GM Said to Keep GMC, Eliminate Pontiac in New Plan (Update2)

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Plan #221 Mk 7
GM Said to Keep GMC, Eliminate Pontiac in New Plan (Update2) http://tinyurl.com/cg65vd
April 24 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., facing the threat of a
bankruptcy filing if it can’t meet a June 1 U.S. deadline, will preserve the GMC truck line and drop its 83-year- old Pontiac brand as part of a government-led recalibration of its business plan, people familiar with the decision said.
The Detroit automaker, which received an additional $2 billion in federal assistance on April 22, will keep the GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick brands, after a review that included profitability with the Obama administration’s automotive task force, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decisions have not been announced.
GM may reveal next week the end of the make that produced the Grand Prix, Bonneville and Firebirds, they said.
“I hate to see these brands go, they are a part of the American experience,” said John Wolkonowicz, a forecaster and auto historian at IHS Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. “If you were growing up in the 1960s, Pontiac was the hottest thing going.”
Pontiac spawned the “muscle car” era in 1964 when it stuffed a 389-cubic-inch V8 engine into a Tempest and called it the GTO. Killing the brand highlights the changes GM is being forced to make to survive in its second century of carmaking.
GM had already decided late last year to cut Pontiac to a niche brand, possibly with just one model, to sell alongside Buick and GMC in combined showrooms. To trim from its roster of eight U.S. brands, GM has said it will sell or shut Hummer, Saab and Saturn.
Steve Harris, a GM spokesman, declined to comment on the brands.
Savings Needed
“I should have seen the signs: You can’t even order a 2010 Pontiac G6,” said Russ Shelton, a Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealer in Rochester Hills, Michigan. “Once they make this announcement, those are basically sales-proof.”
Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson is in a race against the June deadline set by President Barack Obama to find more savings from unions, creditors and operations.
A Pontiac announcement next week may be part of an outline of a plan to close plants and scrap models as much as four years sooner than planned to lower its break-even point, the people said.
Lower Break-Even
The cuts may mean GM can be profitable in a U.S. market with sales of as few as 10 million autos, said the people. The annual sales rate was 9.9 million in March, after GM said Feb. 17 its break-even target was 11.5 million to 12 million.
The number of brands is part of a discussion on how to speed up the winnowing of GM’s 6,200 dealer locations to 4,100 sites as quickly as possible, said one person.
The U.S. Treasury said today that it provided an additional $2 billion to keep GM operating. The new money is part of $5 billion disclosed this week in a report by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. GM has received $15.4 billion from the Treasury.
GMC’s truck-building history dates to 1902, when brothers Max and Morris Grabowsky sold their first commercial model to a Detroit dry cleaner, according to GM’s Web site. Their Rapid Motor Vehicle Co. was absorbed by GM in 1912, along with two other Detroit-based commercial-vehicle makers, GM said.
By 1915, GMC produced the first light-duty vehicle with the basic configuration of a modern pickup, according to the automaker. GMC’s U.S. sales fell 26 percent last year to 376,996, making it GM’s second-largest brand after Chevrolet.
The Pontiac brand was first sold by GM in 1926, and U.S. sales peaked at 896,980 in 1978, according to trade publication Automotive News. Pontiac’s domestic deliveries fell 25 percent to 267,348 in 2008.
Muscle-Car Brand
Pontiac originated as part of the Oakland Car Co. of Pontiac, Michigan, in 1907. GM acquired Oakland in 1909 and introduced the first Pontiac vehicle in 1926 at the New York auto show. The Pontiac models were so popular they replaced the division’s namesake Oakland models.
By the 1950s, Pontiac sales were flagging as the brand was seen as an “old ladies” car with its signature “silver streaks” of chrome on the hood and trunk, Wolkoniwicz said.
In 1956, Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen took over the division, stripped off the streaks for the 1957 models and started making the changes that led to the GTO in 1964 --including the trademark split grill, Wolkoniwicz said.
‘Smokey and the Bandit’
Pontiac was the third best-selling brand in the early 1960s, passing Plymouth, which DaimlerChrysler AG killed in 2001, and trailing only Ford and Chevy.
Pontiac also had success in the 1960s and 1970s with its Firebird and Firebird Trans Am -- featured in the 1977 movie “Smokey and the Bandit,” staring Burt Reynolds and Sally Field.
“I’d rather keep it,” said David Cole, co-owner of the Cole Valley Pontiac Cadillac dealership located near the Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant that builds the Pontiac G5. “The sooner they make clear what they’re going to do with the brand, the better it will be for us. I will survive. I just have to be able to plan.”
GM closed up 7 cents, or 4.3 percent, at $1.69 at in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have tumbled 93 percent in the past 12 months on concern that the company may collapse after $82 billion in losses since 2004.
GM has stepped up planning for both a new business model and a potential bankruptcy since late March, when the Obama administration asked CEO Rick Wagoner to resign and said it would back a “quick-rinse” bankruptcy to cut debt and other costs if GM couldn’t do so in 60 days.
Chevrolet and Cadillac are GM’s strongest brands and Buick is popular in China. GMC and Buick are both profitable, Henderson said April 17. Pontiac was scheduled for as few as one model, so killing it wasn’t as significant a step as deleting one of the other brands, one person said.
“Pontiac was the first real muscle car and the government doesn’t want muscle cars,” favoring fuel-efficient models, Wolkonowicz said. “I’m sad to see this brand go, it’s truly iconic.”
--
Civis Romanus Sum

