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Troubling article from Autoweek online

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"No Trans Am for Pontiac"

By JAMIE LAREAU, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers will get 12 new or special-edition vehicles over the next 20 months--but they won't get a Pontiac Trans Am.

Pontiac had lobbied for a sibling vehicle to the Chevrolet Camaro, which is scheduled to arrive in February 2009.

General Motors' plan to make Pontiac a rear-wheel-drive performance car division is likely to be scaled back because of fuel economy regulations, GM leaders told dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention this past weekend.

One dealer said the business case for the Trans Am didn't compute.

"It was an economic situation," said Lynn Thompson, owner of Thompson Motor Sales in Springfield, Mo. "It would cost $200 million to bring out the vehicle."

Pontiac will remain a car-only brand for the foreseeable future, dealers were told. But because of new legislation requiring vehicles to reach a fleet average of 35 mpg by 2020, Pontiac might not end up as GM's performance division, dealers said they were told.

"The plan is being tweaked because of the gas situation," Thompson said. "I hope they don't give up on performance because they don't have to. You can use four-cylinder engines to achieve incredible power."

Buick-Pontiac-GMC will give dealers six new or special-edition vehicles--such as the special-edition GMC Sierra pickup, called Pro Grade, this year. They will get another six next year, dealers who attended the meeting told Automotive News.

Executives also told dealers that GM will build nearly 55,000 Buick Enclave crossovers this year. Dealers said Jim Bunnell, head of Buick-Pontiac-GMC, told them GM increased Enclave production by 41 percent from the initial production plan. A dealer said Bunnell told them Buick built 6,400 Enclaves in January, and then added, "But it's still not enough."

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It only has to mean, they only get smaller, lighter 4-cylinder cars, no V8s, and no V6s except in the GXP Models.

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"The plan is being tweaked because of the gas situation," Thompson said. "I hope they don't give up on performance because they don't have to. You can use four-cylinder engines to achieve incredible power."
I guess that means there could be some sporty, performance Pontiacs but with 4-cylinder engines.

Buick-Pontiac-GMC will give dealers six new or special-edition vehicles--such as the special-edition GMC Sierra pickup, called Pro Grade, this year. They will get another six next year, dealers who attended the meeting told Automotive News.

So for this year what do we know?

1. Pontiac G8

2. Pontiac G8 ST

3. GMC "Pro Grade" Sierra pickup

4. Buick LaCrosse Super

5. Buick Lucerne Super

6. ???

Then for next year?

1. Buick LaCrosse Epsilon II/NG

2. Buick LaCrosse Epsilon II/NG hybrid (knowing how GM counts)

3. Pontiac Solstice Targa???

Edited by wildcat
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Suddenly, it's 1980.........

At worst, we may see a temporary (5 to 10 year) 'hump' as the manufacturers adjust to the new reality. I lived through the onslaught of the K-car, J-car, Escort and Tercel. So will we all survive it again. Look at the hp numbers that a typical 4 cylinder today put out, then compare that with an 8 cylinder of 1980. The engineering advances are remarkable.

The new CAFE numbers will scare the manufacturers temporarily, but then they will adapt. Fun will never go away, it may just go on hiatus for a few years while the engineers figure out how to make fun vehicles that get 45+ mpg.

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Who needs displacement when you've got advanced turbocharging, electric assist, direct injection, and six or seven gears?

A four-cylinder Solstice GXP does 0-60 quicker than a V8 Trans Am.

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Let me clarify: my "troubling" comment stems from the vague tone in regards to Pontiac's future. I know CAFE has every manufacturer's plans in flux, but the question remains: now that GM is backing away from reaffirming their earlier plan to make Pontiac all-RWD in the coming years, will this give them an excuse to totally give up on the brand altogether?
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This is not anything earth shattering as we already knew there would be no Trans Am. We also knew THe G8 was it for the Zeta with the GTO gone. We also knew there was a good change the Alpha would replace the G6 in the future without the V8.

This is much the same statement as AutoWeek and Please note there will be 12 new and special editions car introduced in the next 20 months at Buick GMC and Pontiac. It was stated in bot storys. A few of those will be Pontiacs. Solstice Coupe or Targa? G8 ST or GXP?

