When the president tells you to sharpen your pencil and improve your last-ditch survival effort, it's time to grab the big eraser. According to reports, General Motors may ditch its GMC and Pontiac brands to demonstrate just how serious it is. If the auto lines go, GM would be pared back to Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac, a mere shadow of its former self, but the nameplates might become more clearly defined with the added breathing room. Ford's got its trifecta of Ford, Mercury and Lincoln, so GM would match that setup should it unload Pontiac and GMC in some way, as well as carry through with its ongoing process of shedding Saturn, Saab and Hummer.

While Pontiac actually has some unique offerings, GMC is rumored to stand a better chance of sticking around. It still wouldn't be cheap to do away with the brands. There are dealers who will not go quietly into the night, meaning GM will be looking at the possibility of finding a buyer for yet another piece of its puzzle. Of course, everyone's keeping mum about the possibility of life without Pontiac or GMC.

UPDATE: According to General Motors' sales chief Mark LaNeve, the automaker has no intentions of killing off Pontiac or GMC. LaNeve admits that GM is continuing to tweak its strategy, but reports that "GMC is going away are just unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue."

[Source: Bloomberg]