The death of the Bonneville. Here's your chance to tell GM. - Page 2 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat

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Old 08-16-2005, 02:18 AM   #11
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the first car i owned was a 93 lumina with the 3.1 liter and that has a better power to weight ratio then my bonne geez you were even beat by a 91 mercury sable (you know the one with funny bar of lights stretched across the fron end) but performance aside i can take me and all my 180 puond 6 foot tall buddies out in comfort in my bonne the first think that happens when we go out as a group is lets pile up in the bonne the seats are very comfortable (92-99 models) ive been told. this changed though in 2000 for very good reasons you changed the boddy style but interior rating plummeted to the floor. and as for the GXP series i thought that was what GM was going for bringing back the SS and creating a overpowered family car like you did in the 60'* that would be great if done the right way putting a smooth riding northstar as an "overpower engine" was a big mistake why not go the route you're taking with the grand prix GXP and put a genuine GM crate motor in it that would lower cost and boost sales and also give the bonne the unrestricted power it deserves after all bonneGXP has 275hp and the grand prixGXP has 303hp and i have driven both and the GPhas a better gear ratio and due to that you notice that 25 extra horses

so dont discountinue the bonne just refine the interior and get rid of the northstar for a stronger and cheaper GM 350 C.i. crate engine you would have me sold if you can do that... plusher seats and lowered prodution cost by engine/trans swap
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:37 AM   #12
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What Pontiac needs is more "Car Guys", get back to basics.

Dump the GTO, wait 30 years, then come out with a Aussie "Ricer" and expect us to pay $35,000 for it. Did a face plant, didn't it? On top of that you did it 2 years in a row. You have what kind of education again?

I've driven Pontiac since I got my license in 1966, my first new car was a GTO. Have owned GTO'*, Bonnie'*, Montana'*, Grand Am'*, even had a crap Bonnie Diesel(worst piece of crap on the road, bar none). Gonna buy a new car this year, have a $45,000 budget...........Oh Geee Pontiac doesn't have Bonneville anymore or anything else for a "Baby Boomer" like me to buy. Even the "Welfare" Dodge people are smarter than that.

400 HP BENZ Looks kinda good to me

Sorry Pontiac, your head is to far up your butt for me anymore

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Old 08-17-2005, 08:29 PM   #13
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I like the 92-99'* but they looked like an easter egg. The seats were great tho, but really had to many Buick Lesarbe parts on it. Clearly the 2000-2005 Bonneville was alot better looking. And the people that bitch about the Northstar are crazy for 35grand they best give you a world class V8! Guys you must rememeber the Avalons have VVT where as if the Bonnie did it would have 320hp! So the 275hp without seems like plenty but when you compare on paper people seem to think the Bonneville is a loser. The interior there is room for improvement I mean look at the Grand Prix (there good). Oh and don't get rid of the 3800! Add VVT and a few more poines 230 or so and call it the 'base' motor next time around! Kudos to GM for getting the styling right on the 2004-2005 GXP'* and 2005 SLE'* finally a car that looks as good as it drives! PONTIAC bring back the Bonneville name for its 50th anni. take some of this advice and build a 300(C) butt whipper! And yes I have riden in countless 92-99 Lesarbes and 92-99 Bonnevilles (road in a Lesarbe today) and didn't strike me that much different enough to merrit sales or consider a sporty sedan. They each feel like grandma cars to me (at least in the SE) now my SLE takes the grandmaness and makes it all go away! Just the way I like it, my wife says it rides to rough! I reply its a Pontiac what do you excect! I am a Bonneville and Pontiac Man and I like it that way! Keep the Bonneville put a V8 and a standard 3800 in it (with more power) a better interior and sharp exterior and good driving dynamics you can't lose! KEEP the Bonneville, weather its FWD or RWD it will be welcomed by me at least... People always can recall a winner, a good car and a label and a legacy! The Bonneville had one GM is taking legacy and good names like Grand Am, Bonneville and maybe Grand Prix away for what? So people forget the connection with the past great cars they made in the time when a Bonneville had a 421 or a 455 and you were the talk of the neighborhood! Only Pontiac can build the Bonneville and the Bonneville is a car many people even 4 cylinder Camry drivers remember as a good car! Who would want to ruin that legend? Opps they did it with the GTO... (Look its back) I know Pontiac/GM can build a world class large sports sedan so just build it already! Thats my 2 cents!
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Old 08-19-2005, 12:07 AM   #14
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No advertising. Too expensive when compared to other similarly equipped vehicles. Reputation for inferiior quality. My sister (late 50'*) has driven Bonnevilles since she started driving. Now for the first time ever bought a Toyota. Why? "Consumer'* Reports".