Now with that said here is what was in the Aitomotive News.

Since Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers are in the process of consolidating their showrooms, many were likely hoping for a halo product that could draw customers into the showroom. Hey, wouldn't a version of the upcoming Chevy Camaro badged as a Pontiac Trans Am revival do the trick? Maybe, but at the NADA conference this week, GM told these dealers that a Pontiac Trans Am is not going to happen. Blame the new, more stringent federal fuel economy regulations for killing off this cool idea. In fact, the new regs also mean that the automaker will be scaling back on transforming Pontiac into a rear-wheel-drive performance division. Though GM assured dealers that Pontiac will remain a car-only brand, the assurance that a debacle like the Aztec won't happen a second time is little comfort to those who were hoping Pontiac would once again be the brand that builds excitement. And who says performance has to be totally sacrificed for fuel economy? New powertrains are being developed that make the most of the internal combustion engine's efficiency, and a twin-turbo, direct-inject four-cylinder can make gobs of power while being much more efficient than an equally powerful V6 or even V8.

GM did inform Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers that they would be getting 12 new or special-edition vehicles over the next 20 months. A special-edition GMC Sierra pickup called Pro Grade was mentioned, for instance. Still, the quashing of any hope for a new Trans Am means that the number of vehicles slated to share the Camaro's rear-wheel-drive Zeta platform in the U.S. is dwindling. Only the Pontiac G8 and G8 ST car-based truck are confirmed, with Zeta-based rear-wheel-drive sedans for Buick and Chevy still up in the air. This means that without the ability to spread out costs across a number of new vehicles, the price of producing these vehicles will likely be high and passed on to the performance-minded consumer.

[source: Automotive News]

The bottom line is many of the worlds best performing cars today are not V8 car. The 4 and Six cylinders are today providing enough power to beat any of the muscle cars of the past while driving circles around them. Hell with only a few mods from the GM perfromance book you can move a GXP solstice well into a reliable 420 HP+ range. Oh and yes you will still have good torque.

Many of the smaller sedans will provide us with cars that will run with much of what we have today. Lutz knows what sells and we will not have to give up much in return. But some will have to get over the stigma that you have to have a V8 to have fun.

We will not see 1980 again as this is 2008 and we will see all not just GM add many more Turbo's and DI in just the next few years. THese engines will be a far cry from the GN and T types that were not engineered correctly like todays engines. We will still have V8's but they will be the odd engine out and only in more expensive cars like Cadillac or the Vette with much less displacment.

Stop the panic as most here are informed enough to know better than the average Motor Trend reader.

Edited by hyperv6
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Sorry, no V8 and I'm gone.

Say what you will, but I'm not interested in small cars, V6s or 4 bangers. And you can forget all about FWD - never, and I mean never, will I buy one.

Vettes and Caddys aren't really my thing and I'm not willing to spend the cash on them.

So, one more rip-roaring V8 Pontiac and I'm all done with new cars until what I want becomes available again.

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Holden and Pontiac, dead? Why should we let this happen?

GM will methodically move toward 2 world brands... copying Toyota, Nissan and Honda. It will be Chevrolet and Cadillac only. I honestly don't see how they expect to maintain any semblance of leadership with a long-range plan like that.

Edited by ocnblu
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"No Trans Am for Pontiac"

By JAMIE LAREAU, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers will get 12 new or special-edition vehicles over the next 20 months--but they won't get a Pontiac Trans Am.

Pontiac had lobbied for a sibling vehicle to the Chevrolet Camaro, which is scheduled to arrive in February 2009.

GOOD!

The last thing Pontiac needs is an identical coupe to Chevrolet. And also, the LAST thing Pontiac needs is a sports coupe based on a heavy assed sedan platform. C'mon guys! Common sense.

Pontiac needs SOMETHING, but a rebadged Camaro it ain't.

General Motors' plan to make Pontiac a rear-wheel-drive performance car division is likely to be scaled back because of fuel economy regulations, GM leaders told dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention this past weekend.
...f@#k... Someone needs to enlighten GM that RWD doesn't have to mean big n' fuel thirsty. Are they really this stupid?

