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Blurb taken from Chicago Tribune (they make you register to see so I just copied the text that pertains to Solstice)...ready Hollywood for the Solstice :jester

Solstice with soul: The two-seat Pontiac Solstice roadster concept generated lots of oohs and aahs on the auto-show circuit a year ago, so many that it will go on sale in the third quarter of next year as an '06 model.

But have celebrities been pounding on Pontiac's door to reserve a copy?

"I've gotten a lot of e-mails and voice mails because people don't expect something like Solstice as a $20,000 car from Pontiac," said Jim Bunnell, Pontiac/GMC general manager.

But "celebrities aren't up on the car as yet" because it's not on the streets.

Automakers love when celebrities go ga-ga over a car because it generates lots of excitement among youth, the folks Solstice is aimed at.

Bunnell also is a realist when it comes to the publicity that celebrity door-pounding generates.

"If Paris Hilton wants a Solstice, I'm sure we can find one for her," he said.
 

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You're gunna need night vision to see Paris in her Sostice!
 

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I'm surprised the Solstice is being targeted at the "youth"... guess I'm in the right demographic! Does that mean I get a discount? :crazy
 

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naoki said:
I'm surprised the Solstice is being targeted at the "youth"... guess I'm in the right demographic! Does that mean I get a discount? :crazy
I think when they began the Solstice they thought youth would be the target but given what we've seen in this forum I think they will be surprised at how popular it thing is with all age levels.
 

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The celebs that usually appeal to the younger crowds are generally rock stars, rap stars, etc that are blinging the cars out. They also generally go for some big expensive iron, Escalades, hummer H2's, Chrysler 300C. I have no problem if they want a Solstice, but their interest better not make me wait for one. I am in line with their younger crowd and I could care less if any of those celebrity bozos want to drive one.
 

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I'd much prefer less fanfare... up until release at least. I'd prefer to FEEL like I'm the only one on the block who know whats up with the Solstice, especially details about how little it cost realtive to it's "wow" factor.

But it's understandable that Pontiac/GM is not going to be hush about marketing this car. It BECAME an iconic car when it and the Kappa architecture were unveiled and the stories began to be told about it's amazingly quick development.

GM means for it to be introduced as an iconic car. Allowing the press to drive primed, and quite frankly ugly, mules means that GM wants to get as much exposure as possible, at every stage of development. The next step is to deliever on expectations with some more solid facts at next years auto shows. This will surely increase interest and general public knowledge.

I'm not suggesting everyone and their grandma is going to know every fact about the car and will want one in their driveway. The low production run and it being a 2-seater (i.e. not a car that everyone deems practical) makes me HOPE the car would be released under-the-radar. Unfortunately I don't believe that'll be case. The worst part of it is that this may mean paying a good deal over MSRP for those of us who want to get our hands on a Solstice on day 1...
 

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DreamerDave said:
check this out:
http://www.aztekfanclub.com/gallery/index.php?cat=10076
If she has enough courage to drive an Aztec, I suppose it's OK to let her have a Solstice.
So much for celebrities selling cars! Maybe Pontiac should have tried Carrot Top or Weird Al!

I think when they began the Solstice they thought youth would be the target but given what we've seen in this forum I think they will be surprised at how popular it thing is with all age levels.
GM would be crazy to focus on the "youth market". The Baby Boomers are the ones with all the money! The Baby Boomers not only have money, but they vastly out number Gen X, Y and Z. This is why we have seen such positive response to the retro cars and a return to horsepower wars. It's all about Baby Boomers and getting back to the cars that inspired them when they were kids. The "youth market" wants Scion XBs and Honda Elements not to mention the very strange things they do with Civics.

I suspect the Solstice was always about Baby Boomers. I don't know any Baby Boomers that say "I'm 50 now, so can only buy 4 door sedans from now on. I must act my age." Just the opposite, the Boomers were the first to push "youth culture" and they're still doing it. The fountain of youth for them is in thinking young. Market researchers, executives and designers know this, and are trying to tap into this very important market. Baby Boomers also buy cars for their kids, and many are more likely to buy something for them that they like, rather than something that makes them gringe when junior comes to visit.

But it is very promising that the great job the designers have done on the Solstice appeal to all ages. It speaks volumes about the value of good industrial design philosophy. I like to think there is a rennisance going on right now. :cheers
 

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Hell, I want it for my second, third, fouth,.... childhood, I'm a boomer and have waited a long time to regress back to a time when automobiles of this nature were exciting, fun and a knockout to drive :smile
 

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As an official Boomer, if I may speak for my generation, I totally agree with AeroDave's comments. Not that I have a ton of money to spend, but if Pontiac wants to go after the Miata market then they have to manage to attract Boomers first and still not manage to put off younger people. They need to build this car in sufficient numbers to satisfy the demand.

