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Aztek Sales Up


Full Member
May 11, 2002
Royal Oak, Michigan
GM's Aztek Sales Jump As Buyers Trade Looks For Price

Dow Jones International News Service via Dow Jones
August 5, 2002
By Sharon Silke Carty

DETROIT (Dow Jones)--Nicer reviews have called it boxy, blunt or an "ugly duckling." Not-so-nice critics have gone so far to liken it to the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
But call it a hot seller?

The Pontiac Aztek, the oft-maligned sports utility vehicle launched by General Motors Corp. just two years ago, had its best-selling month in July, reaching 4,229 vehicles sold. That's up 141% from a year ago.

Auto dealers, analysts and critics can't agree on why sales were up so much. All point to steep incentives running throughout the month that rewarded buyers with either $3,000 cash back or 0% financing. But they note that the Aztek already had a $2,500 rebate in place before GM's SummerDrive incentive program began.

Jim Bobowicz, general manager at a Pontiac dealership in East Brunswick, N.J., said GM's incentive program and marketing drive helped bring customers who may not have been looking for an Aztek into the showroom.

"When people come in, they may not be coming in for an Aztek," he said. "They look at an Aztek and say, wow, this is several thousand dollars less for a lot
of car."

Lowering the price to purchase the car has certainly helped sales, said Jim Hall, an analyst with AutoPacific, a marketing and product consulting firm in Southfield, Mich. Hall was quoted in a May 2001 article in an Australian newspaper predicting sales wouldn't pick up for the vehicle until $2,500 was cut off its price.

"The Aztek is one of those vehicles that, when it's incentivized, it gives you a highly impressive car for the price," he said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires Friday. "The problem is, you sear your retinas when you walk in the driveway to get into it."

Actually, once the company took off the Aztek's controversial gray side cladding and increased the size of the car's tires, Hall said it became a much better-looking vehicle. He said he no long considers it "the most hideous thing on the highway."

July's sales jump hasn't entirely convinced GM that consumers have finally come around to the Aztek. Paul Ballew, executive director for market and industry analysis, said the company is still evaluating how many vehicles it will produce in 2003, and whether it will extend 0% financing and incentives on the auto.

But the increase in sales "raises our comfort level heading into '03," Ballew said. "But it really doesn't alter our plans that much."

Ballew said the Aztek has had a "respectable year," noting that the car showed sales strength throughout the year that was "beyond our expectations." Still, he noted, it is a relatively low-volume vehicle.

Sales of the Aztek are down 0.6% for the calendar year, while companywide sales are up 1.7% year to date. Aztek sales were up only one other month since January, in April, when total GM sales were up 13%.

David Healy, an analyst with Burnham Securities, attributed the entire sales jump to incentives.

"I don't think it's a turn of heart on the public's part," he said. "I can't think of any other explanation as to why the monthly Aztek sales would have doubled last month. My guess is that the effectiveness of the incentives will wear off, and August's sales will be off of July's."
I got to spend the summer of 2000 with the Aztek. After you get inside it is as fun, and comfortable a vehicle as their is to drive. Tons of utility and space...great conceptually.... ....... execution leaves alot to be desired...but an A+ for taking a chance and it did lead to the VIBE..and outstanding vehicle.
I've never driven one, but I got to check one out at a local dealer. I liked everything except the back seat - it was like sitting on a piece of plywood.

Plus the rear view obstructions are tough to overcome. Then again I drive an Av so that shouldn't be too difficult!
OK, I'm going to get burned for this but... I can't stand the look of the Aztek. It makes me crenge every time I see one. I know that there are members who have one and I'm just sorry :D:
The odd thing is I see alot of similarities in the AV (and I like it?).
If you watch 'The Simpsons' you might remember the episode where Homer is made an exec at his brother's car factory. Anyway, he designs this awful looking car that he thinks is just the coolest and ends up driving the company out of business. When I first saw the Aztek, I thought of that car.
I will admit that Pontiac has done better with the newer versions by painting the cladding and getting rid of those full-time spare tires.
Sorry Aztek owners. :-X
On the Aztek tour we tauted "Function over Form". After about six months, the newness of any vehicle wears off then a vehicle has to fit your lifestyle and the Aztek more than does that. Keep the functionality for future vehicles and give us better sheetmetal.

