GTO Sales article.

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Chicago Tribune, Business section (3) June 2, 2004 by Jim Mateja. Autos. ----------------------------------------------
GTO's Sales Performance Gets Pontiac's Goat,
There are a few red faces at General Motors.
In the first four months of this year, sales of the Aztek SUV, considered by many the most gosh - awful - looking vehicle on the planet, totaled 7,416 units, down from 11,311 a year earlier. But the countdown to Aztek obscurity is not what is causing the red faces.
In the same period, sales of Pontiac GTO totaled 2800 unit, meaning Aztek outsold the highly touted performance coupe by more than 2 1/2 to 1.
GTO is derived from the rear wheel drive Monaro produced by GM's Holden operations in Australia.
Even before GTO went on sale in late December, critics complained that the styling was plain and not suited to a nameplate that kicked off the muscle car era in the 1960's.
While Pontiac is considering styling tweaks on future models to sooth the critics, it insists that a many people like the look as object to it and that styling hasn't held back sales.
" While we'd always like to sell more, we haven't been disappointed with the GTO sales so far." Pontiac spokesman Tom Beaman said.
Not disappointed though Pontiac forecasts sales of 16,000 to 18,000 units a year and is on target to sell only about 7400 ?
But then, GTO was meant less as a styling exercise than a performance statement with its 5.7 litre V-8 that produces a potent 350 horsepower.
Beaman cites a winter launch of a rear wheel drive preformance car as one reason for slow early sales in the Northern states.
Of course, you have to ask why in the name of all that's holy would you introduce a rear wheel drive performance car in the dead of winter in the North?
But then, if anyone knew the answer to that question, they'd know why 7,416 bought the most gosh awful looking vehicle on this planet in the first four months of this year.
Another problem, Beaman says, is Pontiac held to its commitment to supply each of Pontiac's more than 2700 dealers with a GTO to use as a " halo " vehicle to attract folks to the showrooms.
Those halos helped Pontiac sell 16% more cars in the period, though few of them GTOs.
He also said that while the GTO didn't fare too well in the snow belt over the winter, it's done well in southern California, where Pontiac is tradionally weak. There, more than 40% of GTO sales are conquests - captured from rival brands - so more GTO's will be shipped there.
Pontiac is also counting on " The Last Ride ", a made for TV movie that airs Wednesday ( June 2 ) on the USA network, to raise awareness of the GTO.
Pontiac struck a product placement deal to feature the GTO in the film. If TV expousure works, Pontiac should put Aztek on the tube. How about a role in " Extreme Makeover "?
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If you think the Aztek is ugly you apparently have not seen the Element, Insight, Prius, Matrix, Scion or anything sold by Nissan. Any one of those makes the Aztek look like a beauty pageant winner. ;)
mike hunt
Harry Face wrote:

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| If you think the Aztek is ugly you apparently have not | seen the Element, Insight, Prius, Matrix, Scion or | anything sold by Nissan. Any one of those makes the | Aztek look like a beauty pageant winner. ;) | | | mike hunt |
Nissan has increases sales 30%-40% since the introduction of those new designs. They aren't my style either, but hard to argue with success.
Nothing helps the Aztek...not even the models you suggest help. It's right there with the Element and Scion in my opinion. My next door neighbor's daughter has the Aztek, so I have to look at that pig nearly all the time...so I might be bias.
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You've apparently never seen a beauty pageant. The Aztek really is that ugly.
Getting back on the actual subject, that's a great article; the Tribune apparently has somebody that really pays attention. But I don't really believe the GTO is not selling as many as are available. I have no idea where the GTO's are, but I don't think they're sitting unsold on lots anywhere. Has anybody seen them piling up?

