Is Pontiac going the way of the Doo doo? - Pontiac G6 Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Is Pontiac going the way of the Doo doo?

I hope Gm doesn't cut the pontiac line of cars. I always loved Pontiac's.


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GM Said to Study Shedding Saab, Saturn, Pontiac to Win U.S. Aid
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By Jeff Green and Greg Bensinger

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., working to cut costs to win $12 billion in government loans, is studying whether to shed its Saturn, Saab and Pontiac brands in addition to Hummer, people familiar with the matter said.

Selling or dropping brands would save money and reduce overlap as the biggest U.S. automaker struggles to avoid running out of operating cash by year’s end, said the people, who didn’t want to be identified because no decision has been made. GM’s other U.S. brands are Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac.

The review of the 82-year-old Pontiac division, one of GM’s earliest, shows the scope of the survival plan being given to Congress on Dec. 2 to show GM can repay federal aid. GM also seeks to cut debt levels and reduce costs for active and retired union workers, people have said.

Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner is under a deadline set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Congress has scheduled a Dec. 5 hearing on a $25 billion auto-industry rescue and may vote the week of Dec. 8.

A GM spokesman, Steve Harris, declined to comment on what may be included in the Detroit-based automaker’s plan.

Directors are scheduled to review a proposal Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, people familiar with the plans said. The automaker will prepare a 10- to 12-page public document and a private, more detailed plan of about 80 pages with background material, the people said. GM said Nov. 7 it may be short by year’s end of the $11 billion minimum in cash needed to pay monthly bills.

Prodding From Congress

Members of Congress such as Republican Senator Bob Corker Jr. of Tennessee have suggested the automakers might benefit from being able to shed some of their dealers.

GM’s eight U.S. brands are the most among the domestic automakers, compared with four at Ford Motor Co. and three at Chrysler LLC. The Hummer sport-utility vehicle unit was put on the block in June. GM agreed to eliminate the 103-year-old Oldsmobile brand in 2000 because of declining sales.

GM has 1,071 outlets for Pontiac, 400 for Saturn and about 105 for Saab among its 6,400 dealers, said Susan Garontakos, a spokeswoman. GM has been trying to combine Cadillac/Hummer/Saab and Pontiac/Buick/GMC brands into consolidated dealerships that would benefit from greater sales and lower marketing costs.

GM, which turned 100 this year, established the Pontiac division in 1926. The brand’s sales peaked at 896,980 in 1978, according to trade publication Automotive News. That was the year GM sold 9.55 million vehicles worldwide, the highest ever, and came at the end of an era when Pontiac attracted notice for sports coupes such as the Firebird.

This year, Pontiac sales are down 21 percent, compared with a 15 percent industrywide decline through October.

Very Surprised

Combining Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealerships has “been working very well,” said Randy Marion, owner of Randy Marion Chevrolet-Pontiac-Buick in Mooresville, North Carolina, and a member of GM’s National Dealer Council. “I would be very surprised if they had any intention of getting rid of Pontiac.”

GM established the Saturn brand in 1985, five years before selling the first vehicle. Most of the U.S. dealers are stand alone, according to GM. Sales reached a peak in 1994 at 286,003 units, according to Autodata Corp. in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. This year’s deliveries are down 19 percent.

GM made its initial investment in Sweden’s Saab in 1990 and took full control in 2000. Its sales climbed to a record 47,914 in 2003. In 2008, they’re down 31 percent through October.

Cash Burn

Declines across GM’s brands are adding to losses of almost $73 billion since the end of 2004. After burning through $6.9 billion in cash last quarter, GM said Nov. 7 that it had $16.2 billion as of Sept. 30. GM has said a bankruptcy filing would be a “disaster.”

GM gained $1.25, or 35 percent, to $4.81 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

The company’s 8.375 percent bonds due in July 2033 rose 5 cents to 19 cents on the dollar, yielding 43.9 percent, according to Trace, the bond-pricing service of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

GM said Nov. 24 that its nine-year marketing accord with Tiger Woods, the world’s top-ranked golfer, will be discontinued next month by mutual agreement. GM has also delayed incentive payments to dealers, extended holiday shutdowns and announced plans to cut about 3,600 jobs early next year as production slows.

Last edited by satfree91; 11-26-2008 at 06:34 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 08:33 AM
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I think Pontiac is safe.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2008, 01:40 PM
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It would be stupid to kill Pontiac. I see more G6s and Vibes here (as far as new cars) and tons of Grand Am's and Grand Prix's on the road. Pontiac sells very well here. Saab is almost nonexistent and the only late model Saturn around is the Ion. Kill Saab or Saturn, or both, but leave Pontiac alone.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2008, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lampoon View Post
I think Pontiac is safe.
I owned several Pontiac's and all of them were great cars. The last two I owned were a 1995 Grand Am SE (for me) and a 1995 Grand Am GT(for wifey). The SE was traded in at 230,000 miles for a Mazda and the GT was traded in with 150,000 miles for the 2007 G6 GT. I'm really thinking about trading the Mazda for another G6.
My opinion, Pontiac has a good record and like Lampoon says, I think Pontiac is safe!




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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2008, 03:05 PM
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auto sales are very regional though...down here in the RGV, i see a load of pontiac vehicles...however, i think i've only seen a handful or two of SAAB's (all year models) during the 3 years i've been in this location
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2008, 03:23 PM
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The most Pontiac's I've ever seen on the road was across Louisiana when I took a vacation there in 2005 and most of it was late 90s up to the present. Tons and tons of them.

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auto sales are very regional though...down here in the RGV, i see a load of pontiac vehicles...however, i think i've only seen a handful or two of SAAB's (all year models) during the 3 years i've been in this location
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 07:03 AM
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pontiac is making strides in the right direction though...the G6 continues to improve every year in every aspect...the release of the G8 was taken in very well by many critics...the GTO is working it's way up (that article from Car & Driver in '05 that compared the Mustang GT to the Pontiac GTO was an interesting read)
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