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Thread: Pontiac - RIP

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    Pontiac - RIP

    GM announced today that it was pulling the plug on Pontiac:

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/24/auto...obit/index.htm




    ......

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man View Post
    GM announced today that it was pulling the plug on Pontiac:

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/24/auto...obit/index.htm




    ......
    We knew this was coming. For me, the saddest thing is the way Pontiac was killed slowly. It had been among GM's best - most innovative and successful - brands. Then the arschlochs in corporate management decided to gut everything that made a Pontiac a Pontiac, with the result being a hollowed-out shell company that was little more than another marketing arm for slightly restyled "GM" cars no different in any meaningful way from other "GM" cars sold through Chevy or Pontiac.

    But, Pontiac has a great history to look back on and will be remembered by those who knew....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    We knew this was coming. For me, the saddest thing is the way Pontiac was killed slowly. It had been among GM's best - most innovative and successful - brands. Then the arschlochs in corporate management decided to gut everything that made a Pontiac a Pontiac, with the result being a hollowed-out shell company that was little more than another marketing arm for slightly restyled "GM" cars no different in any meaningful way from other "GM" cars sold through Chevy or Pontiac.

    But, Pontiac has a great history to look back on and will be remembered by those who knew....
    It is sad that American car companies as they were have been destroyed by regulation, freeeeee trade, and yes, by quaaaaaaaality. I am not saying that reliability and quality are bad things, but I am more pointing at the obsessive empasis on quaaaaaaality by Toyota and Honda buyers who do not recognize that American cars, although previously problematic have improved their quality significantly in the last 15 or so years. Many import buyers have no concept of what goes into a car, the labor, the design, the engineering, etc and simply buys off the shelf.... I got off the import-exclusive bandwagon in 1994 when I bought a 1989 Cougar and again in 1996 when I bought a Mustang GT. True, it was cheapened by nickel and diming on steering and brake components, but it was a great car from a powertrain and suspension perspective.

    The other thing that didn't help American makers was its arrogant dealer network, who in many cases, looked for the lowest common denominator employees who could be paid the least.

    American cars have truly come a long way and rank among the best.

    It is also too bad that GM especially has no idea on how to market their excellent products. They also have a tendency to shove stupid crap like DRLs and Onstar down their customers throats. It doesn't bother their current customers, but it does bother the 80 percent of people who don't buy GM vehicles. Speaking with a Ford salesman, he explained to me that Ford doesn't offer DRL's because their customer surveys told them not to put those idiot things on their cars. I bet you could say the same thing about rat-boxes like OnStar. Honda removed OnStar as an option from their vehicles as a result of customer protests.

    Something radical needs to be done to reverse GM's market decline. They need to remove the BS and put in the type of marketing that sold cars... like in the old days. Marketing campaigns like Pontiac did in the past could sell GM cars no matter what you call them...Breakaway!

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    It is sad that American car companies as they were have been destroyed by regulation, freeeeee trade, and yes, by quaaaaaaaality. I am not saying that reliability and quality are bad things, but I am more pointing at the obsessive empasis on quaaaaaaality by Toyota and Honda buyers who do not recognize that American cars, although previously problematic have improved their quality significantly in the last 15 or so years. Many import buyers have no concept of what goes into a car, the labor, the design, the engineering, etc and simply buys off the shelf.... I got off the import-exclusive bandwagon in 1994 when I bought a 1989 Cougar and again in 1996 when I bought a Mustang GT. True, it was cheapened by nickel and diming on steering and brake components, but it was a great car from a powertrain and suspension perspective.

    The other thing that didn't help American makers was its arrogant dealer network, who in many cases, looked for the lowest common denominator employees who could be paid the least.

    American cars have truly come a long way and rank among the best.

    It is also too bad that GM especially has no idea on how to market their excellent products. They also have a tendency to shove stupid crap like DRLs and Onstar down their customers throats. It doesn't bother their current customers, but it does bother the 80 percent of people who don't buy GM vehicles. Speaking with a Ford salesman, he explained to me that Ford doesn't offer DRL's because their customer surveys told them not to put those idiot things on their cars. I bet you could say the same thing about rat-boxes like OnStar. Honda removed OnStar as an option from their vehicles as a result of customer protests.

    Something radical needs to be done to reverse GM's market decline. They need to remove the BS and put in the type of marketing that sold cars... like in the old days. Marketing campaigns like Pontiac did in the past could sell GM cars no matter what you call them...Breakaway!
    Your point about OnStar and DRLs is an excellent one. Might be worth doing an article!

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Good riddance to cars with ugly noses.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post

    But, Pontiac has a great history to look back on and will be remembered by those who knew....
    Really, Pontiac's "greatness" was mostly limited to 1964 -- 1971. That's a pretty brief period for a division that' over 80 years old, a mere blip.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    Really, Pontiac's "greatness" was mostly limited to 1964 -- 1971. That's a pretty brief period for a division that' over 80 years old, a mere blip.
    Not really. Pontiac sold in big numbers through the '80s and into the '90s. The Grand Am, for instance. Not my favorite car, but beside the point. The big decline in sales began circa the Asstek, around 2002. By this time, models like Grand Am/Grand Prix (and the Cavalier-based Sunfire) were dated and no longer competitive. Then came the GTO flop. GM just left Pontiac to twist in the wind.

