Pontiac says goodbye Grand Prix, hello G8

It's not like we didn't see it coming, but now that GM is officially tossing the Grand Prix nameplate, we're a little sad. My first car was a 1979 Grand Prix coupe inherited from my parents. It was rear wheel drive, just like the upcoming G8 replacing it. Tony Clarke, president of GM North America, said that, at a minimum, the company will have to double its ad budget to familiarize the public with the car's new name.

In the same Automotive News article, Clarke says while the Grand Prix name is no more, Chevrolet, after much discussion, will keep Malibu on its roster. "It has tremendous equity," Clarke told Automotive News. "and it is not easy to turn away from the equity that it represents."

So the Grand Prix name, which is 45 years old, is worth less than the Malibu name which was first used two years after the birth of the GP? Not only does the GP have a few years on the 'Bu, it was Pontiac's best-selling car last year. How's that for name recognition? It's difficult to see the wisdom of spending millions of dollars to introduce a new nameplate when the old one seemed to be in pretty good shape, but, hey, maybe that's why we aren't GM executives. Perhaps there were other reasons to get a name change. Perhaps the naming fashions will change again, and like rear wheel drive, Grand Prix will be cool again.

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

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