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2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe

2009 Pontiac G8 GXP

The 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, made famous by the movie "Smokey and the Bandit"  (Source: FastCoolCars)
The rumors of major brand changes at General Motors are confirmed

GM, on the verge of bankruptcy, is desperately fighting to survive.  The company was rumored to slash its Pontiac niche brand as part of the survival bid, and today at a special press conference it confirmed these rumors

Pontiac was a brand that saw its popularity peak in the 1970s, when its Firebird and GTO series were burning up the sales charts, and making their way into movies and television.  Meanwhile, models like the Grand Am provided GM with steady sales. 

Through the 1980s and 1990s the brand declined in popularity, selling fewer vehicles.  However, before the worst of the recession, the brand seemed poised to make a comeback, with the new Pontiac G8 and Solstice earning strong reviews.  Sadly, though, these efforts will now be laid to rest.

Fritz Henderson, GM president and CEO, acknowledged that the decision was a painful one, stating, "We are taking tough but necessary actions that are critical to GM's long-term viability.  Our responsibility is clear - to secure GM's future - and we intend to succeed. At the same time, we also understand the impact these actions will have on our employees, dealers, unions, suppliers, shareholders, bondholders, and communities, and we will do whatever we can to mitigate the effects on the extended GM team."

GM plans not only to cut the Pontiac brand, but also its number of nameplates.  The total nameplates in 2010 will be 34, down 29 percent from the 48 nameplates in 2009.  GM will also cut 42 percent of its dealerships by the end of 2010, going from 6,246 (in 2008) to 3,605.  GM will also produce 190,000 fewer vehicles in the second and third quarters.  Also, the sales or liquidation of the Saab, Hummer, and Saturn brands will be completed by the end of 2009, at the latest.

The new strategy calls for sole focus on GM's four core brands -- Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac.  States Mr. Henderson optimistically, "We have strong new product coming for our four core brands: the Chevrolet Camaro, Equinox, Cruze and Volt; Buick LaCrosse; GMC Terrain; and Cadillac SRX and CTS Sport Wagon and Coupe.  A tighter focus by GM and its dealers will help give these products the capital investment, marketing and advertising support they need to be truly successful."

GM now says that if the industry can sell 10 million vehicles annually, it can break even with costs.  The break even comes thanks to steep cuts.  GM will close 13 of its 47 assembly, powertrain, and stamping plants.  It will also cut 33,000 of its 71,000 (2008) hourly employees by 2011.  The new plan calls for 7,000 to 8,000 more hourly employees than the previous rejected proposal in February.

One key trouble spot is the issue of bonds.  GM owes billions to bondholders and has proposed a debt for equity swap, which it hopes will reduce its debt by anywhere from $27B USD to $44B USD, including U.S. Treasury debt conversion, VEBA modification and bond exchange.

An intriguing aspect of the new plan is that it will place majority ownership of the company in the hands of the unions (UAW, CAW) and the American taxpayers.  The plan calls for the U.S. Treasury to accept GM stock, rather than cash for repayment of its loans.  Furthermore, the unions would also receive a major equity stake, in exchange for forgiving major debts.  The plan would cede 89 percent of the company to the unions and taxpayers.

GM also plans on aggressively marketing its upcoming 2010 Chevy Volt electric vehicle and spending $5.4B USD in research and new technology investments this year.  Between 2010 and 2014, it hopes to spend $5.3B USD to $6.7B USD annually on new technology investments.

Mr. Henderson realizes that his company is relying on the government for survival.  He adds, "The Viability Plan reflects the direction of President Obama and the U.S. Treasury that GM should go further and faster on our restructuring. We appreciate their support and direction. This stronger, leaner business model will enable GM to keep doing what it does best - provide great new cars, trucks and crossovers to our customers, and continue to develop new advanced propulsion technologies that are vital for our country's economy and environment."

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Buick? Really?
By SublimeSimplicity on 4/27/2009 10:41:28 AM , Rating: 5
Maybe it's because I eat dinner after 4pm, but you keep Buick around? At least Pontiac had a couple cars I would test drive when shopping for a new car.

RE: Buick? Really?
By mofo3k on 4/27/2009 10:43:38 AM , Rating: 5
Add GMC in to that mix too. It's not bad per se, but totally useless as those trucks are already in the Chevy line as well.

RE: Buick? Really?
By rudolphna on 4/27/2009 12:08:13 PM , Rating: 3
I dont know about you, but I would rather buy a GMC Sierra, from a Truck brand. Chevy sells everything. I think they should cut the Silverado, and stick with the GMC Sierra.

RE: Buick? Really?
By DigitalFreak on 4/27/2009 4:12:34 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously? They're the exact same truck with different front end styling.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Gul Westfale on 4/27/2009 5:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
chevy: mainstream brand, well known, high sales
GMC: important in the COMMERCIAL sector, where they sell lots of trucks (small and larger) and vans
buick: use mostly the same engines/platforms as cheaper GM cars but are sold at higher prices in the near-luxury segment= higher profit. also great image/sales in china
cadillac: GM's halo brand, high margins

