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Another American car brand bites the dust: Rust In Peace, Pontiac

By Rigval on 08 Nov 2010

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Pontiac is no more. After 84 years of producing Pontiacs, General Motors have ceased producing the brand famed for the GTO, Trans Am and the Firebird. It joins other GM brands like Geo, Saturn, Oldsmobile and Hummer in automobile heaven. Or hell, depending on how you think of the brand. I especially like the 1970s Trans Am or Firebird, complete with that Firebird that looks like a flaming chicken. Very 70’s kitsch.

General Motors, who have owned the Pontiac brand since 1926 has decided to call it quits for the brand. In a time where stiff competition from Japanese and later Korean and now Chinese cars, General Motors’ had its market share slowly eroded from all corners. It also faced a problem of actually selling its cars outside of the United States. Almost no one outside of America has actually heard or seen a Pontiac in the flesh. And almost no one outside of America wanted American cars that were huge and suited to the vast expanse of America. If you went over there, you’d see that parking bays are huge. It would fit a Camry and more.

Anyway GM had justified the axing of the Pontiac brand as sales of the brand only amounted to about 270,000units in 2008. I wouldn’t even say ‘worldwide’ sales as the car is mainly sold in America and a smattering elsewhere. In a country where a brand must sell at least double that amount to be profitable, it had to go. Anyway, GM was bleeding heavily due to the recent credit crunch and almost went belly up. A huge restructuring exercise causing even the US government to help bail out GM. And now, with all of its dealership agreements with Pontiac dealers expiring, Pontiac is no more.

It is quite sad as those who were born in the 1970s and 1980s would remember watching great American TV shows featuring Pontiacs. Shows like Rockford Files (which featured a detective who always got beat up and drove a Trans Am) and the original Knight Rider, which also featured a young David Hasselhoff and talking Trans Am called KITT. Rust in Peace, Pontiac.

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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