When we first got word earlier this year that GM was working on a new small rear-wheel-drive platform called Alpha, everyone thought that Cadillac and Pontiac would be the first brands to get it. A rear-wheel-drive replacement for the Euro-only BLS was a given, considering that Cadillac has to compete more aggressively with the BMW 3-series over there. The Pontiac model, meanwhile, was expected to replace the front-wheel-drive Epsilon-based G6. Its inclusion in Pontiac's lineup would give the brand two rear-wheel-drive sports sedans, finally offering customers some of that excitement they've been promised for so long.
Motor Trend is now reporting that the high-volume Alpha model will instead be a Chevrolet sedan. Given that Pontiac is supposed to be more of a performance brand with the Solstice and upcoming G8, this move doesn't really make sense if it's in fact true. Chevy already has what appears to be a winner with the new Malibu, and a smaller rear-wheel-drive sedan seems at odds with the brand's current ethos of mainstream, family friendly, versatile and affordable vehicles. We suspect a group of vocal bean counters convinced someone that more Alpha-based sedans would be sold in the U.S. if they wore a bow tie, and perhaps that's true, but if GM really wants a coherent brand strategy among its many marques, then the Alpha should be a Pontiac.
[Source: Motor Trend]