View Full Version : Pontiac G6, a flop...
03-23-2005, 05:59 AM
Just saw this on CNN:<p><A HREF="http://www.freep.com/money/autonews/oprahx22e_20050322.htm" TARGET="_blank">http://www.freep.com/money/aut...2.htm</A><p><B>'Oprah' buzz works no magic for Pontiac G6 <p>Sales of Grand Am replacement 'awful' </B><p>BY SARAH A. WEBSTER<br>FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER<p>So much for Oprah's magic touch.<p>In September, the woman who made Dr. Phil a household name, launched her own magazine and drove countless books onto the best-seller list gave 276 members of her "Oprah Winfrey Show" audience a new Pontiac G6 -- a move heralded in marketing circles for its wide reach and emotional impact.<p>General Motors Corp. and marketing experts were abuzz with speculation that Winfrey's powers might cascade through the automotive retail world.<p>Indeed, Gary Steilen, the marketing manager for the G6, reported that the new midsize sedan, which replaced the 21-year-old Pontiac Grand Am, is "doing very well."<p>But industry researchers said the G6 -- which has been on the market for six months -- has been a flop, with nothing special to set it apart except, perhaps, the panoramic sunroof. And that's optional.<p>As evidence of the car's meager performance, auto experts note that the world's largest automaker has dramatically ramped up rebates on the car just to get it selling at modest levels. The automaker offered more than $3,600 in incentives on it last month, and it sold less than half of what the Grand Am was averaging per month.<p>Ronald Tadross, an auto analyst with the Banc of America Securities brokerage firm, said the disappointing performance of the G6 -- an important piece of the GM portfolio -- doesn't bode well for at least part of the company's financial future.<p>"I would say it ranks in the top quartile of car products to watch out of GM, and unfortunately, it's been a challenge," he said.<p>Tadross specifically cited the sluggish performance of the G6 as a "key reason" he warned investors in a report last month to sell their stock in GM, sparking a sell-off on Wall Street that damaged the automaker and local investors. He said he believes sales are "at least 30 percent below" where they need to be to keep the G6 factories running at capacity, which he estimated at 200,000 vehicles a year.<p>"The thing that is most disappointing is how fast the incentives went up," Tadross said. "And the volume is still below what we think is full capacity."<p>Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research Inc. in Bandon, Ore., agreed, characterizing the performance of the G6 as "awful."<p>"The reality is, this car was supposed to do something, and it didn't do it," Spinella said. "It just hasn't reached the level they had hoped for. It's not doing as well as it should."<p>GM's Steilen said he is frustrated with such opinions.<p>He defended the car's performance, saying that it takes about a year for a vehicle with such high volume projections to ramp up, and he noted that most of the G6 variations, such as the four-cylinder version and convertible, aren't even on the market yet.<p>"To me, it's anything but a disappointment," he said of the G6's performance.<p>But the proof may be in the numbers.<p>Consumers bought an average of 195,949 Grand Ams a year, or an average of 16,329 a month, between its release in 1984 and last year, according to the research firm Autodata Corp. of Woodcliff Lake, N.J.<p>In February, consumers bought 7,043 G6s, which would translate into about 84,516 in annual sales.<p>To get those volumes, GM has had to offer substantial incentives, such as cash-back rebates and discounted financing rates. Buyers in this region today can get at least $1,500 cash off of the G6, or $500 off plus special interest rates of 2 percent or less for loans up to 72 months.<p>Automakers do not publicly report how much they spent on incentives. But according to the consumer Web site, Edmunds.com, one of several companies that estimate incentive spending, GM offered $3,635 in G6 incentives in February, up from $1,291 in October, the month after it was released.<p>Meanwhile, the average transaction price of the typically-equipped G6 was $22,339 in February -- its lowest since its release. The vehicle has a starting price of $23,486.<p>Without a doubt, the auto retail market is tougher than it was in 1984, and the G6 is facing a market that now prefers trucks to cars. But the ramp-up of the G6 has been significantly slower than the ramp-up of the Grand Am.