Last post on May 27, 2009 at 4:34 PM
You are in the Ford Mustang
What is this discussion about?
Ford Mustang, Pontiac GTO, Coupe, Convertible
#331 of 2056 Re: JD PWR lists GTO as Most appealing Sporty car [graphicguy]
Apr 25, 2005 (7:41 am)
Hey graphicguy. I hope I don't draw the ire of the hosts, but I have to point out a number of incorrect facts, assumptions and mis-statements in your posts. I follow another GTO-related site pretty well, and there are some Pontiac insiders who post there. Here are some facts posted there (site has forums so Edmunds won't let me directly link to it):
1) Holden WANTED to make 18k cars for export. Production startup issues (they had to add a third shift to the factory to increase production) and teething issues led to them only being able to make a little over 16k cars in more than a year's worth of production time. It was production, not sales, why there were fewer cars built (the production run ran from September '03 to September '04) than planned (if sales was the reason, they would have stopped building '04's sooner).
2) Yes, Pontiac did reduce '05 production to 12k. It wasn't just about sales, though. The Elizabeth, Australia plant where the GTOs are produced needs to shut down for conversion over to Zeta (and the plant won't be able to build coupes after that conversion). That shutdown is scheduled for the end of 2005/early 2006. If they could only build 16k vehicles in a year, how many can they build in 14 more months of production?
They are TRYING to build 12k for this year. Dealer order cutoff was to be the end of March, with '05 production ending in June and '06 cranking up sometime after that. Dealer orders are still taking place, and '05 production is now scheduled well into July.
3) Yes, '05's are selling quite well, above Pontiac's expectations. They only started building cars in mid-to-late October, and they didn't start arriving at dealers in mid-January. We only have sales through March, so that's 2 1/2 months of selling (when 50% of the U.S. has cold and snowy weather = RWD sport coupes not necessarily on people's minds) and they've sold just under 3k 2005's. There are many people on "the other site" who are waiting for their cars, and some are looking but cant' find them at dealers. It's under a 60-day supply - which is considered "good" in the industry. They would sell more if dealers had more cars...
4) Posters on the other site have discussed the 2 new colors for '06 (some GM dealers found the info on-line in their order book). If that doesn't tell you the '06 is coming (other than a post from the product manager stating there WILL be an '06 GTO), I don't know what does.
5) You are right that Zeta for the U.S. is up in the air. GM knows it still needs RWD coupes and sedans, and there is some discussion/debate going on inside GM about what platform to use - a cheapened version of Caddy's Sigma, a cheaper/re-engineered Zeta, an extended Kappa (Solstice/Sky), and/or a new platform. Don't expect to see these vehicles until 2008/2009 at best, but they are not "DEAD" (is the Mustang Cobra dead because there is no 2005 version of the car?).
I respect your decision to buy a Mustang over a GTO. But you don't need to defend your decision by spouting incorrect information to "trash" the GTO.
Apr 25, 2005 (8:24 am)
The growth of this forum is truly amazing. No body was talking about GTO last year. Suddenly, the new Mustang has made GTO a focus of a discussion. Long live Mustang. I hope GM stops wasting time rebadging Equinox as Torrent or TrailBlazer as Ascender and starts building a new generation Camaro. GM should also stop that SS thing. Build a fantastic Camaro - don't build a dull Camaro and then later on drop a big engine in it and stick a SS badge at some odd place on the body. And, I also hate that Saturn red line mess - people can't tell from distance what's red line and what's not. Build red hot vehicles separately and don't mix them with other dull ones. OOPS! I made my point - don't build a GTO that looks like Grand Prix
Apr 25, 2005 (9:02 am)
No offense taken.....didn't think I was "trashing" the GTO, either.
Just posting the numbers I researched.
From a business perspective and being involved in business decisions myself on a daily basis, to use a cliche, "it's all about the numbers".
Selling less than 3,000 '05 units in the first 3 months of the year is hardly what I'd call "selling well", however.
If I put myself in GM's shoes, and I'm looking for ways to cut the number of models I offer with the least chance of sales success (or revenue), I'd have to look long and hard at whether the GTO is viable. Not whether it's a good product, because I think it gives GM an offering in a space where they have scant little to give to the customer. F-Bodies are gone, leaving that space to the Mustang, and perhaps the upcoming Charger.
Once GM vacated that space, and the ensuing agreement with the Canadian gov't, GM is caught in a quandary. The market space is "hot" right now as the evidence points out with the overwhelming success of the '05 Mustang. But, GM can't bring out another Camaro....even if they started today in designing one. There's lots of talk about something along the lines of a "Zeta lite" in that space, but it won't be called a Camaro (and I doubt it will be a GTO, either).
