Pontiac: R.I.P.

Posted by: David Kiley on April 24, 2009

G8.jpg

General Motors is expected to announce Monday that it plans to kill its Pontiac brand, rather than maintain it as a niche brand with one or two models into the future as had been previously announced by company officials.

The company will also announce further plant closing and job cuts as it tries to meet a May 31 deadline to show the Obama Administration that it has a solid plan for financial viability. If it succeeds, the White House will grant GM additional government loans to operate. If GM faces bankruptcy, the government will provide financing for the automaker to re-emerge from Chapter 11 smaller and leaner.

The move to shutter Pontiac comes as GM is being forced to make a lot of hard decisions to restructure itself. The automaker has until May 31 to demonstrate to the White House that it has a viable comeback plan that will justify further taxpayer loans.

Most Pontiac showrooms have been combined with GM’s GMC and Buick brands. But there are about 40 stand-alone Pontiac stores.

The company killed the Oldsmobile brand in 2000. It currently is in process of closing off its Saab brand, waiting to see if investors want to buy it and keep it going. It is also trying to sell its Hummer and Saturn brands. In Europe, it is in negotiations to possibly sell its Opel and Vauxhall brands.

Pontiac has been almost a lost brand at GM. It once was positioned as the company’s performance brand. “We Build Excitement” was a long-standing ad slogan. It’s twin-kidney grille design was taken from BMW’s. The high-water mark for Pontiac’s brand clarity, most agree, was the 1964 Pontiac GTO, which many point to as the start of the muscle car era.

In the 1970s and 80s Pontiac offered the Firebird as a legitimate street rod. But GM got lazy, and began dumping “badge engineered” cars into the showrooms. That meant, for example, Pontiac Grand Ams, Grand Prixes, and Sunfires were nothing more than Pontiac-badged versions of the cars that could also be bought at Chevy, Buick and Olds dealerships.

I bought a 1993 Pontiac Grand Prix for myself. It had a flabby ride, and I particularly recall the piece of foam hanging out of the slot in the door where the door opener was situated. Even with the foam stuffed into the hole, the wind whipped through it at me when I was driving at highway speeds.

The drifting identity of Pontiac may have hit its nadir when the automaker gave dealers a minivan, called the Montana, as well as a gawky SUV called the Aztek in 2000. The Aztek has become the poster-car for awful design at GM in the last 20 years.

Hope for Pontiac sprung when Bob Lutz arrived on the scene to take over product development at GM in 2001. He immediately got to work adapting an Australian car GM already built as a new GTO. But it failed to catch on. The first car designed from the ground up under his direction was the Solstice roadster convertible. It has been reviewed well by the auto press, but sold in small numbers due, in part, to the weakness of the Pontiac brand.

A few years ago, GM executives heard advertising pitches on how to reposition Pontiac. One seemingly good idea was to embrace the gritty Detroit roots of Pontiac, and pitch it as a urban Motown muscle and performance brand. GM officials liked the idea, pitched by ad agency Deutsch, which now handles the Saturn account. But those officials realized they didn’t have the product lineup to back up the compelling ad idea. It never got off the ground.

Pontiac sold about 42,000 vehicles through the first three months of the year, down 44% from the year before, a bit deeper decline than the industry as a whole. That low sales volume is spread across seven active Pontiac models: G3, G5, G6, G8, Vibe, Solstice and Torrent. Lots of Pontiacs show up at car rental lots, though, which means a big chunk of sales aren’t profitable.

There is finally widespread agreement, albeit forced on GM management by the recession and the White House auto industry task force, that it is madness to maintain so many brands that have so little market share.

GM, through March, had an 18.8% share of the U.S. auto market. But 11.2% of that is Chevy. Saab, Pontiac, Hummer, Saturn—the brands on the auction block or headed for the graveyard--add up to 3% of the market. And a good bit of that has been rental fleet.

GM's pressurized restructuring is not only about manufacturing costs and headcount reduction. It is about opportunity cost. If the company is worried about supplying all these weak brands with new models and ad budgets, it is shorting the real brands that make money and have futures, like Chevy and Cadillac, of the focus and resources they need.

Follow "David Kiley" on Twitter.

So long Pontiac. Say hello to Olds when you get where you are going.

Reader Comments

Paul (Vw)

April 24, 2009 9:51 PM

I hope GM keeps the G8 alive. Maybe move it over to Buick. Could Buick be to Chevy as Audi is to VW? Hmm...when was the last time a Buick had a manual transmission?

Drew

April 25, 2009 12:39 AM

The GM execs would be complete idiots not to bring the G8 under Chevy's badge. They can re-badge it as the Chevelle and sell a buttload of them with the proper marketing. The car is just awesome! Too bad it took Holden to produce the Best 4 door sedan America has seen offered by GM in over 30 years.

Steven Golse

April 25, 2009 12:52 AM

GM's lack of effective brand management kills off another great division.
Pontiac was the only division that ever made any kind of effort to differentiate itself from its sister division's mundane brands with it's performance, ride, better suspensions and handling, ergonomics and original styling. Maybe it's sales are not currently where they need to be, but time and time again in the past 3 decades, this division's passenger cars added to GM's profits, with it's Firebirds, Grand Prixs and Grand Ams, even the G6, when other divisions car lines failed to do so. Okay, so the Aztek wasn't a great idea, and the recent GTO struggled due to lack of bold/retro styling, but what about the fact that for years while Chevy abandoned their passenger cars for SUVs,offering us (wonderful?)Luminas, Corsicas, Beretta's, etc., Pontiac's Grand Ams outsold every other GM intermediate/mid-size despite the overdone side body cladding? Pontiac always gave us a better overall package than Chevrolet's cars (exception Corvette. Buick's sales the past 2 decades have floundered. While it may sell well in China, it certainly does not sell in the US market.
Yes, maybe the muscle car era died a long time ago, but what about Pontiac's current great G-8? Major automobile magazines tested/compared it to BMWs citing better performance, driving for the price and total value package. And there's the Solstice, an affordable, fun to drive two-seater convertible.
Buick should die, Chevrolet should stick to what it does best, the Corvette and it's SUV/truck line and forget it's non-competitive car line. Let Pontiac be reworked and fill that void. GM needs to put some more thought into saving the division that has carried and served them so well over the years or risk losing a valuable customer base.

Totto

April 25, 2009 1:02 AM

My family bought a new, dark green 1953 Pontiac Chieftain when I was eight. The car had wool and nylon upholstery, wool carpeting, smelled great and had a terrific tube radio. No air-conditioning which was rough when we traveled in the summer to Florida from Chicago. The 1966 Grand Prix was great looking and fast. I will really miss the marque.

Rob

April 25, 2009 1:45 AM

If Buick is to Chevy what Audi is to VW what is Cadillac. If GM really wants to make a come back then it needs to dump Buick too.

GM needs two divisions, Chevy and Cadillac. Dump everything else.

Marty

April 25, 2009 2:13 AM

In 1993, 16 years have gone by, and yet you are writing about a loose piece of foam on your Pontiac. Well, in 2009 I almost got killed on the road from the tailgate on the TOYOTA tundra that fell off the truck, just like that. The media has been a part of Detroit's difficuties, they just cannot bring themselves to embrace a product made and designed by their own neighbors, why and when did this viewpoint come about? Anyway, no country has ever risen about the others without a flourishing industrial base, so the journalists will go down hard with Pontiac, good riddance, I will buy detroit but not BizWeek.

Marty

April 25, 2009 2:13 AM

In 1993, 16 years have gone by, and yet you are writing about a loose piece of foam on your Pontiac. Well, in 2009 I almost got killed on the road from the tailgate on the TOYOTA tundra that fell off the truck, just like that. The media has been a part of Detroit's difficulties, they just cannot bring themselves to embrace a product made and designed by their own neighbors, why and when did this viewpoint come about? Anyway, no country has ever risen about the others without a flourishing industrial base, so the journalists will go down hard with Pontiac, good riddance, I will buy detroit but not BizWeek.

