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Who the hell is running Pontiac?


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Is it wrong that at first I thought the thread title read "Who the hell is ruining Pontiac?"

Might as well be. The G8 is the only cool thing they have.

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The Solstice, G6 and G8 are all cool cars, imo. G5 and Torrent don't go far enough.

Off on a tangent here, but about the G5... the wife really pissed me off on Saturday when we took delivery of her new G6. As we pull into the dealer, there's a couple taking delivery of a beautiful Performance Red 2008 G5 GT Coupe. As we pass it to park, she comments, "That's a nice looking car!" She then asks, "Why didn't you show me that car?" At this point I'm furious, because at both the Philly Auto Show in February and the NYIAS in March I showed her the G5 GT Coupe in Bright Red on the floor - her reaction both times was "don't like it at all, and I don't want a 2-door". Now all of a sudden she sees one on the dealer lot and is like amazed. She says it's the color that grabbed her attention (if she didn't fall in love with the White Diamond Tricoat color, she really wanted her G6 in Performance Red). As we're waiting to do the paperwork, she asked if the G5 GT came in a 4-door, to which I told her no, otherwise we would have looked at the G5 too (all of this has been told to her many times; this just proves she never listens to me when I talk "cars" :lol: ).

Back to the topic... in order to survive, Pontiac should no longer offer "base" models of it's cars (I'm not saying that 4-cylinders shouldn't be offered, but all of the 4-cylinders should be performance-oriented versions). The GT level is where all Pontiacs should begin; leave the base-equipment cars to Chevrolet. Offering a model "for every buyer" is old-GM Think, and Pontiac should adopt a more Scion-like approach, where the car is offered in one basic package from the factory and the dealer can customize the car with the extra features the customer wants (much like my wife's Chrome Appearance Package was installed by the dealer <rims & door handles were done at the factory>). The GT model is what the basic package can be, and then from there the customer can add upgraded stereos, remote start, rims, etc. as they see fit. All Pontiac would have to do is offer both 4-cyl and V6 engines to the dealers so that the customer can choose the car that's right for them and go from there.

The Cobalt-clone needs to be replaced with an Alpha-based car offered in coupe, sedan, convertible and possibly wagon <to replace the Vibe> (and to match it to the G6 lineup). An Alpha car, an Epsilon car, and a Zeta car can cover all size requirements of the current car market. The Vibe in it's current form should go away to introduce an Alpha-based wagon, and the Torrent is moving to GMC anyway so that really isn't a concern anymore.

And I'll state here that GMC needs to stay and continue to offer both "real" trucks and "soft" (aka crossover) trucks to meet fuel efficiency needs and keep customers coming to GM. I guess if GMC were to go away I would stay with GM <Chevy> for my truck needs; but that's not to say that I wouldn't buy one of the last GMCs before they're closed down and keep it (a'la some diehard Oldsmobile buyers). Trucks like the Denali XT concept, the Pontiac Torrent converting to the GMC Terrain, and new innovations with engine & fuel developments to make full-size trucks ready to handle future concerns (mainly fuel efficiency) for those that do need a full-size truck on a daily basis should be GMC's vision. Instead of Chevrolet developing the trucks and then rebadging for GMC, it should be flipped where GMC Trucks develop all of the truck lines for General Motors and then Chevrolet Trucks are engineered from there.

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This won't go over well but... GM is in such a serious crisis right now that I think Pontiac needs to go ASAP, or at least don't give it any individual products. Rebadged Holdens or something would be fine, and small numbers are fine. Pontiac has nothing that Chevy doesn't have, and in many instances Chevy has better performance models. For the current situation, Pontiac is a money pit and GM is right to ignore it. Pontiac is a wonderful brand in theory, but right now GM simply can't afford to waste time and energy on a small margin "performance" brand, at a time when their very survival is at stake. If they had more resources and market share, I would support remaking Pontiac into a real sporty brand. But the money could be spent much better elsewhere.

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This won't go over well but... GM is in such a serious crisis right now that I think Pontiac needs to go ASAP, or at least don't give it any individual products. Rebadged Holdens or something would be fine, and small numbers are fine. Pontiac has nothing that Chevy doesn't have, and in many instances Chevy has better performance models. For the current situation, Pontiac is a money pit and GM is right to ignore it. Pontiac is a wonderful brand in theory, but right now GM simply can't afford to waste time and energy on a small margin "performance" brand, at a time when their very survival is at stake. If they had more resources and market share, I would support remaking Pontiac into a real sporty brand. But the money could be spent much better elsewhere.

