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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Without riling the GTO guys up, I would like to ask this question.
Being neutral about the new style (until I see one in person and sit in it) I have read the magazine articles and everybody's comments (pro and con) with an open mind.
The one bit of information that I do know is that GM discontinued the Camaro/Trans Am models due to a lack of sales.
Now, style-wise, I like the 2001 model Camaros and I guess that this goes for the last model year also. They have a pretty body line, it is RWD and it carried a potent motor if one desired to have one. People argue that it was not road worthy, can't handle the curves and all that. But the suspension could be tweaked to improve it (pardon me here because I'm talking more from what I read).
So, GM discontinues it.
Now, along comes the GTO which is a RWD and has a potent power plant. Aside from the styling, we're just going over old territory.
So, is the GTO supposed to be a car that will be sold for a few years then discontinued for a few years? Cycling in and out?
Is GM trying to play up to the baby boomers (like me) with a "Return of the goat. Get one for your mid-life crisis" marketing plan. If that is the case, they'll lose their shirts. Here, I'm betting that they're after the younger guys who want a GTO but one with the new technology and isn't tied to boyhood dreams.
The old goats were a warmed Tempest so it fit right into the manufacturing scheme. The GTO, now, is a stand alone product.
I cannot see GM being a niche player. A car like the Cavalier or a Honda Civic, which they can sell by the millions, is more of what they are after.
 

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You seem to be overlooking a lot of reasons that the F-body was cancelled. It's sales were lagging. It had the same styling for almost 10 years in the coupe market, which is known for being very fickle and styling dependent. It rode on a very outdated platform. Old GM management ignored and underfuned the program. The money that was received was put into improving reliability and performance. The 98 restyle only happened due to the Herculian efforts of a few inside the company. By around 97-98 it was found out that the F-bodies would not meet the 2003 Federal Crash Standards. The reason being is that the A-pillar was too close to the front passengers' heads. To fix this the whole upper structure of the car, at a minimum, needed to be redesigned. If this had been done, it would have been a lot of money sunk into a car with an outdated structure that for many reasons, was not keeping up with competition. A clean sheet design was looked at, but there was no suitable platform around. Monaro wouldn't cut it, and the Y-body was out of the question, as was sigma. The needed a platform that didn't exist! And they were out of time.

Another factor was the fact that the Quebec plant was runnign at 1/3 capacity and dedictated to a very specialized platform. Capacity wasted in managements view.


Now the GTO....It is not intended to replace the F-body. They're going after a different clientel with this one. It's more upscale, rides much better, has performance that's about on par, but is more civilized in ride and handling.

They're only importing 18,000/year for 3 years. The first year is all but spoken for, and dealers have made deals for the first 2/3's. It will be refreshed in 2005 to look a little more aggressive Hoodscoops, etc., and may also house the LS2. Also GM is planning a complete redesign for the 2007MY to ride on a new flexible platform known as Zeta.

This new platform is so flexible that they are also working on applying it to the Camaro. Press releases have already stated that Pontiac and Chevy WILL be getting vehicles based off this.

So, in short, No....and the Camaro is returning.
 

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Well, the Holden Monaro has been around in a form very similar to our GTO for at least a couple of years now, so as far as "short-lived" goes, I don't think so. And Holden will sell every GTO it sends to the US, because they are hardly sending any compared to even the lowest volume of combined Camaro and Firebird sales. What is it, 5 thousand this year?

"GM" (North America) is not being a "niche player" here. They are importing the car which has been a big success in Australia. They haven't dedicated a factory in Ohio or Canada to making the car here.

But if you are asking if it is going to be like the Ford Thunderbird, already Holden has plans (or has begun) to co-develop the next RWD architecture with GM North America using the Sigma-Lite platform - now called Zeta.

The GTO, and the fruits of its success, are hardly going away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
5,000 cars per year is niche. Real niche.
Companies as big as GM want to produce in the hundreds of thousands. Many of their top management don't like the vettes because of their sales volume.
Regarding the safety issues, these are good points.
Yeah, the Camaro is returning. For how long?
The first few "return of the king" maketing gimmicks will be met with interest. After that, it will be ho-hum.
 

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Originally posted by 69nova@Feb 5 2004, 10:50 AM
5,000 cars per year is niche. Real niche.
Companies as big as GM want to produce in the hundreds of thousands. Many of their top management don't like the vettes because of their sales volume.
Regarding the safety issues, these are good points.
Yeah, the Camaro is returning. For how long?
The first few "return of the king" maketing gimmicks will be met with interest. After that, it will be ho-hum.
The difference is, that the Zeta platform that will underpin so many new RWD products will be adaptable.

In other words, you won't have a single factory in Canada making F-body clones for 2 brands. You'll have a number of vehicles for a number of GM brands --- and if GM is smart the variation will rival Nissan's recent plaform sharing bonanza.
 

