• Jan 12, 2009
In an interview Sunday with Automotive News (sub. req'd), Troy Clarke, GM's North American president, said that General Motors will be able to make good on its promise to Congress to drastically cut costs. Clarke said that GM will now focus its "product and marketing resources" on Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC. That would leave Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and HUMMER in automotive limbo. As part of that same plan presented to lawmakers, GM said it would sell or close Saturn. And since no one has yet stepped forward with cash, the future is not at all certain for the unique brand despite what GM's marketing VP Mark LaNeve says.
In a separate interview, Bob Lutz told AN that Pontiac will also have to get by with only four models: the G8, G5, Vibe and Solstice. Or five models if you count the Solstice coupe separately as Lutz does. Shrinking the brand would complete yet another promise GM made to Congress to make Pontiac a niche brand.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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  • 130 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess now is the time to make all the drastic changes while you have a good reason to do so under mandate from Uncle Sam. It'll be interesting to see what comes from all those dealers. I imagine Saab will find a buyer, but Saturn certainly can't be sold.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hyundai should buy Saturn and make it a performance brand. =D

        Really though, Saturn is a failed experiment. The idea of making a completely separate and unique brand failed for GM, and they struggled to create an identity for it since it was assimilated in 2000 or so.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Saturn is not a failure, all its vehicles are quite good. Problem is, its redundant.

        Aura - Malibu - G6

        Outlook - Acadia - Enclave - Traverse

        Sky - Solstice

        Vue - Equinox - SRX(?)

        Only the Astra stands alone, and its not doing enough volume to merit it's existence.
      • 6 Years Ago
      With this news, the first nail is in the coffin. Any consumer that hears this will seriouly write off these fours brands from their list when purchasing a vehicle.

      This is defiintely a blow to all the dealerships that are invested in these brands. It really is a shame, Saturn finally showed that it had potential but GM had ignored them for so long that all the great cars it released in the last two years couldn't get the attention of the american public.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm not sure the worry is that any consumer that hears about this will write off Pontiac, Hummer, Saab, and Saturn, because the average Joe doesn't have a clue. They don't even know what car models are available at what dealer, much less read AutoBlog of the financial news where this type of thing might be covered.

        But, if they stop advertising for these brands, sales will certainly drop. Since a reduced Pontaic would survive, they will presumably still get some advertising dollars though.

        So what models is Pontiac losing? G3 (which has barely gotten started to date), G6, and Torrent. Torrent doesn't seem like a big deal, so the main loss is the G6.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In some ways it makes sense to keep GMC because of fuel economy perceptions. Keep Chevrolet as cars which implies good fuel economy, since Chevrolet trucks added to the mix adds to the perception that Chevys are gas hogs. Keep GMC as trucks with the heavy duty capabilities and the inevitable heavier fuel consumption.

      And I like GMC front-end styling more than the Chevy truck styling anyways.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, GM should go under if they think that GMC's and Caddy's are going to save them. Lots of people have already said it, but all GMC vehicles are just rebadged Chevys, so why not axe that excess. Pontiac....come on people, that brand died long ago. I understand Hummer and Saab, but Saturn, WTF. I always thought Saturn would be GM's saving grace with their newer line of vehicles, its the only reason I drive America right now and not German. Have you people seen the Insignia car concept, go take a look.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Actually, I think the only good cars GM currently has in it's line-up are the Saturns and Saabs - everything else is scrap on wheels, with design that screams "Committee". For too long, far too many people have bought into the whole "style over substance" ethic that GM has promulgated since at least the mid-50's.

      What they really ought to do is combine Chevy and GMC trucks, roll the Saturns into the Chevy brand, axe Buick and Pontiac, stop selling the Cobalt, Aveo, Impala and Malibu, bring us some European-spec Opels badged as Chevys, and sell Saab, Cadillac and Hummer.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wait? So they won't market Saturn, Pontiac, Saab, and Hummer?

      Whats new??? Non-existent marketing hasn't worked yet, why would it work now?

      Axe those bitches and cut them off now. Take your hand, GM, and cut off those 4 fingers. If you want to live to see tomorrow do it. Do it now!!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Over 50? So what? The average of the Camry buyer is soaring...at last check 58. They're not hurting.
      The average age of the Buick buyer is falling, from 67 to 63. It will get even lower.

      The g-6 convertible needs to become a Buick.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can't understand why they'd keep the Solstice. Those don't sell well at all, at least not as much as the G6.
      • 6 Years Ago
      IIRC the Solstice is going away before too long because it is a money loser (way too much assembly time). So before too long it's going to be 3 models at Pontiac. The G8 and the Vibe I can understand keeping, but the G5? Holy brand dilution Batman!

      Saturn really ought to be able to be sold once the economy smooths out. Saab and Hummer might just be cheaper to kill. Oddly enough I think low oil prices hurt the prospect of selling Hummer-lots less oil wealth chasing ego purchases.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yup, Solstice and Sky have to be revamped. No money in the kitty for that. I guess they're gonners.

        Matrix and Vibe? I believe their contract run is about up now. Not sure what Toyota and GM are conjuring up as a sequel.

        G8. Poor sales. Where's the dust bin?

        G8 ST. Cancelled.

        G6. History.

        G5 is on its last legs. Goodbye.