From Kiley: I injected my memory of that car that I owned in the spirit of sharing a personal experience with the brand I'm writing about. The car was not very competitive on a variety of levels. And to be honest, I chose it in 1993 specifically because it was made by my neighbors. I had just moved to Michigan. I am about to purchase a Ford, also made by my neighbors. So, don't assume.

Ann

April 25, 2009 2:34 AM

So sad to see these American institutions failing. Buy American.

Boris

April 25, 2009 2:54 AM

Those sale figures sound bad to most of the reading public, but how bad? Let’s scan the list of other auto makers’ sales this year, because this decline is not limited to only GM brands:
Lexus sold 42,069 units and is down 36.8%...should Toyota kill the Lexus brand? Infiniti sold 20,716 units and is down 36.3%...should Nissan kill the Infiniti brand? Scion sold 12,285 units and is down 55.9%... should Toyota kill the Scion brand too? I am a proud GM employee, but I’m not ignorant to the fact that total market share has been dropping, and GM has too many brands to support. It is time for change. However, nobody will ever have market share like the Detroit 3 used to have. Look at how many more auto manufactures are now selling in the US, and how many new variations are available to pick from. Example: Kia started selling in the US in 1994…and now they have 3 SUV’s, 3 Crossovers, 1 Minivan, and 6 Cars. If consumers had this many options when it comes to something like an MP3 player, the iPod would be like Pontiac’s ’64 GTO, and Apple would be like GM…fighting to reinvent itself.

Foorfitu

April 25, 2009 3:32 AM

Pontiac had a great brand with the GTO, Trans Am, etc. Then in the 90s Pontiac slowly introduced more family oriented cars. Pontiac would have been very profitable if they kept true to muscle cars.

Tim

April 25, 2009 3:47 AM

> Could Buick be to Chevy as Audi is to VW?

Ummm... no, that would be Cadillac. All GM needs is Chevy, Cadillac and GM (for industrial/commercial vehicles). The rest should be killed off.

FTJ

April 25, 2009 3:53 AM

Deutsch has a great idea but it would take an equal gritty, determined and dedicated garage like corporate mentality to give Pontiac cred and take the brand back to its former glory.

I think the saddest part is that all the million-dollar MBA egos that have been stuffed into the "bubble" of GM's and the UAW's upper management just cannot get the job done due to terrible legacy agreements, greed and complete ignorance of their incompetence at turning this company around.

Truth is Pontiac should not be shutdown - what it needs is fresh and competent management that will devote themselves to bringing this brand back. Unfortunately, that means showing Fritz Henderson and his MBA team of ego-driven, pragmatic, number crunching, millionaire wisdom the door. Or actually have him start paying GM back and agree to let him hang out as a guide to all the potential pitfalls and possibly to nag about all the reasons why the numbers tell you to make a mediocre or almost world-class car. Then get Americans to start backing the home team - I think they will especially if there is an appeal to do so (Fritz in all his pride will never muster the country to such a calling much less his own troops hence another reason for the company's endless decent) and if GM and the UAW's management get straight about cost structures, arcane work rules designed to justify their jobs and come clean about devoting themselves to building amazing cars for customers.

vin

April 25, 2009 5:47 AM

how will that affect the plant in Australia that makes the g8

marc

April 25, 2009 6:09 AM

i feel chevy has had 30 years to get with the program. they saw where the market was going when the japs and euros came out with better built cars at the same prices at the americans. as a chevy man for life i hope they get with the program beacause i will be damned if i have to drive a toyota landcruiser.

manalivewhataride

April 25, 2009 7:04 AM

Rebrand GM to perhaps keep the best of Pontiac and Saturn
Recent Grand Prix efforts show promise.
Soltice look is eye catching. Some of the G series simply needs more need time.
Saturn Aura is a strong class competitor to Japan and Germany. Too many models have diluted the great GM brand. We want to buy GM cars, but they should be strong and unique. Show us and we will come back.

Matthew

April 25, 2009 7:36 AM

I honestly hope the G8 survives somewhere.

Fred K.

April 25, 2009 8:19 AM

David,
Are there any car guys to be seen anywhere in this collapse? Engineers? In the WH Auto Task Force? In industry? It seems that the passing of Pontiac will stand as a clear marker for the end of the automobile as anything more than an appliance like a dishwasher or dryer. When you coextrude cars through dies made up of the campaign aides, lawyers, NHTSA, and now the EPA, is there any room or reason for enthusiasm?

R. Pinney

April 25, 2009 8:40 AM

Why not let Pontiac remake the 66 GTO with updated enviromental controls. I think it would sell. Folks would be smoking their tires as I once did in mine. 3 dueces right out of the factory at over 140 mph. I also believe the 57 chevrolet could also be sold as a remake.

Pontiac

April 25, 2009 8:40 AM

04/24/2009. Contrary to media speculation, General Motors has not announced any changes to its long-term viability plan or to the future status of any of its brands. GM is continuing to review its restructuring plan to go further and faster and best ensure its future success. Additional information will be released as any decisions are finalized.


Media calls should be referred to Tom Wilkinson of GM Communications at 313-667-0366 or Jim Hopson of BPG Communications at 313-667-0366.

ancientuno

April 25, 2009 8:52 AM

GM wonders why they are heading to bankruptcy. GM in 2008 sold nearly twice as many Pontiacs as they did Buicks in total. Yet they are going to get rid of the better seller. With that kind of competence who needs GM.

gary

April 25, 2009 9:00 AM

Its funny how GM will get rid of the Vibe. It gets 5 out 5 stars from every review and 5 out of 5 on every crash test and it gets good gas milage. I thought that was what GM was trying to do. No wonder they are going broke.

Barry S (Saturn)

April 25, 2009 10:32 AM

As GM faces the pressure to build smaller more fuel friendly cars, just remember why the average American does not drive small cars anymore. We need cars that are safe, simple to repair and reliable.
American's drive SUVs and Pickups not because we are trying to save the World, but because we are trying to protect our family and budget. I have owned several Saturns in the past and have loved them. Would I buy one new now - No.

mason

April 25, 2009 10:36 AM

I remember reading a few key models would be kept. Most likely the g5,g8 an the vibe. I doubt after spending millions on rebadging a recently introduced model and potenitally successful one, they will just fugghhetaboutit.

Justin (Acura)

April 25, 2009 10:43 AM

No, I don't think it could be. Audi is a luxury brand. Buick is an aging brand with no real purpose.

vw2

April 25, 2009 10:50 AM

I think that Buick is a damaged brand. Even when Audi was having the unintended acceleration PR problem, it was still seen as a lux brand. Buick, at least in this country, is an elderly driver's brand with zero excitement, no luxury association.

More likely is cadillac as the audi to chevy's VW.

In the end, I think it is moot. GM has a massive perception issue that might be surmountable. The only way Cadillac competes against other lux brands is by selling at a discount, which really isn't too lux, is it?

blablabla

April 25, 2009 10:54 AM

Feeling the heat few years ago they should have fix most of those problems and the good product should be on the market by now.They even do not know what to do next.They never understand the lessons in the 1970......

jay m

April 25, 2009 10:56 AM

Buick with manual trans?
maybe the early 70's?
maybe too long?
I really like my 03 Regal, but a 5-speed or 6-speed automatic would have been nice.

widetrackman

April 25, 2009 11:08 AM

Guys do some history work. The split grille on the pontiac started in '59 and had nothing to do with BMW!Do you guys know who bunkie knudsen is? He had a major hand in restructuring pontiac and took over in the mid 50's to turn pontiac into what it was in the late 50 and into the 60's. We could sure use him now.Sad to see pontiac go,get rid of GMC truck first.

