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After a spate of false green lights and production and planning hurdles, General Motors Corp. is taking a major step toward putting the sleek Pontiac Solstice roadster into production.

Since mid-October, the automaker has been conducting a study to determine whether the Solstice can be produced at its Wilmington, Del., assembly plant, according to people familiar with GM's plans.

The underused factory now assembles the slumping Saturn midsize L-series sedan and wagon.

GM spokesman Dan Flores said a study was under way, but declined to tie it to the Solstice.

"We are currently conducting a manufacturing study regarding a potential future investment," he said. "No decision has been made."

In a recent interview, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said a few production issues, such as "fabrication techniques," need to be ironed out before the Solstice gains final approval as a production car.

The Solstice concept car was put on the fast track by Lutz after he arrived at GM in September 2001.

"A car like that would be of value to Pontiac and would be of value to all of General Motors," said Lutz, who oversees GM's new product efforts.

"It's a new expression of finding new and different ways to do exciting products in unconventional ways that aren't just renewed versions of cars we already have in the market."

While management is eager to build the Solstice, manufacturing engineers must first find a way to do so profitably.

Alan Baum, head of automotive forecasting for Farmington Hills-based market research firm The Planning Edge, calls the manufacturing study another confirmation GM is pushing forward with the Solstice.

If the Solstice gets the green light, it would be another building block in the rehabilitation of Pontiac.

GM's "excitement" division has lost momentum and styling pizzazz, with U.S. sales down 12 percent so far this year from 2002.

"A car like (the Solstice) would do well in a place like California where a lot of people who, for the last 20 years, wouldn't think of setting foot in a domestic dealership and it would get them in there," Lutz said.

Sporty roadsters can provide a image boost for a car brand, but they are expensive to produce and are far from a sure thing.

Ford Motor Co. ginned up a great deal of buzz when it launched the Ford Thunderbird convertable in 2001, but sales have been lukewarm.

DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler division is hoping the new Chrysler Crossfire sports coupe can create a shining halo over the entire brand.

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Originally posted by Canuck@Nov 12 2003, 05:26 AM
GM rebuilt Cadillac and now the rebuild of Pontiac is in full swing. MORE RWD performance cars. :D
Hell Yeah! :lol:
 

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LOL, I think that they should be focusing in Buick! They really need an exciting car :unsure:
 

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Originally posted by Canuck@Nov 12 2003, 12:26 AM
GM rebuilt Cadillac and now the rebuild of Pontiac is in full swing. MORE RWD performance cars. :D
This raises an old concern of mine.

While Gm "focuses" its resources on revamping it many brands and lineups, Toyota and Honda only have 2 (well 3 if you count Scion) brands to refresh on a more constant basis.

I say this strategy waters down the potential of GM if it only had half the brands.

That said, I like Pontiac, Buick, etc. -- I just think perhaps the brands should merge under one dealership roof and eliminate all overlapping vehicles.
 

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I strongly disagree with getting rid of the overlaps. Tell a Grand Prix driver he can only get an Impala or vice versa? No thank you. The same with the rest of the line. I know a lot of people who think the new Silv. looks like @$$ but love the Sierra. I like the diversity. I am a Firebird first, Camaro second guy(usually, not always, I love them both the same just find myself for in-tune with 'bird, thats all) and I know there are a lot people who are just the opposite.

It is none the less a valid point. However it (diversity) is also an asset, IMO. I likes my Buicks, Pontiacs, Chevys, GMCs, Caddys, Hummers, SAABs, and OLDS( :( )! And anything I may have missed, I would even like to see certain Opels and Vauxhalls. Oh, and half(more like 20%) brother Subarus. Isuzu? They have to be hurting but them too. :D

EDIT:
And more Holdens!!!!
 
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Build it, and they will come.

Please no more Holdens. I put more faith in my fellow American designers and engineers.

When will GM exercise their option and purchase the rest of Izuzu and Subaru? Will GM keep their brand names, or absorb them?
 

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Originally posted by NewMexico_Sunset_On_RT66_Yep@Nov 12 2003, 05:08 PM
Build it, and they will come.

