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Put Pontiac Out Of Its Misery?

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Phase Out Pontiac to save Buick and GM:

Can Pontiac adjust? Or more importantly, can the public adjust to the new image of Pontiac? Pontiac has called itself the brand that drives excitement, but truthfully, it lacks any such excitement. I mean:the Grand Prix as a performance car? Come On! It is a masked vehicle most youths would never want, the stodgy, yet elegant in my opinion, Buick LaCrosse. These days the brand uses hyperbole to sell,and not in a limited amount, I mean calling a V6 a powerful engine is normal, but saying sleek styling, performance bred engines, is over the top!

The main reason Pontiacs arent selling is the fact that they are no longer performance cars, the current Pontiac lineup has nothing unique about it. Couldnt you buy a Chevrolet version of the Grand Prix or Grand Am? Also, you cant say that Pontiac is upscale, they still have a few shreads of performance left in them, including the bare, bland interiors of the muscle cars, and the front ends that have defined Pontiac since the days of the 59 Bonneville. But whats the point? The GTO looks like a normal Pontiac sedan from afar, but upon inspection, it is a differnent vehicle!

The styling is what makes it look like a run of the mill Pontiac, if it had been styled in a retro fashion, ala.the Ford Thunderbird, it would have appealed to buyers, but GM couldnt give some life to the famed muscle car! The G6 looks very much like a Cobalt with a changed front fascia and rear, which did justice for the Firebird, but the Firebird had a differnent engine! Cant these engineers and bean counters learn that rebadges 80s style never work? Rebadging goes back to the 30s, when Ford and GM discovered the economics of using one platform, with modifications for cars. The Pontiac Cheiftain and Chevrolet Bel Air were similar in body and platform, but had differnent engines and distinct, yet similar, styling! If GM could relive those days in certain practices, GM could actually rival the weakening Toyota and the stronger Korean automakers. Some say killing Pontiac would close assembly plants and dealers, why not have these branches become dealers for other brands, and produce other cars, as in more than just Cobalts and G6s? I say, kill Pontiac.

Its lifespan was not supposed to be much longer than a few years. It was created to be below Chevrolet, but above the now defunct Oakland brand. When Pontiac began outselling Oakland, Oakland was phased out and Pontiac replaced Oakland. But nowadays, whats the differnence between a Chevrolet and A Pontiac? The front fascia, and the rear spoiler! Is it worth keeping a division that only has that going for it? Also, Pontiacs semi, well, lets face it, little or no sucess is coming at the expense in marketing dollars and repairs of a more deserving brand:Buick. It needs an image change because its customer base of elders is eroding, or should we say, following the brand because of the mindset, its old, its damaged, just lets let it die.

Buick, along with the strong Cadillac division, is on the other hand the car for growing China! The two brands are the most popular in China and Asia, and you dont see Pontiac breaking the sales charts in China, one of the biggest auto markets in the world. So whats the point of having a brand thats sucessful on none of GMs major sales regions? All Buick Needs is a rehab in North America, and it will join the likes of Chevrolet and Cadillac in GMs favorites list.

If Pontiac goes, some argue, GM will have lost an important part of itself. But honestly,in an abstract way, its been phased out. Yes, I said it has been phased out, why? One, it no longer is associated with performance in this generation, nor is Buick associated with luxury in the U.S. and Canada. Two, it is no longer unique, or somehow radically differnent. But the real depressing thing is that after the last true performance car, the Firebird, left what remained was a shell of Pontiac, a dying brand, almost saying OH! Just kill me! Which new Pontiac has associations exclusively with the brand. The Aztek? Nope, its a bad association. The Grand Am? Nope, just a stripped down Monte Carlo, ie.stripped of dignity. So, to put it simply:None.

What to do with the platforms Pontiac uses? Turn the G6 into the Buick O4X, an edgy Buick with Acura performance and luxury. The Solstice could become the Buick Bengal, it would make the perfect American Porsche! The Torrent could have its frame used for the Hummer H4, and the vibe will become a Chevy.

