| NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) - Targeting youthful customersseeking cheap sporty cars, General Motor's Corp. divisionPontiac introduced its new Sunfire to thundering music at theNew York Auto Show Wednesday.
Model year 2000 Sunfires will be priced this summer andwill hit showrooms by August according to Sunfire brand managerCraig Bierley.
Bierley said Pontiac expects to sell slightly more of the2000 Sunfire than it did in 1999. "Our research shows thatvolume will be relatively flat with last year. We should sellbetween 85,000 and 90,000," Bierley said.
Pontiac sold 82,000 Sunfire's last year.
Pontiac has refined the interior, exterior and powertrain,and added one of the most powerful radios in the small carsegment to the 2000 Sunfire. But the major difference is thenew Getrag five-speed transmission that comes standard in thecoupe and sedan models and optional in the GT convertible.
The Getrag, built by a well-known transmission maker inGermany, is far superior to manual transmissions offered inprevious Sunfires, according to Bierley.
He said Pontiac expects about 15 to 20 percent of 2000Sunfires sold to be five-speed manual transmission models.