For many fans of Pontiac, including me, it was a horrible decision. It was a brand that gave us most iconic vehicles and was always a great competitor to many powerful cars we saw. After 83 years on market Pontiac had to go, a real shame. In case you do not know here are the few reasons why this happened.
During the last few years of production, the brand was not profitable and even there were plans for the launch of G8 performance sedan and Solstice roadster there it wasn’t enough to keep it. We know what kind of financial problems was GM, and they were pretty much forced to choose between Buick and Pontiac.
Did they choose the wrong brand to discontinue?
From the perspective of a fan, they made a horrible mistake. No matter what they say I think that they could save it. Story goes slightly bit different and here is what Susan Docherty, Vice President of U.S. Sales at GM wrote in 2009:
“I’d like to assure your readers that phasing out Pontiac was one of the most difficult decisions of my career but also one of the most necessary.
Pontiac had been unprofitable for several years. A team, many of whom were passionate about the brand, tried in vain to save Pontiac and make it profitable — but none of the scenarios proved viable.
We kept Buick in the General Motors family because it is highly profitable and will grow with new models for the next few years, giving Buick an offering in several sedan and crossover segments.
The Enclave is already a market success, with 50 percent of the buyers brand new to Buick. The 2010 LaCrosse is performing well, attracting younger buyers and those who are trading in imports like Lexus and Acura. And the 2011 Regal, a mid-sized sport sedan, arrives in U.S. dealerships in the spring. The Regal is already a hot seller in China and is based on the highly successful Opel Insignia, the 2009 European Car of the Year. A little further down the road, there will be a compact sedan and a small crossover joining the family.
We feel confident that we chose to save the right brand and that Buick has a bright future ahead of it.”
Simple as that, it was a business move. Pontiac did not bring money; they were making losses. Also, they sold rebadged vehicles from Chevy and usually prices were slightly lower than what you would pay for similar Chevrolet model. All this caused huge problems and decision was final to leave Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC and to abandon Pontiac.