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GMs new muscle car division is ??????????????????????
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gnu / linux wrote:

Segway :-)
--
Civis Romanus Sum

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wrote:

GMs new muscle car division is ?????????????????????? ======================================================== Thanks to Mr. Know It All Obama, GM isn't going to have a muscle car brand anymore. Sure, you can get a Camaro or a Vette, but I guess the chances of getting a new Trans Am (like many have been hoping for) are pretty much gone. Thanks Mr. Obama, for telling us what we should be driving...
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wrote:

Pathetic. The taxpayer won't subsidize your Trans Am. Hey, you want the gov to just let GM go down the tubes, keep talking like that. Taxpayers really love whiners. Then you'll get a chance to buy a Chinese "muscle car." Nobody put GM in their bankrupt position but GM itself.
--Vic
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And tell me Vic, what is going to happen to GM when the Government makes them drop everything except for shitty tin-can box sized cars? You may enjoy it, I certainly won't.
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wrote:

What are you talking about? Since when was the Trans Am and Camaro anything but tin-can box sized cars? Besides, when and if GM gets off the gov dole they can do what they want. Furthermore, what makes you think Obama gives a shit about running a car company? The feds have a team looking at GM's books and saying "No, the taxpayer won't accept pitching in another $20 billion this year, give us a plan where they won't have to do that." That loser Waggoner couldn't come up with one, so they told him to get lost. The new CEO, a longtime GM'er is the one that dumped Pontiac. Blame him. If he can keep GM alive and get it to making money again I say he should get a medal. You have to face the facts.
--Vic
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I was not talking specifically about the Trans Am and Camaro. From what I have seen, the government would like GM to only build small cars, when the best vehicles they build (and many want) are large vehicles, and trucks.

I think Waggoner should have been fired too, but not by the government. The government is running GM, and how often do they run anything well? What makes you think they will run it any better then Waggener did?

I do face the facts. Some I just really don't like. I don't want to drive a boring Honda or Toyota. All the Import cars are the same shit. At least GM build exciting vehicles, but to me, getting rid of the Pontiac brand, means some of that excitement is going to be lost too.
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come on with the Cruse etc GM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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What has been exciting about Pontiac in the past dozen years? The Aztek? Vibe? Certainly not the BonneLeSabreville. Where is the Solstice?
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wrote in message

Bonneville's, Grand Prix's, G8, all exciting vehicles. The LaSabre may be built on the same platform, but it is no where near the car the Bonneville is. You slap a Caddy V8, and pretty much racing suspension (GXP) into a LaSabre, and we'll talk. You could even get the Grand Prix's with V8's too, and they had good MPG to boot. And the G8? Nothing like a powerful, fullsize rear-wheel-drive Pontiac. I love it.
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Last time I drove a V-8 Grand Prix I ended up buying a Sonata V-6 that will go 137 mph. If you can, in practical terms, own a 2 door car, the G-6 convertible was good looking. The rest lost a lot of their excitement in recent years and the only good style came from Holden.
As for a new Firebird, the Camero cousin looks like excrement, not excitement. There are very few cars ($50,000 or less) on the road today by any manufacturer that has much to excite.
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wrote in message

No offence Ed, but come on. Even the supercharged V6 in a Grand Prix would smoke that Sonata. The Sonata may be able to attain 137 MPG, but the Grand Prix will do it much quicker...

I will agree that the new Grand Prix's (2004+) don't look nearly as good as the 1997-2003, but they are still IMHO, far better then any offerings from the "sporty" segment of any Import. As for the G6, some of those are rather odd looking, but I have driven a few, and they will move too. What's wrong with the G8 coming from Holden? It's still GM, and it still has plenty of differences to make it a true Pontiac.

I highly disagree. The Camaro puts so many cars to shame, it isn't even funny. Not only in performance, but even gas mileage. The only other cars in it's circle (the Mustang and Challenger) are also quite nice, but the Camaro makes every one of us Oshawa, Ontario people very proud. But, different tastes for different people.

