GM Says They Would Sell Solstice/Sky Factory
By Brendan Moore
According to an article in Automotive News, Fritz Henderson, the current CEO of General Motors, stated that GM would be open to offers for the Wilmington, Delaware plant that makes the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. The plant also produces a very small amount of Opel GT roadsters built on the same Kappa rear-wheel-drive small-car platform.
If the Solstice Coupe had not had its young life cut short, it would also have been manufactured at the same plant on a continuous basis. Current plans call for only 1000 Solstice Coupes to be produced before all of Pontiac shuts down for good. It is assumed that a new owner would get the production capacity of all the models built from the Kappa platform.
Chrysler has also put a factory up for sale; the stand-alone Dodge Viper plant. Chrysler has not announced any buyer for the Viper production facility at this point.
The Solstice/Sky twins have been the segment leader every year since the platform debut in 2007, outselling the Mazda MX-5 (Miata).
Henderson was quoted as telling reporters, “If someone were to approach us with a proposal that made good sense for our people, we would be open. We are not out actively trying to market a plant, per se. But if a party were interested, we’d be very open to this and would encourage it. We haven’t had any inbounds on the subject at this point.”
Hmm, a small RWD platform built to performance parameters – that’s interesting. I had a Pontiac engineer tell me when the Solstice debuted that the Kappa platform could easily accommodate both a V6 and a small-block V8, in addition to its production-model four-cylinder.
If only there were a buyer, perhaps the high end of the performance limits of the Kappa platform could be explored.
If only I had some extra billions of dollars, eh? You figure 10, 20 million bucks for the plant, and the rest left over for styling, marketing, development and testing, etc. over the next decade.
Hey, maybe I could get the next owners of Saturn to retail my new sports cars.
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