More news stories on the potential delay...
Pontiac roadster slow to reach showrooms
April 26, 2005, 7:34 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. "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.
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."
Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com