Being another "Baby Boomer" - GM has little to offer to me without the Bonneville. I don't want the floaty suspension of the Buick, the mid-size of the Chevy, or the cost of the Cadi (not much of a fan of the styling either.) The "This isn't your father'* Oldsmobile" was a good indication of where GM started to go wrong. Leaving their base market, and looking for the newer, younger, import driving purchaser they weren't likely to get. Like so many other companies....ignore current customers, and focus only on getting new ones.

I "slip, slided" around in the winter with rear wheel drive cars as I was growing up. No thanks. Be a world leader company and do the "impossible". Show how a front -wheel performance car can be made and compete with the rear-wheel drive folks. Show innovation, excitement, attitude.....

Get back to your roots, your base support...then work on getting new customers. Let people know the car exists, what it has, and what it can do. Make the cost reasonable when compared to other makes and models. Improve your "poor quality" reputation.
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Old 08-19-2005, 01:20 PM   #15
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I love my 2000 ssei. I in no way regret purchasing it. I am sad to see it on it'* way out.

My gripes are thus:

1. The northstar was a bad idea. Foreign cars are known to get a lot of power out of small engines. I think a redesigned 3800 with more hp(300) would have been a better idea. Thus it would be lighter, faster, and more torque.

2. I think the tranny could have been toughened up to deal with the(hypothetical) better engine. Also the limited slip diff would be in order as well.

3. I never saw any advertising of the newer bonnevilles.

4. The window regulators, and the intermediate shaft were trouble spots. GM could have saved some face by redesigning them to be of a stronger(or better) material and then doing a recall.

5. Price. Due to the stringent demands to pay benefits to your retirees and current workers, it has caused the prices to be inflated and thus kill your profit, advertising, and competetiveness with other companies, especially the Japaneese and European cars. This has made you to have to raise prices(not the only reasons, of course) thus making less expensive, and better featured competitors take up more of your market share by attracting what was once your faithful.

6. Bling factor. OK, this I don't care about. I remember my first experiences both with my old 92 ssei, and my 2k ssei. I felt like a fighter pilot going into my jet. I though the interiors looked great! However, since it seems I may be in the minority on this, it is important to find out what people want, and design as needed. Not to every whim or fancy, but on ongoing trends, you can pick up what people like to see in their interiors.

That all said. If I was in the market for buying a new car right now, I'd be torn because of the complex issue of the new Bonne. I love the exterior, but don't want an underpowered V-8. I threw in a smaller pulley and a K&N air filter and have almost the same hp, and more torque than your northstar powered GXP. I probably get better gas milage as well.

If you would deal with these issues, I think this phoniex could rise again, and take it'* rightful place as the flagship of Pontiac.....
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:57 PM   #16
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When I was in the market for my first car last summer, my target vehicle was a small two-door with a 4-cylinder and a manual transmission. I went to a car lot looking for one of these vehicles when I came across the car I now drive, a '93 Bonne SE. Why did it catch my eye? Why was I sold a mile down the road? It had personality. It was subtle in its styling, but stood out nonetheless. This was with a BASE SE with a column shift and cloth bench seats. If a base model can do this, the top of the line SSEi multiplies it.

GM needs to look back to what made nearly 100,000 people a year buy this car, and regain that market. The 2000+ Bonnevilles have no personality, minus the high dollar SSEi'* and GXP'*. They blend in with the Crown Vics (yes, Crown Vics) at the supermarket. Granted the GXP'* have exteriors worth noting, but for $35,000 to $40,000 you can get so much more than a "good looking" car.
In a recent Motor Trend, an article stated that the Zeta based cars of Australia were "not refined enough" . If an enthusiast (that is the target for Pontiac this time, isn't it) buys a car for its refinement, then they need a new hobby. These are great looking cars that has what performance enthusiasts want. Rear wheel drive, and an optional MANUAL transmision. Assuming that GM decides to revive the Bonneville name, or replace it with the "G8", it needs to be based, although theoretically not one of these cars shipped over and rebadged, on one of these cars. Why? Personality. Thats why the 330C is selling like hotcakes. It'* different. Why can't Pontiac do the same with the HSV Grange or the Clubsport?

The interior should have been subtle and meaningfull, instead of a throw together. Take the instrument panel on the GXP. It looks like some one took Vanilla pudding and threw it at the dash. And fake carbon fiber? C'mon.
Remember though, for every high end car that is sold, 5 lower, or base, models are sold. The SE'* needed to give the impression of driving passion as well. My 93 does that very well. Not every enthusiast has loads of cash. This did not seem to be anywhere.