<p>Since Winfrey's media-splash giveaway, consumers have purchased 27,332 G6s. But in the first six months of the Grand Am release, 31,673 cars were sold, according to Autodata. So the G6 is selling about 86 percent as well as the Grand Am did half a year into its launch.<br> <br>Detroit Free Press auto critic Mark Phelan saw problems with the G6 coming. He gave the car two out of four stars in a review last year, noting: "They are attractive, comfortable and competent cars, but a high price, iffy interiors and oddly tuned steering leave them well short of sporty competitors."<p>Spinella said neither GM's marketing department nor Winfrey can be blamed for the market performance of the G6.<p>"It's one thing to have that kind of a major marketing coup, but you need to back it up," said Spinella, who said he believes that the vehicle is an underwhelming package in a competitive marketplace.<p>"Even though the G6 is new, it's not new or fresh enough," he said. "It's not a breakthrough design. It's what's forcing Ford to redesign the Five Hundred."<p>In fact, Spinella said, GM's marketing department should be credited with getting the lackluster G6 so much attention.<p>CNW's research shows that GM is tops in the marketing department, getting some of the best showroom traffic among automakers. Currently, Pontiac is sponsoring the NCAA men's basketball tournament, giving the G6 a new round of high exposure.<p>With the G6 not selling as well as the vehicle it replaced, GM continues to lose market share. GM's share of the market was down to 25.1 percent for the year through February, compared with 26.9 percent a year ago and 27.5 percent for all of 2004.<p>But even though GM's products, marketing and even prices might be good, Spinella said, "You have to be great in order to gain market share."<p>And that's a hard truth not easily disguised -- even with a little of Winfrey's polish.
03-23-2005, 06:18 AM
oh my oh my...G6...the car isn't that bad, the price is just a little high for this segment...now gm is offering such steep discounts...ouch
03-23-2005, 06:24 AM
GM went from body cladding and garish styling to tasteful and muted. The G6 is not unattractive, but it just is not memorable or exciting. Styling is GM's worst problem. They need talent like they had in the 50's and 60's and they need to freshen the cars every 3 years with dynamic styling. That will bring market share.
Must be the styling... proportions look a bit weird... the rear wheels seem to be pushed too far back.<br><IMG SRC="http://www.bourassaauto.com/05photo/pontiac/g64dr-gt.jpg" BORDER="0"><p>
03-23-2005, 07:40 AM
I thought the concept looked better. And youre right AM2, the rear wheel looks out of place
03-23-2005, 07:42 AM
I don't like their commercials, i know it's all marketing but still...<p>the car can start from across the street - big deal, those just make all of us more lazy<p>the car has the biggest roof - i give it that, it looks pretty nice, although i prefer the one on the maxima<p>has the largest standard v6 - i know it doesn't fit to throw in an i4 (the name), but that's what they need, many buyers in this segment actually prefer the i4 and the lower price...oh and please, don't compare your v6 with other competitors' I4, their v6s can smoke G6's v6 out of this world
03-23-2005, 08:40 AM
Personally I think the G6 is a very nice car. My main criticism is that if you remove the double shiel grill from it and slap a big H on the hood, it coule easily pass for some kind of Honda accord. Not exactly what you want when you are trying to set yourself appart in the most competitive market segment of all. I'm sure it's a nice car, but I would argue that what's keeping people away is that it's lacking some of that uniqueness of character or price that would set it appart from the competition.
03-23-2005, 08:45 AM
Agreed, the rear wheel is too far back. It looks ungainly, like someone leaning over and putting their hands and feet on the floor.
Naga Royal Guard
03-23-2005, 08:59 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>knicks125</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>has the largest standard v6 - i know it doesn't fit to throw in an i4 (the name), but that's what they need, many buyers in this segment actually prefer the i4 and the lower price...oh and please, don't compare your v6 with other competitors' I4, their v6s can smoke G6's v6 out of this world </TD></TR></TABLE><p>i thaught the same thing of the mazda 6; hell, how horrible would it be if the mazda 3 had 3 cylinder images <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/laugh2.gif" BORDER="0">
03-23-2005, 12:52 PM
My friend just bought a G6, and I was quite impressed with the whole package. I hope sales improve with the discounts.
