Monday, April 27, 2009

Pontiac may go bye-bye?

The Pontiac brand is to go the way of Oldsmobile earlier in this decade. I would be hurt somewhat:
General Motors will announce a restructuring plan at 9 a.m. EDT today. The storied Pontiac brand is dead and more car factories and jobs are about to disappear — the latest casualties of a plan that GM is counting on to help it stave off bankruptcy protection. The plan is being announced as GM makes an offer to its bondholders to swap debt for company stock. GM owes $28 billion to large and small bondholders, and under Securities and Exchange Commission rules, it must disclose its operational plans when it makes an exchange offer.

Two people briefed on GM's plan confirmed that it includes the demise of Trans Am sports car brand Pontiac, 83 years after the first Pontiac car was introduced. Within three years, half a million Pontiacs were sold, and the brand quickly grew in popularity, from early models like the Chief and the Master Six Coupe, to the Bonneville convertible, to the GTO — one of America's first muscle cars and so popular it inspired Ronny and the Daytonas to immortalize it in song.

But efforts in the last few years to market Pontiac as performance-oriented brand failed. The company had said it wanted to keep Pontiac as a niche brand with one or two models, but is buckling under tremendous government pressure to consolidate its eight brands, several of which lose money.

The company also has decided to close more factories than the five it announced in February, the two people said, asking not to be identified because the plan has not yet been made public. But the locations of the doomed factories will not be identified Monday.
The last car my dad ever had before he passed away was a two-door Grand Prix and if I was going to buy me a car today and I could afford to, it would have been a GTO. It would have been a GTO since Pontiac no longer makes the two-door Grand Prix.

GM is no stranger unfortunately to ending the run of a car brand many years ago they stopped production of any new Oldsmobiles. That was much early in the decade and it can only be speculated that my dad would have been hurt by this because that was his car. RL Dukes would've been hurt by that himself since he sold them although I'm sure he could have found another brand to have sold.

You know something, this is just the sign of the times. GM is struggling with sagging revenues, increasing debt, and perhaps even from recovering from incompetent management. It's unfortunate that government is essentially attempting to influence a private business as to what it should do in times like these.

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