Also, Cadillac could try to make the Camaros rear wheel drive platform into a 64 Riviera inspired Cadillac LTS Sedan. The Riviera would have become the Cadillac LaSalle, so lets have an ultra luxury coupe for Cadillac! This would replace the rumored Pontiac Firebird or GTO.

If it isnt Pontiac who gets the Axe,who will? GMC cant because it is sucessful as the Buick of trucks, above Chevrolet, but below Cadillac. Hummer? Not yet, but honestly, it only makes up 1% of GMs revenue. Same with Saab, so maybye it should be 2 brands who take the walk to the retirement home. Of Course, Saab could be sold to Chrysler, or even BMW, maybye reborn as an independent company. But like other GM joint ventures, it could use GM platforms under license, while GM uses the Eco Tech engines, or it could buy the Eco Tech engine from Saab after the sale.

Bottom Line:Pontiac has to go. Good bye old friend. :(

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OK, who wants to start?

Balthazar I think I hear someone calling your name! :AH-HA_wink:

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:banghead: Im behind A Brick Wall, so I can hear opinions, but stay unharmed like a GMC Sierra! :P

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I noticed that you left out any mention of the Solstice in your writing. That car is a big leap forward in Pontiac's perfromance brand image: It is light, nimble and RWD. Plus, it has pretty sporty styling to boot (though I prefer the Sky, personally). The upcoming turbocharged GXP version will push Pontiac's performance rep up even more.

As to what you did mention:

There's no hard evidence that the GTO would've been a better seller had it been retro-styled. The SSR was retro-styled and that didn't exactly fly off of the lots, did it? While I can't say why exactly the GTO didn't sell better, I (and others) can hazard a few guesses:

-Greedy dealer markup when first released.

-Not enough of an advertising effort on GM's part.

-The (then) new Mustang stole some of the thunder.

Pontiac these days is actually becoming more healthy, IMO. IIRC, year-over-year sales have increased and I believe there's a potential for more exciting new product to be coming our way (Commodore VE, anyone?).

I don't think axing Pontiac would be a wise move. Pontiacs appeal to those who don't want a (compartively) stodgy Chevy or Buick and want a more performance-oriented vehicle. Think an American Nissan. If you get rid of Pontiac, a greal deal of those customers will likely defect to Nissan or Dodge (possibly Ford as well).

The last thing GM needs right now is to lose any more customers.

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The solstice aint exatly unique ethier, it was turned into the Sat. Sky! :lol2: GOD GM! NO MORE 80s STYLE REBADGES! GIVE EACH VERSION OF THE CAR A UNIQUE PERSONA,AND IT DOESNT MEAN AN IMAGE! :duh: PONTIAC SHOULD BE PHASED OUT IN FAVOR OF CHEVY! AND BUICK SHOULD REPLACE CERTAIN PORTIONS OF PONTIAC! PONTIAC HAS NO SALES RECORDS YET,ANYWHERE! JUST KILL THE SHELL OF A ONCE GREAT BRAND! Sorry that I got into a rant :unsure::blink::(

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Sorry I got into a fit over GMs rebadges. Okay, if you must, Pontiac can die an Oldsmobile death, decling sales, etc.

Everyone said the Aurora would save olds, olds is in the brand retirement home!

The same situation is likely to happen to the solstice.:huh:

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I am past weary regarding these radical armchair diatribes. 'Everything is wrong and here's all the solutions'- fffftt!

First off, "GMC", you're miles off on the historical points:

>>"Rebadging goes back to the 30s, when Ford and GM discovered the economics of using one platform, with modifications for cars."<<

{How to start......} nothing regarding 'platform' (anachronistic term when talking about this era) sharing was discovered in the '30s; GM Divisions each usually only had one chassis from inception to.... roughly 1960. Cadillac and the divisional 'dawn' years may be the pointed exceptions.