pontiac: too many products that overlap with chevy, nothing unique (G8 is too little too late)
saturn: fighting imports with ions is pathetic. starting to import opels from germany is a good move; but once again, too little, too late.
saab: they don't make a single vehicle that is class-competitive, and they won't, unless there is major investment which GM cannot afford.
opel: german media now say either canadian supplier magna or italian fiat will try to buy in, but no decision has been made. i think that is a mistake of GM, opel makes decent cars and perhaps they could import them... as chevys rather than saturns.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Alexvrb on 4/27/2009 10:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
buick: use mostly the same engines/platforms as cheaper GM cars
They use whichever engine they feel is best suited to the task. It's a pretty even split. A lot of the engines they use are Cadillac designs, and heck, in the case of the first generation Northstars, that was a bad thing (except in terms of power). The Northstar V8s (all variants) came from Caddy, the 5300 is a Corvette-derived engine, while the 3900 design came from more plebian Chevy roots. The recent 3.6L, including DI variant, was primarily a Caddy/Holden effort. The 3800/3300 on the other hand? That's a Buick design. Chevy, Pontiac, and Olds got that engine from Buick, not the other way around.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Spuke on 4/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Buick? Really?
By Spuke on 4/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Buick? Really?
By Alexvrb on 4/30/2009 10:49:38 PM , Rating: 1
The only fact here is that you are ignorant with regards to engine design. By your logic, the engine used in the Crossfire is a Chrysler engine.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Cincybeck on 5/1/2009 10:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
Makes sense to me. Yes there is a difference in engine design by who originally designed the engine, but GM now owns/owned Buick, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and GMC. Therefore they own the engine designs, and can put it in whatever they want, making it a GM engine. Proof in point. Open the hood of a '95-'97 Buick La Sabre, Chevy Camaro, Chevy Impala, Oldsmobile Eighty-eight, Pontiac Bonneville, or Pontiac Grand Prix. If it's a V-6, You'll find a Buick V-6, Series II 3.8 liter.

RE: Buick? Really?
By JasonMick on 4/27/2009 10:44:11 AM , Rating: 5
Buick sells great in China for one thing. It'd be hard to justify cutting it or GMC in terms of sales, though both aren't quite as bulletproof as Chevy/Cadillac, GM's base and luxury core brands.

Overall I think the four brand strategy is a decent approach, especially given the nameplate reductions which are a move in the right direction.

Not sure what to make about the stock-for-loans plan though. I guess the U.S. really *couldn't* let GM go bankrupt then. Pretty clever on GM's part at least, though maybe not so good for the rest of us...

RE: Buick? Really?
By SublimeSimplicity on 4/27/2009 10:48:01 AM , Rating: 3
Buick sells great in China for one thing.

I don't think the Buicks that sell well in China are available in the US, which may be part of the problem. For instance, I think they sell a G8 based Buick over there.

RE: Buick? Really?
By hashish2020 on 4/27/2009 11:33:38 AM , Rating: 2
No the majority of sales are from the Buick Lacrosse and the Excelle---which is a reskinned Suzuki Reno---and a Regal, which is far too small and expensive for the US market to stomach from anyone but an overpriced unreliable European manufacturer (yes, thats you, VW)...

GM and Ford have some great cars, many of which are in the US now, it's just that people still think we are in the 80's, before Honda's transmission issues and Toyota's engine sludge issues showed up...

RE: Buick? Really?
By EasyC on 4/27/2009 12:09:05 PM , Rating: 1
Engine sludge was from consumer neglect. I'd prefer sludge over internal engine damage anyday.

RE: Buick? Really?
By rudolphna on 4/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Buick? Really?
By Wierdo on 4/27/2009 1:57:38 PM , Rating: 1
I'll add my personal anecdote and say that as a former Ford owner I can attest to the engine problem, it killed my Bronco II, but before it did that the powertrain fell apart on the highway. My biggest pet peeve was that some of the computerized components of the car was proprietary Ford stuff so I wasn't able to fix those problems at my local mechanic shop.

Was a fun ride while it lasted though, oh well.

RE: Buick? Really?
By SublimeSimplicity on 4/27/2009 2:16:27 PM , Rating: 5
A Bronco II?

Let me tell you why I'll never buy Windows 7. I once had a Window 3.11 install that failed and I lost a very important document.

RE: Buick? Really?
By SunAngel on 4/27/2009 3:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
Lol!!! What's that you say? Windows ME was a significant improvement over Widnows 98?

RE: Buick? Really?
By goku on 4/27/09, Rating: 0
RE: Buick? Really?
By RagingDragon on 4/28/2009 2:27:47 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't fit at all. In the case of GM their latest products are much better than their old products. Your analogy goes the opposite way (old product superior to new product).

RE: Buick? Really?
By Pjotr on 4/28/2009 10:46:15 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, so you are saying Windows 3.11 is a much better product than Windows 7 then. As his anology must have been the opposite: older product better than new.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Samus on 4/27/2009 3:45:21 PM , Rating: 2
Practically every auto manufacturer makes decent engines now. Hyundai is the last manufacturer with engine problems I can think of, and those were their homebrew (non-mitsubishi) inline four's that had crank walk issues in the late 90's. However, Ford had a similar problem with the duratech v8 used in the late Taurus SHO which had cam walk problems. Neither was ever recalled, and none of these engines made it to 100,000 miles without preventative maintenance to the crank bearing/cam seals.

However, GM had its share of engine hickups in the 90's, but they weren't internal issues, usually electronic, such as fuel injectors prematurely failing and O2 sensors quickly burning out (thank you Bosch, although they'd say GM placed them in 'trouble spots' in the exhaust)

Overall, pretty much everyone has figured out this internal combustion engine thing by now...

RE: Buick? Really?
By FITCamaro on 4/27/09, Rating: 0
RE: Buick? Really?
By DigitalFreak on 4/27/2009 4:16:57 PM , Rating: 3
The last Taurus SHO I'm aware of was a supercharged V6

This coming from a self professed car guy?

The new 2010 Taurus SHO is a twin turbo V6.

RE: Buick? Really?
By teldar on 4/27/2009 5:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
I remember looking at the SHO before I bought a used car. It WAS a V8 at the end.

RE: Buick? Really?
By teldar on 4/27/2009 5:41:36 PM , Rating: 5
So you're taking a vehicle out of the early 80's and comparing it to something that's made today? Because it's the same manufacturer?
Boy, there's an apples to apples comparison.

