• Apr 23rd 2009 at 5:33PM
  • 109
According to a report from InsideLine, General Motors could axe Pontiac as early as this Monday. Although IL isn't citing its source within GM, it did contact the General's PR man, Tom Wilkinson, who said, "There's nothing I can share with you at this time... Officially, nothing has changed with Pontiac's niche-brand status, until you hear differently." Not very clear, but not particularly positive either.

The line about Pontiac's "niche-brand status" has been floating around since last December, when GM began to focus on its four core brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC – while readying the rest (Saab, Saturn and Hummer) for execution or extradition.

Pontiac's focus has been ill-defined (at best) over the decade, with solid products like the G8 coming to market alongside other less-than-stellar offerings (cough, G3). There was talk of reigniting Pontiac's performance heritage or even refocusing the brand as a Scion competitor. Regardless of past plans or intentions, there was no doubt that Pontiac was in the cross-hairs, and come Monday, we might know it's final fate.

[Source: InsideLine]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      All Pontiac needs to do is:
      Shrink the G8 about 5" and give it a proper 300hp V6 manual,
      Extend the Solstice about 4" and give it a 300hp i4 TT and a 350hp S/C V6,
      Kill all others for now!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope the Holden Commodore will come back as a Chevy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is really sad news, but then again, all of the cars can be made into Chevrolets or Buicks (G5 is the Cobalt, Vibe will be superseded by a Cruze hatchback, G6 could be replaced by the Buick Regal (Opel Insignia), G8 could be the next Impala, and Solstice could go to Buick somehow).
      • 6 Years Ago
      All I care to say is good riddance.

      I've had terrible, awful experiences with Pontiacs. My parents had a '96 Grand Prix then a '02 Grand Am GT after that. The Grand Prix was cool because it was the first car I ever drove, and I passed my road exam in it.. but man was it ever a pile of junk. Trips to the dealership literally every 2 months to get major issues 'fixed' (more like made worse), and the Grand Am was no better past a short number of years. I've only ever been in 1 accident before and it was because the horn in that damn car didn't work. Of all things to be faulty! I jammed on the horn several times but no sound came, so I was violated by a truck that didn't know I was sitting there. Luckily we got rid of both of those beaters before their warranties expired.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I had seriously planned to get a G8 in the next few years, once I'm done with my GMC Acadia. I have always bought GM vehicles for the last 25 years (since high school)

      If Pontiac is killed off - I'll never buy another GM product again!
        • 6 Years Ago
        "I had seriously planned to get a G8 in the next few years"

        you can finance for 80 years and have it right now,shop future lol
        • 6 Years Ago
        You can still buy it, and probably for a lot cheaper than if Pontiac still existed. Seriously, I can't imagine anything being much cheaper than buying a car from a closed up brand from a possibly bankrupt company. You could probably get the G8 for half the price, lol.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think that the end of Pontiac began when they made about ten different models and from fifty feet away they all looked exactly like a Grand Am.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It always kills me to see how many people chim in on GM topics all the while wanting it to fail, most don't have a clue what's going on................too bad you are going to have to put up with GM for another 100 years and complain about the billions they are making each quarter
        • 6 Years Ago
        Pontiac had the split grill long before BMW!
        • 6 Years Ago

        Your statement is grossly inaccurate: "too bad you are going to have to put up with GM for another 100 years and complain about the billions they are making each quarter"

        More accurate statement is:

        "too bad all of you (including you msm) are going to have to put up with GM for another 4 years and complain about how your paycheck is getting smaller and smaller after billions of tax dollars you pay is redirected by Obama and crew to GM in order to keep it afloat...

        When you go in to a GM dealer, make sure you tell them "hey, you better be nice to me, because as a U.S. taxpayer, I own part of your employer"
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't want GM to fail, not at all.

        I will be happy once Pontiac's cheesy brand image is toast. Keep the [good] cars, kill the label. Factories don't care what brand is on the door, and buyers will still buy a good GM car at the end of the day. Just none with BMW-aping split grills or Indian arrowhead motif badges.

        Hopefully GM saves the good cars though...
      • 6 Years Ago
      You think I could get a G8 at a fire sale price after this? I drove one a couple weeks ago and I loved it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No more Trans Am :(
        • 6 Years Ago
        R.I.P. Pontiac, some of you will be missed.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Agreed. I had hope for Pontiac a couple of years ago, but now I think it's best to just kill the name and shuffle their only good cars to other brands.