And it's NOT "rebadging". Rebadging is designing a vehicle, then changing the emblems and a few minor details (grille textures, taillight lenses). Nothing close to this practice was going on at GM until the '70s.

>>"The Pontiac Cheiftain and Chevrolet Bel Air were similar in body and platform..."<<

No 'platforms' here. Maybe a few more similarities than those between a Bel Air & a Galaxie.... but there's no point here.

>>"...but had differnent engines and distinct, yet similar, styling! "<<

'Distinct yet similar'? O-ooookkkkkkk.......

>>"Its lifespan was not supposed to be much longer than a few years. It was created to be below Chevrolet, but above the now defunct Oakland brand. When Pontiac began outselling Oakland, Oakland was phased out and Pontiac replaced Oakland. "<<

You have not researched this; why are you posting it?

There was no planned limit on Pontiac's lifespan.

It was originally slotted to be right where it is- above Chevrolet (& below Oakland).

>>"The Grand Am? Nope, just a stripped down Monte Carlo...."<<

Sorry, Camino, I can't continue!! Good night!

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<_< I knew someone would start flaming me... but heres distinct yet similar. The Bel air and Cheiftain had similar details, Ie.extra/deleted trim,The same body and chassis, but also distinct details, like the engine,and the cheif,Bowtie, grille and bumper differnences.

Also, I made a typo, Pontiac WAS supposed to last, but I flipped the Chevy Oakland thing around.

It SHOULD have read:

Pontiac was created to be below the now defunct Oakland, but above Chevy. When Pontiac began outselling Oakland, Oakland was phased out and Pontiac replaced Oakland. But nowadays, whats the differnence between a Chevrolet and A Pontiac? The front fascia, and the rear spoiler! Is it worth keeping a division that only has that going for it? Also, Pontiacs semi, well, lets face it, little or no sucess is coming at the expense in marketing dollars and repairs of a more deserving brand:Buick. It needs an image change because its customer base of elders is eroding, or should we say, following the brand because of the mindset, its old, its damaged, just lets let it die.

and there are two differnent types of rebadges:

The *80s* kind, where the vehicles are almost 100% the same...

and the *Classic* kind, where the same platform and body is used for a variety of cars, but there are engine and actual differnences that would compell me to buy a Pontiac over a Chevy!

And if you are going to critiscise me, do it in a less sarcastic and sadistic way.

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uhm...

Turn the G6 into the Buick O4X, an edgy Buick with Acura performance and luxury. The Solstice could become the Buick Bengal, it would make the perfect American Porsche! The Torrent could have its frame used for the Hummer H4, and the vibe will become a Chevy.

Isn't all that just the badge engineering you claim to dispise? Changing the name from Pontiac to Buick will NOT make it a porsche. Secondly, the Saturn Sky is around. Third, the Solstice and Sky are an American Miata... or American Z3.

Talk about diluting the brand, have you seen the uproar about Jeep's Compass? Putting the H4 on the Theta platform would be a disaster.

Vibe should just die at this point, the HHR is a better package.

The G6 in it's current form is not appropriate for Buick. There have been some very attractive Epsilon platform chops for a Buick Skylark, but they didn't use the G6 as their base. Should Buick get an Epsilon? My vote is yet. Does that mean Pontiac should die? Definately not.

Also, Cadillac could try to make the Camaros rear wheel drive platform into a 64 Riviera inspired Cadillac LTS Sedan. The Riviera would have become the Cadillac LaSalle, so lets have an ultra luxury coupe for Cadillac! This would replace the rumored Pontiac Firebird or GTO.

<flame on>Why not use the rear drive platform... and ... wait a minute, it's coming to me...... make.... a Buick Riviera out of it!? </flame off>

Cadillac has the superior Sigma, and sigma is already coming out in a coupe.

