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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
GM to pull the plug on Pontiac.

The brand credited with originating the muscle car will not be part of GM's future.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors is preparing to announce that the Pontiac car brand, once marketed as GM's "Excitement division," will be killed off, according to a source familiar with the decision.

An official announcement is expected Monday. GM spokesman Jim Hopson declined to comment on Pontiac's fate, saying the automaker has no announcements to make at this time.

In its most recent "viability plan" - which will be updated to reflect this new brand cut - Pontiac was not named as one of GM's four "core brands." Those are Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. But Pontiac was also not to be killed or sold off, as were Saturn, Saab and Hummer.


Instead Pontiac was to continue on as a "niche brand" focusing on just a few models.

That was already a step down for Pontiac which, in 2008, sold more cars than Cadillac and almost twice as many as Buick. But Cadillac is a high-profile - and high profit - luxury brand while Buick is a hugely popular brand in China and is seen as seen as resurgent in the U.S.

Today's Pontiac is part GM's Buick-Pontiac-GMC brand channel, created in 2002, with the plan being that all three brands would be sold in combined dealerships. GMC would, as always, sell trucks and SUVs, Buick would sell value-oriented luxury models and Pontiac would less expensive, fun-to-drive cars.

In 2005, GM (GM, Fortune 500) vice-chairman Bob Lutz referred to Buick and Pontiac as "damaged brands" during a conference at the New York Auto Show. That set off speculation that one or both of these brands was doomed.

Buick's hopes have been revived by models like the popular Enclave crossover SUV which has eye-catching curvaceous styling. Improvements in Buick Quality, which earned a top ranking in a recent J.D. Power dependability survey and a public acknowledgement by Pres. Obama, have also helped Buick keep its place in the shrinking pantheon of GM names.

Pontiac performance
Pontiac's association with performance dates back to the late 1950s and early 1960s. Pontiac cars were designed with wider bodies for cosmetic reasons and the wheels were pushed out to match. This "wide-track" design became a selling point and was advertised as giving Pontiac cars a distinct cornering advantage over other cars.

But the idea of Pontiac as a performance brand was solidified in 1964 with the creation of the Pontiac Tempest LeMans GTO. That car quickly evolved into, simply, the GTO and is often credited with creating a new class of American car, the muscle car.

Under Lutz, plans were formed to bring back some actual excitement to the Pontiac brand, which hadn't seen much since the Firebird - a flashier Pontiac version of the Chevrolet Camaro - ended production in 2002.

One strategy floated for Pontiac was to sell only, or mostly, rear-wheel-drive cars. That would set it apart from other GM divisions, and most cars sold in America. Rear-wheel-drive is associated with performance brands like BMW.

Unfortunately, the re-introduction of the Pontiac GTO name on a performance coupe imported from Australia didn't result in big sales. So far, the Pontiac G8, a rear-wheel-drive four-door sedan also imported from GM's Australian Holden division, hasn't been a sales success either, despite good reviews.

Pontiac's most popular products remain the G6, a decent but unexciting midsize car available as a sedan, coupe or convertible, and the Vibe, a small wagon shared with Toyota, which sells it as the Matrix.

Any plans to return Pontiac to the heavy-horsepower days of the '70s ended as gas prices rose and Congress prepared stricter fuel economy rules for the industry.

Those pressures resulted in GM quietly introducing the Pontiac G3, which had been sold in Canada only. Once again, Pontiac was selling a rebadged Chevrolet product, this time the Korean-built Aveo subcompact car.

Pontiac's current role in GM seems mostly to be to support GMC and Buick by providing a brand under which Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealers could sell non-luxury cars, filling out what then becomes a full-line showroom.

The brand-channel strategy now makes it easier for GM to phase out the brand because it would cause less harm to dealers, independent business protected by strong state franchise laws. When GM phased out Oldsmobile in the early 2000's, it cost GM more than $1 billion to buy out the contracts of Oldsmobile dealers who were left with nothing to sell.

