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NewAgeGTO Exclusive
Branden Farthing

It seems the GTO has been in the media a lot due to slow sales. I thought I would do some research on the cause of this and report back to you guys. Essentially what I found was that current GTO sales numbers a little misleading. Central to this issue is that Pontiac made a commitment to it’s dealers to deliver at least one GTO to all dealers up front. What this means is that many cars from the initial runs were sent to dealers in places like Caribou, Maine and Bismark, ND, areas traditionally not RWD muscle car hot spots. These dealers, in many cases are only getting one GTO during the entire 2004 model year, so some have marked their car up way above MSRP, which only makes the car sit on lot’s longer.

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The biggest factor is that the spring and summer seasons arent over and started yet. You cant annualize sales when you only have the slow months in your sample... rediculous. If someone takes a look at vette sales and applies the same trend to the GTO sales.. .then you would get a better picture.
 

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"...It is simple business, they would rather turn away three buyer who would buy at MSRP and sell to the one who will buy for $38,000." Yes, and I'm certain there will be a few Pontiac dealers who will complain about poor sales, despite their overcharging for the vehicles. I guess you reap what you sow.

"...That being said, you don’t have to ask anyone at Pontiac to know they are not happy with the situation, however automotive dealers are independent companies, and therefore there is nothing GM can do."

I often wondered how powerless the automakers really are. Is it possible to write in clauses dealing with "overcharging" customers into their franchise contracts? Then again, I suppose that's why manufacturers clearly label the window sticker as "Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price;" in the end, the dealer determines the actual price. I also would imagine that GM would find itself in a bit of hot water if when the Solstice arrives GM would simply tell said overcharging Pontiac dealer: "Gee, we seem to be all out of them for you." ...Maybe that wouldn't be so good for factory-dealer relations?!

Hmmm, maybe GM really is powerless to the dealers.
 
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C'mon guys. True, the latest derivation of the GTO has great performance numbers; HP, handling etc. But it's styling does little to inspire.

When I first saw it on the web I was not impressed. It looked like a Grand Am with a V-8. I was hoping, if they brought back the nameplate 'GTO', it would go on a vehicle which deserved the nameplate. I would have liked it to be 'retro' and have some lines similar to the '64 GTO, or the '65-'67 GTO. Hopefully, the GTO planned for '07 will have lines which inspire.

Your point is well taken, however. North and South Dakota are not the performance car territory the southwest and California are.

<_<
 

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Nice research. Remember figures don't lie, but liers can figure. ;)

-T
 

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The dealership I went to have a bunch of them.
My dad just bought an Envoy and said that their
dealership had a bunch, too, and had some $5K
fee pushed on top of the MSRP. No doubt they're
not going to move them very fast.
 

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Regardless of our personal hopes, Im still in belief that the boring GTO is going to bomb...

Who Outside the failed Camaro/Firebird/GM-ponycar enthusist is actually going to buy one of these overly-priced flops?
 

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I for one have yet to meet (ENYONE) in my day to day rounds who are even awair it exists. When I tell them they (CAN) buy a new RWD 350HP Pontiac GTO there shocked! People have gotten use to (HAVEING) to buy FWD but in there youth they had these RWD cars and loved them. If your going to spend 35K for a sporty/RWD personal Coupe theres nothing better out there for the $$$$.
 

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When I first saw it on the web I was not impressed. It looked like a Grand Am with a V-8. I was hoping, if they brought back the nameplate 'GTO', it would go on a vehicle which deserved the nameplate. I would have liked it to be 'retro' and have some lines similar to the '64 GTO, or the '65-'67 GTO. Hopefully, the GTO planned for '07 will have lines which inspire.
Everyone says the new GTO looks too much like a "normal Pontiac".

Well, perhaps it's just me, but wasn't the GTO a 1964 Tempest with a 389 under the hood in place of a 326? In fact, all GTO's have been standard Pontiacs with big motors shoved in, except this one which is a unique car. Heck, the '74 GTO was basically a Ventura with a Pontiac 350, and know what the current placeholder of the Ventura is? Why the Grand AM of course! Also, how does mere styling reflect on the car? 350hp should more than make up for styling lacunes that the new GTO doesn't really have (ie if it looked like a Toyota Echo).



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The Dealership I work at has over 20 GTO's in stock. They are being offered at invoice to the public. We have many more coming. The styling is conservative, but the car is a blockbuster driving machine. The quality is excellent and the ride is above average for it's class. You can buy my Demo for a grand under invoice.
 

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It doesn't help that some dealers are actually bad mouthing the GTO's on their lots.
One dealer in New England loved the GTO for it's performance then went on to bad mouth it as not having ONSTAR, would be horrible in the snow, etc.
No wonder some are not selling!
 

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P.S. I think the styling had to be kept very "tight" to the aerodynamic shape of the body in order to keep it stable at an unknown top speed I would never try attempt unless I was on race track with a helmet. This car can reach high speeds quickly with little or no effort. This car is not for drivers for people who can't control thier impulses to mash a gas pedal to the floor.
 

