CHICAGO - The 2008 Pontiac G8 is General Motors' second recent attempt to sell an Australian-assembled car in the United States.
The first, the 2004-06 Pontiac GTO, failed to reach sales expectations and was dropped. The coupe was based on the Holden Monaro.
During an interview this month at the Chicago Auto Show, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said the automaker learned three lessons from the GTO:
1. The car's styling was not fresh. That body style had been on the market in Australia "for probably close to seven or eight years. So if you are going to bring in a car, it should be at the beginning of its design cycle, not at the end."
2. "We overpriced it."
3. The wrong dealers were targeted. Initial GTO distribution was based on historic Pontiac sales, which were heavily in the Midwest. But Midwest buyers did not want a rear-drive car. Instead, California should have been targeted at the beginning. "We will not make that mistake this time."
You may e-mail Rick Kranz at [email protected]