Entirely wrong.

G8

G8ST

Solstice

Vibe

Chevy has none of those.

Pontiac is not a money pit (like Saturn).

Pontiac is GM's second best-selling car brand.

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Why do you ask?

Because I want to know who to blame for squandering the value of Pontiac.

1. Both the GTO and the Solstice mopped-up the racetracks with the competition - yet Pontiac fails to capitalize on this.

2. The G8 is collecting a huge pile of rave reviews - yet Pontiac is mum.

3. The G8 is the second fastest selling sedan in the US - yet Pontiac does not promote this.

4. Pontiac has twice now failed to announce the actual name for the ST when they said that they would.

5. Pontiac has continued to accept badge job cars due to dealer pressure.

Shall I go on?

Completely incompetent management of the brand even with great product with solid achievement behind them. Where is the Scott Settlemire of Pontiac?

It is obvious to me that GM has intentionally sabotaged this brand in favor of the absurd Saturn and the prima donna Cadillac.

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Saturn should be extremely cheap for GM to operate now that it's Opelized - almost zero R&D cost.

Satrun isn't likely to ever give GM any ROI for the billions it has already cost the company.

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Speaking of Saturn, another aspect that ticks me off is the Sky.

Don't get me wrong, I really like the car itself, but it should never have been given to Saturn at the expense of the Solstice's exclusivity. If anything, the Sky should have been a Solstice MCE.

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Here's another gripe with Pontiac's management: I have repeatedly signed up for "e-mail updates" from Pontiac starting with the intro of the GTO, only to receive no responses.

That's weak.

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>>"Satrun isn't likely to ever give GM any ROI for the billions it has already cost the company."<<

I disagree. With the climate of the present & near future, Saturn is positioning itself to sit well with that (european-esque, practical). If hybrids and fuel efficiency continue to be prioritized, the potential is considerable. Tho saab -another money pit- also builds 4-cyl FWD sedans, it is crippled by preconceived notions of what a 'saab should be', rendering the brand unable to reinvent itself in any way if neccessary, like, you know: to ever update styling or something trivial like that.

>>"... it should never have been given to Saturn at the expense of the Solstice's exclusivity."<<

Agreed 100%. But I'm one of the few who immensely prefer the unique design of the Solstice vs. the much more mainstream look of the Sky- no vote for a Sky = Solstice MCE here.

Edited by balthazar
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That's an awfully big hill of debt for Saturn to climb, Mr. B, Saturn has cost GM literally billions so far. It also is falling on its face saleswise at the moment for a variety of reasons.

I see no promise there.

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Well Camino, it may make you happy to know that my wife choose to buy a Pontiac G6 over a Saturn AURA! (both offered 0% for 72 months) Actually, she wouldn't even go to the Saturn dealer and look to see what inventory they had. Once she fell for the Pontiac, she knew there was no other need to look further :AH-HA_wink:

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If we're going to compare 2 recent, similar-product brands that are solidly in the red (saab hasn't also cost literal billions since 1989?), I still feel Saturn has more potential (no; not 'promise') than saab. If Saturn takes an uptick and maintains it; yes: it may take years to ROI, but if it can move into the black forthwith, I'll take it.

This is besides the issue of continuing to take money from the core divisions, and also aside from the CAFE issue.

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Entirely wrong.

G8

G8ST

Solstice

Vibe

Chevy has none of those.

Pontiac is not a money pit (like Saturn).

Pontiac is GM's second best-selling car brand.

OK those are fine, those didn't take much devlopment dollars, except maybe the Solstice. They don't sell in big numbers nor do they make much money. This is the proper course for Pontiac--don't waste money on cars that compete with other divisions. But long run Pontiac could easily disappear--the "character" could easily be absorbed by Chevy, which has its own line of high performance products.

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Satrun isn't likely to ever give GM any ROI for the billions it has already cost the company.

That's GM's fault.

I never looked at Saturn... ever... until the '07 model year. The Sky and Aura a great vehicles. We now own a Aura XR and love it. Saturn just needs some good marketing. The "rethink American" campaign was a good start but ended as soon as it began. GM needs better marketing as a whole.

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Yes, GM marketing stinks generally.

Yes, Saab is worse than Saturn.

Saturn hasn't got the dealer network to replace any old line brand, but is large enough to net a savings if killed - Saab not so much.

Still, don't you find it a bit terrifying that GME, in its dubious wisdom, wants to use both Saturn and Saab as a template for GMNA? And at the expense of Pontiac and/or Buick and/or GMC?

Deeply flawed logic there.