Please no more Holdens. I put more faith in my fellow American designers and engineers.

When will GM exercise their option and purchase the rest of Izuzu and Subaru? Will GM keep their brand names, or absorb them?
please don't get your patriotism entwined with your love of GM cars. your american bretheren have yet to produce a decent drivetrain in recent years, save for the 'vette/XLR.

the Sigma, VE, Epsilon, Delta - all designed in europe [i think, don't quote me]. they're all far superior to a lot of the products designed here. the US designers kill when it comes to powertrains - no one builds an engine more stout in my opinion then that found in detroit iron [other than the ECOTEC which i believe had more of a european influence], but their drivetrains seriously lack. why else would GM be looking to salvage products from their international subsidiaries [other than for cost]?

now, i won't say that this is entirely due to the lack of design efforts put forth by the US designers. unfortunately, they have the UAW to piss in their coffee each morning and remind them why they're not making the best vehicles out there; but the fact is, GM has to leverage its international resources to bring good, decent products to market. yeah, i know they're modified for north american consumption, but the backbone for a lot of their products are based on european design.

so, until american GM designers can build a decent car¹, save for the 'vette, i wouldn't start putting too much faith in them.

¹remember, i'm talking about cars and not trucks here. i'm pretty sure that it says trucks aren't allowed to be designed anywhere else but the US :D.
 

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Originally posted by sykboy@Nov 12 2003, 11:53 AM
... I would even like to see certain Opels and Vauxhalls.
I'm with you on this one. I would love to be able to get my hands on an Opel Speedster. Don't understand why they (don't sell/make it hard to get)? Opels in the states. Hopefully the Solstice gets produced cause that'll curb my desire for the Speedster.
 

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Because to many stupid people would pop the hood trying to guess where the engine is ...mid rear engine WHATS GOING ON....AHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhh




that would be their reaction.
 
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'mackingu' - Part of the problem could be also be 'process' and 'management' problems. I work for a Fortune 500 engineering/aerospace firm and I deal with process stuff everyday. If GM's process is lean to enable kick-a$$ products get to market quick then that is not the problem. I can also see management problems. Some manager trying to hang on to his job instead of doing what's right, because he/she knows that doing what is right means the loss of his/her job.

Maybe I'm wrong. Unions are an issue, however. I've worked in a couple union shops and they do GREAT work, but often their leadership leads them astray. I would think that the union guy on the floor would have allot of pride in his/her job.
 

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Are you guys going to receive MG someday? They have a cool little roadster: MG TF. It's a very fun car to drive. RWD and a mid-engine for only $30,500 :D .

Engine: 1.8L I-4.
[email protected]
Weight: 1,180 kg.
 

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Originally posted by NewMexico_Sunset_On_RT66_Yep@Nov 13 2003, 12:05 AM
'mackingu' - Part of the problem could be also be 'process' and 'management' problems. I work for a Fortune 500 engineering/aerospace firm and I deal with process stuff everyday. If GM's process is lean to enable kick-a$$ products get to market quick then that is not the problem. I can also see management problems. Some manager trying to hang on to his job instead of doing what's right, because he/she knows that doing what is right means the loss of his/her job.

Maybe I'm wrong. Unions are an issue, however. I've worked in a couple union shops and they do GREAT work, but often their leadership leads them astray. I would think that the union guy on the floor would have allot of pride in his/her job.
i see where you're headed with this, and i couldn't agree more. except for the union part. i believe that the union members have more pride in their unions, then pride in the companies they work for.
 

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I've got an extremely big beef with unions. Unions had their place in the 30's-40's whenever people got paid like $#!t and had terrible working conditions. Today however, Unions only promote laziness instead of looking out for the wellfare of their workers. My first job as a draftsman was in a Unionized company. My team leader looked at me one day when I turned in a job and gave it back to me and told me to take it back to my seat and turn it back in after the full 8 hours. I had only used 2 or 3 hours of it and he said to keep it for the full 8. He said "do whatever you have to do to take up the time. take a 45 min porcelain cruise if you have to. take the full amount of time for the jobs." Sure, they make sure the employees are getting competitive wages, but wages should be given according to merit not just because you have a particular job. America would be in a lot better shape if Unions didn't control so much.
 

