Thursday, December 30, 2004


Saturn's Sky To Outsell Pontiac's Solstice?

Possibly. Two reasons, one obvious, and one not so (at least to me). First, styling. As the GTO has shown, Pontiac's melted-jellybean look isn't going over well with the public. To me, the Solstice sits somewhere between the first- and second-gen Mazda Miatas in terms of impact, and that's not saying much (especially considering that the first-gen Miatas are now 15 years old). I think it's nowhere near the Honda S2000. On the other hand, it appears from officially-released sketches that the Sky might have some "edge" to it. Obviously, opinions will vary.

But the second aspect is a bit easier to quantify - price. One can assume that the respective sticker prices will be similar when adjusted for differences in equipment, but we also learned from the GTO experience that Pontiac dealers will jack up the price if they think they can get a few (thousand) bucks more. We've seen the same from other brands as well on everything from PT Cruisers to S2000s to XLRs. Saturn still has a no-dicker sticker policy. That might be enough to tilt the tables in their favor, as I can't see too many folks tolerating dealer "market adjustments" on what's presumably an entry-level sports car.

We'll see what comes out of all of this. Perhaps GM will adjust their official pricing policies (at least to the extent allowed under federal law), but this could have much larger ramifications if Pontiac effectively lays another turd, for if GM continues to push Pontiac as their "excitement division", then one would expect that they need to achieve some level of success in the showroom.

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