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Originally posted by 69nova@Feb 5 2004, 03:50 PM
5,000 cars per year is niche. Real niche.
Companies as big as GM want to produce in the hundreds of thousands. Many of their top management don't like the vettes because of their sales volume.
Regarding the safety issues, these are good points.
Yeah, the Camaro is returning. For how long?
The first few "return of the king" maketing gimmicks will be met with interest. After that, it will be ho-hum.
It's not 5,000....It's 18,000/year for 3 years.

It sounds like you may not be familiar with the kappa program that will underpin the Solstice roadster. GM designed a completely new PLATFORM for a low production product. It can be profitable with as little as 20,000 units / year!

GM is also starting a new engine production plant designed specificly for low volume speciality engines!

If this takes hold, and it seems like it will, than GM isn't going to use the "one size fits all" philosphy. Many in the management understand that a low rate production product requires a different design and production philosophy and they are puting it into practice. Kappa and the Engine Plant are specific expamples.

As far as "for how long?" and "Return of the king"....Well, it's all about PRODUCT. If GM turns out a real loser in the maket then, of course, it won't be around for long.

If you can get around styling that you don't like with the GTO and realize that there are plenty of people that do then you're half way there. Aside from the styling, the car is the real deal! Don't let sheetmetal alone be your sole determinant of the capabilities of the car.
 

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In a recent interview on Autoline TV, they were talking to someone from GM and he said that they finaly cracked the "code" to making low production vehicles, and making a profit.
Im sure every Exec loves the Vette as its the Halo car for ALL of GM. People for 50 years have wanted to sit inside a Vette. This is a car that almost ever person from 5 to 100 wants to drive. The Vette is an icon. They sell every Vette they make and it doesnt seem like they will have a problem with doing that for some time.
The GTO is a niche car, done by Holden, not GM. Holden is already making Monaro's, and GM put money into redesigning it to make it look Pontiac. At 18k a year, im sure that they will sell plenty, and if they revise and add on to the GTO in the next 2 years, it could bring a great car by its end run. I was reading in a car rag that GM could even have Holden keep making the small niche cars while GM makes the large production versions. So a large sedan and what not could be made here, while a GTO, built off the same Zeta chassis as the cars here, can be done. Even if GM doesnt do that, they have spent a large amount of money into a performance group to help GM put out enthusiast cars like the CTS-V, Z06, SS Silvarado, GXP cars, Redline modles etc. I think GM could make a GTO that is civil and insane at the same time. The days of big power and no handling or comfort is out. You can have your cake and eat it too.
As for GM and its chassis, I think they really need to take advantage of this. They can save a lot of money by making one chassis, and building many cars off it. They cant run into badge engineering, and thats what I fear. A Camaro, GTO, Impalla, Grand Prix, and LeSaber cant all look the same with just the addition or removal of 2 drs and badges. GM needs to get on the ball with new sheet metal, and different engine and drivetrain parts. They have the parts and the money to do it, its that they dont feel that they need to take the risk. They have all these platforms and they can be so much better then anything the imports can throw out. GM needs to really see what they have and use it to there advantage. 400hp V8's that get 30mpg, CVT trans, 6spd autos, fine suspension tuning, quality and feel in and out, etc. GM can be world class again if they just take a little risk here and there.
 

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Originally posted by Hudson@Feb 6 2004, 03:31 PM
Bigals:

I'm sure you're referring to "GM North America" when you say "GM" since Holden is (and has been for many decades) part of GM.
yep. I still think holden, vaxhual and opel are smaller GM's, but not GM, does that make sence?
 

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Get them when there are young and if sastisfied you have them when they are old. The beauty of the Muscle Car era was that almost everyone could afford to buy one from their favorite, GM, MOPAR, FORD. 50k Vettes, 30k+ GTO, 40k Caddy's, 40k SSR's plus car insurance plus living expences are not cars for 99% of the young people. I am hoping the RWD Kappa platform is going to address this and a wide range of affordable modern muscle cars can be built for the young guys/gals to enjoy and not bankrupt them paying for them.
 

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Originally posted by yoblues@Feb 7 2004, 04:03 PM
Get them when there are young and if sastisfied you have them when they are old. The beauty of the Muscle Car era was that almost everyone could afford to buy one from their favorite, GM, MOPAR, FORD. 50k Vettes, 30k+ GTO, 40k Caddy's, 40k SSR's plus car insurance plus living expences are not cars for 99% of the young people. I am hoping the RWD Kappa platform is going to address this and a wide range of affordable modern muscle cars can be built for the young guys/gals to enjoy and not bankrupt them paying for them.
this is why imports are very popular. But some kids are buying up third and 4th gen camaros, 5.0 stangs and such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After goinmg to the Auto Show and looking at the GTO's on display. Sitting in them and crawling underthe rear to see how they worked the exhaust, I can say only one thing.
STYLE-WISE, I'll take the last years' models of the Camaro any day of the week over the GTO. Unfortunately, the stling is a big disappointment and all too glaringly that Lutz did anything to get a rear drive vehicle on the road.
17 inch, 5 spoke silver satin PAINTED wheels. They looked so cheap. So cheap. Like the bottom of the rung plastic wheel covers tha one finds on the street. The ones that fly off. I remember, in my youth, painting bikes with a silver paint-this looked like the same treatment.
The interior was uninspiring for a car that is an asphalt burner. Underwhelming.
It is a big Cavalier. Only a smaller car, the real McCoy Cavalier is much cheaper and fills a different niche.