RE: Buick? Really?
By slunkius on 4/28/2009 5:43:00 AM , Rating: 2
It's his PERSONAL experience, in my opinion more valuable than "this car rules, ant that one got great review"

RE: Buick? Really?
By Alexvrb on 4/27/2009 11:00:56 PM , Rating: 2
My biggest pet peeve was that some of the computerized components of the car was proprietary Ford stuff so I wasn't able to fix those problems at my local mechanic shop.
What "computerized components" of a car aren't proprietary to a manufacturer? That doesn't have anything to do with fixing a car. Your local shop simply wasn't up to snuff.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Spuke on 4/28/2009 12:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
The engines ECM is a sealed unit that can be troubleshot using diagnostic devices. They're not really complicated units. Besides, they rarely break. You'll have FAR more problems with the mechanical bits than the ECM.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Alexvrb on 4/30/2009 10:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
I know, that's kind of what I was implying. All that stuff is "proprietary", and it can be diagnosed by a competent shop. The shop he was going to was less-than-competent. The vehicle was not at fault I can't tell if you're trying to agree with me or if you misread my post and are trying to argue with me.

Also, there are certain vehicles with trouble-prone ECMs that break all the @*&%ing time. Replacements/modifications can correct this permanently or semi-permanently. Such as relocating chrysler lean burn ECMs to a cooler location, or a better-soldered and better-insulated replacement, PROM (pre-flash) with better program, etc. Also relocating ECMs for performance reasons (eg outside of airbox because you have a fenderwell intake now) can cause them to overheat and cause drivability issues.

RE: Buick? Really?
By djc208 on 4/27/2009 7:25:09 PM , Rating: 1
+1. How come people go out to buy a Honda and because it's an "investment" they are meticulous in it's maintenance, meanwhile the guy buying a Cobalt for Focus tends to see it as just basic transportation and flogs the heck out of it. Sure the Focus may not last as long but I'd bet many Honda's would either if they were as poorly kept as many American cars are.

Then there's the recalls on the late 90's Tacoma pickups because the FRAME can fail prematurely! My dad just went through that one. They also had a recall recently for steering problems. Unlike the Ford Firestone tire issue these haven't been plastered all over the news media.

RE: Buick? Really?
By callmeroy on 4/30/2009 8:13:26 AM , Rating: 2
LOL....the other guys in my family and extended family would debate you strongly on this....they all are fanatics about cars and they keep them all very well maintained (and clean).....except for one of my brother who's the exact opposite....let's just say once he got pulled over for FLAMES coming out the back of this old Falcon he drove...yes flames as in fire (and unlike in movies -- no it wasn't intentional for looks)...... ;)

RE: Buick? Really?
By bjacobson on 4/27/2009 11:49:27 AM , Rating: 2
For some reason, Buicks are a Luxury car over there like Mercedes and BMW. o.O

RE: Buick? Really?
By corduroygt on 4/27/2009 12:15:48 PM , Rating: 5
So f'n what? Make Buick the China-only brand, just like Opel is europe-only and Holden is Australia-only.

It makes ZERO sense to keep Buick, GMC and ditch Pontiac. I say just keep Chevy and Cadillac and ditch the rest. Pontiac can become the "SS" for Chevy.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Brandon Hill on 4/27/2009 10:44:12 AM , Rating: 4
I say that should make it simple -- kill GMC and Buick too. No need to have Cadillac and Buick for luxury. And GMCs are just rebadges anyway.

RE: Buick? Really?
By icrf on 4/27/2009 11:09:02 AM , Rating: 1
I thought GMC was the heavy duty/commercial brand, and Chevy was light duty/consumer.

I don't know that killing off brands is that important, it's the overlap between them. I mean, the G8 is great, but is there some reason that can't exist as a Camaro?

RE: Buick? Really?
By s12033722 on 4/27/2009 5:50:22 PM , Rating: 2
The G8 is a 4-door sports sedan. The new Camaro uses a very similar powertrain but is a sports coupe. I really hope that even though they kill Pontiac they bring the G8 into Chevy, although I suppose they probably plan to push that segment into the Caddy CTS. The Solstice should live on as well. It's a very nice little car.

RE: Buick? Really?
By UNHchabo on 4/27/2009 7:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
Well, both the Camaro and the G8 are based on the Holden Monaro, so if they wanted to make a "Chevy G8", they could just release it as a "4-door Camaro"... I have no idea if it would sell well if they released it that way, but it's an idea.

RE: Buick? Really?
By IcePickFreak on 4/27/2009 9:46:50 PM , Rating: 3
The G8 is based on the Holden Commodore, the GTO from a few years ago was based on the Holden Monaro.

The GTO/Monaro where built on the V chassis.

The G8/Commodore is built on the Zeta platform (made to replace the V), as well as the new Camaro although the Camaro is a revised version of the Zeta the G8/Commodore ride on.

The Commodore is also sold as a left hand drive Chevy Lumina SS in the middle-east (google "Chevy Lumina SS"), however GM had stated that the G8/Commodore will not be coming to the US under different branding anytime in the immediate future.

"Last of the V8 Interceptors"

RE: Buick? Really?
By bhieb on 4/27/2009 11:10:58 AM , Rating: 3
Although I do see your point with Buick, I'd have to see sales the numbers on GMC. We have lots of work trucks at our company, and most are GMC. It is not really the branding, but the service differences. GMC dealers are more business friendly, since that is their core business. I'd say kill the trucks from the Chevy line and keep the GMC structure. There is an entirely different support level dealing with a GMC dealer, than a Chevy one. Most sell both, but some smaller dealers are just GMC.

RE: Buick? Really?
By TA152H on 4/27/2009 12:42:23 PM , Rating: 3
Do any of you have a clue when you post about Buick, or just having an emotional outburst without any thought? Well, I already know the answer to that.

Buick, with Jaguar, just one the most reliable award from J.D. Power. You've heard of them, right? Buick was also the first GM brand, and still has an excellent reputation even in the United States, far better than Pontiac. Older people in particular have brand loyalty to it, and most people equate Buick with a quality vehicle. I won't even argue whether it's true or not, since in this case perception is more important anyway, but J.D. Powers seems to think so currently, and that's more important than my opinion anyway.

Pontiac does not enjoy that type of reputation, or even come close. Please try to remember when posting, that GM isn't basing their decision just on you. They couldn't afford to develop cars just to sell to you. I don't like GM at all, or Buick, but, that doesn't mean a lot of people don't. They definitely made the right decision to keep Buick. Can you imagine how stupid they would have seemed if they had ditched the brand the year it won the J.D. Power award? I can imagine how much whining people would do then, considering the complaints now for Pontiac. This is a brand with little reputation, and which had already been deprecated to a "niche" status.