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Same for Buick, if it's NA product and China product were aligned.

But to address the main topic, maybe part of the problem is that Jim Bunnell is the General Manager for Buick and Pontiac and GMC. Previsouly, it was like a revolving door for the top men at Buick and Pontiac. Is there anyone who stands up for those brands individually? Sort of a "Fbodfather" but for those brands, rather than the Camaro. PCS said Buick and Saab had "saviors," though I'm not sure who they might be.

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Same for Buick, if it's NA product and China product were aligned.

But to address the main topic, maybe part of the problem is that Jim Bunnell is the General Manager for Buick and Pontiac and GMC. Previsouly, it was like a revolving door for the top men at Buick and Pontiac. Is there anyone who stands up for those brands individually? Sort of a "Fbodfather" but for those brands, rather than the Camaro. PCS said Buick and Saab had "saviors," though I'm not sure who they might be.

My interpretation is that PCS meant that Buick has China and Saab is doing well in Russia, with those two strong growth markets being their 'saviors'. Pontiac and GMC are in essence NA brands, with the NA market being (at least) stagnant.

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Might as well be. The G8 is the only cool thing they have.

Solstice GXP is a sweet car, go watch them run at Road America, Road Atlanta, VIR, Mid Ohio et al at SCCA races.

Pontiac has another serious car your over looking. At the last runoffs (SCCA Championships) The Solstice was leading a frieght train of Hondas, Mazdas and BMW's for its class win.

And GM won more races at the runoffs last year than anybody, more than Mazda, more than Ford, more than Porsche, more than BMW...

Chris

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Yes, GM marketing stinks generally.

Yes, Saab is worse than Saturn.

Saturn hasn't got the dealer network to replace any old line brand, but is large enough to net a savings if killed - Saab not so much.

Still, don't you find it a bit terrifying that GME, in its dubious wisdom, wants to use both Saturn and Saab as a template for GMNA? And at the expense of Pontiac and/or Buick and/or GMC?

Deeply flawed logic there.

Considering it's been 6 weeks since I've seen either an Aura or an Astra in the wild (on the streets) this logic seems to be coming right from Toyota HQ.

And GM marketing does stink, Astra and Aura are great cars and should be flying of of dealer lots....along with a whole lotta' Pontiacs, Buicks, and Chevy's.

Chris

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Solstice GXP is a sweet car, go watch them run at Road America, Road Atlanta, VIR, Mid Ohio et al at SCCA races.

Pontiac has another serious car your over looking. At the last runoffs (SCCA Championships) The Solstice was leading a frieght train of Hondas, Mazdas and BMW's for its class win.

And GM won more races at the runoffs last year than anybody, more than Mazda, more than Ford, more than Porsche, more than BMW...

Chris

Exactly my point.

It almost seems that management also did its best to hide the fact that the Solstice ZoK package was available.

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Because I want to know who to blame for squandering the value of Pontiac.

1. Both the GTO and the Solstice mopped-up the racetracks with the competition - yet Pontiac fails to capitalize on this.

2. The G8 is collecting a huge pile of rave reviews - yet Pontiac is mum.

3. The G8 is the second fastest selling sedan in the US - yet Pontiac does not promote this.

4. Pontiac has twice now failed to announce the actual name for the ST when they said that they would.

5. Pontiac has continued to accept badge job cars due to dealer pressure.

Shall I go on?

Search me boss, like any loyal German, I am just following orders! :smilewide:

Completely incompetent management of the brand even with great product with solid achievement behind them. Where is the Scott Settlemire of Pontiac?

It is obvious to me that GM has intentionally sabotaged this brand in favor of the absurd Saturn and the prima donna Cadillac.

Well you do know Prima Donna means First Lady. :AH-HA_wink:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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While Pontiac has issues....my biggest issue with GM marketing people...

IS IT THAT HARD TO PUT OUT DECENT ADS?

I've seen two that weren't too bad...(caddy's are better)

It's all about the marketing...even Honda and toyota have figured that out...even KIA has better running ads.....

I wish I was working in their marketing department...there would be some serious fights......

AND, they rehashed the 4th ads from last year.....is their Marketing department lacking serious money or something?

Cars that could use good ads like yesterday:

Aura

Astra

G8

Vibe

Aveo

HHR

an those are just a few....

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Why does Pontiac offer the base model G6 (1SV) with the plastic hub caps etc? isn't that Chevy territory (entry level family car). Why doesn't the G5 have a turbo since Pontiac builds excitement? Wouldn't a G5 GXP bring some attention to the often over looked member of the Pontiac family?

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