This is one enthusiast that hopes you get it right the next time.
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Old 08-20-2005, 02:31 AM   #17
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I will say up front that my 95 SSEi definitely turned me on to the fact that GM is capable of producing excellent high performance cars when it tries to. In fact, I was so enamored of the power and controllability of the 3800 supercharged motor that when my Bonneville died, and I couldn't find another with a decent price tag on it, I bought a used Park Avenue Ultra that I found for an absolute steal. It doesn't quite equal my Bonnie for the 'Oh **%#, I'm gonna die!' look on my friends' faces, but I content myself with thoughts of modifications.

I believe that my main issue with the last generation Bonneville is that there was little effort made to better it'* predecessor. The 92-99 Bonneville had good power, excellent handling(as witnessed by my friends' white knuckles during late-night runs down back-country roads), agressive looks, and an extremely well designed interior(admittedly dampered somewhat by GM'* habit of using hard plastic in odd places).

While I've never owned a 2000+ Bonneville, I have driven quite a few, and they lack much of character that set the 92-99 apart from the crowd. The power was still excellent but was quickly overshadowed by other cars in it'* class. The switch from the the SCed Series II to the Northstar was unfortunately rather pointless. In my opinion GM should have updated the Bonneville to the SeriesIII. The marginal difference in horsepower between the Northstar and the SeriesIII supercharged motor is offset by the Northstar'* worse fuel mileage.
The interior also suffers in comparison with the last generation. The seats in the 92-99 set a standard that the 2000+, although still more comfortable than most other cars, failed to live up to, and the odd-looking air vents belong in a smaller car aimed at the youth market, not a full-size sport sedan like the Bonneville. The most glaring fault in the interior, though, is the wide-spread use of cheap, hard-feeling plastics, and the monotone color schemes.
The 2000+ feels like a plastic cave, with no stand-out featuers to interest the eyes or the touch.

Now my opinion on what could be done to save the name-plate, and it is worth saving. Killing off Oldsmobile, the worlds oldest marque, was a horrible mistake, and killing off the Bonneville, the oldest American-made nameplate, would be almost as bad.

First, RWD. The Bonnie is supposed to be a sports sedan, give it the proper lay-out to compete with the newer offerings from Chrysler.

Second, don't make the mistake of killing off the 3800 too soon. It has been GM'* mainstay for twenty years for a reason. The SeriesIII supercharged motor is strong and could easily be upgraded again to produce enough horsepower to contend with Chrysler'* new HEMI motors, as witnessed by it'* turbocharged ancestor in the Grand National.

For the top-of-the-line motor however, a V-8 is needed to compete with the SRT Chryslers. Possibly a retuned, hi-po version of the 5.3 from the new Grand Prix GXP, or a slightly de-tuned version of the STS V'* supercharged Northstar or even the LS6 from the GTO.

Don't saddle it with the same old four-speed auto, either. GM has long been held back by it'* refusal to offer five- or six speed automatics or even manuals in it'* larger FWD cars. A six-speed stick in the perormance models and a five-speed manumatic across the board would increase interest greatly.

And don't cheap out on the interior. In a market where Ford and Chrysler are bringing out vehicles like the Charger and the new Mustang, Pontiac has to break away completely from it'* image as the Tupperware car company.

GM needs to finally embrace it'* Pontiac enthusiast market. Work with the aftermarket to produce tuned versions of the Bonnie and other Pontiac vehicles, and back them with GM warranties. Start an aftermarket division for GM cars, such as many of the Japanese manufacturers have done(i.e. Toyota Racing Division, MazdaSpeed, etc.).