This time, most Pontiac dealers will have other products to sell
Source: http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/24/autos/pontiac_obit/index.htm?postversion=2009042414

If i had to buy an american car, i'd prefer a pontiac over a chevy. Owell.

:wave:
 

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Pontiac has always been one of my favorite brands. Sucks they are being cut off like this, but keeping them as a performance division isnt too bad of an idea. This way, they can stop making cars like the vibe and focus on bringing back the firebird
 

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Hmm. No new Firebird ever, huh? That kinda sucks :(

My old '79 V8 was my first car-love... I would have been sorely tempted to buy a new one if GM brought it back as they did with the Camaro. Oh, well...
 

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Pontiac has always been one of my favorite brands. Sucks they are being cut off like this, but keeping them as a performance division isnt too bad of an idea. This way, they can stop making cars like the vibe and focus on bringing back the firebird
Focus = Ford


Pontiac has alwasy been one of my favorites too, i love the G8 and GTO.
My first car i ever bought was a Bonneville SLE, it was huge but it was nice for a first car.
 

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Cartoon Porn Festival
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Pontiac has always been one of my favorite brands. Sucks they are being cut off like this, but keeping them as a performance division isnt too bad of an idea. This way, they can stop making cars like the vibe and focus on bringing back the firebird
Focus = Ford


Pontiac has alwasy been one of my favorites too, i love the G8 and GTO.
My first car i ever bought was a Bonneville SLE, it was huge but it was nice for a first car.
Quoted for stupidity.

He wasn't listing the Ford Focus, he was saying that they should focus on...

:laugh:
 

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Haha, thanks zero, I actually liked the GTO they brought back. A rear wheel 2dr coupe with an ls2 under the hood that looks really nice. I think the only reason it didnt work out was because they called it the GTO.
 

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That's too bad. Pontiac has the best of GM IMO. I love the G8 GXP. My kind of "family" hauler :gap:
 

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Surprised they didn't drop GMC. There's nothing unique in that brand. GM wastes a ton of money rebadging their own lineup over and over...
 

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GM wastes a ton of money rebadging their own lineup over and over...
Seriously. Kill them off and let them be their own entity.

I hope Ford's next.
 

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Why pontiac and not buik?
I thought the same thing until they mentioned that buick was hugely popular in other countries. Being seen a resurgent in the US is bull**** though. Buick is going nowhere fast here.

Anyone else feel like the Corvette should become its own brand? The most expensive parts of developing a car, i.e. the engine are already done, if they could step up from the GM interiors and cheap body work, the Corvette could be a seriously high end car.
 

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Jay Leno Says Goodbye to Pontiac
full story
A Tribute to GM’s Performance Brand

If you haven't heard, Pontiac is no more. In an exclusive story for PM, Jay Leno looks back at the 83-year-old brand, focusing on Pontiac’s historic muscle cars and surprisingly innovative technology.


Pontiac was a great brand.

I think GM brought back some performance in the last couple years with the Pontiac G8—its a real sport sedan. I liked the last re-incarnation of the GTO too. I thought it was smart, powerful and a grownup driver's car. Unfortunately it didn’t have a lot of the hood scoops and racing stripes some might have wanted. It didn't look enough like a GTO and it was probably priced a little too high. They let me borrow one when it first came out—it was a terrific car.

But I guess if a brand had to go, it probably had to be Pontiac. I understand why they have to do it. You take your biggest divisions and you keep those. These days there are just too many car companies chasing too few customers and not enough to differentiate between the marques. GM already has a very exciting car—the Chevrolet Corvette. And if you need another one, you've got the Camaro. So really, GM was just competing against itself. I’m not an accountant or an automotive executive, but I’d guess if GM built another Firebird they’d only take sales away from the Camaro. Its just redundancy.

But I’d like to see the Pontiac Solstice get saved and brought back as a Chevy.
.

Good article.
 
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