From Kiley: BMW had established the twin-kidney grille design long before 1959. And I'll cite one source, vice chairman Bob Lutz, who told me that the Pontiac grille was inspired by the BMW design.

Marc

April 25, 2009 11:25 AM

First Olds, now Pontiac. Buick will be next.
My prediction: in 10 years, GM will be a truck maker, with Chevrolet & maybe Cadillac as sidelines.

Josh

April 25, 2009 12:10 PM

I think that GM should get rid of Buick instead of Pontiac... If someone wants a luxury GM car or SUV, they should get a Cadillac. All this is going to do is drive the price and rarity of older cars like Trans Ams and GTOs way up. Thanks, economy.

Myles

April 25, 2009 12:34 PM

What's the source for this article? Could it be the same source that falsly claimed that GM was eliminating 1700 dealers? Could it be one of the crook owners of derivatives for GM debt that this very website reports about? There are some serious problems in our economy, but they're not the problems that everyone thinks. http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/apr2009/bw20090424_731357.htm?campaign_id=rss_topStories

Elisabeth

April 25, 2009 12:51 PM

We just bought a Vibe and I love it. We had a Bonneville before and a Sunfire...we loved all those cars. I am very sad to hear this.
What will happen to warranties?
We bought the car keeping in mind that it will be a car for our daughter when she heads off to university.

jason

April 25, 2009 1:42 PM

Wow, this is probably the dumbest move yet GM. If you'd get rid of all the crap cars from pontiac and keep the G8 and G6 and revive the firebird and keep all the vehicles in your line "performance" base, then you'd on the right path. Even though you have to make recessions, why go this route?? Pontiac's demise is a direct result of your incomptence GM!! Keep the pontiac brand, with a select few cars and give it a chance to flourish again. Don't use pontiac for a "dump all" for all of your lame concepts. Keep pontiac for the youth and bring it back up to the top, like it used to be!! There are tons of loyal pontiac people out there and by killing the brand, you're distancing them from you all together. Doubt that this rant would make any difference, but i'm a loyal GM customer and have owned a pontiac for the past 10 years and would gladly own another. Be smart and scrap your idea of ending the pontiac era.

frank Loweser

April 25, 2009 2:45 PM

I want GM to stay around in some form. But the company needs to cut the cord on Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab. Just make it nice efficient Caddy, Chevy, GMC-Buick company. Ford has shown what comes from focusing on businesses and brands that make sense.

Adam (Toyota)

April 25, 2009 2:50 PM

So, why exactly has it taken this long? The "excitement" division. Hillllarious! Now if they would just axe Buick too, we may have a chance of seeing our tax dollars paid back. Oh, Tiger Woods drives a Buick? Now there was a believable ad campaign. The only downside is that GM took Saab, a quirky, successful brand, and destroyed it.

Will

April 25, 2009 2:55 PM

It's hard to say that the Pontiac Aztek was the "poster-car for awful design at GM in the last 20 years", considering that nearly every manufacturer has ugly vehicles that look awfully similar to it (see Mazda CX7, Nissan Rogue, Lexus RX350).

In a way, Pontiac was ahead of its time when it came to offering an ugly, flabby-looking "crossover" SUV.

RIP.

Scottie

April 25, 2009 3:05 PM

Without Pontiac, GM is about as interesting as dried up white bread. If they really want to get rid of negative brand equity, they'd kill the Buick line in the US; they only have three vehicles anyway- and I don't know of anyone who would aspire to a LaCrosse or Lucerne.

Ryan

April 25, 2009 4:01 PM

Keep Pontiac, kill Buick! Who wants a Buick seriously. GM has Cadillac already.

Mark

April 25, 2009 4:22 PM

GM took a very valuable brand with a clear product line (Bonneville, LeMans, GTO, Tempest, Firebird) and loyal following, and did their best to screw it up. Another failure of the leadership class in this country.

As to the Aztec, whoever came up with that design should have been fired the minute it came off the drawing board.

What a shame. :(

Stan McGee

April 25, 2009 4:25 PM

This is just plain stupid GM. Who buys Pontiac 20's thru 40's. Who buys Buick ? 55 + The market is shrinking for Buick. Who buys Chevy 20's +. I agree keeping Chevy but getting rid of Pontiac. No wonder you are going bankrupt and Ford is surviving.

Keith Starling

April 25, 2009 5:03 PM

Pontiac is just one more example of how poor management and lack of creative thinking at GM ran a once huge and powerful symbol of US business into the ground. For at least three decades, it has been obvious that the leaders at GM were unable to properly manage such a huge company with so many overlapping brands. Their answer was brand engineering...Cadillacs to Chevrolets all the same except for some (mostly) poorly designed sheetmetal differences. Someone with any vision at all should have known then to eliminate some of the overlapping brands, but instead they came out with even more (i.e. Saturn, Geo)! And how could we forget "The Caddy that Zigs!" What genius approved THAT slogan or the car itself? And even the Pontiac GTO they brought over from Holden in Australia a few years ago...it's no wonder that ugly, mundane design didn't click with the target audience. I give GM some credit with finally coming out with some successes in the last couple of years (newest Cadillac CTS, Pontiac Solstice, newest Chevy Malibu) but it's kinda like the old saying..."too much, too little, too late. I mean Toyota first hit these shores in 50's if I recall, so it took these geniuses 50 years to catch up? Good ridance.

Mitch

April 25, 2009 5:34 PM

Who cares about the G8. Pontiac made way better cars than the G8. I agree they have fell off in recent years but I cant believe that the company that made the famous GTOs and Trans Ams is shutting down. Thats American muscle history disappearing forever...God help us. The end of an era is upon us.

Bring Our Boys Home from Iraq, Support Domestic Energy, and Buy American Cars.

Doug

April 25, 2009 5:39 PM

So much for the P.O.N.T.I.A.C. acronym

Joe

April 25, 2009 5:57 PM

It would make more sense to make the g8 a impalla replacement, as for comparing buick to chevy and audi to vw.cadillac is to chevy what audi is to vw.

Gavan

April 25, 2009 6:35 PM

Pontiac.

People on their interest and cars.

We need to get rid of the fortune 500 crybabies and their lobbyists.

Investing in third generation corporate America is like not filing for a yard sale with your local town.

They made their money on good times and when does the rain stop?

Its a process of planed sellout.

We are the suckers.

Thomas

April 25, 2009 7:02 PM

I think GM should kill off Buick, maybe move the Lucerne over to Chevy as the new Impala, move the Enclave over to Caddy. Get rid of anything bigger in all divisions (mind you this also means no Saab, Saturn, or Hummer). We don't need the Tahoe/Avalanche/Escalade(s). Restructure Pontiac and GMC to be the new GMC Performance badge. This would leave a clear cut Chevrolet(everyday), Cadillac (luxery), and GMC Performance (performance)divisions.

Michael Deprada

April 25, 2009 7:12 PM

This is a systemic problem prevalent throughout the US corporate world.

Short term greed, ignorance and a holier than thou attitude has lead to the fall of many once great and innovative American companies.

Kodak
Polaroid
RCA
Magnavox
Fisher
Just to name a few. I see a frightening pattern here

Barry S

April 25, 2009 7:35 PM

I agree with killing Buick in the States. Trouble is GM sells more Chevys, Buicks and Caddys in China and Russia then Pontiacs.

In the days when almost everything you buy comes from China or somewhere other then U.S., what to keep the U.S. Assisted GM from importing all it's branded cars and trucks too.

If the future of U.S. Assistant GM is imported brands from China or somewhere else, I say let GM fail now and maybe a better car company may raise from its ashes.