I have been a confirmed Toyota owner for years now and have become increasingly put off by their trend toward styling for the younger generations. I have NOTHING against you folks at all, but Toyota's quirky styling just doesn't cut it with me. It's fine they have the Scion line geared to that market segment, but they have also made two other huge mistakes in terms of sports cars: quirky styling for the Mk. III MR2 and extreemly limited production numbers of the car.

Now, Toyota annouces they are dropping the MR2 and Celica models completely. A new Supra is in the works, but I doubt I can afford that when it comes out. Toyota has lost site of the Boomer market and assumed that we all want Camrys and SUVs. Pontiac has the right idea in building something retro enough to have the classic sports car look and feel, and yet stylish enough to attract younger buyers.
 

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Funny how you think Toyota has lost its sight on the boomer generation by marketing to young people, as I see just the opposite. Sure Scion is a ploy to attract extremely young buyers, but its vehicle lineup looks very much like a lineup targeting boomers. The Camy, Solara 2 door, their SUV’s, the Highlander, etc. All of Lexus.

I find Toyota very bland. Aside from low volume vehicles like the MR2 and Celica, there really is nothing to get all that excited about. Just your typical appliance like vehicles. In fact, Toyota looks more and more like GM every day.
 

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Fformula88 said:
I see just the opposite. Sure Scion is a ploy to attract extremely young buyers, but its vehicle lineup looks very much like a lineup targeting boomers. The Camy, Solara 2 door, their SUV’s, the Highlander, etc. All of Lexus.

I find Toyota very bland. Aside from low volume vehicles like the MR2 and Celica, there really is nothing to get all that excited about. Just your typical appliance like vehicles.
People buy Toyotas pretty much for one reason only, they have the reputation for lasting forever and never breaking down. By and large the entire auto industry has evolved into making appliance like cars. There's not too much out there to get very excited about from any manufacturer, although I whole hartedly agree that Toyota is about the most boring brand out there.

I don't think they are targeting Boomers by making boring cars because that's what Boomers want, I don't think they really do, it's just that in a sea of largely boring cars in the median price range, many end up going for the one that gives you the least head aches. This is the missed opportunity that most companies have been over looking for years, boomers don't want boring cars, it's just that's what there is. Chrysler has shown that there are many of us yearning for a reasonably priced, fun to drive, stylish sedan, coupe or wagon. This is the angle GM has to tap into if it wants to make a come back.

Build fun to drive, value packed, good looking cars, and people will be willing to over look the spotty reputation for quality and older technology to a point. Great styling and good packaging at a reasonable price is the leverage that GM needs to get people back into cars and back on the road to profitability. If they want to keep making mediocer, stupid looking cars for rental fleets, well then good riddence to GM. In that case they should hang it up and focus on trucks. My hope is that Lutz and the Solstice is the beginning of this turn around to making cars people really want, not just tollerate.
 

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If I had to pick a new car to drive to work it would be an Olds Alero 2 door with EcoTech. Is what I prefer from AVIS and can have almost anything in their inventory. Of course the last time I bought a new car was in 1990 (and we still have) so am not a good statistic.
 

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Toyota's reputation for quality is well deserved, and one of the reasons I became a customer. But I also appreciate style, especially sporty style in a vehicle and Toyota has gone the way of bland styling for most of its vehicles.

They made a huge deal over their new, cutting edge styling for the Celica and MR2. With the later, there was all this marketing hype over competing with Miata, but then Toyota won't build enough of them to meet the demand. I spoke with a Toyota saleman who admitted that Toyota's limited availability theory lost him more sales to Miatas than gained him anything.

I just don't think they have the sporting spirit anymore, and for a company trying to compete in racing, especially at the F-1 level, that is a pretty sad image to be taking.
 

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AeroDave said:
I don't think they are targeting Boomers by making boring cars because that's what Boomers want, I don't think they really do, it's just that in a sea of largely boring cars in the median price range, many end up going for the one that gives you the least head aches. .
I agree that they didn’t sit down and plan to sell to boomers with boring cars. However, I bet they did sit down and decide the best way to sell their cars was to pour most of their development money into making them reliable and well built, and then just covering them with an inoffensive body that won’t turn off buyers. They want to sell in mass numbers, and do so based on their reliability. So to prevent those buyers from leaving in droves, they use conservatively styled (or boring) vehicles that do not polarize people and chase them away. The styling may also be used because it holds up longer in the marketplace, and doesn’t lose its luster as quickly as radical designs. So they can consistently sell the cars well and not have to worry about being the newest must have design on the market. They know boomers want reliability, and more often than not will buy based on reliability over looks. It’s a strategy that is working extremely well as their marketshare increases show.