But it is true....it is not pretty. And the bucket back seats option were def a better way to go. I think the AV could have benefited from several Aztek features.....rear 12V, rear stereo controls and an air compressor. For that matter go over to the Vibe and give us the 110 outlet.
I think it's funny how when the Aztek was a concept car the Automotive Press was all over it saying it was the most bold think GM has done in a long time. They were gushing all over it and almost demanding GM produce it. I think they just wanted GM to make a mistake that they could make fun of for the next four or five years. If you remember, they did the same thing with our Beloved Avalanche, they said when it was a show vehicle that it was truely revolutionary (which it is) and they even liked the styling and cladding. Then when it debuted (sp?) without many changes at all, then they said it was a place for plastic at GM to die! Lot's of them wrote it off as another GM blunder. Well, 100,000 sales later, and the midgate migrateing to other trucks, I think GM has something they can say to the Automotive press.... Just watch us now!!! :B:
Good point Ambalanche....

But GM is to blame on the Aztek. If you go back and look at the Aztek concept (sorry can't find my photo) it had a sleeker back from the C pillar back and the nose has a better slope. Then the design team got focus group info from the brand team and changes were made. Doesn't his sound like too many chefs....well that can't happen in Bob Lutz's new structure. Thank goodness.
Goes to show ya...beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in some instances skin deep...many aren't fond of the look that the Aztek gives off, but many are indeed fond of the functionability of this vehicle..... :B:
I have to say, I didn't like the looks of the Aztec when it first came out. Now that they have painted the cladding and it has matured a bit, we are seriously considering it as a commuter vehicle in the AWD version. We're current looking at the Az, Saturn Vue, and Hyundai Santa Fe.
I think that it too has its place. I have heard many good things from a couple I know who own one. The only bad comment they had was the high lift to get things into the back. Other than that they love it.
I own a 2001 GT Aztek we bought back in 2000 and I have never regreted it. Both my wife & I saw it and deceided to check it out. We both liked it's exterior styling and once we saw the interior & drove it we were hooked. At the same time we were looking for a vehicle we looked at the Jeep Cherokee, and the Dodge Durango. Aztek surpassed both with form, function, room & price. I'll admit you do need to get by the outside, but once you do...

No offense to anyone who doesn't like it's looks. I totally respect your opinions, just wanted to give you my thoughts as a 2 year Aztek owner.
I found that after owning my Aztek for over 1 year and 20,00 miles
the only people that complain about them is the ones who don't own one or have never been in one

It is very unique and afflueant
Heads up display
190watt/10 speaker stereo system
cente rconsole that is a cooler
duel heat climate control
taigate seating with rear stereo controls
very comfortable to drive
it is also a vehicle that is dying to be modified
Capecruis8der - single best Aztek I have seen. You got one of the rare colors. Especially like the tent application. we kept telling the brand team to add a fly or vestibule to the Az tent package forseating or extra equipment.

Imaniguana - "revision" - the Saturn Vue is getting a
honda 6 next year not a Toyota 6......sorry. I have attached a little concept car that would be a great commuter...called the Triax.

Also just got back from Europe and saw a ton of Smart cars. Actually got to drive one....great fun but it is made by Daimler Chrysler..oh well. www.smart.com


  • triax1.jpg
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Thanks Snow

Most people are in compitition with other in town to have the nicest vehcle
I'm in compitition with myself

I quess you could call me a Cladaholick
Three grand can do allot for a vehicles sales numbers no matter what it is. Just think if you were driving something and were 3k upside down, Sounds like a no brainer. And it does look much better with the cladding painted, The cladding works on the AV, to me it doesn't on the Aztek, Have you noticed how many auto writers keep sayint how much better the Aztek looks now that GM "REMOVED" the cladding? Shows how much they know/pay attention.
I have not been in one, but I think the Aztek just looks weird. It reminds me of the (late 80's?) LeMans filled up with helium.