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Old 01-03-2013, 04:42 PM   #40
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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2006 Evolution IX
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Originally Posted by gggplaya View Post
I don't know about being riced out, but that's the whole point is finding younger buyers. Face it, i'm 29 years old with a wife and baby now. I can't ever buy a BRZ or FRS unless it's my secondary vehicle. I don't even think a reverse carseat would fit in the backseat, and no way i would put it up front. So you need to swing your demographic to younger buyers who can still get a 2 door coupe as their main car. The whole point of the eclipse 1g and 2g is amount of power under the hood, it weighed the same as the brz but with 140hp. It simply just has to make the owner look cool and score chicks. Only other guys will notice a lack of power, 170hp is plenty enough for a 2800lb car. The volume sales of eclipses were the lower horsepower RS and GS models. But the lower volume GST and GSX gave it some serious credibility as a sports car. Again the turbo models weren't there to make money, they are there to sell the base model cars in high volume.
But it's a delimma that every company has to consider when having different trim levels with very different performance but without much visual distinction. In the example you gave, yes, the GS-T and GSX did provide the street cred for the Eclipse platform, but that went straight into the heads of RS and GS owners who tried to bridge the performance gap with a GReddy exhaust and drove around like idiots and dragged down the overall image of the car and likely turned some serious buyers away to not be associated with that stigma. On one hand, that did not make the Eclipse any less good looking (as I still think the 97-99 Eclipses in particular are some of the best-looking Mitsubishis to ever reach our shores), but I'm sure owners did not want a label attached to them.

That's what I'm talking about with having an even less powerful but more downstream base model of the FR-S/BRZ and why I referred to such a model as becoming essentially a RWD Civic. That will knock a few thousand off of its base price and make it accessible to that younger crowd who will account for a significant portion of its sales. Expect more ricing out, more incidents (violations and accidents) that will end up in the insurance rates for it increasing even more and more unenforced stupidity behind the wheel by such drivers. Obviously a lower asking price does not mean that only kids will buy it, as in your case it will make it a more likely option for a second car for people who have families and big boy responsiblities but not necessarily a massive salary, but that will likely be a much smaller percentage of the buyers who would then find the car accessible. But at the same time, it wouldn't happen anyway, since it's pretty much getting too close to the Scion tC's territory in terms of price, which I'd bet is probably more profitable for Toyota, plus they want to preserve the FR-S's image as their sports car. And like I said before, even with 200 hp, most enthusiasts either think it's just right or not enough. Less firepower will basically make it an image car rather than being an enthusiast car (and the Miata becomes an option), kind of like the very first Boxster that got labeled as a hairdresser's car for those who wanted a Porsche but couldn't afford a 911. Obviously that isn't the case anymore.

Originally Posted by gggplaya View Post
You can make $1000 on a car sale initially, then make $5000 on the car over the next 6 years in financing. Volume sales and factory financing makes a company. Low volume sports cars aren't where you should be trying to make money. Sure you can add extra to your companies bottom line, but that's not how you should sustain your business.
I agree that volume is what helps a company profit, but you don't necessarily need a volume seller of each vehicle in the lineup... that's what the rest of the Scion lineup is for, along with cars like the Corolla and Yaris that are relatively simple and easy to produce. The "low volume sports cars" that are discussing weren't necessarily to generate truckloads of profit, and I think that Toyota is smart enough to not try to figure out ways to maximize profit through diluting the car, but they're not ignoring ways to expand it either, as there had been talks of a convertible version as well being in the pipeline.

However, factory financing rarely generates that kind of money for vehicles in this price range unless the customer either has a really bad credit rating or put zero money down... or both. There are clients like that but they do not account for the majority, and in those situations they likely would not be good candidates for a $25k car that has no room for bargaining. Additionally, some people pay cash and some people finance through other means, like through their own banks or through credit unions, both of whom will likely have better financing rates anyway. It's unlikely that Toyota will offer special APRs that are way better for this kind of a car that clearly has no trouble selling itself. Additionally, Mitsubishi has been burned badly in the past with some financing specials that they offered in the US in the past, most of which didn't generate profit through financing anyway (i.e. 0% with $0 down), so it's likely not one of their big generators of profit.

Originally Posted by gggplaya View Post
The Colbalt in it's base form is a dull looking bland family car with 2 doors. The eclipse was never this. The base model eclipse still looked like a sports car. So you really can't compare the cobalt to the eclipse. The cobalt ss only added nicer wheels and a big wing for styling, maybe some subtle ground skirts. But putting tons a makeup on an ugly woman still won't make me sleep with her, she's still ugly. But even then, the cobalt still sold 200,000 units in 2007 which is where mitsu needs to be.
I agree, and perhaps the Cobalt was not a perfect analogy. But the point was that there are going to be buyers who may not want the top-of-the-line product worth talking about if it looked 98% like the craptastic base model. Obviously a properly designed Eclipse would still look nice even when going with the bottom-feeder model, but if you're going with the performance-oriented model that has a price tag of $5-10k higher, you'd still expect some significant differences. Look at the 3-Series... the base 328i coupe is handsome, but if the M3 looked just like it, I'm sure that a few people might have wanted more differentiation than what's beneath the surface to further justify signing a check over for that amount. But that can be avoided by just reserving that nameplate for something a bit more special not intended to be accessible to everyone who earns more than minimum wage.
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