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Article from Palm Beach, FL paper on Solstice. Ties in with Kendra winner of the Apprentice from that area. Confirms that Kendra was driving a prototype Solstice the night of her winning :yesnod:

Link:
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/content/accent/epaper/2005/05/29/a1d_SOLSTICE_0529.html

Vrrrroomy Solstice won't be zooming soon

By Thom Smith

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, May 29, 2005

"Kendra, you're hired." Now hit the road.

Imagine all the thoughts racing through Kendra Todd's head as Donald Trump gave the young, aggressive entrepreneur the green light to a career in big business. But before the Boynton Beach real estate agent could gather her wits, she was being sent into the street — for a ride in her new car.

Kendra jumped into her futuristic Pontiac Solstice, which she received as a prize for winning The Apprentice, fired it up, threw it into first and roared away into the New York night.

What a car. It's a two-seater convertible, with a rumbly 177-horsepower engine and five-speed transmission and tons of attitude, from a rounded nose reminiscent of old Indy racers to the Batmobile-style fairings

trailing from the headrests to the clamshell trunk. Lightweight and compact, but large enough for 6-footers plus. Zero to 60 in a sneeze. Make that a screech!

That wasn't really Kendra's car. It was a prototype. She'll get one, but not until fall at the earliest, when 37 others who already have placed orders are hoping to drive away from Schumacher Pontiac in West Palm Beach in a new Solstice.

The wait is no big deal for Kendra, because she'll spend most of the summer in New York learning the Trump Million Methodology. When she visits Boynton, she still has her '97 Infiniti to cruise around in.

"The Solstice won't even be released until October or November. If we're lucky, we may get some here in September," said Tim Jacques, Schumacher's sales manager.

Pontiac, which has enjoyed a lot of keen marketing recently — first with Oprah's giveaway of G6 sedans, then with Trump's apprentices in training — is banking on more than looks. Pontiac is breaking rules by offering a sleek machine at prices more accessible than other comparable models. A base model Solstice will cost $19,995 or about $25,000 loaded. Some have dubbed it the "Miata killer."

An old car buff from Michigan whose family has been in the automobile business for decades, Jacques wishes he had the new Solstice "yesterday." And the buzz isn't coming a moment too soon for Pontiac, where the last two-seater, the anemic Fiero, died ignominiously after a brief five-year run in the late '80s.

First, however, the dealers have to get them. Pontiac believes the market can handle only about 20,000 units, which is in the same range as the Mazda, the Honda 2000 and the BMW Z4. Jacques, who believes it'll be perfect for South Florida, has 37 orders already, but Pontiac has promised him only 12 cars for the first three months.

"We have an arrangement with the first buyer to let us keep it on the showroom floor for a month after it comes in," Jacques said, adding that he's already negotiating with Northern dealers to take their allotments. "The rest of the country will be under snow. They won't be selling many roadsters. If I can get an extra 100 cars, I'll take 'em."

But when they'll actually arrive is anyone's guess. Production delays have forced Pontiac to concede that only about 6,000 Solstices will make it to dealers by year's end. Reports have leaked from the production line of problems with the fit of the front bumper and the soft top.

Pontiac's vehicle line executive for Solstice, Lori Queen, was blunt when she told the Chicago Tribune, "We haven't committed to a production date as yet."

If General Motors can get the Solstice out by year's end, it will be a remarkable accomplishment. New cars aren't designed and built overnight. Most of today's new models were conceived before the new millennium arrived. Five years from concept to reality is considered supersonic in the automobile industry. The Solstice, by comparison, may take only half that time.

"It's unheard of at GM," Jacques said, attributing the fast pace to Switzerland-born Bob Lutz, who had a stint at BMW, played with Exide batteries for a while, stopped off at Ford, then revved up Chrysler with the Viper and Prowler. He is now GM's vice chairman in charge of product development.

Lutz has the unenviable task of returning the company to world dominance. It's not an easy job, but GM, in fact, all of Detroit, hope the Solstice will lead a new charge against the Far East and Europe.

And at least a few dozen South Floridians, and one Apprentice — all awaiting shiny new cars — hope that charge comes sooner than later.
 

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Ok, fess up. Which forum member is this and what are you getting from the dealer in return? :D
"We have an arrangement with the first buyer to let us keep it on the showroom floor for a month after it comes in," Jacques said, adding that he's already negotiating with Northern dealers to take their allotments. "The rest of the country will be under snow. They won't be selling many roadsters. If I can get an extra 100 cars, I'll take 'em."
At time of writing this place in FL had 37 orders, my dealer as of a month ao had 42 orders, the other dealer in Central Florida had 25 orders two weeks ago. That's 3 dealers by now that have placed about 100 orders, but combined they only have 15+12+10 = 37 4 month allocation cars. That means they're realitically only going to be able to fill 1/3 to maybe 1/2 of the orders they have already by the end of this year.
 

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The only question is, will the overflow people wait or will they buy a different car. I'm betting they wait. If you don't want a Miata, or if you want a domestic sports car, what choice have you? This sure bodes well for GM in general. If they can keep these exciting products coming, people will start thinking about GM cars in a different light.
 

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jimbo said:
The only question is, will the overflow people wait or will they buy a different car. I'm betting they wait. If you don't want a Miata, or if you want a domestic sports car, what choice have you? This sure bodes well for GM in general. If they can keep these exciting products coming, people will start thinking about GM cars in a different light.
Agree most will wait it out but some will jump ship to other cars. People don't like to wait and will might pony up more money to get something higher-end now. Miata could steal some buyers too but think they might be in same boat on supply of the new NC this fall too.
 

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I wonder where they got the 6,000 cars this year number from. ~2,100 people are going to be out of luck I guess.
 

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brentil said:
At time of writing this place in FL had 37 orders, my dealer as of a month ao had 42 orders, the other dealer in Central Florida had 25 orders two weeks ago. That's 3 dealers by now that have placed about 100 orders, but combined they only have 15+12+10 = 37 4 month allocation cars. That means they're realitically only going to be able to fill 1/3 to maybe 1/2 of the orders they have already by the end of this year.
I guess that sucks for the folks further south of me. Whereas some places may have more orders than their 4 month allotment, the dealership I'm going to only has 3 or 4 of his first 11 spoken for. :D Good news for me! Closing time is approaching; I should have my order placed in a week or so.
 

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Then if the dealer has 7 left, I imagined this South Florida dealer may already be asking to get them from them, remember the Regional Manager for the SE, maybe playing a big part on this business of dealer to dealer exchange.
 

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I'll be waiting for the Solstice to be delivered since I already eliminated the other options before placing the order.
 

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Pretty doggone complimentary artical wouldn't you say. It's hard to buy that kind of publicity. The biggest negative is the wait and
GM may have turned that around to be a positive, feuling the masses with desire for the unavailable fruit.
 
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