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Originally posted by simmonsmb@Nov 13 2003, 04:49 AM
I've got an extremely big beef with unions. Unions had their place in the 30's-40's whenever people got paid like $#!t and had terrible working conditions. Today however, Unions only promote laziness instead of looking out for the wellfare of their workers. My first job as a draftsman was in a Unionized company. My team leader looked at me one day when I turned in a job and gave it back to me and told me to take it back to my seat and turn it back in after the full 8 hours. I had only used 2 or 3 hours of it and he said to keep it for the full 8. He said "do whatever you have to do to take up the time. take a 45 min porcelain cruise if you have to. take the full amount of time for the jobs." Sure, they make sure the employees are getting competitive wages, but wages should be given according to merit not just because you have a particular job. America would be in a lot better shape if Unions didn't control so much.
amen, brother, amen.
 

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Originally posted by gerardo_zg@Nov 12 2003, 07:16 PM
Are you guys going to receive MG someday? They have a cool little roadster: MG TF. It's a very fun car to drive. RWD and a mid-engine for only $30,500 :D .

Engine: 1.8L I-4.
[email protected]
Weight: 1,180 kg.
They're in Mexico now. When the next generation of products arrives, MG Rover might make it to the US. The TF wasn't designed with American laws in mind. The Rover 75/MG ZT needs emissions changes for the US. Actually, the only product they could bring over now is the high-end MG coupe.

The TG (replacement for the TF) would have to be more affordable or more power to properly compete in the US, although there is a very strong MG fan base in the country.
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Nov 12 2003, 11:27 AM
...That said, I like Pontiac, Buick, etc. -- I just think perhaps the brands should merge under one dealership roof and eliminate all overlapping vehicles.
I'm pretty sure as it is Pontiac, Buick, and GMC have been semi-merged or whatever you want to call it and are usually housed in a single dealership now. Chevy and Cadillac are still separate. Not sure about Hummer, Saab, etc, but that it what I've heard about Pontiac, Buick, and GMC.
 

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Originally posted by mackingu@Nov 12 2003, 12:34 PM
please don't get your patriotism entwined with your love of GM cars. your american bretheren have yet to produce a decent drivetrain in recent years, save for the 'vette/XLR.

the Sigma, VE, Epsilon, Delta - all designed in europe [i think, don't quote me]. they're all far superior to a lot of the products designed here. the US designers kill when it comes to powertrains - no one builds an engine more stout in my opinion then that found in detroit iron [other than the ECOTEC which i believe had more of a european influence], but their drivetrains seriously lack. why else would GM be looking to salvage products from their international subsidiaries [other than for cost]?

now, i won't say that this is entirely due to the lack of design efforts put forth by the US designers. unfortunately, they have the UAW to piss in their coffee each morning and remind them why they're not making the best vehicles out there; but the fact is, GM has to leverage its international resources to bring good, decent products to market. yeah, i know they're modified for north american consumption, but the backbone for a lot of their products are based on european design.

so, until american GM designers can build a decent car¹, save for the 'vette, i wouldn't start putting too much faith in them.

¹remember, i'm talking about cars and not trucks here. i'm pretty sure that it says trucks aren't allowed to be designed anywhere else but the US :D.
The GM Sigma platform was designed in America, tested globally, and will be implemented globally.
 

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Originally posted by sceltor+Nov 14 2003, 12:07 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (sceltor @ Nov 14 2003, 12:07 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteBegin-Ming@Nov 12 2003, 11:27 AM
...That said, I like Pontiac, Buick, etc.  -- I just think perhaps the brands should merge under one dealership roof and eliminate all overlapping vehicles.
I'm pretty sure as it is Pontiac, Buick, and GMC have been semi-merged or whatever you want to call it and are usually housed in a single dealership now. Chevy and Cadillac are still separate. Not sure about Hummer, Saab, etc, but that it what I've heard about Pontiac, Buick, and GMC.[/b][/quote]
Here we have a GM dealership that sells Chevy, Pontiac, Buick, Olds, Caddy, GMC, and Toyota.
 
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