Kiss Pontiac goodbye fellas. And GM can kiss my ass goodbye.

One dealer said the business case for the Trans Am didn't compute.

Obviously!

Pontiac will remain a car-only brand for the foreseeable future, dealers were told. But because of new legislation requiring vehicles to reach a fleet average of 35 mpg by 2020, Pontiac might not end up as GM's performance division, dealers said they were told.
So what is it going to be? I guess this bull$h! is a result of Chevrolet and Cadillac whining? (Since apparently those are the only two divisions that will matter in the future... apparently)

"The plan is being tweaked because of the gas situation," Thompson said. "I hope they don't give up on performance because they don't have to. You can use four-cylinder engines to achieve incredible power."

I agree! But one V8 needs to be offered at least.

Executives also told dealers that GM will build nearly 55,000 Buick Enclave crossovers this year. Dealers said Jim Bunnell, head of Buick-Pontiac-GMC, told them GM increased Enclave production by 41 percent from the initial production plan. A dealer said Bunnell told them Buick built 6,400 Enclaves in January, and then added, "But it's still not enough."

Looks like GM's gonna water the Enclave down.

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But some will have to get over the stigma that you have to have a V8 to have fun.

So now my choice to buy a V8 is a "stigma"

Well, I think the choice to buy a hybrid is a horrible one as well (The batteries will destroy our environment) but I don't insult people because of it.

No V8 available = No sale.

Simple as that. V8's need to be offered in stuff other than Cadillacs and Corvettes.

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Holden and Pontiac, dead? Why should we let this happen?

GM will methodically move toward 2 world brands... copying Toyota, Nissan and Honda. It will be Chevrolet and Cadillac only. I honestly don't see how they expect to maintain any semblance of leadership with a long-range plan like that.

If that is the case, then I hope the company burns in an agonizing death.

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Who needs displacement when you've got advanced turbocharging, electric assist, direct injection, and six or seven gears?

A four-cylinder Solstice GXP does 0-60 quicker than a V8 Trans Am.

Agreed. No need to abandon RWD. There are plenty of fuel efficient ways to get performance. I hope GM isn't as, for lack of a better term, stubborn as some of the traditionalists that want everything to be powered by V8s. Some of the best 'bang for the buck' cars are turbo-charged 4cyl compacts, like the EVO. Take that recipe, add actual style, a RWD layout, and you should have a great line up of fuel efficient performance vehicles.

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Agreed. No need to abandon RWD. There are plenty of fuel efficient ways to get performance. I hope GM isn't as, for lack of a better term, stubborn as some of the traditionalists that want everything to be powered by V8s. Some of the best 'bang for the buck' cars are turbo-charged 4cyl compacts, like the EVO. Take that recipe, add actual style, a RWD layout, and you should have a great line up of fuel efficient performance vehicles.

Not everything powered by a V8 BV, just something powered by a V8. We've been deprived of good RWD V8 cars too long to have them all snatched away now.

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...Buick-Pontiac-GMC will give dealers six new or special-edition vehicles--such as the special-edition GMC Sierra pickup, called Pro Grade, this year. They will get another six next year, dealers who attended the meeting told Automotive News.

Well, that was enough to gain my attention, so I checked out the ordering guide. Seems as if it's only available on the SLE1 (3SA package) Extended & Crew Cab models and includes the following:

Pro Grade Edition, includes (LY5) Vortec 5.3L V8 SFI engine, (LC9) Vortec 5.3L V8 SFI FlexFuel engine or (LMG) Vortec 5.3L V8 SFI FlexFuel engine, (G80) heavy-duty automatic locking rear differential, (Z82) heavy-duty trailering equipment, (AG1) 6-way power driver seat adjuster and (P60) 4 - 20" x 8.5" (50.8 cm x 21.6 cm) 6-spoke machined aluminum wheels

1 - Requires T*10753 or T*10543 models. Not available with (PCR) Sierra NFL Edition, (PDU) Power Pack Plus, (PDA) Texas Edition, (PEB) South Central Value Package or (PCL) California Package. When any (PCM) SLE1 Preferred Package is ordered (N88) wheels are replaced with (P60) wheels.