RE: Buick? Really?
By FITCamaro on 4/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Buick? Really?
By Pneumothorax on 4/27/2009 3:57:47 PM , Rating: 5
Buick's are reliable because the owner's don't live long enough to wear out the car!

RE: Buick? Really?
By DigitalFreak on 4/27/2009 4:18:20 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Buick? Really?
By sticks435 on 4/28/2009 5:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
Buick was not the first GM brand, GMC was, hence why the company is called GM.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Hiawa23 on 4/27/2009 11:10:07 AM , Rating: 1
GM now says that if the industry can sell 10 million vehicles annually, it can break even with costs.

I have never been a Buick or Pontiac guy, last I remember the only cars I have bought have been from Honda & Mitsubishi after my issues with that Chrysler Lebaron I bought in the 80s, but, honestly, GM keeps throwing out they need to sell 100mill cars anunually but is this realistic given the economic crisis, & another thing, they are slashing brands, but are they doing anything to adjust the UAW contracts, & other Legacy cost, because cutting brands will do very little if these other costs, which I think are at the root cause & the reason they have been losing money since 2004.

RE: Buick? Really?
By HinderedHindsight on 4/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Buick? Really?
By omnicronx on 4/27/2009 12:20:04 PM , Rating: 5
Selling cars is the responsibility of their marketing and sales force, not the UAW.
And making a profit is the executives responsibilities, the entire argument of 'its the marketing teams fault' is no longer applicable as ALL car manufacturers are losing money. Yes they made some bad decisions, but they cannot be solely to blame for the current situation. If a company cannot make a profit, then concessions have to be made. It has got to the point where UAW and CAW workers have lost support of the people, and are coming off as greedy ********.

I say let them all go bankrupt (can't believe I said it), this saving the Unions BS has gone on long enough.

P.S Keeping their jobs is not the responsibility of the government, its the responsibility of the Union, so why is
it, that the common tax payer is going to end up paying their salaries for years to come or that these unions are more concerned with their current pay, than worker job security and the pensions of former employees.

In my opinion keeping an inefficient Union afloat is just as bad of a decision as keeping a floundering car manufacturer afloat.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Hiawa23 on 4/27/2009 11:25:46 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry about previous post. Should read 10million instead of 100

RE: Buick? Really?
By bldckstark on 4/27/2009 12:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
GM is not stating that THEY need to sell 10M vehicles. They are stating that in a 10M vehicle sales market that they can make a profit.

The vehicle sales market is geusstimated at 8-10M cars for 2009.

RE: Buick? Really?
By CannedTurkey on 4/27/2009 11:21:15 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. Out of all the GM brands, Pontiac and Saturn were the only ones that held any interest for me. Of course, if I'd been running the company, I would have turned Pontiac into a Performance & Trim package a long time ago.

RE: Buick? Really?
By FITCamaro on 4/27/2009 12:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'd love to have a 2.0L turbo Sky. Great looking vehicle. Just a tad small. And I love the Vue. Would be my SUV of choice if I had a family.

Sad day.

RE: Buick? Really?
By RandomUsername3463 on 4/27/2009 4:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
Pontiac's only "cool" cars in the past ~10 yrs are the Solstice and the G8. GM has been losing money on every Sky / Solstice made, and the G8 isn't selling that well. The rest of pontiac's vehicles are duplicated in Chevy or Buick or both.

I still associate Pontiac with their 90s image of, "Same sedans as Olds and Buick, but with ugly plastic body moulding to make it Sporty!" I say scrap them.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Spuke on 4/28/2009 2:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
GM has been losing money on every Sky / Solstice made
Actually, no they haven't. The platform was designed to make money in low volumes. Now given the current market, I would not be surprised if they lost money on the platform but it was not designed that way.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Spuke on 4/28/2009 2:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
Crap. Need edit button. Ignore the first sentence.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Screwballl on 4/27/2009 12:02:33 PM , Rating: 1
One of the largest "groups" with disposable incomes are retirees... which means they like Buick and will stick with a brand they are familiar with. Living in a major retiree area of FL, I would say Buicks are the number 1 car of choice for those over 60.

The Pontiacs have always been aimed at a younger generation but with the number of imports and alternative offerings for our generation, sales have dropped so this I think is the smart move.

As for GMC, that is a higher grade of the GM trucks. The body panels and exterior styling may be the same or similar but it is the extras that go in underneath it all that allows the GMC trucks to really step up to a higher grade of truck.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Gyres01 on 4/27/2009 1:01:35 PM , Rating: 1
I agree, Pontiac has a few recognizable names, but Buick ?? come on let is go already.......

RE: Buick? Really?
By Aquila76 on 4/27/2009 1:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
My Dad's last 6 cars were Buicks (Wildcat, Apollo, LeSabre, Roadmaster, LeSabre, Lucerne). The last 3 he sold after roughly 4 years each because he travels a lot for work (about 30K anually). Granted, he is 60; but as it's been said before, Buick has a fierce brand loyalty among that evergrowing 'older' population with lots of extra income.

RE: Buick? Really?
By luceri on 4/28/2009 9:57:49 AM , Rating: 1
Truth, but I think these guys will still stick American and bottomline that's all I care about right now. Lincoln has some solid cars marketed towards the same audience still despite their marketing campaigns to get into the younger audience, hopefully this demographic can get into these. I just don't imagine them driving VW's BMW's or Mercedes'.

I just got a new car myself. I wanted the Mercedes, I chose the Lincoln. It's time for the "Be American, Buy American" slogans to go back up. We need them right now...