Martin

April 25, 2009 8:10 PM

I have been a loyal GM and Pontiac customer since 1991,1 S10 pickup, 3 Bonnevilles and 2 Vibes (newest '09). I have been very satisfied with all of them and would gladly buy again in the future. The Vibe is a perfect vehicle for these times. Why hasn't it been promoted?
Please consider Buick if you must drop a line - Pontiac is not the one to dispose of. I can't afford a Cadillac and I don't want a rebadged Chevrolet. You will have to work years to get your loyal customers back (if ever). I will still try to give consideration to U.S. makers but I'm losing faith in GM.

BigDogGa

April 25, 2009 8:30 PM

The G8 GTP is the first car I would actually consider buying from Pontiac in years; and I certainly would not buy a Buick. I'm sixty years old and far to young for a Buick/ Cadillac/ Buick. Sorry I thought they were the same car.

Wake up GM, keep the G8 and move it into the Buick line, god knows they could use a little stimulation. This is why GM is in the dumps, stupid product decisions by a bunch of idiots. Let them sink and die.

Tisi

April 25, 2009 8:40 PM

They should kill off the Buick line, first. They have the stigma of being an old person's car to everybody under 40, and the years are progressing. Same thing that happened to Olds. Who the hell does these people's marketing? They should be beaten up!

When will their execs snap out of it and realize that today's market is for compact, ultra-efficient, fun-to-drive cars?

David

April 25, 2009 9:08 PM

I know its really a Toyota Matrix, But I am really enjoying my 2005 Pontiac Vibe

Jeff

April 25, 2009 9:25 PM

In may be in the pile here somewhere, but the problem with the G8 being a major player in the US (and one of the GTO's problems) is a UAW contract issue. They are made in Australia, not American made, so GM/Ponyache are only allowed to import a certain amount under the UAW contract(s). As for Buick, F the GTO, bring back a revamped Grand National/ GNX/GSX!!!!!

Darren

April 25, 2009 9:49 PM

Working at a GM store, the owner announced yesterday that GM contacted all dealerships and forewarned that they were going to be phasing out the Pontiac brand just like they did the Oldsmobile line. Pontiac has a lot of vehicles that are a badge-version of another GM vehicle: Torrent - Equinox (although Torrent is moving to GM as a Terrain next year), G5 - Cobalt, G6 - Malibu, Wave - Aveo, Montana SV6 - Uplander (both are done next yr), and Vibe you can buy from Toyota as the matrix. The Solstice and G8 are stand alones, and neither are launching off showroom floors. Yes, Buick doesn't sell well in North America, but it is one of the best selling car lines in the Asian market (gee, not much of a population base there to help grow business). Pontiac doesn't sell well in any market it is in. It makes more sense to keep Buick, even if they concentrate on the Asian market and have it as a mid-luxury line in North America with moderate numbers. GM can't keep individual models that tie up an entire plant for one car or one platform (Vibe and G8). They need global platforms. I hate to see Pontiac go, but better than all of GM. For those of you who think Chevrolet is boring, with the new Malibu (great reviews from everywhere), Cruze (great reviews throughout Europ), the Volt's technology, Traverse's great reviews, and the upcoming Orlando's good previews, I'm not sure whether you've been hiding with your head in the sand, or just ignorant enough to refuse to check out a great domestic lineup. Then again, the fact that Toyota had more recalls last year than vehicles sold by all of GM together means nothing. Yeah!!

jg

April 25, 2009 10:16 PM

One reason people stopped buying American was the perception Japanese was better.

GM finally makes the most dependable car out there: Buick! Just topped Lexus in JD Power.

Anyone who suggest Buick should not be part of the future at GM doesn't get it,

SM

April 25, 2009 10:44 PM

I echo a lot of these comments. GM has GOT to keep the G8. Rebadge it as the Impala and return the Impala to its roots as a muscle car for everyone.

David Hanson

April 25, 2009 10:49 PM

I own a 2005 "Pontiac" VIBE. It is by far the best car I have ever owned and I am nearly 70 years old. In a year or two I will buy another one. How is that possible? You see, Toyota makes them. Sad to say it ain't no Pontiac . . . it never was.
k9dave

Nick

April 25, 2009 10:56 PM

GM is crap

Bill Kennedy

April 25, 2009 10:57 PM

The Dealerships are why I don't buy GM anymore. The Dealerships can't/won't fix what they sell. I took my Grand Am to two dealerships numerous times to repair my ignition switch--no dice. I took it to a muffler shop--fixed. Seems dealerships sell warranties to grab money, with no intent of fixing your car. They stopped making the Grand Am, so I bought a Solara. Same crap, dealerships rake in $$$, don't care about customer service. My next ride will be from CarMax. The h--- with all dealers, not just GM. The Grand Am was Pontiac's best selling car, and they stopped making it. GM has been going out of business since the early 70s--you just couldn't see it until now. I hate that Pontiac is gone, but soon GM will be gone. My suggestion: get rid of dealerships--they're the ones who helped ruin the big three. Take my word for it--after they sell the car, warranty, etc, they could not care less. If I were Fritz H, I'd open up GM-owned dealerships, but I'm too smart to run a car company...

Barry

April 25, 2009 10:57 PM

GM has had bad quality for a long time now. Its not an American thing, Ford and Chrysler make much better vehicles than GM does, with Ford being ahead of the two. I've owned six vehicles and the only one of them I hated was GM. I've owned two Fords, two Mazdas, a Jeep, and a Buick. My parents have owned two Buicks, three Choverlets, one Chryster, one Pontiac and a Mazda. All cars break, and Japanese cars break as much as American cars do. The difference is that GM cars don't just break, they deteriorate even if they are taken care of. My boss has a CTS-V and its the fastest piece of crap on the road. The whole car shakes and its always in the shop. Down the street there is a guy that baby's his 1990's Impala, but to no avail. The paint is coming right off the car. GM has let down America by making crappy cares for too long. The government should let it go bankrupt and fund a new Automaker start up with the bailout funds.

Mark M

April 25, 2009 11:14 PM

1) Pontiac Vibe, a great car built in CA, rename it a Chevy, then sell or retire the pontiac name.
2) Keep Chev Corvette, our Porsche, and the other Chevrolets,
3) Keep Saturn, good customer service and a past reputation of quality, can be rebuilt as the small and light car it was with high economy again (dump the ones that look like Buicks),
4) sell or retire the oldster Buick, like the Olds,
5) Roll Hummer into GMC for police and fire and commercial and mil use use,
6) Sell or retire the Cadillac label, and recognize the rest are really Chevrolets
7) Keep GMC for the commercial line.
7) Get the electric cars on the road.
Call them Chevrolets. Asap.
Next time GM comes to DC in cars, drive a Vibe. Great US car! Made in the US and you can buy it today!
Mark M

Daniel J Swanson

April 26, 2009 12:04 AM

It looks like oil production has peaked. There will not be a need for Government Motors now that the auto market will shrink at least 10% a year. The future of transportation is not the automobile.
http://www.energystrain.com

Carol Swaser

April 26, 2009 12:21 AM

I vote for Chip Foose to buy the Pontiac name from GM and start making some bad arse cars in limited quantities.

Matthew M

April 26, 2009 2:21 AM

Reality can be ignored but not evaded. GM cannot afford to be both an auto company and the social security administration to millions of retirees, employees and their families, and that business model is collapsing.

How sad that the magic bullet of a VEBA for retiree benefits was fired too late to make a difference. UAW has allowed for competitive wages and benefits but also too late to avoid pain.

Billions and decades wasted incessant reorganizations and management fads. GM should have spun off its treasurer's office and started getting leaders from elsewhere in the company. Regarding Pontiac: a niche brand with RWD cars starting above $20 is a good idea - too late.

In the 40s, government wage/price controls led to company instead of individuals buying insurance; Antitrust in the 60s; CAFE since the 70s. (I am not interested in hearing from anyone who can't admit these are horrible, destructive policies that produce no rational benefit.)

