Pontiac Solstice Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Solstice: See you in September


By Jason Stein and Robert Sherefkin
Automotive News / April 25, 2005

DETROIT -- If early orders are an indication, Pontiac could have a winner in its Solstice roadster. GM quickly booked 1,000 orders for the two-seat convertible this month during a TV promotion.

But now GM says it won't ship a significant number of Solstices to dealerships until this fall - well past its summer target date meant to coincide with the peak of the convertible selling season.

Industry sources say fit problems are delaying the launch at GM's Wilmington, Del., plant.

In material distributed to reporters in January at the Detroit auto show, Pontiac said the Solstice was "expected in Pontiac showrooms in mid-2005." But GMTV, GM's Webcast media site, said last week that the car won't be on dealer lots until the fourth quarter. GM spokesmen say the Solstice will arrive in substantial quantities in late September or early October.

Dealers are cautious

Several Pontiac dealers say they are not promising delivery to customers until the fall, even though some vehicles may trickle out before then.

One Pontiac dealership in Houston was able to order four of the first vehicles - but GM has told the dealership the vehicles may not arrive until October.

"Now we're saying, 'Hey, you can expect it in August or two months after that," says Joe Pierce, a new-car sales manager at Beck & Masten Pontiac-GMC. Pontiac gave no reason for the delay, Pierce says.

"They are being really vague about it," he says. "It's hard to give an estimate on time."

Why the change?

Multiple sources close to the situation at the Wilmington, Del., plant say the Solstice is suffering from fit problems on the front fascia and convertible top.

Pontiac says it is "underpromising and overdelivering" to make sure cars satisfy customers.

"Quality is the biggest issue," says Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson. "That's the critical element at this point, getting the last little bit taken care of."

Pontiac would not elaborate on quality issues. But it said nearly all startup programs have issues.

A spokesman for UAW Local 435 at Wilmington refused comment.

The Solstice, championed by GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz, is built on the new Kappa rear-wheel-drive architecture. The automaker used a rapid development cycle for the vehicle.

Lori Queen, vehicle line executive for small cars, has said GM "blew up the entire vehicle-development process" in developing the Solstice.

GM tested ride and handling by computer simulation.

GM also is using a new hydroform stamping technique, cutting tooling costs and time.

"We are trying to do this extremely fast for GM," Hopson says. "It really is an experimental program, and we want to make absolutely certain we get it right."

Some dealers have expressed frustration with the delay because of the hype generated by Pontiac's marketing campaign involving "The Apprentice" TV show in mid-April.

The show dealt with the creation of a marketing theme for the Solstice, and Pontiac announced it would take orders for the first 1,000 cars.

GM says all 1,000 orders were placed, backed by $500 deposits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
Nicely found, Solsticeman - although I'm sure we're all a little dissapointed at the content. But deep-down I don't think anyone expected a summer delivery... I will probably deep six my order if it is past September, and re-evaluate the Solstice next year... great looking car, have been in love with it for the last 2 years, but the need for a topless roadster may push me on to another brand... but such is life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,844 Posts
GM tested ride and handling by computer simulation.
What about the English test mules from January 2004. Wasn't "Autoweek" one of those reporting?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Pontiac Roadster Slow to Reach Showrooms [FREEP News]

solsticeman said:
Well, there's people who "write" about things, and people who actually "understand" what happened.

What they prolly mean here is that GM "relied heavily on computer modeling and simulation to guide the initial design of the ride and handling characteristics."

That gets an engineering team close - then they can build a car that is a lot closer to production - rather than starting with a design (and NO modeling) and iterating build after build to correct errors that could have easily been found with modeling.

At some point, the rubber has to meet the road. Computers only get one so far, the rest MUST be developed in hardware.

But this lengthy explanation doesn't sound as "cool" as "GM tested ride and handling by computer simulation."

Make sense?
Pontiac Roadster Slow to Reach Showrooms [FREEP News]

April 26, 2005, 2:14 AM


DETROIT (AP) -- Don't look for Pontiac Solstice roadsters tooling along with their tops down this summer.

General Motors Corp. said as recently as two weeks ago that the rakish two-seat convertible would be in showrooms this summer. But Pontiac spokeswoman Mary Henige said Monday that the roadster won't be widely available until after Sept. 1.

"Will some vehicles come out in the summer? Sure," Henige told the Detroit Free Press for a Tuesday story. "I wish I knew exactly. ... We really haven't pinned ourselves down."

According to Automotive News, GM is delaying the rear-wheel-drive Solstice because of problems with the fit of the front bumper and convertible top. Stefan Weinmann, manufacturing spokesman for the No.1 automaker, would not comment on the report.

"We're committed to delivering top-quality vehicles to our customers," he said.

The Solstice's recent marketing premiere on NBC's "The Apprentice" not only helped spur 6,000 customers to make a down payment, place a pre-order or get on a waiting list. It also gave financially struggling GM some sorely needed buzz.

Jesse Toprak, director of pricing and market analysis for the automotive Web site Edmunds.com, had predicted demand for the Solstice would be so high this summer that it would sell well above its base price of $19,995, would be so hot this summer that it would sell well above its reasonable selling price.

That would be a notable break with the recent past for GM, which had the highest average customer incentive of any automaker in February at $3,814 per vehicle.