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Here in NW NJ they are selling . Been trying to test drive one and the few that come in are moving out fast. Haven't been trying everyday but over the last few weeks only 1 dealer had 2 and now they're gone. I sat in one, interiors nice but outside it's a plain Jane. That's OK with me, I like the old sleeper look vs. the bolt on "tuner look" of all that body cladding. Just like years ago the really fast cars had the dog dish hubcaps. Other than wheels, phony hood scoops and hideaway headlight my '68 wasn't any different looking than a Lemans. They aren't dealing on price either, all are asking sticker for them. 34k is too much IMO
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John
"anything you say can & will be misquoted & used against you"
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That's why they're not selling. It's not the looks (although they could be impvored), it's certainly not the performance, it's the price. Just too expensive.
Of course, I couldn't buy one anyway. I need 4 doors now. One toy (79 T/A) is all I can justify...
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Have you tried to get antique plates for your '79 and save some money on insurance costs? ;)
mike hunt
Scott Zabolotzky wrote:

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In Ohio antique plates only allow you to drive occasionally and not use the vehicle as you want to. What I got for my 1979 Corvette was collector plates. These cost about double and allow you to be exempt from emission checks. A 1979 TA would qualify for collector plates in Ohio.
Brian
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34k is

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Here in IL cars with antique plates can only be driven to/from car shows and/or repair shops. I drive it to/from work a bit and don't want to risk a bunch of tickets.
Scott
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There is a dealer in Michigan that has about 20 GTO's sitting on the lot and they're discounting them to GMS to anybody on the street.
O'hare Pontiac in Chicago has about five sitting on the lot and trying to sell them at $500 over invoice.
There's quite a few sitting around in the midwest and the dealers are starting to offer 2-$3000 off sticker which IMO isn't a good deal when there are huge incentives on other vehicles that are selling well.
Pontiac has only sold about 3,000 GTO's to date and approx 6-8,000 have hit the US borders so far. Dealers that won't deal, no incentives, and GM misjudging that most buyers would want an automatic trans is what is making the GTO not sell ...
Its all good news to me though because that will mean I'll get a good deal on one this summer =)
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I havnt seen any GTOs piling up on dealers lots, I also havnt seen any on the streets either.

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How could you TELL one if you DID see one?!?!?!? I'm pretty good at ID'ing cars, but unless I saw it sitting in a parking lot I probably wouldn't be able to tell the new GTO from a Grand Prix or any one of a number of econo-cruisers! Of course I'm COMPLETELY biased because my 68 GTO convertible draws TONS of attention wherever I take it! There's no way that its going to get mistaken for something else, although a kid at my daughter's elementary school asked me if it was from the 1940's!!!