03-23-2005, 01:14 PM
I agree they need the 4 cyl.. The 4cyl models usually sell more. The 2.4l VVT 170hp engine has been delayed and they need it badly. That engine is going to be used in many GM products and they all need it right now, Chevy and Saturn included... as soon as pontiac gets the 4cyl out they better offer it across the board on all the G6 bodystyles and sell it for 1500 to 2000 less than V6 and sales would rise...
Naga Royal Guard
03-23-2005, 01:32 PM
i see G6s around now, albet very few; the exterior is quite nice really; but GM was foolish to even say BMW and Pontiac in the same line tho
03-23-2005, 01:32 PM
I agree with most of what's been said. It's a good design, though not very memorable, which is what you need when you're trying to establish a completely new name in a crowded and ultra-compatitive segment. <p>The other big problem is the price, as with most other GM vehicles. Even though they offer huge discounts, I assume most people write it off from the start because they compare MSRPs. Imagine if GM had offered this at $1,000 or $2,000 less from the start. <p>The other huge problem, which will soon be remedied, hopefully, is the other variants. I think something like 80% of Camry and Accord sales are 4 cylinder models, so I guess sales of the G6 with just a mid-range V6 aren't really that bad. Once the I4 comes out sales should (they should, though it's not guaranteed) pick up substantially. Then the coupe, hard-top convertible, and the GTP or GXP high-performance versions will also add a few thousand sals a piece. For GM's sake, and for the hundreds of thousands of people who directly or indirectly depend on GM, I hope so.
03-24-2005, 06:01 AM
throw in a I4 and call it the G4, the only way the remedy such problem <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0">
03-24-2005, 01:04 PM
Poor GM and Poor Pontiac. Wouldn't it be nice for a change to hear something good about Gm. I like the G6 but i'm not excited about it. I can't even remember the last time i was excited about a pontiac, or chevy for that matter.
03-24-2005, 02:26 PM
For a GM product I am very impressed with this car interior/exterior look good but it looks way to similar to the Camry.<br>Look... <A HREF="http://img177.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img177&image=68468484lq.png" TARGET="_blank">http://img177.exs.cx/my.php?lo...q.png</A><br>Speaking of GM flops for some strange reason the Buick GS isnt doing that well either.
Naga Royal Guard
03-24-2005, 02:32 PM
03-24-2005, 02:35 PM
Buick GS 300 Buick LaCrosse both the same.<p><A HREF="http://www.buick.com/lacrosse" TARGET="_blank">http://www.buick.com/lacrosse</A>/
03-24-2005, 03:12 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Flagship GT</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Buick GS 300 Buick LaCrosse both the same.<p></TD></TR></TABLE><p>Like the Maybach Rio, or the Bently Accent, right? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0"> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/all_coholic.gif" BORDER="0">
03-24-2005, 03:31 PM
I think that there is nothing really wrong with the G6; it's just at the wrong price point.<p>If GM can get the costs out, put in a 4cyl and knock 2K to 2,500 off the MSRP, then I think the whole package would become much more attactive to people.<p>Right now, GM can't compete with Toyota and Honda, head to head. No one, right now, is going to pay the same amount of money for a GM product as they would for a Toyota/Honda/Nissan. It needs to think like Hyundai and undercut their competitiors prices. <p>Hopefully, this will change in the future. I, for one, own an American car and am rooting for them.
03-24-2005, 10:40 PM
when Pontiac debuted the G6 they said the G6 would be offered with a 4cyl but the engine/model has been delayed.. read the articles about the G6 Debut and Cobalt SS debut and most likely you'll see them mention a 2.4l 170hp VVT 4cyl but the engine has been delayed. I wonder whats holding GM up..?