    You're letting your personal dislike influence your anti-Pontiac posts!

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    Good riddance to cars with ugly noses.
    From the early '60s through the '80s, Pontiac developed some of the best-looking front-end treatments in the industry as far as I am concerned!

    Remember, Pontiac pioneered the "bumperless" look with the early GTO's body-colored Enduro nosepiece in the late '60s. It was one of the few to successfully comply with the new 5 MPH bumper impact standards in the early '70s without completely uglifying the front ends of its cars. (A good example is the '75-77 Camaro with its clumsy-looking bumpers vs. the same-year Firebird's much more integrated look.)

    In the '80s, the "aero" smoothed/flush look of cars like the Fiero and Trans-Am was considered very forward looking (and attractive) by most people... .
    Last edited by Eric; 04-28-2009 at 11:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    From the early '60s through the '80s, Pontiac developed some of the best-looking front-end treatments in the industry as far as I am concerned!

    Remember, Pontiac pioneered the "bumperless" look with the early GTO's body-colored Enduro nosepiece in the late '60s.... was considered very forward looking (and attractive) by most people... .
    The stacked headlamps were really cool!

    As we spoke of before - GM limiting it's entire car offering to 8 - 10 vehicles, I think they could still preserve some of the good ideas of the past. Just like Mercedes has the AMG, BMW has Hartage, GM could offer similiar options, right from the factory. I think this would work!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    Just like Mercedes has the AMG, BMW has Hartage, GM could offer similiar options, right from the factory. I think this would work!
    They do that to some extent in Europe - high-performance versions of Opels & Vauxhalls are sold under, respectively, the OPC & VXR brands. Not as specialised as AMG/Hartge, but distancing the performance models from the bread-& -butter stuff.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Not really. Pontiac sold in big numbers through the '80s and into the '90s. The Grand Am, for instance. Not my favorite car, but beside the point. The big decline in sales began circa the Asstek, around 2002. By this time, models like Grand Am/Grand Prix (and the Cavalier-based Sunfire) were dated and no longer competitive. Then came the GTO flop. GM just left Pontiac to twist in the wind.

    You're letting your personal dislike influence your anti-Pontiac posts!
    You're equating sales numbers with greatness. I'm talking about the brief period when they were producing vehicles that were actually distinctive, not only in styling but in engineering/performance as well.

  12. #12
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post

    But, Pontiac has a great history to look back on and will be remembered by those who knew....
    ^^^^^^^^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Not really. Pontiac sold in big numbers through the '80s and into the '90s. The Grand Am, for instance. Not my favorite car, but beside the point. The big decline in sales began circa the Asstek, around 2002. By this time, models like Grand Am/Grand Prix (and the Cavalier-based Sunfire) were dated and no longer competitive. Then came the GTO flop. GM just left Pontiac to twist in the wind.

    You're letting your personal dislike influence your anti-Pontiac posts!
    This "....great history to look back on...." is what I was commenting on. Are you suggesting that the Grand Am is part of this great Pontiac Heritage you're mourning?

    I still suggest that, of the 80+ years that the Pontiac Division has existed, the period between 1964 and 1971 is the only time that could be considered a "...great history to look back on". Selling Grand Ams to every girl who graduated college and traded in the Chevette that Daddy bought her is not the stuff of Heritage. Filling the lots at Budget and Avis with Grands Prix and G6s is not part of a "great history". Just because they were still economically viable as automotive appliance vendors doesn't mean they were still in their glory years.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    You're equating sales numbers with greatness. I'm talking about the brief period when they were producing vehicles that were actually distinctive, not only in styling but in engineering/performance as well.
    Well, sales success is one measure of greatness in the car business. And there are certainly plenty of post-'71 Pontiacs that were great in terms of style, innovation and so on. Here are a few that come to mind:

    The '73-'74 SD-455 (quicker than most any high-compression '60s-era muscle car);

    The '75-'76 455 Trans-Am (beautiful cars with the last of the big-inch engines);

    The '77-'79 Trans Am 400 W/72 WS6 (superb performance that exceeded Corvette both acceleration and handling);

    Mid-'70s Grand Prix SJ and SSJ (and Can Am) were neat;

    Then there are the third Gen. Firebirds - again, gorgeous cars that offered a great deal for the money and otherwise;

    The Fiero;

    '89 Turbo Trans Am

    Syclone & Typhoon (remember them? turbo and AWD - 20 years before the EVO or WRX). Ok, so they were sold as GMCs.. but by this time it was Pontiac-GMC.

    Etc.
    Last edited by Eric; 04-28-2009 at 01:36 PM.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    From the early '60s through the '80s, Pontiac developed some of the best-looking front-end treatments in the industry as far as I am concerned!





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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post




    Beautiful pics!

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Beautiful pics!
    Yeah, and Bella Abzug is Miss America!

  17. #17
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    Yeah, and Bella Abzug is Miss America!
    I understand you don't like the look Pontiac developed; but the fact is many millions of people (me included) did - and it was during this era precisely that Pontiac was a sales leader, which arguably means it was a styling leader, too.

    Things began to go sour for Pontiac after the division lost unique, Pontiac-built engines - and became fatal when the division lost unique models (like Fiero) and became little more than a re-selling venue for mildly tarted-up Buicks an Chevys.

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