Now, a government-induced credit crisis put a gun to GM's head when realistic plans for adapting had finally begun to take shape. A pity. Whatever GM does now can be attributed not to stupidity but to desperation. GM has immense automotive talent and can make good cars. Hopefully, something of that will survive.

bean

April 26, 2009 2:48 AM

Steven Golse has a good idea: keep the Corvette and trucks, scrap the other Chevy models. Obviously, many believe the Buick needs to go, too. Let's all hope GM comes up with a good plan. While it's a shame that an American icon has gone so far downhill, it would also be a shame if that icon were to disappear completely. That said, if there's anything worth saving, there's no reason to assume it won't survive.

Ander

April 26, 2009 3:52 AM

I drive a stodgy Buick in China. But the lineup of Buick models is based on a variety of GM brands, including Opel. So plenty of Buick models have a youthful image. Not sure why GM didn't go this route in North America.

Chevrolet is making inroads with even more youthful appeal.

Sad to see Pontiac go the way of Oldsmobile. But times are changing in the American market, with plenty of competition now than ever before.

Manny

April 26, 2009 8:26 AM

Another fine mess that Wagoner, Lutz and Hender derson have gotten themselves into. The most incompetent trifecta in U.S. corporate history. They will go down as the Big three that killed GM. Hope that Wagoner doesn't enjoy any of his 20 Million pension. Shame on you all, and yet another poorly managed brand that has been lost. At least Opel will fall into European hands!! lucky them. Too late for poor old Pontiac.

Emmy

April 26, 2009 10:09 AM

I keep telling myself that they're just cars, and there are more important things to worry about, but, still... My best girlfriend in high school had an older brother who had been to war, and came back and bought a GTO, which he let us borrow whenever he didn't have a date. Then her boyfriend got a TransAm, which he also let us borrow. We're lucky we didn't kill ourselves--teenage girls in muscle cars. Sigh. So when I bought my own first car, it was a Pontiac Sunbird, or at least that's what it said on the outside. On the glove compartment it was labelled "Manza" (the comparable Chevy), and I always called it my Pontiac Manza. Then I got my charming little FieroGT (not to be confused with the Fiero that used to burst into flames), before moving to Vettes. I left Michigan and Pontiacs behind decades ago, but this still makes me really sad.

Brian Shields

April 26, 2009 11:20 AM

The demise of the Pontiac line (or any other line)is unfortunate, but worse unnecessary. For one of the biggest companies on the planet, the aren't thinking big. Selling off everything will not make you more money. However there is a third solution other than more Fed-loans and bankruptcy. There is a way for GM to sell another 500k - 1 million MORE cars before June 1st. At 20k/car, that 20 billion, more than enough to forgo both tax-payer loans and bankruptcy. To find out more about how, go to my blog article at:

http://www.squidoo.com/gms_third_option

- Brian

Marty

April 26, 2009 1:07 PM

To KILEY: Thanks for buying from Detroit, i am not a UAW guy, but your move is good news for the country.
.
On a second note, the Aztec was WAY ahead of it's time, look at the hideous honda element and the other jap.SUV's. Who buys these things?
The G8 blows all offerings from gemany and japan AWAY, and that comes from a Ford guy....

Jeff

April 26, 2009 1:45 PM

Decades of bad decisions and poor leadership have consequences. GM needs to change and the public will benefit from that change. If they don't, we won't have any GM products to choose from and that is worse than a few brands getting the ax. Imagine if your only options were ford and mopar? GM is the largest auto manufacturer in the world and I doubt there will be any warranty concerns.

scooter2

April 26, 2009 5:22 PM

Re the Aussie made G8, it would be easier and cheaper to make a Chev as the Pontiac need a different front. The Holden looks better anyway and would just need the badges. They are a great car and prob way cheaper to make in Aus given the present exchange rate. Plus the Aussie govt will prob front with some cash to save the plant.

Korotaj

April 26, 2009 5:30 PM

Welcome to the present reality. I'd rather ride light rail than a Pontiac. Who, except testosterone poisoned jerks, really cares?

Austin

April 26, 2009 8:37 PM

Pontiac has went downhill in recent years and the G8 and the so-called "GTO" is not going to save them. If GM wants to keep the G8 (I have no idea why) they could just rebadge it under Chevy. Maybe the GTO would have helped had it had any lineage to the real GTO! The only similar idea of the car is the name. No more.

aussiefacts

April 26, 2009 9:20 PM

The G8 is an example of good gloabl strategy and it would be a pity to see it die. Holden would survive losing the G8 export market as the Commodore and long wheel base Statesman/Caprice are still Australia's best sellers and also sold in the Middle East as Buicks. A version is manufactured in China (Buick Park Avenue) and the platform is the basis for that hot new Camaro. GM Holden will add a small Cruze type car to the Adelaide plant from 2010 with strong support from a government that believes in manufacturing. But the volume would be missed and Americans would also lose access to a great value rear drive car. (Ford has an even better driving car in the Australian Falcon but declines to export it in any numbers.) Surely GM North America needs an alternative RWD car to the Cadillac?

Casey

April 26, 2009 10:04 PM

Wow. Fascinating. Seen many comments but not one has mentioned why Buick is kept alive.

Its China. Buick is doing very well there. If it was not for China, Buick would be gone a long time ago.

The Buicks in China are different than those sold here in America. Chinese Buicks actually look worth buying! Looks much nicer...

- Casey

Tom

April 27, 2009 1:48 AM

Aussiefacts, Holden hasn't posted a profit since 2004, so even at the height of their export program and when the VE was competing with the BF Falcon, the Commodore was still not pulling in a profit, with the VE Commodore now outselling Falcon solely on heavy discounting and its export program decimated, I don't see how you can say Holden will survive. Holden is well on its way to being nothing more than a badge on Daewoo's. Just this week imports of the Astra were suspended, so only Commodore to go now. Once Cruze is in (Aussie manufactured Daewoo) won't be surprised to see Commodore die off. And Cruze will only get off the ground if GM pony up $450 million, which in the current climate is doubtful.

ps

April 27, 2009 8:23 AM

Kind of funny- Ford's been trying to make a global car for years (remember the contour) and GM has Holden right under it's nose as well as Opel. They both make cars that appeal to multiple markets. Just make GM cars in Australia and Germany. In terms of Pontiac, when they made the hot looking but smoky Fireo, great idea, awful execution. And badging a Korean econo-box as LeMans pretty much condemned Pontiac to the GM failure model advanced by the finance MBA's. I'm sure Harvard, Penn and Yale are very proud of their alumni in Detroit.

brian

April 27, 2009 8:27 AM

The damage that little bean counting leprechaun Roger Smith cannot be emphasized enough. Add govt mandates on fuel economy. But that guy singlhandedly gutted the company in the 80's so badly that it was never able to fully recover. A 98 was also a sedan deville, the size of a Camry. With an aluminum block engine that was a disaster, designed to save weith for fuel efficiency. Who can forget the diesel, total nightmare Sure, bad decisions followed along with shoddy engineering. Bean counters have a legacy of ruining companies.

Brian J. Perkins

April 27, 2009 9:44 AM

I agree with 'Steven Golse' and 'Rob' from earlier posts. When was the last time you saw a Buick on the road?

In my personal opinion, GM should not stick with its "Four Core" brands (Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC), but rather focus on only two, Chevrolet and Cadillac. Possibly sticking with three brands by GMC being solely for commercial vans and trucks.

No need to argue Cadillac, but what happen to the good days of Chevrolet cars? Obsessed with the Jimmy Carter age, they all seemed to died. The G8 is one of GM's best cars ever made, I imagine a car of this caliber should not become a new brand, but rather an re-introduction of an old legend, the Chevelle. Australia's Holden has a Monaro Concept (Pontiac GTO) that has a mean look. This could potentially give Chevrolet the opportunity to release a 4-door and a 2-door version of this car. The new release of the Camero could be the beginning on the rebirth of Chevrolet cars.