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Of the six or eight here in the great El Paso southwest, all have been sold. There's even a used one on the largest P-B-GMC dealership pre-owned lot...only $29k. The older gentleman did not like the way it "felt heavy". He went for a Saab. Oh well.... :drevil:
 

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I don't get the idea that the new GTO is "bland". Conservative, yes but Pontiac has been criticized for years for making cars with over the top styling (Mostly the Trans Am). The car is quite hansome, but not flashy. If you wanted out front styling, you should have helped to save the firebird.

It does not have the same appeal as the "real" GTOs. The 64 GTO was even more bland than the 04. There were no hood scoops on the 64 GTO (Those chrome things were non functional hood ornamates).

It looks too much like a Grand Prix. The 66 - 67 GTOs looked like the 65 Grand Prix, no one complains about them.

It looks too much like the other Pontiacs. Would not be much of a halo car if it did not share a family resemblance now would it?

At least no one said it is slow.
 

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Article is about as much spin as the Clinton regime's press conferences.

The article suggests that sales will pick up (though it only bases that assumption on seasonality which was already accounted for in the original article posted on this board). The article does not even bother with the states which didn't have bad weather or winter climate and if one were to see any trends of seasonal doldrums coming to an end, you'd see it in consistent sales outside of the rust belt and cold weather climates.

The article doesn't even deal with the secondary stickers that dealers attach to these cars reducing their already marginal value. The article also doesn't even deal with the fact that many of the sales already recorded were probably pre-orders which further diminishes the saleability of this version of the GOAT. Subtract out those pre-orders and the actual sales of the GOAT would be quite embarrassing!

I read a lot of hope and prayers in the article but didn't see much to offer a glimpse into a world any different from what we are currently seeing.

The article also fails to account for $2 plus gasoline which will definitely place a huge chill on the sales of a car that isn't kind to fuel mileage.

I don't mean to rain on someone's parade, but you'd think that an article proporting to tell the real story would do so instead of spinning a yarn of fantasy over truth.
 

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The best thing about the GTO is by far the engine and the performance it delivers. In reality there is no other car today with the performance, comfort, quality and the price you SHOULD be able to get one for. GM surely knows it made a boo-boo on the styling front. Granted the original GTOs were based on the Tempest, this was only to get around GM execs that would not have approved of the project had they known what the boys at Pontiac were really up to. The original GTO was based on the Tempest because it had to be. Considering this was a proven name with history and a following, I wish GM would have made the GTO a little more than an LS1 dropped into another vehicle and rebadged. It just deserved more and it was not nearly enough to satisfy expectations, even if we knew ahead of time what to expect on the parts front. Lets be honest, looking at the Monaro you knew it wasn’t going to have slab sides, but maybe you did expect something a little different. People don’t complain about performance, just style. What is so aggravating is that just about anyone could have told GM about the shortcomings in style and I am sure many did. They got it on the market and probably in the most efficient way possible and there is nothing wrong with that if some effort had been made to address styling issues. I saw that Monaro with a body kit and it looked great. I just wish GM had gone the extra mile with the GTO. It would literally take a few hundred dollars to make the GTOs looks match its performance and quiet so much unnecessary criticism. Like the GTOs performance but don’t like the style? Buy one and eventually get a body kit and you have an awesome vehicle that would require some real tough criticism to detract from it.
 

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Originally posted by Carguy@May 24 2004, 10:43 PM
I for one have yet to meet (ENYONE) in my day to day rounds who are even awair it exists. When I tell them they (CAN) buy a new RWD 350HP Pontiac GTO there shocked! People have gotten use to (HAVEING) to buy FWD but in there youth they had these RWD cars and loved them. If your going to spend 35K for a sporty/RWD personal Coupe theres nothing better out there for the $$$$.
Yeah I completely agree that we need a cheap car with some brute force (maybe a Nova?). Plus, what's so bad about living in North Dakota??
 

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The argument that the 64 was also plain, or that the the 66-67 looked similar to the Grand Prix are both true. What I think may be missing is that through the 60's, cars had fairly significant changes every couple of years. In fact most of us can probably tell the differences in the 64/5, 66/7, 68/9, 70/2 GTO's. While the design of many of Pontiac's cars were similar among the make/brand, they each had their own niche, and each changed every couple of years. Had the 04 GTO been intro'd about 5 years ago with this body style, we might be hearing less complaints. As it is, it looks not just like a GP, but the previous generation GP. I think they are in the right ballpark with price, performance, interior, etc. But watching one go by does not induce that "gotta have" feeling (at least in me).
 

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The GTO is a great car to drive, with power and comfort rolled into one nicely priced package. The stock car is a blank canvas for the aftermarket, namely SLP engineering. When these guys role out their "Judge" edition the styling will be more agressive, and the power will toast any Mustang for a cheaper price. The buyers will come as the dealer issues are resolved and the marketing campaign picks up speed. The later has already been given a boost by a cover appearance on Motor Trend magazine. These guys loved the car and I expect anyone who drives one will also. :p
 

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It was the correct decision to resurrect the GTO. The problem is that the car is too expensive (compared to what Camaro/firebirds use to sell for) and the Chevy Cavalier look definately isnt "gotta have". Style is what sells, not just brute hp. Bring out a redesigned model with more heritage cues with a price of 25-30k and the car would be a winner.
 
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