Doesn't seem like anything special to me <_<

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Agreed. No need to abandon RWD. There are plenty of fuel efficient ways to get performance. I hope GM isn't as, for lack of a better term, stubborn as some of the traditionalists that want everything to be powered by V8s. Some of the best 'bang for the buck' cars are turbo-charged 4cyl compacts, like the EVO. Take that recipe, add actual style, a RWD layout, and you should have a great line up of fuel efficient performance vehicles.

OKay..

Am I asking for every car in the GM stable to be RWD/V8? I don't think so...

All I ask is that I have a few more options than a Corvette or a Cadillac.

Gas is not an issue for some of us.

Like it or not; Pontiac should ALWAYS have a V8 flagship car if it is to be the 'performance division' of General Motors. Leave the turbocharged V6 halos for Buick, Saab and Saturn.

Jesus man, it's no wonder america gets eff-ed over so much these days... 2 months into the fuel economy regs and most of you "enthusiasts" are already throwing in the towel and swallowing whatever is shoved down your throat. :) Whatever happened to innovation?

Why do people buy Abercrombie Jeans when American Eagle Jeans will suffice? Why do I buy a V8 when a V6 will suffice? Freedom of choice! (Which is slowly being taken away in our new homogeneous misery that is reality)

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Agreed. No need to abandon RWD. There are plenty of fuel efficient ways to get performance. I hope GM isn't as, for lack of a better term, stubborn as some of the traditionalists that want everything to be powered by V8s. Some of the best 'bang for the buck' cars are turbo-charged 4cyl compacts, like the EVO. Take that recipe, add actual style, a RWD layout, and you should have a great line up of fuel efficient performance vehicles.

BV, that formula works wonderfully for compact and mid-sized cars. But I guess I'm just as stubborn as everyone else when I say a large rear-drive sedan has to offer at least one V8 engine. It doesn't have to be a whole slew of them, just one at the minimum.

I was watching Top Gear on You Tube (seems to be a frequent thing here lately) and they were reviewing the Astra VXR. Watching that car torque steer was in one particular part of the review, well ... it reinforces the idea that a "front-drive performance car" is little more than an oxymoron and mostly a bad idea. Feeding anything over 200 horsepower to the front wheels of a car that are also expected to steer the car, well, it takes the handling and throws it right out the window.

Edited by YellowJacket894
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Not everything powered by a V8 BV, just something powered by a V8. We've been deprived of good RWD V8 cars too long to have them all snatched away now.

OKay..

Am I asking for every car in the GM stable to be RWD/V8? I don't think so...

All I ask is that I have a few more options than a Corvette or a Cadillac.

Like it or not; Pontiac should ALWAYS have a V8 flagship car if it is to be the 'performance division' of General Motors. Leave the turbocharged V6 halos for Buick, Saab and Saturn.

BV, that formula works wonderfully for compact and mid-sized cars. But I guess I'm just as stubborn as everyone else when I say a large rear-drive sedan has to offer at least one V8 engine. It doesn't have to be a whole slew of them, just one at the minimum.

Now, now, guys. I'm not saying V8s should go the way of the Yugo... :P

I'm just saying there are many options of getting around the fuel economy issues without sacrificing power or performance. It doesn't have to be a "V8 or nothing" sort of situation, which is what the article seems to describe GM doing. As well, if a more fuel efficient package can produce the same results, is there necessarily a need for one? In those cases, it just seems there is some stubbornness going on. Not that I don't blame you for wanting something you like.

Personally, I find V8s to be passe'.... Everyone and their brother either has one or wants one. I'll take rotary engines, boxer engines, inline engines, etc... As well as forced induction like supercharged and turbocharging. But I just have an inclination for oddballish things in general. :D

Edited by blackviper8891
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I'm just saying there are many options of getting around the fuel economy issues without sacrificing power or performance. It doesn't have to be a "V8 or nothing" sort of situation, which is what the article seems to describe GM doing. As well, if a more fuel efficient package can produce the same results, is there necessarily a need for one? In those cases, it just seems there is some stubbornness going on. Not that I don't blame you for wanting something you like.