Chrysler has often gone the styling route. Not just the current 300, but the original cab-forward Intrepids, the PT Cruiser, etc. Yet, each of these more radical styles have a short shelf life and after initially strong sales, the designs simply get stale and because reliability and build quality isn’t as high sales lag.

Anyway, I am not sure any company would say they are building boring cars, but most are certainly trying to build inoffensive sensible cars, and they sell them in droves especially to boomers. Sure many would prefer better styling, and maybe the 300 is the vehicle that will spur on better styling. But they are going to have to stop buying Camry’s, Accords, and other sensible appliances in favor of 300’s for the industry to really make a shift. So far, there has not been a very big shift away from those sensible appliances.
 

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Fformula88 said:
However, I bet they did sit down and decide the best way to sell their cars was to pour most of their development money into making them reliable and well built, and then just covering them with an inoffensive body that won’t turn off buyers.
Just to add to this, Toyota sells it's cars internationaly, and styling tastes vary quite a bit from market to market, so they almost have to go with bland. I just want to point out that this is a weak area in it's US sales operation that US companies can take advantage of. GM, Ford and Chrysler are still years from directly competing with them in the area of reliability, and Honda is difficult to compete with in engine design, but in the mean time the US companies can use what they have and target US styling tastes to get them the leverage to get back in the game.

Of coarse Toyota and Honda aren't going to just stand still, so we may never be able to overtake them or "beat" them persay, but I think regaining market share and profitability in the car market is possible for US companies. I woud really hate to see the day where US companies are soley truck builders, and car building is left to foreigners only.
 

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I wouldn’t say a US company cannot overtake Honda or Toyota, but they need to turn around their profit situations first. Right now GM and Ford are losing money on their cars, and there is no way they can spend the development dollars it would take to put out a significantly superior vehicle in every respect to a Honda or Toyota if they are losing money simply because Honda and Toyota can easily outspend the domestics on R&D.

However, there are some bright spots for the domestics, and especially GM. On-Star has turned into a lucrative cash cow for GM. Selling the service to other brands was genius on their part. If they use some of their On-Star profits to improve their vehicles, they can cut down on the profit gap that exists between them and Toyota/Honda.

Second is China. GM has been one of the most aggressive brands to enter China, and it is paying off. A large percentage of GM’s profits are already coming from China. With a good reputation among Chinese buyers (so far they prefer American vehicles over Japanese vehicles) and a soaring market, GM stands to make a lot of money and possibly improve their global market share. Again, if they role these profit into all of their vehicles, they can again gain ground.

Will they improve their domestic products based on these profits from other sources? Who knows. Will they make enough to cover the difference in profit for domestic sales? Again, who knows. But it at least looks like the possibility is there for GM to raise the cash it needs for a domestic turnaround. It all depends on what they do with it.
 

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This is a great discussion! As I've mentioned, I am a "boomer" and probably one of the older guys here (boot me now?). I've been an import buyer since 1985 and did so because of poor quality and even worse service support from the last U.S. built cars I owned. I switched to VW for a while and liked their cars a lot, but became tired of some minor techincal issues (electrical and exhaust related) that VW seemed destined to not fix. So I switched to Toyota. I wanted dependability, but I also wanted some sporty styling. I've owned a Celica, a truck (to haul my kart), my MR2, and my wife has a Solara (sporty Camy).

Toyota has decided to drop their two sporty cars from the line. They are testing a new susper-sports car as a new Supra or a Lexus, but with a V-10, top speed of 190, and a sticker of around $100,000, Toyota is sending me the message that if you want sporty from us, you will pay through the nose to get it. In my mind, they've given up on competing with Maita and Honda's S-2000 and told me if I want affordable sports cars I need to go someplace else - which is exactly why I am here.

Bob Lutz (another old guy) still has a sports car spirit, and I appreciate that. GM is likely going to win back a confirmed import buyer because of Lutz' vision and desire to compete in the affordable sports car market. Personally, I can't wait for the Solstice to arrive.
 

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I've been a Honda guy for almost ten years. I started learning on a '92 Honda Civic EX, bought another Honda Civic EX Si when the first one died, and I'm tired of Hondas. I saw an article about the Solstice while I was in Kuwait, coming home from Iraq. I think the general attitude on the board is that the Japanese cars are becoming increasingly bland, and I totally second that. The other thing is that they're not designed with guys who are over six feet tall. I'm ready for something that looks a car, drives like a car, and feels like a car, as opposed to driving something that looks, drives, and feels like a Matchbox.
 
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