RE: Buick? Really?
By Spuke on 4/28/2009 2:50:11 PM , Rating: 3
"Be American, Buy American" slogans to go back up.
I prefer to "Be American" by exercising my right to choose. And that choice may not be an American car. That said, I just bought an 06 Ford F250 diesel.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Davelo on 4/27/09, Rating: 0
RE: Buick? Really?
By luceri on 4/28/2009 10:02:08 AM , Rating: 2
You've got it right there. The Japenese have this american auto industry down pat. They know exactly what we want and can get it for the price we want. Superior sports car at an insane price? Nissan GT-R at only 75k brand new still holds the stock record at Nurburgring Nordschleiffe IIRC. Want something trendier and cool if you're into that scene? Nissan Cube for under 17k.

The Nissan Cube isn't even marketed as a "car" or "vehicle". It's marketed as a "mobile device". Frigging brilliant. People want something different. Nissan's supplying it. I cringe when I see these new Chrysler and GM advertisements on the television right now. The marketing is absolutely atrocious and I know that I'M THE ONE PAYING FOR THE DAMN COMMERCIAL with my tax money. It upsets me a lot...

RE: Buick? Really?
By Spuke on 4/28/2009 3:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
Cars are marketed towards their intended audience not to a general audience. If their commercial appeals to you then it's because YOU are the intended market. I don't base my purchases on a TV commercial. I have needs and wants and I look for a car that meets them. Simple as that.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Hiawa23 on 4/27/2009 1:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
GM now says that if the industry can sell 10 million vehicles annually, it can break even with costs.

I am curious, they say if the industry can sell 10 mill, they can break even. When they say industry do they mean everyone, Toyota, Honda, Ford, etc, cause how do they make money if the majority of the 10mill are from other automakers? I would be more interested to know how many cars they would have sell to break even instead of the industry. Could be wrong but seems like a way to skew numbers. If I am wrong please help me understand.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Iketh on 4/28/2009 9:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
GM can rely on a certain percentage of all new car sales to be their own based on year-to-year trends. Their business model is relying on the industry prediction of 9-10 million new cars sold in 2009.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Azzr34l on 4/27/2009 1:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
Never in a million years would I have imagined I'd say the following four words: I'm buying a Buick.

To me, Buick has always been the embodiment of "old people's cars". All my grandmother has owned has been Buick. With that being said, the Enclave is one sweet ride. With three kids, we've outgrown our Passat and need a third row. The Lambda models fit our need perfectly (sans better fuel economy), without going to the full size truck platforms.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Hiawa23 on 4/27/2009 5:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
Others pointed out that there are deeper problems at both companies that aren't necessarily solved by the newest restructuring plans.

This was reported on CNN, & I agree with this. Give em credit for doing what they should have done some time ago, but this may keep em out of bankruptcy in the shorterm but I and many are not sure this will cure em for the long term when alot of their ills are still there.

RE: Buick? Really?
By Anonymous Freak on 4/27/2009 6:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
Buick is apparently a very popular brand outside the U.S.

And GMC sells *BIG* trucks that don't have a Chevy equivalent, as well as Chevy-alikes.

I think it's a decent setup. Take the good Pontiacs and either re-brand them as a Chevy or Cadillac, as appropriate. I also think they need to make the lines clear.

GMC = trucks (pretty darned clear already)
Cadillac = luxury (again, pretty darned clear)
Buick = Export market full line
Chevy = low-to-mid, plus specialty (Corvette, etc.)

RE: Buick? Really?
By Alexvrb on 4/27/2009 10:01:13 PM , Rating: 2
They're not the most aggressive looking vehicles, no. Although the 2010 LaCross wasn't a bad looking vehicle. But the main thing Buicks are known for is their reliability, and that is often overlooked. They will be missed, though not as much as Pontiac. I will at the very least miss Buick for their history, which many people here know nothing of.

RE: Buick? Really?
By RagingDragon on 4/28/2009 2:47:59 AM , Rating: 2
Buick haven't been killed (yet). Remaining brands are: Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC.

RE: Buick? Really?
By callmeroy on 4/30/2009 8:10:18 AM , Rating: 2
Folks keep saying "why keep buick..buick this buick that"....First I'm sure sales figures and other data is what GM is basing its decisions on not personal opinions as we share here on these forums. Secondly, buicks are very popular with older people -- folks keep going "in china they sell well though" -- maybe that's true but in older communities in the US they sell too! Two things we have a lot of in my section of NJ --- Diners and Housing Developments. There are some huge developments around here with several hundred homes -- alot with the "...An community for Active Adults 55+ " signage. You drive passed or through those see plenty of Buicks (and Caddies and BMWs btw too). So while this isn't "data" persay from my own two eyes and the frequency I see them, my conclusion is Buicks largely capture the older market.

By svenkesd on 4/27/2009 10:36:46 AM , Rating: 2
Will they rebrand cars like the G8 and Solstice, or are they talking about trashing the entire program?

It takes a lot of development cost to create a new model. It seems like they would try to keep the best ones.

RE: Rebrand?
By CollegeTechGuy on 4/27/2009 10:38:53 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure that is something the are considering. Seeing how they already have all the research and designs, and some of the assembly machines, they are more than likely considering it. However, they do need to get rid of stuff to stay afloat.

RE: Rebrand?
By Spuke on 4/28/2009 3:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe the G8 but the Solstice/Sky was to be discontinued or built on another platform in 2013 anyways and, given the market, killing them early makes sense. I don't expect them to return until the market comes back.

RE: Rebrand?
By Brandon Hill on 4/27/2009 10:39:56 AM , Rating: 2
Rebrand the G8 as the Impala and call it a day. The current Impala is a POS.

RE: Rebrand?
By Aeonic on 4/27/2009 10:48:39 AM , Rating: 2 - a G8 Lumina SS :D - The G8 (scroll down) Lumina again and a Buick Park Avenue from China and it also mentions a Caprice (and for good measure the new Camaro).

Chevy needs to just fire whoever makes the names of their models (Lumina? really? That rivals Probe as the worst ever car model name), and just call it a Chevrolet G8. The buick doesn't look bad actually, much better IMO than the jellybean shaped Buicks I've seen here.