Tiger Woods and Buick is yesterdays news. Let's see the future, hire a new market research team because its obvious you don't know what you are doing.

Tom

April 27, 2009 10:06 AM

Pontiac Vibe is actually a Toyota Matrix that GM bought to rebadge into their own car. People who say Buy American are weak. I will buy whatever I deem is the better car and most value for my money. In fact, I would like nothing better than to buy American. Everything being equal - I would choose American because I live here and want to support the workers here. But they are not equal. And I will not make a poor purchase to keep American workers making poor quality cars. Make something of higher quality, America! I will be there to buy, don't worry - but make it quality! Don't BS me on Detroit catching up to the Japanese either. The Japanese have better interiors, better reliability, better fuel efficiency, and better overall packaging. When the Japanese start buying American cars is when you know that American cars are the same quality as Japanese cars.

Shawn

April 27, 2009 11:11 AM

What GM should do is just kill the GMC brand. Why do they make a GMC Sierra model when the Chevy Silverado is the same thing. The same could be said for the GMC Envoy which is a Trailblazer, even though the company has said that they will not continue making either the Envoy or Trailblazer. And what about those commercial vehicles that are under the GMC nameplate...they should just combine the profitable ones under the Chevy line...so GM, if you want to save money, start killing the stupid brands first, i.e. GMC, Buick (middle-class, old-man's Cadillac), Saab(already on chopping block), and most importantly freaking HUMMER already. Saturn in today's economy could be a brand that competes with the rising Hyundai and KIA brands (which I dread!), but have you noticed more of those Hyundai's on the road lately (their cheep and have the same warranty so why not buy them) If anything, scale-down Pontiac to being somewhat of a "Excitement" car brand (G8, maybe Solstice). Overall, GM needs better leadership and control over the UAW which largely contributed to their decline ($75/hour labor/benefits=lower profits) if they ever want to compete with Toyota and become the top car company once agin.

Hal

April 27, 2009 12:20 PM

I currently own a G8 GT and a G6. Both are extremely well built and fun to drive. Buick's designs are ugly and made for a very old generation. Why GM chose to eliminate Pontiac over Buick is a mistery to me.

Brendan

April 27, 2009 12:53 PM

I love the G8. It is nearly exactly what I want out of car. Unfortunately, I am an obvious minority, and GM's first models to be cut will be the low-volume and niche cars. The G8 is a world class product, but it absolutely is too little, too late.

J B

April 27, 2009 1:05 PM

Hmmmm, 2 Pontiacs sold for every 1 Buick, we don't need no stinkin Pontiac !! Where did these guys get their degress?

Aaron C

April 27, 2009 1:13 PM

This is the worst thing that GM could possibly do! Pontiacs have been some of the best, sporty, and cars that differentiate themselves from the rest of the other GM cars. Yeah the Aztec was a bad idea, but there are have been other ugly cars that GM has made in other brands, just like there has been with other manufacturers. They should kill Buick in the US and keep it in China where it is liked. The G6 is much better than a Malibu, the G5 much better than a cobalt, the G3 better than an Aveo and G8 is great, especially if it was a two door with a manual tranny. They also need to move GMC to an only heavy duty like with out light duty trucks. *sigh* Oh well, maybe in the future they will bring back Pontiac, or just KEEP IT!

Lou

April 27, 2009 1:14 PM

Sadly the once top of the food chain of Amercian industry is now going away slowly. There are many reasons for it. The present US administration and their idealogues who do not want performance type vehicles, whether the consumer does or not. The bad reputation of 1970's build quality. Again the main stream press does'nt report on the great build qualities that equal or exceed foreign brands today. And of course the UAW and Pontiac who tried to rebadge a Australian car and call it a GTO. It was a lame effort as far as looks and recapturing the nastoligic theme. Also, not to car makers, G8, G6 have no flair, people like names! Cougar, Mustang, Duster, Roadrunner, Cutlass, Nova, Chevelle, name it.

James

April 27, 2009 1:16 PM

I bought my last new american car and it was a 2002 Pontiac Trans Am Conv. I swore I would never buy another GM car so long as those idiots had killed off the Trans Am and now I can safely say I will never buy an american car agian thanks for the push in right direction GM. So long Pontiac and I will miss you. As for Buick who the F%$# drives a buick. I havn't seen a buick on the road here in maryland in a week since I actually started looking for them (because of the Pontiac closing) yet I have seen many pontiacs. :)

Brandy

April 27, 2009 1:56 PM

I think that gm should get rid of buick but save detroit and pontiac!

Kody

April 27, 2009 2:17 PM

GM won't kill off Buick anytime soon. You have to look at the bigger picture. Buick is a HUGE success in China, Korea, Singapore, and a few other Eastern countries. It makes too much money for GM to kill off Buick. Pontiac is by far the youngest looking and most improved of the GM brands. I agree with several previous posts...bring the G8 under the Chevy badge and market it as the Chevelle or new 4 door Monte Carlo.

Aaron C

April 27, 2009 2:37 PM

This is the worst thing that GM could possibly do! Pontiacs have been some of the best, sporty, and cars that differentiate themselves from the rest of the other GM cars. Yeah the Aztec was a bad idea, but there are have been other ugly cars that GM has made in other brands, just like there has been with other manufacturers. They should kill Buick in the US and keep it in China where it is liked. The G6 is much better than a Malibu, the G5 much better than a cobalt, the G3 better than an Aveo and G8 is great, especially if it was a two door with a manual tranny. They also need to move GMC to an only heavy duty like with out light duty trucks. *sigh* Oh well, maybe in the future they will bring back Pontiac, or just KEEP IT!

Bill S.

April 27, 2009 3:16 PM

I bought a 1980 Pontiac Gran LeMans wagon with every option including a 350cid V8 engine with a 4 barrel carb and dual exhaust. General Motors equipped this car with a two speed Chevy Chevette automatic transmission which burned up at 30,000 miles and again at 40,000 miles. The warranty had expired. That transmission was designed for a cheap 4 cylinder commuter car, not for a heavy station wagon with a powerful motor. Any car crazed teenager could have told General Motors engineers not to mate that transmission with that motor. There's no doubt that GM put profit ahead of reliability when they designed that car. Do you think I'll ever buy another GM car? Not on your life!

dave c.

April 27, 2009 3:31 PM

The Pontiac G8 MUST stay. It is the best product offering from GM in decades. If it were not for this economic turmoil I find myself in, I would definitely have a G8 in my driveway.

77CanAm

April 27, 2009 4:14 PM

It is ironic that GM would kill their third best selling car line and keep one that is selling well in China, in the Buick. That does nothing to help the Buick dealers here in the states be profitable does it? GM screwed up when it decided to remove divisional autonomy in the late 70's early 80's. When the divisions lost their individual identities and had coookie cutter cars that were just rebadged, that was the beginning of the end.
Personally I would like to see GM sell off Pontiac, but that will probably not happen. Pontiac was a thorn in Chevys side for most of its existence, why unleash a non GM run Pontiac on the auto industry, because if a group of competant people bought it and made it work, it would threaten Chevy. Chevy has been stealing Pontiac designs for a long time anyway, examples 1964 Banshee, 1968 Corvette. 2000 GTO concept, 2009 Camaro. RIP Pontiac.

John

April 27, 2009 4:38 PM

The one thing that amazes me with these comments is the overwhemlming majority that hate to see Pontiac go. My first brand new car was a 1991 Grand Am with the infamous QUAD 4. But, mine ran to 147K before it blew it's head gasket- and that was 10 years later so I can't really complain too much. And that little red Grand Am LE blew away every BMW 3 series I ever raced! In recent years I acquired a very mint, nice, all original classic 1975 Grand Am with a real Pontiac motor- the 400 cid V8. This was the last of the mid-sized Pontiac muscle cars. Beautiful car. Not all 70's cars were bad and this was one of the best. BTW, the AC still blows cold, the cruise still works, and best of all, it has an 8-track that still works. Guess it was and is still built pretty damn well!!!

