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Old 04-24-2009, 02:57 PM   #1
Layman
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Default Officially official: Pontiac is dead.

It's at the top of CNN right now.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/24/auto...ion=2009042414

Quote:
GM to pull the plug on Pontiac
The brand credited with originating the muscle car will not be part of GM's future.
By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney.com senior writer
April 24, 2009: 2:27 PM ET

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.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:58 PM   #2
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:00 PM   #4
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Damn, what am I going to rent when I go on vacation?
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:00 PM   #5
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You just caused my co-workers to peak over their cubicles at me.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:00 PM   #6
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Meh. Sucks IMO. Pontiac has substantial heritage.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:00 PM   #7
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No more G8??
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:01 PM   #8
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No more G8??
Hopefully it becomes a Buick or Chevy.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:01 PM   #9
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Time to go get a deal on a G8!
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:02 PM   #10
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Hope the make a few Solstice Coups before they get axed
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:04 PM   #11
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They'll be called teh Chevy G8?
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:05 PM   #12
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They'll be called teh Chevy G8?
Chevelle would be more appropriate, but also slightly blasphemous.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:06 PM   #13
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Call it an Impala and get rid of that horrid Pontiac nose, make it more like the Holden front-end.

It would probably sell better.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:07 PM   #14
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fools.
They keep Buick because it's the flavor of the week in China, and kill off a marque that has a deep performance history.

Absolute Idiots.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:07 PM   #15
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Call it an Impala and get rid of that horrid Pontiac nose, make it more like the Holden front-end.

It would probably sell better.
Agreed. Recent Pontiacs have tried so hard to be "bold" that they forgot to make them look "good."
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:07 PM   #16
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Hope the make a few Solstice Coups before they get axed
Uh.. the Solstice/Sky have been discontinued for about 6 months now. The Coupe will never be made. They made about 1/10 of their projected sales with those horribly packaged cars. Nobody wants an uncomfortable car with no usable trunk.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/09/02/r...a-ii-platform/
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:08 PM   #17
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Pretty
Obvious
Notion
That
Its
A
Cadaver
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:09 PM   #18
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Chevy Monaro? It has a certain ring to it. It sounds reminiscent of Bitchin' Camaro.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:12 PM   #19
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Also, kind of disappointed with the whole restructuring plan thus far... Why does one company need multiple "brands" that sell the same **** to begin with?

The brands' identities are and always were ****ed up anyway; Pontiac was sporty/GT type "excitement" while the "Working Man's Car" Chevrolet division had the top sports car. GMC is "trucks" but Chevy sells trucks, too.

Yeah, totally makes sense to keep Cadillac and Buick. And Chevrolet and GMC.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:12 PM   #20
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Pretty
Obvious
Notion
That
Its
A
Cadaver
reachin a little there, aren't ya?
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:13 PM   #21
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...

*moment of silence

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Old 04-24-2009, 03:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypa View Post
fools.
They keep Buick because it's the flavor of the week in China, and kill off a marque that has a deep performance history.

Absolute Idiots.
Yeah, you're right. What are they thinking, getting rid of the brands that are in the red while keeping the ones turning a profit. Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Morons.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
Uh.. the Solstice/Sky have been discontinued for about 6 months now. The Coupe will never be made. They made about 1/10 of their projected sales with those horribly packaged cars. Nobody wants an uncomfortable car with no usable trunk.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/09/02/r...a-ii-platform/
I SAW a coupe on a dealer lot this past weekend.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:15 PM   #24
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:Aztek:
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davemeister View Post
Also, kind of disappointed with the whole restructuring plan thus far... Why does one company need multiple "brands" that sell the same **** to begin with?

The brands' identities are and always were ****ed up anyway; Pontiac was sporty/GT type "excitement" while the "Working Man's Car" Chevrolet division had the top sports car. GMC is "trucks" but Chevy sells trucks, too.

Yeah, totally makes sense to keep Cadillac and Buick. And Chevrolet and GMC.
Chevy = cars
GMC = trucks
Buick = soft luxury
Cadillac = sport luxury
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