GM to pull the plug on Pontiac car brand Apr 24 2009

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GM to pull the plug on Pontiac

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NEW YORK — General Motors is to announce that the Pontiac car once marketed as GM’s division, will be killed according to a source familiar the decision.

An official announcement is Monday. GM spokesman Jim Hopson to comment on Pontiac’s fate, the automaker has no announcements to make at time.

In its most recent plan — which be updated to reflect this new cut — Pontiac was not named as one of four core brands. are Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. But was also not to be killed or sold as were Saturn, Saab and

Instead Pontiac was to continue on as a brand focusing on just a few

That was already a step for Pontiac which in 2008 was the selling brand behind and GMC. That year the sold more than and twice as many vehicles as Cadillac is a high-profile — and profit — luxury while Buick is a hugely brand in China and is seen as in the United States.

In 2005, GM Fortune 500 ) vice-chairman Bob Lutz to Buick and Pontiac as damaged during a conference at the New York Show. That set off speculation one or both of these brands was

With a focus on affordable Buick’s hopes have revived by models like the Enclave crossover SUV. in Buick Quality, which a top ranking in a recent J.D. dependability survey and a public by President Obama, have helped Buick keep its in the shrinking pantheon of GM names.

performance

There was a time, a way back now, when you exactly what Pontiac for, said Kevin editorial director for the automotive Web Edmunds.com.

The GM unit’s identity as a brand dates back to the 1950s and early 1960s. cars were designed wider bodies for cosmetic and the wheels were pushed out to This wide-track design a selling point and was advertised as Pontiac cars a distinct advantage over other

But the idea of Pontiac as a performance was solidified in 1964 with the of the Pontiac Tempest LeMans That car quickly evolved simply, the GTO and is often credited creating a new class of American the muscle car.

Under plans were formed to back some actual to the Pontiac brand, which seen much since the — a flashier Pontiac of the Chevrolet Camaro — production in 2002.

One strategy for Pontiac was to sell only, or rear-wheel-drive cars. That set it apart from other GM and most cars sold in Rear-wheel-drive is associated with brands like BMW.

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Unfortunately, the re-introduction of the Pontiac GTO on a performance coupe imported Australia didn’t result in big So far, the Pontiac G8, a rear-wheel-drive sedan also imported GM’s Australian Holden hasn’t been a sales either, despite good

Pontiac’s most popular remain the G6, a decent but unexciting car available as a sedan, coupe or and the Vibe, a small wagon with Toyota, which it as the Matrix.

Any plans to return to the heavy-horsepower days of the ’70s as gas prices rose and Congress stricter fuel economy for the industry.

Those pressures in GM quietly introducing the Pontiac G3, had been sold in Canada Once again, Pontiac was a rebadged Chevrolet product, time the Korean-built Aveo car.

Pontiac’s lack of focus as a may finally have brought its said Smith. That’s death in a marketplace where so much competition and so much he said.

Pontiac’s current in GM seems mostly to be to support GMC and by providing a brand under Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealers could non-luxury cars, filling out then becomes a full-line

The brand-channel strategy now makes it for GM to phase out the brand because it cause less harm to independent business protected by state franchise laws. GM phased out Oldsmobile in the early it cost GM more than $1 to buy out the contracts of Oldsmobile dealers who left with nothing to

This time, most dealers will have products to sell.

First April 24, 2009: 2:27 PM ET

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