by Matt Teske and David Piasecki
We, the JBO, have always been a little skeptical about what is going on behind the scenes at GM. However, their work has just been unveiled. We as J-Body enthusiasts can no longer deny that GM has spent millions of dollars on the J-body effort, culminating with two successful race teams and now the GM Design Center giving Sunfire owners their own distinct tuner look. The Sunfire American Tuner (SAT), unveiled at SEMA, truly gives Sunfire tuners a distinctive look that both celebrates Pontiac's Performance Heritage, which is uniquely American, and may even spawn Import tuners trying to copy it. If the response by the JBO to this kit is as great as anticipated, the GM Design Center will develop a unique look for the Cavalier as well, then develop new designs for Cavalier and Sunfire body kits on a regular basis. This is no joke.
The key is that these kits will be at GM quality standards and made from urethane, rather than fiberglass, and will easily fit the 95-02 Sunfires Coupes and Convertibles. In fact, the front fascias and projector beam headlights will also fit the 95-02 Sunfire sedans. Many of us at the JBO will also be happy to know that the side exhaust, supercharger, and road/rally kit will fit both 95 - 02 Sunfires and Cavaliers. What some at the JBO will be excited to know is that the confidential surveys that we conducted at the 5th Annual J-Body Bash actually determined the direction of this design.
However, now every member at the JBO will play a vital role in continuing this movement within GM. GM needs Sunfire owners to help through their input in an Internet Survey, which will be conducted during the SEMA event. The survey not only asks for our opinion on the design, but will be a subtle announcement that GM is taking a leadership position in the Sport Compact market by being the only O.E. to design parts for the used compact car market.
There has been a negative overtone here at the JBO for sometime when it comes to the opinion of how much GM supports us. This news dispels any theory that they are not listening. Many of the GM executives that read our site question the value of the design of parts for our market. GM needs to know that we will support their choice to cater to the enthusiast market. This being said, negative comments on projects such as the 2.4L supercharger will only hurt the majority of the JBO that appreciate GM's efforts.
GM is still responding though, and giving us at the JBO the power to make things happen. GM is requesting a letter campaign to GM management; not just any GM management, but Bob Lutz himself. The survey that GM is conducting at SEMA and through the Internet will be used to determine if they will build this kit for the Sunfire.
Bob Lutz respects and responds to letters. Therefore, I encourage the entire JBO membership (yes, all 10,000+ of us) to write to Mr. Lutz, asking him to build the American Tuner design, as well as build more parts for the Sunfire and Cavalier. Be assured that if Mr. Lutz receives a good number of letters asking that the kit be built and how the American Tuner clearly puts GM in a leadership position in the Sport Compact market, it will quickly happen. GM is aiming to have the parts by the early Summer, but they need the support of the JBO to provide that important strong consumer "pull" to ensure that it is a priority.
Please send your letters to:
Robert A. Lutz
Chairman, North American Operations
300 Renaissance Center
P.O. Box 300
Detroit, MI 48265-3000