|Originally posted by lateFormula:|
I won't argue that the GM culture was not a contributing factor in the short life of the Fiero, but the #1 reason was rapidly diminishing sales figures which was partially the result of competing vehicles like the Toyota MR2, the Honda Civic CRX, the Dodge Daytona, the Chrysler Conquest, and even the Ford Escort EXP/Mercury Lynx LN7.
That was part of it but there were other factors you have to consider.
#1 you can not build a 2 seat limited use car in six figures the first couple years and not expect a massive drop off of sales. Pontiac had to over sell the car till they could get the GM 80 program into the plant and when that failed the end was near as the plant was way under capacity even at the 30,000 plus sales.
#2 Low priced 2 seat sports cars have limited lives. Just look at all the cars you names and the others you did not. Few lived long lives s it is a limited segment for most where this is often a second or third car and you just don't replace them every 5 years. Even the likes of the RX7 could not last.
Even if the Fiero had lived I would have been shocked if it lasted another 5 years. It is hard to say for sure but GM was not in a good place and everything had to have been right to continue the car.
The only acceptations to long lived two seat low priced cars has been the Corvette and Miata. The key to the Miata has been a global market and limited sales in the states to 18K or less per year with many special paint and option models. Care full marketing has prolonged the car. But even now the development cost are out of sight and even trying to share them with Alfa has been taxing on Mazda. The loss of the Ford ownership and money has cost them greatly.
Then the infighting at GM from Chevy just did not help anything at all. To make this car work it would have taken good support from GM and from all the divisions to work together and that is back to the flawed culture again.
While many blame GM for the failure the truth is Pontiac also made many mistakes with the risks they took. Selling as many cars as they did the first year could almost be seen as sealing the fate right there. But to be fair if they did not take the risk they may never had made it to market at all.
I think in hind sight that Pontiac saw a need to revitalize he division as coming out of the early 80's Pontiac had been seen as a possible cut before Olds. The Fiero was kind of a hail mary to help bring peoples attention to Pontiac again. It did help sell a hell of a lot of Grand AM's by bringing Excitement back to the division and people to the show rooms. The fact is the Fiero in 5 years did just what Pontiac wanted and saved them from the first axe as Oldsmobile did finally get.
But to say other two seat models finished off is true to a point but there are many factors like the ones I pointed out here and even others that all played into this. The Fiero was the perfect storm here and there was a lot that played into this. This is why we all need to preserve and locate the history now as many of the people involved are getting older. Once they are gone their side of the story is gone.
This is why I wish someone would publish a definitive book on the Fiero as to preserve the full history of the car as even the die hard fans get some of it wrong yet today. Some of the past stories were proven false and yet they still are around today like the Lotus deal etc. The funny part is that the real story is even more interesting as to how GM designed the suspension but really went to Porsche Engineering to have the turn in and scrub radius tuned. But yet so many have not heard the truth.
I also think we saw the same thing with the Kappa cars as once most of the people who wanted one bought one the sales dried up. It is a limited market sales wise and profit wise. This is why so many top sports cars cost so much as they have more room to work to make a profit on lower volumes.
The bottom line is the whole Fiero deal just was not that simple or easy to point out one or two things that cause the end. It was many things all working together that lead to the end.
[This message has been edited by hyperv6 (edited 09-01-2014).]