RE: Rebrand?
By tonjohn on 4/27/2009 12:30:20 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, the Nova would have to be one of the worst names.

It essentially translates to "no go" - who would want a car with that name?

RE: Rebrand?
By erple2 on 4/27/2009 4:37:52 PM , Rating: 3
Nonsense. Nova by itself doesn't mean anything bad.

Much like if a furniture company came out with a kitchen set called "the Notable". Would you think that it lacked a table?

Or would you think that it was possibly good product based on the name?

RE: Rebrand?
By tonjohn on 4/27/2009 6:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
The key is in the pronunciation.

Notable does not sound like "no table" when spoken. However, nova sounds like spanish for "no go" when spoken.

RE: Rebrand?
By Trippytiger on 4/28/2009 2:27:18 AM , Rating: 2
... which is completely and utterly irrelevant in primarily English-speaking markets, where the word "nova" has an entirely different meaning.

Now, it may be argued that naming a car after an explosion, but harping on the "no go" thing is just stupid.

RE: Rebrand?
By epobirs on 4/28/2009 9:30:56 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Rebrand?
By tonjohn on 4/28/2009 12:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
Notice how I didn't mention anything about poor sales, etc.

I still think it is a funny story and a funny name :)

RE: Rebrand?
By FITCamaro on 4/27/2009 12:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be insanely happy with that decision. The G8 is an awesome car. Would be a shame to kill it.

RE: Rebrand?
By Alexvrb on 4/27/2009 10:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
The current Impala is actually a pretty good vehicle, all around. The transaxle is dated, but reliable. The engines are solid, and fairly fuel efficient, especially considering they're coupled to a 4 speed. It's not designed to compete against high end luxury cars, sure. Maybe it's styling is not your cup of tea. But to call it a POS shows your ignorance.

The G8 would be fine as a Chevy (as a Caprice, perhaps), but it can't replace the Impala in their lineup. Fuel economy needs to go up for their fullsize, not down. It doesn't mesh well with your daddy's new CAFE standard. You can't have it all. What they *actually* need to do is bolt up the V6s in the Impala to the 6T70E transaxle, and work on toughening up said transaxle for the V8.

RE: Rebrand?
By DuctTapeAvenger on 4/27/2009 10:54:24 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like it's getting flushed completely. It probably helps that I think at least 90% of the Pontiac line is based on a rebadged Chevy model, shared between them and Saturn, or is imported from Australia (Holden made the GTO and the G8).

I'm sad and surprised to see them go. Around here there are more G5 and G6 cars running around than any other single brand. My parking garage is at least 10% Pontiac. From my view, they weren't doing too bad at all.

Oh good...
By Motoman on 4/27/2009 11:02:44 AM , Rating: 5
...unions with major ownership of GM. Bad enough that the government would have a major stake...

If they manage to get their deals done now, I'm sure government loans and such will allow them to blunder through the next year or two. However, with the unions having major ownership, I don't see any possibility of long-term viability. Bye-bye, GM.

RE: Oh good...
By jcbond on 4/27/2009 11:20:12 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty much sums up my thoughts. If they implement these deals (government and union ownership), good-bye GM. They should know better - there are plenty of other car companies that are/have been government owned. All were money-losers while they were/are run by their governments.

RE: Oh good...
By Motoman on 4/27/2009 11:23:55 AM , Rating: 5
I'm significantly less worried about the government involvement than letting the unions have majority control.

Pin a badge on the fox and give him "ownership" of the chicken coop, and see what happens.

The mob mentality and egregious sense of entitlement that unions operate with will be at direct odds with acting in the best interest of the they always have been.

RE: Oh good...
By chrnochime on 4/27/2009 11:34:10 AM , Rating: 1
We'll see how the union's insistence on doing as little work as possible and getting paid as much(reasonably?) as they can work with them also being the ones handing out the pay checks. If they're dumb enough to continue doing this, then they/GM deserve to become a thing of the past.

RE: Oh good...
By MrBungle123 on 4/27/2009 11:36:14 AM , Rating: 2

The mob mentality and egregious sense of entitlement that unions operate with will be at direct odds with acting in the best interest of the they always have been.

And the government differs from this how?

RE: Oh good...
By Hiawa23 on 4/27/2009 11:36:37 AM , Rating: 3
...unions with major ownership of GM. Bad enough that the government would have a major stake...

If they manage to get their deals done now, I'm sure government loans and such will allow them to blunder through the next year or two. However, with the unions having major ownership, I don't see any possibility of long-term viability. Bye-bye, GM.

I agree. The guy blasted my post when I suggested the UAW & other costs are at the root cause. He said the UAW did not make the bad decisions that GM has been making, true, I agree with that but if you are overpaying your labor & other high costs associated w/their downfall then I think they have contributed to this. Yeah cutting brands is great I guess but even with this for some reason I still say it will not be enough for the long term, & they will probably still end up in Chapter 11. The contracts are going to have to be adjusted, period, yeah like the guy said the UAW has made concessions, but they are going to have make more.

RE: Oh good...
By hypocrisyforever on 4/27/2009 12:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I for one agree with you. Of course there is a combination of things that caused this, lackluster product, the UAW etc. etc. but the UAW is what cracked me up the most. It's like having your foot stuck in a bear trap and having 2 options. Cut the foot off and survive (take pay cuts/concessions), or stay there with your foot in the trap and lying to yourself and saying everything will be just fine if you sit there (go BK). Uaw, too dumb to realize THEY are killing their own chances. Greed at its finest. Also, I will miss pontiac...I've owned a grand am since 96', great frigging car, 220k and it is now my second car. Ah well, the cost of becoming as complacent as GM.

2 brands are enough
By mrdeez on 4/27/2009 11:01:58 AM , Rating: 1
Go with Cadillac and Chevy and as things get better add new name brands...I mean Buick is not a brand name that sounds even remotely attractive.

RE: 2 brands are enough
By Hiawa23 on 4/27/2009 12:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
Go with Cadillac and Chevy and as things get better add new name brands...I mean Buick is not a brand name that sounds even remotely attractive.

for some reason I have always thought of Buick as a brand for old people.