Told of the Solstice's delayed arrival, Toprak said: "I do think that this is going to affect them negatively. Coming out with a roadster in the fall is certainly not the brightest idea."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,901 Posts
Well since I dind't get EOP and the delivery date has been shifted from all the information we're getting I'll be able to save even more money. Thank you for saving me money GM. :D

Maybe by the time I can actually get a car yellow will be available. :lol:
 

·
Mod Emeritus
Joined
·
7,468 Posts
Dissapointing news for everyone, whether they are getting an EOP vehicle or not. On the other hand, I'd much rather GM work out any bugs before these cars leave the factory, and I am sure all the other future owners would too!

Hopefully they can work out these issues sooner rather than later. TA fall release could hurt the launch too, as many people will be less willing to buy a roadster right before the winter season.

On the other hand, that could be good for us! Less demand at initial launch could mean less dealer gouging, and more cars to go around!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
September is summer

Heck down here is sunny Georgia September is still prime top down drive time. I will be happy to get my new Solstice then, I just want to get a firm date from GM. Maybe some of the weak sisters hoping to make a quick buck will cancel their EOP orders and I can move off of wait to just waiting for it to get here. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,248 Posts
So Cal has an extended season as well...

Denser said:
Heck down here is sunny Georgia September is still prime top down drive time. I will be happy to get my new Solstice then....
The same thing is true in old Sunny Southern California. Our weather tends to be more like: Early Summer, Mid Summer, Late Summer, and two weeks of monsoon like rain.:leaving:

Now, don't flame me! I know it's a bit of an exaggeration, but the point I'm trying to make is that most days down here are going to be topless days.:cool:

...Wow did I just say that?:blush:
 

·
Mod Emeritus
Joined
·
7,468 Posts
Denser said:
Heck down here is sunny Georgia September is still prime top down drive time. I will be happy to get my new Solstice then, I just want to get a firm date from GM. Maybe some of the weak sisters hoping to make a quick buck will cancel their EOP orders and I can move off of wait to just waiting for it to get here. :)
September is still decent convertable weather here too, but its really the last month anyone around here could really drive it top down. So many buyers may just decide to wait across the northern half of the country while you enjoy the nice weather of the south with your new Solstices! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Denser said:
Heck down here is sunny Georgia September is still prime top down drive time. I will be happy to get my new Solstice then, I just want to get a firm date from GM. Maybe some of the weak sisters hoping to make a quick buck will cancel their EOP orders and I can move off of wait to just waiting for it to get here. :)
I'd Agree with that, I'm originally from Pennsylvania, and October has to be the BEST month for cruising in a convertible. There is no sensory experience to equal cruising through a trees canopied, twisty, hilly road at the change of the season... the colors overwhelm. I for one would call September "Just in Time."
 

·
Mod Emeritus
Joined
·
7,468 Posts
Turbomonkey said:
I'd Agree with that, I'm originally from Pennsylvania, and October has to be the BEST month for cruising in a convertible. There is no sensory experience to equal cruising through a trees canopied, twisty, hilly road at the change of the season... the colors overwhelm. I for one would call September "Just in Time."
Sounds like fun! It just gets a tad chilly around here most of the time on October. I guess I am too close to the great white north of Canada! :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
Delay has a silver lining

The way I see it, the longer it takes to deliver the car, the more likely that the impulse people who placed EOP's will cancel. Every one that cancels puts me closer to getting one!!

:lol: :willy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Not surprised

Reading all the news over the past few days about the rush of orders already put me in "4th quarter" thinking mode, so this is not a shocker. My only hope is that they don't delay the launch any further or it will start to dramatically hurt sales.

My hat's off to all the auto workers who are busting their butts to fulfill all these orders. It'll be worth it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Cansol

I'm a bit confused.....How can Danno be from Canada and be a "first 1000" customer? The first 1000 are not for Canadians.

By the way, here in BC we have four seasons, not one and one-half as Danno suggests...and we are not the "Great White North". BC's winter climate is dull overcast and lots of rain but no snow or cold.

As long as it's not raining the top will be down......winter or not.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,691 Posts
CanSol said:
I'm a bit confused.....How can Danno be from Canada and be a "first 1000" customer? The first 1000 are not for Canadians.

By the way, here in BC we have four seasons, not one and one-half as Danno suggests...and we are not the "Great White North". BC's winter climate is dull overcast and lots of rain but no snow or cold.

As long as it's not raining the top will be down......winter or not.
The first 1000 member refers to the first 1000 members of this forum and to a newbie can be a bit confusing. It was an honor bestowed on us by Troy as a milestone had been reached. It says nothing about actual cars. BTW welcome and have fun.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,210 Posts
The chief has it right....first 1000 registered forum members. So far this forum only has about 75 first 1000 car people (according to last poll).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Cansol

I placed an order here in Canada on the 15th of April. Where does that put me as far as the first 1000?

I went to the Ford dealer today and they had a new 2005 Mustang Convertible for $5000.00 less than the Solstice I ordered. After looking at the September/October dates for delivery of the Solstice I was hard pressed to walk away. I have to keep looking at all the nice pictures on this web-site to keep focused on how great the Solstice will be. Keep up the great posts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
This is so sad for me I have waited so long for the car and have a august deadline. :( things are not looking good. I may have to give up my spot. I think ill cry if I do
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top