There is an adage when it comes to wanting something quickly.

"How bad do you want it?"
 

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Originally posted by 69nova@Feb 8 2004, 06:29 PM
It is a big Cavalier. Only a smaller car, the real McCoy Cavalier is much cheaper and fills a different niche.
And the Camaro is a big Geo Storm, right?
 

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Originally posted by jknudson98+Feb 8 2004, 09:37 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (jknudson98 @ Feb 8 2004, 09:37 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-69nova@Feb 8 2004, 06:29 PM
It is a big Cavalier. Only a smaller car, the real McCoy Cavalier is much cheaper and fills a different niche.
And the Camaro is a big Geo Storm, right? [/b][/quote]
:eek:
 

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Originally posted by 69nova@Feb 8 2004, 06:29 PM
After goinmg to the Auto Show and looking at the GTO's on display. Sitting in them and crawling underthe rear to see how they worked the exhaust, I can say only one thing.
STYLE-WISE, I'll take the last years' models of the Camaro any day of the week over the GTO. Unfortunately, the stling is a big disappointment and all too glaringly that Lutz did anything to get a rear drive vehicle on the road.
17 inch, 5 spoke silver satin PAINTED wheels. They looked so cheap. So cheap. Like the bottom of the rung plastic wheel covers tha one finds on the street. The ones that fly off. I remember, in my youth, painting bikes with a silver paint-this looked like the same treatment.
The interior was uninspiring for a car that is an asphalt burner. Underwhelming.
It is a big Cavalier. Only a smaller car, the real McCoy Cavalier is much cheaper and fills a different niche.

There is an adage when it comes to wanting something quickly.

"How bad do you want it?"
wow, you even knocked the interior... :rolleyes:
I think its as sleek looking as any Z28. There are no scoops on that, no vents, no nostrils, no mega gfx, and no bling bling wheels. The GTO looks as good as a Z28, and I am a huge camaro fan.
Lutz couldnt change the sheetmetal of the car because it there wasnt enough time for a redesign, and I doubt the GTO would have cost 30ish if there brand new tooling just to make 18k cars a year. The GTO's styling really istn that bad. Sit back and look at it, its very nice. Again, people get this preconceived idea or image of what a GTO should look like, and 9 times out of 10, its a retro GTO.
People see this, and they are puzzled and dont know what to think.
If this was called any other car BUT GTO, I dont think anyone would have a problem.
 

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It seems some people just love to COMPLAIN a LOT about this car I say GET OVER IT!!!! Just be greatful we have a midsize RWD muscle car with a V8 opt 6SPEED and Independint rear sus.Its not as if its UGLY by eny means just becouse its not retro and I for one hope its around for meny years to come. :zap:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You are correct.
I am over it and I do wish GM all my best wishes for success. Success means keeping Americans at work.
But I said that I would not pass judgement until I saw one in person. And I did and my opinions stand.
Only time will tell how it is received.
 

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69Nove dude, U liked the current Monte Carlo though right??
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes, I purchased a supercharged version.
No, I put off buying the MC until I tried the other coupes in the same price range. Its headroom and seating helped win me over.
The spoiler never won me over and I am luke warm about the front end (I cannot put a finger on my opinion though-a general thing).
The MC is very different from the GTO in that the GTO has the same lines as the Dodge Stratus coupe and Chevrolet Cavalier-draw a line from the front end at about a 4 degree angle and that is the style. The rear end has the same treatment as the Grand Prix and Cavalier; it sort of wraps around using large radii. There is also a high belt line common to these cars. The top is low but the bottom of the window is high making the top-to-bottom length of the window rather small.
The rear end sort of end in large radii from all angles. Consequently, a spoiler looks very awkward. The last Trans Ams also have this design concept.
The MC is squared off at the rear. In fact, the MC really looks sharp from the rear as opposed to the front.

What I think is an advantage of the GTO is not looks but mechanicals. The drive train is potent and the exhaust note aggressive. WWW.pontiac has a spot where you can hear the exhaust. I wish GM would have treated the MC as well but it is probably a marketing ploy.

I know that everybody is lining up to throw a tomato but my opinions stand in my mind.

No, bling-bling (must be a young man's slang) wheels should not be on this car but a set of quality wheels with low profile rubber would be in line with the car's design theme. BTW, I cannot stand those wheels that spin when the car is stationary. Aluminum brushed or steel chromed is what should be on this car.

Looking at the brochure's 2nd page, GM tries to make the tie to the original GTO via photo clips. The cars are 180 degrees apart. Like I have said, I have driven a friend's 64 convertible and another friend's 67 hardtop and I see no connection between the old and the new.
 
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