Lastly, don't turn away from Pontiac'* heritage. Slapping a UPC number across the back of the Bonnie'* replacement, like you did with the G6, won't make the car sell better. Improve the product, but leave the name alone. Keep the Bonnie alive.
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:56 PM   #18
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When my wife told me last year that the Bonneville was being discontiued and the '05'*' where the last year for them, I thought that she was BS'ing me. Then I did a little research and found out that she wasn't! I was very disappointed in this decision. I have been a GM owner for years, same as my parent'* and the same as my grandparents. Most of these Pontiacs, there where a few years that we didn't purchase Pontiacs but that was mainly in the eighties, but that was probably the worst decade for any automobile company except for the Japanese. My grandparents started with Pontiac in the late 30'*, then my parent'* started with Pontiac in the 50'*, and my first was a 64 Lemans, then a 69 * Custom, I've had a 78 Trans Am and I've had 3 Bonneville, Almost 4 (an 87). I was antisipating a GXP because I am due for a new vehicle. But with the advent of this decision, I won't be going with Pontiac! I purchased my SSEi in April of 2001. I have had numorous issues with this vehicle, but it has been a pleasure to drive. I have always been suprised by the number of Bonnevilles on the road (not many) but I was equally suprised that I never saw any comercials for Pontiac either. Once after I had purchased my Bonneville, someone stopped and looked at my car and said that it was a very pretty Grand Am! I jumped back and said that it was not a Grand Am but a Bonneville. The person appologized and said they didn't know that Pontiact was still making Bonnevilles. This was a problem for me seeing that I paid 35k for a car that everybody that dosn't know of Bonnevilles think'* I'm driving a 35k Grand Am. Just to give you a little more insight. I was an engineer for Toshiba Computer Systems Engineering division in some of the most profitible times for the company (92 -97) when they decided to reintroduce their desktop computer line. This was not a bad thing, but it could have been a whole lot better. After about 2 years of producing a desktop PC, I happen to be at one of the sister companies, Toshiba Electronic Components division, and I had just found out that they had purchased 200 new Dell PC'*. I then asked the VP why they didn't buy Toshiba Desktop'* his answer was he didn't know that Toshiba had desktop'*! Needless to say Toshiba was at about 22 percent market share in 92, 93, 94, and 95. And now they have laid off more the 5,000 people in the Irvine California area and sold off 5 of their buildings and sent everything to Taiwan. Moral of the story, It'* all about marketing! Get some people who know how to market a product! It seems to me our parents knew more about marketing than the people now coming out of our colleges and universities! Just a couple more pennies!
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Old 08-22-2005, 11:43 PM   #19
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Another legend bites the dust.
I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore

My first car 30 years ago was a Pontiac Tempest. They killed that one when the GTO died.....and has never really come back IMO. I killed mine by wrapping it around a tree.

My second car 25 years ago was a Pontiac Firebird. I still own it. They killed that one.
....and I can't buy parts from GM for it anymore. Even so, I bought another one this year....cause it'* so much fun and easy to work on.

Then my third vehicle was a Jeep Cherokee which I purcased 17 years ago. I still own it. I like the new Grand Cherokee'* can get them in SRT-8 form.

My newest car, SilverBullet, I bought new 5 years ago. They killed that one too.

I have to agree with most everything other members have posted on this thread.
GM is over run with Accountants who care more about the bottom line and Lawyers protecting Warranty claims, instead of Engineering Car Enthusiasts. Herb Adams is a good example of one ex GM Engineer who helped develop 2nd Generation Firebird aftermarket performance parts.

They really do need better marketing. Not just the kind that produces quicky commercials that are expensive to no one sees them....but real hype like Ford and Chrysler have done with Mustangs and Hemi'*.

If only GM could make a less expensive Cadillac STS-V with the same powertrain but without all the bells and whistles, they would have a winner.
Instead, the philosophy with GM is you get what you pay for and if you don't pay the premium for an upscale car, you don't get the better drivetrain. Wouldn't want a less expensive car owning a more expensive one.
Everyone was so surprised by the Grand National when it came out with Corvette beating power! It was a hit and GM still didn't see the light and killed it.

GM with derate a whole car to save money on bulk buy lower rated tires and reserve the Special Edition ringers which get higher rated tires and higher rated drivetrains.

Look at the new Matrix. You can't buy the hot engine with a 4 wheel drive version.

GM does not want me to keep my vehicles as long as I do. It does not make them enough money. They want me to keep moving up to more expensive ones.
Frankly I can't afford a $130,000. Cadillac STS-V....even if I could get my hands on the one or two that will ever even make it to this Province.
I can afford a 425 hp SRT-8 at least 4 different models...and know it would be easy to get a quick 450 hp out of it.
Our local Chrysler dealer is building a brand new dealership here now. Just in time for my next purchase a year or two from now.

I really hope GM wakes
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:59 AM   #20
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GM, you really dropped the ball by allowing the Bonneville to die a slow and agonizng death. To pull the plug on it just before it'* 50th anniversary shows you have lost touch with the demographic of who is purchasing these vehicles. If you would put a little more effort into R&D and proper marketing, the Bonneville could have thrived for another 50 years. Just for a little background, I am a Mopar man. I have been since I was old enough to form opinions but... I LOVE my Bonneville. I began my love affair with this car when I first drove one from a rental car agency. Since then I have owned a '92 SE and traded that in on a '98 SSE. I will do all I can to make this car last me another 8 years because your inability to simply keep pace with your copetitors will see me visiting a Mopar dealership when it comes time for another vehicle purchase.
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