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If product is everything, then Pontiac may be one of General Motor's shining examples. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, while sales for the sporty brand may have dropped in the first quarter this year compared to 2005, some of those figures can be attributed to GM's de-emphasis of fleet sales as the automaker moves away from that market. And while the Solstice is still sold out, the G6, now made (in)famous on Oprah, has already posted a 78-pct increase this quarter compared to last year. GM partially attributes the G6's sales success to new trim packages, more powerful engine choices, and appealing design. The automaker points to studies showing that the brand has some of the youngest buyers in its segment, helping it to compete with Honda and Nissan.
But Pontiac watchers are concerned. They point to the upcoming G5, based on the Chevrolet Cobalt, and worry about a repeat of the badge-engineering that damaged the marque in the first place. Pontiac, though, says the G5 will be distinctly a Pontiac.

[Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Gee, Alex, you're such a classy guy. Nice vulgar non-argument. Have a great day.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I also test drove the G6 GTP with the 6sp manual, and found it the 2nd to third shift does make excessive mechanical noise. I also noticed this on the CTS with the manual as well.

      I have come to the conclusion that GM only offers manual transmissions to gain performance credibility. This was stated once when they offered the manual on the (long dead) Alero. They are only trying to have the manual option out there, but have the basic notion that their customers will buy 90% automatics.

      So considering those numbers, when it comes time to make budget cuts, and knowing that their customers are not serious about manual trans, they dont spend the design, development, and peice cost to make a quality manual. The Corvette is the exception- its a pet project within a company- to make its seem like its a company of car guys.

      GM has failed once again.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Reply to Eric's manual transmission on G6 GTP:

      Did you test drive the car before you purchased/leased it? I took the GTP 6-speed manual out (sedan) and found it to be one of the worst manual transmissions I've driven with for the past 6-years. Big turn-off. It reminded me of the 5-speed manual of a 1996 Z24 that I've driven. Since then, all my cars have been Japanese. As a comparison, test driving the Mazda6 V6 or the Honda Accord V6, both have silky smooth manual transmissions.

      I don't know if GM got this 6-speed manual from some cheap supplier, or if it was designed in house. Either way, for a performance vehicle, it's a complete disappointment. I will agree, that if I was in the market for an mid-size automatic car, the G6 would be on the list. But I'm happy with 3-pedals... so the G6 is off the list.

      On a side note, the new Saturn Aura looks great, both inside and out. Has decent engines, but NO manual transmission in either the 3.5L or the 3.6L V6. Probably because they realized just how bad the 6-speed manual from the G6 was, so they abandonded the project.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Regardless, this is good news for pontiac and gm. I feel they are on target for bringing in new buyers and having some solid product right now.

      I see g6's everywhere.
      • 9 Years Ago
      If GM made it's twins look distinctive this badge engineering wouldn't be an issue. Look at DCX with it's 300C, Magnum & Charger. Same basic platform and engine/tranny combinations. But the look so different from each other DCX can get away with it and sell em like there's no tommorrow.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Tom Design- The G6 has been getting outsold by the Honda Accord, and the Toyota Camry. The manual tranny on that car is truely a joke.

      You are probably another deluded GM or UAW employee- the G6 is only a hit to GM die hards. Anyone who desires performance, or reads the Car Magazines- Car Guys as they are called, will have a really tough time appreciating the lack of refinement of the G6. Its well documented in all the car magazines, and if you takes a test drive you can easily see this.

      Its not a car that is going to conquest a lot of sales- and thats what GM needs.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The amazing thing is that Pontiac sales are climbing without GM putting any real emphasis on the brand. Cadillac is obviously their first priority, currently followed by Saturn and Buick (Lucerne & Enclave).

      Aside from the Solstice (low volume), Pontiac hasn't been given anything new to really emphasize GM's design turnaround. I guess the Solstice is meant as a placeholder to say "see what we can do when we focus on a brand? just wait 'til it's Pontiac's turn to get our attention!"

