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Pontiac moves up production of 2009 Vibe to Q1 2008

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GM Speeds ’09 Vibe to Meet Matrix Timetable
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By James M. Amend | Link to Original Article @ WardsAuto


General Motors Corp. will accelerate production of its redesigned ’09 Pontiac Vibe by at least two months, a move meant to satisfy an advanced timetable for the ’09 Toyota Matrix and growing consumer demand for choices in the upper-small car segment.

The 6-year-old Vibe and Matrix share a common platform. The Vibe is built at New United Motor Mfg. Inc., a Fremont, CA-based facility operated jointly by GM and Toyota Motor Corp. The Matrix is produced at Toyota’s Cambridge, ON, Canada, plant.

Toyota wants to update the Matrix because it has attracted families, rather than younger buyers the auto maker originally sought.

“The styling does not have the sense of motion about it,” says Mike O’Brien, head of product planning for Toyota Motor Co. USA, during a recent industry event in Michigan. “It’s a bit boxy. And it just does not have the appeal to young people that we had hoped for.”

In speeding the Matrix redo, production of the ’09 Vibe now will begin in first-quarter 2008, ahead of a typical NUMMI production turnover in mid-second quarter.

“They are sister vehicles, so the timing that would affect one vehicle would affect the other,” a GM spokesman tells Ward’s.

In GM’s case, the earlier the redesigned hatchback arrives the better. More fresh choices in its fuel-sipping small-car portfolio could help diversify its mix.

Vincent Brown, a sales associate at Inland Valley Pontiac-GMC-Buick in San Bernardino, CA, likes the idea of a new Vibe arriving early but also hopes the redesign distances the Pontiac model from the Matrix.

“The Vibe and Matrix look way too similar,” he says.

While the current Vibe achieves a thrifty 33 mpg (7 L/100 km) on the highway, its model range also has shrunk to just a single variant after GM discontinued all-wheel-drive and GT variants with the ’07 edition.

GM says those models likely will return with the redesign, although given the Vibe’s fuel efficiency, plans do not include a hybrid.
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I would be interested in an AWD, 200+hp model. But if they try to pawn off one of those lousy, gutless Toyota engines on us I'm going to be ticked.

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Finally after two plus years of me whinning the AWD model is about to return. It will have a Toyota motor, that's why it's getting 33 mpg currently. I think it needs a diesel engine, but hey that's just me.

Now to resume my whinning about the HHR not having an AWD option. :smilewide:

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Why bother?

The time and effort and money put into this thing could be spent on a much better model.

Adding AWD to this will never make it a WRX competitor.

I will be much happier when all of these space filling models go away to the new models that will replace them. The sooner the GP, G6, Vibe and G5 are replaced the better.

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This could be either a big hit or a major miss on GM's part... It's all about the execution and launch.

It be nice to see both the G8 and the Vibe give Pontiac a nice boost in credibility (with the greenies) and sales.

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Why bother?

The time and effort and money put into this thing could be spent on a much better model.

Adding AWD to this will never make it a WRX competitor.

I will be much happier when all of these space filling models go away to the new models that will replace them. The sooner the GP, G6, Vibe and G5 are replaced the better.

:word:

Pontiac doesn't need the Vibe, and GM doesn't need Toyota.

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:word:

Pontiac doesn't need the Vibe, and GM doesn't need Toyota.

Maybe the fuel effiency of Toyota's engines though...

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Sad that it's going to have a stinking Toyota motor and clone of matrix styling with the ever tiresome plain slab sided look that every manufacturer is forcing down our throats these days. Why can't GM use there own styling with a more rugged look like the current model and use there own Ecotec motors?

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Sad that it's going to have a stinking Toyota motor and clone of matrix styling with the ever tiresome plain slab sided look that every manufacturer is forcing down our throats these days. Why can't GM use there own styling with a more rugged look like the current model and use there own Ecotec motors?

Maybe because they want something that gets good fuel economy?

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I got great mileage from my 2.2 EcoTec. The oil filter was rather expensive and the exhause manifold developed a crack, but it got very good mileage.

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Dump the Vibe. Make a Pontiac hatch from a modified HHR. Give it the 1.8 from the Astra and an economy geared transmission and it will meet or beat the Toyota 1.8 in economy.

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what y'all forget is that the vibe is in a lot of cases, one fo the very few GM cars that gets shopped by mainstream car buyers. the folks i have talked to that have either owned one or dirven one really liked them. it sells good for GM and gets people into otherwise not visited pontiac showrooms.

I would prefer the vibe be more GM in style and engine, however, the vibe is a bright spot in GM's lineup and doing something absurd like a 'modified HHR' would not work.

bottom line, vibe is almost the one car that brings in the ani-GM crowd. and its prob because its a toyota. ask yourself why that is.

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what y'all forget is that the vibe is in a lot of cases, one fo the very few GM cars that gets shopped by mainstream car buyers. the folks i have talked to that have either owned one or dirven one really liked them. it sells good for GM and gets people into otherwise not visited pontiac showrooms.

I would prefer the vibe be more GM in style and engine, however, the vibe is a bright spot in GM's lineup and doing something absurd like a 'modified HHR' would not work.

bottom line, vibe is almost the one car that brings in the ani-GM crowd. and its prob because its a toyota. ask yourself why that is.

Agreed. I dare say it's more significant to Pontiac than the G8.

The Vibe is a lot more space efficient than the HHR.

Edited by empowah
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<dream mode> A 260 hp Turbo Ecotec Vibe GXP AWD </dream mode>

I forgot to mention Kappa based. :banghead:

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Well, if they're going to ramp up the production... let's hope they keep quality up.

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Agreed. I dare say it's more significant to Pontiac than the G8.

The Vibe is a lot more space efficient than the HHR.

The problem is this is not a car that Pontiac needs to represent them as a performance division. THis car would be much better suited to Saturn and should be 100% GM as there is no reason to build cars with Toyota. GM could get great milage too if they put under powered engines in their cars.

If this is the most significant car at Pontiac it tells me the GP is long in the tooth and only a fool or fleet buyer would want it now. This shows the G6 missed the mark to claim import buyers. It also says the G5 came too late and to much like a Chevy.

The Solstice and G8 represent the new direction and they are are not the car that define the final destination of Pontiac. They both are steping stones.

As for the Vibe is is the most non Pontiac of any offered and is only a blip on the screen.

Finish the deal with Toyota and move on as GM has the ability to make a better car that fits Pontiac's true image better than a under powered odd wagon. Pontiac is image and performanc not economy and practical. The niche postion should be used for it's strength and not wasted on a car for the average driver.

Pontiac was a car for people who wanted to be noticed and stand out when they pulled into to a parking lot.

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Pontiac dealers want something that sells. They are gushing because the Torrent is lighting up the sales charts. Image and brand purity are great, but they don't always pay the lights and payroll.

Vibe sells enough consistently to be a contributor in that area. If no Vibe or torrent, you may not even have a pontiac dealer to sell those G8's in.

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If Buick really is getting a Delta II compact as has been rumored, they can just make a hatch/wagon variant off of that. Again - Pontiac does not need the Vibe, and GM does not need Toyota.

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Vibe sells enough consistently to be a contributor in that area.

Year to dte sales for the Vibe are less than 25,000 units, hardly a consistent seller. ON the other hand it has been around for a long time and the refresh will help out its poor sales.

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and GM does not need Toyota.

Perhaps they do for the production overcapacity and to pay the union workers and their retirees.

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