RE: 2 brands are enough
By Atheist Icon on 4/27/2009 12:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
When I think of Buick, I think of the 87' GNX. Definately not an old person car...

RE: 2 brands are enough
By FITCamaro on 4/27/2009 2:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
I would sacrifice a puppy for one of those beauties.

RE: 2 brands are enough
By Atheist Icon on 4/27/2009 9:51:07 PM , Rating: 1
Haha! Puppies are not sacrificial anymore. I think you have to vow to be a munich (sp?) to get one now.

RE: 2 brands are enough
By RagingDragon on 4/28/2009 2:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
I believe the word you're looking for is Eunuch

RE: 2 brands are enough
By Dax Corrin on 4/27/2009 6:01:43 PM , Rating: 3
I always thought "Buick" was the sound you made while barfing into the toilet.

RE: 2 brands are enough
By rcc on 4/28/2009 6:42:35 PM , Rating: 2
As in " excuse me, I need to go talk to Ralph about buying a Buick"?

GM should be Chevy and Cadillac
By Hulk on 4/27/2009 12:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
GM should only have two brands, midlevel Chevy and upscale Cadillac. That is how the Japanese have been surviving and thriving so they should see that and follow suit.

The buyers understand that taking the same basic platform and body and changing the shape of the headlights and amount of chrome does not make a different car. We are not the same people that were falling for those tricks in the '50s. There is serious competition from the rest of the world and they refuse to really change. To fully step over the line.

I hope they make it but I fear GM is going the way of the Dodo bird.

RE: GM should be Chevy and Cadillac
By rudolphna on 4/27/2009 12:16:10 PM , Rating: 1
huh, interesting. Did you know toyota has at least 3 brands? Toyota, Lexus and Scion. And have you also noticed, that hondas and toyotas dont start at nearly the low prices that Ford/GM/Dodge Cars do? I can buy a well equipped Cobalt right now for $18. A base level civic is what, $19k, $20k? Hmmm.

RE: GM should be Chevy and Cadillac
By omnicronx on 4/27/2009 12:36:53 PM , Rating: 1
The Scion is the perfect example of what not to do, so I can't understand why people keep bringing it up. Less than 4000 vehicles are sold per month, and most people would describe them as a complete failure.

They lack brand recognition, and are still far too similar to their Toyota line, not to mention they fall far behind Toyota and Lexus in terms of dependability.

I would be really surprised if the line lasted another 5 years as many analyst have predicted that Scion has already hit the Wall in terms of sales. In fact their best selling vehicle the XB urban utility vehicle accounted for about half their sales, and was far more popular upon release as it was pretty much in its own class. (Honda now has the fit, Nissan has the versa, ford something but can't remember the name).

I still think 4 lines is too much for GM, I think they should completely scrap Buick, and bring start releasing some lower end caddy's. BMW is doing it with their newly released 1 series, which is far from the traditional Beemer.. There is no reason to have two high end brand names, and I think it is pretty hard to argue that Buick and Cadillac's markets do not intersect.

RE: GM should be Chevy and Cadillac
By Jimbo1234 on 4/27/2009 2:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
I still think 4 lines is too much for GM, I think they should completely scrap Buick, and bring start releasing some lower end caddy's. BMW is doing it with their newly released 1 series, which is far from the traditional Beemer..

Sa what? A 1 series costs only a few thousand less than a 3 series. There is nothing un-BMW or inexpensive about it.

By omnicronx on 4/27/2009 2:59:57 PM , Rating: 1
Obviously you missed my point, even the 3 series approaches the mid end car market and yet it has not diluted BMW's status as a top tier manufacturer. What other possible reason could GM have for keeping Buick? It fits right in between Chevy and Caddy, with some of its models overlapping on the two. The only use it serves right now is it has taken over the duties as the GM testbed from Oldsmobile. Furthermore it does not share too many parts with other GM models, making it far less cost effective.

RE: GM should be Chevy and Cadillac
By Spuke on 4/28/2009 4:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
A 1 series costs only a few thousand less than a 3 series.
Huh? A 128i starts at $29,400 vs the 328i at $36,500. That's $7100!! A 135i starts at $35,850 vs the 335i at $42,200. That's $6350! That's BIG difference in my book.

RE: GM should be Chevy and Cadillac
By Alexvrb on 4/27/2009 10:56:11 PM , Rating: 1
They lack brand recognition, and are still far too similar to their Toyota line, not to mention they fall far behind Toyota and Lexus in terms of dependability.
But they're built entirely in Japan, and therefore, that is impossible!! /sarcasm

By thornburg on 4/27/2009 10:35:55 AM , Rating: 2
The new strategy calls for sole focus on GM's four core brands -- GM, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac.

Perhaps that should say "Chevy, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac"?

RE: error
By CollegeTechGuy on 4/27/2009 10:37:06 AM , Rating: 2
hahaha, I posted 30 seconds after you did.

RE: error
By Brandon Hill on 4/27/2009 10:40:32 AM , Rating: 2

Name Change
By MrBungle123 on 4/27/2009 11:19:27 AM , Rating: 5
So I guess General Motors is now Government Motors?

Government Motors is here
By FITCamaro on 4/27/2009 12:37:02 PM , Rating: 3
This sucks. My favorite brand will now be regulated down to a shadow of its former self for the foreseeable future.

I'm wondering how long before they kill the Corvette. Guess I won't be buying any cars past the 2010 model year for a long time.

RE: Government Motors is here
By MonkeyPaw on 4/27/2009 8:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
You might need to go over to Ford. I wasn't really a fan of Ford until they said that they weren't taking bail out money. That actually earned a lot of respect from me.

Smokey and the Bandit correction
By bigsnyder on 4/27/2009 4:15:46 PM , Rating: 2
For the record, the car in the movie was a 1977 Trans Am, not the 1970 model in the above picture.