      Personally, my last two cars have been Grand Prix's (2000 GTP and 2005 GXP) and they've been very reliable, fun to drive cars. I just wish that the FWD and 4spd tranny combo would go away already! The G8 (ughh, I hate these Pontiac names!) can't come soon enough IMO.
      • 9 Years Ago
      >>>Pontiac, though, says the G5 will be distinctly a Pontiac.

      We already have the G5/Pursuit in Canada and believe me, it's a rebadged Cobalt. Save for the front grille and the Pontiac badge on the trunk, the G5/Pursuit is IDENTICAL to the Cobalt.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Alex and Talix => you both can't read facts. The sales are up, the cars are selling, and that is great news for a car maker. "blindly" struggling? "Poor GM?" What are you guys doing to turn this article into bad news? You're either complete morons and can't read, or just have negative opinions that can't be moved by facts of success and accomplishment. I don't get people like you. If you don't like something, a car for example, and everyone else likes this and it's selling like hotcakes, then the problem is you, not the car. You just have maligned taste.
      • 9 Years Ago
      There are two issues discussed in the article: the new G5 and Torrent being Warmed over//first off the Torrent is very different looking than the Chevy Version and so will the G5. The Honda/Toyota people are nervous Gm is starting to produce appealing products at great prices..which explains Pontiacs sales climbing so fast! Just a friendly reminder: GM beat Toyota and Honda in JD Powers Awards, one of them went to the G6. The G6 plant is in the top4 for quality in North America. The G6 is offering so many configurations your crack on drivetrain ability is half-baked, especially when considering that Toyota and Honda have to relist proper horsepower ratings that were inflated 10-15%. I regularly blow past the Accord and Camry EVERYDAY! Also Toyota's interior plastics are 4X more toxic than GM's in a recent TEST. Also, long term Hybrid tests factoring in battery replacement and the energy needed to do that shows the cars are actually MORE costly than regular and MORE damaging to the environment. GM has flexfuel which is clean, and uses domestic fuel: corn! The G6 is also now out soon with a hardtop convertible..which the solara from Toyota DOES NOT have! Get a clue about American terrific products and employ your fellow neighbors with: a more updated vehicle with better awards from a better plant at a lower price. I haven't had a single issue with the G6 and I owned a 2000 Pontiac Grand AM..so I know what i am talking about. It also taught me to never overlook any issues any maker is having. I was absolutely taken back when I researched HONDA's and Toyota's issues which are not reported. Enjoy the stalling in motion recall on the Prius, The Gas pedal recall on the Civic and the false horsepower numbers. If you buy Mitsubishi, remember they lied for 20 years about defects and if you buy an Infiniti QX56.. it is one of the ten least reliable vehicles on the road. Be careful when you say GM an Ford are all junk.. you might be driving something on wrong perceptions instead of heavily researched facts. We invented the car, computer and airplane ...and can invent still. Do not forget that. It's like saying Hyundais new awesome Sonata is the same as the crappy Excel they started with. Gm/Ford are dialed in right now..and now is a great time to buy American cars that benefit YOU and America. Quit sending your dollars overseas or trying to lure plants here. The new Kia Plant in Georgia cost so much to lure it there it negates its advantage. Before you feel too much, think on research and then drive the winner. And my G6 has 4 big awards. Are you even aware of the innovations? Like auto volume, on star, netted truck holders, remote start? they go on and on..
      • 9 Years Ago
      I agree, despite Toyota's great reputation for build quality (which I don't dispute, especially in the engine bay), Toyota dealers are serious wheeler-dealers.

      You pretty much have to get a Supreme Court injunction in order to make them honor the warranty, and they are constantly trying to pin more costs on you with "recommended" repairs. It's a Toyota, it's not supposed to need so many repairs!

      Not so at Honda...from the smooth buying experience, to the simple options packages/trim levels, to the forthcoming service dept.
      • 9 Years Ago
      >Pontiac, though, says the G5 will be
      >distinctly a Pontiac.

      I wonder about that, though. Not long after the G5 was announced, GM Canada's website showed that the Pontiac Pursuit--which is basically identical to a Cobalt save for better taillights and a terrible looking grille--had a new name...G5 Pursuit. I have a bad feeling about that and I don't like what that may represent.
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