LS1GTO Forums banner

The latest from Jim Hopson of Pontiac

2396 Views 33 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  DevilYellow
Dear Mr. Hopson:
I was hoping for an update as to when my car will arrive at the dealership.
I called the dealer and the 1-800 number, and nobody seems to know
anything. I had a TPW of 10/13, which apparently changed to 10/27 according
to a gto website. I know the corporate line is that the car will arrive 60
to 90 days after being built, but I also know that hundreds of GTOs are
already over here, and according to, NONE of them will be going
to the 94 people who registered to have their cars tracked. That seems hard
to believe.

In my opinion, Pontiac set customer expectations high about how informed
they will be. I was told that I would get emails detailing the build
process, and where my GTO was as it was going down the assembly line. So
far, since June, all I got was 1 form email letter.

All in all, I am pretty disappointed in this Advance Order experience, and
I think a lot of people are sharing my frustration. I need to sell my old
car and obtain financing, so this is not just idle curiosity. If I sell my
car after 60 days past the TPW, I will have to rent a car for
who-knows-how-long. The dealer and 800 number both seem to know a lot less
about the car's status than ANYONE else.

Please be forthcoming with some answers, and I promise to share any good
news with others who are waiting. When will the first ones be delivered? Is
there a delay? Is there some reason Pontiac can't provide an accurate
"tracker" for these cars? Is it too late for Pontiac to "re-group" and
start providing serious updates to the buyers, say once a week? I would be
grateful to know that my car was built, and if so when, if it had been
placed on a boat, and if so when, when it should dock, when and how it will
be transported across the country, etc.

I also wanted to ask you about the awful review of a GTO in Pontiac
Enthusiast Magazine. What, if anything is being done to prevent the
problems from appearing on my GTO. That magazine went out of their way to
not make the GTO look bad, but seeing bags of ice on the engine made me
question whether I am buying a white elephant.

I appreciate your time, and any help you may be able to offer


I want to personally apologize to you for the inconvenience you've
encountered with your 2004 GTO order. Certainly, this situation is not
something we are happy about, but we've had more than a few delays in
getting all of the information systems connected between here and Holden.
Please understand this is not an excuse, but rather an explanation that I
hope you will understand.

Although our intent with the GTO Advanced Order Program was to keep you
better informed than we have, I'm not certain there would have been any
method of tracking your vehicle as it was assembled down the line. We
currently don't have that kind of real-time tracking capabilities for our
North American plants, so I'm not certain that we could have ever had any
form of reliable tracking system for the Holden facility.

However, we are taking steps to increase the amount of data accessible
through your dealer. If everything goes as planned (and we have our
fingers crossed), as of next week, dealers will be able to determine when a
vehicle has been built, when it is loaded onto a ship for transportation,
when it reaches our port on the west coast and when it is loaded onto local
carriers for transportation to the dealership. We hope that this will
improve the information gap rather significantly.

On your particular order, I have backtracked through the system and I have
confirmed that your vehicle (Order #GJSPF2) has been built and is currently
on one of three ships currently between the west coast and Australia. Your
ship is scheduled to dock on December 20 and your vehicle should be
off-loaded soon thereafter. At that time, your GTO will be submitted to a
number of quality checks before being released for transportation to your
dealer. As I said above, your dealer should be able to track exactly when
the car is released from the port as of next week, so you should be able to
get a pretty good indication when your car should arrive at the dealership.

In terms of the vehicles already at the port, approximately 900 GTOs have
been received and processed (another 1,200 or so are on those three ships I
told you about). Most (if not all) have already left the port on the way
to their destination. Contrary to some of the information being passed
around on the Internet, many of these vehicles are actually going to
dealers and to their eventual customers. Some of the data being discussed
on individual order numbers is amazingly accurate, however there is also a
lot of incorrect information being passed as well. The best advice I can
give is to have each customer talk to his/her dealer next week to get an
update with the real data from GM.

Now, on to the last topic, the review in Pontiac Enthusiast. As the
article mentions, the vehicle they reviewed was a pre-production model and
not a vehicle that had been reviewed and prepped for the kind of testing
the magazine conducted. We build pre-production models to test all of the
new components and enhancements we've added with the intention of finding
problems and correcting them before the cars get to customers. Because
they are not fully indicative of the production vehicle, we usually do not
take them out racing on the track. Unfortunately,this is what happened in
the case of the car used by Pontiac Enthusiast.