        How to manage a company into oblivion. Who needs those 300,000 (er, 150,000) customers anyway? Gawd, I hope the Pontiac dealers don't see the writing on the wall. Could be more costly than buying out Oldsmobile.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Are you kidding? That means the G6, their largest selling vehicle, will be chopped?? In any case they should be dropping the G5 since all it is is a niche coupe Cobalt, without the "SS" T/C version that can be easily dropped. Since the Aura will be up on the chopping block, the G6 should be left. Just when I had confidence in GM's decisions after seeing the Caddy version of the Volt yesterday,,,,
        falcon5768
        • 6 Years Ago
        G6 is losing ground to the Malibu which is basically the same vehical, and much newer. The only thing the G6 honestly has over any of the others is the coup. The Saturn and new LaCross have the MUCH better engine and tranny configuration, the Malibu has what many considered the better styling.

        The G6 has fun little bolt ons that make you look fast, but thats about it. And even there its questionable as I didnt even consider a G6 over the Aura or Malibu.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Also... the G6 out of the 3 Epsilon brothers has the most, yet still very limited, aftermarket. I'm a moderator on G6Performance.com We have some functional appearance mods like the MPD Hood I have, Intakes, Exhaust, and tunes, that's about it. My 2006 GTP w/ 3.9L has all the performance mods there are out there that isn't completely custom, and I have only got it from a stock 240hp/240ft-lb crank to possibly 270's for both at best. Still only maybe 220's, maybe 230 top make it to the wheels. Most mods for the G6 minus exhaust can easily be used on a Aura or Malibu but no one with those cars are looking for aftermarket besides a few Malibu SS's we have on G6P.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Didn't know they dumped them for 2009MY. As of 2009 they were all the same.
        The Malibu still has the 4 speed mated to the 2.4L though, not like the 2009.5 G6 or Aura... Chevy doesn't have the latest and greatest!? O.o
        • 6 Years Ago
        @WoodburyMan...

        Which 2009 Aura or Malibu trim has the 3.5 V-6 powertrain?

        NONE
        • 6 Years Ago
        One more addition. A quick look at the Saturn and Pontiac sites shows that only the Aura has the 4cyl with the 6spd as standard. The Pontiac site also shows the 4spd as standard with the 2.4L with the 6spd as optional.

        Once again, though I think it has more to do with production capacity issues. If Chevy offered all the 4cyl Malibus to be built with the 6spd, the tranny plants likely couldn't keep up with demand. So, they choose to offer it as standard on a lower-volume version instead until production can meet that demand
        • 6 Years Ago
        To be clear, when I say never, I'm speaking in terms of this current iteration of Malibu, i.e. '08+.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well,

      Here we go again.

      Pontiac, Saturn and Saab are getting some decent products and now GM is leaving them in limbo.

      Get rid of the top brass at GM. Period!!!

      Saturn should get models from Europe and Pontiac from Australia and hummer should get more fuel efficient engines!!

      Come on this isn't that hard!!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hello,

        Yes, I agree.

        Hummer killed? Yes. Sell it and get money for it.

        Buick should have fewer models and they should be marketed as top of the line models to that would compete with Nissan, Honda and Toyota's top end models. Marketing and advertising should do this. Stop the comparison with Lexus. Cadillac can handle those ads.

        Pontiac needs to advertised and marketed as the sporty European alternative. Holden should be Pontiacs models and they should be built here in the US. The G6 should ghe Holden HVS sedan (the old Cadillac Catera), the G8 is a holden and bring the hot looking wagon on board. Dump the pick up truck. That should be the all new Chevy El Camino. Drop the G5. Bring the Corsa in as a new model.

        Saab needs to stay the way it is. New models are coming and Saab needs better marketing and advertising.

        Chevy is the bread and butter division and it needs better quality interiors. Too cheap looking.

        Keep all the current models, add new smaller models and upgrade the Impala to compete better with Toyotas Avalon, Nissan's Maxima and Ford's all new Taurus.

        Chevy needs all new smaller SUVs as well. Lose the Trailblazer and replace it quickly.

        Thanks.
        • 6 Years Ago
        even better. kill hummer altogether, align saturn 100% with Opel and build them in the U.S. minus the Meriva, and Corsa, and kill the outlook, reduce Pontiac to G6,G8, and a totally new from the ground up G5 And make them all performance tuned, limit GMC to the likes of isuzu for commercial sales, leave SAAB as it is because it still keeps to its swedish roots (the only thing SAABS share with the rest of GM is the Epsilon chssis, and Onstar), and SAAB always was and will be a niche vehicle, keep buick the way it is but update the lucerne, last but not least, make Chevy the volume brand and reduce the product output of the other brands to make a total of 120,000 units manufactured between them. and only increase output when demand for the vehicles increase. but then its GM. no matter how great their products become, they still get dumped on.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It has never been announced or hinted that Saturn would be closed or sold. Not in the proposal to lawmakers or since then.
      This does not mean that it could not happen but putting such a statement out there is nothing but damaging.
      There are people relying on Saturn staying afloat to make their livings. Be it salepeople to other varied professions. I know that such statements have hurt innocent people both financially and mentally.
      It is a mighty sword- the pen and now the keyboard. The internet give a certain amount of credability to those who do not deserve it.
      If you read the article from Automotive News, they do it right and do not put a slant to the situation. Autoblog is a lesser source of information if such statements are left unchallenged. Who checks the authenticity or the accuracy of a writer's words.
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