03-25-2005, 06:24 AM
Typical GM. They have several modes: 1) Rush a car to market before the engineering is finished (5.7 litre diesel, Citation) 2) Bring a car to market but tell everyone that the cool engine is a year away (Oldsmobile Intrigue) 3) change a grille and change a name and destroy reputation (Cadillac Cimmaron). The G6 has major problems: price is HIGH relative to competitors, styling is pleasant but not inspiring (hot styling is how they need to steal buyers from Honda and Toyota), and in this segment a strong 4 cylinder with a 6 speed tranny would have been a major draw.
03-26-2005, 12:58 AM
Base price is already $21,300 for the V6, nearly $2K less than the Altima V6, $1000 less than the Camry V6, and more than $2600 less than the base Accord V6. That seems like "undercutting" to me.
03-26-2005, 06:36 AM
The G6 is no Altima or Camry and they are worth the extra money. The G6 is not as smooth as a V6 Camry for example. The base may be 21k but the reality at the dealer lot is much higher.
03-26-2005, 08:46 AM
I'll echo Santemo's statement. G6 in my opinion is a nice car, but it doesn't get my emotional buying sense flowing. I think marketing was done okay with their commercials, but as for the car itself the styling is so-so, interior is rather bland looking. <p>However I think that overtime this car will sell better, they just need to adjust the pricing a bit. And then facelift it to make it sharper looking in front.<p>I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I saw a Dodge Durango driving around and when I looked closer I realized it was a mule. Any ideas as to which vehicle they might be testing?
Naga Royal Guard
03-26-2005, 09:01 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>mzoltarp</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">The G6 is no Altima or Camry and they are worth the extra money. The G6 is not as smooth as a V6 Camry for example. The base may be 21k but the reality at the dealer lot is much higher.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>huh? i thaught w/ rebates it would be much lower
03-26-2005, 09:07 AM
Fully loaded G6 should go for no more than 23k. But no one on here has mentioned as to how competitive the market is in such a price range. From 18k to 24k its cuttthroat baby and unless you have your stuff done to perfection then its going to fail. People are no longer buying cars just to have a car they demand way more than ever. That's why companies like Subaru and Huyndai have really stepped up their game. I've said many time before that US market is becoming more like European where in and out styling and interior fit and finish are becoming increasingly important. Not to mention fun to drive factor.
03-26-2005, 09:12 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Roadster44</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Fully loaded G6 should go for no more than 23k. But no one on here has mentioned as to how competitive the market is in such a price range. From 18k to 24k its cuttthroat baby and unless you have your stuff done to perfection then its going to fail. People are no longer buying cars just to have a car they demand way more than ever. That's why companies like Subaru and Huyndai have really stepped up their game. I've said many time before that US market is becoming more like European where in and out styling and interior fit and finish are becoming increasingly important. Not to mention fun to drive factor.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>A fully loaded G6 is about 26k.
03-26-2005, 10:02 AM
I saw one for 27.5k... my jaw was on the floor. Also the dealer told me there was only $1000 in rebates. What makes the situation worst, this dealer sells Nissan, Kia, and Honda too... And I've driven an Altima 4cyl and the G6 and they compare more to me than the V6 Altima and G6.
03-26-2005, 12:28 PM
27K? !!! Really? Oooooooo. No, I don't think so....
03-26-2005, 12:34 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>dukedb9</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">27K? !!! Really? Oooooooo. No, I don't think so....</TD></TR></TABLE><p>what's not to believe, you never been to the dealer down in FL...<p>a fully loaded G6 is 26,320 with 1,000 savings, so 27K is about right
03-27-2005, 04:32 AM
27k is quite accurate as is the thousand dollar rebate.
03-28-2005, 05:35 AM
they should put in the 250hp v6 they are using in the saturn, change the fascia and move the rear wheel forward, create a new interior, and then sell it for under 17k(starting price) thats just my opinion, but if i were gm, i would have did that from the start.
03-28-2005, 05:43 AM
I would agree except saturn is not considered by GM as the so called "performance" division <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/nixweiss.gif" BORDER="0">
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