In the case of the pre-production vehicles equipped with an automatic
transmission, we discovered that the wiring harness that controls the
traction control system was mis-routed. It then degraded to the point
where the traction control system would engage in all but the most mundane
acceleration attempts, causing the vehicle to "bog down" and lose power.
The problem has been corrected in the production cars that are going to
customers. I can assure you from the personal experience of driving over
3,000 miles in a GTO, you will not encounter any of the kind of performance
problems reported in the magazine.

In fact, you don't even have to take my word for it. You can check out
similar performance testing in the December issues of both Motor Trend and
Car & Driver magazines. Both magazine confirmed our zero-to-60 mph times
of below 14 seconds. You can also see reviews of the GTO in Road & Track,
Automobile and dozens of major market newspapers, most recently this past
weekend in the New York Times. It is unfortunate that Pontiac Enthusiast
felt the need to rush to publish an article before we could supply them
with a vehicle that was truly up to production standards.

Again, I am sorry that you've encountered so much frustration with your GTO
order. In all honesty, it's been frustrating for those of us involved with
this project for the past eighteen months to deal with some of these last
minute issues. Having driven the GTO (at times pretty aggressively), I can
only say that I think you will be happy once you are in that driver's seat,
smoking pretty much anything on the road with you.

Please let me know if I can provide any further assistance.


Jim Hopson
Pontiac-GMC Communication
See less See more
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Wow he really and some good information to share. Thanks for taking the time to get some real answers. Also that makes 5 ships in total and we have only found 4!!! For certain I will be bugging my salesman next week!!!

:drink: :drink: :drink: :drink:
Wow, lots of great info! Thanks for sharing Pook (and Jim Hopson).

I guess we can all relax now that we know our GTOs will be capable of 0-60 in under 14 seconds.:p :p :p
I thought he said 1.4 seconds. But then I noticed the fly spec.

:drink: :drink: :drink: :drink:
It is nice that Jim Hopson always takes the time to respond to our emails. It is people like him that renew my faith in Pontiac.

Thank you Jim Hopson!
Excellent letter (even with the extremely slow 0-60 time) I hope that is enough to keep most people satisfied. It kinda makes me proud to work for GM when I know there are people as customer oriented as that at the top.
I invite Jim to register here and become a member to share with us his findings. :)
you have to wonder if Mr. Hopson ever comes to our site to see what we know and laugh at our rumors.

DY: here's an idea how about you send him a formal invite via e- mail
Time to jump on the dealer. My TPW is next week and if they're getting more info than I should know when ol' GMSQRM is ready to ship. I've been patient for over a year, time to start nagging!! That is a nice response from Mr. Hopson, I contacted Pontiac and they just told me about my TPW changing to 12/17 (which I already knew) from 11/24 and to call the dealer next week. So they need to have an answer. I don't care if it gets here in February, it's like 10 degrees anyway, I just need to make preparations too!!!:eek:
I have invited Jim over here before .... he did not decline or accept technically. I'm sure he has visited us, but has decliend to register.

Do you mind if I posted your letter and his response on "Townhall"?
ok wondering they can not even track a car as it being built in north america??? then why production #s that go in steps?? if this is true how did they expect to track gtos or give info in the first place way back when //also he backed tracked POOKs info even new about the boats and its built is this top secret info ?? when i call i get nothing / everything i have is from this site/thanx DY so a regular customer should have been able to get some info along the way?? so i feel if they wanted they could of had a small dept working on this from the begining and updating al a long// one more thing many of the gtos going to dealers customers i would think all should ?? just a few thoughts
b4z said:

Do you mind if I posted your letter and his response on "Townhall"?

Post a link to this thread. Oh, that's right, you'll get banned if you do that. Plagiarism is okay at Edmunds but not links to other threads.
Although there seeem to be a couple of misstatments in his letter ( the 0-60 time obviously, but perhaps also the number of ships- we have been pretty lcosely tracking them) he is the only source that really has been willing to talk to us and the other GTO enthusiasts. have heard his responses are timely and with as much info as he can give. The dealers mostly only know what they get off their computers and the people answering the phone don't know anything- thus the "call you dealer response." They say somehting to get us of the phone. Clearly Pontiac had plans that have not materialized leading to our and their frustration. They have brought a car to market, without some of the bells and whistles folks are used to - scoops, heated seats, navigation, etc etc- in 18 months. Usually takes twice that or more (am I right CMNTMXR and DY). Has been a struggle.
Anyway, Hopson has been more help than anybody and though he is not likely to spend as much time on this forum as we do I do think we should send an email of thanks to him for this info and see if we cant butter him up to keep the pipeline open.

