NYT: Solstice Fizzles (The Sky is Falling)

Adrian Imonti
by Adrian Imonti
nyt solstice fizzles the sky is falling

Just two years after its well-hyped launch, the sun is setting fast over the Solstice. The New York Times is casting a gloomy eye toward the momentarily once-hot Pontiac roadster, reporting that the days of waiting lists and above-MSRP markups are over. As of July, year-to-date sales are down 19% compared to 2006; inventory levels sit at the five-month mark. Even worse, the Solstice is creating no lift for the Pontiac brand, which has seen its sales nose-dive 17%, almost twice as fast as GM’s as a whole. While we appreciate the homage to our very own Death Watch column, the NYT indulges in a bit of creative math in the same article when it touts the badge-engineered Saturn Sky as a fantastic success story– even though its sales volumes are one-third below those of both the Solstice and the car that inspired it, the Mazda Miata. Still, it’s sad to see that GM’s brands are so dead that they now qualify for obituaries in the nation’s newspaper of record.

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  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Aug 27, 2007

    GM creates two new cars that compete head to head with each other, but are intended to compete against the well established and successfully MX5. Nevermind that GM is so late to this game that there are literally thousands of excellent Boxsters, Z3/4s, TTs, SLKs, MR2s, and S2000s for sale on the used car market selling in the $25,000 to $35,000 range (Soltice/ Sky price range). ALL are better cars/roadsters than the Soltice or Sky. The Soltice/ Sky have a unrefined look and feel to them that is comparative to a "Kit Car". Compared to every other car in this class they they are simply "unfinished" with the gas tank in the trunk and the worst convertible top I have ever seen. The Soltice's top is so bad if it had been fitted to a Fiat, or MG of the early 1970s it would have recieved it deserved critism back then. The Soltice serves at a glaring example of how bad GM really is. The recent history of this class of cars has been defined by excellence with the Miata, S2000, and Boxster at the top followed by some very good cars such as the TT and Z3/4. While the SLK has been rather lack-luster in both versions atleast it was built with some respect for brand and customer. The Soltice/ Sky on the other hand are the newest entries but offer up ZERO improvements in this class and remind me of GM in the 80s with its "so what, it good enough as is, our customers are stupid" attitiude! Nevermind the fact that the Sky only serves to reenforce the idea that GM makes crappy cars at home and abroad.

  • Kurt B Kurt B on Aug 27, 2007

    I like the Solstice but don't fit.. not enough head room...

  • Samir Syed Samir Syed on Aug 27, 2007

    The Solstice is half-baked. They should've finished designing it before selling. Right now, the main reason to buy one is to get the GXP which does make good use out of the competent (but not excellent) chassis. The Mazdaspeed MX-5 is coming in 1-2 years and then who's gonna buy a "Ponniac" ?

  • CSJohnston CSJohnston on Aug 27, 2007

    Why is this news? Any vehicle, especially trendy ones like the Solstice have a very short window of "gotta have it" noteriety. 18 months to two years is about right. Sales should then settle into a familiar pattern. If (and this is a big if) GM can manage to settle for decent sales (as opposed to extraordinary) for the car and update and improve it consistently then it will have a viable image model for Pontiac. If not, it can settle in beside several half-baked ideas many automakers brought out then abandoned.