Edited by Oldsmoboi

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Guest YellowJacket894

I couldn't disagree more with this article. The writers over at "The Truth About Cars" give GM more credit than this.

Pontiac is in a state of transition at the moment, that's all. I suspect that vehicles that come after the G5, G6, GTO, Vibe, and Torrent will be what we expect them to be: a Pontiac.

And I would think that the Solstice is a big wink at what may come.

Killing Pontiac would be like a shot in the arm for GM Canada. The Arrowhead brand sells better than Chevrolet up there. Deep-sixing the G-Six division would reap negative effects concerning profit. And piss off a lot of buyers and enthusiasts in the process.

Our current Pontiac line seems to come from GM's desire to globalize all brands. We've basically got the same line as GM Canada's Pontiac, except for the G5 sedan (which you Maple Boys still can purchase, right?).

I think you also forgot that the G6 hardtop, although a bit pricey, is selling very well. And it's a welcome sight.

Next time, don't put your foot in your mouth. And keep a close watch on what may come.

Edited by YellowJacket894

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The big question is, can GM keep Pontiac on life support long enough to turn it into a division with a unique identity, an identity that people will care about and be relevant to the industry?

Because, my friends, Pontiac as it has existed for the past 20 years cannot survive in GMs future. In my opinion, if Pontiac is to survive it will HAVE to become something completely different within GM, offer things that other divisions do not. The Solstice is a good start, its a nice entry-level roadster that offers something different from the rest of GM. The Sky has its own target, as its more expensive and VERY different in style.

The Pontiac as we know it today will not exist 10 or even 5 years from now. It will either be gone, or be completely different.

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I think only one thing needs to be addressed:

Can Pontiac adjust? Or more importantly, can the public adjust to the new image of Pontiac?

183720[/snapback]

These questions have already been answered. Pontiac can adjust and so can the public. You totally forgot about the Solstice, and it shows that the answers to those questions are a resounding YES!

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Frankly I couldnt even finish reading the whole thing then we start another topic with the same long post only edited ?

GMC you are so full of gas.............Killing Pontiac would be more dumb than killing Buick which would be more dumb than killing Oldsmobile was. First, Pontiac has been the highest seller of the former BOP..................HELLO !

Then theres this little thorn in the side that has been stealing R&D dollars from the hands that fed it in the first place. Its called sat urin. That, is the problem that has needed to go.

But lets forget all that and the interior problems we have hashed into unusable pulp already and concentrate on the nonsence you posted about Pontiacs current line up.

While its been nearly destroyed by deleting the big Pontiac Bonneville, failing to style the late Grand Prix properly, using a body for the GTO that reaks of a 1996 Monty Carlo torpedo and a few strange looking "trucks"............Pontiac has delivered performance.

GTO - repeatedly given the best bang for the buck status from the auto rags, much praise for its roadworthyness and interior. Providing excellent results in all track tests........ while they give victory to others..............just because

GTO is kickin Porsche & BMW butt on the race track.........repeatedly

GP GXP performs at the top of its class in all track testing including - against RWDer's, yet others got the nod...............just because..........

G6 GTP achieved an excellent blend of track results against the competition yet it was placed last ................just because...........

Solstice - will prove its worth in the comming summers as it to will take the wind out of its competitions sails, its already begun to do that.........Solstice is of no concern...........if you dont count the production problem of not having enough on market...........and that surely has nothing to do with the ..............thorn in the side.

G6 coupe in my opinion is the best looking non "exotic" car out there today. But this is the type of styling I like, fastback, aggressive slope, phat hips, its just sexy to me. Not only is it very aggressive looking it is aggressive driving. In fact thats my biggest complaint with ours (GTP). Its not much fun to just casually drive on back roads, you need to press it to make it work nice. It totally acts like a performance car that is just not happy with kindness. It likes to be a bit misused, then the suspension begins to act right, then the feel of the fast steering meets the road on que, then the engines RPM work well with the 6 sp. Dont get me wrong, its great for lazy cruisin IF your not spoiled as I am from over a decade of H body luxury yachts. The GTP smooths out just nice at speed and yes indeedy it is a performance car, straight line or crooked, breaking and shifting, it would totally smoke an old GTO on any road.

