GTO = flop?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by BLoG, May 25, 2004.

  1. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    Slow Goat: Controversial styling, high price hobble initial sales of new GTO

    By K.C. CRAIN | Automotive News


    Pontiac sold 719 GTOs in March and 650 in April.

    DETROIT - The Pontiac GTO, a pet project of General Motors product czar Robert Lutz, is off to a slow start.

    Dealers say the GTO - touted as a halo car for Pontiac - suffers from bland styling, a high sticker price and no incentives.

    "The car is more conservative looking than today's customer expects," says dealer Hugh Fiore, owner of Harbor Motors in Old Saybrook, Conn.

    So far this year, Pontiac has sold just 2,451 units. Discounting seasonal differences, that amounts to an annualized rate of 7,300 units - well below Pontiac's 16,000-unit target. GM has a 168-day supply of GTOs, well above the 60-day supply that is considered ideal. A December launch slowed sales of the Australian-built car, says Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson. "Winter probably isn't the best time to launch a rear-wheel-drive vehicle," he says. "However, we're already beginning to see sales pick up with the nice weather."

    Pontiac sold 719 GTOs in March and 650 in April.

    GM launched an advertising campaign for the GTO in November. Pontiac hopes the USA Network cable TV movie The Last Ride will help spread the word. The movie features the GTO.

    Lutz, vice chairman for product development, pushed the Australian car to the United States with only minor changes.

    GM engineers reworked the Holden Monaro, giving it left-hand drive and a Pontiac front end. The V-8 received 48 more horsepower, for a total of 350 hp. The exterior received a new front fascia and a spoiler.

    Lutz praised the car's "brawny, muscular stance." But many enthusiasts say the reborn GTO lacks the in-your-face styling of the original muscle car, fondly nicknamed the Goat.

    "When you come back with a name like GTO, you need something more," says one Detroit area sales manager who declined to be named.

    Last week at a press event in Detroit, Kip Wasenko, director of design for GM's performance division, said, "You heard me talking about heritage. That's probably one of the things the GTO could probably use a little more of. But other people find it quiet and reserved because not everyone wants in-your-face, look-at-me kind of style."

    Some dealers say the market for coupes is limited, and the sticker is high. The GTO starts at $33,495, including the destination charge. The 2004 Ford Mustang with a V-8 starts at $24,300.

    The GTO lacks popular extras such as hood scoops, a sunroof and factory chrome wheels, some dealers say. Rumors have circulated that the 2005 model will have different styling and more horsepower, but GM declined to comment.

    Uneven allocation to dealerships may be one factor in the slow sales start. One dealer, for example, says the Detroit area is flooded with GTOs. Hopson says the company has changed its allocation, shipping more vehicles to dealerships where the car is selling.

    Some dealerships report brisk sales. Dennis Hadd, sales manager of McNamara Pontiac in Orlando, Fla., says, "All but a couple of our allocation are sold. A vast majority were pre-sold." McNamara has sold about 10 GTOs.

    Last year the company said it planned to sell 18,000 GTOs. But Holden plans to assemble 16,000 GTOs this year in Australia. The GM subsidiary can produce up to 18,000 GTOs annually in coming years.

    As of last week Holden had built 8,500 GTOs. At least 6,000 are in the United States, and another 1,000 are in transit, GM says.
     
  2. Pro Street

    Pro Street New Member

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    The GTO is God in automotive form.
     
  3. mucky

    mucky .

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    It doesn't cost GM very much to make those GTO anyways.
     
  4. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    where is he? :o
     
  5. Pro Street

    Pro Street New Member

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    :werd:

    it's a Holden, already been in production.


    it's not like they made a full-size truck to compete in a market they had no chance in hell in :o
     
  6. mucky

    mucky .

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    Oh, and I think a lot of people, like Trishield, are holding off for the 2005 model for more aggressive appearance package and the LS2. :hsd:
     
  7. scrotomus

    scrotomus you're a scumbag

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    i bet you can go in and fuck a dealer right now with that kind of overstock :o


    :boink:
     
  8. Wolf

    Wolf No one plans to take the path that brings you lowe

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    Too expensive.
     
  9. nateg

    nateg New Member

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    If they used a more retro look to the GTO, more people would've bought it. To me it's a Grand Prix with a superhcarged V8.
     
  10. Pro Street

    Pro Street New Member

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    true..
    the HEMI Magnum is about 29k
     
  11. mucky

    mucky .

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    Attn GM: Where's my sunroof, bieotch! :sad2:
     
  12. AlkyHauler

    AlkyHauler Do you feel lucky punk? OT Supporter

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    I just saw my first one in person this morning. Look like a Cavalier. :ugh: No way I'd pay that much for it.
     
  13. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    except that it doesn't have a supercharger :ugh:
     
  14. mucky

    mucky .

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    :ugh:
     
  15. zatar

    zatar New Member

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    Nice car, but OVERPRICED.
     
  16. TankRizzo

    TankRizzo Sensational Moderator Super Moderator

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    That about says it all right there. Now they'll use this as a reason to not producing more V8s :sad2:
     
  17. mucky

    mucky .

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    And its not FWD, has a better interior, and a European tuned suspension.
     
  18. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    I don't think it's overpriced. I just think it is understyled
     
  19. Pro Street

    Pro Street New Member

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    when you can get a Mustang GT for almost 7k less, including what the expected price of the 2k5 models, it IS overpriced.
     
  20. Wolf

    Wolf No one plans to take the path that brings you lowe

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    $5k less and I bet you'd see much different sales numbers.
     
  21. PatRT

    PatRT Don't take life too seriously, its not permanant

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    No, you cant. They're actually very arrogant about it. I went and looked at one Saturday and the guy talked endless shit about how great it was and how each dealership only gets 6.

    Guess how many were still on the lot?
     
  22. mucky

    mucky .

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    :ugh:

    How much is the Cobra and 350Z track?
     
  23. Pro Street

    Pro Street New Member

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    that sucks, because I was hoping on Pontiac becoming somewhat of a performance division of GM
     
  24. mucky

    mucky .

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  25. MrBonus

    MrBonus Et Tu, Brute?

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    I think America, being a country full of image-obsessed ricers, completely blew by the idea of a mundane-looking car with a big motor and a nice package of handling and luxury.

    Of course, everyone complained about the bland styling of the Tempest too...
     

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