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If you think the Nissan G35 or 350Z are ugly, you have "unusual" taste.
The Prius is styled for maximum mpg and as a consequence a minimal Cd. Aim for that and you have to end up with something like the Prius. Same for the Insight. The Element and corresponding Scion model are not really ugly. They are just very plain looking boxes. Again, they were styled that way to offer lots of room and a cheap price to the Gen X types who supposedly reject traditional styling.
The Aztek was a triumph of really bad taste over some clever design features. It looks like something that a moderately talented kid would come up with for what cars would look like on the Bizzarro Planet in the old DC Superman comics. Whoever approved the design at GM ought to be fired. The know they screwed up, too (sales figures showed them that in no uncertain terms). I recall that just before they announced the decision to kill (wisely) the Aztek, GM turned some stylists with talent loose on the Aztek and came up with a quite handsome design. I think it was in Car and Driver magazine. Why the redone design was not the original design that went to market is a question it would be very interesting to know the answer to. GM does really stupid things like this from time to time and they NEVER seem to learn from their mistakes. Even Bob Lutz does not seem to have the ability to make GM "do the right thing".
For example, why is the new Malibu, by all accounts a very nice car, so damn homely? Why is the new GTO so damn homely? Why after percolating on the Saturn Ion for something like a decade and having a good Opel "chassis" to work from, did they screw it up so bad that it was almost painful to read the Car and Driver review of it (as a GM stock-holder)? Why did they kill the Camaro just as Ford was about to issue a refreshed Mustang (that will sell like hot-cakes at a church breakfast) and instead issue that stupid, underperforming, over-priced, over-weight quasi-pick-up truck the SSR? Why is the forthcoming Cobalt (again, by all accounts it should be a very nice car) so uninspired in styling that people will have a hard time telling it from a Cavalier?
I mean, what's with the people that run GM? Doesn't anybody there actually like cars?
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They are Very Ugly. Most Japanesse Cars & Trucks are. Toyota made some decent looking ones in the mid 80's and 90's. They make Two ok ones under the Lexus name. Charles
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All good points. I couldn't agree with you more.
Scott
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| If you think the Nissan G35 or 350Z are ugly, you have "unusual" taste. | | The Prius is styled for maximum mpg and as a consequence a minimal Cd. Aim | for that and you have to end up with something like the Prius. Same for the | Insight. The Element and corresponding Scion model are not really ugly. They | are just very plain looking boxes. Again, they were styled that way to offer | lots of room and a cheap price to the Gen X types who supposedly reject | traditional styling. | | The Aztek was a triumph of really bad taste over some clever design | features. It looks like something that a moderately talented kid would come | up with for what cars would look like on the Bizzarro Planet in the old DC | Superman comics. Whoever approved the design at GM ought to be fired. The | know they screwed up, too (sales figures showed them that in no uncertain | terms). I recall that just before they announced the decision to kill | (wisely) the Aztek, GM turned some stylists with talent loose on the Aztek | and came up with a quite handsome design. I think it was in Car and Driver | magazine. Why the redone design was not the original design that went to | market is a question it would be very interesting to know the answer to. GM | does really stupid things like this from time to time and they NEVER seem to | learn from their mistakes. Even Bob Lutz does not seem to have the ability | to make GM "do the right thing". | | For example, why is the new Malibu, by all accounts a very nice car, so damn | homely? Why is the new GTO so damn homely? Why after percolating on the | Saturn Ion for something like a decade and having a good Opel "chassis" to | work from, did they screw it up so bad that it was almost painful to read | the Car and Driver review of it (as a GM stock-holder)? Why did they kill | the Camaro just as Ford was about to issue a refreshed Mustang (that will | sell like hot-cakes at a church breakfast) and instead issue that stupid, | underperforming, over-priced, over-weight quasi-pick-up truck the SSR? Why | is the forthcoming Cobalt (again, by all accounts it should be a very nice | car) so uninspired in styling that people will have a hard time telling it | from a Cavalier? | | I mean, what's with the people that run GM? Doesn't anybody there actually | like cars? |
All excellent points. But, Lutz has changed since he left Chrysler. He doesn't even have his office respond to customer letters any more. I know...he still has two from me in as many years yet to be responded to. I've not even seen a form letter saying "thanks for writing". So you're right. The "car guy" that had all the promise when he came to GM has instead been consumed by the "old guard" GM culture, it seems.
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I just sent him an e-mail the other day and he responded within a couple of hours. Of course, it could have just been an assitant/admin responding to the e-mail but from reading it I got the sense that it was him. Maybe I'm just fooling myself though...
Scott
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writes: | | | >All excellent points. But, Lutz has changed since he left Chrysler. He | >doesn't even have his office respond to customer letters any more. I know...he | >still has two from me in as many years yet to be responded to. I've not even | >seen a form letter saying "thanks for writing". So you're right. The "car | >guy" that had all the promise when he came to GM has instead been consumed by | >the "old guard" GM culture, it seems. | | I just sent him an e-mail the other day and he responded within a couple | of hours. Of course, it could have just been an assitant/admin responding | to the e-mail but from reading it I got the sense that it was him. Maybe | I'm just fooling myself though... | | Scott
Well, maybe that is a positive sign.
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Scott Zabolotzky wrote:

Chrysler.
assitant/admin
what's his email address?
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I have a 04 GTO and love its performance and interior comfort. As far as outside looks, it looks like a Saturn. I cant call it ugly but it sure doesn't have any GTO looks or macho appearance. I guess it passes of as a sleeper as most people don't realize it is a muscle car until they hear it or get in a race with it. There is no doubt about its ability to kick ass though.
I think the guy from oz hit the nail on the head in that GM should have sold it as what it is, a Holdon Monaro and it would have sold well. If they want a GTO then they should design a retro looking GTO. They can use the Monaro drive train and build a retro body for it.
Just my opinion DEC

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