Ok back to :drink: :drink: :drink:

Opps, just called to the operating room. Better wait to later.:D
See less See more
This makes me feel a WHOLE lot better. This information is all anyone has been asking for. I'm especially happy to see that a car with a TPW of 10/27 is on a ship and expected in port December 20th. My original TPW was 10/27 but moved to 11/14. Hopefully, my car could be on one of those ships in route now.
more ????s just for fun we know some gtos were unloaded of a ship and we know some were at a rail yard?? right so you mean to tell me that GM/pontiac does not know where these cars are going or are they still at the rail yard i would think that they would have a better shipping and handeling procedure because it sound like if no procdure is done one or two may turn up missing?? if something comes off a ship it must be counted and entered and some one is accountable for it.then if its sits some where to be moved to another location to be loaded on somthing it must have a procedure to get there they are not choosing these cars at random/ o lets put 2 red ones and 2 black ones and 4 yellow ones on this truck and send it down the road if any one has done any type of shipping even christmas presents you know what it takes to do even that// where i work when i ship something i must pack it/ put info inside/ put address on and shipping lable /log info in book so it can be tracked if lost / sometimes insure item also make sure we get paid up front charge for shipping the list goes on see what iam getting at so with a 35000 $$ car i imagine the procedure is followed to the tee and they know they been shipping cars for a few years now//
See less See more
I appreciate the fact that Jim Hopson took time to share information with us and I'm really impressed that he offered an apology on GM's behalf.

However, I'm shocked to think that GM (a multi-billion dollar corporation that's been making cars all over the world) didn't know what tracking systems would be necessary for the GTO.

Is this the first time they've launched a new product line?

Is this the first time they've imported cars from another country?

I work in information technology and I think they had plenty of time to establish information systems and tracking processes for the GTO. They sure knew how to engineer and build the car....didn't someone think they might need an information system?

Maybe GM's CIO (Ralph Szygenda) should look into this debacle!

I'm just another frustrated GTO buyer (with a code 5000 and VIN number) who WANTS HIS CAR!


See less See more
I stopped by my dealer a few minutes ago...remember, he was the one who gave us my vin number last week, so we at least knew that the cars were being built.

I wanted to update him that according to Mr. Hopson, we could get firm information about the car net week. So he sits me down and pulls up the computer screen and wanted to show me personally the mess on the computer system! Although my TPW was 10/3, my car was built 12/3 and is available for shipping. The computer shows a 5000 production ststus, but it also shows the other "missing" numbers, like 4100 and 4400. Right now, it shows that my car is in the dealers inventory and that he has been invoiced for it! (he assures me, that he is not hiding the car)

So, next week I hope we all find that the status of our GTO's is more realistic, and when we might see them. I couldn't handle driving my 1968 Sprite in the cold rain, so I am renting a car Friday! My dealer thinks my car is on ship 4 that is due in CA December 20th. So much for dreams of a GTO for Christmas.

The response by Mr. Hopson gives me some hope, I would like to see a nice letter from Pontiac to all of us about the mistakes as well as a nice $500 discount to all preorder cars!!!!

Just my thoughts....
See less See more
yea after all they do have how many thousans of employees and this is what they do build and ship cars and parts all over the planet if to much politics get in the way either building cars in a certain period of time or shipping them or what ever should not be the customers concern or problem sometimes an apology doesnt cut it /sometimes a straight answer or the truth works well it used to/PS SOMETHING I DID MUST OF SHOOK LOOSE IAM GETTING ALL KINDS OF EMAIL FROM PONTIAC AND MY DEALER AT HOME IHAVE TODAY MORE THAN IN THE LAST 6 MONTHS PLUS THEY CALLED THE HOUSE WANTING TO KNOW ABOUT THE BONNIVILLE WICH I ENQUIRED ON BEFORE THE GTO WAS ON THERE WEB SITE YOU KNOW AT FIRST YOU WOULD HAVE TO PICK A CAR YOU WERE INTERESTED IN AND GTO WAS NOT LISTED
I jsut talked to my dealer and they are clueless about when they are going to get any cars. They have been allocated one but he said that they signed up for a program with GM that stated if the dealership paid $25,000 for each car they could be assured an additional 2 cars. I hope one of them is mine.

I was told that I was the first or second person to put my name on a car and that those are the first to arrive because it is quick money for GM. I told him about our website and asked him to post any other information the GTOs when it is made available.
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.