[DML] Re: DMCH to build Pontiac Solstice?
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[DML] Re: DMCH to build Pontiac Solstice?

A few things I'll add and sorry for the length:

Buying the Wilmington plant would be an enormous expense, the old GM Atlanta plant is very similar to Wilmington as they were built at the same time, around 1947, and about 1,000,000 square feet. GM is looking for $70 million for it. Real estate being what it is Wilmington might be worth about that, more or less, but I use the figure as a ballpark. (GM just turned down an offer of $45 million for Atlanta.) That is a lot of money for a company of the size of DMC for just the property. I don't know if they could lease it depending upon the GM bankruptcy plan. Also, labor union issues are something a company of DMCH's size might want to avoid. However, buying the required tooling (some of the body panels are hydroformed) and setting up shop in Texas would would be more economical.

When GM initally sold the car, it was nearly at a loss as the parts cost more than what they charged, but they were hamstrung by Lutz' promise to sell it for under $20,000. Even the higher end models did not bring GM much money. Don't forget all of the incentives and rebates over the last few years eroded what little profit there was. Their hope was it would get people into the showroom and buy an SUV or something bigger. Solstice (and Sky's) sales initially exploded to the point of adding a third shift at Wilmington, but it was short lived and I don't believe any of the other models saw any bump because of the Solstice traffic. I don't know if DMCH could - or would want to - match GM's jobs per hour, so the car would have to cost more and they don't want to price themselves out of the market. 

As cool as it would be, gullwing or any other type of non traditional door would add cost to an already small profit car. A stainless skin, or stainless paint would be a nice touch, and the DMC logo on anything would look great, but I think they can really make the interior far better than the GM attempt, and begin to find ways to differentiate their version from GM. The concept interior was way nicer than the production car, not unlike proto 1 in my opinion as GM raided their parts bin and used off the shelf componenets for most of it. And in other small ways they can improve on it where they can and not break the bank. The DMC-24 would be a great name IF they could charge only $24,0000 for the base model. (As it's a 2 seater and stock is a 4 cylinder. And if the price did change the name would still work)

I like the idea. My wife loves the car and has wanted one for some time, but the concept of buying any GM or Chrysler car is not sitting well with her since the government bailouts of both companies.

But that's politics, and that is a VERY touchy subject these days...

Finally, I'll add that I am not just spouting off this stuff. I used to work - like a lot of people - at an assembly plant, so I learned a lot of this right from the horses mouth. A lot of friends have been kicked to the curb, some more than once, as the auto companies shed thousands of jobs and close several plants, and more are to follow. They had a broken system for a long time, too many cars that were not selling, and now they are paying the piper. 

Ironically though, it reminds me of something I read in SSI I think, that JZD increased production when it wasn't warranted and that one decision may have hastened DMC's demise as needed cash was tied up in unsold inventory. It's too bad because it would have been something to see what else JZD and his team could have rolled off the assembly lines. ( If this is untrue, please correct me.)

I hope this plan does work for both Solstice and DMC fans, but I don't think any of us want to to see another DMC fail, and the car business is a risky venture today. Look at the challenges facing Tesla.

Although a production Electric D would be VERY cool!

Best - 



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