There are a lot of questions left unanswered after General Motors announcement this morning that its Pontiac division was not long for this world. One of those is what will happen to GM's joint venture agreement with Toyota to produce models at the New United Motor Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) facility in California. The Pontiac Vibe is currently produced there along with the Toyota Matrix, its platform mate. GM has stated that it's already negotiating with Toyota to produce a new model at NUMMI that would be sold under one of the automaker's remaining four brands – Chevy, Buick, Cadillac or GMC.
Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson told Automotive News, "There's really nothing wrong with the Vibe. Its only problem right now is that it is a Pontiac." The Vibe, a tall five-door hatchback, could simply be rebadged a Chevy to keep development costs down, though selling such a model in bow tie dealerships could cannibalize sales of the HHR, which itself is scheduled to be replaced in 2011 by a production version of the Orlando Concept. Or, GM could simply start fresh and develop an all new model off of the Corolla-derived platform that underpins the current Matrix and Vibe. As with all things GM at the moment, nothing is firm and more details (and rumors) will surely follow.
Check out our own review of the 2009 Pontiac Vibe.