Rob O'D

April 27, 2009 9:08 PM

When I was younger we drove around looking for races in my 71' Chevelle. When I got beat we came back with my buddy's 68' Firebird. What a ride! R.I.P

John

April 27, 2009 9:18 PM

Two months ago I purchased a new Pontiac G8 GT. It happens to be one of the finest cars on the road at any price. Quick, roomy, great handling, and great looks, that is well built. I just stopped where I am staying tonight, and a person walking past the car said that is one great looking car, and that his daughter wants one. I told him he better hurry as they are killing off Pontiac. Earlier in the evening, and idiot in a Toyota Camry tried to pass me on the right, but somehow, his Toyota just didn't have the guts to pull off the manuver, and he signals to me like I am crazy. I am not crazy, I will piss off any jerk in a Toyota or a Honda whenever I get the chance, because these idiots would rather support a foreign corporation rather than a US based corporation.

I've owned both foreign and domestic and I have had far fewer problems with domestic brands, with the exception on one Buick in the early 80's. My brother's Toyota engine failed at 130K miles while I have yet to replace an engine in any domestic I've owned even after 300K+ miles. I've owned Honda's that have had both engine and transmission failures well below 100K miles.

The G8 GT is too good to die. The new Camaro is based on it, but lacks room and visibility to make it practical. I suggest any one looking at a mid/large sedan go drive one quickly, because once you drive it, you will buy it!

Brian J. Perkins

April 27, 2009 9:37 PM

(FULL SIZE) Holden Statesman ow becomes the Chevrolet Impala and the Holden Caprice becomes a larger version of the same car. Current Chevy Impala is gay, a favorite for rental agencies.

(MIDSIZE) Holden Commodore or Pontiac G8 now becomes the long awaited return of the Chevrolet Chevelle. Chevrolet Malibu continues as a smaller, cheaper in price version.

(SPORTS COUPE) Rebirth of the Camero.

(INSANE COUPE) And the Ferrari killer Corvette.

Seems like those four cars should become Chevrolet's flagships for the future. Those are already strong brands that can potentially do the company good in their car market. Crossovers/SUB need to get looked at for GM, seems they are constantly introducing new models. Seems risky.

I put a focus on Chevrolet because I feel that should be the only GM brand for the general consumer and that GMC for Commercial markets (emphasis on the C - Commercial). Cadillac for luxury, high end markets.

Buick, maybe a filler between the general market and the high end market(I think that's where GM's focus is).

Hummer, stick with Military R&D. Not consumer markets.

Saturn, I strongly feel needs to be on there own without big brother GM. Saturn merging with a European company can be good in producing cars of better value.

On another note, I just noticed a Chevrolet future car that looks quit similar to a Toyota Camry (2011 Cruze). Can't GM just focus on creating strong brands without constantly releasing new brands? Stick with the late 1960's, awesome cars back then.

Rob R

April 28, 2009 12:02 AM

BILL S,your full of Sh&*!!!.Gm NEVER offered a 2 speed transmission in 1980.their last 2 speed was made in 1973.
you had a turbo hydramatic 200...a 3 speed auto.This is part of the big 3"s problem,idiot's who don't know Jack ^&*(,but yet shoot off thier mouth on the computer.I'm willing to bet you couldn't even find the dipstick to check the tranny fluid level.

J Burke

April 28, 2009 12:12 AM

Today GM officially announced that Pontiac is gone. Probably one of the most ignorant moves I have ever seen from this company. Who cares what the White House wants in fuel efficient cars. If they cared about oil prices then they would go after oil companies. This is just a stupid effort on their parts to try to tell American's what they should be driving. Pontiac was always the division that made a bolder designed car. When you had the bland designs of Chevy you could always bet that Pontiac had a bolder, aggressive more stylish car. Now GM has destroyed a division that could have competed in the younger car buyer market. Competing with tuner cars and younger families looking to steer clear of the boxed mini vans of Chrysler. GM has nothing to offer the average American car buyer. You now have Aveo, Malibu and Impala. No practical American can buy a Buick or Cadillac for under $30000! Pontiac needed to be retooled, thats ALL. I would love to see someone buy the brand, make it more profitable than GM and tell General Motors where to stick it. I have always been a GM man, mainly a Pontiac man...but now FORD is looking better and better. I expect tomorrow that GM will announce that they are also changing their name to Geriatric Motors, offering such fine cars such as Cadillac and Buick. Brands that look great parked outside your local BINGO Hall or Shuffle Board match. Way to go GM!

miket2424

April 28, 2009 11:32 AM

I owned a pontiac with over 140K miles on it and the cadilitic converter dies, also the oil light always came on. So I would never recomend a pontiac to anyon e, they are all obviously lemons...

Jim

April 28, 2009 1:57 PM

As GM goes so goes America - By American
GOODBY!

Ashley

April 28, 2009 5:07 PM

What a sad sad day. I can't believe GM did this!! Everywhere I look people have a pontiac..and it doesn't sell? Are they insane? The very first car I learned to drive was a 91 Bonneville. I absolutely loved that car. When I got a really great job, I decided to treat myself to a 2003 Grand Prix. Today..I'm planning on buying another Pontiac.. Pontiacs last a very long time and they are very reliable. Looks like I'll have to just ride my bike if I can't have my pontiac! I really hope someone keeps Pontiac alive...Please....

Gene

April 29, 2009 2:37 AM

To bad about Pontiac. I have a '99 Grand Prix with over 130K miles, and it is the best car I have ever had (out of nine cars all together).

GM lost its mind when they ditched well-known names, like Grand Am, Bonneville, Grand Prix, for alpha-numeric labels. Who the hell knows what a G5 or a G6 is? I know people who bought a new Grand Am or Grand Prix ever 3-4 years. When those names went away, so did those customers.

I agree that GM has to many models competing with each other, but I think Buick should be dropped in the USA before Pontiac. If Buick is profitable in overseas markets, keep it there. In the USA, drop Buick and keep Pontiac, and bring back the car names we all know and grew up with. Make Pontiac leaner by getting rid of the lack-luster models like the G3 and G5.

Keep the G8, build it here in the USA instead of Australia, and call it the 2010 Grand Prix. When I replace my '99 Grand Prix, I want another Pontiac. Make mine black with a strong V6 or V8 and a 6-speed manual tranny.

Laura

April 29, 2009 11:11 AM

BUY AMERICAN TO HELP SAVE THE ECONOMY!!

ps

April 29, 2009 1:23 PM

Laura- Should I buy a Fusion made in Mexico or a Honda made in Ohio?

SHAWNA

April 30, 2009 12:07 PM

PONTIACS ARE THE ONLY CARS I'VD HAD SINCE I STARTED DRIVING. I HAD A 1993 GRAND AM, 1999 GRAND AM THAT WAS THE YEAR THEY CHANGED THE BODY STYLE. AND NOW I HAVE A 2003 GRAND AM GT... I LOVE MY CAR. THEIR MAKING A BIG MISTAKE WITH FAZING OUT PONTIAC....SO NOW WHERE WILL WE GO FOR SERVICING THE VEHICLES? GET RID OF THE BUICK LINE NOBODY DRIVES THOSE BUT OLDER FOLKS....AND THERE NOT BUYING THEM IN THE US..BECAUSE THEY STILL HAVE THE ONES THEY BOUGHT IN THE 1990'S....