That leaves the GTO to carry that banner in that market space. '04 sales were disappointing for no other reason than GM couldn't sell the 18K they had planned to produce. They ended up producing around 16K based on that fact. They lowered sales goals to 12K for the '05 model year. Maybe sales will hit that reduced number, maybe they won't. Personally, I think it's too early to tell, yet.
If, as you say, they couldn't get the '05 GTO to the market until January (which I think was done on purpose to help clear out the '04 leftovers), then GM has even bigger issues with the model than just sales.
But, as you point out, even if GM was able to sell every GTO they were capable of producing, it's still a niche model. GM isn't set up to make a profit by selling niche models. They are nice to have for "image" sake, but that's about it.
But, GM's business model is built on volume. They got a little lost by trying to put some "niche" models in their line-up (same as Ford did with the T-Bird). Along with the SSR, the GTO would probably be in the same category as a niche model. I view it as a "test model" for GM. It didn't test well as far as sales. Although, from what I can tell, those that actually bought a GTO, like it. Regardless of the GTO legacy debate, where it's made, its content, etc, the two things I think have hurt the GTO most were its styling and its pricing.
We can debate the merits (or demerits) of the model all we want or why it isn't the sales success GM had hoped for. If the GTO had sold all 18K of the '04 models with little to no rebates, I'm certain GM would have found a way to up production for the '05 model. Instead, they scaled back.
I don't see much in the way of GM doing anything to support the GTO, either (which they probably would have done more of if the '04 had sold well). That fact alone tells me that they have no plans to bring a new one out (thinking '07, here). It just stands to reason that if they aren't going to support current product, then there's little reason to believe they'll support bringing out a new model. My best guess is that GM is looking at the Chrysler 300 as to where their RWD platform will be heading and the volume is....not in the coupe market. They also seem to have the same debacle as Ford in that they want to sell more trucks, where the margins are higher.
When I was in the market, I debated with myself whether a GTO would make a good car buying decision. One of the key factors (among many others) was the fact that GM wasn't doing much to support the GTO and the prospect of them doing so in the future was, at best, cloudy.
Of all the makes I've bought in my lifetime, I'd say Pontiac and Toyota scored with me the most. Matter of fact, my current Mustang is the first "new" Ford I've ever bought (have had some used ones, though).
#334 of 2056 GTO production
Apr 25, 2005 (9:28 am)
Selling less than 3,000 '05 units in the first 3 months of the year is hardly what I'd call "selling well", however.
To repeat and emphasize a point I made in my previous post, the GTO DID NOT ARRIVE AT DEALERSHIPS UNTIL MID-JANUARY. So 3000 is in 2 1/2 months, NOT 3. And it was WINTER here - some parts of the country (Michigan, Ohio) are still seeing snow - not exactly what makes people want to go out and buy a RWD sports coupe. You may look on GM BuyPower and see 2005 GTO's at your dealerships, but, if you went to an actual dealer, you'd find few '05's on the lots (they show up on BuyPower when they hit the U.S., not when the dealer actually gets the car).
Normal new-car production in Australia starts in September (unlike July/August in the U.S.). Remember, it's winter down there in June/July/August, and summer starting in December.
Also remember it takes 2 to 2 1/2 months for the cars to get built, checked out, get enought to fill a boat, load it, sail over here, unload it, check the cars out, put spoilers on, get them on rail cars to Kansas City, get them to regional GM distribution centers, and then truck them to dealers.
But I guess you won't take GM employee "LFP" posting that the GTO is selling above expectation to mean anything. Fine, ignore the facts, believe what you want to believe. I am done trying to explain facts to you. Enjoy your Mustang, and I'll enjoy my GTO.
Apr 25, 2005 (11:32 am)
I don't know who "LFP" is. Is that someone from GM marketing?
True.......Sports Coupes always sell less in the winter climates during the winter months. I live in the OH area. That's why I said it's probably still too early to make any concrete judgements....only what is known up until this point. I suspect that sales have picked up somewhat based on the GM $1,000 "hot button" rebates.
Using your time frames, GTO production started in Aus in Sept. Given 2-2.5 months to get built, shipped, prepped and delivered to dealers would have put them on the ground at dealerships here somewhere in the end of November/first part of December time frame.
Around OH, you can find just about any GTO color combo you could want if you do a dealer search or take a trip to the dealer lots.
