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I picked this up on the Solstice Forum..a member who talked to the GM Pilot for Bob Lutz told he this...

Met today with a GM pilot that flys Bob Lutz around and who just did
a factory tour of Solstice/Sky plant. Production rate is quite slow- only
about 7 cars per hour. He says only about 1/2 the plant is being used.
Alot of the welding is being done by hand. In particular he pointed out the surround around the windshield which he said is hand welded and finished.
He said GM loses money on ea car and maybe we should be prepared for
a price increase.

Rember the line has Solstice, Skys, and soon GPX, and Redline...Seal9:cheers:
 

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Don't forget Opel GT's
 

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If they lose money on each car, why wouldn't they price them higher from the start? doesn't make much sense. Though dont get me wrong, I'm quite happy I drove mine off the lot for $29K, just seems with demand so high, they wouldn't have to price them so low that they lose money.
 

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You really think they would price them so they loose money ? :nono: That is almost unheard of. Here I will give you $5 but you give me $10 back ? :lol: I dont think GM is dumb like that.
 

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Maximum Production

seal9 said:
I picked this up on the Solstice Forum..a member who talked to the GM Pilot for Bob Lutz told he this...

Met today with a GM pilot that flys Bob Lutz around and who just did
a factory tour of Solstice/Sky plant. Production rate is quite slow- only
about 7 cars per hour. He says only about 1/2 the plant is being used.
Alot of the welding is being done by hand. ...

Rember the line has Solstice, Skys, and soon GPX, and Redline...Seal9:cheers:
If I remember the information about the Solstice a year ago and the production capacity of the Willmington plant I think the maximum was planned with a maximum production of 8 cars per hour / max. 21 h per production day.

The first 3 month there was a normal ramping up Sol production:
7/2005 836
8/2005 1004
9/2005 1569

The second 3 month they did a normal two shift production
10/2005 2045
11/2005 2070
12/2005 1858

Since januar they are running the third shift for Sol and Sky production
1/2006 2399
2/2006 2492
3/2006 2942
4/2006 2527

If you count 5 days/week and 20 h/day (rest for breaks and maintenance) the workers at Willmington plant produce ~ 7 cars per hour. I hope they can increase it to 8/h till the GXP, the RL and the GT will raise the demand.

I also remember that the max. capacity of the plant for production of the hydroformed frame panels is ~ 36000/year. The production this year should not be so far away from that target.
The barrier will not be the capacity in hand welding but the production of the panels. If GM can catch a longtime market share of 20% of the US roadster market of 100000 cars per year not only in the first year when the car is new, I think they have reached their aims. And there is also the other 16000 cars for the rest of the world.

The market for small roadsters is not to large. Remember the production story of the Opel Speedster:
Planned: 3 years of production with a max of 10000 cars.
Reached: 5 years of production with max 7000 cars produced till 2005 stops.
 

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compression said:
You really think they would price them so they loose money ? :nono: That is almost unheard of. Here I will give you $5 but you give me $10 back ? :lol: I dont think GM is dumb like that.
Remember this is business, their idea of "losing money" is different than ours. Instead of a return of 15% they are only getting 10% that could be considered losing money. Also -- even if they actually are losing -- the idea is to get the SKY out there and advertise by word of mouth -- the price raises are to follow.
 

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You also have to remember that certain cars are priced low to "lose money" and sell a lot for GM as a corporation to meet their required fuel emissions target from the government. The cavalier for example, we "lost money" on because it was needed to balance the fuel emissions for all the SUV's we sell.
 

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Most new production cars loose money at first, they have to pay for the platform startup then every car will make money.

It takes 3 days to make the Solstice or Sky from start to finish. And yes,
it is hand welded.

On two shifts they make around 525 cars a week, give or take a few. By adding the third shift, you would think they can make around 250 more cars a week, but I believe maintainence is done to the line on third shift so I don't think they make that many.
 

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Axel said:
C20LET_50,

Thanks for the info! Great post! :thumbs:
Thanks for the flowers. :D

I only collected some informations I read in Sol&SkyForums over the last year.
Maybe I have to look precisly because I'm so far away here in Europe.
 

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I cannot imagine that GM is actually losing money on the Sky or the Solstice. I'd wager GM/Saturn is making $5,000-$10,000 per unit.
 

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SKYtime said:
I cannot imagine that GM is actually losing money on the Sky or the Solstice. I'd wager GM/Saturn is making $5,000-$10,000 per unit.
No possible way. I'd be they are breaking even to just barely a few percent profit.

$5000 is a whopping 27% profit!!! Even Toyota doesn't make that on their cars, and neither does Mazda. $10,000 is over 50% profit - which is absolutely outside of reality.

Don't forget, too, that the amount of money GM gets from each car is not 25,000 but more like about 3% BELOW INVOICE or closer to 17,000 (hey, the dealers need to make a guaranteed profit, too...).
 

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KappaMan said:
No possible way. I'd be they are breaking even to just barely a few percent profit.

$5000 is a whopping 27% profit!!! Even Toyota doesn't make that on their cars, and neither does Mazda. $10,000 is over 50% profit - which is absolutely outside of reality.

Don't forget, too, that the amount of money GM gets from each car is not 25,000 but more like about 3% BELOW INVOICE or closer to 17,000 (hey, the dealers need to make a guaranteed profit, too...).
:agree:

Just a little mistake in writing, only one zero too much :D .
And at the start of a total new car could be possible in the first years they earn nothing or even a little minus. Let's hope the actual loss isn't too high so that they won't decide to give up and stop production :nono:
 

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What the pilot should have said is: "GM is losing money on the way the Solstice and Sky cars are currently being built". All this extra hand labor is costing them more money than the projected cost of the assembly line running as designed. The problems with production is causing the extra expense. Making them the most affordable hand build cars made in America!
 

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525 cars a week

If you are correct and they make approx 500 cars per week than it should take 20 weeks (5months) to make their projected 10,000 cars for the first year.

SOOOOOO i wonder why its taking those of us you put down deposits and orders early still do not have their car when we are in the middle of the 5th month . How long have they been in production about 3 months or 6,000 cars
 

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Phil said:
If you are correct and they make approx 500 cars per week than it should take 20 weeks (5months) to make their projected 10,000 cars for the first year.

SOOOOOO i wonder why its taking those of us you put down deposits and orders early still do not have their car when we are in the middle of the 5th month . How long have they been in production about 3 months or 6,000 cars
Once again: The Wilmington plant is for Sol and Skys. Total production Jan til April 2006 was 10,360 Kappas, 8,206 Sols and 2,154 Skys, round about 2,500 cars per month, so where is the problem.
With a little optimizing I think they can increase production up to 3,000 cars per month. Hope they will reach that target so that we can get some cars here in Europe :) .
 

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Delnari said:
What the pilot should have said is: "GM is losing money on the way the Solstice and Sky cars are currently being built". All this extra hand labor is costing them more money than the projected cost of the assembly line running as designed. The problems with production is causing the extra expense. Making them the most affordable hand build cars made in America!

Lets hope all the hand labor going into the Sky doesn't degrade it's construction. A machine is consistant, a human is subject to too many variables. The Viper is a mostly hand assembled vehicle and the fit and finish is absolutely horrible !! Right now I would put my Sky up against any car made and the fitment of the body panels would be equal to or above the best of them.
 
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