True that...

By the sound of things, it almost seems that GM was betting on a whole line up of Zeta cars to bring Pontiac back from the dead. I don't understand why GM thinks performance must equal Zeta. They have an excellent platform in Kappa that they could promote more to shore up Pontiac's image (Seriously, the GXP has little exposure and since the initial push, the Solstice in general has been forgotten about) The possibilities are endless... Next gen Kappa, Alpha, AWD Epsilon, Zeta in one form or another.

GM management must be pretty blind if they can't look around and see the success of the EVO, WRX, Mazda 3, Civic Si (More image, I'll admit) etc.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Tick-Tock :AH-HA_wink:

I'd like to see Pontiac thrive...but I keep coming back to the hard facts---GM has about 25% market share in the US...do they REALLY need 8 brands???

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I'd like to see Pontiac thrive...but I keep coming back to the hard facts---GM has about 25% market share in the US...do they REALLY need 8 brands???

In a fragmenting market like the U.S.

Absolutely!

More brands gives GM the opportunity to cater more specifically to the clientele. And that's where the strength lies if GM can EVER get the divisions focused correctly.

At Toyota, the client buys an appliance so generic that it appeals to millions. At GM, the customer should be able to choose a more specific product that BETTER fits his/her needs.

If you want luxury, go to Buick. If you want exclusive luxury, go to Cadillac. If you want performance over function, go to Pontiac. If you want a classy truck, go to GMC. If you want an off road machine, go to Hummer... etc, etc.

The problem is; focusing the divisions correctly and funneling the right product to them is going to take a while. And I'm not sure GM or 'the street' is prepared to wait that long.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Not everything powered by a V8 BV, just something powered by a V8. We've been deprived of good RWD V8 cars too long to have them all snatched away now.

I agree, just offer us at least the option of ordering the V-8. Call me a purist, I do not care about how fast four and six cylinders are, I like the sound of the the V-8. I have been driving for 30 years and all my cars have been V-8 powered. In addition I do not want the added complexity and extra parts that can break in a turbo, supercharger, etc. I want a relaible motor where I won't worry about more expensive repair bills. I acknowledge how fast the EVOs are and give them respect (no matter how ugly they are) but that is not my cup of tea. I cringe everytime I hear the high piched whine of a high stressed 4 banger.

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OKay..

Am I asking for every car in the GM stable to be RWD/V8? I don't think so...

All I ask is that I have a few more options than a Corvette or a Cadillac.

Gas is not an issue for some of us.

Like it or not; Pontiac should ALWAYS have a V8 flagship car if it is to be the 'performance division' of General Motors. Leave the turbocharged V6 halos for Buick, Saab and Saturn.

Jesus man, it's no wonder america gets eff-ed over so much these days... 2 months into the fuel economy regs and most of you "enthusiasts" are already throwing in the towel and swallowing whatever is shoved down your throat. :) Whatever happened to innovation?

Why do people buy Abercrombie Jeans when American Eagle Jeans will suffice? Why do I buy a V8 when a V6 will suffice? Freedom of choice! (Which is slowly being taken away in our new homogeneous misery that is reality)

Amen, I don't want to pay Cadillac or Corvette prices to drive a rear wheel drive V-8 performance car of some sort.

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Do you think running 8 marketing divisions, 8 sales divisions, 8 sets of middle managment, 8 sets of dealers...do you think all of that is FREE?

The real trouble here is that the brand management teams of the 90s have become victims of their own success. This constant splintering and fragmenting of the market is costing a lot of money. Don't like wagons? Let's call them SUVs. Don't like hatchbacks? Let's call them '5 doors.' Government sticks us with CAFE, lets build a lot of trucks.

The chickens have come home to roost, folks.

Our futures are being sacrificed on the Alter of Choice. It makes far more sense to have one or two strong models represented in each category, rather than 5 or 6 - just in the hopes that some wandering spirit will like what you build! Ever hear of the Law of Diminishing Return?

I want Oldsmobile back. I lost a lot of customers over that, but it is not gonna happen. GM needs 3 or 4 strong brands, not 8 that are slitting each other's throats.

Ever play Musical Chairs?

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