Mustang GTs are practically non-existent for all intents and purposes in the same geographic area and have been that way since they began arriving at the dealerships (around the first part of November around here).
#337 of 2056 Re: kind of says it all...... [graphicguy]
Apr 25, 2005 (6:19 pm)
I think I might be ill after reading that write up. O.K., lets sum it up, the old Fox platform Bullitt was a great bargain and a great success for $27K, it makes you feel like Steve McQueen. Ford pushed the Bullitt as some collectors piece with numbers and all. Personally, If I got lured into buying a Bullitt Mustang I'd be an unhappy Camper at this point.. Carroll Shelby likes the Mustang. Wow, thats a news flash. Yeah, the Mustang "got to have" factor, that was certainly covered in the write up. Criticism of the Camaro was you couldn't tell the Z-28 from the RS. I hate to break the news to Mustang owners but you can't tell the GT apart from the Hertz Rent a Car V-6. Oh yeah, the GT has fog lights in the grill, I forgot. That article didn't say a whole lot except that people are willing to buy the lesser performing of the 2 cars because of the "got to have" factor. Just like they "had to have" the T-bird which is coincidentally built on the same platform. And I keep hearing about this 300 HP for 25K with the GT. Who actually paid 25K for thier GT.
#338 of 2056 graphicguy
Apr 26, 2005 (5:32 am)
You just HAD to stir the pot again, didn't you?
Apr 26, 2005 (6:23 am)
I just thought that article segued well into what we were discussing regarding GM's mis-steps in recent years regarding the demise of their V8 coupes.
Matter of fact, there were some errors in the article. Ford had planned to sell 150,000 '05 Mustangs (not 100,000). Of those, 50,000 were to be GT versions. Even though they upped production to 190,000 + units, they still can't keep up with demand.
The article only made a passing reference to the GTO (admittedly, it wasn't flattering).
It just points out the failures of GM's stragegy vs Ford's strategy with the Mustang.
The public didn't buy the idea of a Monte Carlo SS with a V6 engine. The public didn't buy the idea of a Corvette engine in a heavy, mundane body.
The Mustang, on the other hand, put a great performing machine under a sexy body and priced it right. I know of two people who bought stripped Mustang GTs (which really aren't stripped at all since they come standard with so much) for $25K. I personally bought mine totally loaded for $25.5K (granted, those prices were paid in the dead of winter before it was clear what a sales hit the '05s would become).
Still, Ford hit the price point dead right. Even at MSRP, with Mustang GTs you get as good or better performance (short of a Corvette) than anything else in GM's stables for thousands of dollars less.
Interestingly, the article alludes to both GM and Ford losing the market for a while to the Japanese marks. While those cars are good in their own right (sexy body over a performance platform), they can't say the Mustang can't play in that sandbox anymore.
GM has a ways to go. The coupe market is just one of those areas that need attention.
What we don't know is where what they plan on doing now. They've got to notice the runaway success of the Mustang. They don't have anything to really counter it currently on the market. A new Camaro/Firebird is nowhere on the horizon. Everything they've tried to put on the market as a counterpoint to the Mustang has been a disappointment. The single platform that could be competitive has been "put on ice" (Zeta) for North America.
So what does GM do?
There's talk of "Zeta lite" for something that might resemble a new Camaro (but certainly wouldn't be called a Camaro). They could turn the Bowling Green plant lose to build something off of the Corvette platform (other than the Caddy), but that would dilute their halo performance car.
They could do something with the Solstice/Sky platform, but that might be impossible since the Solstice/Sky wasn't conceived to allow a V8 under the hood.
Or, as they seem to be doing now, concede the space to the Mustang and continue bringing out more truck models.
I think the answer for Pontiac is to use a current platform. The Grand Prix will get a V8 (with the multi-displacement engine). They can spread their development costs over many different iterations (V6, blown V6, or V8), but that's still not a coupe. Plus, it's still FWD (which should be interesting in how it handles with a V8 under the hood). But even that piece will be priced well over $30K with the V8.
#340 of 2056 Re: rorr [graphicguy]
Apr 26, 2005 (10:41 am)
"(short of a Corvette)" - or heavy, Corvette-engined coupe.
I had no allegiance to either car prior to buying a 2004 GTO, (actually never owned a GM product before, couple of Fords). It was just clearly a more powerful, slightly faster car than the GT, with a nicer interior and a bigger back seat. How many other people buy it or the GT makes not one bit of difference to me. If it did, I'd have bought an SUV.