Rick

May 1, 2009 1:34 AM

I really don't know where to start other than saying it is "typical" for GM to have their heads in the clouds and not near tierra firma where the ideals come from. Many other GM cars wanted to be the GTO. Olds said it meant, "Gone To Olds". And with real 11:1 compression Rocket V8's you probably could. But.. we had a choice.
My best driving car was a 69 LeMans. Dependable 350 (Poncho 350) and all the goodies. I loved cruising in my Pontiac on Route 66 while listening to the sound of Detroit.. the "Motown" sound..I currently have an 06 Mustang GT. While I favored GM, they didn't have what I wanted, the new Camaro. Yep, GM.. fashionably late.. GM, you should have listend to us, the buyers not DC. And why "is" the Buick still here? Think I'll go car shopping.. Anybody know where there is a 60's car lot..?

Bryce r

May 1, 2009 11:18 PM

I have no idea how GM could do this. When the economic status gets better so will the sales in the Pontiac brand. Too many people love and have loved these cars for a long time. I do agree that the Aztec might not have been a great idea, and the fact that so many people have had troubles with the grand prix. Mabey if they had not built such cheaply built cars in the past they might have a better reputation now... But Pontiac needs to stay and redeem themselves and show America why they are better that Buick. I'm so disapionted... I thought i'de be a Pontiac driver for life.

Mark Elliott

May 11, 2009 7:13 PM

Do not like to sell to family unless the vehiicle is dependable. Sold Chevy S-10 4-cylinder after 189,000 miles to my brother. Good mileage, easy to get parts, did not use any oil between changes, and highly dependable.

Now bought Vibe AWD, and love to travel in back couuntry. Rated high in relaibility and safety. Has automated steering adjustment and ABS, and hugs work gravel or snow covered. For extra safety has satelite OnStar, and rural dealers for service plus 100,000 five year warranty. Eat your heart out Subaru owners.

Mike S (i <3 Pontiacs)

May 24, 2009 11:40 AM

DON'T GIVE THIS COMPANY MORE MONEY! LET IT GO BANKRUPT! If they are going to get rid of my all time favorite brands Saab , Saturn, and Pontiac, then let them suffer! GM IS BY FAR THE MOST IDIOTIC COMPANY ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET!!!! The Malibu and Lucerne ain't got nothing on the G6!

now a ford man

May 24, 2009 5:59 PM

I'll tell you what also killed GM.. it's dealerships...I was a chevy guy til 1989 when I tried to buy a z28 was treated like dirt and was told you see the sticker that's the price..later that day I bought a new 1989 ford mustang 5.0 one of the hottest cars on the planet at that time. I got the car 3000 OFF STICKER and drove to that dealership and called that salesman to the front. I waved at him and left him and chevy in a cloud of tire smoke...
GM still doesn't get it..you don't need the same car badged 4 different emblems..that's called LAZY!!!! FORD gets most of my business along with Nissan who hire American workers to build car and truck here in the states

GTO

May 30, 2009 12:47 AM

It's an absolute outrage that GM has decided to kill Pontiac rather than Buick. That was a huge mistake. I'm convinced that Pontiac loyalists are more passionate and more numerous than Buick loyalists. I, for one, have purchased only Pontiacs all my life.

I'm extremely angry at GM. When I buy a new car, it will NOT be from GM. Pontiac has been outselling Buick almost two-to-one. Buick has never built cars that have had the legendary status of the GTO and Trans Am. Though those models are no longer being sold, they are part of Pontiac's legacy. I'm convinced that for most people, buying a car involves a significant emotional component. Pontiac brand loyalty is very strong.

When Pontiac is outselling Buick almost two-to-one, you don't kill-off Pontiac rather than Buick. I'm very certain that there are legions of angry Pontiac loyalists who will now refuse to purchase a new GM product. Why would these buyers wish to reward GM after what GM has done to a brand which has a following more strong and numerous than those of Buick? GM says that Buick is "more profitable" than Pontiac. We'll see how profitable GM will be now that it has killed a brand that outsold Buick almost two-to-one. This is a numbers game, GM. By killing Pontiac, you've angered MORE BUYERS than you would have if you had killed Buick. What do you think that will do for GM's sales overall?

RT

June 5, 2009 1:53 PM

Pontiac will be back - count on it...

G8-GT Driver

June 6, 2009 12:41 AM

RT,I hope you are right. They didn't put it up for sale, so something's going
on. GM is in a tough position, no doubt, being at the mercy of the 80% of taxpayer that would as soon see this great American Coorporation dismantled and bought in pieces by God knows who.
I've done all I can do for them. I purchased a 2008 Solstice GXP last year, a 2009 G8-GT just last week and I own a 2003 Chey ExtCad LS Siverado I bought new as well. So I've all the cars
I'll need for a while and am very proud to own them. All you Pontiac fans go out and buy a G5,G6,G8. They are some nice feartured cars and sure as heck beat the looks of the drab and boring Chevy counterparts. I for one like the concept of letter/number for car names. Let me name my own please, thank you very much. My black cat, Prowler cruises I-65 around 36054. Don't forget
to honk!

Jeremy

September 28, 2009 11:51 AM

All i hope is that the G8 survives and stays and an AMERICAN car.

Jeremy

September 29, 2009 11:41 AM

Hey Berry,
I own a 2002 Ford Mustang, got it new, and i treat it very well, but it is a pile of crap!it always has something rong with it, and last year i bought a new ford F 3500 witch aslo was a pile of shit,the trans went out after a mounth ,and it continued breaking down. i just traded it in for a new GMC 3500, and i have never been happyer. And o belive the Ford motto, Ford,.. found On Road Dead.

Mattson

October 10, 2009 6:01 AM

I got about half way through this page and had so many things to say. Now I find myself speechless. I for one love Pontiac, but the downfall was coming. I know they were headed down long before now, but phasing out the Grand Prix was a more recent idiotic mistake. As for the Monaro becoming the G.T.O, I think it would have been much wiser to make it the new Grand Prix. The G.P. went from a somewhat sporty looking (in 2 door form) little car, to a bulky catastrophe. The disgustingly wide rear was probably the main thing that turned me away from it. I liked the Monaro-GTO, but it's shape and form to me looks like a great contender for the G.P. I thought a V8 GP would be killer, and later they did make one, the GXP. I loved the idea, but the body was wrong. Marketing anything but a pure-blood GTO as a GTO is wrong, down right blasphemy... I guarantee it would've served it's purpose better as a Grand Prix. As far as the G5, it's the modern Sunfire, which was Pontiac's Cavalier(now the Cobalt). The multiple marketing of the same care is what bored me with GM. Hell, it's what bored me with ford in the 80's and 90's. As far as putting the same motor in nearly every GM car, I thought it was great when it came to the 3800 V6. The 3800 was a hell of a great V6, and I'd take it over most others.

As far as Pontiac being sold... I won't say I'm not disappointed. I am however thrilled to see Hummer go somewhere else. As a veteran, I can honestly say these domesticated family tanks make me want to puke.

Saab going bye bye really doesn't affect my opinion of anything, same with Saturn. They are both cars I've never liked, never wanted, and never considered. Had either of the two made an "appealing" bodystyle, I might have a different view.

We can sulk it up folks, the beloved Pontiac is gone, for now.

mike

June 23, 2010 1:28 AM

hopefully they stay up an make newer models of firebirds.those are probably the best models except maybe the G's,an a cuple days ago my gramm got hit while some one sped through a red light an her firebird was year 96 8 cilinder,loved that car

Jeff

October 18, 2010 2:41 PM

Over a year has gone by and we can see who benefited from this mistake. FORD has emerged with the brand that people are talking about. A Pontiac buyeer didnt want a buick or Chevrolet and couldnt justify overpriced Cadillacs. Ford has hit the mark with its redisigned Taurus, Mustang and Focus providiing the type of car Pontiac once was. Stylish, upscale reasonably priced cars boasting the latest technical innovations. We dont care about the Chinese market. You could have sold rebadged Pontiacs as Buicks over there. GM still doesnt get it nor will they get my business any longer.


Post a comment

 

About

Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Our man in Detroit David Welch, brings keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!