Like I said, that is a matter of opinion. I would love to get a hold of a G8, or Camaro. It looks to me like you have done what so many have done, and started to look at your vehicle as just a means from point A to point B. People used to be proud of what they drove, not because it can go 2 years with no maintenance, but because it looks good, and feels good. The Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, G8, and others like it are trying to keep that feeling alive, however unfortunately, the Imports have been trying to kill it since they sent there first car here.
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Nothing is wrong with it, but Pontiac (and the rest of GM) used to be a leader in the US but Holden far exceeeds anything they have put out here for some years.

We were out with friends last night and stopped to get a closer look at the Camero sitting on the dealer's lot. Sorry, but it is not my style. It looks bloated and looks like they borrowed some aspects of Chrysler in the design. I've never owned a Chrysler car because I thing they are ugly too. To make matters even worse, they parked it back to back with a sharp yellow Corvette. The last version (1990's) of the Corvette was kind of bland, but they snapped out of it and have a classy looking car now.

Perhaps you are right. The G8 is a good looking car and maybe I'm missing the excitement with the 6.2 liter version, but most offerings in the past dozen years have been bland. Toyota and friends are worse. Any car built today is more reliable than anything build in the 50's and 60's,b ut style was king back then. They are trying with the retro cars but you just can't go back.
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wrote in message

I will agree that Holden does some damned fine work. I think we need some of there designers over here. I like the G8 better then the Commodore, but I'd still take the Commodore over most other new vehicles.

I'll also agree that how a vehicle looks is totally dependant on the individual. Some love the Camaro, some hate it. I haven't driven one yet, but I find the appearance very nice. I find the rear-end looks too Vette-Like, but I would be proud to have it in my driveway.

I've never been a huge Vette fan, but I do agree that the new Vette's are also very very nice.

Styling is what I miss so much. After my last car went up in flames, I looked high and low for a new one, but I couldn't find anything I liked (even from GM), so I ended up getting back into a Bonneville. I think they look awesome, go like hell, and the thing get's MPG that betters some brand new cars (30+ lately, if I am easy on it). I don't care in the slightest that some people only want a vehicle to get from point A to point B, but I honestly want something I can be proud to own. Something I will spend the weekend cleaning, waxing, and polishing, just so it looks good, and something that I actually enjoy owning. To some, a car is no more important then a toaster, or vacuum. To me, they are much more.
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I think styling has come back a little bit in the past few years. During the 80's and 90's, you could not tell a Mercedes from a Toyota from and Impala. At least now you can tell a Nissan from a Buick. as the car makers put a tiny bit of shape back into them. While not exciting, the Mercury Milan is pleasing to the eye and the Fusion is close, but what the hell was that 500? Malibu is greatly improved too. They need a better color selection because it seems most are bland gray. I admit Chrysler took some bold steps, but I never liked them myself, but a couple of points for courage.
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wrote:

Funny how that works. I liked the new styling of the Chryslers about the time they came out with the Intrepid, but when I heard they were junk after a couple years they looked ugly. I've found that the longer a car give me reliable service the prettier it looks, no matter what I thought when I got it. Only cars I ever really wanted because of looks were Mercedes SLK's, Chrysler Sebrings, and the 1994-96 Impalas. The old Electra 225 too. Beautiful chrome work. Just my taste. Back to Pontiac, that Aztec never bothered me. Made me smile and sometimes laugh whenever I saw one. It sure looked "different." The ugliest cars are those little square jobs. Element? Make the Yugo look like a Maserati. What I could never figure is why Pontiac put all that dirt-catching, silly looking plastic cladding bumps on the side of the cars. Got a '94 Grand Am like that in my garage I have to decide what to do with. Does anybody consider that "styling"? Always struck me as useless ugly doo-dads.
--Vic
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wrote in message

I think it depends on the level of plastic cladding on the car. Usually, the higher up the vehicle (IE: GT, GTP, SSE, etc.), the more cladding, but I for one, think it usually looks good. My old Bonneville SE didn't have much cladding on it at all, and looked good, but my Bonneville SSEi has more, and looks awesome. I also noticed that after GM started adding the plastic under the wheel wells on the Grand Prix's, and Bonneville's, the rocker panel's stopped rusting out. ;)
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wrote in message

To me, styling is absolutely necessary. I have never seen an Import that I considered nice looking. They just don't seem to care to make cool looking cars, and the buyers don't seem to care either, so I guess that's great for both sides.
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Amen to that.
My 98 GTP will smoke the sonata six ways to Sunday, get better gas mileage while doing so, and look a LOT better in the process.

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