        One of the best ideas I've seen for how to replace the Impala came from GMI. You see, the FWD Impala is popular for some reason (among who and why, I have no idea), and GM is hesitant to move it to RWD. The idea GMI had? RWD Impala based on Zeta and FWD Caprice based on a stretched Epsilon II. It would keep both sane people and those who like the FWD Impala happy, and it would preserve the historic distinction between the Impala and Caprice; the Impala is the sports sedan, and the Caprice is the soft-riding big car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My bet's on notgonnahappen.
        • 6 Years Ago
        For people who have been alive long enough to remember when a Pontiac really was a Pontiac, that company died as soon as they started putting Chevy motors in the Trans Am. Having spent many a day wrenching on small block Chevys and Pontiac 400s, I'd take the Pontiac block 400/455 any day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, ....I wonder how GM got in such deep s*&&^ with so many pundits sitting at their desks offering advice on brand strategy.
      /sarcasm off//
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can someone please explain to me why GM is keeping Buick? Talk about a brand with no direction or reason to be. Most of the people who have traditionally bought these vehicles can no longer drive (ie they are in nursing homes, trust me I know this demographic well). Can't imagine the baby boomers are going to be pining to drive a Buick like their parents did. Sell the brand to some Chinese auto company and be done with it. It will never be the pseudo Lexus that Bob Lutz envisioned it to be. It has no heritage and no future. Pontiac has an incredible history and with cars like the G6, G8 and Solstice, it actually has something to offer for the first time in a long time. GM killing Pontiac would once again reaffirm the reason they are soon to be chapter 11 and liquidation not long after that. WTF?!?!
        • 6 Years Ago
        1) Buick's average buyer age has dropped from 67 in 2000 to 54 today. Toyota's is 51. So your assertion that they're all old people is clearly out-of-date.

        2) Buick is the #1 selling brand in China, the biggest car market in the world at the moment. GM ain't giving that up.

        3) The Enclave is an excellent vehicle, a cash cow, and gets plenty of conquest sales.

        4) The LaCrosse and Lucerne are cheap to build and go at high transaction rates, so they're profitable, too. The whole division is making money.

        5) Buick just topped JD Power's VDS, knocking Lexus off its long-held perch.

        6) Buick was the cornerstone of the formation of GM in 1908. It's got massive sentimental value to GM.

        7) With the Enclave and upcoming LaCrosse, Buick's image is only going to further improve with these two fantastically-styled, fuel-efficient, quality-made, reasonably priced, beautifully trimmed vehicles. It's poised to be the FWD near-luxury brand that can continue to be profitable for GM AND have little trouble hitting CAFE.

        8) Closing Saturn, Pontiac, Hummer, and Saab dealers is already going to be enormously costly. They probably don't want to add Buick to the mix.

        9) Internally, GM's designers are excited about making their mark on the Buick brand. With that in mind, Buick's future design portfolio should be all the future the division needs.

        10) The biggest generation in America's history is right at the age that Buick's classically attracted.

        11) Buick has the third-highest highest sales/model of all of GM's divisions (behind Chevy and GMC).

        Pontiac should go because:

        1) They compete with Chevrolet on all but 1 model (G3 v. Aveo, G5 v. Cobalt, Vibe v. HHR, G6 v. Malibu, G8 v. Impala/SS, Torrent v. Equinox) - the Solstice.

        2) Pontiac's average transaction price isn't any higher than Chevy's, which means that it's only making money for GM by adding a LITTLE volume, though it takes away from the bottom line by adding production complexity and unique parts stocks for vehicles that bring in no more money. It's probably a wash.

        3) Pontiac can't be true to its heritage and the sporting direction GM's wanted to take them and still meet CAFE. They just can't. They've tried repeatedly and failed miserably every time.

        4) Besides Saturn and the brands it's acquired (i.e., Hummer and Saab), Pontiac is GM's most recent brand, coming on in 1926. It is the only survivor from GM's "companion marque" campaign in the late '20s (Pontiac was created to be paired with an existing Oakland, Viking was created to be paired with an existing Oldsmobile, Marquette was created to be paired with an existing Buick, and LaSalle was created to be paired with an existing Cadillac). So the sentimentality within GM isn't there for Pontiac like it is for Buick.

        5) If Pontiac did become the niche brand, and they axed Buick, they'd be losing more actual AND potential sales, as the three Buicks currently offered would sell about 8x better than the Solstice and G8 do, which are the only vehicles that would survive in a "niche brand" scenario.

        6) Pontiac is a more damaged brand than Buick. Buick may be for old people, but Pontiac is associated with laclustre Montanas, plastic-clad Sunfires and Grand Ams, the Screaming Chicken, and - worst of all - the Aztek. Oh yeah, and the sales failure that was the GTO revival. Buick's cars, though sedate, have never had the reputation for complete crappiness that Pontiac's recent models have. The Rainier and Terraza weren't great, but they weren't really promoted, and were really just Oldsmobile runoff anyway. And both vehicles were in production in 2006, which was the year examined for JDP's VDS, and evidently, they contributed to Buick's tie-ing for first.

        7) Pontiac's dealer body is probably too small to give the brand the volume it needs to remain a key player in GM's bottom line. Not to mention that sales increases would only take away from Chevy. So Pontiac is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Buick's profit-per-vehicle is high enough that they can make plenty of money with this same, smaller dealer body and expand sales without competing directly with Chevy or Cadillac.

        Does that help?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm going to cry...

      ...and I'm going to have to change my name to Malibu Dayum. :(
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