i can understand wanting to go after two different levels, but would you really want to position saturn to compete with audi/bmw/whatever? i cannot see anyone choosing a saturn over a bmw. that may be the case that the general wants to take on the low middle and high end roadsters but the brands that they are using are wrong. if this is the case the solstice should be a saturn and the lightning should be the pontiac
 

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Brian said:
i can understand wanting to go after two different levels, but would you really want to position saturn to compete with audi/bmw/whatever? i cannot see anyone choosing a saturn over a bmw. that may be the case that the general wants to take on the low middle and high end roadsters but the brands that they are using are wrong. if this is the case the solstice should be a saturn and the lightning should be the pontiac
:agree

Maybe GM has a master plan in all this. Maybe the Saturn version will be a stripped down version or maybe like you said they'll move Pontiac up up market with higher end options & power and position the Saturn where the entry level Solstice comes out.
 

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I think they are just covering all their bases. Some people just don't like the styling of the Solstice. So why not give people a second choice? They only have to sell 15 to 20k a year to be profitable. I will be getting a Solstice, but if the VX comes out or Chevrolet builds the rumored baby Vette I will be trading out of it. The styling of the Solstice just isn't for me, for lack of a better term it's too "organic".
 

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Rik said:
I think they are just covering all their bases. Some people just don't like the styling of the Solstice. So why not give people a second choice? They only have to sell 15 to 20k a year to be profitable. I will be getting a Solstice, but if the VX comes out or Chevrolet builds the rumored baby Vette I will be trading out of it. The styling of the Solstice just isn't for me, for lack of a better term it's too "organic".
Having to sell 15K to 20K is the real problem. I believe that figure goes for each Kappa car to cover its exterior/interior design and tooling costs. By selling 2 roadsters, they will have to move 30K-40K of them combined. The Solstice by itself will have to sell more than twice as many 2 seat roadsters as anyone else is selling right now to break even. Miata sells around 10K a year, MR2 is just a couple thousand. Then they want to add another roadster? There is no way these two cars will sell enough over the long run if they are positioned near the same price point and at the same market. One would have to be an upmarket roadster, and since they have already committed to an affordable Solstice, I see no choice but to take the Saturn upmarket.

Maybe it will become clear when the Lightning comes out, but I do not see how GM is going to pull this off. They are positioning Pontiac to be an American BMW, offering performance first and foremost. They are benchmarking the S2000 for it, and will release a boosted version that will compete with the low $30K roadsters, and have the N/A positioned under it. Where else is there more market for 2 seat roadsters for the Lightening to exploit? The $30K to $40K range between Solstice and Corvette? can they sell enough of all these roadsters to make the Kappa platform profitable? Or do they figure they will release 2 roadsters, see which one sells better, then cancel the other down the road. Survival of the fittest.
 

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I agree with MCEB.
Saturn line has always been marketed as the "sensible, low priced, high value" line. Ended up with a reputation as a "chick's car". Their trying to bust out of it with the RedLine proformance package (some say.."fast chick's car").
Pontiac has always been marketed as the fast car with a few more standard options than the base Chevy (Firebird vs Camaro, GTO vs Chevelle, etc).

I think GM is trying to cut the nitch (2 seat roadster) into smaller pieces. I also doubt there's enough to go around. I can see people in some board room saying, " We may have a chance to do to Ford what they did to us in 1965 with the Mustang. Let's get as many cars into this under developed segment as possible and see what happens." Trying to figure out GM's marketing motives has always puzzed me. Especially after they cancelled the both the SS Impalla and the Camaro/Firebird lines).

I can see how they would be motivated to drop one into a sagging sales line (Saturn) to get people back to their showrooms but I also can't see them selling enough in the long term to justify both cars. But who knows?
 

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Didn't I just see an article about changing Saturn's image? Something radical like this fits.

Maybe there will be very little 'content' differentiation, maybe it's just styling. It doesn't appeal to me, but showing pictures to friends of the solstice and VX lightning, most people prefer the Solstice. Some, however, really like the sharp look of the VX Lightning. Maybe a quarter of them?

I think it would be very risky for GM just to market the VX or a car that looks like it - the styling would be too controversial. But offering the same great underpinnings with different styles, on the same platform, and minimalizing the combinations of all the parts means for a little more investment (new interior, new fenders, some cladding), they can realize as much as a 25%-50% increase in platform volume.

2-seat roadsters, remember, are very limited market, and there are a certain number of people who do not like the looks of the solstice, miata, honda, and can't affort a BMWZ4. For those people, an affordable something that looks like the VX Lightning would be perfect.

It sort of makes sense.

[Topic shift warning*** ]

"What's in a name?"

Hopefully, if what Mike52 says is true and they build a Lightning and make it a Saturn, they stick with the name (Saturn Lightning?). It would be a shame to have it called a Saturn XH-2354, or the Saturn OAR1 (for Open Air Roadster), or some other meaningless jumble of letters and model numbers.

Now that I am rambling, I realized that Ford already has a "Lightning", so it would be stupid for them to stick with the lightning name - unless they want give Ford ammunition for making fun of them (and evoke the strength and speed of... a BIG FORD TRUCK!).

Any suggestions anyone? It's not like Saturn has a history of naming their vehicles well: (SC1, SC2, SL1, SL2, LS1, LS2, LW1, LW2, SW1...? Come on! VUE? Give me a break! ION1, 2 & 3? don't even TELL me that's a great car name! Redline? Bah-ha-ha-ha!, all though that's not THAT bad, but 1000 monkeys in a room with 1000 typewriters eventually...) :smile

[/Topic shift warning*** ]
 

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I had a BSA Lightning, would carry the front tire through two gears and a city block. Has a specific meaning in the UK.

Personally would rather see a badge engineered Opel Speedster. Is already in production.
 

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Hate to say this but I predict a name of "Saturn R1".. Simple, to the point, fits their past nameing history. They could do worse.
 

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I got a solution for the naming problem... give the VX to Chevrolet and call it the Stingray. From the side it already looks like a baby Vette. :smile
 
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