I believe styling in the mood of the G6 coupe was needed for the GTO

I believe they could have done much better on the last Grand Prix. The styling in the back and front, toned down that nose and uncheapen the rear end but thats all water over the dam and irrelevent with the old retireing W chassis to make worthy of yet another discussion.

Bonneville is just a damn shame, I just saw one of the last renditions, today in pearl and that car just jumps out at you. Thats excitement, when they grab your eye like that.

Soon when we get the RWD platform Im sure Pontiac will deliver another great performer with great looks to provide more enthousiasm.

Pontiac and Buick are not the problem..........its whats getting in their way !

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The G6 looks very much like a Cobalt with a changed front fascia and rear, which did justice for the Firebird, but the Firebird had a differnent engine!

183720[/snapback]

You have no idea what you are talking about.

The Epsilons were among the most well differentiated products GM has offere in many years. It shares almost nothing (minus interior parts and mechanicals) with other Epsilons, not to mention the Cobalt. Yes, the taillights looks of similar design from a distance, but they are completely different units. This problem was fixed on the coupe, which looks nothing like the Cobalt. And are you saying the 3.5L is used in the Cobalt? Wake up!

This article is of Buickman quality, replace Wagoner with Pontiac, and this is what you get.

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All you guys need to read the Oct 2006 issue of Motor Trend to see

who is beating the drum for Pontiac, and what they are beating it with!!!

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Guest YellowJacket894

This article is of Buickman quality, replace Wagoner with Pontiac, and this is what you get.

Think GMC is Buickman with a new skin?

A thought... :D

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:( Dear forum members,

I was in a hurry to write this article and should have consulted you before this article came out, and I also would like to say, you make a good set of points, and Balthazar is right, in a few places I didnt make sense! So next time I should do the article and revise it before I submit it. I think that the vibe is a bad idea, after all, Isnt GM supposed to COMPETE with toyota? The H4 in my old article would be a disaster, and also, to create an american porshe, the Solstice must have its hood retooled to make room for a Supercharged V6, similar to the Regal GS, and the O4X must get the same treatment(a supergharged V6). As a matter of fact, name the Supercharged V6 the Fireball 6, named after the old straight six engines classic buicks used.

Yours Apologising,

GMC

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GMC= >>"I knew someone would start flaming me..."<<

You're not getting flamed; you're being corrected. You must at least understand the problem/situation before you can offer 'solutions'.

>>"heres distinct yet similar. The Bel air and Cheiftain had similar details, Ie.extra/deleted trim,The same body and chassis, but also distinct details, like the engine,and the cheif,Bowtie, grille and bumper differnences."<<

They do NOT have the same bodies and they do NOT have the same chassis's. Glass interchanges, nothing else does. Again, this is the basis for a lot of what you're stating, and it's incorrect.

>>"and there are two differnent types of rebadges: The *80s* kind... and the *Classic* kind, where the same platform and body is used for a variety of cars, but there are engine and actual differnences that would compell me to buy a Pontiac over a Chevy!"<<

There is no readily recognized "Classic rebadge", either in definition or practice. You're misusing the term to the detriment of your thesis. This is problematic with those who assume GM's recent problems extend all the way back to 1908. Like I said, don't make assumptions on GM's history or vehicles unless you research reputable sources first, elsewise you can expect exasperated responses.

PS: It was the Buick "Fireball 8"; Buick used inline 8-cylinder engines, not inline 6s.

Edited by balthazar

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:P Oops! You Were right again! I am normally a whiz, but I tried to hurry, without checking if I was correct, Buick used straight Eights, but Fireball V6 or Fireball 6 has a nice ring to it.

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