By DigitalFreak on 4/27/2009 4:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. Since when has fact checking been a concern at Daily Tech? You should know better by now.

yeah this sucks about Pontiac
By yacoub on 4/28/2009 7:46:19 AM , Rating: 2
Definitely should have been Buick and/or GMC. Pontiac's G8, Solstice, and GTO were all much more interesting than anything those other brands have put out in decades. In fact, the last interesting Buick was built in '87 (the GNX).

Pontiac with the Firebird and the old GTO had much more performance history, and even Oldsmobile with the 4-4-2 was in the classic muscle car scene more than Buick ever was. Blah. GM and unions ruined a lot of good nameplates. And now with "taxpayers and unions holding the majority stake in GM" you can be sure it'll never recover or produce anything interesting again.

RE: yeah this sucks about Pontiac
By yacoub on 4/28/2009 7:48:32 AM , Rating: 2
And for people talking about how well Buick sells in China - you're missing the point. We're talking about the North American market. There's nothing stopping GM from using a different badge/nameplate in China. They already have that differentiation with Holden, Vauxhall, etc. It wouldn't be a problem to have Buick be a Chinese market nameplate and kill it in the US/NA market. They have or will have their own entire production lines in China so there's no need to keep the same models or brand in the US.

By KingConker on 4/27/2009 11:36:30 AM , Rating: 1
By Fenixgoon on 4/27/2009 12:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
160 hp over the G8 GXP and it does 0-60 in roughly the same time. what gives?

Wrong T/A in the picture
By mikecel79 on 4/27/2009 4:17:20 PM , Rating: 1
Smokey and the Bandit used a 1977 Trans Am, not a 1970.

RE: Wrong T/A in the picture
By Robisoda on 4/27/2009 7:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
And that's a 1973 pictured, not a 1970

By CollegeTechGuy on 4/27/2009 10:36:22 AM , Rating: 2
The new strategy calls for sole focus on GM's four core brands -- GM, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac.

Don't you mean Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac...

So what
By Griswold on 4/27/2009 3:23:24 PM , Rating: 1
All the debated brands and models are largely meaningless outside the US - which in and itself is the reason why these companies are a wreck.

Secondly, all the models worth looking at or owning are pre 1977 - which is a testament to the lack of design quality at US-automakers.

Therefore, hey fucked up decades ago and made it worse when they did not realize that gas guzzling monstrosities arent going to be mainstream compatible forever, while nearly all foreign automakers had several alternatives in their lineup or at least vastly superior technology in their premium models.

By the way, the retro cars of recent years dont cut it compared to the classic ones.

RE: So what
By FITCamaro on 4/27/2009 4:00:11 PM , Rating: 1
Man idiots like you have a short memory. If "gas guzzling monstrosities" were doomed, why did Toyota pour money into developing their large SUVs and trucks which get worse fuel economy than their domestic competition.

By bmheiar on 4/27/2009 7:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
To anyone who owns &/or loves Pontiacs.

Today is a sad day. GM has announced today, that they will kill off the Pontiac brand. So where they can keep Buick/Cadillac (two luxury lines) & Chevy/GMC (two truck lines). Why? All because Buick is a popular seller in China & other foreign countries.

Why kill off Pontiac when they can get rid of one of the luxury lines or one of the truck lines?

I do not like their decision. I have owned 3 Pontiacs in the 18 years I have been driving, (1989 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix GT, and now a 2008 Pontiac G8).

I have contacted GM by email and let them know how I am disappointed & displeased in their decision. I suggest that others do the same. To protest their decision.

So email or call 1-800-762-2737, and let them know that they have made the wrong decision in killing off Pontiac and keeping Buick/Cadillac luxury lines & Chevy/GMC truck lines.

Sincerely a loyal & happy Pontiac owner,

Brad Heiar

Car design
By GreyHobbyHorse on 4/28/2009 1:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
And who is going to design the cars? Car design, good design, is a passion, not a job. Designing coffins on wheels is not going to cut it.

So does the Volt come with batteries included? Or does the consumer have to find their own. GM said that the batteries weren't ready and won't be for years. Yes ... He is right.

When people find out what all this alternative energy is actually going to cost ... then like most other educated countries they will barf it all out. Look what happened in Canada, and is now happening in Europe.

Who recycles those funny lamps anyway.

Oh yeah this will work
By phxfreddy on 4/29/2009 7:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for all the clap trap ideas B.O.!

Must have thought of this one when Larry Sinclair was using you for his own personal popcicle and you were snorting snow.

By travis9564 on 5/20/2009 7:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
American cars arent on par with imports? This coming from a bunch of followers who have heard stories like so and so said that he has a Honda and its lasted a long time without putting a dime into it. When the true story is more like so and so was getting alot of crap for having a little tiny teenie weenie car that would hardly move in snow (not to mention has no towing capabilities or demolition derby strength lol) because he didnt have the money to buy a real car but his pride told him and every other matchbox owner to just say with pride how they havent spent a dime on their little toy car and it just keeps going. Well I've got news for you I fell into that way of thinking too and after less miles than my monte carlo which is untouched by the way my Mazda 626 has had the radio antenna motor fail, the knuckles in the spindles replaced, the sensor or something is currently out will not idle but you can tap on the stuck piece will free up and idle away again, door rusting, heater is pathetic, air conditioning bought a can of refrigerant to recharge myself and found a leak in the lines so she can sweat for the price to replace, what else....oh the tires will not stay aligned and cause uneven wear no matter rotation, there folks is PROOF 100% no bull! Plus there is just something about driving a vehicle designed and built in the greatest superpower this world has ever known. As far as PONTIACS being killed off thats sickening there are some many of them on the road GM should really be shunned for killing off a great brand to save there own name. At least sell the name so we can keep a realitively inexpensive upgrade from a Chevrolet.

The end is near
By Beenthere on 4/27/2009 1:48:01 PM , Rating: 1
Won't be long now before the 6,000+ auto industry vendors go tits-up and that will be the end of the entire U.S. auto industry as they supply up to 80% of all components used to produce an auto.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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